Last week I was working intensely on deadline to deliver the black and white drawings for an upcoming picture book I am illustrating - DALE, DALE, DALE/ HIT IT, HIT IT, HIT IT (written by Rene Saldaña Jr.) to my publisher.
As usual, I'd prepped. I'd paced. I'd thumbnailed. I was having a blast! But, I needed a little extra push when it came to spread #10 - a drawing which included lots of toy marbles.
Partially exhausted, I felt I had not fully captured the magical essence of "marbles."
I remembered the enigma of little boys who carried around bags of marbles at recess when I was little. I internet-hunted marbles and learned about "shooters," "pee-wees," "steelies," and "agates." I stared at the small velvet pouch of vintage marbles that my mother bought me when I first got this book contract, and then - I poured the marbles onto my desk.
They rolled … everywhere.
I grabbed a small empty photo frame and corralled them.
I thought to myself, "These are beautiful. I have two more beautiful marbles in my jewelry box I will add to this collection."
I added two more marbles.
Hours later, I couldn't help thinking, "I'm sure there is one more marble in this house."
I stopped drawing and looked around. Now where?
If I could find it, what a great sign that would be!
I looked down at my little marble corral and saw it.
One more marble.
Engraved around the edges of the wooden frame were these words:
"I saw the angel in the MARBLE and I carved until I set him free." Michelangelo
I had forgotten. Trust that you have the skills to listen. The book will draw itself. As with all art, a book becomes what it wants to become.
What an exciting process!
Happy GroundHog Day!
Carolyn Dee Flores/Illustrator