Picture Book Planning

I’ve been taking the last month to play, plan, and basically figure out the next steps…

The first part of the year is done, and I have published “Dinosaurs Don’t Play Fetch”, added Chia to the shop, got my newsletter sign up set up, and I’m liking this new focus on the monthly posts. Not a bad start to the new year. 😀

This past month I’ve been having fun updating a boardgame I made a while back. The kids really like it, and it was to a point that I really needed to make some new cards and pieces for it so that we could test out some changes I made to the rules. Since the game is about dinosaurs and their prehistoric neighbors, I hope you enjoy some of the artwork I made for it. Keep in mind that I didn’t want to spend too much time on it, since it’s still basically in the testing phase, and all the art are basically speed paintings with some clip art mixed in to save time. If I ever make this game available at some point, I would either hire a professional or spend quite a bit more time on the artwork. I would also change the dinos to be critters that were actually around when the infamous asteroid hit, since that’s the story behind the game. These critters are all just based on the CollectA mini figures I already had on hand.

Oh, and I read the latest paper on Amargasaurus soft tissue just before painting it, so of course I had to experiment with the look. It’s the first time I’m actually a little dissapointed with what the latest research shows (I’m quite fond of the spiky Amargasaurus look), but I’m sure it’ll grow on me in time.

Just in case this is news to you, Amargasaurus is a sauropod (long-neck) dinosaur that is usually reconstructed with spikes along its neck. New research shows that the bone is more like the bone of animals that have muscles, fat, and skin attached like buffalo or camels, not keratin like the bone inside a ram’s horn. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Amargasaurus had a big fatty hump on its neck, but it seems that the long neck vertebrae might support something more like fleshy sails that would’ve been good for making it appear much larger than it really was, like African cape buffalo do today.

Can you name all the critters? 😀

When I wasn’t playing with board game design (or the game itself lol) I was thinking about my goals for the next three months. I quite like the idea of planning out a year in quarters. It makes me plan smaller, more bite size goals, and at least this year I’ve had better success in actually accomplishing those goals in the time I wanted. So I’ll keep rolling with this and see where it goes.

Goal #1: Get started on actually finishing the picture book that is the whole reason for this website.

Goal #2: Prepare for an art exhibition and possible storytime at the local library.

I have other goals of course, including a few creative ones (a novel I’ve been trying to finish since high school lol), but these two are the important ones for Paleo Petshop. 🙂

Now that we have the goals, it’s time for progress charts! There is a lot on this chart for picture book progress, because there is a lot to do that will definitely end up taking at least a year, perhaps (but hopefully not) two years. For a start, I hope to at least nail down the sketches and possibly get started on a couple of rudimentary models during the next three months.

Goal #2: Prep for an art exhibition at the local library.

  • Prep paleo critter art for printing and framing. I’m not sure how many critters I would prep for exhibit. All of them? As for printing, I think it would be best if I take them to my local printing shop instead of printing them myself. This will be the step that takes the longest, since there are lots of critters to prepare.
  • Contact library. I’ve met the director of the town library before and he’s always excited to exhibit local talent.
  • Prep promo material. Business cards and other stuff would be good to have so that people know where to find me if they like the art or stories.
  • Make life-size Skittles? I’m not sure on this one, as it would take a lot of time, so it’s not a priority. Just something extra nice that would be awesome to bring along to a library storytime. Especially since I plan on reading Skittles’ story. Perhaps I could just bring the little Skittles I’ve already finished?

So that’s the plan. Perhaps I’ll make a progress chart for the library goal, we’ll see. 🙂

And the Critter of the Month is…

Skittles the Scutellosaurus! She finally got some updated art. I needed a new phone case, so I cleaned her up and made her picture nice and big so I can finally get a t-shirt or something with her on it. Unfortunately, my internet has been super sketchy (seriously, I’m lucky to receive a text lately, and it’s an absolute miracle I’m typing this right now). Good thing I start writing these early in the month! We’re working on getting the internet situation fixed though, so it shouldn’t be a problem next month.

Scutellosaurus, the “little shielded lizard,” was a small dinosaur from the Kayenta Formation of Early Jurassic North America. It shared the arid scrubland with dinosaurs like Dilophosaurus, the long-necked Sarahsaurus, and many other creatures like land-roving crocodilians and almost-mammals like Kayentatherium.

Skittles is a curious creature who loves to sneak into Pete’s kitchen for a snack or two. She may not be the brightest bulb, something she has in common with her much larger relatives Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus, but she is determined when it comes to finding something to eat. You always have to be on the look out for something tasty when your habitat is prone to drought and hungry times.

I love little Skittles, and she would definitely be the dino I take home. 🙂

See you June 1st for the next Critter of the Month!

This flashy gentleman likes to spend time with his special person.

Share your guess in the comments! He’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Picture Book Planning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s