November 15, 2018

Recalibrating

Recalibrating - Gif from Avengers movie
It’s been just over ten months since I published ScintillantSquares: A Geometric Coloring Book for Adults. (Also, just over ten months since my last blog post here.)

Part of my goal in creating and publishing it was to prove to myself that I could bring a project from initial idea through development to the production of a high-quality product I could be proud of. I was and still am proud of the book, so that part was a success!

Another part of my goal was to create the kind of coloring book I would want to buy. In essence, I wanted to practice creating a product for a target audience, and I thought I was stacking the deck by picking a one-person target audience that I am intimately familiar with – myself.

That part didn’t work out so well.

Consumer-me didn’t actually use the coloring book at work, even on lunch break, and creator-me decided she deserved a break after pushing herself so hard to create a high-quality product, even if it wasn’t what consumer-me wanted. I can neither confirm nor deny whether there was sulking involved.

But the itch was still there. Over the next few months, creator-me toyed with ideas of how to revise the coloring book into something consumer-me would actually use, and consumer-me continued doodling in the margins of her notebooks and coloring in the monthly pictures in the coloring planner she bought on Amazon

Jayne from Firefly looking confused

You see, creator-me got so caught up in doing market research on other coloring book publishers and other colorists that I internalized the industry standards and wound up creating a product that had the same downsides for consumer-me as all the other coloring books on the market. So even though it was a good product, it wasn’t the right product.

So I’m working on something new, that will hopefully be a better fit.

This time, though, I’m not expecting to get it right the first time. This is going to be an iterative process of creating something, testing it, making changes, and testing it again. I’m also training myself to take a more sustainable approach this time, working on the project a little bit each day rather than getting a ton done once in a blue moon.

Part of that process is restarting this blog. It’ll take a little while to see how it fits into my routine with work, CrossFit, creating my next product, and home life, but I’ll shoot for at least one post a week to get started. There’s plenty to talk about, including what, exactly, the next project is shaping up to be!

Until next time – don’t be afraid to add some color!

January 12, 2018

Scintillant Squares!

Scintillant Squares: A Geometric Coloring Book for Adults is now available on Amazon!

I'm still figuring out how to improve how the listing looks, but I'm excited to have it available for sale! I first started daydreaming about this book at least a year ago, and there were definitely times I wasn't sure it would ever see the light of day.

(Me with the final proof!)

Here's what the full cover looks like:


Remember - if you want to "try before you buy", just sign up with your email in the sidebar for three free coloring pages!

January 9, 2018

How do you color?

How do you approach coloring in a new design?

Do you pick your color palette in advance? Plan out how it's going to look? Go where the whim takes you?

For me, it usually depends on where I am when I'm ready to color in a bit. Sometimes I'll have my whole pen collection at hand, and poke around until one of the colors catches my attention. Other times, I only have a couple of ballpoints, so I'll do some shading in black or blue - or in this case, black, orange and purple: (I added the green and red later.)

Artist: Kathryn Marlin, Book: Garden Paths & Forest Trails Coloring Day Planner 2017

I don't generally color everything in one sitting, though! This cat got its color over two days of meetings where I needed to listen but not say a whole lot, but often I'll only have time to color in something tiny, before going on to the next task at home or work. This picture will probably take me the rest of the month to finish.


When coloring in my own designs, I often start with a pattern and color palette in mind, but if it takes too long I'll get bored with following my initial plans. That's how this study in blue squares wound up with polka dots and some red/orange/green hues. :)


What about you? Have you ever had a picture turn out differently than you planned?

Thanks for reading!

-Anthea

PS: The proofs for the new book should ship in the next week or so. Sign up in the sidebar to get an email when Scintillant Squares is available for purchase, and to get a free 3-page PDF excerpt!

January 7, 2018

Accepting Imperfection

Hi, my name is Anthea, and I have perfectionist tendencies.

It holds me back, because in reality nothing is ever "perfect" - but many things that are imperfect can still be lovely and enjoyable! So I try to remember that holding myself back until I have the perfect post, the perfect image, or the perfect state of mind is a recipe for never doing anything.

Creating the designs was actually the easiest part (so far) of the Scintillant Squares project. In developing the idea for the book, I had already decided that precise symmetry would get boring, so I had given myself the freedom to embrace artistic imperfections.

But when it came to picking a name, a logo, and doing the cover and interior print layout, each step required discovering over again that at some point, I have to say "it's good" and let go of the striving for absolute perfection. I want this to be a high-quality book that lots of people will enjoy, so some degree of perfectionism is useful, but not if it means I never hit "publish"!

I run into the same thing with coloring. It can be hard to get started, and it takes conscious effort to accept when the pen doesn't go where I meant it to, rather than getting upset that I've "ruined" my picture. And when I have massive morning-brain and spill my coffee all over everything, including an almost-finished picture... well, it can be very discouraging.

But I'm still happy with how it came out. :)

(cat included for comfort)

(click for more detail)

This is one of the designs included in the free coloring pages if you sign up for the email list. If you color it in, I'd love to see what you do with it!

-Anthea

January 6, 2018

It's time to add some color!

I was delighted, but baffled when signups started coming in for the free coloring pages before I had even added a single post! I was braced to see little to no response even after publishing my first book and starting promotion - and to be honest, I had run a little low on steam for finishing the nitty-gritty details of publishing a book and setting up a website.

Well, you lit a fire to start building up steam again, and I'm happy to say that the book is almost there!

The initial printed proofs weren't quite what I wanted, so after another round of tweaks, I've submitted the new files to the printer, and it should only be a couple of weeks before I see the next proof. Hopefully, all will be well and I'll be able to hit the "publish" button.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the cover, and you can also sign up in the sidebar for a free PDF of three coloring pages from the upcoming book!


Thanks for reading!
-Anthea

Recalibrating

It’s been just over ten months since I published ScintillantSquares: A Geometric Coloring Book for Adults . (Also, just over ten months ...