Ever since I was young, my dad (AKA Grandpa) would go out hunting. It was something that he still continues to do to this day. It's a big part of his farm experience, and he wanted to share it with the Grandchildren, as well as friends and family.
The initial issue I had with the story was that we'd be hunting a deer. I was thinking of ways to get around this and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Let's make the deer the biggest, smartest deer. It's Grandpa's dream (as well as any other hunters) to find the biggest buck in the woods.
I wrote the initial ideas for the book pretty quickly, sent them off to Grandpa, and we began creating Grandpa Sees The Big Deer.
All my projects start out with a really rough storyboard of the story. Luckily for this project, it didn't veer too far from the original ideas.
The ending of the story really resonated with my personal experiences of Grandma sitting at home and seeing big deer in the front yard. I also felt it was a nice touch that it ends with Grandpa settling for eating pizza (which might be a jab at my own pizza addiction).
Since we were both happy with the story so far, heading towards finalizing it was pretty painless. Here are some of the earlier pages.
Around this time, I was also working on Mr. Ernie Makes A Farm, so I took a break away from Grandpa Sees The Big Deer to finish it.
When I got back to it, most of the artwork was already done. It was a project that relied more on the use of color to tell a story, rather than detailed illustrations.
I had started to lay some text down, it felt like we were wrapping up. As an artist, you always think more can be done. So I had a little bit of messing around do it.
I still wasn't sold on a lot of the smaller details that I'm sure no one else would even notice.
It was now June 2016. We were ready to let everyone see what had become of this project. There were a lot of last minute changes that I think really changed the book for the best.
We were finally ready for the printer. Here are a couple of the finished pages.
We got the copies, and they turned out great! Also right on time for my birthday! Everyone was very happy with the way they turned out, and I was blown away by the reception of this project. I felt like more people could connect with the story than my previous ones (not to say I have a favorite).
I can't wait to work on another project like this one, and of course, you'll be invited to follow along in the process.