Well this morning I just want to say a huge thank you.
Thank you all for following over the years, for sharing and buying my work, for being there and egging me on.
Today sees the fulfilment of a dream, today my first children's book is published. Written by US author Jessica Reino, Symphony Hollow tells a tale of friendship, music, team work and a wonderful competition. It has been a joy to work with Callie my publisher and Jess too. I have learnt so much (the 'to do's and not to do's) and I'm sure I have been a pain with my questions and quest for the best quality, so thanks to Callie and Jess too.
The journey as illustrator has been a long one, I liken it to a game of snakes and ladders, the snakes are the rejections and there have been many, but you grow tough and move forward (with the hide of a rhino otherwise it can scupper a dream), but then there are the ladders... There have been a few this year, from being one of the finalists in the Stratford Literary Festival picture book competition to this...
Back in January of this year, I followed an agency in the US on Twitter, with view to submitting my work for representation, saying as I did so to my daughter ‘what have I got to lose?’ The next day I had a message from them saying that they wanted to introduce me to a new publisher, who were interested in my illustrations, was I interested?
Of course I said yes, introductions were made and a copy of the picture book story was emailed for me to read and make a decision. I fell in love with the characters in the story instantly and pictures soon formed in my head of how they would look, so that was it, I agreed to illustrate ‘Symphony Hollow’ written by Jessica Reino. I have been working closely with Jessica and Callie from Spork Publishing on developing the characters and page layouts.
I’m lucky, I love my job, it has taken many years to get to this point, many of which I had a ‘day job’ too, to make ends meet. But I have stuck at it, taken advice from many, changed and improved my style, always striving to be better, learning from those that have made a mark in the industry, studied how those great illustrators work, and putting my work out there. Rejection is hard, but learn from it, improve and then one day it won’t be a rejection.
Symphony Hollow is out today (7th November 2017) and available from Amazon (US) http://a.co/g8ryIgC
Amazon (UK) http://amzn.eu/6ZjvwTO
Barnes & Nobel https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/symphony-hollow-jessica-reino/1127079758?ean=9781946101471
and Clear Fork publishing https://www.clearforkpublishing.com/store/p98/SymphonyHollow
Follow Emma on facebook.com/emmagrahampics or view her work at www.egrahamillustrations.co.uk
Spork is the children's book imprint of Clear Fork Publishing. In business since 2009, Clear Fork's missions is to provide children's books that are unique and make children think. To find out more about Spork, Emma, Jessica and the book just take a look at Spork’s website https://www.clearforkpublishing.com