Well, my friends. I’ve made a decision.
Not one I’m necessarily happy to have made, but one that I think will be helpful in the grand scheme of things.
Part of the reason I decided to put The Star and the Ocean on hiatus was to give myself time to get ahead on the writing and the artwork so I could eventually start posting chapters twice a week. At this point the hiatus has gone on longer than I anticipated, but I have made good use of that time. In fact, as of right now I have everything up to and including chapter 11 written, with chapters 12 to 14 having been mapped out and ready to go.
But the artwork hasn’t been coming along as quickly as I would have liked. My guest artist is working on chapter 5 right now and the illustration for chapter 6 is already finished and queued up. The sketches for chapters 7 and 8 are done and just waiting for paint.
The problem is, these pieces take a lot of time to do. I can generally squeeze in two sketches after work. Painting takes at least one evening if I’m pushing myself and have nothing else to distract me. Except I have lots of things to distract me, including the actual writing of the story.
If I had really been thinking back when I started this project, I would have written the story completely before starting the art instead of trying to do both at the same time. That’s probably what I’ll do next time.
But for right now, it’s just slowing me down.
I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that I’ll be able to keep up with posting twice per week if I’m doing a different painting for each chapter. It also doesn’t help that my skill level isn’t where I’d like it to be, so I’m never super thrilled with my finished pieces (and having to rush through them is just making it worse). I need more practice on a fundamental level to pull off the images I have in mind.
So, once I finish up the pieces I have started, I’m going to stop making complete chapter paintings until I have the entire book finished.
I’m probably going to create one distinct piece for the entire story that can essentially be a placeholder and, once the book is finished, I’ll loop back around and finish doing the full paintings. In the mean time I’ll probably just include sketches instead – little bits of art that don’t require as much time.
I’ll still be open to working with other artists on illustrations for future chapters, too. If you read something that you’d be interested in completing a commission for, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Anyway, I hope this doesn’t disappoint anyone (and if it does, I hope you’ll understand!)
May and Em should be back by early next week. Thanks for your patience!