As Thomas Edison once said, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration".
For my new "Hello!" series of board books published by Commonwealth Editions, the inspiration came about 6 years ago from my twin sister Heather (who has done the design work for all of my books- see her web-site and/or blog. She is very talented AND you'll also catch sneak peaks of my adorable little nephew Jake). For fun, Heather mocked up some "Journey Jr.s"- board books using some of my artwork from the "journey Around" series. They had a die-cut bump on top to accommodate the bird's head and included an eager young bird with a backpack all set for a journey. During a lovely brunch at an outdoor restaurant overlooking Cape Cod Bay, we brainstormed ideas. And then... we got a mediocre response from my publisher who felt that among other things the die-cut was too expensive to produce... Life got in the way, and that's where the idea sat... For five years!
I'll fast forward tomorrow. In the meantime, the seal costume is complete (we'll see if she actually wears it) and the Wampanoag has now decided to be a lady ready for a day at the beach and the Simple Machine project is coming along fairly simply.