It's soooo hard working on a picture book dummy with your own concept, your own text, and your own artwork... and no real idea if what you are doing is worthwhile! But that's just part of the deal at this stage in the game. It's so helpful getting critiques from friends or professionals. Sometimes they have really good insight, and sometimes just sharing your work makes clear to you how you should change it.
I had my picture book dummy Home done to a point that I submitted it to a couple agents. But it still felt like it needed some more work before I sent it out it again. So I emailed the lovely and gracious Beth Krommes who agreed to take a look at the electronic version of my book. Beth is a fantastic artist who works in scratchboard for picture books, and wood engraving and paint for her other artwork. I think my style has some similarities to Beth's because of the graphic media. And of course I admire her like crazy because she's talented, kind, and makes gorgeous picture books.
Beth sent me back a list of comments that involved a lot of changes to the book. It was so nice to get objective, direct feedback. So I've rewritten almost every line of the book, while still keeping the concepts and flavor of the text. And now I'm working my way through redrawing each spread. Above is a photo of the sketchy storyboard. It's overwhelming but exciting! I'm going to try and have a whole new dummy in time for the LA SCBWI Conference at the beginning of August. Wish me luck!
Update on 6/19/12. There's no way on Earth I can get that dummy done before August! So, I'm going to work on it at a more reasonable pace and spend the time making some fun new pieces for my portfolio. Whew! :)