Get into the GROOVE

sugar outlineMoving with the Groove and I ache all over.

I sit here knee-deep in pencil shavings, my neck is stiff and my bum is numb! My biggest challenge with illustrating Sugar Goes to the Fair is making my characters look animated I seem to have a problem with movement. I look at other picture books with envy as they capture the action perfectly. I have to ask myself is it just my style? Can I teach myself to loosen up?

Today I sat down and started drawing dancing calves and kittens. I still have a long way to go but you know what? I don’t care! I am learning the ropes. If people say writing and illustrating a picture book is easy I would like to meet them and rub their ears off with my giant eraser.

Like the writing craft, my artwork needs practice, flexing those fingers, and using my kid memories, yes I never lost that feeling of what it was like being a child, thankfully. All this scratching and scribbling is not in vain, although mostly drafts, until I am lucky enough to find a publishing house that will like my stuff. Which could take a very long, long, LONG (cobwebs and wrinkles) time. SO, I may as well just go ahead and sharpen my queenie outlineskills, pass me another Cadbury Dairy Milk slab the size of my dining room table, grab a strong coffee and we are good to go!

My manuscript has come a long way. I must say a big thanks to the book and Author that kept me on target. I will keep it under my pillow to treasure forever.

Childwrites by Emma Mactaggart and edited by Ainsley Shepherd.

Best buy in a long while. I have smashed my way through the writing process and the very same book now gives me some tips on illustrating my way to the finish line and then every other little detail you need for publishing, promotion and resources.

Go to if you have an interest in writing picture books or your child has an interest in writing picture books. They also have a fantastic program for schools. Stay tuned for my interview with Emma from Childwrites in the coming weeks.

dancing queenie

dancing sugar

I must also thank my Beta readers for feedback and encouraging me to keep at it, you know who you are and I am in your debt.

Susan Call Hutchison you are an amazing editor and I thank you for your time and talents and our special friendship from across the seas. Check out Susan’s website if you need a fantastic editor.

Share your stories here, what are you refining, what new skill are you learning. We are always learning something, tell me about your experiences. Oh! And enjoy my dancing animals.

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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44 Responses to Get into the GROOVE

  1. Audrey Chin says:

    Oh my! That is one alert and energetic cat. I love it Kath.

    Sugar, perhaps, isn’t meant to be presented as such a moving character. It seems she’s best close up, with those big eyes and long lashes. Perhaps, you could just have her grooving in a head shot? This way she looks like someone’s shot her with a paint ball;) (Sorry, no offense Kath)

    At the rate you’re going, I don’t think it’s going to take long at all to find a publisher. I can’t wait…

    • Thanks Audrey but Sugar pretty much does get a paint job and she prances and dances in the story. There will be enough cute close ups on most of the pages and these may be small images on the same page, Who knows where it will all end. But thanks for your feed back appreciate it my friend.

  2. annepeterson says:

    Enjoy being on this journey with you.

    Loved the line, ” If people say writing and illustrating a picture book is easy I would like to meet them and rub their ears off with my giant eraser.”

    I think I would like one of your giant erasers. For erasing things I’ve done or said. 🙂

    Maybe it’s hard to get the cat to look relaxed because you have no model. At least I’ve never seen a cat standing tall like yours. I think it will come. It will all come in time.

    I thought Audrey meant it looked like Sugar got hit with a paint ball because of the color behind him.

    I love the resources you shared. You never know. A kid’s book may be in my future. Actually I did write a couple and haven’t done anything with them yet. I have Smiling Sam, which Jude and Charlie love. And Pinocchio Looks for His Friends.

    Go Kath, go.

    • There is much work to be done. After posting this piece last night I had a dream about a beautiful bird I held in my hands. She would not fly no matter what I did, she always landed back in my hands. The bird of course is about me and my story and I have much to learn and do before I can fly Anne. I love Audrey’s comments because she always makes me think outside the square and pushes my boundaries. Ps My cat stood on his hind legs only the other day, he sat right up like a meer cat and when I looked at what he was looking at…. our resident echidna had come out to play. The one day no camera handy so I decided to just enjoy the moment. Thanks for stopping by and happy travels with your own picture book adventure.

  3. I LOVE your dancing animals! Absolutely wonderful and inspirational work. 🙂

  4. grovewithin says:

    I love your drawings! They look very innocent. They remind me of drawings of a book I just read “The little prince”. Can’t wait to read your book some day soon!

    • You are very kind and I appreciate the feedback, some day soon I will reach my peak and actually be happy with the end result. For now I play and write. Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment.

  5. G. Olivo says:

    These illustrations are brilliant! You have captured the movements really well.
    Keep working at it! You’re doing really well Kath!

    • Thank you G, this is encouraging coming from you, how is your book promotion going? I know you said you went over your illustrations many times, I am working it through and feeling I will never be truly happy with the end result. It will come with practice me thinks. Thanks for support I appreciate your take on this.

      • G. Olivo says:

        Ah, well yes; it’s very difficult to finalise an illustration because you feel you can always improve it. There’s always just one more thing you want to add / change! I have only about a month worth of work left on “My Monster” picture book, thanks for asking! Exciting times 🙂 I look forward to seeing more of your illustrations! Keep up the brilliant work K!

  6. Kath, I think you’re drawings are beautiful! I am so impressed with people who have the talent you have. I can’t even draw stick figures. It’s wonderful to see you enjoying the journey. I’ve been struggling with my first fiction piece and had no idea how difficult it would be compared to non-fiction. I am enjoying it and love my main character. When it’s all said and done, if no one reads it, I can say I enjoyed the journey. That giant eraser line was pretty funny; it made me laugh out loud! Can’t wait to say I knew you when…

    • Hi Tammy thanks you are too kind. Thats great to hear you are venturing into fiction and learning something new like me, enjoy the process. I am here if you need a reader, we are here to support each other. Glad the line made you laugh I had to think of an illustrator kind of joke, it was how I was feeling at that frustrating moment. Keep pushing the writing and I will do the same.

  7. Queenie is ADORABLE! I think she is the perfect sidekick for Sugar. Sugar looks like she is learning, too. I am so proud for you as I look at what you are accomplishing. Thank you for your kind words and and linking to my site.

    • Susan we all need a Susan to keep us in check and help us realise that our dreams can come true…..we can do it! We just have to share it, work hard and never be satisfied with average. I am in your debt, You give me hope and something special, a connection with a like minded soul, someone who keeps her inner child close at hand thank you.

  8. Love that black cat. I see the wild in his dance.

  9. I adore cats and I LIKE your cat. He has an air of mischief about him, but also looks like a cat I’d like to know. To me you’re capturing the essence of these animals and your work is terrific, but I also know that you’ll have to satisfy your harshest critic before you can proceed. Yourself. Until your art matches the vision in your head you won’t be satisfied. Thus, practicing makes you a better artist AND helps to synchronize mind and hand.
    I’m always working on the nuances with my writing as you do with your writing and art. I’m also striving to remove that which doesn’t further my stories without sacrificing critical aspects. Recently I removed 90% of three chapters. They were interesting, but did nothing to further characterizations or plot. It was difficult, but necessary and now I love what I did.

  10. Della Law says:

    Love the pictures Kath. Both look full of the joys of life. Good luck.

  11. Kath, I read this on my phone the other day and wanted to circle back around and tell you how much I love that black kitty! LOVE HIM/HER!

  12. Hallo again, I love your dancing Sugar because that is exactly what calves do when they play, especially after rain and just before sunset. Miss being on a farm for only that reason. Queenie is very cute, that blue eyes are so very intelligent.
    Enjoy your chocolate and coffee, Kath.

  13. Sheila says:

    We’re definitely our own worst critics – your illustrations are wonderful! The cat makes me think of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Maybe it would help to look at pictures of people dancing and incorporate some of the movements into the illustrations. It must be really hard to make a picture look like it’s moving!

  14. Theresa says:

    Kath: Keep following your dream; if you draw pictures from that inner child, other folks will like them as well. Anyway, you’ll have all that chocolate and the huge eraser… That, plus your talent, makes for a winning combination. Trust in yourself and the process. I do!

  15. Theresa thank you I appreciate your comment and agree I will follow my inner child always.

  16. Kath, these illustrations are lovely! You have been busy. I will stop by a little later and catch up. Take care!

  17. Ooh Kath, I love the cat illustration! And that’s saying something because I’m not usually a cat person! Keep at your picture book Kath – as always, rooting for you 😀

  18. Tana Bevan says:

    Your cat not only shows life/movement, it shows personality. I see a mischievous cat who is going to give the parents grief, have all kinds of “adventures” because of an insatiable curiosity, and who will not be punished because, after all, how can you punish one who so enjoys & embraces life … even when trouble follows? Clapping & cheering for you!

  19. Dear Kath! These delightful artwork are simply shimmering with life and grace and sparkle! I am a fan of your work and words. Sharon

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