Tag Archives: self-publishing

Leaving Adobe is like Kicking Crack Cocaine!

I’ve been using Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and Flash as Adobe products or their predecessors, for over a quarter of a century.

That’s a long time to get acclimated to something, which makes it really difficult to stop using them and change to something else.

Adobe know this and have you locked in on an annual agreement, paid monthly, that I think of as the Adobe Tax.

There is an alternative, the Affinity suite of Photo, Publisher and Designer – https://affinity.serif.com/ – which sells for a one time price equal to three months of Adobe.

What is so galling about Adobe is that you have to pay for all their products whether you use them or not. I can’t understand how this is quite legal!

The truly difficult thing is changing all those micro habits and ways of using photoshop  and inDesign that are now ingrained. It’s like coming off drugs! 

I have a few months before my Adobe annual contract comes to an end in which to kick the habit, learn the new software habits and bring my archive of inDesign titles up to date and transferred to publisher.

I also want to do this because I can’t, in all conscience, recommend that newbie illustrators and self-publishers should sign up for a year of Adobe and go through that massive learning curve for what may turn out to be a passing phase in their lives. It’s an expensive way to find out!

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How hard can it be to write a kid’s book?

A kid’s book? Really? It can’t be that hard, can it?

Well, not if you are an AI scammer who just wants to make a video about how easy it is to make a kid’s book.

And it is easy, if you just want to see your name on a book to add to your bucket list ot boost your ego.

But making a book for children that they might want to read and find interesting or exciting is quite a different thing. 

And illustrating a book does not mean just sticking the same bit of clip art on every page or asking midjourney to conjure up weird images of six fingered people. (Oh there’s an idea for a book!)

And actually selling a book! Well that really is a quite different thing. Most self- published books sell fewer than 10 copies!

Oh and then there are all the mental barriers we set up for ourselves…

How to Draw Fantasy Landscape illustrations for Children’s Books – workbook sketches

By now you will know that I’m creating a space adventure trilogy for 8-12 year olds.

The action takes place at the International Space School, which I have set in a green and mountainous area of Wales – one of the countries that makes up the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

I’ll need an illustration of the school for the book but I also need it for myself to really get a feel for the place. It is a fantasy landscape, but based on experience – places I’ve been and lived in.

They say that abstract, concept art is finished when it most closely resembles the idea the artist first had. So it is with illustrating a scene from a story you have written yourself.

Towards the end of the painting, I realised I’d become a bit obsessed with certain aspects of the drawing and had not really got the whole thing to come together. I made the smaller buildings quite eco – with sedum/turf roofs, but that makes it look too 20th century.

I think it needs to be more contemporary, so I need to go back and do more research. You don’t know these things unless you do them! I’ll come back with another version when I’ve done it and am happy.

This is probably the biggest illustration in the book and needs to be got right. I think it needs to go twice as wide – a big wide landscape – so it fits across the bottom of a page – maybe even across the preliminary pages – in fact hold that thought!