Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Birb Goes Twerp - A mini picture book - Part Two

If you haven't read the first post about my self-published mini picture book Birb Goes Twerp, you can read it here.

If you have, then you are in the right place.

As I was playing around with what style to use for the book I stumbled upon an amazing children's book in the used book section of Taylor Books in Charleston, WV, while on the way to Thanksgiving with my extended family.

Near, Far by Silvia Borando

The book was Near, Far by Silvia Borando, published by minibombo, an Italian children's publishing house (and published in English in the U.S. by Penguin Random House). The bright colors and simple illustrations were mesmerizing to me so I attempted to copy, mimic, steal, borrow, imitate, and pay homage to the genius of the style in my book. I'll let history decide how close I came.

Full disclosure: when I first bought the used book(s) at Taylor Books I was planning to use the internal pages for covers for the upcycled note pads I make from packaging paper and other sources. And I did. But between reading the book and cutting it up (I know, I'm a monster), I decided to imitate the style for Birb Goes Twerp. And to be fair, the inside pages of the book made some amazing little note books with peek-a-boo inside covers in some cases.

Upcycled note pads with Near, Far internal pages for covers

An adorable peek-a-boo hippo. Other covers included a snake, a hedgehog, a bird and other creatures.

I make upcycled note pads/books under the name catchpenny books

I also ended up buying another copy of Near, Far and a number of other minibombo books by Silvia Borando. I even sent a copy of Birb Goes Twerp to Silvia in Italy as a kind of thank you for the inspiration. I don't know if she has gotten it yet, or if it will even make an impression, but I hope it will.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Birb Goes Twerp - A mini picture book


That's me there with a copy of Birb Goes Twerp, my latest self-published picture book. I'm calling it an all-ages mini picture book, and it is possible that self-published all-ages mini picture books may become my thing. It is hard to tell as I have a bit of a problem focusing, but I am rather enamored with the idea of publishing more of these little books.

Before I get too far into this post, let me tell you where you can get a copy of what one reader said is an "AMAAAAZING!!!!!" book. It is available in physical form, PDF, and EPUB (Kindle) on Gumroad. Go check it out!

If you have a blog or some other venue where you post reviews and would like a review copy, let me know and I can hook you up with a PDF version. If, for some reason, which I cannot begin to fathom, you would like to feature the book or me on your blog or other venue, I'm open to doing interviews and you'd probably get a hard copy for yourself and one to giveaway to your readers.

Okay, with all that out of the way...

At some point - possibly the first time I ever heard the term "birb" used on the internet - I have wondered what sound a birb would make. I settled on "twerp". It just makes sense. Am I right?

I also thought that a fun picture book would be an animal sounds concept book (I love concept picture books) based on this internet slang. I sat on the idea for quite some time, mostly because I don't consider myself an illustrator, and illustrators are (as they should be) expensive to hire.

That said, I am a doodler and I do have experience as a self-taught graphic artist working in publishing, prepress, and the software industry for at least a couple of decades. So when I finally upgraded my iPad to one that could handle Procreate, I decided I would try my hand at illustrating this book myself in a style that I had been doodling around with for a while.

The above mentioned doodle style.

I was originally thinking that I would do them in a cut paper style with backgrounds but I soon moved on to trying out a risograph print style.

Cut paper style

Risograph print style

 I didn't choose either. Tune in to my next blog post to find out what changed my mind! And if you have read this far, thanks for reading.