Local artist illustrates while rebuilding home
Amy Foreman of Orange is not a shy person; but she doesn’t like to be the center of attention. “I’m just not a limelight kinda person,” she said.
A very talented artist, Foreman recently illustrated her first children’s book, written by Orange native Michelle Smith. “Skeeter Sneeter Doodlebop” was released in July.
“It’s really Michelle. She’s the one that wanted to get published, she just hired me,” Foreman said, downplaying her part in the books release. To maintain a bit of anonymity, she only used A. Foreman in the credits. “She’s the limelight; I’m the support … wing man, sidekick.” Actually, Foreman not only drew the illustrations but also did the layout for the book.
Foreman has spent the last year doing the same thing her neighbors have; rebuilding her home after Hurricane Ike. The book gave her a little break from the stress and hard work of rebuilding.
“Somewhere between all that storm stuff, I illustrated the book,” she said.
Foreman lost everything in the storm, including all her artwork and portfolio. Her FEMA trailer not only serves as her temporary housing, but also her studio. She hopes to be shed of it and in her new home by the end of October.
Plans for the book were made last year … “Then the storm came,” said Foreman.
A few months later, Smith, who lives in League City, said she was going to “pitch” the idea and started sending the story to different publishers. “She actually got turned down several times,” said Foreman.
Smith sold Nimble Books LLC on the idea. This is their first children’s book. Usually they publish biographies and novels, said Foreman. The publishers at Nimble Books asked to see what the book was going to look like.
Foreman first developed the characters based on Smith’s descriptions. Once the publisher OK’d the character illustrations, “I created a rough sketch out of the pages.” The publisher sent back a few revisions, and then Foreman submitted the completed project, ready for print. Her part took about three months. Once complete, they had a print date within another month.
The collaboration was easy for the pair. “We’re totally on the same page creatively,” said Foreman.
Even though the book has been out only two months, the publishers are pleased enough with the outcome they have requested the team to write and illustrate a second book. The team looks for the next book to be out during spring.
“We’re excited … I’ve been published before, in magazines, but never in an actual book!” Foreman spent time as a graphic designer at Rowland Publishing in Tallahassee, Fla., after earning an associate degree as a visual arts specialist at the local community college there.
“Michelle has always been a writer … this has been her dream,” said Foreman. “I owe all the success I have to Michelle.” She quickly added she owed it to her parents, Tom and Vickie Foreman, for telling her, “You can do anything you want to, as long as you do it well; and they were right.”
Readings of “Skeeter Sneeter Doodlebop” are being scheduled for elementary schools, preschools and libraries. If you would like a reading scheduled, you can go to antilogy8.com or contact Foreman at 883-5165, Foreman’s Construction and Landscaping.
“Skeeter Sneeter Doodlebop” is available through the Internet at Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles and Nimble Books.