Perhaps I was too eager to board this digital bandwagon. Early experimentation with the iPad and eBook building software led me to make two declarations, which I now wish to retract.
1) “I’m entering the InteractBuilder competition to make an interactive children’s book by September 18th.”
After using their software, I’ve decided to not enter this contest. Though they’ve billed InteractBuilder as version 1.0 and ready for public consumption, I find it buggy, not user friendly, and lacking many features. Learning their software requires a programmer’s mind, and for me, really sucks the fun out of making children’s books. In addition, any eBooks made with InteractBuilder can only be sold through their App, which currently has a rather low user rating, and may prove unpopular.
Competing software, which looks like a dream in comparison, is scheduled to be released shortly. Check out these exciting options, Moglue and Demibooks Composer:
2) “I may start creating my art digitally.”
Okay, so I illustrated the first few pages of a book using my iPad. I thought they were good and sent them to my partner for feedback. After a rather tepid response, I was able to pry the truth out of her. About the iPad art she said, “It lacks a certain kind of Dallion-ness.” And I can see what she means. Compare these two drawings:
I don’t know what it is, but one of these is me, and the other isn’t. Compare the character above with the characters in my online portfolio. It’s like he’s too slick or something. My art isn’t slick. My art is skewed and immediate and full of mistakes. The undo button allows me to get it too “perfect” (whatever that is), and somehow sucks the life, or at least the Dallion-ness out of it. Think I’ll stick with my old friends, pen, paper, and watercolor for now.
Trial and error. The destination hasn’t changed, just the method to get there.