People are always telling me that I should draw children’s books. I can see why. I do cute and cuddly smallri, and the kid’s book is a respectable outlet for this sort of behavior in an adult, and allows one a marginal acceptance in the fine art world that would not be granted if you just liked drawing cuddly smallri, because, despite my best efforts, not everyone has been convinced by my Cute Is The New Shocking argument. Philistines.
Now, I have, occasionally, done illustrations on commission for kid’s books. And that’s fine. The happy frogs were a bit of a slog, but they came out well, and the money was great. But I have a hard time sustaining the attention span–I can get maybe two, three paintings out, and I get distracted. People have suggested a book of vignettes, and if I had any idea how to pitch that sort of thing to a publisher, I’d definitely consider it.
Also, while I kind of like the idea of kid’s books, I don’t like kids. I don’t get kids.* I mean, I have nothing against them, but I treat them with the wary respect I’d treat an unpredictable biting animal who is nevertheless endangered and so cannot be kicked across the room if it attacks. As I’ve said before, they’re sort of like ostriches. They form approximately as much of my life. Now, I have no problem with ostriches, I’m glad they exist somewhere, the world is undoubtedly a better place with ostriches in it, but I don’t wake in the night going “Damn! Gotta get me an ostrich!”
But anyway, the real reason I don’t do kids’ books, as I tried to explain to Mauricia on AIM (and this doodle is so, totally, her fault!) is that because the minute I sit down and think “Okay, this must be KID SAFE!” my Muse develops Tourrette’s and goes to lunch with Clive Barker, and my mind plunges into the gutter and I draw an appalling blank on anything that is not violent, gory, profanity laden, or depraved. My brain starts screaming “FUCKMONKIES!” every two and a half seconds, like some kind of naughty air raid siren.
So I think the only way I can ever do kid’s books if I plan not to do kid’s books. If that makes any sense.
And this just kind proves it.
*I have also never been exposed to them for more than a few hours at a time. In experiments with chimps, if you raise a female chimp without seeing baby chimps being reared by other chimps, it has no idea what the hell to do with a baby of its own and treats it like some kind of freaky parasite. I am that female chimp, with marginally better posture.