Forum Posts

Regina
Apr 11, 2022
In Book Updates
I am so pleased to share that less than a month after my agent Liz started pitching the two book proposals in a simultaneous submission, and we're well on our way to finalizing these book deals! 😮 Here's what's been happening and what I've learned along the way... Act 1: "Allow me to make this very complicated." The simultaneous submission for two different books aimed at readers from two different age groups meant that if we are to keep all Oxherd Boy literature in one home, Liz had to focus on houses that published in both children and adult gift/lifestyle categories. But, that kind of complicates things for the editors reviewing them, because they not only have to consult with their own teams, there is the added layer of consulting with completely different imprints on whether to coordinate on a bid. As the initial days passed, we quickly received rejections from either side: some from the children's side, and some from the adult. The list of houses that could take both books got shorter. LEARNING MOMENT: Seeing the "No"s flow in was a little disheartening, and I had to reflect and consider why my brain and heart stung and how to ease it through the pain. As Liz had said from the beginning, it could be months before we got any indication of interest, so I had to prepare myself to endure a longer road of emotional uncertainty. Act 2: "Wait... What?" Ten days in, and a breakthrough dropped into Liz's inbox. Someone was interested in acquiring! My next step was to meet with the editor and get to know them, their team, the imprint, and their vision for the book. We had a really sweet conversation for about an hour, and I was excited with the direction they wanted to take the book. Well, such a funny thing about the human consciousness is how much it wants to protect us from pain. 😥 Receiving rejection after rejection kicked my mind into gear to give myself pep talks on how a rejection of one's work is not a rejection of myself. But now, my mind was protecting me from the pain of failure by giving me a healthy dose of imposter syndrome: "Who are you to be writing and illustrating inspirational literature?" LEARNING MOMENT: Self sabotage is a very real reaction when we are on the cusp of transformation. It often sounds like "the voice of reason," but the dead giveaway is when that voice focuses more on internal worth or ability rather than external red flags. It's important to not allow that voice to detract us from our own growth. Act 3: "Do you like me? Check: Yes or No" Liz had provided this initial deadline for editors to respond to the book proposals, but honestly, editors have a lot on their plates. We never expected to hear back from all except one of them, either with a rejection or expression of interest. So that in itself was pretty amazing. As I am a debut author, Liz was insistent that I meet with all interested editors before choosing with whom to work. For this I am grateful, because it was so fascinating to meet the people who are largely behind the scenes, making the magic happen for books. ⚡️ Depending on the editor, the conversation ranged from the style of art, to the characters, to my professional goals as an author and illustrator. But, one common thread that was apparent throughout our conversations was just how passionate each of them were in their work and their desire to make books to be enjoyed and loved for a long time. LEARNING MOMENT: I think that there are many, myself included, who will say that creating for creating's sake is a wonderful thing, that we don't need to rely on external acceptance for our work to have inherent value. But there is also something to be said for collaboration and the power to lift each other up and elevate the work together. To Be Continued... I've learned so much from this part of the publishing journey and reflecting on what has happened through this post has been helpful for myself to make sense of it all. Maybe it was enlightening to you as well. I'm not going to lie, I'm still more than a little stunned by how things have gone, but more than anything, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you for sticking with me so far. I'll be free to share exactly where each of these books land in a couple of months, and the work ahead of creating them for you. With much love, Regina 💛
#009: We've got interest! content media
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Regina
Mar 14, 2022
In Book Updates
Practically six months to the date after signing with my agent Liz at Great Dog Literary, she will begin selling my two-book proposal to editors this week. 🥂 While self-publishing is an option that I had explored before, I am so grateful at this point in the process, to have representation with an agency. Promoting a self-published book is a full-time job that I simply am not equipped to do right now, and having Liz by my side during the last half year has been a great partnership. I wanted to share all that she's done to keep me working on these books: Guide me through the process of laying a good foundation for the Oxherd Boy world Maintain a pulse on news and trends in the children's literary and publishing industry Offer critiques for writing compellingly for children, and marrying the words with pictures Develop an understanding for which publishing companies would be able to support both adult and children's imprints (brands unique to a particular genre or segment) Identify editors who would be good fits to not only acquire the DAILY READER and BIG ENOUGH, but also to bring each project to market successfully by helping make each book the best it can be and connecting each book with the right readers Even with such a supportive following that all of you have given me, I could never have done these on my own, and I wish to give credit where it is due. Now, the proposals are out of my hands and into Liz's capable ones to hopefully get them to the next step of their journey. Until there is more to report, I will occupy my time continuing to make Oxherd Boy comics, revise RABBIT AND SPARROW, and expand my illustrator's portfolio. I hope you'll still follow along. 💛
#008 Let's start selling! content media
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Regina
Mar 03, 2022
In Book Updates
In case you missed the email, Liz will be sending out not one but two book proposals for the Oxherd Boy. 🤯🤯🤯 The first is the same children's picture book we've been working on about how the boy becomes the Oxherd Boy in the first place. The other is a daily reader, a collection of 366 illustrated chats and quotes. As a part of the daily reader proposal, I have been working on updating 12 images from the existing collection of over 100 comics. When painting for the webcomic, I usually do quick sketches to capture a mood or expression. When I have the time to make something more fully rendered, I'll spend more time on it, which has led to varying quality of images. The book, however, will be different. I intend to unleash the full force and breadth of my Chinese painting into these illustrations for you to enjoy. I'm excited to share a few Before/After comparisons between the originals sketches and the fully rendered artwork so you'll get an idea of what to expect. I hope you like them, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I am looking forward to hearing them. Sample 1 This is one of my favorites inspired by a quote from Sadhguru. I didn't change much to it, but spent a lot more time getting the boy's and the ox's expressions just right and learning how to render fur more realistically in Procreate. I'm not positive I like how I painted the horns -- it reminds me more of a Texas longhorn than an Asian water buffalo, so I will have to go back to the drawing board there, but later. Sample 2 My landscape painting had improved by leaps and bounds since first painted the one on the left almost a year ago. I also added a little more of a storyline, with an introduction from the boy. I'm pretty happy with it, though by comparison, the second one looks a little too dark now. Sample 3 This one saw the biggest change, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I attributed the quote to the rabbit, who conveys the wisdom of Mencius, a Confucian scholar who faced great disillusionment when his teachings were purposefully twisted by his pupil as an excuse to wage war against a neighboring kingdom. I think as a standalone piece, the original is stronger and conveys the feeling of isolation and despair we feel when we witness great injustice. So I might change it back after all... what do you think?
#007 Updating and Recreating content media
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Regina
Feb 14, 2022
In Book Updates
Before I started getting into the the world of publishing, I had no idea how complex a process it was, especially when going the route for traditional publishing. Signing with an agent is the first step, but it is the first of a years-long process to simply bring a book into the world. I've received so many words of encouragement and excitement, messages asking when the book will come out. To be perfectly honest, it might not even happen. The story needs to be accepted by an editor and then championed through the acquisitions department of the publisher before the I can even start writing and illustrating the final story. At any point, it's possible this book could fall through the cracks, but I am grateful for the opportunity to even work on it, as the first of hopefully many stories that bring the ox, the boy, and the rabbit to life for children like my son, who inspires me every day as my own real-life oxherd boy. So, without further ado, here is the summary for the first book, currently titled BIG ENOUGH, that reveals how the boy came to be the oxherd boy in the first place: BIG ENOUGH follows Ah-Fu on his journey to bring home the great, big family ox. With everyone he meets along the way, he becomes convinced that he isn’t big enough to do the job. Can Ah-Fu become the oxherd boy his family expects or will fear drive him home empty-handed? One of the challenges of adapting the webcomic to a young audience is how to convey philosophical themes in a more approachable way. I'm thrilled that BIG ENOUGH still touches on many themes that even adults struggle with every day, like: Identity External judgment Self confidence Curiosity Empathy Finding one's own path So, Liz and I will be taking the next weeks to prepare the final items to submit this proposal alongside one for an illustrated philosophical reader for adults. In the meantime, here's a sneak peak at one of the finished art pieces. Let me know what you think!
#006 Getting Ready to Submit content media
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Regina
Feb 09, 2022
In Book Updates
Greetings and Happy Lunar New Year from Taiwan! Since arriving here from the US, I've been in quarantine for two weeks (7 days at a hotel, 7 days at home), followed by a week-long home health management stint. As soon as we finished, we ran into the Lunar New Year holiday, so I really haven't been doing much work for the last three months. Oops. That being said, I'm trying to catch up this week, and I felt like I was trucking along with two of my full-color illustrations for the book dummy, but now I've hit a bit of a wall on this landscape. There's just so many details and my composition skills are not the best. It's been a lot of back and forth, and I feel discouraged sometimes at the end of the day and felt like I hadn't made any progress. On top of that, I'm trying my hand at digitally painting this whole thing for the first time, so I'm also learning how to do that, because I really just enjoy making my life more difficult. Who doesn't?? Anyhow, sorry this has been a bit of a rant, but I did want to share this process video of how I painted some leaves. Can you guess how many layers I painted to complete it? Put your answer in the comments below! :)
#005 The Painting Slog content media
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Regina
Dec 23, 2021
In Book Updates
Great news! I've received the go ahead from my agent to start producing full-color artwork for the picture book dummy. This is an important milestone, because that means the story itself is in a pretty solid place and is at a point where my agent, Liz, can start selling it to editors/publishers! I just need to provide three pages of finished artwork to provide an idea of my artistic style and final work would look like. Maybe easier said than done, but it's more home turf for me than writing a book for kids. At least it's familiar territory. Liz has recommended a range of scenes for me to fully render, including: Action scene Close up scene Landscape I have a few to choose from, but I might end up doing two close ups: one of the boy and another of the ox, as both characters are important to the story. I did not travel with my best painting materials because I didn't anticipate needing them this trip to the US, but I will try to sketch these concepts more thoroughly and make the line work composition digitally before heading back to Taiwan in early January. Looking forward to sharing more as the art comes together.
#004 Going for Full Color content media
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Regina
Dec 09, 2021
In Book Updates
We are in the US for the holidays and woke up to our first snow of the winter this morning. Balancing travel and visiting, childcare with meetings and end-of-year projects, I fell a little behind my intentions to keep working on The Oxherd Boy book. To be honest, I didn't think I needed to progress so much! The first time I worked on the picture book THE RABBIT AND THE SPARROW, things progressed much more slowly, but I think this book BOY MEETS OX (it's a terrible working title, but there it is) is pacing ahead for a few reasons: More action: There is a lot more action in this story, lending itself to straightforward, less emotive story-telling, and more ideas of composition. Familiar process: Being the second go-around, I find myself more familiar with what is expected of me and the work I produce, thus saving a bit of time. Feels right: I am also simply feeling more comfortable in the story than before. I find myself second-guessing myself a little less, and making decisions more confidently. At any rate, I decided to do a rough digital storyboard this time around to get feedback from my agent Liz, before committing too much time to pencil sketches. Here is an example: All in all, though I miscalculated the amount of work to do while on vacation, it doesn't feel like it sometimes with any of The Oxherd Boy stuff, because it's such an important piece of my heart at the moment. I truly am a lucky one. Sending you all love, Regina
#003 Storyboarding the Book content media
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Regina
Nov 13, 2021
In Book Updates
November marks the one year birthday for "The Oxherd Boy" webcomic! As I look back on this year, I thought I'd share some fun facts: First Created vs. First Posted It used to take me up to two days to come up with an idea, a proper dialogue or quote, research and sketch, and finally execute a painting. You can see in the first image that I spent so much more time on rendering details. It was painstaking work and reminiscent of the time I spent developing fine art pieces, but making comics turned out to be a completely different exercise. I joined Dani DiPirro (IG: @positivelypresent) and her 30-day gratitude challenge in November 2020, and churned out 30 illustrations, one every day to help me paint more quickly and get ideas flowing more rapidly. The quality of art went down, but the creative juices really got flowing and helped me redistribute my time better. Postcards Since the beginning, I wanted to send little love letters to people from time to time. I love getting postcards from far away. There's something about holding a little message that has traveled out of time and space to reach you with its good wishes. In the first six months, I wrote postcards to people I've known for years, but mostly to those I've never met from: Canada, England, France, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Poland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, and Wales. Unfortunately with the pandemic, mail delivery became increasingly unreliable and by April, you guys helped me narrow down to 8 of the most popular comics to make free postcard and A4 downloadable files for your personal use. They are still available in Freebies if you want to send your own love letters to friends and family! I plan to add more postcard prints and other items for purchase to the store in the coming months, too. First Translation Attempt I worked in South America for a few years after college, and I thought it might be fun to brush up on my rusty Spanish by sharing a post in Spanish. I kind of butchered it, and someone volunteered to help edit my translations moving forward. Thus started a community effort, where over 40 volunteers worked on translating many of the posts into multiple languages: Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, Filipino, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese. I've been a lax about keeping it up lately as my work picked up elsewhere, but it is very important to me. So, I hope to be able to do some more dedicated translation work early next year. "The Oxherd Boy" Book When Taiwan went into lockdown in May, I thought, "Hey! This is the perfect time to sit down and focus on writing a book... while I try to entertain a four-year-old... at home... yeah..." But we did it! With the help of a writing coach, I put together a decent story book for kids and signed with an agent by the time lockdown had been lifted. Here's a look back at some of the art I created this past summer: Comic #072 The number 72 is a notable one in Confucian culture, because it is said that of the thousands of students Confucius taught, only 72 mastered his philosophy. I was curious which comic was the 72nd in this series, and here it is: Thank you to all of you for joining me this last year. I am looking forward to whatever the next year brings to all of us.
#002 Happy Birthday content media
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Regina
Oct 25, 2021
In Book Updates
Even though my literary agent, Liz and I signed to work together on THE RABBIT & THE SPARROW, which some of you have read, I actually went back to the drawing board this month and thought more deeply about what the Oxherd Boy's world looked like... And about what story would be best to first introduce it to young readers. I ended up writing some pretty in-depth character studies for the Boy, the Rabbit, and the Ox -- their personalities, their backgrounds, what makes them tick (or not!) -- and solidified the environment and secondary characters who might play a role in their future. All of it was a necessary exercise for me to fully immerse myself in this universe and think about stories that would develop organically in their lives and how each character would respond in a consistent, believable way. It also paved the way for new story ideas to surface as the dynamic between the characters became more real. As a result, I've finished my first draft of a BOY MEETS OX story, and will continue to refine it with Liz over the next few weeks. I'm feeling OK about this draft as a starting place, though there's much work to be done to get it into shape. How the Boy and the Ox originally met is a question that Liz posed to me, and so my question to you is: Is there anything about the Boy, the Rabbit, or the Ox and their world that you are curious to know about? For example, I remember receiving a message from one follower asking if the Boy has a mother. It was a good question that I'd never considered before. I can't promise to know all the answers, but I'm interested in what you wonder about when you read about these characters. Looking forward to your thoughts! 💛
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Regina
Oct 25, 2021
In Welcome and Housekeeping
General Layout All forum posts fall into categories that are shared at the top of the forum. Only administrators are currently allowed to post new discussions in the "Welcome and How To" and "Book Updates" categories. All other categories are open to member posts. Three of the newest posts, regardless of category, are highlighted below the categories. View, Read, and Comment on Discussion Posts View all discussions in a category by clicking on the name. To read an entire discussion, click on the title of the post. To add a comment to the discussion, simply type into the comment box and click "Publish." You can also click the heart icon to like a particular discussion. To follow or unfollow a post so that you receive notifications in your account (or via email depending on your notification settings), click on "Follow/Unfollow Post" in the top right corner of the page. Start and Edit Discussion Post Within a category, click on "Create New Post." Enter a title and your message or question and click "Publish." You will automatically follow any new discussion you start. If you need to edit a discussion post, click the three dots to open a menu and click "Edit Post." You can also delete a post, however do be careful as it deletes all associated comments as well.
How To: Navigate and Use the Forum content media
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Regina
Oct 25, 2021
In Welcome and Housekeeping
How to Update and Protect Your Profile Once logged in, click on the Welcome drop down menu in the top right corner of the screen and click on "My Account." Your display name is the only required field to participate in the Book Community and Forum. This may automatically be derived from your email or other log in method. However, you can change it to whatever you wish. Click the "Update Info" button to save. Other Profile Options You have the option to include your full name and contact information and control whether that information is public or private (visible only to you). To change your profile image, click on the current image and upload a file from your device. To add a brief bio, click on "Profile" in the left side menu and enter your information there. Click "Publish" to save your changes. How to Change Your Notification Settings Scroll to the bottom of the left side menu and click on "Settings." Use the Subscribe or toggle buttons to turn on and off notifications you will receive by email. To protect the sanity of your inbox, please only turn on the notifications for alerts or messages you are likely to read.
How To: Manage Your Privacy and Notifications content media
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Regina
Oct 25, 2021
In Welcome and Housekeeping
Create a New Account To create an account, click on "Log In" in the top right corner of the screen. You will have an option to sign up using Facebook, Google, or sign up with an e-mail. If signing in with Facebook or Google, please follow their single sign on steps until your account is created. If signing up with an email, enter an email address and password. Be sure the "Join this site's community" box is checked. Log into an Existing Account To create an account, click on "Log In" in the top right corner of the screen. Where it says, "Already a member?" click on "Log In." Depending on how you signed up, you can log in using Facebook, Google, or your email address. If you signed up with an email but forgot your password, click on "Forgot password?" to receive a password reset link at the email provided.
How To: Set Up Your Account content media
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Regina
Oct 25, 2021
In Welcome and Housekeeping
About the Forum 💛 : This forum was created to be a community for Oxherd Boy fans who are interested in following the publishing journey for the book format. It will be the primary place by which I'll be updating you (in more detail than you'd probably like to know) about how I'm progressing in adapting this webcomic into a story book. Emails 💌 : I'll contain most of the updates in this forum, but I'll include a summary of major highlights in a monthly email newsletter in case you don't have time to read everything here. Input 🗣️ : Throughout the story-writing process, I may request your input and response through a simple discussion post or even a survey. Participation is purely optional, but if you do choose to participate, I would appreciate your full and honest feedback. Guideline 📍: Please note that anything you share will be visible to all other members of the Book Community. With that in mind, I hope that everyone will communicate with kindness. If you feel that there has been a violation of this general rule, please contact me directly via email at reginalinkart@gmail.com, and I will explore the matter as well as I can. How To 💡 : While this forum is meant to be fairly casual and intuitive, do review the How To thread shortly for some basic guides on forum functions. I highly recommend at least reviewing the post on privacy and notification settings.
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Regina
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