Tuesday 19 August 2014

Introducing Zack Rock

With his first picture book  Homer HenryHudson's Curio Museum  set of imminent release, behold in innermost thoughts and an excusive sneak peek into the spectacular sketchbook of my new Twitter friend Zack Rock's amazing sketchbook!

Which three pieces of advice would you give to students graduating now about how to break into the publishing world?
The most important thing is to make sure you're doing work that springs straight from your heart. If you're not, the publishers and public can sense it, and you'll likely not get very far. Of the many books I've sent out, the only ones that have been picked up were those I thought were too personal for anyone to want to publish. So take who you are and what you love and stamp it between the pages of your book.

In the same vein, don't just send your book proposals out to any random publisher. Find the publisher that releases work you respond to. They speak to you for a reason, and will more likely have ears to hear what you're trying to communicate. Also, this is a real relationship you're trying to build, so do what you can to meet these publishers in person. They won't bite.
Lastly, getting published is REALLY REALLY hard. It's hard coming up with ideas, hard rewriting books until they sound right, hard redrawing compositions until they look right, hard staying up nights and staying in weekends to get a project finished. It's hard putting yourself out there, hard dealing with the inevitable rejection, hard to not feel hopeless.

Know you'll be walking uphill against the wind the whole time. But know also that each step is bringing you closer to the top, and everyone who's come before you has tread the same mountain. Be patience, and enjoy the view from wherever you are (I mean it).

Which three things inspire your work most?
Books. The stories in books not only take you to far away places you couldn't possibly fathom, but brings you up close to the minds of people you couldn't otherwise know. They expand the possibilities of reality itself. I can spend hours in a bookstore wondering at the universes waiting behind the covers.
My home (wherever that is). Everywhere I've lived has presented me enough miraculous moments to inspire a book. Homer HenryHudson's Curio Museum is packed with impressions from my old home in Seattle, and my current home, Berlin, is all over my second title. It's tempting to keep moving and just do a book everywhere I land, though I think if I take my cat on one more transatlantic flight he'll murder me midair.

Music. I spend a lot of time alone in the studio while working on a book, and music is the fuel that keeps me running during those long hours. Luckily I spend more time illustrating than writing since brushes are way better than laptops for air-drumming.

Can you show us a page from your sketch book…

Since you asked nicely, I'll show you a few pages from my sketchbook. The smaller sketches are from my pocket life drawing book I take with me everywhere, and the other sketches are from my larger book. 

The Olympics were on at the time these were drawn, and I'm big on figure skating. And dinosaurs.

Readers can find my portfolio at zackrock.com, my blog at zackrock.com/blog, my Facebook artist page at facebook.com/zackrockillustration, and my Twitter account at twitter.com/zackrock. See you there!

We wish Zack the best of luck with his beautiful book
and hope it becomes a huge success! 

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