Over the past 6 years I’ve slowly sold copies of my first book Zōsan. I’m down to only about 30. With some in person events on the horizon, I decided to work on a reprint.
Looking back at the illustrations, it’s clear to me how much I’ve learned since then. With Tamaishi, I had a lot of practice shaping contours with cross-shading. With Little Things I learned how to better handling the spot channels for more subtlety using halftones.
I decided if I’m going to do a reprint, I’m first going to spend some time applying what I’ve learned on the illustrations.
I think it’s going to be worth the effort. There’s a lot of minor details that I rushed through because I was just trying to get the thing done. I’ve found Procreate and the iPad to be far superior to the Wacom / Illustrator setup I used in terms of control and detail. It also gives me a chance to revisit the overall composition. I can improve the sense of depth both through better cross hatching technique and the addition of a spot color. I can add more detail like with the butterflies, jungle background, or salamander and change the focus. I can tweak expressions like the subtle turn of Zochi’s head.
At the time, I felt it was a major accomplishment to have finished it at all. I did the best I could, though I knew I made some compromises to meet deadlines. Now I have no such deadlines and can apply everything I know now.
I hope to actual start a reprint in 2022, working on the illustrations for the rest of 2021.