Progress Update: How to Make a Coloring Book

I have no idea how to make a coloring book. Of course I’ve done a fair amount of research but there are so many different options, and each artist is going to have certain things that they feel are important (or not). For example, I know I’d like larger pages (11 x 14″ would be great), thicker paper (to prevent bleed-through), one-sided printing, and perforated pages (for easy removal). Everything I want costs extra, so obviously that’s going to be a concern. I’m still in the early stages of putting these together so for right now the cost of producing the books and the securing of the actual cash is on the back burner. I’ll be worrying more about that when it’s time… I still have a LOT of drawings to do.

Speaking of funding, I want to say this up front so there’s no uncertainty… to everyone who was so generous and kind by donating to our GoFundMe campaign… that money is for one thing and one thing only… treating my cancer. It goes towards necessary travel, treatments not covered by insurance, dietary supplements, medications not covered by insurance, and any other things we need that are directly connected to my cancer and my health. Not one single penny from GFM will be spent on this endeavor. Okay… now everyone knows… no uncertainty.

As for the progress update on the coloring books. For those of you that don’t know, the plan is to make two coloring books featuring my white blood cell characters kicking the crap out of the cancer (creature) characters. One book will be geared towards the younger colorists with more friendly character designs and less scary cancer character designs. They’ll still be able to visualize their white blood cells beating up on cancer, but the fights will be less graphic, with little or know actual violence (not sure where the line should be on this yet). The other book will be for older kids and adults. These characters are going to be more intense and intimidating, and the cancer creatures are going to be considerably more gruesome. The battles will be over-the-top, knock down drag out fights featuring the cancer cells getting thrashed, shredded, stomped… you get the idea. My WBC characters are going to DESTROY the cancer demons, and I’m going to enjoy every second I spend drawing them and visualizing them.

As of today I’d guess that I have around thirty finished illustrations. That kind of sounds like a lot, but it sure doesn’t seem like it to me. Of the thirty, maybe only fifteen will make it into one of the books. Months have been spent trying to finalize character designs, and I love tweaking and modifying things as I move forward, so I’m sure more changes are coming. Each book will require 30-40 full-page illustrations. If I figure on the low side and say I’ll need a total of sixty finished illustrations, I’m 25% there. Only forty-five more to go! To keep me directed and focused (and because my wife strongly suggested it) I spent a few hours putting together a rough storyboard outline for a book (see below). I plan on using this outline for both books, but the actual illustrations will be different.

Thumbnail Storyboard Outline

That’s where I am as of now. As much as I’d love to just snap my fingers and have awesome coloring books to give to kids (and adults), there’s still a lot of work to do. I guess it really is about the journey here. It’s clear that the books will be done eventually, but while I’m at it I can continue to share the journey through this site, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. I’ll post another update blog about the illustrating progress when I have another…. hmm… let’s say ten drawings done! I guess that’s it for this week. Thanks, and later tater