When Your Best Isn’t (Yet) Good Enough

TTABC cover

I’ve been here before.

I’m near the end of a long project, my Teeny-Tiny ABC book. The art has gone fairly well, but I know in my heart I can do better.

This is a book, after all. I don’t want a book out there that I look at and think, “I sure wish I’d spent the extra time getting this right.”

This time, the moment of truth came as I was beginning work on the cover painting. I knew I needed hot-press paper—the kind with the ultra-smooth finish– because I would be painting the “ABC” part of the title by hand. As it turns out, the rest of the painting went so well that I’ve decided to re-paint all 26 letters on the same smooth-finish paper.

You might think I’m nuts. Some days, I’d agree with you.  At first I felt pretty bad about the “wasted” time. Then I began thinking of the original pieces as studies, and reminded myself that there is always room for improvement.

I’ve just finished the cover and title page paintings, and I’m halfway through the re-do on letter A.

I’ll get to Z again before long, and it will be well worth repeating the trip.