Chicken Scratchin' A Collection of Good Chickens and People
Backyard Chicken Drawings and Their Stories Illustrated Folk-Art Style on Scratchboard. Quirky, Fun Book; With Variety of Favorite Fowl
I LOVE CHICKENS! I hope you do too. This project has really been years in the making. I have been drawing chickens of one sort or another for the past 12 years. I even had two backyard chickens of my own for a while when I lived in Austin. It was a sweet, comical, and complicated relationship. They didn't behave like pets, and everything wanted to eat them...So my job of keeping them safe was difficult.
They were both red, and so I named them Lucy #1 and #2. I eventually had to give them up, but I'll never forget the experience of caring for these urban chickens. Here's a little video with some other chickens, and more examples of my artwork. And the Lucy's are in there too.
The Chicken Scratchin' book is a continuation of my scratchboard drawing education (and what I like to call "Linda's Scratchboard Empire"). I'm an art school drop-out-- by allowing me to draw your birds and tell your stories I get to be a better artist/author. And by sharing your stories, the world can appreciate and understand more about these wonderful creatures. Don't worry if you have more than one, I can squeeze at least three on the 5"x7" board. Don't have chickens? You can 'sponsor' your family, friends and neighbors chickens. See how easy that is?
This isn't going to be a book about the different breeds and how to raise them--there are plenty of those out there already. Simply, it will be full of my fun, colorful drawings and your stories about your birds.
Here's an example of what the cover may look like:
Here's an example of two page layout:
The finished soft-cover book will be 6"x9" and printed in the USA. I'm working with a professional book designer; she and I worked on the Dog and Cat books, and we just get better and faster at this. It takes about 9 months to collect the stories, photos, draw and edit. Actual delivery will be around October 2014.
Big Thanks to: Teresa Turk who put these videos together; Liz Lester who designed the cover and page mock-ups; Dick Bennett who let his little black chickens star in the videos; And Cindy Jo Parry and Jan VanSchuyver who sang (and clucked) and played with me on the "Chickens In The Yard" song. Cindy Jo and I wrote the song together and it was great, big, fun! Thanks for the 'ear worm' Cindy Jo!
And oh yeah, Scratchboard is a ridgid panel with a layer of white clay that is then sprayed with black ink. I use sharp tools to 'cut' into the surface to expose the white clay to create the drawing. I then use inks to add color. The finished product is something like an etching or woodcut in appearance. It is sealed, acid-free, and archival...ready for you to frame.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk and challenge-- besides the fact that chickens move fast and it's hard to get them to pose for a photo-- is that I don't know how many chicken lovers will want a portrait of their chickens. I'm hoping there will be a lot-- I don't why you wouldn't want one. And I've heard many stories already so I'm pretty sure about that part.
I know exactly what it takes to put a book together, having done it twice now, so I don't foresee a problem with that...unless of course, I'm drawing hundreds of chickens (the Dog and Cat books had 78 drawings each). Which would be a very good problem!! In other words, the funding amount is the LEAST amount to make this project go--I will gladly accept more chickens and dollars. If that happens I will keep you in the loop regarding the deadline.
- (45 days)