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How I’m Bored Was Created Part 3

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 (you’re reading it now) – Part 4

(last updated: March 17, 2013)

To sum up the previous two parts of the I’M BORED process:

– Michael sent the editor the story (text only) for I’M BORED.

– The editor helped Michael polish the story.

– The editor chose Debbie as the illustrator for Michael’s story.

– Debbie sent in character sketches as well as sketches for how she would enhance Michael’s story with pictures.

– The art director and editor helped Debbie polish her illustrations.

Remember the early version of the “Kids Can Do Anything” spread Debbie posted earlier on? 

Here’s another version that Debbie came up with after meetings with her editor and art director:

Here’s the final version:

Debbie did many, many versions of some of these drawings. Sometimes she would do a version, hate it and think, “My drawings are terrible! I can’t draw!” But what she learned:

In order to come up with good work (whether it’s writing or drawing), you need to be willing to do not-so-great work first. Don’t expect to be perfect the first time! Practice, practice, practice.

 (Note: to pause the repeating video above, just click on the image.)


The Art Director, Laurent Linn, was the one who decided how the pictures would be laid out on the final spread, and Laurent also was the one who chose the fontface (type of lettering).

Once Debbie’s final art was accepted, nothing happened for a while. At least nothing happened on Debbie’s end. At Simon & Schuster, however, a LOT was happening behind-the-scenes. 

And soon Debbie was sent these printer proofs:

She went through the proofs to check whether there were any color corrections needed. Laurent also went through the proofs very carefully and found a couple of spots where the blue wasn’t the same on parts of the girl’s outfit. He let Debbie know, and she went back into her files to make the fix.

This was also the stage where we could let the printer know if the color wasn’t right.

Debbie also received some F&Gs:

Debbie didn’t know what “f&g”s were at first. The conversation went something like this:

Laurent to Debbie: “The F&Gs just arrived and they look great!”

Debbie: “That’s fantastic!!! Wow!! Um, what are F&Gs?”

F&G stands for “folded and gathered” and is basically a complete printed book that hasn’t yet been bound or trimmed to size. For picture books, F&Gs are also important because they enable the sales people to show the book to bookstores and libraries long before the book’s official launch date.

Above photo: At Simon & Schuster Children’s, with (from left to right) assistant editor Danielle Young, art director Laurent Linn and editor/publisher Justin Chanda. Yes, we’re all trying to look BORED!

Ok, so we weren’t REALLY bored:

At this point, the drawing part of my job for I’M BORED was over. Now it was time to let people know that the book was coming out!