When I got my first book contract, practically the first question that my friend Tom asked me was: “What are you going to draw?”
“Draw?” I said dumbly.
“When you sign your books,” Tom said. “What are you going to draw?”
“I don’t draw,” I said.
My friend Cece, who just happens to be married to Tom, asked the exact same question. “Hooray!” she said. “What are you going to draw?”
It should be noted here that Cece and Tom both do draw, successfully at that. It should be noted that I’ve never gotten my proportions quite right and that when I draw hands, they are conveniently placed behind people’s backs where no one else can see them. And it should be noted that, as it turns out, none of that matters.There IS something incredibly liberating and personal about drawing as part of your signature, even if your drawing is just a doodle or a little stick guy. Whatever you draw, though, you have to be able to do it fast. For Schmutzy, I just draw thought bubbles. For Happy Birthday, Tree, I tend to draw trees. For Canary in the Coal Mine, I’m drawing feathers. Here’s a look at my Moleskin, where I’m trying to see how quickly I can draw a feather that still looks like a feather. It kind of reminds me of my notebooks when I was in middle school and high school, except that there’s no Van Halen insignia.
I know. I love the something extra! (Extra something?)
I’ve always envied illustrators for this reason: their signature pages can be so beautiful!