BIG NEWS! My debut picture book is going to be published by KWiL!

Children's Books

My debut picture book Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus is set to be published by Milwaukee’s own KWiL Publishing in Spring 2018! KWiL has a cool business model as a small, startup publisher, and I’m excited to partner with them not only on the book, but also on promotions, community events and more! KWiL’s founder Abby Janowiec and I celebrated the contract signing by hanging out with the book’s main characters Steve and Daryl. We are pretty darn sneaky… 🙂

Sheri and Abby hanging out with Steve and Daryl

So what’s Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus about? I think KWiL puts it nicely:

“After a long and successful run of the Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus show, Steve and Daryl are retired, relaxed and ready to eat pizza, lots and lots of pizza, until…a kid—the reader—shows up expecting a round of hide-and-go-seek. Reluctant as they may be, this dinomite duo never disappoints; and as soon as they pop the pizza in the oven and go over the rules, the countdown is on.

Alternately talking directly to the reader and arguing with each other over whom the reader found first, Steve and Daryl are a delight, and even more delightful to find, which is what readers are invited to do on three full spreads. Combine dinosaurs, pizza, hilarious countdowns and actual games of hide-and-go- seek, and young readers will be asking to read—or better yet—play with—this book over and over again.”

The story was inspired by several random things, including this drawing I posted in February, which then evolved into these guys:

Steve & Daryl by Sheri Roloff

The look of Steve and Daryl continued to evolve when I sketched out the entire story, so the Steve and Daryl you see in the final book will be a tad different than the drawing above. But I’m in the process of finalizing tweaks to the sketches and manuscript, and then I’m diving into final art. Stay tuned for teasers as it all comes together!

New comic pages for Cognito Sanchez

Children's Books, Illustration, Writing

Happy Wednesday to you! I’m working on sketching out new pages for my graphic novel work-in-progress Cognito Sanchez: Dive Another Day. Here are some rough sketches of upcoming pages. More pages plus ink and color coming soon!

Cognito Sanchez_Page 14 by Sheri RoloffCognito Sanchez_Page 15 by Sheri RoloffCognito Sanchez_Page 16 by Sheri Roloff

You can find finished art samples for Cognito Sanchez and other projects on my illustration page. Thanks for taking a look!

Tom & Gibson Sample Artwork

Art, Children's Books, Illustration

Well… I fell off the Inktober bandwagon. Inking every day wasn’t the problem; it was the idea of sharing it every day. Sometimes the things I draw are best left inside a closed sketchbook! Once I realized that the thought of having to post something every day was not appealing to me, I remembered working on something every day was (like NaNoWriMo!). So I kept working on my main projects instead, which didn’t always involve inking or sharing.

Here’s one thing I finished up. It’s a sample page from Tom & Gibson: a quirky story about a pet and master power struggle. Meet Tom the walrus person and Gibson the purple cat.

Tom & Gibson Sample Art by Sheri Roloff

Inktober Day 4

Children's Books, Illustration, Inktober

I’m not sure if this is cheating, but I’m trying to combine some of my current projects with my daily Inktober work. So, the pages below were created over the course of a couple days, not in one sitting. Is that a requirement? I don’t know. But I am drawing and inking (digitally and/or analog…ly) every day and posting updates (not always here, but on Twitter). And that’s the point, right?

Without further ado – here’s the opening spread of Cognito Sanchez: Dive Another Day.

Cognito Sanchez page 2 by Sheri Roloff

Cognito Sanchez page 3 by Sheri Roloff

#Inktober2016 – Day 1

Children's Books, Illustration

I’m excited to participate in Inktober this year! I won’t usually be doing full color, but I needed to draw this for a separate project, so… two birds, one stone (no pun intended!). I inked and colored this in Photoshop.

Here’s a rare Polaroid of Cognito Sanchez (from the Squirrel Intelligence Agency) trying to keep a low profile out in the field. He’s actually not doing too bad. 🙂

Cognito Polaroid by Sheri Roloff

Happy Inking!

 

Use a Graphic Designer’s Mindset to Boost Illustration Impact

Art, Children's Books, Illustration

It turns out a graphic designer’s perspective can be a huge asset when illustrating. Often a few key tweaks can take an illustration to the next level. I try my darndest to think like a designer, but whenever I need outside feedback on my illustrations, I ask my designer friend for her thoughts and BAM! improvements abound.

Here’s my newest example. I created a title page for my in-progress graphic novel using the concept of a TV show opener. You know, the part where the show’s setting and characters are introduced during the theme song. Here’s what I initially came up with:

Cognito Sanchez_Title Page_v1 by Sheri Roloff

I was pretty happy with it. It felt balanced. I liked the flow and layout. But when I placed it within the context of the cover and the chapter 1 sketches, it felt a little out of place. Now, this is an area where graphic designers shine: creating a cohesive look and feel across multiple materials. Upon asking for feedback, my designer friend suggested flooding the background with a color to better coordinate with the cover. And that’s when it hit me: expand the skyline image and extend the water behind the panels below. I also added bubbles, just for good measure. Here’s the result:

Cognito Sanchez_Title Page by Sheri Roloff

So much better! I’m much happier with it, and it coordinates far better with the cover now:

Cognito Sanchez_Cover by Sheri Roloff

It’s exciting when small changes make such a big difference. For more in-depth look at how graphic designer superpowers can boost illustration work, check out my SCBWI blog post. Or befriend a graphic designer today!

 

New Comics: Cognito Sanchez Sketches & More

Art, Children's Books

Hi there,

I’ve been knee deep in first chapter sketches for Cognito Sanchez. Here is the newly imagined first page. My inspiration was TV show intros where they show the setting and the main characters while the theme song plays.

Cognito Sanchez_intro page by Sheri Roloff

I’ve sketched out the first chapter of Cognito Sanchez. See the first few pages here.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!