Some of you may know that there are two books which have been illustrated by me - "Snow Queen" 2013 (rus) and "The Little Mermaid" 2013 (rus). These books were published in a special series named "Fairy Rebus by Andersen". In this series, as you might guess, I illustrated the fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen.
But very few may know that before I left this project, I have illustrated the third book - "Thumbelina" (2014).
Unfortunately, the book which has been illustrated in 2014 was not published due to disagreements with the publisher. And I feel really sorry for this, as I am completely satisfied by "Thumbelina" if compared to the preceding two books. When I worked at it, I did not have stiff conditions and frameworks that were present while working with previous books. There was absolute freedom and I took advantage of it.
As the result, I was left with an unpublished book in hand.
I remember the case when I tried to suggest "Exmo" (Russia) publishing the book. Director of the publishing house scheduled the meeting and I was sure that everything went well and the book would be published. Well, I was wrong. At the meeting, the director has drawn a line in a sand — either I redraw the main characters or the publishing house is not ready to publish the book. He reasoned that parents won't buy their children such a book, therefore, it was not profitable. That's what he said: "I like these illustrations as an adult, but I'm a grown man, whereas the book is for children. This is not a children's book. Just look how sexy Thumbelina bits her lower lip on the cover. Moms won't buy this!"
I myself did not see anything erotic in Thumbelina (honestly) and I am sure that if my mom bought me this book when I was a child, nothing wrong would happen to me. But my opinion is not the ultimate truth and I understand the publishing director perfectly well. That's his business, he deals with it for a long time and for no doubt he understands everything better than me. He knows how to forecast and carry out the sales. I cannot argue here. Needless to say, the proposal to redraw the main characters was rejected.
Then, I somehow completely forgot about all this, and put the issue into cold storage until the moment when I began to review old watercolor works and dropped across a weighty stack of sketches and illustrations for Thumbelina.
It's been over almost 3 years, but it still stares at me with its "sexy" look, biting her lower lip.
So, I dusted it off and wrote this post.
And what for all this has been written? What if all of a sudden there is a publishing house, which still wants to produce this book? Somebody, who won't see anything tempting in it, to whom it will be interesting.
If you are interested in publishing, please write me an email — firstname.lastname@example.org
I am pleased to answer all your questions in details.
Yet I will be very grateful to the people who share this post. As the more people will see it, the bigger chance that my Thumbelina will start to seduce children and grown-ups (actually not).