Moving along with the first few illustrations for Messy Magic Birthday; I decided to start with the illustrations that introduce the main characters. Jack, the birthday boy, meets Annabelle and Cleo, the magic fairies is first but then I will have to address the mysterious magic cloud. What the heck does that look like? Will it be painted in watercolor or a collage with painted papers? Will it be dark or light? The magic cloud involves so many questions that I start with the fairies. I know what they look like but what color should their clothing be and should it be paint or collage? Their clothing needs to be constant throughout the story. Or does it? After all, they are magic. Could their tights or wings or other little things change color depending on what is happening in the story? What should they have on their heads, crowns or flowers? So many questions and a large part of this process is following my instincts, seeing what develops and then reacting to that. Being on this creative threshold, feels similar to taking off in an airplane, a strange mix of uncomfortable and exciting at the same time. It could go great or terribly wrong and there is no way of knowing until you do it. I may be just wasting my time and materials but hey this isn’t brain surgery and I can always start over, right? So I trust my instincts and get on board… humming… “up in the air junior bird man”.