I've been a bit silent. I've been busy with deadlines. I don't want to talk about that, however.
Thanks to all of my medical nonsense--I have small fiber neuropathy.... I have lead poisoning... my lyme test is so-so... I might have something very serious that’s like MS... (one must wonder what anyone would find if they were tested as much as me!) all of this has caused me to become VERY interested in the medical field. I read up on everything the doctors mention. I don’t' just read to find out about myself. I read because I find it fascinating.
Then I got an idea. Why not try medical illustration? I can do very realistic, detailed drawings so I'm the perfect candidate. I also don't get grossed out easily.
My fantasizing has gotten more serious lately. I investigated taking classes at Columbia medical, etc. I've been looking at a lot of medical illustrations. One of those instances was while at Physical therapy. The doctor there told me that he has a patient who is quite successful at it, although is now retiring. He said he'd ask about it for me. He told me this week that she said not to bother... that illustration is being outsourced! Goodness. I guess I'll be continuing to make books (don't get me wrong, I love making books.. I'm just a bit burnt out). There's even a website called outsource2india.com - on it says that US illustrators charge too much--100 -150 an hour... and those illustrations take a LONG time... which means buying a medical illustration is expensive. Okay, whom are the people buying these illustrations? Some of them are the drug companies--plenty of money there. I'm not feeling bad for them because they have to pay up. But now India is taking over?
So my question is--will this happen to kids' books? Will US publishers discover that they can buy illustrators on the cheap somewhere else? My only solace is that kids' books requires more of an understanding of the language--illustrators are not just copying what's in front of them from photo to colored pencil drawing. And don't forget about the wonderful package deals like many of the BRG offer. We can write and illustrate! That has to be worth something. Especially because, in my opinion, books written and illustrated by the same person have the potential to be better (an argument for another day!)
I will conclude with this. The heyday of the illustrator is over. Goodbye Norman Rockwell. Hello stock photography. Even when I was in school, which wasn't THAT long ago, editorial work was good. It's not now. One of the only safe places left is a kids’ book. I guess we should all enjoy it while it lasts!