Such shortcuts result in a feedback loop of cinematic prestige: Allen is considered an important director in part because so many big stars still want to work with him. Meanwhile, his perceived importance as a director draws those stars for the short period it will take to film a movie and acquire their Allen credential. The accumulated prestige also rubs off on his investors, some of whom have even gotten bit parts. And their risk of a financial loss is low. Allen’s films almost always recoup their modest budgets—here, the actors’ willingness to work at a deep discount is essential—and now and then one strikes gold. (Midnight in Paris made more than $150 million on a $17 million budget.) The fact that so few of them wind up being any good barely enters into the director-actor-investor equation.
My instincts as a designer had unwittingly betrayed me. I wanted to make a beautiful book jacket, but had forgotten why. I reminded myself that a well-designed book jacket ultimately serves the book it’s made for. Like a neon sign, a three-letter word switched on in my head: J O B. This is a job. I closed all the tabs and windows on my screen. A fresh start would do me good.
My dream of seeing one of my books sitting on a shelf in a library will never fade completely. Maybe in a few months I’ll ramp up my submissions again. Maybe I’ll maintain this slower approach for the rest of my life. But for now, I’m doing what works for me. It’s not the ending I’d hoped for, but it’s a happier, more balanced path.
Using a beautiful earthy palette and intricate lines, loops and curls, the author/illustrator evokes a woodland world so full of textures and sights you can almost feel the shafts of sunlight on your back.