Writing Emma Goes to School wasn't a difficult process. I'm not trying to brag or anything, it was just that I had really great inspiration. It doesn't hurt that my target demo of 3-5-year-olds isn't too critical yet either.
With a compelling story and the promise to pay them (eventually), I was approached by more than a handful of talented artists when I started looking for an illustrator. When I was contacted by someone who said their 12-year-old niece, Sage, was an artist, I was intrigued but also pretty hesitant. Until I saw her work.
I fell in love with her characters, and her subtle nod to gamer/anime culture within her art style really appealed to me on a personal level.
I honestly felt like her portfolio was the most impressive and in-style with what we were looking to do. And, although hiring someone less experienced than myself in the book publishing realm would mean more work in the long run, I really felt like it was worth it if I could give her a platform to really let her work shine.