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Showing posts from 2015

Embracing the interruptions

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All writers and artists need space...a quiet place to create...right?  I don't know about you, but that rarely happens at my house.  And that's okay. 

Through the years, I have shared my studio space with the most important people, and pets, in my life.  Each conversation, every interruption, the floating pet hair and dust bunnies...they are moments that inspire and make this illustrator's heart happy and full.  Some of my favorite memories are when my daughter was a teenager...she would come in to my studio, flop down on the floor, and start telling me about her day.  One day, I hope to live close enough and let my future grand-kiddos (or her) do the same.

I always find the quiet spaces when I need them, but for now, I'll embrace the snoring dog and count my life blessed.  My art is, after all, a reflection of my heart.  Let's keep it happy.

Finding your voice in the chatter...

We all have it.  We all listen to it.  It doesn’t matter where we are in our career - beginner or famous - we have heard the negative chatter inside our own head.

I call my negative chatter, “Moe”.

I don’t want hear no Moe.  But as we all know, Moe is a persistent somebody.

Moe tells me things that aren’t true.  They are lies.  And if I’m not careful, I will engage the downward spiraling conversation.

If my work was really that good, I would have an agent by now.  A self-taught illustrator has no voice against an art school degree.  I have never illustrated a real picture book, so who am I to do this job?....


When I can’t stand to hear more of Moe...

I STOMP ON THE PAUSE BUTTON AND STUFF A SOCK IN MOE.

I surround myself with others in this industry because you can’t do this journey without community.  It can be brutal.  As creatives we are not meant to be alone.  We need the support and encouragement from our colleagues and friends.  They understand because they are on a similar trek and ha…

A year in review...and this message sticks...

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I've tried - and then deleted all of my blog attempts that try to explain the experience of total freelancing the last year.  I had been stuck in every way possible for too long so I made a decision that would force me to move.  I didn't know where, or how, but I would move some place.  

It was a fabulous year of NOT accomplishing everything I had in my mind to do.  Looking back, it was a year of foundation building for the years ahead and what those years may bring.  Good and bad. Big and small. Sweet and the not so sweet.  I had to yank on the bootstraps I didn't know I owned to get to the other side.  It was hard.  I wanted to quit more than I dare to admit.  But, I learned to lean in and rely on God so much more that I ever had.  I learned to trust in areas that I normally wouldn't have. The last year left something deeper and more meaningful in my soul that only stepping out and away could bring.

Thank you to my hubby...the love of my life and patient soul that he…

If you don't do anything else in 2015...at least do this ONE thing...

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That ONE thing is to CONNECT with others who share your passion for your craft.  If you are an illustrator or author - or both - make a point to connect with other illustrators and authors this year through critique groups, Facebook groups, the SCBWI...by whatever means possible.

If you aren't connected with your regions SCBWI, then go to www.scbwi.org and check it out.  Belonging to a professional organization, such as the SCBWI, tells potential clients that you take your career seriously.  Yesterday, I mentioned KIDLIT411 in my post, and want to remind you about it again today. They have an entire page devoted to critique groups links.

On the other hand, maybe you aren't' ready to connect with others yet because you're still trying to figure out your direction.  I've got it! Start with a BLUEPRINT!  Check out the site Drawn By Success and download the FREE Artist's Success Blueprint.  It's a series of 4 audio lessons (2 hours total) and 3 sets of powerful,…

Doodling the digital way

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I get images and ideas in my head all the time...at crazy times...but that doesn't mean everything that skips through my imagination is meant for an illustration.  Most ideas I want to get onto paper as quick as possible.  And since I carry a sketchbook, that part is easy.  The frustrating issue is when I can't put the image I see in my head on paper - the first time. 

When this happens I take my doodles to my digital paper.  I love doodling digitally because I can quickly add layers and move things around. I like what happens in this process because this is where the original idea takes shape.  Lately I have been trying to create "cleaner" doodles because I like to use the loose sketch in my final art.  Ah...the magic of Photoshop!  I love it.

For my digital pencil sketches, my favorite pencil is the Twitterific Pencil created by Kyle T. Webster.  This is the brush used on the sketch here. You can find this brush and an amazing selection of others at his website.

If y…

What is the appetite of your life?

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Appetite. When I see that word I immediately think of food...and that a handful of jellybeans would solve my insatiable appetite for something sweet. But that's not what I'm talking about (even though jellybeans are a weakness). This "appetite" refers to your life. What do you CRAVE that leaves you EAGER to have more of? What do you have a HANKERING for that keeps you filled and indescribably happy?

It's certainly not what I've been loading up on lately, that's for darn sure.

Today I started following, along with my Pastor and the rest of our church, 21 days of prayer and fasting.  It's not 3 weeks of food starvation, although healthy fasting can certainly be part of it, if you choose.  This time is for us to give up something...whatever that something is... and spend more time getting to know God on a more personal level.  I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready to realign my scattered heart - and attention span - to a life that is more…

Happy New Year...A resolution to not make resolutions

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First, you must understand that I don't make resolutions.  I RESOLVE to _______ what?  Eat better. Lose weight. Stop smoking. Be nice to people. Spend more time with my kids. Go to church every Sunday. Get a job, or a better job...the list goes on.  The truth is that most or all of these resolutions are fantastic.  It is also true that most of them will be discarded by the end of January. Whether it's just too hard to loose weight, or getting up early on Sunday morning is not your thing, it was just a silly resolution anyway. And we all know that resolutions are made to be broken. Right?  This is why I don't make resolutions.  When I say resolution I feel defeated before I even start.

Many years ago I decided to change the way I approached the whole New Year's Resolution thing. And that's when I got excited!

My thesaurus explains RESOLUTION like this:
noun
1 her resolution not to smoke: intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan; commitment, pledge, promis…