I have actually been working, while I have been driving circles around the West...just on the same thing, well actually the same two things, doing them over and over again.
The story starts months ago, if you're interested.
Last year- defined by the school year, since I am a teacher and a mom, the year starts in September and last year I taught three days a week, did the same the year before, because the year before that my illustration biz wasn't very busy, so I taught art and creative writing at a little charter school one room school house on the edge of two Indian Reservations.
Hugely rewarding, but not so good for my illustrating, because three half days, driving 45 minutes even down a glorious canyon to get there, between my kid going and getting home from school, really leaves two days to do art and promotion and keep the house up, go to the grocery store and yoga.
Last school year, I started to feel the need to be in the studio, thanks to a out of the blue email from LADYBUG magazine and the opportunity to do this for them...
Stitching it reminded my what I really wanted to be doing and by the end of the year, I had resigned from a charity board position, back out of other commitments and I was only teaching two days and had pretty much decided to not come back this year.
But the summer finally arriving, I hardly had any new work to put in my portfolio for the SCBWI LA showcase, where agents, art directors and editors from New York would be looking for illustrators to work for and I did not have my picturebook dummy ready for an expensive additional intensive I had signed up for on a whim.
So what did I spend my summer doing?
Well, traveling and actually redoing and redoing two illustrations that were not coming out the way I thought they could.
But the SCBWI LA conference was good for me- probably not getting new clients this year- but in giving me a deadline and a focus. Focus being I needed to revamp about everything- portfolio, website, not that what is there is bad, but that I feel a new level for me starting to come out, thus the redo and the redo, I learn in the process and so have to stitch and rip out, sometimes to the point of destroying the collage. I learn by trial and error, just would be better if the trial did not come two month before a very expensive conference, but so be it and walking away from the conference, I have a lot of specifics to tailor things, lay out of website, better understanding of color and printing, and the publishing process to hopefully make my work even more appealing.
So yes, one step forward and about a dozen back is where I am, but I now have four days, minus yoga class- that if definitely needed or I kind of go crazy- ask my husband- to be home and in the studio.
The fifth day? Well, I'm still teaching Art...
one afternoon a week. I mean how could I not get out of the studio at least once a week and make art with these cuties!
So that is where I am at, the beginning of this new year and hope to pour what I am working on over this blog- and yes twitter, go can go to @moonflowermuse if you are even wanting more pics and muses from me.