In honor of Columbus day, I'm reflecting on how far I've come in the world of children's illustration. I only really started drawing in 2004/2005 when I went back to school to get a degree in graphic design. Before that, I doodled on occasion, but never thought of a career in illustration - and had never, ever taken an art class of any kind (I always wanted to write). That first art class was a bit nerve wracking - that nice white sheet of paper, a brand new stick of black charcoal . . . that could only result in a huge mess, right?! Well, it wasn't until I started intro to computer illustration that I truly felt at home. I wasn't looked down on because I liked "illustration" (my fine art teacher said it like she was raised on filet mignon & I had just told her I loved Happy Meals!).
However, just like everything, you can't pick up a pencil (or stylus) and become good at drawing overnight. I have lots of sketchbooks filled with hideous drawings. Trying to find my style, figuring out what to draw, what kind of eyes I like, etc. It's been a journey, but I feel like I'm getting better & better every day. I also feel I am closer to the big dream of illustrating a picture book. Now the dream is that I marry my two passions and write & illustrate a picture book. I'm working on that now, and fingers crossed, I will find someone to publish them one day.
Last weekend, I had a portfolio review from Laurent Linn , AD from Simon & Schuster, and he had a lot of positive comments & encouragement for me. He also had a list of things to tweak to push my work that extra step. So, I encourage all my artist friends, when you attend conferences SIGN UP FOR A PORTFOLIO CRITIQUE! Budget for it, it's worth every penny. Good news or not so good, it's important to know what to do to make your work better and help you move forward.
And as much as it pains me . . . I'm inviting you to (quickly) check out the first post in this blog from 2005 and then look at the latest post. I personally think it's like day & night. I'm proud of how far I've come. Maybe it hasn't happened as fast as I'd like, but it's happening and that's all that matters. There's a plan in place, and I'm on the right track, baby.
Raising my Diet Dr. Pepper to salute all those who are boldly moving forward to new adventures, following their dreams, and making the future better because of it!!