Friday, October 23, 2015

Refilling the creative well!

My one-of-a-kind crochet puppet!
I have been away from this blog for too long. Actually, I've been away from illustration for too long as well. I've been doing creative things, like crocheting or decorating bulletin boards at work, but not much illustration for the past year.

You know how you think you're doing the right thing because financially it makes sense, but it still doesn't feel right emotionally/spiritually/even physically? That's how it was for me. I decided two years ago to go back to school to get a degree/training in court reporting. Although I've always found it fascinating, and I love court TV, I really only did it for the income.

Me & my puppet at The State Fair of Texas
At first, I was working, going to CR school, and also illustrating, but add all that into having a family, and I was wearing myself pretty thin. Because I was excelling at court reporting classes, I decided to put illustration on hold for a while. Fast forward 2 years. I've been struggling at the 160 wpm speed for 15 months, not enjoying court reporting school anymore, switching programs to see if that would help (it didn't), feeling pretty hopeless but afraid to give up 2 years worth of blood/sweat/tears/tuition. I started to wonder if I would even like the job if I managed to get through school in another 2-3 years.

A week ago, I made the decision to walk away from the goal of becoming a court reporter and go back to children's illustration. I can't even begin to explain how much better I feel. One week! I'm less stressed! I feel excited about drawing again! I'm happy. I've decided not to say I quit court reporting school. Quitting seems harsh. It sounds like what I did wasn't for the best. That's not the case. Sometimes knowing that you've taken a wrong turn is the best thing that can happen. I'd like to say I was reunited with my creative self. That part of me was wilting underneath the weight of having to pass tests at 95% or higher, the brief forms that wouldn't stick in my memory, and the feeling of failure when fellow students passed me by on their journey. I prefer to say I'm following a path that was mapped out for me long ago when I enjoyed doodling, picture books, and the belief that my stuffed toys were real friends. I feel like I fit in around the folks of children's publishing. I love books - especially picture books. I want to encourage creativity, the joys of reading/drawing, and bring smiles to children of all ages. And I want to encourage everyone to do what makes them happy every day. :)

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