I was just sitting here thinking about God and what blessings I've had in my art career these past few years, and I thought I would write them down for anyone who's interested & also for my future self.
Years ago, I was blessed to work on 4 or 5 coloring/activity books through Warner Press. It was one of those things that I don't remember sending them a postcard, but they found me just the same. It was a great first gig for me and I love creating them.
Fast forward through several children's illustration assignments and getting more confident in my work, but not having consistent work. I walked away from an art rep, tried a different career path but came back to illustration because that's where my passion is.
So, I wanted that feeling back from when I did the activity books and prayed that I could find work for another Christian publisher. And guess what! Regular Baptist Press called me one day! Again, I don't know how they found me - probably childrensillustrators.com - but they were offering me a 2 year project with a family of characters facing every day situations and how they would relate to a Bible story. I just finished up the last section of that project 2 weeks ago, but it has taken me through a lot of stress and grief in my personal life and I will be forever grateful for having that to focus on. I remember back in January 2018 when I was showing my Mom the initial sketches I was doing and she was so excited for me. I didn't know that in only a few months she would be diagnosed with AML and pass away in May.
Within the last year, I joined Matt Tommey's Mentoring program, Created to Thrive. I mostly went to work on myself spiritually and include my art in the process. I've been enjoying it very much, and really love listening to Matt Tommey's videos and FB messages.
Just before I was about to begin the last section of my RBP project, I got an email from Zonderkids. They asked if I would be interested in illustrating one of their board books! Zonderkids is a Christian division of Harper Collins (I'm seeing a pattern here). I'm over the moon to have this opportunity!! However, I was super worried that things were going to get crazy with 2 projects at the same time and my full time office job. I worked hard to finish RBP final color illustrations, and in the process sat at my desk too long every night & weekend and pinched a nerve in my neck and pulled a muscle. O-U-C-H!!! So much pain. So, you can imagine how much I was stressed out over being able to do ANYTHING with my neck hurting every time I stood up or sat up. I prayed a lot. I asked God to take my worries and let me relax and know that things would all work out. I managed to get the cover and interior sketches sent in on time and get myself to the doctor and chiropractor/physical therapist.
Here I am 3 weeks later, still have some pain but not anywhere as bad as before. And yesterday I found out that the correct template will be released next week along with feedback on my interior sketches so that means the deadline will need to be pushed back. Whew! What a relief. I'll have the time and the good health it takes for me to do the best work I can. I'm so thankful.
I've also learned that I need to take better care of myself, physically and mentally. I need to get up from my desk more often and walk, and make exercise and eating healthier part of my life. I bought a sit-to-stand desk for my home office and my office manager ordered one for my day job. I'm grateful for all the opportunities I have. And I say Thank you, God all the time. :)