Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Moment to Regroup and Redirect...

I really don't have any pressing projects. The "class" that I started the painting series for is almost over and I'm nowhere near done (of course, I knew that would be the case - I've planned about 10 illustrations for a 6-meeting class). It's more of a personal project, so it's "to be continued" at my leisure. But, since I haven't exactly made friends with acrylics, sometimes I just don't feel like working on it. I'd rather draw something "for fun" right now.

I've been thinking about a lot of things that have been competing for my time and trying to prioritize. I'll have to start putting together our next year's homeschooling plan VERY soon and get various co-ops in motion that I'm involved in. I think it's safe to say that I probably won't be posting more than once or twice a week (which is more than enough anyway).

I mentioned that there were possibilities for more hours and greater responsibility at work, but that's an area that's going to have to give. Soccer season will be starting very soon and I'll have 3 kids on 3 different teams - adding hours to my work schedule might push me over the edge of sanity and will make me less flexible for those things.

Besides, as much as I like my workplace, my plan is to ultimately move into freelance illustration - definitely what I would like to do as a career and more workable around family needs. I'm not going to quit the bookstore or anything at this point, I'm just not going to increase that load - in fact, I'm going to cut back to 4 nights right now. I think my family would appreciate it as well.

So, I've been browsing online portfolios and have been blessed by advice from a couple working illustrators. I think for starters, I'll finally join the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators - a valuable support network for writers and illustrators (published and unpublished). Along with that, I'll check into some of the free online portfolios. Later, as I'm able to add more work to my portfolio, then I'll look into some of the online porfolios that require an annual fee (but will boost visibility to get my work "out there").

Mainly, I'm reminded of the fact that I can't do EVERYTHING! There just aren't enough hours in the day and, now and then, I realize that I don't have unlimited energy (gasp!).

The picture posted above is obviously from the sketchbook (which is almost full!) - it's a return to the animal field guide studies at breaktime that I haven't done in a while. I'm becoming much more comfortable with rapid observation and rendering - I can work pretty quickly on those 10 minute breaks.

I also decided to do a detailed drawing starting from a random doodle - another thing I haven't done in a while (that's my "for fun" thing). I look forward to sharing that soon. It's always a surprise and a joy to see what comes out of those!

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