February and March 2019 recap including lessons learned, kaizen, and some rainbow eats!Read More
How did I end up here? I’m still somewhat dizzy from this whirlwind few months! I have a minute to find my feet, take a breath, and catch you all up with the latest happenings…
Let’s begin with a tidy summary of last year.
2018 Biz Year in Review
Jan- opened my Etsy shop
Feb- ran a half marathon, completed @kristenbalouch illustration course, began Writing with the Stars mentorship with @briannehfarley
Mar- 1st dummy attempts, building portfolio with Brianne
Apr- Exhibited at the Green Circle Gallery
May- began querying agents, Blueprint Show with Finch & Foxglove in NYC (@blueprintshows)
June- SCBWI Orlando, Highlights: Getting to Know Your Picture Book (online portion)
July- painted Art bench (Cocoa Village, FL)
Aug- Mermaid painting workshop with Patti Ballard (@pbsartstudio) in Orlando
Sep- Highlights Course Retreat (@highlightsfound) Getting to Know Your Picture Book artists/authors retreat and in-person workshop with @inkygirl and @heidieys among other wonderfully talented folks I greatly admire.
Oct- Work was exhibited with Finch & Foxglove in San Francisco, Literacy event with SCBWI, won auction review with Stefanie von Borstel (Full Circle Literary), began exhibiting with Gallery Pizza (Viera, FL)
Nov- WNDB Walter Dean Myers Grant contacted, agent responded
Dec-WNDB Walter Dean Myers Grant winners announced
Etsy Sales: 33
Instagram followers: 1497
Time to look ahead of course! This year, I started off by being picked up by a literary agent which is a very good start! I have several manuscripts of my own that are in revision mode, and I’m signed on to do an indie kid’s book that’s in progress.
I hope to keep painting. Add to that maybe spring quilting? I have two quilt tops and a half-quilted quilt!
I have really, really big news, friends. The We Need Diverse Books organization chose me as a recipient of one of their five Walter Dean Myers Grants! The grant will allow me to take two illustration courses, help me pitch my work to publishers, and work on my kids books. I’m so excited for 2019!
Thank you, WNDB! And if you’ve never heard of Walter Dean Myers, check him out. He was a writer and a champion of literacy and African American representation in YA and children’s literature.
I am deeply honored to have been considered for the award, and even more so to have been chosen. I hope to do right by it.
It’s nearly Thanksgiving! Here’s one of my fave recipes that combines two of life’s most delicious things… pumpkins and cheese.
3 lb. Pumpkin - cap removed (but not tossed!), seeded and cleared of strings
1/4 lb. cheese - mix gruyere, emmenthaler, cheddar (or your fave melty cheeses)
1/4 lb. cubed stale/dry bread (cut into 0.5” chunks)
2-4 minced garlic cloves
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste (and any seasonings or herbs you love)
1/3 cup heavy cream
Happy New Year!
We are firmly in 2018 now!
At the start of the year, I spent the first few weeks reflecting, planning, and preparing for the rest of this year. For too long I've felt like I was not on the ball, but rather being squashed and run over by the ball.
My goal for 2018 was to feel more prepared throughout the year. To do that, I had to just stop for a bit and reflect. And, I mean really stop. I did no 'busy work', no social media craziness for the first few weeks. What I did was I found a few planners free and not free and worked my way through them. They helped me spot some things I wanted to do differently this year.
I knew there were certain un-changeable elements in 2018: loved ones' birthdays, half marathon, Blueprint Tradeshow in May, and again in October, and of course the holidays. So many holidays! If you're also a commercial artist, the holidays can become looming clouds headed your way. This year, I vowed not to let them be grey clouds, pressuring me to create work for that holiday right now or else all the jobs will pass me by! Not this year. This year, I'm gonna chill during the holidays. Reflection and pre-planning will help me get there... I'm trusting the process. The whole exercise left me feeling a bit more confident about how I'll proceed in 2018, and a whole lot less frazzled.
How about you? How are you feeling about this year?
Cheers to 2018!