Last Saturday I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was featured on the lovely blog of one of my my new Internet friends Heatherlee Chan. Her work is captivating and she is as sweet and as friendly as can be. She paints flowers and girls and books and scenery and all types of happy. We “met” from the Smart Creative Style e-course and found out that we coincidentally live in the same area. She is participating in a blog hop where artists do a post about creatives who inspire them as well as answer a few questions.
It all started with Ginger Deverell who tagged Stephanie Ryan who tagged Heather Duvall who Tagged Heatherlee who tagged Michelle Schnider and me. And now it’s my turn to answer a few questions and then tag a couple of artists who inspire me as well.
What an amazing group of talented artists and what an honor to be included in this blog hop!
Here is my little Q and A:
What are you working/writing on?While I am doing personal pieces here and there and also collaborating with a friend on a fun new project (TBA soon I hope), I am mainly focusing on illustrating some children’s books I have written. It has been a long time dream of mine, but over the last year or so I have finally gathered up enough courage to go for it. It sounds silly to have to gather up courage for children’s book writing and illustration, but for me it’s so true! It’s extremely difficult to have to tell a story through word and picture and is not something that comes naturally to me. This summer has been the first time that I have felt like I am finally in the flow of creating picture books that I actually kind of love and my goal is to start submitting them to agents and/or publishers in the fall.
How does your work/writing differ from others in your genre?I think it’s different in that I am both an illustrator and a writer. I know that there are many who do both, but it’s not the norm. The funny thing is that I have always considered myself to be a visual artist and NOT a writer. But after taking a couple of years off from my art and design as a career, the writing part is what has come naturally to me. In fact, it has come so naturally that I have questioned if I am even an artist at all and perhaps I’m only meant to write children’s books and not illustrate them as well. After a bit of soul searching, I realize that isn’t the case at all. I am certain that I am meant to do both.
Why do you write/create what you do?Because I must. I’m not trying to sound dramatic, it’s just that it’s a simple answer for me. I really and truly must. I feel like something creative has been put inside of me and that I have something to express and share with others.
So I must.
How does your writing/creative process work?For my artwork, I usually write a list of concepts in my sketchbook, do very sloppy sketches of the ideas I have, and then either scan them into the computer if it’s graphic work, or use the sketches for a point of reference if it’s for hand drawn or painted work. For my children’s book concepts, I do a combination of traditional art and digital work. But it always starts with a hand drawn sketch.
For my writing (for the children’s books anyway), I have no rhyme or reason to a process. I have had vague and undeveloped concepts floating around in my head for years but I shelved the ideas thinking they would be too hard. Just over the last year and a half or so, the words and sentences have just sort of come to me, usually first thing in the morning when I am half asleep and I end up jotting the story down next to my bed word for word. It’s so strange to me because I have never had that kind of inspiration before – the kind where I am literally not looking for it. I am thankful for it and am enjoying the process even though it feels a bit like an unknown.
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OK, so now on to the fun part where I get to introduce some creatives who inspire me personally.
The reason I want to start with Monica is because she has inspired me more than she will ever know -unless she reads this post of course. 😉 I had gone through a rough time in my life a few years ago. I will spare you the details here on the world wide web, but just know that everything is 100% fine now and life is truly great. I have much to be thankful for!
At the time I had discovered Monica’s blog, I was coming out of a one year break away from all things creative. I didn’t feel like much of a smart or creative woman in any way, shape, or form, yet her interviews made me feel like I was one and like I could be again. She had just started her blogging venture and I had just started fully coming out of my difficult season. I’m pretty sure that I have listened to every interview and I know I have enjoyed watching her thrive and help inspire others to do so as well. I started listening to her interviews while I folded laundry and now I listen to them while I work on my latest creative ventures.
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The second source of inspiration I want to share with you is a favorite artist and blogger named Caroline Simas. Coincidentally I discovered her around the same time that I found out about Monica.
She inspired me not only because of her bright color pallet and fresh style, but because she was (and is) true to herself. She knows that God has gifted her with certain things and she uses her gifts for Him, which is my goal as well. It’s funny, because I knew that was my goal before I discovered her work and online presence, but I wasn’t sure what that looked like for me. Somehow, seeing what it looked like for her, helped me to see what it might look like for me. Of course our end results will be different, but that’s the fun part – we all have such different talents that God has given us.
And by the way, I have gifted several of her Tervis mugs and can’t say enough about the quality and the cuteness!
At the time I had discoverd both women, I wasn’t actually doing anything artistic anymore and they both helped to show me a little glimpse of hope. A little glimpse of who I could be. While our styles are all different and our professional paths are different, our goal to use the gifts God has given us to the best of our ability is the same. So thank you for being an inspiration for the last couple of years, Monica and Caroline; and thank you for being a new inspiration, Heatherlee…it will be fun to follow your careers and keep rooting you on from my little screen. 🙂