Last Post of the Year…

Creative Self, Illustration

WOW 2011 just flew by, and I mean at light speed! I feel like I was just here, getting ready for holidays and here I am doing it again! Our family has spent some time doing some non-holiday activities, just to keep our sanity. All Christmas all the time for a month can make us go insane pretty quick! This year we have so much to celebrate: Kev loves his new job, he feels valued and is valued. So many organizations undermine their own success by keeping their associates feeling that they’re always replacable. I haven’t seen him this enthusiastic since our move here nearly thirteen years ago! Our 7yo is learning a ton, even piano, and drawing like a madman…Just fantastic illustrations…I’ve attached his “alive shirts.” Our older guy, well he’s nine going on nineteen. His creativity knows no bounds! He’s been drawing and writing…comics primarily, but I’ve had to curb his enthusiasm with wanting to sell them. “Let’s get math squared away first, then you’ll know what to sell them for.”

For me, I accomplished PiBoIdMo, joined That’s My Folio (an online directory), contributed to four books for Klutz, did some surface design work, and most importantly, cultivated more friendships with creatives.  I’m not being snotty, I have other friends who do things different from what I do. They love their careers as much as I do. But I miss the designers and artists I used to work  with side by side, and I feel like Twitter fills that void. We Skype as well, and there’s Twitter chats for creatives on various nights. It’s nearly like being able to peek over the cubicle wall and chit chat.  Having things in common is important, and I’m able to meet one of my friends who’s a writer/presenter once a month (or more, we get busy!) for coffee and a good creative talk! Most creatives are champion chatters, so calls and meet ups are loooong ; ) I’ve also started going to our SCBWI-IL Illustrator meetings, and I’m so excited for January’s! In other news, we got four major home improvements off of our to do list, which really took the stress off of us.

A couple weeks ago we went to the Dr. Seuss exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. Our older son and I were in there for a couple of hours (Kev was enjoying the trains with our younger son). I wasn’t able to get photos inside, but I did get a few outside of the exhibit. The man was a genius! Even by today’s standards, I believe he would be considered quite an innovator. I’m reading his biography now, and even though humans are humans whether or not they create for children, there were things I’d rather I didn’t know about him. They don’t change my view of his work, but I don’t have him on a pedestal like I used to…

2011 was such a great year for us because we were able to really move forward with a lot of things. Procratination is such a creativity killer, but it messes with family life as well. Every year I vow to procrastinate a little less than the previous year. I know I’ve said it many times: I don’t set up new year resolutions. I just feel they’re not right for me. I feel they’re doomed to fail because the goals are so enormous, that after three weeks I realize how unattainable they are. I instead try to come up with a theme. I didn’t invent it, not my idea at all. A Betterment Theme (I don’t even remember where I heard it) is actually a collection of small goals that all relate to a larger goal. I am going to use the word unresolution. If you want to lose weight, a smaller, attainable goal would be to choose to take the stairs instead of an elevator, switching out a sandwich for a salad once a week, one pc of pizza instead of two. It’s a smaller change that doesn’t impact your day to day life so much that you won’t do it. When we work toward a larger goal with smaller, managable ones, we allow ourselves slip ups and mistakes. For some odd reason, when we make a resolution, and we slip up, we then give up.

Two large goals I’m aiming to acheive this year will be honing my skills and staying on task. But my unresolution-achievable goals are to doodle and file receipts right away. Just keeping my desk clear will also help! Another large goal is a whole new revamped book, but one piece at a time is surely more managable, and, leaves room for things that crop up unexpectedly, three new pieces are better than none. I am more likely to reach my long term goal with more realistic expectations. : ) AND I found all three of my portfolios. I had the medium one, found the small one in a drawer in my studio during a cleaning, where I also had found the large filler pages. That meant I had a large book somewhere. Sure enough, in the basement! Woot! I’m halfway there already! ; )

I really do have to be sure I’m drawing every day. Sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve never been a 24/7 doodler. I like to, and Kev has often said, “you go to Starbucks enough, take your sketchbook with you.” But I have a difficult time getting into something so when I’m interrupted, it takes me that much longer to get back to what I was doing. Folks going back and forth would easily distract me. I’m trying to get over that. Another small goal ; ) What will make it a little easier is I rec’d some lovely Field Notes from my good friend Nina for the hols, they’re just the right size to fit into my purse (and this *gorgeous* scarf she MADE)  Thank you, my dear friend, I am better for knowing you!: )  The most important thing I’ll take from all these smaller goals is, I’m allowed to make a mistake. I’m allowed to slip up, because, the next day, I can start over.

2012 is a leap year, and I’m totally living up to that by taking some leaps of my own: a PB dummy challenge (which may take a while), an Adobe Illustrator presentation to our SCBWI illustrator group (so I’ll be asking for some advice from my friends who do a lot of these), attending our 1st SCBWI-IL Illustrator’s Day in the spring, and I’m hoping to get to a larger SCBWI conference eventually. Baby steps, but it will all come together : )

This is my last post of the 2011 year (I’m planning to post more for 2012) and I couldn’t close it out without sending best wishes to my friends (online and local) and family. You all are very important to me and keep me focused and positive. So here’s to 2012!! To all *three* of my boys, thank you for being you, and I can’t wait to dive into the chinese food tonight, ring in the new year, and enjoy the whale exhibit at The Field tomorrow with all of you! Love you : )


2 thoughts on “Last Post of the Year…

  1. Happy new year my friend! Great post/recap of your 2011 and so happy for hubby’s new job. That’s great.

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