My word of the year comes from Japanese: kaizen meaning continual refinement

Already February was thick, thick, thick with opportunities to improve on my workflow and technique. I received a lot of feedback on my work from various sources… my agent, other authors in my critique groups, my wonderful mentor, fellow artists, at school from fellow teachers, students, at home from family, friends, etc. Let me tell ya, it’s a good thing I have practice listening to and processing feedback because it was a LOT.

Did I actually improve anything, though? I think so.

I worked steadily on my two most developed manuscripts and brainstormed new ideas. I made it to all but one of the web-live seminars in my 8 week Submission Ready course (Storyteller Academy). I returned edits for the indie book I’m illustrating, worked on the school’s yearbook and art auction… little by little getting things done.

Biggest time pitfall: social media. So, I stopped posting so frequently on Instagram and Facebook. I started this blog post in February, but as you can see I didn’t get to it until today (a month later than anticipated!). This has left me with two thoughts:
1) it’s my blog and I cry (post/not post) if I want to
2) Why am I using social media?

Am I doing this all for my customers and future clients? Yes, but also to share my process. I love teaching people and I love knowing the process of things. I like to feel connected to a creative community like when I did tradeshows. Although, it’s not feasible for me to do them this year, I do like to reach out and keep connected. So, that’s straight in my mind now, and I hope my posts on Instagram are more meaningful than eye-candy from now on.

Then March came (and nearly went!) and I put pen to paper/stylus to digital tablet and got to work. My first PB effort is out on submission, I checked in with the WNDB grant and mentorship committees. I had my last class in the Submission Ready course with Melissa Manlove and Ariel Richardson of Chronicle books, and I was left inspired and… ready for my next project!

Next in the pipeline is my second most developed manuscript and the indie book I’m illustrating. That’s all well and good, but sometimes you need a more personal project to get through the doldrums and warm up your drawing skills. What you see posted above and below are my entries into the ‘Eat the Rainbow’ call for art from They Draw and Cook. They’re my warm-ups and my fun art in between. There’s something about making work that begets more work… overcoming that inertia and self-doubt to get the ball rolling again. Lesson learned.


I hope in my next post I have work from the books to share! I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got in the works.

If you’re hungry… check out my rainbow eats!

Rainbow pizza & Rainbow Parfaits

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