Teaching Blues & Summer Plans


Boomer At Your Service

Boomer At Your Service by Vanessa Keel, illustrated by me, published by Clear Fork/Spork Publishing is (nearly) off to the presses. The final drafts are awaiting approval and then it will make its debut this fall! I’m very excited to introduce you to this very sweet wannabe service dog who finds his purpose in life after a bunch of mishaps. Stay tuned for it’s publication date!

Teaching Blues

This academic year, I taught elementary students for the first time in over a decade. In the in-between, I taught adults and did e-teaching on Skillshare, but I did not think I would return to the elementary classroom. That is until my son’s school needed someone to fill the art teacher position. I happened to have the qualifications, and so this past year I returned to teaching. It was an immensely gratifying (and exhausting!) academic year.


(student work above)

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my love of art with the students, but my mind was divided the last two months of teaching. April and May are always notoriously busy months in art-making. It’s when the trade shows happen, it’s the end of the school year in the southern states, and I have several family member birthdays including my kid’s, and it’s when the Christmas art push happens. It was a lot this spring, and I was not about to miss my kid’s crossover into kindergarten or my students’ graduation ceremony for a trade show!

So, I skipped the shows this year, and I’m feeling a bit at sea with regards to the art licensing calendar.

Home Improvements

I have not shared any of this publicly, but my home is currently in a bit of disarray. Our cast-iron pipes collapsed back in February, and we’ve been living without working drainage in the kitchen since. My son’s room was flooded and so he’s been living in our room or the living room. We do dishes in the yard or in buckets… and well, it’s taking a toll on me. I’m really fed up with not being able to cook and clean properly!

Summer Plans

As a result, I’ve taken on as many projects as I can to help cover any costs that the insurance decides not to cover (we still don’t know 4 months after the fact!). Boomer is now in it’s final edit, and a Non-Fiction book project is scheduled to start any day now until October. I am working on two painting commissions as well as my own stories to revise and resubmit with my agent which is very exciting!

All this is to say, I’m working on it. Everything. Books, art, career, education.

Side Thoughts:
Trying to figure out how I can still create educational content for families to use to teach their kids art, and I might finally film some new Skillshare classes in that area so I can be ‘teaching’ but not in the classroom. Classroom teaching is just as difficult to leave this time as it was in my 20s after Teach For America. Again, I leave behind some wonderful colleagues and lovely students. Except this time, I’ve got a solid idea of what I will do with my time.

Have a great summer! What are your plans?

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