Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spring 2016 Update

Spring is a whirlwind season for me!  I feel like my blog is always extra-quiet this time each year, but that's just because I'm always extra-busy.  This year was no exception, and now that busy spring is winding down to wonderful, slow-paced summer, I figured I ought to let you all know what I've been up to!
The biggest--and craziest--thing about spring for me is my day job at the Ohioana Library.  While most of the year the library is quiet and calm, each spring the place gets turned upside as we plan and prep for the annual Ohioana Book Festival.  It's a fantastic one-day event celebrating Ohio authors and illustrators with fun for the whole family.  This year was the milestone 10th anniversary festival, and it was definitely the best one yet!   
The 2016 festival poster designed by illustrator David Catrow.
After the festival, I jumped into preparing for my very first workshop presentation called "Photoshop 101" for my local SCBWI group.  We went over the basics of Photoshop, as well as some of my favorite digital art tips and tricks.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I made my first digital illustration almost five years ago.  (That seems like FOREVER ago, and boy was it a struggle!)  Although I'm still learning more about digital art everyday, I've come a long way since 2011 and really enjoyed sharing what I know.  I was pretty nervous to get up and teach a whole group, but all the familiar faces in the room made me feel right at home.  (And I don't think I said anything too stupid!)  
A screenshot I used to show what my Photoshop files look like.  Lots of layers!
The festival and workshop have been the meatiest things on my plate, leaving little time for my personal art and writing.  (My bum shoulder has also flared up from time to time, but hopefully that problem is being nipped in the bud.)  It's been a bit difficult, but I've tried my best to stay creative and dabble in some projects here and there.  One of my dear writing buddies asked me to do some illustrations for her "whimsical life" book proposal (it's such a fun concept!), so I created a few pieces to accompany her manuscript.
Accompaniment for "The Dawn of Whimsy" chapter.
Personification of the voice in your head that says you stink at picking colors.
I'm also still working on the special project for my nephew's Disney-themed room (which has proven itself to be a bit more elaborate than I originally anticipated.)  But I am making progress on the series, so I'll share the work-in-process piece my sister has already seen.
"It's a small, small world!"
One of my other close writing buddies decided to challenge herself to a "NaNoWriMo"-style goal for May.  (For those not in the know, the official "NaNoWriMo" is a project where you write a whole novel during the month of November.  How anyone can accomplish such a task in the midst of the holidays is always beyond me!)  She asked if I wanted to join, and while I don't have a new novel I want to draft, I'm participating in my own way by creating a quick sketch at lunch everyday.  (It feels good to get that pencil moving!)  I'm also working on editing Pirate Ferret, which has been collecting dust during the past few months.  In addition to the sketches, my goal is to revise at least two chapters by the end of May.  These may seem like itty-bitty tasks, but baby steps are still better than no steps!  And what is our reward if we accomplish our goals?  Food, of course!  We're both getting oh-so close to a victory Chinese buffet.  :) 

A teeny tiny mouse sketch.

Last but not least, I've been dragging my tushie to the gym to get in shape for my upcoming trip to Disney World!  While I don't love all the time that exercising gobbles up, I do like the benefits of walking without limping.  Plus, it gives me a good opportunity to watch Disney movies on the treadmill!  (The Fox and the Hound II is a surprisingly decent movie.  ;) )  

Gotta get in shape so I can eat all that delicious Disney food!
And that's what's been keeping me busy!  Now that it's almost summer, I hope to spend more time on my writing and illustrating, and relax a bit.  I hope everyone has had a great spring and is looking forward to lazy days ahead!

1 comment:

  1. I feel famous now! :) Go you--you're making awesome progress!!