Dream Goals Update

So, what have you been doing?


I researched how to get my illustrations (awkward art) into picture book form.  I took a course on picture book illustration through Children’s Book Academy.  The esteemed Mira Reisberg and her faculty have more knowledge and experience than you can shake a stick with, at, or accumulate.  Unfortunately, I didn’t learn half of what they presented.

They blew my mind.  So many self and influenced walls of concept regarding illustrations, picture books, and story writing were smashed.  I can’t thank them enough, and the fellow students. Students isn’t the right word.  These were artists who were gifted.  I was not in their league, but they were gracious and helpful.

So, my initial confusion is slowly giving way to trial and error attempts at not just the illustrations, but now how to get those paper drawings into an ebook format as well as one that will upload for printing purposes.  Whew!

The first thought was scanning the actual images and creating the files needed. Problem?  In order to make up for my lack of abilities in the art department I learned that proportion can be my friend. Making the illustrations much larger and using a wonderful gadget I learned about from Mira, a proportional scale (found at Hobby Lobby of all places back between the drawing and drafting supplies).  Book page size in contrast to the size drawings I need that will scale down and make small errors less obvious.  (A true blessing to someone with my rough, unskilled attempts.)

The needed scanner would have to be a large flatbed to produce decent files.  That was going to be expensive and just sitting.  What if I never do another picture book? Never pick up another paint brush?  That would be rather foolish spending.

How else could I get what is needed?

Digital photo.  AH! Now we are talking. Though none of our ‘cheapie’ cameras could produce the intricate files that I need to work with, more limitations.  Sigh.

Discussion with Anthony led to searching the internet for a decent camera.  Further research led us to purchase a Cannon T5i.  One we can use for art, and life.  Even if I never draw again, we have children, grandchildren, and holidays. You name it, we can still make use of the camera.  So for the last few months pricing was the big hurdle.  Finally found an acceptable price for my Mother’s Day gift. Perfect!

Now to work on learning to use software to tweak the digital files to the best possible with my education and understanding of how it all works.  There is now a production schedule in place for getting the illustrations completed, photographed, edited and compiled.

So, maybe, just maybe, this is really going to happen.  Will keep you updated.

Character map and thumbnail sheet from Picture Book Illustrating course from Children's Book Academy
Character map and thumbnail sheet from Picture Book Illustrating course from Children’s Book Academy color wheel and proportional wheel purchased. 



Afterthoughts on Mothers Day

All my children are adults.  They are starting on, or have been on  their own life paths.  It feels strange to me, not having a child to raise.  Some would tell me to fill my time devoting myself to my grandchildren.  It isn’t like I don’t have a few, but they are all in different directions.  Nice thought, but the follow through is tricky.

Besides I have spent the last 32 years dreaming about having a career.  Sure, in-between diapers and part time jobs, I have tried some ideas on for size. Meeting interesting people that expanded my horizons and discovered things about myself.

Trouble was nothing truly fit.  I sought education and experience.  Never quite satisfied.  Except.  I loved being a mom to my kids.  It was the hardest and easiest role to fill.

It is a wonderful place to be today.  Not only are my children spreading their wings to fly in pursuit of their dreams and goals, so am I.

My children have told me that they are less afraid of failure and change.  Not to say they find it easy to take in or less difficult to manage.  They say they realize it isn’t the end.  All the while I have tried this or that, they learned as much as I did.

They know it is never to late to educate yourself. It is ok to move to a better fit. They perhaps learned more about fulfillment and the importance of happiness with what you are doing and who you are.  That both are a choice and not a force.

Of course, I am not the only teacher or living example of that. Their Dad has been, too.  I hope we are cool like that for a long time to come.

Vacation Inspiration

While I was gone on vacation two things happened.  One was a lot of driving through our beautiful country.  I was deep in thought most of the way, so unfortunately I didn’t take any photos.  The other thing is inspiration!

One night during a thunderstorm, lightening flashed through mini blinds. The shadows cast on the blinds got me to thinking about imagination.  Do you remember when you were a child all the things you could imagine ordinary things being?

A box could be a house or a car, depending on where you put doors and windows, or both if you put a steering wheel underneath a window!  Mud, rocks and twigs became pretend food placed on a leaf plate.  A stump could be home plate, a rock first base, the water meter cover second, and a maple tree third.

That stormy night became more than just good sleeping weather. It connected my childhood memories to how children look at the world.  In my mind I have been using all of those memories and rereading the story to try to see it through much younger eyes.




First off a huge ‘THANKS!’ to those that found my boys at the Vienna Junque Jamboree on the 18th of April!   There were some wonderful people who were so kind enough to purchase a book.  Thank you!

Now I want to share with you a thank you I received

Through my membership in the Society of Children Writers and Book Illustrators, I learned of some libraries that were in need of children’s books. Well, like any good grandma, I just couldn’t stand a child not having a book to read!  Yes, I did send copies to the libraries, and one of them most graciously sent me a thank you note.


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You are most welcome Diane, staff and patrons of Rolla Public Library in Rolla, MO.