Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sharpening the Mind

They say if you don't exercise your mind it will become flabby just like an unused muscle. My mind has been getting a workout lately and it's a bit out of shape! Through my work I have access to online training and lately I have been sharpening my Photoshop skills. Pictured below are some of my visual projects where I have distorted my children's faces. After filling my mind with all of these tips and techniques, the real test is if I'll remember what I learned tomorrow. I guess all I really need to know is that something can be done and to remember the source of knowledge so I can refer to it again.

I have enjoyed the creative workout I have been getting from the WantsToBe Series of children's books. I just finished illustrating my 5th book, The Chipmunk Who Wanted to Be a Bear. The sense of accomplishment is short-lived because almost before I save my last file, my mind is visualizing how I will illustrate the next one!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Alternative Endings and Eating Humble Pie

Sometimes there is a difference of opinion on what the transformation character in our WantsToBe books should look like. In our recently published book, The Elephant Who Wanted to Be a Bee, we had that dilemma. By the time everyone put in their 2 cents worth, I had created several versions. Here are the ones that didn't make the cut.

I have learned it is always best to show your work before you make it public. Without going into details, I don't always portray what I am trying to and another pair of eyes has saved me many times. One of Valerie's young sons pointed out that I had made the alligator in our next book the wrong color (coming soon-The Alligator Who Wanted to Be a Dog). After looking up the difference between an alligator and crocodile on Wikipedia, I discovered he was right.

So thanks to my boys who patiently respond to my endless times asking them, "What do you think?" And when they really tell me, I have learned to quiet the thoughts that I'm the professional here and know what I am doing. Eating humble pie makes for a better story.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Empty Nester for an evening

I am home alone because the rest of the family is working at my husband's business. I think I am getting a taste of what it is like to be an empty nester and I don't think I like it much. For those of you who don't know me, I had my first 4 kids within 4 years and those were pretty crazy times. I thought I would never have the chance to be alone again. When my youngest was born there was a 10 year gap between him and his brother. He was quite a surprise and I am so grateful that we will have him around when the others have all left. Now my youngest is almost 12 years old and I feel that time is passing too quickly! We just finished our last science fair which is an activity I'm not going to miss. He still likes me to read a good story to him. We are in the middle of the first Fablehaven book and are wondering what will happen on Midsummer Eve (the next chapter). Luckily my daughter got married last summer so there is the promise of little ones being in my life again.