Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Illustration Portfolio Live!

I just can't believe it. After a year of really trying to put something together for illustration, I've finally managed to do it!

Illustration Logo

Isn't he cute? A few years back when I exited the baby fog and started to sketch again, I made a series of dogs. Mostly because my office was shared by my springer spaniel, Butchie (Butch - my husband named him, not me). I wasn't sure where this sketching would lead to. At the time, I was overwhelmed with my children, my housework, and my job. I worked in a tiny, cramped office while my children and babysitter romped around the house as I tried to work. There were many days when I would finish work late at night, often working until 3AM or later, just to hit a deadline. I was exhausted, overworked, overstressed, and looking for an outlet. So I sketched.

In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to do something more. I longed to get out the supplies from my art school days, dust them off, and get to work. Work on exactly what, I couldn't tell you at the time. I just longed to make something again. To put pen to paper and see what happened.

It was a painful beginning. During my college days I had to do 100 studies of hands, draw 25 full skeletons from various angles, sketch hundreds  of faces, and didn't think much about it. Okay, the hands were hard, I did think about that. However, sketching now, half dazed, half asleep, I would stare at the blank page, make false starts, erase, and stare some more. Butchie found his way onto more than one page.

Now I can say that I'm truly on my way to being a published illustrator! In March of this year, I joined SCBWI (The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), and have no regrets at all. Even though I have only be a part of the society for a few months, I can already tell that this experience will benefit me in huge ways. I've already met a lot of lovely, kind, professional, talented, quirky, and most of all, encouraging people in this society.

Many thanks goes out to my critique group as well. Starting last fall, we started meeting to discuss writing, books, and read and critique our work. I have never met a more uplifting and encouraging group of people who make you feel great about fixing what's wrong with your work! It is this small group that has encouraged me to press on. Thank you Bena, Charla, and Manny (yes, you are included as well)!

Oh yeah, and thanks to Mom, Dad, Joel, and the kids, for already acting like I'm a professional. You're the best!

– jenny

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