Hello to you all. Yes miracles can happen, I'm actually writing a blog post. Since late last year life has been a whirl wind. So unfortunately, much like car interiors and out of sight bedrooms, blogs tend to suffer.
In October I travelled to Sydney for a retreat with other children's book creators and from there I seemed to enter into a vortex of high speed which has, not unlike Dorothy, landed me at this time and date. So what has happened in the last few months? Fasten your seat belts and join me for the ride.
The retreat was wonderful. A time spent meeting and revisiting friends and wonderfully creative people. We drew, critiqued, visited studios and galleries (and wonderful parks with lovely wine and food). We did work shops, listened to amazing guest speakers and had fantastic dinners together. I felt revved up and raring to go. A good thing as after a very quiet twelve months on the publishing scene things were about to get busy.
I decided to stay on in Sydney for a few days after the retreat and from my comfortable YHA room base I visited publishers with my portfolio and books in tow. They all greeted me very enthusiastically and it was wonderful to catch up with those I knew and to meet the faces of those I had heard of.
I was excited to leave Sydney with some potential work and headed home to the studio with a new creative skip in my step.
On the bench upon my return was a contract for a book from a publisher who had shown interest in a manuscript a couple of weeks before I headed away. Wonderful, a book very close to my heart had found a home and the journey of illustrating my words would now begin. Can you have it ready by March? We would like to publish in 2013. Yes, I can, I'll work over the summer school holidays, that is fine when you work from home.
Only a week later and I had some samples sent off as requested by one of the publishers I had met on my journeys and by the next day another contract was on offer. I had gone from famine to feast. My heart sank as it asked: Can you have it finished by February? We want to release it in 2013. Thankfully, after some negotiations and a wonderfully supportive partner, who booked in some of his long service leave, we had the dates extended to.....March. So, we raced to the local office store and purchased a second drawing desk, one for each project as they would have to come together simultaneously. I am now a full time illustrator/author and the time is flying by very quickly. I haven't had time to scratch myself, and with Christmas, visiting relatives and all children (now getting older) based at home for the summer it has been a creative bit of organised chaos.
Before the contracts had arrived we had booked a family holiday for a week in Melbourne so with sketch pad under my arm I enjoyed a break away from the studio. This time last year it was a place I visited and escaped to. This year I am a nine to five (six, seven or later) girl who is very thankful that she taught her kids to cook and that she loves her job. So, please forgive me if you don't hear much from me before the end of March or even sliding a little into April, the sign is up, 'CAUTION: ILLUSTRATOR AT WORK, BOOKS UNDER CONSTRUCTION'; you know where to find me.
Happy reading and writing everyone