Wednesday, July 30, 2008


So last week I recieved notification of the deadline for the Society of Illustrator's Original Art Show. I glanced at in nonchalance and it was only recently I realized my reaction. It was the Original Art Show, where the elite children's illustrators are admired and it is an honor just to be accepted. And I did not care.

I should preface this with the fact that in the past I have cared, horribly. Of all the Blue Rose Girl illustrators I am the only one whose work has never been accepted. It has filled me with a mixture of doubt and longing. As much as I brushed off the rejection (the Society just thinks my work is too commercial, it's too niche for them, etc., etc.) it always came down to the inevitable truth. My work was simply just not considered good enough.

This would sting my soul so much that even recieving the deadline notification for the entry would unsettle me. Until now.

Strangely, now I am truly cheerfully indifferent. Suddenly it doesn't seem to matter too much if a society doesn't think I measure up. Maybe due to Robert's death, maybe due to my own growing confidence--regardless of why, I finally feel like I can start casting aside others' judgements and begin embracing my work for what it is. Mine.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

bonne chance

Paris leads to a one way street to Fortune.

I think I should make my next vacation a trip to Europe.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


So, the deadline for the art of my new novel has been pushed up to…as soon as possible. I’m still determined to do my best quality work; however I know how this song goes. As my illustration activity level escalates to full capacity, my physical activity level diminishes to nonexistence; and #3 of the ten things I’ve learned becomes an unwelcome reality. It is inevitable—the shorter the deadline, the more unhealthier (and chubbier) I become.

And even though I foresee my fatty future, I seem unable to change it. Because not only do I spend my waking hours sedentarily sitting, my eating habits become appalling. My creative brain cells demand candy and pizza, calling labor strikes if I resist. The truth is I am completely unable to create well for extended periods of time unless fueled by unhealthy, high fat food. My focus seems to be sugar driven-- if I remember correctly I was on about three bags of candied ginger a day while writing WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON. I shudder to think what is upcoming...

If anyone has any helpful tips (other than hitting the gym like a maniac when my deadline is over) I'd be thrilled to hear them!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the luxury of self-doubt

For me, personally, I've found my speed of creation has altered drastically since Robert's passing. During the days of his illness, the desperate financial needs were incredible motivators. Necessity became a strange creative impetus, the muses constantly sang and when they could not they hummed until it became a song. And while the songs were perhaps not the inspirational hymn preferred, I got used to the background music.

But now, without the pressure, my muses have become tempermental. Sometimes the inspiration flashes, but, now as I attempt to write the YEAR OF THE TIGER more often than not I find myself simply pegging away. I have never been a writer whose characters speak to them (like my friend Justina Chen Headley ) but I have never before felt the true exhaustion of writing. During the final writing stages of WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON the focus I had taken for granted seemed to disperse into the wind and for the first time I found myself questioning my ability to continue. Will I be able to write this? Can I do it?

And, I realize that self-doubt is a luxury that I have not had in a long time. It is a strange relishment, this allowance of the idea of failure. It is oddly refreshing.
That is, as long as it remains an idea. I hope the actual realization of failure is unnecessary!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

in progress

o I have been hard at work the interior illustrations of my new novel "Where the Mountain meets the Moon." It's a Chinese folktale-inspired fantasy, so I want the art to have an Asian traditional feel. But the novel is not a classic retelling or historical story, so I want the illustrations to traditionally inspired, but not reproductions.

The chapter headers are drawn in the style of chinese papercuts. There is still no word on whether interior will be color (cross your fingers!) but if it is these will be red on white:

And, if color does get approved (double-cross your fingers!) there will be 9 full page color interiors. I chose 9 because it is a Chinese lucky number symbolizing forever/everlasting---and I want this book to everlasting for the readers as well as in print forever! I have been looking at cloisonne and the art on Chinese vases and dinnerware as inspiration for these pieces:

Only about 20 more chapter headers and 1 more full page interior to go. Then I get to paint, hopefully (triple cross your fingers for the color interior!).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

fait accompli

It's been a long road, or least it has felt like it, of my bathroom looking like this:

But now, it looks like this!

Yippeee! I am especially happy with my new shower curtain (which is ironically the least expensive transforming item).