On your mark, get set.....


Diesel thinks books are comfy.
I've accomplished a lot in the past few months that has helped me to sit down and finally get moving. Butt in chair! After years of dwelling among piles of paper, stacks of notes, surpluses of supplies, I FINALLY managed to organize and purge my studio. It was painful and it took a month of stolen moments, long days of dust and a little visit to sorting hell. It was a mish-mash of ideas, techniques and the supplies to support it all. I have had a room to call my studio now for ummmmmmmmm...... 15 years!!! Wow! And it wasn't until 2007 that I got serious and interested in children's books. So it took me 10 years of trial and error to get to this place.

Catticus Finch helps sort the paper.
After slogging through the piles, some was recycled but most was given away. I donated lots of supplies to friends, gave up on some crafts that I acknowledged were not for me and made space for only the things I really wanted to explore. I also decided to clean up my artistic style. For a while I have been dabbling in two forms of mixed media, watercolor and ink and watercolor and linocut.

I LOVE creating linocuts and inking them up, watching as the image peels away from the block. It is so satisfying. But it is also laborious and very time consuming. The ink I need to use in order to go back in with the watercolor takes about a week to dry. That does not lead to quick turnout or a fast editing process. Of course once dry, it could be scanned and edited, but not for major changes. I had tried water based ink and scanning to color digitally, but I also decided digital is not my bag. The editing is quick and easy, but there's something to the process that does not satisfy me. It leaves me flat. So the linocut will remain a creative endeavor when I have time to play and paint and no deadlines are involved. I can always reintroduce it at a later time.

Minnow of the art supplies
Now I must attack my portfolio. Butt in chair! I have been taking some classes to strengthen my work and hone in on my style even further. It's hard work, but that must mean I am doing something right. It is also conference season here in New England, with Whispering Pines and NESCBWI Spring fast approaching. That means lots of ideas and lots of deadlines. I also need to search and query. Time to level up.

Time to crack the whip!

Manuscripts old and new also have new homes. Each has it's own binder so I can track manuscript changes, stash character sketches, and hold dummies. This is another area where digital is not working as well as the physical for me. ( I may have to blame my Bullet Journal infatuation for this.) I need to see the progression, be able to flip back and pull it all out when I need a good overview. I also like to physically mark up changes, it helps solidify the choices in my aging brain that likes to forget.

Now it is time for me to GO get some work done. Butt in chair! I now have the physical and mental space to do so. Creative space is the best kind of space to have. I recommend finding some of your own. And butt in a new comfy chair helps too!

Now if I can convince Minnow to move...


  1. I totally need to purge the giant mess in my work space. Too many books, papers and yarn! Good job clearing the clutter and focusing on what you want to achieve. It's literally very cleansing to pitch the stuff and to ask yourself what you want out of life. I've been asking, but still need to pitch. ;) Thanks for the inspiration, Brook.


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