First Year in Illustrating

Racoon Illustration

It is September.

September is a big month for me. It is my husband’s birthday and our eight year anniversary (has it really been that long?), but it is also the time for peer reviews for Christmas bonuses and round about the time I got my car insurance money pay out last year. Therefore, it was roughly a year ago, that I typed up my resignation letter and started the count down, as I had accumulated enough cash to survive for eight months.

Eight months came and went and it is with great joy that I am still here, self-employed. It actually took me just over 6 months to start covering myself (if people are saving for the same journey). Soon I hope to exceed the ‘just covering’ and go into ‘look at me, I’m fabulous!”

I thought it was time to just jot down some of the things I have achieved this year. Some things I’ve learnt and some things that I aim to achieve in the next year.  Since I don’t have a manager anymore, I thought you, my readers, followers, friends and family, could be part of my yearly review process.

  • I am almost finished with my year-long yoga teacher training course. You have no idea how important your Saturdays are, until you spend all of them in a little room with 11 random people, most of them incredible adult-like and want to discuss things like global warming and what the effect of MSG will have on our children. What I have gained from this though is an awesome (best) friend who is an amazing writer. I am looking forward to doing joint projects with her in the future. When we have our Saturday’s back.
  • I have illustrated five books. Two middle grade books in black and white and three picture books, two of which were digital illustrations and one that was traditional medium. So much learnt here. Through this process I have learnt so much about watercolours, I have made my own light-box that I love, and I have decided that children authors are my people. I am currently working on another 2 picture books, both traditional mediums. I am loving every step of this, as both authors are really great!
  • I run Creative Workshops once a month. This is something that in the future I hope to expand on. As mentioned, I have no Saturdays, so currently just doing one workshop is a good balance, but next year I hope to do a weekly class maybe and perhaps something fun with kids during the holidays. I am also working on an online course. I am hoping to have this up and going by the end of the month.
  • New friends, new people, new opportunities! I have met so many amazing new people this year, in the industry! I am also now officially part of the SCBWI community as I have been asked to update their website and manage their content for them. We are still in the early stages of this, so stay tuned to hear more! I am also part of a newly formed art group, with other fellow artists. We get together in Kalk Bay on Monday’s and take time out to work on personal projects. I am also part of a writing group that gets together on Thursdays. This groups are great for putting a side a little time each week for my own personal ideas that are sometimes put on the back-burner.

In the next year I hope to expand my illustrated books, hopefully get a book that I have written published and get some great creative workshops, courses and classes going! What are you planning?