My new year's post is getting to be a tradition around this blog. And lookee here, I'm actually doing this one in January, unlike last year. 2011 so far as been... uh... eventful. Here's a tally: 3 days after returning from our holiday travels we experienced the second parting of the Red Sea as our hot water heater burst all over the garage, sluicing through the giant oil stain on the floor left from the last owners that Jim Dear and I have been meaning to deal with. The good news is 50 gallons of natural gas heated water does wonders for removing an oil stain...... the bad news is we discovered just how truly horrible the customer service with our American Home Shield warranty is. For a minute by minute replay of that debacle go visit my Facebook page. The short story is that Jim Dear spent the second weekend of the new year learning how to replace a water heater. This weekend was quickly followed by a snow Armageddon, Jim Dear having a wisdom tooth suddenly removed and Mommy having a stomach virus for 3 days. Whew! Maybe 2011 wants to slow down a bit and save up some of the hassles for after daylight savings time. At any rate I wanted to do a post about my resolutions for this year and revisit 2010's just for the heckuvit.
Resolution #1: Create another picture book.
I'm happy to report I did do this one. Myself and some other local SCBWI friends started a blog critique group and all through the summer each of us worked together to get a book ready for the fall Mid-South conference. I wrote about it here and here. I'm still brushing up my book, Nothing All Day, but plan to start submitting in a few months.
Resolution #2: Work on loosening up my work
This was much harder.... as I stated in my 2010 post a lot of my tightness is related to drawing hands and details on characters. Really late last year I had an epiphany about hands, that maybe I just didn't need to draw them anymore. That would be loose. So I've tried doing some characters with just gesture for hands..... its a step, but I think I'm still working on Resolution #2
Resolution #3 Work on licensing ideas.
yes and no on this one. I haven't created any new pieces but in the process of moving I had to sort through several stored pieces that I haven't seen in a few years. Some of these were for jobs, others were just pieces I did for fun, but a few of them could have a second life as a licensed piece. I've started placing them on calendars and cards to submit to some agents.
Resolution #4: finally we get to the one everyone was waiting for - Lose 10 pounds.
No. I didn't lose 10 pounds. I did gain 3 pounds, then lost that! Then I lost 3 more pounds with a stomach bug I caught in February. Then I gained back 1 pound. Then I lost 5 pounds while walking and eating a bunch of salads right before my 20 year high school reunion. Then I gained that back over Christmas. Then I lost 3 pounds again with the latest round of stomach flu. Let's see where does that leave me?
Oh, I see.....exactly where I was this time last year (sound of grinding teeth).
Well, I'm moving my career forward, I guess I don't have to win a swimsuit competition any time soon.... so there.
So that does it for 2010..... moving right along to 2011, at the moment I have only one resolution: Draw every day.
A few days ago I sat with the Fry and the Sprout who were in a hive of creativity at the kitchen table. The Fry was busy "making a book" which is what he likes to do these days since mommy has shown him how picture books are printed all on one big sheet of paper, then folded and cut to make 32 pages. He thinks it's a magic trick. The Sprout was busy grabbing crayons out of the plastic tub and squiggling all over her highchair tray. To keep her from heaving crayons on the floor (which is her favorite thing to do while Fry is book-making,) I was drawing random animals and holding them up for her to comment on: "Pig oink oink!", "duhhhn-keee hee haaawwwww!" It was fun to just draw with no real purpose. So I've decided to sketch something every night in the sketchbook by my bed. It may or may not be work related..... so far what I've done has really just related to what's happened that day. My goal is to do it at least 5 nights a week. It will be the artistic equivalent of the proper amount of exercise. Then, to keep myself honest, I plan to blog every week with the sketches. I'm starting small and committing to just this month, but to make it a proper resolution - and to make myself a better artist/person - I hope I can stick to the whole year.
So that'd your New Year's gift dear reader, 52 posts of what was on my mind right before lights out.