As I put away the christmas stockings, I'm reminded of how my illustration career has evolved. I have been illustrating for several years but I didn't begin using felt as my primary medium until Oct. 2004.
Eventhough I was receiving assignments ,I still felt like I was struggling to find my 'voice', you know what I mean? I'll never forget reading an article in the CWIM by Theresa Smythe about listening to her inner voice which was telling her to try cut paper collage for her illustrations. I was so jealous, "Oh, I wish my inner voice would tell ME something." Well, it was but I just wasn't listening.
As I read her article , there they were, my stockings beckoning to me, "try this , try this!" I have always loved creating with my hands. My mum is a craft designer and she has been creating ever since I can remember. One of my most treasured possessions is the christmas stocking that she made me as a child.
As you can see , it's still in wonderful condition. Growing up, I worked alot helping her get ready for crafts shows, or teaching crafts to children. Working with felt is like second nature to me,very personal.
So as I sat there reading Theresas article and my stockings prompting me (I made these for my hubby and 3 kids), the little seed was planted. It had never occured to me that I could use felt for illustration!
It took 2 years after that lightbulb moment to actually sit and experiment. Thinking and doing were 2 things altogether! But when my son had to have major hip surgery , I knew it was the perfect time to slow down and "play" while we got through his recovery. The picture on my "rozzieland" banner was my first piece. I called it "felt-like spring" and sent it out as my first promo card 6 months later. She has brought me good luck and has been opening doors for me.
Here is my first book that was illustrated with felt. It is still early days yet but I'm very excited with where the felt has taken me so far.
Is your inner voice telling you something today, feeling a little niggle? Give it a try, you have nothing to lose. Try not to let it take 2 years like it did me. Happy illustrating!