Here is how 2005 looked for me as far as work.
* Maintained a blog for one year where I have opened up and shared my journey. This in turn has resulted in an article for, "Children's Writers & Illustrators Market Book 2007" about blogging.
* Illustrated a book dear to my heart that is distributed in hospitals. "Not Afraid of Needles!"
* Found an interested NY literary agent for a board book that I have written and illustrated (Emma Felt). Fingers crossed that she finds a home this year!
* Spent 2005 with an educational rep that resulted in some near misses. Unfortunately, near misses aren't good enough so we have parted ways amicably. It was a great experience and it has resulted in contacts that I can continue to pursue on my own.
*Took Anastasia's writing course to learn more about writing for children.
* Got an assignment right before Christmas for a 4 page b&w take home book due in the New Year.
* Got an assignment from a publisher that was on my dream list...Ladybug Magazine!!!
* Most importantly the year has ended with me feeling very comfortable in my own skin and I'm not questioning my work or where I fit. This is a major achievement for myself and I can't even tell you when it happened. Ha! Yes I can if I'm honest. When I got the call from Ladybug. It was a major validation for me and what I do.
But really it wasn't just that. The last image I did of the cows for my upcoming promotion was probably the first time I actually enjoyed myself as I worked. I have reached a benchmark. I remember reading an article by cyd moore that speaks about it. In it she says,
"Begin to let go. Live and LOVE what you do. Period. Stay with it. One day, you will find your inspiration. You will give in to that perfect moment, and you will see that you are no longer trying to do it, but that you are doing it...effortlessly. When that happens, embrace it...you are an artist at that moment."
Every year I feel like there is a theme for the year that lies ahead. For 2005 the theme was "No Limits!". I wanted to be open to opportunities and soar. I never would have dreamed that a move to another state was coming to pass. Talk about being open to new opportunities!
My theme for 2006 is, "Be still, be quiet. Listen."
For the first time in 6 years of pursuing children's illustration, I have a confidence that I've never experienced and a knowing that I'm on the right track. But I need to relax, savor the journey and enjoy it. I need to take the time to listen to what my instincts are telling me and most importantly trust and not second guess every move I make. I waste so much energy this way. Not this year.
Here's wishing you all a wonderful 2006. I look forward to sharing the highs and lows with you again this year. I hope your dreams come true, and that you accomplish you goals with great success. Most importantly, when the obstacles come ...and they will, I wish you the strength to keep going and make the most of every situation.
Happy New Year!