It has been a while since I have participated in a drawing challenge. 52 Week Drawing Challenge founded by Tania McCartney ended and I got a part-time job as an art teacher in a local primary school. My time has become limited for my own creativity but I felt a longing to get back into it. Inktober was perfect!
I’m not going to beat myself up about the fact I didn’t complete the challenge because that is pointless and on the plus side I did more drawings than I would have done not even attempting the challenge. So here are the first 10 days:
So much has gone on in the past month I do not know how I managed to fit it all in on top of a brand new job. So this post will be a bit of a photo fest to try and include everything.
First their was KIDLITVIC2017. If you haven’t attended this yearly festival yet than it is a ‘must’ for next year. I flew down to Melbourne excited to mingle with authors, illustrators, editors and agents.
The best thing about writers festivals and conferences is meeting up with like-minded people who become your friends for life.
Then I went and unexpectedly got myself a job as a part-time Visual Arts teacher in a local primary school. I have hit the floor running familiarising myself with the Australian curriculum, remembering 300+ children’s names, meeting new staff and painting everyday.
This has meant that my creativity has all gone on this job and left me no time for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge of which I have participated in since day one for the last 3-4 years. At least I am still being creative just in a different forum. Next term we are focusing on clay modelling!
Then I was flying up to Brisbane for the CYA Conference. This was another jam-packed day.
I make new friends.
And catch up with old ones.
This post would go on forever if I was to write about all the valuable snippets of information that was shared during these events. But I hate long wordy posts, so I shan’t write one. I do insist you try and attend an event like this though, as they are huge sources of information about the writing world. The editor consultations are gold dust and are the best thing you can do to make your manuscript get closer to your publishing dream.
I feel this year my motto might very well be: ‘Better Late Than Never.’ I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. I have always been a punctual person, like half an hour early kind of punctual, but this year I have already missed the dates for 3/4 of the themes for this January’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge. Should I give up? I ask myself this every year. See last years blog post: #illo52weeks – January’s Ilustrations And each December I am always super glad I didn’t give up as I find myself looking over 52 different styles of illustrations, some rubbish, some good and some I am really pleased with.
As I was away for a month at Xmas I didn’t quite get around to posting December’s illustrations. So here they are:
Week 49: Gift
Week 50: Festive
Week 51: Celebrate
Week 52: Reflection
So this year, I may not meet the deadline each week but I have decided not to stress too much about it. Aslong as I complete the themes, that is okay by me. If the Xmas holidays or something like your eldest starting high school is taking priority (as it is this week) that’s fine. I’m going with the flow rather than battling upstream. Late is better than never and on that note, Happy New Year everyone!
PS: let’s totally forget the fact that I turned up a week early for my writers group meeting yesterday! It’s going to be that kind of year. 🙂
As a home mum, I have no end of year work social doo to attend, no staff meetings to chat with colleagues and no lunches to natter over. To top that, writing and illustrating is a solitary hobby/ career. This is why being part of an organisation like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is essential for your well being. The best thing about SCBWI is that it has regional chapters all over the world. I belong to SCBWI Australia East & NZ and am proudly the ‘new member coordinator.’
So yesterday, I met up with recent newly joined members for a ‘Meet & Greet’ session. This is a great way to network, get to know like minded people and catch up on industry news. I love talking and meeting new people, therefore this is the best role for me. By the end of the session the new members no longer felt shy to attend the Xmas party that was starting up straight after, because they now had a group of familiar faces to enjoy the food and fun with. Here we are:
So here are a list of reasons why you should join your local SCBWI:
the latest industry news
conferences where publishers, editors and agents share their knowledge – check out this year’s conference here
A thought suddenly occured to me this morning as I arrived home after dropping my kids off to school. They were dressed up as Goldilocks and William The Conqueror for their Book Character Parade. It is Book Week, which by the sounds of the many excited children in the playground, tells you that this is a hugely popular week within the school year.
The thought was this:
If my middle grade novel ever got published, and a child wanted to dress up as my main character, Sirona, a 12 year old girl from Gaul in the 1st Century AD, what would she wear?
I already had some idea and little hints are written in the text but the question made me think about it properly.
Could the child make-do and find the whole outfit within her household? Maybe she would need to buy at least one accessory.
In this photo below is my son dressed up as William The Conqueror. Most of his outfit has been found in our wardrobes. The crown is made out of card. All I had to buy was the sword. (Yes, I am hoping I don’t get a phonecall from his school saying there’s been an accident. :-))
So how does Sirona look? She is a 12 year old girl from from ancient Gaul in the 1st Century AD. I had to do some research as to what type of garments were worn in that time period.
I looked online. Pinterest was a great help.
I read non-fiction and fiction books, inlcuding Asterix.
Well, I can’t believe another year is done and I managed to complete 52 more illustrations for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge founded by Tania McCartney.
Week 48: Warm
Week 49: History
Week 50: Party
Week 51: Family
Week 52: World
This year I have particularly enjoyed line drawing. Has a definite style emerged yet? I’m not sure, but others say they can recognise my work. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this ever growing community and have been determined each week to complete an illustration no matter how busy or chaotic life may be at the time. I have set myself an achievable goal. I did not have to complete masterpieces each week but I had to complete a drawing, a sketch, a painting, an illustration each week before the deadline.
Am I glad I stuck to it, for sure, will I do it again this year for 2016? Maybe, I haven’t decided yet… you will have to come back soon. 🙂
Here is a brief glimpse of all my illustrations for this year:
Last year for the first time ever I attended the CYA Conference in Brisbane. I had been shortlisted in the pre-school category and so was keen to go. Much to my utter amazement and delight I came 1st. You can read more about it here: CYA Conference 2014
I attended again this year because it was the tenth year anniversary and I had enjoyed it so much last year. Much to my surprise I was shortlisted again. Twice. In utter disbelief I came 1st in the junior fiction category and 3rd in the middle grade category.
I have mentioned many times the importance in entering competitions because without polishing my work, meeting deadlines and entering competitions such as this and sometimes shortlisting or winning I would have nothing to put on my Author’s Bio as an aspiring writer. An Author’s Bio is often required when submitting work and it is something worth thinking about in advance.
Here is my stuff (just an overnight bag was all I needed) for my flight from Sydney to Brisbane:
2.Enjoying the peace and fancy decor in the smart hotel room:
3. Meeting and mingling with new and old friends at the networking dinner:
4. Arriving early at the Conference Center (7:30 am) to hear the results of the Aspiring (Unpublished) Competition:
4. Taking a photo of the certificate! 🙂
5. Listening to fascinating authors tell us about their humorous journey to publication and how they keep getting their inspiration once published:
I learnt so much from the editor consultation sessions.
I made new friends.
I was inspired by other writers.
Here are some little bits of useful information gleaned from the CYA Conference:
Paul Collins (author & publisher at Ford Street Publishing) suggests:
when getting bookmarks made only print them on one side so you can sign the back.
Meredith Costain (author) believes that:
great openings need to be immediately engaging… gripping… have likeable characters… make you want to find out what happens next.
Morris Gleitzman (author) liked:
as a child to find the exception to the rule.
It was a great weekend and I look forward to next year!
June is a busy month for me – lots of writing deadlines for a variety of competitions, submissions to prepare for editors at the CYA Conference this coming weekend (so excited and nervous) and the weekly illustration challenge to participate in.
Week 22: Childhood
As a child, my siblings and I had two rather amorous rabbits, Princess Leah and Luke Skywalker.
Copic markers & artline pen.
Week 23: Rain
Coincidently there was a lot of rain during the week of this challenge. I think that helped.
Week 24: Calendar
This theme had me stumped for most of the week. Then I decided to give digital illustration a go again after a long break from it due to not having the resources. By the way, my 9 year old daughter likes my digital illustrations the least. Feed back is always useful no matter how painful. 🙂
Adobe Illustrator (ignore the red lines around each month, this is a screenshit of all the artpages as I did not know how to get all the images onto one page.)
Week 25: Africa
I had so many wonderful collage creations in my head for this one but my hands had a completely different idea.
Well that’s it for June! Can you see a running style yet because I can’t.
Today, the new theme starts for this week – Week 26: Land