(New) Beginnings


When I say, “I want to be a writer and/or illustrator,”

the advice I often hear is to:

A. “Write/draw what you know about.” B. “Write/draw what you’re passionate about.” C. “Write/draw what you want to learn about.” D. “Write/draw to please yourself first.” E. “Follow the Markets”/”Don’t follow the markets.”

What to do?

Attending writer’s conferences and taking classes in the craft of writing and illustrating have played a large part in my creative development. Having a strong group of creatives around me who critique my work and can give constructive suggestions for improvement has been priceless. I will remain forever grateful for lessons I have learned, even the ones which were difficult to accept. Thank you especially for those.

Here are a few thoughts I’ll pass along if you might be on your road to creative discovery:

Be Still. Listen. Ask questions. Try. Stop. Try again. Don’t Stop. Believe in and be honest with yourself. Take chances. Repeat as often as necessary. Make choices. Surround yourself with like-minded creative individuals. Somewhere during all that time you might discover what you really want to do as well as what you’re good at doing. You could also discover things that you don’t do as well as you thought, and that’s important to learn, too.

The illustration pictured above is called “Flower For A Friend,” and over the spread of many years has been published in two different magazine/newsletters. This drawing was originally done in colored pencil, then in b/w line art, then as a pencil sketch. It’s a simple little drawing, really, and what I see in it tells me something different about my work than it did when I first made the illustration.

It’s good to take a look at where you are in your journey every once in a while.¬† You can see where you’ve been and where you might want to go.


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2 responses to “(New) Beginnings

  1. My block is actually submitting. I find endless complications with figuring out how or where to send, and end up working on something new instead. Any insight on how to get past this? — Sandy

    • Oh, me too. I have several ideas going at the same time. I might have an idea for an article, pick three magazines and research their submissions information. One of the magazines says to email a query/proposal with an outline and photos. I’m looking closely at how those magazines “lay out” their stories, so once I get the photos completed, I’ll do the outline. Once the query is submitted, I’ll work on something else until I hear from them. If it’s “yes” I’ll concentrate on that article and listen to their suggestions. If it’s “no” I’ll send it to the next magazine on my list. If all three reject, I’ll leave that project alone for a while and look at it later b/c maybe it needs something else and I just can’t see it yet.

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