Writing the first entry of this blog has taken me a while. The problem I have found is that I didn’t know where to begin. Normally, when I get stuck this way I begin at the beginning. The problem with that is that the beginning has already passed, and blogs, as I understand them, tend to be of current events. But I have decided that despite my concern that this will be way too much information at once, the worry that the majority of great things to post in a blog have already come to pass, and the fear that no one will be able to read my sarcasm, I shall move forward… by moving backward ( …and then forward again).
In June of 2011, or approximately one year ago, one of the most disconcerting things I have here to fore experience took place: my graduation from Rhode Island School of Design. It wasn’t so much the graduation ceremony itself, which I thought in true RISD fashion was pretty awesome, but the Idea that there was no basic plan for what I was supposed to do next with my life. Up until that point there had always been a common next step conveniently provided by society for me to set my sights on. Never before had I not had some form of schooling on which to focus. Of course it is generally expected to get a job out of college and I did have one that I loved, teaching art at a summer camp, but that was only a summer job and after that…. That was it. That was all I had. By the end of August I would be completely without plan or purpose…
And that’s exactly what happened. What my panicked brain didn’t take into account was the awesome people I worked with at the summer camp recommending me to a local publisher.
And so it came to be, that roughly twenty minutes after texting a friend that not only was I without a job, but that I had officially canned every fruit in the house, and was completely without any ideas on what to do next with myself, my day, or my life, that I received an e-mail enquiring whether I would be at all interested in illustrating a children’s book. You can probably guess my reaction, but if not , it was a yes.
What followed was an exciting and terrifying three months of test drawings, sketches, meetings with the fabulous author and publisher, final paintings and revisions. By the time it was over, I had illustrated a whole book. Like an honest to goodness book, with a cover, and a title page, and inside pages, and… EVERYTHING. But to be honest, I’m not really the type to get excited about things unless there’s absolutely no way they could be either jinxed or just fall through.
So it was not until I got a rather large box full of books ( with a cover I painted!) that I started to really get excited about the final product. And it was not until I visited the Vineyard weekend before last and saw the book on shelves of real stores, next to real books, that it truly began to feel real and thrilling that I got published.
The book is called Where Horses Fly, written by the talented Jacqui Boulter and Published by the fantastic Vineyard Stories. Its currently on sale at select store but will officially be on sale on July 1…. actually i looked and its on sale now! Just go to http://vineyardstories.com/book.php/20/Where-Horses-Fly
The second part of this blog is about how I started an army.
I can spend maybe three days doing nothing before I start to feel like I am being exceedingly lazy. Granted this guilt doesn’t necessarily produce expedient results but it does ruin my laze-about time enough that I am force to plan to do something.
I have been taking ceramic classes for most of my life. While I was working on the book, and therefore working primarily in 2d, I spent a good amount of time working on ceramic sculptures to keep from getting tunnel vision. One thing I should note about my ceramics is that I don’t do functional ware. I started taking classes with my parents when I was six and never stopped, and in all of that time I never made a plate that I liked, and the only vase I was ever proud of can’t hold water. So it should go without saying that I should not attempt functional ware unless I want to be frustrated. Unfortunately, I apparently needed to be reminded of that since I tried, once again, to make plates to sell this summer. It didn’t go well. Not only am I too impatient to wait for them to dry properly but even when I do let them dry properly they crack anyways! So again, I like sculpture, namely animals. In an attempt to distract myself from drying plates, I made a frog.
And I liked it. A lot. I decided that if I could make a collection of plates then I could make a collection of frogs. So I did, and I made a lot of them.
Like enough that I was forced to look up the proper term for a flock or frogs. Which is, in fact, not a flock but an army. Thus the frog army began. Since I began recruitment for the frog army I have come to realized that the frogs can’t do it on their own, and I have since opened recruitment to lizards and dragons of various creeds. They can be generals and commanders or something.
I think and army of frogs lead by a dragon commander would be quite formidable.
And that pretty much brings us back to the present. This summer I am planning to sell my frogs and dragons and lizards and will be at book signings. I’m sure there will be painting in there, and probably baking and cooking too, I’ll keep you up dated.