2009 Year in Review + My Eureka Moments

2009 was one of the craziest year of my life to date. Some highlights: **Warning: Long blabbing post!!**

-Books published! Two "my first graphic novel readers" published by Capstone Press: Lily's Lucky Leotard and T-Ball Trouble, Light the Menorah published by PSS, and The Great Reindeer Rebellion published by Sterling (a wonderful review of it here by fellow illustrator Kathy Weller..thank you, Kathy!)

-My baby gift card design for Target is now in stores. Had to keep this quiet till now, which was hard to do!

-Participated in Surtex. So grateful to have had the opportunity to experience doing a trade show.

-Partnership with I {heart} Papers to produce my own stamping line.

-And some how in between all of that, I got married and moved out of NYC to a completely new place in which I've never been to or know anyone.

-New place gave me my very own room as my studio = dream come true :-)

Some Eureka moments/lessons learned for this year:

Looking back at this year, I realized I was all over the place with where I wanted to take my work. I spent a good chunk of the time working on projects or portfolio pieces for industries I really have no interest in. So why was I doing it? I'm not sure. I got into the mentality that I must diversify my income and look for other industries that I can do work for. Which I still think is smart, but creatively I wasn't enjoying some of it. But I pushed on, like I needed to prove something to myself. In the end, I feel I spread myself way too thin, forgetting what I was passionate about- which is story telling and creating amazing children's books.

Perhaps the computer sometimes is way too easy to come up with quick, slick, images that can easily impress. I feel like I haven't spent a good amount of time on one amazing piece...but rather, a bunch of quick ones where I can get easy, instant gratifications. Thank goodness for some amazing illustrators out there that inspires me...I'm reminded again that what I want to do is Good Work. (thanks to Tara Lazar, I was invited to pick my top 3 picture books of 2009, check it out here. Some of my inspirations!)

Its time for me to work on more personal projects rather than come up with images which I think can be used in multiple places. Business wise it might be smart, but creatively, it is very stifling to me. The funny thing is, those personal projects of mine usually bring in work for me- work that I enjoy doing! What a concept!

So with that in mind, I'm going to come up with some fitting goals for 2010. I would love to hear some of yours. Much success and creativity to all this coming new year!