Time to make my lists

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After reading so many great 2009 recaps and 2010 resolutions I've decided to draft my own - several days late, of course.

Last year I knew enough to not make resolutions. With a baby on the way, I just wanted to be prepared for a crazy year as a new mom. Deep down, I did think I'd have time to keep up the momentum of my illustration career.

But the best laid plans are nothing in the face of a baby and I spent a lot of time grieving over expectations. I bit off more than I could chew at times and felt really conflicted about my roles as mother and artist. I survived the year, and looking back I actually feel pretty good about what I did accomplish in 2009:

  • Finishing a book job for a new client, see above, just weeks shy of giving birth. It was a struggle to paint 10"x20" at a drafting table while enormously pregnant. I finally made the leap into eyeballs with pupils on my humans, woo hoo!
  • Displaying my work at the New Hampshire Children's Museum along with the very talented Laura Rankin and Nate Walker.
  • Completing another piece for New Moon magazine, mostly visualized while rocking a newborn.
  • Preparing 2 rounds of endless designs for a big licensing client. I didn't land the contract but I like the program I put together and can resubmit elsewhere.
  • Giving my first presentation as an illustrator at a library. I was so nervous, but in the end I think it was a success and a milestone.
  • Writing a solid picture book manuscript for a story that I've had in mind for years.
  • Keeping a great client for book design work. It may not be illustration, but it's great work when I get it.

I find it easy to turn resolutions into more of a wish list rather than an short list of attainable goals. I feel like I'm already reaching here, but there needs to be a little stretching for the stars, right?

  • Complete my picture book dummy and submit (potentially during the NESCBWI spring conference)
  • Send out a postcard mailing by March
  • Redo my website, integrating my blog to my main site.
  • Pursue art representation
  • Cleaning my office would be nice too!

Thank you to all of my readers for sticking with me throughout my extended blogging vacations. I plan on doing a little giveaway soon as a thank you. I also want to point you to a new blog launching tomorrow: Smells Like Crayons. My critique group is kicking it up a notch and joining the blog-o-sphere, go check us out! They are so talented and the best support an illustrator could ask for.