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Love me – love my art

creature for the day 2-14-11

It’s Valentine’s Day. I always feel odd celebrating this holiday. I hear my mother’s voice in my head telling me it’s a religious holiday and not my religion. According to her world view, because of that, I have no reason to acknowledge it. However, when was the last time you heard anyone talk about St. Valentine. Also, is he even still considered a saint? In any case, that’s irrelevant because I have a very mushy husband who looks for these type days as another excuse to spoil me. Not that I’m complaining. I like being spoiled. Who wouldn’t. No matter what the echoes of my parent’s voice say, in this house, we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! I present a duo of twitterpated frogs for your daily doodle enjoyment.

I actually turned the heat off yesterday. The snow is nearly all melted, only the shaded spots still have any white stuff. It reach 65°F yesterday. Yes. In February. The forecast calls for more of the same all week long. We may even reach the 70s. While I am loving the warm spell, it doesn’t bode well for flowering things. They’ll get all excited and send out their petals only to meet with death and destruction when the temps fall back to normal next week. After all, it is several more weeks until it’s even close to spring. The temperatures have been doing the pogo stick adventure all winter. Personally, I’d prefer a nice steady decline followed by a nice steady incline. I’m partial to fresh strawberries and sweet peas. Both early spring crops that are adversely affected by early thaws followed by cold snaps.

But enough about the weather.

Last week over at KidLitArt we jumped into the next phase of the Picture Book Dummy challenge. Character Development.

I don’t know when it was I became the official go-to person for answers to this, but I  have more than a few people ask me to look over their work. While I am very flattered at people’s confidence in me, I have to decline. I have a critique group. There are six artist in the group. We are all at about the same place in our careers, and we are a good fit. We support each other and spend time looking at each others’ art on a daily basis. We also have developed a relationship that transcends our art to include information about our personal lives. I also have a writing group. And a writing critique partner. And when I am not busy helping any of these dozen folks, I have to work on my own creative endeavors. Or I’d never get any new work done. So when a person I barely know comes to me and asks me to look at their (whatever they are working on), I have to say no. I just don’t have enough hours in the day.

I was concerned this would happen when we started the Picture Book Dummy challenge. I understand the newcomer’s need to have a more experienced person validate what they are doing. I was a newcomer at one point myself. Please, if you are a part of the challenge and you want someone to look at what you are doing, form a critique group. Find a writing/drawing buddy. Create your own support system with people you know and trust. If you are serious about creating picture books, you will need this person or group long after the challenge is done in June.

A funny vlog by writer Jackson Pierce on writing a book:

Her tough love advice can also be translated to illustration. It won’t happen unless you sit down and do it. So get to work!

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