Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Sketches (from England)

It's been fun experimenting and playing around with my paints and planner these past few days. In my last post, I mentioned starting a new routine of planning out my days to better stay on track of my illustration goals, as well as my life in general with being a wife and mother. This week, I'd like to share a little more about it with you.

On April 18th, 2014, my life was flipped upside-down after being hit by a car while sitting at a stop light. When reflecting back to that moment, it all rolls through my mind as if it happened just yesterday. All-in-slow-motion. I lost everything, except my life. The 10 months that followed were the most excruciating days of pain I had ever experienced. After arriving home, the couch became my bed for almost a year, while my husband and step-sons helped care for me. It was hard for me to face reality for awhile that life - well, it changed.

With that change came a lot of emotion and a (rising) determination to find a way through this unexpected heartache once again. I had already gone through and overcame some pretty crazy stuff growing up. This? This should then be a piece of cake! It was a far too familiar territory emotionally and was something I needed to do again. For myself and for my family.

The past two years or more have been spent carving out a new career for myself. Although I still deal with a lot of physical pain in my neck and shoulder, and am often limited to how long I can work due to intense head pain, I've managed to create a magical, creative world of work for myself. It wasn't what I had initially planned to do with my life but after putting in a lot of hard work (and still doing so!) I've been able to build up my small illustration business into a place where I can honestly say I'm truly happy with what I do. The best part?  The opportunity to bless others with my work along the way.

Planning A Better Life (Part I)
I've had to learn some new things along this creative journey of mine and one of them is planning better. I found myself over-committing, barely making deadlines, and running myself thin because I was too afraid to say "no" at times. Today, I'm OK with it and have learned to limit myself, carrying a better workload that's more suitable for me and my home life. Having a solid, planning process is important and recently learned about a specific one while taking an online children's book conference. Let me tell you just how much I love it! I combine practical planning with a few doodles, bringing joy and (more) pleasure to the daily tasks that can seem daunting at times.

Above is a peek at what I'm now doing. In my next post, I'll dive deeper into the brilliant planning book itself, my thoughts behind actually reviewing my planner every day and some tips on how you can make your daily planning just as fun and pleasurable! Until then, happy Sunday Sketches! I'm looking forward to popping in to each of your bloggie homes to see what you've been up to this past week.


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Thursday, October 27, 2016

An Ode to Rejuvenation

© amacvean Helmsley Castle Walled Garden

Do you ever feel a bit weary at times? You know, plugging along from day to day, feeling like you need a bit of something to refresh you within, but that mean ol' monster of guilt creeps in making you feel unworthy of taking any sort of break? I'm sure all of us feel this way at times. I certainly do. Being an illustrator requires a lot out of one both physically and emotionally. Throughout my creative journey, I've learned many things and one is making sure to take time out of my often busy schedule to simply care for me - and to be OK with it! Rejuvenation is important for the creative heart and soul. One cannot simply function (creatively) in this world without it. Learning to give ourselves permission, that gentle nudge to step away for that much needed rest from time to time is so important to live life to its fullest.

Taking in the small things around me every day has pretty much become a daily ritual for quite some time now. However, it can be easily forgotten or taken for granted when buried knee-deep in deadlines of various sorts. With a major book deadline completed and behind me, I'm now spending some time enjoying more of the little things in life. We've only a few weeks left here in England, so cherishing every morning at the coffee shop with my husband in this quaint, seaside town is even more important to me. Since being here, I've discovered everything and every place has something unique and often, beautiful to offer. Thus why I desire to soak it all in as much as possible.

I've also started a new routine of planning out each day more accordingly, including making a special list of everything I'm utterly grateful for - like family (near and far), old & new friends, a safe place to lay our head at night and so much more. This has been truly refreshing, bringing to light how I can better manage my day as an artist, wife, mother and friend.
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Sketches (From England)

Now that I've finished a recent children's book project, I've been spending the past week or so just simply being and enjoying North Yorkshire. With the completed timeline, it's allowed me to visit various local villages with my sister-n-law and it's been absolutely lovely!

This week, we ventured off to York, Helmsley, and Pickering. All bundled up in our warm coats, fluffy scarves and woolly mittens, we set off to visit adorable quaint, local shops and yummy tea rooms while enjoying the autumnal color along the way. The photo above is the Rose Inn situated along the canal in the middle of Pickering. The second view is an adorable little sandwich store on high street in Helmsley. Both villages will be a part of my very own written and illustrated children's book titled, "The House On Rabbit Hill." (Thus the quick practice doodle in my sketchbook!)

Happy Sunday Sketches! I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. Only 3 more weeks of Sunday Sketches in England and we're back home in Colorado!

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Sketches (from England)


As I was putting up this post, I was reminded how Michael and I are just under 4 weeks before we return home to Colorado. As you know, we've been here since the end of July helping his sister take care of his mother. I can't believe how the time has flown by but we've been able to accomplish all we set out to do on this trip.  I know Michael very thankful he was able to relocate for awhile, despite any challenges and grief given along the way. He'll certainly not regret doing so.

I've not done much art this past week due to taking a break from actual art work since my recent illustrated children's book has been completed. It's available on both Barnes & Noble, as well as Amazon. I plan to take the remainder of the year off and a few months into the new year, to simply settle back in to our (new) home in Colorado, unpack, cuddle the puppy and visit with friends and family we've not seen since earlier this summer.

With that said, happy Sunday Sketches! I'm off to rest more as I've not felt well off and on the past few days. I promise to visit everyone when able.


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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Yay Coffee! Let's Celebrate!

Tucked underneath a dental office with other store fronts alongside in the seaside town of Scarborough, one can find this darling and magical coffee shop, Yay Coffee! Celebrating today their first year of being open, owners Charlotte & Rob are thrilled with how far they've come on this joint venture of love for one another....and, of course, for all things coffee! It's a fabulous place where their family and friends (old & new) can come find caffeinated happiness in their home away from home.

From the happy orange colored walls to their cushy chairs and fairy lights, Yay Coffee offers a wide variety of coffee, tea and yummy nibbles, including gluten free options. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Come and experience their journey of getting to where their business is today after viewing the Polaroids strung along a wall in their cozy room in the back.

You can see why Michael and I adore this place. Who wouldn't? From amazing coffee to their inviting hearts and contagious smiles, you too will want to be a part of their day in this lovely town.
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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Sunday Sketches (from England)

It's been an incredibly arduous week of long hours, working a little magic to finalize everything for my latest children's' book, "Ladybug! Ladybug!" Come Tuesday, you'll be able to purchase this darling book of poetry via Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Exciting! I've been working on this book for 11 months now and it's thrilling to see it finally come to life.

On that note, here's my recent (5.5" x 5.5") sketchbook illustration. I've been challenging myself to incorporate more detail in my daily warm-ups. This one is another childhood memory of my second oldest brother, Bob. He and I loved to play in the Autumn leaves in grandma's backyard. Of course, I just had to incorporate our Scottie dog to make it picture perfect.

Enjoy your Sunday! I'll be in and out today so will visit everyone when able.


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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

 
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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Creative Tuesdays: Little Red Riding Hood

A very quick illustration for this round of Creative Tuesdays. The theme to choose from was either Little Red Riding Hood or Show White. As you can see, I chose the latter and decided to add a bit of a twist to it by simply pushing myself a little outside of my comfort zone with my illustration style. Enjoy!

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Sunday, October 02, 2016

Sunday Sketches (From England)

Last weekend we took a drive with Michael's family through North Yorkshire to take in the beautiful countryside. The view was absolutely incredible. My favorite part of the trip was visiting a handful of English villages along the way. My creative heart and mind were captivated by the intricate details of the various cottages, including the foliage. It was like walking through a real-life fairy-tale seeing the colorful ivy meandering its way up and around each home, stone walls smothered in bright green spongy moss and creeks flowing alongside the edge of the cobblestone streets. My child-like heart began to overflow. There's been a notable difference in my last few illustrations and I'm sure it's from the magic that filled my heart on that very day.

Here's to a fabulous weekend and a happy Sunday Sketches to each of you!

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

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