Three months ago, I wrote a post entitled Life of An Artist. While much has remained the same, there have also been some big changes. Here are the main things I am up to today.
Illustrating Children's Books for Authors
Last month I finished the book, "Ten Tiny Piggies." It will be published this fall. Here's a picture of one of the finished illustrations for the book.
Last week I signed a contract to begin a new book entitled, "Nervous Nellie." I'll be making ten illustrations for this book about a little girl who receives treatment for anxiety. I am very exicted to be working on a book that addresses this topic. I'm currently in the character sketching phase, in which I create various styles of the primary characters and let the author choose which she likes best.
Teaching at Brush & Bottle
I am officially the primary artist at the painting studio now. I continue to enjoy this immensely.
To the left is a recent class I taught. You can see more pictures from my classes here. I teach anywhere from 2-5 classes a week.
Teaching at the Artistry Academy
Two weeks ago I was hired as a teacher at the Artistry Academy here in Tucson. I'm teaching three children's and teen classes there weekly now.
Continuing with Baby Bird Website
For over nine months, I created artwork for ideas submitted by people. Every week, I concoted a new theme and created 3-20 illustrations. Many of these illustrations now form the basis of my portfolio. As I become busier with teaching, commissions, and contracts, I do not have as much time to commit to Baby Bird. Thus, I am now only posting a new theme once a month. It is my goal to create 2 illustrations a week for the website. To the right is an image I created last week for the theme of "Little Kids and Their Monster Best Friends."
Creating Comissioned Paintings/Illustrations
One of my favorite things to do is make new paintings for people. I usually make 1-3 comissions a week. Some are paintings requested by individuals and others are requested by where I teach. To the left is a painting that I just made today for Brush & Bottle.
Finishing my Book, "Grief is a Mess."
Just two days ago I finished all 60 illustrations for my humorous book called, "Grief is a Mess." This week I'll be uploading all of the illustrations to Photoshop to integrate the text. I will then compile it into a large PDF document, which I will be sending on Friday to specific people for review. It is still my intent to self-publish this book. You can read more about my book here.
Mainting an Internet Presence
The internet really is the best way to find new jobs and get my artwork out there. I spend a significant amount of time adding to my social media (twitter, instagram, and Facebook), as well as maintaining my websites. I also spend a great deal of time bidding on contracts and looking for interesting art jobs.
Volunteering at a Teen's Shelter
I continue to volunteer weekly at a local teen shelter, where I teach a painting class. Each week, the teens tell me what they would like to paint the following week. I then make a sample painting and bring it. Last week, I made a painting of the Philadelphia Eagles (pictured to the right). The young man who requested it was so excited. I overheard him say to another person, "I never liked art before, but now I do." That definitely made me smile.
Getting Involved in My Community
It is my upmost desire to use my talents to help others. I'm in the process of looking at more ways I can do this within my own community. I recently volunteered to make some paintings for an auction that will benefit the local Ovarian Cancer chapter.
I will also be working with the teens to create a coloring book. Therapeutic coloring books are really popular right now. I thought it would be fun to create one with the teens and upload it as a free downloadable ebook,
Swimming My Heart Out
Okay, this may not sound like it is relevant to my life as an artist. However, it is key. As an artist, I daily fight fears and have to trust in my ability and skills to make a living. Swimming enables me to let go of all the stress and hit "reset." When I'm swimming laps, I'm so out of breath that I can't think about anything but breathing. I used to play piano to help put my mind at ease, but I am no longer living with my beloved piano and needed to find another activity.
Overall, I would say my life is very satisfying and full. It's hard to believe how far I've come and I look forward to what the future has to offer.