Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

Archive for ‘July, 2009’

I was visiting my friend, B, on Sunday and helping out in her large vegetable and flower garden in Westchester County. B’s brother has quite a bit of land around his home (especially compared to what this city mouse is used to!) and he knew she was interested in learning more about farming, so they decided to experiment with things this year. They planted so many different things and it’s really too much for 1 or 2 people to handle, which is why they’ve been asking friends to help out when they can, in exchange for lunch and bringing home some of their bounty.

Aside from the freshly picked veggies and eggs that were laid that day, I brought home a few other morsels to think on in regard to my state of mind about my artwork lately.

Since they haven’t been able to work in the garden every week, and can’t reliably entice friends and family to give up their free time in the summer, the weeds really are everywhere, but still there is stuff that is thriving; most of the plants just continue growing anyway. This reminds me about how I always have ideas, projects, and chores related to my illustration on my to-d0 list and I never seem to have time to do them all, or to ability do as much as I would like. The garden reminded me that in all of the craziness, good things (like kale and snap peas!) still happen despite the “weeds.”

I was also able to relate to something that B said about learning about gardening. She mentioned the various seed packet instructions, and how they tell you when to expect the plants to grow or at what point they will be mature for harvesting. Basically, these things take their own course depending on the conditions; weather, planting location, etc. She said that some plants took much longer than expected, but still grew in very healthy and strong. So that made me think about the fact that some ideas need time or “rest” to take on a life of their own. Not every idea can develop as planned, and the fact that an idea doesn’t take off right away doesn’t mean that it belongs on the compost pile… it just might surprise you.

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A fellow illustrator told me to check out recently. Its a great site for illustrators, a place to connect, ask questions, and pat each other on the back. Who doesn’t need that once in a while? They also have an “illustrator search” area for art buyers.

It is free to post a profile image, although the images must be “of great quality” as deemed by the editors of the site. Another great idea and resource for illustrators. Check it out sometime!

Illustration Mundo

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I am finished with long-ish break from my magazine/office gig and was able to get some good art time in during the past couple of weeks. This seems like a natural time of reflection for me each month; changing gears to be back on a different schedule while trying to keep the momentum going and keep my own work moving forward.

For the past few months I have had many ideas and projects, and at times I am never completely sure that I am working on the “right” thing. I want to show that I can do graphic design as well as production and illustration, so I have some design ideas going, there are a few art gifts I am working on for friends, sketching and rewriting my new story starring Adelé, a series of illustrations of cakes, sending out resumes and query letters, a day of freelancing on a project for my toy designer friends, blogging, planning the opening of my shop, plus unsuccessfully trying to find time to learn new software. And, the boring stuff… updating that mailing list and making some tweaks to my website, etc.

I was able to get small bits of each thing done, and did actually finish a task or two. The big questions that has been living in the back of my head for the past 3-6 months are: How can I get my illustration to the next level? Is one of the ideas I am working on now my “next big thing?” Do I need to alter or enhance my style to gain more attention? It is going to take some time to find the answers to these questions, I know greatness is not achieved without a lot of time and hard work.

It has really helped to keep a list of goals for each week, it helps to have that structure to help me remember what to do next. I am looking forward to getting my Etsy Shop going … There’s nothing there as of this week, but I hope to post some prints for sale this month, with the help of Mom and Dad. (Thank you!!!)

So, I hope the Etsy shop will help bring more focus to my efforts and lead to more web traffic and networking, maybe some $$ along the way. I am glad to have so many outlets for my creativity; when I can’t get inspired to work on one thing, I can always switch to something different. I just don’t want to let myself avoid what is more important, if only I could decide what is more important!

Until next time, I will post a sketch or two of Adelé in progress.

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