Today I have been taking photo's for my book project. Such fun, seeing these precious boys become my little Nikki Nissi a Scandinavian Elf. I have been on a dead line that I started January 22.

The reason I got involved in the mixed media collage world and took classes at Art & Soul was so I could free my self up in my artistic expressions. I wanted to have fun with the illustrations of my children's book. I took a class last Spring in children's book illustrating with Lee White and David Hohn. But it was so full of technique and planning I lost the joy of doing it. The class was very good but the cognitive part was really bogging me down. I am very intuitive in my work and want it to be dreamy, creative and fun.

Frankly I get scared, I start to doubt myself and become a perfectionist. I start comparing my work to illustrator's that are different, or better at
drawing and become overwhelmed and discouraged. Many of them have worked at this way longer....."yea I just started my first book, so be realistic Deirdra you are doing good for a beginner in this field" I tell myself. It really takes courage and Faith to pursue my dream while I am fighting these accusations coming against me to defeat and stop me.

All that was really pushing on me after taking the class last Spring. I dreaded it and it was so hard to work on the illustrations. Since I started this new mixed media work it is just plain fun like making paper dolls and painting as a child! My heart soars!!! My new mixed media work is good and others love it. Being in this new community of dear artist sisters has been so encouraging. All the love and vulnerability shared on my blog sisters blogs has helped me so very much!!!

Last spring I finished two pieces for the book in the class I took. They came out really great but it has to FUN too! So now with all my new mixed media classes and Art sisters I have put the Fun back in Art. I signed up for a SCBWI Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

My book is a children's Christmas story about a little elf that I wrote about 5 years ago. It took 3-4 years off and on writing and editing it, with help from some published authors. I have been to 2 SCBW conferences and will be going
to one in April.

My little book is due to be sent off by Feb 25 for a dummy critic. A dummy book is illustrated in black and white tonal studies and a few colored. I am not that far along...but since it is not a publisher but a guest art director from a publishing company that offers for a fee this service it is OK to be in process. I needed to make 23 rough sketches. I have all but 7 done. Wow.....

Once the book is accepted by a publisher the Art director makes changes. You send back the tonal studies. And then finally you paint all of the art works!!!

So it has been a long and growth inspiring experience!!
But I am starting to enjoy the process now!!! I stopped grumbling.....

I lean on the great words of Life,

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


Unknown said…

I hope you never get discouraged or overwhelmed, again. We must never compare ourselves to someone else in our Art. We each have been given a special Gift; one that we were meant to have. Each is different and unique as it should be. Yours is different from those you compare yourself to and that makes it very special. It comes from your own heart and Soul, not from someone else's and it will be beautiful.

Just stay steady on your path; you're doing a wonderful job.

Very sincerely,

Anonymous said…
A wonderful post and so honest.
I have a feeling that all of us that put our art out there have many of the same feelings. There will always be some insecurities...after all we are bearing our souls.
I for one love your speaks to me...I even said to myself I wish I could draw like her :)
I agree with you that the mixed media blogger gals are great...they have become a great community.
Joan said…
Deirdra dear...

You are in the company of us all.

We all struggle a bit with our inner critic and the need for it to be 'perfect'... but great art, like life, is rarely perfect.

I am so proud of you for being brave enough to pursue this dream, and I am encouraged by your tenacity and your courage...

you are an inspiration girlfriend!

And the scripture?
It is the one God gave me years ago... the one that speaks to me more deeply than any other.

Left foot, right foot dear deirdra... the path is only going to get broader and brighter and more beautiful with each step you take.

much love to you,
Cindy Thomson said…
I am so excited for you, Deirdra!
As an author, I can tell you that the feelings of self doubt are the same. Just do what God put in your heart. You certainly have a gift. How wonderful to share it!
Really cute sketches. I think you've found your "art voice".
My hubbie got involved in a children's book and they are working on a new one right now also. Take a look at the book. The first was done in watercolor.
The one they are working on now is quite detailed and is in acrylic. He just posted the first painting on his new blog at
Dave Huddleston said…
Deirdra, Thankyou so much for your positive comments about my work. We artist-types need "pats on the back" as often as we can get them.
I see you are doing children's books also. Very cool. I think you have a very nice impressionistic style. Thankyou for the inspiration.
juliaD said…
Hi Again,
Thank you for your lovely words about my site...
Just reading your latest, love the boys hats, and your sketch very adorable and full of character!!!...I know what you mean about wanting to learn from others but feeling your own individual creativity feeling stifled as you learn someone else's methods...
suzi blu said…
Are these your kids you are dressing up for your drawings? What a wonderful wonderful way to make your vision clear and create the world you dream of.

you have art talent but to turn art into more than a hobby it takes vision and physical action and you deirdra are going to manifest your dreams I can see it!!
Rebecca said…
Dear Talented Deirdra,
Thank you for sending me email with this link. I've forwarded it on to my brother (Troy Howell) and asked him to reply to you. He has years of experience in the art field and recently one of his manuscripts was accepted and will be published and released on April 2, 2011. He has always wanted to be a writer and although he is a successful artist, I believe his writing is better than his art. I believe this can happen for you too. I'm hopeful he can help you move your story forward. I know he has been working with Sara Crowe to get his work published. I am praying for you dear blogging sister. I fully believe in the verse you posted. God does have good plans for us.
xo, Rebecca

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