Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Agent...

I've been submitting to agents and trying to figure out why it feels so different from submitting to publishers.

I think it's because it feels like you're trying to get someone to be your friend.

Dear Agent,

I'm a great person and fairly brilliant. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. My mom thinks so, too! Should you become my agent, I'll send you the best chocolates daily. I've been specializing in chocolate for the past forty years, so I know which ones are the most delicious. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about.

Your new best friend,

Maybe that's the letter I should be sending out (along with this endearing painting)

The process has me thinking of a silly poem I wrote awhile ago, of which I believe I shall print an excerpt here now (cue the schmaltzy background music)

Please consider my book,
(in your slush pile, unread.)
I’d like to get it published
some time before I’m dead.

Ever feel like that, too?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Now That's Just Silly

Who wants to read a blog about the weather? Not me. Not you. And certainly not me.

But, gee, it's awful hot lately. You forget what it's like in the dead of winter and you're dying for summer to hurry up and get here. (and now I can hardly remember winter. It's not that cold, is it? I mean, you can always bundle up)

It's so hot my brain is bubbling in my overheated brain fluid inside my whatchamacallit. Hard to think, is what I'm saying.

So I figured it's time for something that's just plain silly.

And a cat in boots reading Puss in Boots while waiting for the D train is pretty darn silly.

Got something silly to share?

Go ahead. Make my day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Italian Journey

This is from 1999 and I think I was looking at Lucian Freud alot. I was also living in Brooklyn and visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, MOMA, all those amazing places that now seem mega-miles away.

I was probably ten years old or younger the first time I visited the Met. How lucky I was to see all those paintings by Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, El Greco, Matisse, and on and on and on. I remember seeing a Monet from across the room, how it glowed! Of course I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to make something that beautiful.

The good news is I'll be in NY in August for a visit. I will visit as many museums as I can and try to absorb it all. I just googled The Met and here's one of the exhibitions that will be up while I'm in NY:

An Italian Journey: Drawings from the Tobey Collection, Correggio to Tiepolo

Yeh, baby!

I'll be taking my Italian journey. I guess it's been my Italian journey all along.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Yes I Can!

Someone recently hired me to do this illustration. She saw my other work, she visited my website, she liked what she saw, we met and clicked right away. She wanted a mermaid and sea creatures. I love mermaids and the ocean. Perfect subjects for watercolor, which I love. All good.

So where did that voice come from that kept telling me I couldn't do it? My parents always encouraged me. I've always been told by teachers, mentors and peers that I'm a good artist. My art has been exhibited in a bunch of art shows (in NYC!), I've sold a bunch of paintings, I've worked as a professional illustrator before. So where did that voice come from?

I know you all know what I'm talking about. Because I've read about it before. From writers and artists much more successful than myself.

But it makes me mad. Does it make you mad?

Because I do believe in myself and my work. And I do love this finished illustration. But I also hear some little part of myself telling myself, 'you got lucky this time, but it probably won't happen again."

It's not luck! It's years of hard work. And talent. And passion. Yes I Can!

Could it be that we need to hear that voice to spur us forward? Nah, I don't believe that. I think I could have worked as well (or better!) if the voice was saying, "You're a great artist! Trust yourself! Keep going!" Actually, I did hear that, too. The voices were going back and forth in my head. It was pretty annoying. Listening to a Harry Potter audiobook helped a little.

Will I stop hearing the voice of negativity once I've illustrated a picture book for a major publishing house. Or five? Ten?

Those of you who are out there already, writers and illustrators, with several published books to your name, tell me, does it go away?