Thursday, February 17, 2011

"What I'm Working on" Week

This post would be better named 'What I Should be Working on". This is the space formerly known as my office. It's not pretty, but it's real. This is what it looked like on good day. In just a few months this needs to be a nursery for our daughter (arriving this Spring). My office will be reconfigured into a very small space in the back of our family room. I'll have just enough space for my drafting table, a small computer desk, and one of my lovely Ikea flat files. It's overwhelming to think about reducing my storage space that much, but the reality is, I'm not 'working on' much illustration these days. I posted the more frustrating details on my blog, here.
So as not to dwell on what I'm NOT doing much longer - here are things I've been up to that are feeding my creative spirit:
1.Learning to crochet: I took a few classes and have more projects in my head than time. It's been nice to create something without pressure. And I can do it from the couch. Bonus.

2.Continuing to be a library and true picture book junkie. We read new books constantly in my house. I feel like I'm learning so much that I'm filing away for the future. I'm at the library at least once a week and I feel good sharing my favorites with you all here!

3.Attending critique group meetings: I felt weird doing this when I had so little to share but reconnecting face to face was so rewarding. I got a lot of support from other mommy (and daddy) illustrators about taking this time off. And it had been so long since I had seen my old 'Smells Like Crayons' group that I got to share my picture book dummy with them for the first time. I've been mulling over what changes to make there, and I'd love to make a little progress before long.

4.Being OK with saying no: It was easier for me to say no to some recent book design work, but that was another first for me with that client. It was too mentally challenging for the few hours I even have free to myself. I was able to say yes to a lesser task and have no lingering guilt.

5.Daydreaming: It sounds silly, but just playing with ideas in my head is an improvement from the funk I was in after turning down that book job. I bought some new art supplies last month and haven't quite managed to use them (did you see how messy my office is?) but the ideas are there.


Nina Crittenden said...

Gina- it is so hard to squeeze it all in! I bet you will like your new smaller studio space (I am in a corner of our porch). SO excited for your growing family! Oh, and something must be in the air b/c I just learned to knit! :)

roz said...

I think the biggest hurdle was allowing yourself this time to decompress and just be. I'm so glad that you are. The illustration work will be there when you are ready again. And can I say that there is a huge improvement in that studio? That darling little cutie with the big brown eyes!

Alicia Padrón said...

I love that pic of M!!! He is such a big boy already :o)

I am so proud of you for handling things so well. You are doing what's most important now and that's being a mom and preparing for your new baby. The rest can wait. Even though some of these days maybe hectic and tiring there is nothing like it and are the most precious thing. We always realize this by looking back.

Work will come, sooner than you think and you'll know when it's time to say yes.

I love your book reviews! I'm always looking forward to them.


Alicia Padrón said...

Oh and I forgot to say, daydreaming is not silly! It's what keeps us going. :o)

Diandra Mae said...

Daydreaming is so very important. It's what kept me going after having my baby last summer. And this time around, I gave myself permission to just let go and enjoy the slower pace. It made it so much easier, and I was that much more ready to jump back into art when I was able.

Gina Perry said...

@Nina: Ooooh - are you liking it? I crocheted a bit as a kid, and was really stumped when I tried knitting. Not sure if it's because I'm a lefty... Granny squares are quite addictive!
@Roz: You are so sweet, M sure does liven things!
@Ali and Diandra: oh, it's so hard to let go but it has made me enjoy the days more, and get back to thinking about art even when I don't pick up a pencil or brush.