This time last year, I had no inkling of just how quickly my life would transform. I was working my way out of a lengthy and painful physical recovery period, trying to find my way back into a world I had walked away from a couple of years prior. Family loss, retrenchment, life threatening illness and sheer burnout had taken its toll on my creative spirit.
But as my body was healing physically, my inner self was preparing itself to re-enter the working world, this time with a different attitude. No sweating the small stuff or buying into the politics of working life. I was rediscovering my spirit through working on my children’s picture book, slowly building confidence and finding that I was needing more. Working and living in isolation can sometimes drive you crazy, not to mention barking dogs and noisy neighbourhoods. My search began for a job that would help me pay the bills but still allow me to pursue my illustrative dream of publishing my picture book.
As most who are in the job search market know, it is incredibly tough out there. I have a long list of skills and accomplishments from my design career, but just getting a response from many of the companies was as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth. Undaunted, a tiny bit frustrated, I continued the search and in the latter part of the year, applied, interviewed and landed a new job within a week. Now I found myself back in the old ‘Mach 10 with my hair on fire’ way of living.
Not long after I started working I was offered an illustrator’s dream. I had done all the groundwork, created my illustrative website, introduced myself to a few niche publishers, joined the ASA Style file and continued with private commissions. I received contact from a niche Australian Children’s book publisher who liked my work and was interested in matching me with one of their authors. Within the space of 2 weeks I had read the manuscript, combed through the contract and signed on the dotted line to work on my first published children’s picture book.
What a Christmas present! I was somewhere between excited and terrified, but I am in for the ride.
I miss the time I used to have to formulate my illustrative attack plan and the luxury of doing what I choose when I choose, but it is nice to be out in the world again, earning a living and supporting my creative passions.
My return to full time work as a Graphic designer was not an easy decision, but the benefits are a little more security for the time when I finally give up working for the man. That time will be totally given up to my two passions, travel and illustration.
In the meantime, I am back doing what I do best and juggling numerous creative and personal projects in the air.
The planning and preparation for the new book is well underway and I am sure there are fun times ahead.
It is the Year of the Boar, my astral birth sign, a year of a very big birthday and a year that my spirit rises from the ashes and soars towards an exciting future.