A Sketching Day!

Oh what fun it is to sit and sketch. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, even if it’s only for me. When you were born to create, nothing else satisfies. In the old days, artists were reveered. They were sometimes supported financially so that they might go on creating. What a leap we have made to this century where artists are often misunderstood to be lazy and dreamy-eyed. Who would not be dreamy-eyed with all the ideas we have rolling through our heads!
All of that to say, if someone wants to support me while I sketch, step on up to the plate! Haha! back to.sketching!

via PicsArt Photo Studio

Time To Imagine

Each day is filled with work. My work is fun, but there are still decisions to make and a path to stay on. There are meetings to schedule and deadlines to meet. It can be a constant process of thought and movement.
I have stopped for the day. I stopped to look over my idea book and enjoy the summer breeze. The are ideas everywhere and sometimes you cannot find the ones that are in the calm of the day if you don’t stop to look and listen.
My doggie stands guard to protect me from squirrels, my other doggie wanted the cool of the air in the house. I listen to the wind kicking up. I hear cars from a nearby street. I feel sure that the birds are discussing what’s for dinner. My feel are hot in my sneakers that are still on since my morning walk. My daisies look like they are reaching for the sky. The weeds are tall on the north side of my house. My thoughts travel to what to make for dinner. (I resist that thought for now). My daughter turned 35 today! That makes me smile as I remember her entrance into this world and her loud voice!

All of these are but fleeting thoughts. Sometimes a fleeting thought will make into a story, but you must take the time to stop, look and listen.

Now I dive into my idea book!

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To Be Or Not To Be!

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That is the question! The answer is in you. Will you be who you yearn to be in this life? Will you accomplish your dreams? Much of it is up to you.
My neighbor is an example. I met her three years ago. I was so excited to have an artist move in next door! She is a potter and when I visited her she would show me what she was making. She had some really fun pieces.
Last December she agreed to be in a garden show. She was one of two artists that would show their work in a specific garden. She knew she needed to fill the yard so she began in earnest to produce pieces with a garden theme. All winter long the kiln was firing wonderful creations! Colorful pots, bird houses and bird baths began oozing out of her garage. Her work began taking on a personality and a style like no other artist. I saw her grow in her skills.
Last Wednesday was set-up day. We placed her art all over the yard. By the time we finished, the yard look like it was out of a fairy tale! I could see that her pieces told a story. There was color everywhere! We were so excited!
We returned on Saturday for the sale. No sooner did we sit down at our table when the crowd of visitors began forming a line to buy my friends pottery. The line did not stop until the day ended. It was wonderful!!! All of her hard work paid off.
So what is my point? Find what you love and DO it! Find a way! Keep moving in the direction. To be or NOT to be? It’s up to you!

Pottery by Juanita Estepa

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The Master List!

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Hooray for The Master List! There is nothing like getting all your thoughts on paper…. and yes, I said paper!  Sitting right in front of me where I can doodle on it, cross it off, highlight it etc. I have tried the electronic list making but nothing quite satisfies this artist.

All my ideas are added to my The Master List.  For a creative person, this list is quite freeing!  I can stop trying to shuffle all of this around in my head.  Yes, these items and more have been yelling at me from my head!  ha!  Everything was fighting for recognition… saying things like,  “Me first!”,  “NO! Me first!”

Now I can decide who is first!  Does this sound a little scary to you?  Leslie is hearing things?  I assure you, this is the world of many of us who are visual thinkers!  The world speaks to us! Being the cartoonist that I am, I can actually imagine people as cartoons.  Many of my Facebook friends can attest to that fact.  It’s quite fun!

Okay,  Now to the next step.  Working at crossing off all these things on the list!  I will keep you posted.

So what do you have on your list?

Ahhhhh! Fall is Approaching!

In just a few more days it will be officially Fall!  My absolute favorite time of year!  It feels like the HOT balloon of summer has been pricked and it is slowly releasing all the hot air, giving way to cool mornings and evenings. The studio is a bustle of activity.  New dreams and new hopes are coming alive.

You may say, all of that?… just because it is September 12th?  Aren’t you depressed because things are dying?  No!  Not at all.  Every season is glorious!  All have their pros and cons but for the most part, I love them all and I love being…. ALIVE!  haha!

The last few weeks have been busy with preparations for my SCBWI conference (http://www.scbwi.org/). I am a speaker and I am so excited.  I love meeting more creative people and hearing about their dreams.  The air is charged whenever we meet.

After that it is back to my studio for more fun!  There is never a dull moment. Ideas are bouncing off the walls at times and knowing which one to work on is my biggest problem.

So, back to work with me! Happy Fall!

New York Fun – Surtex 2012

After months of prep work, Surtex 2012 is history.  It was a great time of meetings, and visiting with other artists.  It almost feels like a dream now that it is over.  I am filled with ideas and hope for the future!

Here is a picture of Margaret Anastas, my editor at Harper Collins, me, and Annie Stone, Margaret’s assistant.  It was so fun sitting at Harper C. and visiting with everyone who worked so hard on Peepsqueak and his promotion.  I do love my HC family.  They had a nice breakfast for me and we all met in the Harper Collins library. I wish I had a picture of Jeanne Hogle.  She was my graphic designer.  She escaped the room before I could snap her picture.

After our meeting, I packed up 30 books and headed to the Javitz Center in a doozy of a rainstorm!  I LOVED that cab driver for picking me up!!

Messing around with my friends Jane Shasky and Megan Halsey during my Peepsqueak book signing at Surtex. Everyone was in such a good mood!

Here is my teeny tiny room at the Best Western.  I was surprised at how small it was, but in the end, it was cozy and I was so glad I stayed there. It was a good retreat after a busy day.

Can’t forget my sweet agent Alicia Dauber. She had everything running smoothly!

Outside my window all the horse drawn carriages were lining up.  New York is so full of LIFE!

As amazing as the big city is, it is always nice to come HOME!   I had to get my zinnias planted!!  Now it is back to work for the next show!