To Be Or Not To Be!

QueenHen

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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A Defining A New Character

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“Welcome to the studio, Dahlia!  I am so glad to meet you!  Your entrance made me smile! Now let’s get down to business!  Tell me about yourself? “.

When I create a new character I have to find out who they really are and what makes them tick! Will they be loud and boisterous?  Will they be shy and hold back? Will  they run to meet the world or hide behind trees and bushes?  It’s great fun to imagine!

Since Dahlia is new, let’s walk this process together. Let’s get a good look at her and ask ourselves some questions.

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Here she is, in her great BIGness.  As you can see, Dahlia is running!  That gives us our first clue. She is ready to meet the world!

(Another little tidbit you can use when creating a character.  It is a link to writing a character profile. It can get your wheels turning!)

http://www.squidoo.com/CharacterProfiles

In order to decide WHO Dahlia is, I  look into her face. Her eyes are not like our eyes, but expression and body language are quite helpful.

Dahlia is running.  Dahlia is laughing.  Dalia is carrying a flower. Dahlia is practically leaping off the ground!  I can almost hear the ground shaking!  So, she is a “ground shaking” happy elephant.

But wait!  She has no tusks!  That tells me she is a baby elephant. My imagination is taking off now!  Dahlia tromps!  … but no…  I found out that tromp is not a word… (hmmm…it seemed so fitting).  So, Dahlia thumps, stomps, tramples and plows through!  Thank you dictionary.com!  Love all those words!

Looking again at this picture, I see that Dahlia is also clumsy.  She trips, stumbles, tumbles, plunges, sprawls and topples. Even so, she is not bothered by falls.  She simply rolls over and gets back up to her feet laughing!  “What great fun!” she gigglies, “Let’s do it again!”

This tells me that Dahlia does not take herself too seriously. She is playful,  but is she smart?

More of her qualities may surface once the other characters in her story emerge.   Bring on the monkeys!

Hindsight

Noun 1. hindsightunderstanding the nature of an event after it has happened; “hindsight is always better than foresight”.Most all of us have had opportunities to look back on in our lives and see there was a path set before us to follow!  Whether or not we have pursued that path is up to us. As I look back, even my disappointments were part of my present.

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1. My childhood was fertile ground for make-believe.  We had dress up clothes and plenty of games and things to keep us busy. I always LOVED dolls and I remember my imagination being so keen that I could believe my dolls were almost real.

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2. In Jr. High school I met a friend name Ronnie Burton.  She made the most wonderful cartoons. I still remember how she drew the ears and the hair.  She amazed me! Soon I began drawing my own cartoons. Just a few weeks ago we met up at our high school reunion.  She is still my friend after all these years and she is still doing amazing art!

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3. When my children were young I read them book after book. I loved reading them stories.  My favorite stories were the ones that made us laugh and laugh. Some of our favorites are Ruby the Copycat, Dabble Duck, But No Elephants, Patrick and Ted, Duncan and Dolores, Frog and Toad, Owl at Home and more.  Anyone ever read Julie Andrew’s book called Mandy?  I sat sobbing as I read that one. Even though I was an adult, my future was still being shaped and my desire to illustrate books for children grew.

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4. When my youngest was ready for reading we ordered Ladybug magazine.  Since I was an artist and cartoonist I began entertaining the idea of illustrating for Ladybug.  I sent off some art and was quickly rejected. I attended a SCBWI conference and an editor from Ladybug was there.  She looked at my portfolio and hired me to illustrate the parent pages.  It was a dream come true!


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5. Meeting my hero, Tomie dePoala was great fun!  He came all the way out West to meet ME! Ha!… Okay… so I never met him in person until this day, but he did write me a couple of times after I wrote to him. Yes, if you write an author or illustrator, they MAY just write you back!**********************************************************************

6. Another fun event in my life was when my painting of “The Princess and the Pea” was a part of the Colorado Children’s Museum’s art show on Fairy Tales. All the paintings were only about 3 feet off the ground.

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7. When my agent hooked me up with Clothworks Textiles I had great fun designing quilting fabrics.  My daughter’s grandma-in law Bonnie began making me quilts with my fabrics.  We traded.  I give her a ton of fabric and she sews!


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8. The Licensing Show in Las Vegas brought me to where I am today, working on my second book for Harper Collins. Book one comes out in early 2012 and book 2 in 2013.


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In looking back at my life, I see a series of doors I had to go through that have brought me to today!  Hindsight can be a good thing if you use it to propel yourself into your future!  We have to use the disappointing times as stepping stones!  All things are possible if you believe!!