This last month has been eye opening for me. Matt, Mori and I packed up our car and headed to Portland to meet up with Greg Oberle- who attended the ICON conference with me. We saw some pretty incredible illustrators talk about their work, their lives, their projects. I met Carson Ellis and almost fainted and she was so genuine. The theme for this year's conference was work + play. Emphasis was placed on playing - really experimenting, having fun, finding that flow - you know, where you can't remember if you ate lunch or not because you were so into what you were doing. 

Greg, Mori, and I walking Forest Park. Yes, Greg really is that tall. Photo by Burt Raspberry (aka Matt)

Greg, Mori, and I walking Forest Park. Yes, Greg really is that tall. Photo by Burt Raspberry (aka Matt)

This year has been a busy one for me. So much work for everyone else, that I almost forgot why I was doing it. I almost forgot that I have control of my images. That I need to find time to play. To make mistakes. To try new materials. I always feel guilty when I'm making work that might not result in pay - as I have bills, but that work, that self satisfying, just for you and no one else work - that's the whole reason I'm doing what I'm doing today. 

So - it's my new goal to take a day a week - or a half day a week to just play. I've started planning a new 3-d set of illustrations to work on (woohoo!! I'm so excited!!) and I'm taking more time to get OUT of my studio to uh, I don't know, actually talk to people's faces instead of their screen names, to draw from life and not from google,  and to actually be part of a society and not a recluse who only talks to her dog. This week, I've succeeded. 

Here are some sketches from the Denver Nature & Science Museum!

And then this one: which is not from the museum but something I drew in a hotel one night.

The good thing about drawing from life is that it gives you all the tools you need to turn those drawings into something not from life. I used my sketches for a children's book I'm working on, in which one of the pages has many animals. The book is called 'I Am Special, I Am Me', written my Josie Monahan, and will be out this fall/winter! 

YAY! Alright alright. I've got to go get some work done. Some play done? Same thing, right?