Counting my blessings

Gigi and Grandma Remember, written by Maggie Konopa, illustrated by Dayne SislenIt’s that thankful time of year again. Day by day we scurry around doing what needs doing at the moment without taking the time to stop and realize our true blessings. When we truly think about it, it’s our relationships with our spouse or significant other, family, and friends that are the most important. Humans are social animals we need loving relationships. Good health and natural abilities come next. I also believe it’s a blessing to be able to help others. After these big blessings, it’s all the small things that bring us joy each day.

I enjoy being able to walk my dog in the park every morning with a group of hardy and supportive friends and their canine companions. I enjoy the changes in the weather we have in the Midwestern part of the U.S. When you walk 4-5 miles outside almost 365 days a year no matter what the weather, clothing choices are important. I find great satisfaction knowing I have made the correct choice of layers so I am comfortable. I’m surprisingly good at this, though I’ve been known to totally blow it big time.

I enjoy my God-given ability to draw and to paint. This talent gives me great satisfaction and I can also help others to achieve their dreams by illustrating their picture book stories. Whether I am illustrating my own picture book or a story for another author, I enjoy the challenge of taking written words and turning them into a visually compelling and interactive published book. I hope I am able to continue doing this for many more years. I also love to do artsy craft projects with children and adults.

Most times I’m someone who delights in staying home in my studio, but I also enjoy meeting and interacting with strangers. I like to see if I can turn an upside-down smile into a proper smile on a grumpy stranger. I love to entice babies and toddlers to giggle. I love to visit playgrounds and go down the slide or swing to the sky to the delight of the kids. I talk to strangers in check-out lines. I wave when someone lets me in traffic. Life is wonderful and I like to spread joy around.

Oh, let’s not forget, turkey, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, dressing, sweet potatoes, and Chocolate!

 


I hope everyone who reads this will make a list of things they are thankful for. Try concentrating on little joys in your life every day, not the “have-to-dos“ or the negatives.

 

If you would like to talk to me about illustrating your children’s picture book or designing an idea you have for a children’s product, fill in the form below. I like to talk to creative people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need a Kick-in the pants to move your career forward?

My best kick-in-the-pants advice to move ahead with your Children’s book, is signing up for a critique with an agent or publisher at one of the SCBWI events. I then have a goal to work towards and a deadline to finish my manuscript. Since I am an illustrator attempting to become an author/illustrator, I have a lot of work to do for my critiques. Not only do I need to finish and perfect my manuscript, but I also need to prepare sample illustrations and a complete book dummy finished for the picture book critique. Nothing like a little pressure to turn on the juice.

I am now working on finishing up illustrations for a 40 page picture book for a self published author that I’ve been working with for over a year. I’m also starting illustrations for a new picture book for a self published author AND working on perfecting my own manuscript and finishing illustrations for my own picture book due for critique mid-July.

I work best when I am working. I thrive on being busy. The more I work the more ideas I get and the more efficient I work (write or draw). My best advice is to work, because only when you are working can you create great stuff. Thinking about it just doesn’t get the same results.

Attended SCBWI conference in St. Louis

I am so excited and empowered, I attended my first Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference today. Will Terry was the speaker for the illustrators. Will  is incredibly talented and a very good speaker. Visit his site to see some of his work: http://willterry.com/ He also sells some wonderful tutorials for illustrators.

He talked about the emerging technology for e-books and story apps. It’s another tool for writers and illustrators to help get our work out to our readers in an exciting way.

I appreciate the SCBWI of Missouri for planning this wonderful conference. Thank you