Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I thought it would be a nice opportunity to share a dream I am currently chasing. I've gone back and forth on wanting to share this until it's all wrapped up, but realized it might be nice to get feedback and maybe be able to offer some help to the blog-o-sphere while I'm going through the process. My dream is to be a children's book author and illustrator.
I went to Syracuse University for a degree in illustration, and post college took a few continuing education classes at the School of Visual Arts. I am a full-time, working children's accessory designer, and on my free time I have been working (and working and working and working and working) on a children's book dummy. I will not share the entire story or the art from it here, because it is in the hands of a few publishing houses as I type (fingers crossed) but I will share one of my favorite images (click to enlarge) from the story:
I have been rejected 7 times so far, which in the world of publishing is actually not a lot! I can't honestly tell you that it doesn't sting to open up a rejection letter, but I can tell you it makes me want to succeed even more! It's like adrenaline fuel because I know that I have the drive to make this dream a reality. I have also been lucky to get some constructive criticism along with the rejections and very few have been just form letters. I also am extremely lucky to have an amazing mentor guiding me through this process and the most supportive husband, parents, sister and friends in the world.
On Feb 1-3 I will be attending the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators annual NYC Winter Conference. I am really looking forward to meeting people in the industry, gaining their insights, and making some friends. I'll keep you all posted!
Also, on the subject of Martin Luther King, you should know that in second grade my class put on a play about his life and I played Rosa Parks. CLAIM-TO-FAME!