Thursday, August 27, 2015

Revising Visions and Moving Forward at Last

Almost a year has passed since my last post here. During that time I have been busy, but not so much on the book. Friends and family keep asking "When is your book coming out?' or "How is the book coming?" My response has usually been, "I was totally squashed at a workshop in October when I was told I should take more art classes. I have not worked on it since."

Well, I was. That comment hit me harder than any of the rejection letters I had received to that point. Friends, family, librarians and teachers have all stated how much they LOVE my drawings. As each has been revised, I find it is even better. I still toy with the idea (suggested by many) of self-publishing and making the book the way I visualize it. But a sneaky voice in the back of my mind keeps niggling about the need for more art classes. Sigh! I started as an Art major in college, but switched my sophomore year. I've taken one class at a local museum and have watched a lot of tutorials on You Tube. But still...

This morning, after weeks of trying to contact professors at the local university Art Department, I have received permission to enroll in a Beginning Illustration class. I'm enrolling as a non-degree student through the OLA program at Montclair State University. This means, I will need to pay fees, but no tuition (as an Older Learner). The campus has changed so much since the last class I took there (in around 1970), it might as well be a foreign country. I have scoped out where my class will be, have found the Student Center and bookstore and the Office of Information Technology.  My computer is now hooked in to the university WiFi system and tomorrow morning I can officially register for class.

It's been a long time since I had a First Day of School on the other side of the desk.  I've looked through my sketch pads and found two new ones to start with.  My kneaded eraser is at the ready, as are my colored pencils and pens. I will pick up several pencils of varying hardness at the bookstore tomorrow, when I go up to register. It's been 50 years since I was an art student at a university. My professor for this class probably wasn't even born when I took Color and Design. I'm sure a lot has changed. But I am determined to go into this new adventure with a positive outlook: to learn all that I can. I expect to learn some new techniques and a lot about the design aspect of illustration. From the course description, it sounds as though I will likely be introduced to many illustrators I am unfamiliar with, although I have kept up pretty well with children's book illustrators.

So it's back to school, and back to work on the book. Time to get the studio upstairs cleared up and make room to draw, and maybe paint. If I can find an agent to work with me, maybe I can get the book back on track and get it to a publisher in 2016.

What are your thoughts on this new adventure?

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