Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
– Terry Pratchett“Seriously Funny: The Endlessly Quotable Terry Pratchett”, p.68, Random House
When I was stumbling my way into adulthood, a college freshman on my own for the first time, I was certain that I needed to pick my future career correctly or my life would be wasted.
I chose to become an engineer. I planned to go to third-world countries and help build infrastructure to improve lives. Only… I cared nothing about roads or bridges, water sanitation, or anything relating to what I thought would be a noble and worthwhile career. One semester into engineering, I called it quits. My Physics professor was probably glad to see the last of me and my chatty ways (having kicked me out of class, even!)
So I had the world open in front of me: I thought of what I loved instead of high moral ambition. I thought of art but I knew I would have to make money when I graduated, so I chose graphic design because that would get me a job.
It did. I moved away from my family and friends and worked as a designer at a church. Then in video production for a ministry. Then I became a freelance designer and mostly worked on websites, which I still do.
Around this time I also started thinking about teaching. I wondered about going back to school to get a teaching degree but was sidetracked when I started a job as a preschool teacher. I loved my three-year-olds. I loved making preschool art, reading aloud, singing silly songs, and dancing silly dances. I realized my deep love for children, especially preschool-aged ones. I love their openness to new things and the wonder they have of the world. I especially love their honesty.
I am still on this journey of growing and learning new things, like how to tell stories through words and pictures together. To be a picture book author-illustrator is the goal I am reaching for now. I wish I could have told my eighteen-year-old self to relax and not hold so tightly to the idea of needing to do something “amazing” for my life to have value.
There is incredible value in loving my husband and kids well, helping the people around me, and creating something beautiful to the best of my ability. There is value in doing the things of everyday life as an act of love to those around you. It is that love for your family and neighbor which is how you live a valuable and worthwhile life.
I am so close to finishing my dummy, the rough version of my picture book that I will send out to literary agents in order to find an agent to present my work to publishers. I am working on the cover design, then I will be ready to send it out! This has been quite the process, but I have learned so much and I am ready to start it all again with my next manuscript!
I also did another portfolio piece in a different style. This one is more based on my colored pencil work I did in college.
Which style do you like better? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Books I’m reading and recommending (for every age!):
Grownup / Young Adult: What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper
A teen Holocaust survivor, must come to terms with who she is and how to rebuild her life.
After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her Papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and onto living her life.
Middle Grade: The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.
But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.
Picture Book: How to Build an Insect by Roberta Gibson and Anne Lambelet
See what the buzz is about in this fresh, fun look at insect anatomy.
Let’s build an insect! In the pages of this book, you’ll find a workshop filled with everything you need, including a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and much more. Written by entomologist Roberta Gibson and accompanied by delightfully detailed illustrations by Anne Lambelet, this wonderfully original take on insect anatomy will spark curiosity and engage even those who didn’t think they liked creepy, crawly things!
Until next time,
Charlotte J. Glaze