Its been a journey of building the confidence to take on the job – my first full book illustration commission . My own scaredy cat brain had stopped me from drawing for almost 20 years ! Yes! It’s true ! I stopped drawing for 20 years ! But that’s another story that I’ll share in another blog one day . It’s a good one for anyone like me , in their mid 40s … heading towards 50… who thought they were all dried up , on the decline and didn’t have much to offer the creative world .
Its been a learning journey , as I’ve drawn the pictures, to keep persisting and pushing through , even when my drawing brain seemed to turn into a cheesy fudgy squishy brain .
It’s been a journey of my own scaredy cat brain , as I felt anxiety and possibly even fear at times , when I’ve worried that the author , psychology professor Dr Allison Waters , wouldn’t like my work .
But , I persisted ! I worked through the scaredy cat cheesy fudgy squishy brain days and I’m SOooo close to being finished and ready to take on some more projects .. like a possible job with a big children’s book publishing firm here in Australia illustrating a series of chapter books …. ( woohoo!) . It’s not definite yet , but I need give my cheesy, fudgy squishy scaredy cat brain the flick ( “give it the flick” is “throw it away” in Aussie slang) and GIVE IT A GO !
I just read this verse from the bible , ten minutes ago .
It’s talking about a guy in the bible called Paul who has an AMAZING story of being a murderous angry Jesus hating man , and completing turning his life to becoming a Jesus adoring dude . And this verse is from about a section of his life when he was being begged to stay in a certain town to keep on sharing his knowledge of Jesus, (which he probably would have loved to have done) , but instead , set sail for another place , Ephesus , saying as he left “I will come back if it is God’s will “.
His life was run by Jesus …..
I’m an artist , and I love Jesus too . I gave my heart to Him when I was 10 – and I swear , that since I was that arty creative little girl , to now , being an arty 45 year old woman , Jesus has run my life .When I have let him .
“When I have let Him” …..I haven’t always allowed Jesus to direct the way I live .
I have been anxious , like the little girl scared of the moon at night , worrying about which way my life will go .
It’s so easy in our comfortable middle income Australian life , to try to run things our way . To try to control our anxiety ourselves . To try to run our lives by ourselves .
As an illustrator/artist, I have become used to creating my works – a gift I know comes from God . God has given me an amazing opportunity in the last few months , to illustrate a book to help children with anxiety , written by an Associate Professor in Child Psychology at Griffith a University , here in Brisbane , Dr Allison Waters . It’s called “Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” . God has also led me to paint portraits for people , portraits of people who have passed away , of pets they love . I know in my heart these opportunities come from Him – because they do something that blesses people and moves them to feelings of love and peace .
However , this gift of creativity gift that can also lead to a tendency to feel you can create and control your own way in life .
If I ran my life MY way , I would become an illustrator for children’s book that will be published and sold in shops and read by children across the land !
BUT , I also need to prioritise God , first up , top of my list !
He is my good , kind , peaceful loving Heavenly Father . He wants the best for me . He wants me to share his love with other people .
With you in fact .
And so I have this morning – before I start a big start on my artwork for “Jessie ” today … which will likely be at least 8-10 hours of work , I’ve tried to put Jesus first .
I’ve read Gods word , the Bible , and found the little verse I shared above , that has just jumped out at me from the page . And now , I feel compelled to share this blog post with you before I start work .
Finally , as the next big event in my life looms near ( only 3 days to go !) – the CYA conference , a conference for authors and illustrators of children and young adults and illustrators . I have paid $100 a pop to meet with editors of BIG publishing companies -Penguin , Affirm , Black Dog Books and Hatchette , to get feedback and hopefully be contracted by one of them as an illustrator
But , God , I promise to you that I will trust that I will be lead by you .