The Art of Reinvention (with a special announcement sprinkled in 🎉)

Since my mom and dad have been living with us, I told them they can bear witness to the miracle that completing two books in nine months is for me, since I spend most of my day being a helper to those at home and those under my care at school. Creativity and interrupted thought don’t coexist very well (at least in my brain they don’t). But, I’m thankful for the hands I get to help and hold as I walk through this life.

They say Picasso is known for endlessly reinventing himself, *switching between styles so radically different that his life’s work seems to be the product of five or six great artists rather than just one. I doubt he thought much about that while he was living, he just did what inspired him and that made his work unique. (*

I’ve thought about Picasso and his process a lot lately. He, too, blocked out hours at a time for creativity (and he completed his last painting the day before he died at 91)!

I started my journey as a professional artist in my 20’s as a graphic designer which was a vehicle to get me where I really wanted to go, photography.  Then after a successful career as a photography studio owner in my 30’s, a pandemic switched my course. Here I find myself 40 and unintentionally reinventing myself again as a teacher and an author.

I don’t see myself as a Picasso by any means, but I do see life from the perspective of God’s hand on my path to do exactly what He promised me.

Do you sense God’s fingerprints in your life, too, (even in the hard things that we don’t want to go through to get to the better)? It’s something to give Him thanks for today.

I had the idea for my second book almost as soon as I finished the first one.

I wrote down the title, began my research, but nothing more would come.

The stack of children’s books I was using for reference remained neatly stacked in the side railing of my poster bed. I’d flip through them before I went to sleep, but it wasn’t time to write I guess. The words just wouldn’t come.

I moved the stack of books beside the couch in our family room hoping inspiration would strike but by then school had started and for me creativity takes hold for me in the mornings and I need uninterrupted time to be productive.

Time passed quickly and I gave up on the little book that could in exchange for snacks on the couch with my girls while watching “Gilmore Girls,” folding laundry, and cooking dinner. By the time the day was through the last thing I thought about was writing.

Winter came, grief set in.

The large portions of time I use on my breaks from school to accomplish creative things were interrupted by life. We found out Paige didn’t have much longer just as our Christmas break began. By the time we started back to school, we were laying her to rest.

The next two weeks we were in a fog of grief, exhausted, spent, and just overall disillusioned about life. My birthday was approaching and I hoped for a bit of something happy in spite of our sadness.

Then, as if a prayer was answered an outline came to me.

I jotted a list down.

Then a few days shy of my 40th, I sat at my desk and every word poured out on my notebook just as it had before with “Eclectic Emily.”

Don’t be afraid to take the next step.

Then two weeks later on the tail of our Presidents’ Day Holiday, God blessed us with a week of snow days…that uninterrupted time I needed to complete the artwork. My dad, who wholeheartedly supports my writing efforts, joked “You finish your book and I’ll do the laundry and dishes” (which he and mom totally did for me). Man I’m going to miss them when they move to the next town over in a few weeks.

This book called for 19 hand drawn and water colored illustrations and I wanted to be the one to do the whole project since it’s another one that is so special. Yesterday I completed the last one.

I photographed each original print this morning and will begin the layout and digital art portion this weekend.

All of this to say, I’ll have another children’s book hitting the shelves this year (just don’t know exactly when yet). I believe it’s one that many of you will be so excited about…that’s the only details I can give right now.

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What is it that you’ve been dreaming of doing?

I challenge you to take the next step today towards what you want to accomplish in this season, even if it’s a small thing (like me just moving a stack of books from one place to the other in hopes of a lightbulb moment). 

Set a goalset an expectation for that goal, and work toward your dream. Make that a daily rhythm for your life and there is no telling what you’ll experience this year!