Jack Be Nimble.... & Pressure.


In 2 weeks, I'll be home from a wonderful, informative, and exhausting conference with SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators).  There is still so much to do but I know it will get done.  Last week, I inquired about one of the intensive classes I signed up for, as I hadn't heard anything about it and was SURE there would be homework.  Come to find out, (while relaxing with my hubby in an overnight Vancouver getaway), I had homework, due a couple WEEKS ago and that the art director would respond that coming Friday.  I was soooooo bummed as I love this publishing house, Candlewick Press, and wanted to make a good impression.... making an excuse that my "dog" ate the homework is not. sooooo I stewed for a bit and then got to brainstorming.

After a few days, I had a couple of ideas roaming in my head.  I mean, Jack be Nimble... what kind of character do I want him to play.... a rat and a mouse, whale and the spearman???? but as I told my husband last Thursday, he looked at me, tapped my head, and said, "I know you can do something better."  That was the encouragement I needed!!!

As I decided to go with Jack being a squirrel, I had to sketch, "Quick" and "Nimble" so..... 

Ok... so what to do with my new Jack?  I can't think of anything more a squirrel desires than NUTS.... and I thought about having an owl in the picture, but wasn't sure if they are a huge threat to the squirrel.  Turns out they are one of the top predators of the squirrel, so there you have it.  A huge acorn is just hanging on a branch but the squirrel has to get passed the owl.  Finally as the owl sleeps while reading, "How to catch a squirrel" with her young ones, Jack jumps over the candlestick.  :)

Now I sent the email to the art director and pray she will still have time to respond so I can work on a final piece.  She may hate the idea all together and all this was in vain, but somehow I know there was and still is a great lesson to be learned here.

1.  You have no control over anything but your attitude.  I can easily let my mind run with the what if's.  I don't know what she will say or do... I can't change the fact of what happened; however, will I let it stop me from doing my best and turning in whatever I have?  She may glare at me and say dirty jokes about me... but more than likely... probably NOT! haha

2.  A little pressure is good.  I'm not one for challenges, yet I thrive in them.  Some of my best work comes in the moment I have to get it done and do it well.  It's amazing what the mind can do when it's pressed to prove how powerful it really is.  I AM smarter than the computer!... I just need to use the brain.

3.  Just have fun.  When it's all said and done.... does it really matter?  Life is too short to sweat the small stuff!

Hope you enjoyed the little look into my sketchbook and the story behind it.  If you have any similar stories, I'd love to hear.  Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and a blessed week ahead. Now.... back to sketching of me. 

:) priscilla