Thursday, January 22, 2015

Good Fridays: This Is What I Do

Here's one of my rare Friday posts, on a Thursday. I instituted Good Fridays posts to share one or two good things that happened to me during the week. I have a lot of catching up to do. For those who are new to the blog, this is a little 'get to know me' post too. Welcome aboard!

I've been busy - way busy - lately. Twice a month on Thursdays I teach art to a group of homeschooled teens and preteens. I've had some very large groups lately, which is awesome. These classes give me the chance to share a little of what I know with great kids who don't have a formal art class.

piece used in library display
I host the art class at the library where I work. (I'm a library clerk as my dayjob. How awesome is that for an author/illustrator?) This came about because a year or two ago my supervisor asked me if I had any art to show in their monthly display case. Of course I did! The homeschool moms saw the art, and one thing led to another. They asked if I'd be interested in teaching their kids what I know. (I have a BFA in Drawing, and an MFA in Illustration. For specifics, check my About Me page.)

That same display drew the attention of a local college rep looking for an artist to host at the opening of the college's new campus. She asked me and I accepted. The event is quickly approaching, so I'm working to get ready.

Something else I'm getting ready for is to submit a couple pieces to the annual fantasy magazine Spectrum. This is basically a juried art show in printed form. If I 'win' I get in the magazine, get a copy of the magazine, and get exposure to art directors, publishers, video game developers, etc. The deadline is at the end of January. It's tough competition (VERY tough), so I'm not harboring any unrealistic hopes. Just submitting is a big step forward.
Bowie ballpoint pen sketch

I've recently hit a surge of creative momentum in the form of quick celebrity sketches. (Like this one --->) It's jump-started my excitement for drawing all over again, and it gives my new Facebook followers something to look at. (A lot of recent followers are courtesy Jono Lancaster who shared my portrait of him on his page, giving me some really great publicity. That means so much to an illustrator trying to break in.)

So, if you're wondering if I've given up writing, no, I haven't. After several years of pushing the writing, knowing it was my second talent, I finally started pushing my first talent. Things have been moving like a well-oiled penguin ever since. I don't know why I've waited so long to lead with my strongest ability. Pride, stubbornness, fear? Whatever the reason, I'm on track now.

 I'm still pursuing my dream of publishing a YA fantasy series, but I'm going to take my time with it, let it mature. It's a very big project, and a very old dream. I'm going to see it come true, but only after I bring about a dream that's much older.

This is what I do.


  1. Have you consisted making your Fantasy series in the form of a Graphic novel? They're the upcoming stars, the Cybils even added a catagory, I believe...

  2. Good luck with all the stuff you have coming!

  3. Hi Donelle, Good luck with the college opening & getting published with Spectrum! Sounds like you're very busy doing what you love, that's awesome! I'm visiting from the Daring Creatives Workshop.

  4. Congrats, Donelle! That's amazing news, all of it. You're so talented, and I'm happy to see people recognize and pay you for the great work you do. Good luck with the contest!

  5. It's funny (ironic) isn't it that we struggle so hard to do our art from our strengths? Glad yours is going so swimmingly :) ... cool Bowie!

  6. Here from the Daring Creative facebook group! Good luck with your magazine submissions. I agree, even taking the step to submit is an awesome accomplishment, whether you win or not!

  7. Thanks, Carrie. Glad to have you visiting!

  8. Thanks, Holli. It's going to be a really great year, I can already feel it. Hope it's the same for you too!

  9. Thanks! Now it is, but when it was just the writing and I was navigating the online writing community and looking to query, it was haaaard. Glad you like him!

  10. Hi, Meg! Glad you stopped by. Thanks! Whether it's subbing art or writing, I think it's better to just take that first step, and then many more.


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