Saturday, January 16, 2010


As I sit here writing this post, I'm watching large down feather-like snowflakes fall from the sky. Just a few minutes ago the snowflakes were small and ordinary, but something changed and in an instant a totally different type of snowflake was created. I wish I could change as quickly and effortlessly. It has been overwhelming at times to be a forty-something illustrator with a graphic design background starting over in the children's genre.

To aid in my transition, I have been preparing to apply for the Don Freeman Grant through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). The grant is geared toward picture book illustrators in an effort to further their understanding, training, and work in the picture book genre. If I get the grant, I will be able to seek more workshops and promotional opportunities. If I don't get it, at least I went through a very productive process to apply. Like any other grant, there are specific requirements to meet. I will be submitting 8 months of work - my picture book manuscript along with my 32 page mock up of the book, two finished picture book illustrations, and four copies of the application.

While assembling my finished work over the last week, I realized I knew nothing more about Don Freeman than the fact that he was a children's book illustrator who is no longer living. So, I did some research and found hope. It turns out he was a graphic designer and illustrator before he started illustrating children's books in his forties - just like me. Another example that change is possible at any time.

I'm almost done with my application now and all my experiences from the past year are finally coming together in my mind. I guess I've changed because this new genre no longer feels overwhelming. It feels like my new home.

More information about Don Freeman's eclectic life can be found at -


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