So the last time I wrote a blog post was January 9th of last year! A lot can happen in a year. I’ll try to give you a short version of 2018 so you’ll know what we’ve been up to. The reason being I really missed blogging last year and I want to start writing again. Just like before, I will be writing about our adventures, where I find inspiration, and of course, ART!
At the end of my last post we were living in White Plains, NY but were planning a move back to Maine. We moved back to Maine at the end of February. We stayed at a very lackluster Residence Inn in the Old Port. At least the location was nice. It was right by the ocean and it was easy for me to get around town. I fell in love with a place called Dobra Tea Room. I loved their mezze plates and matcha lattes. I often went their to work on my daily sketches and my children’s book.
That’s right. For the majority of last year I worked on a children’s book. The first two or three drafts did not work. I had issues with my main character. It’s also an educational book so it didn’t have much of a story when I first started it. I pushed through until I had something that not only worked but I was also really proud of. While writing the book I started reading and studying the business. Jeff and I read A LOT of children’s books together. Those were fun work hours! I love children’s books so much. They are mini works of art.
I also researched agents that might have interest in representing my book to a publisher. I wrote query letter after query letter telling them they needed to represent my book. Unfortunately, I got a lot of rejection letters. I know all writers go through this but it still had me feeling pretty down about myself and my art. I was doubting everything and was ready to go back to social work!
Well I have a really amazing guy who believes in me. He gave me such support and I am so grateful. I still love illustration, and I have a few more book ideas brewing. I don’t think I’ll give up just yet. I will also be using the research and illustrations I did for my last book for a new project that I will be posting on my website. Moms of little kids and animal lovers, stay tuned for details in a later post.
In Maine, I also took an online portrait drawing course. I really love drawing people. It always scared me before, but I am starting to see more and more improvement.
While we were living in Maine we spent most weekends away. We went to NYC for the weekend, or day trips to Boston. It was nice to catch up with family and hang out with Joel and Erica, but we came to realize we don’t want to live in Maine anymore. I didn’t realize how much I love New York City until we could only spend short weekends there. I was so sad to be going back to the Portland Residence Inn at the end of each trip.
Jeff decided to end his contract early but didn't want to take another job right away. He needed a break. We decided to get another short term rental in the D.C. area like we did coming back from Israel.
Our time in D.C. (both times) has been such a refuge for us. We both had a tough year in 2018 so it was nice to take a break and refocus. I got a start on an illustration portfolio, and I’m in the process of redoing some of my website. I am really focusing on the administration part of my freelance business. Jeff is also very creative in a different way. He has lots of ideas and goals that he got to FINALLY work on as well. I was so happy that he was able to work towards some of them. He also found another locums job at a hospital in NYC, AND he only has to work four days a week! A four day work week in NYC, score!!
So after Christmas we were supposed to move into a studio apartment in the Lower East Side (my favorite part of the city), but the apartment wasn't quite ready. They had us move into a 1-bedroom on a different floor. Then we get to move again when the studio is ready! We are not exactly sure when that will be. That will be our tenth move in three years! We are hoping to stay in NYC this time for at least two years.
Also during 2018 we took two big international trips. We took a trip to Paris in the summer, and then a trip to Italy, The Vatican, and San Marino. I will blog about those trips in separate posts. Lots of fun stuff to talk about!
Thinking about the year ahead and what I’d like to see more of is:
-Books (there’s always a long list)
-Travel (maybe Egypt, Greece or Peru?)
-Language (we are taking a Hebrew course in February)
-Studying (art history, american history, greek and roman mythology, history of the Lower East Side)
-Cooking (signed up for a pierogi class on January 16th)
-Plants (we want some green in this apartment)
-Making friends and keeping in touch with old ones
-More time with Jeff doing all of the above
-Drawing (more portraits, live figure drawing, drawing outside)
-Exercise (got a yoga mat, going to try and stick with my PiYo workout for once)
-Build my business and get paid!
That’s all. Thanks for reading.