It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Every month, the organisers announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. Remember, the question is optional!!!

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OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

I’ve had many creative outlets over the years: photography, dress design, and dance, however, I would say art has been the most constant. In fact, I started out writing for children as an author/illustrator. In the margins of the first fictional story I wrote, as a seventeen-year-old, I doodled what the characters would look like. That set the stage for illustrating my own picture books, a time when I juggled the jobs of developing the pictures and writing the story.

Then, in 2005, a pivotal moment happened in my life.

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I went to a children’s writing workshop, with the award-winning author, and teacher, Kate de Goldi. After showing her one of my picture book manuscripts, Kate said, it was good, however, she felt I needed to focus on either writing or the illustrating.

I took the advice to heart. About half a year after taking the course, I finished illustrating my story, and I packed the paints and brushes away into the cupboard. Within another year, I was writing up a storm.

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Kate’s sage advice helped me to funnel all my energy into my writing and from there, wonderful things began to happen. Coincidentally, this lesson about focus became one of the story themes in the resulting trilogy, The Chronicles of Aden Weaver. The hero, Aden, is taught by his wise mentor, Geo, to focus in order to prevail. It’s a lovely full circle moment.

By focusing on the writing, I became more productive:

I found my genre, middle grade (or junior fiction).

I wrote a middle grade trilogy, The Chronicles of Aden Weaver. I went “Indie” and self-published my first two books, The Or’in of Tane Mahuta and The Sasori Empire.

I had an essay included in a book for writers. I also self published a short story, along with a group of authors, in a children’s anthology titled Kissed By An Angel.

I built a mailing list and started a monthly newsletter.

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In both The Or’in of Tane Mahuta, and The Sasori Empire, I included two of my own pen and ink illustrations.

Art and writing have gone naturally hand in hand for me, however, I feel like I’ve found a way to make them complement one another.

I still enjoy drawing to bring my own characters to life. I also do illustrations upon request for certain projects. I painted the cover art as well as the colour illustration to go with my story, Grandpa and Loor, for Kissed By An Angel. The difference is, instead of the art absorbing all of my days, now with small art projects, I’m more in control of my time.

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The thing about painting – and probably any kind of art – is that it’s a time suck.

I remember an old landlord, Arthur, when he saw me at work on one of my illustrations, said, ‘Ah, painting, the thing that sucks time into it like a black hole.’ It’s true. It’s the kind of hobby you do, that you look up and realize its dark, and you wonder where the day went. I loved it, but once I was raising my two younger two boys and writing, there wasn’t time left in the day for art.

Being able to surrender my illustrator’s hat has been a significant improvement in my life. These days, I do what I love to do most, which is to write. Then I dabble at my art when I have the time and the inclination. It works.

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(artwork by Si Kingi)

I’m also more productive. This year, I intend to self publish the third book in The Chronicles of Aden Weaver, The Last Tree. I’ll need to figure out which drawings I’m going to do for it within the next few months and get them done before then. But, that’s okay. When art isn’t asking for every spare minute, you feel you can relish getting little jobs done like that.

A life in balance, between my writing, art, and the rest of my life, that’s my ultimate goal for 2019!

What about you? What are your creative outlets?

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Keep Writing!

Yvette K. Carol

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A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places. ~ Paul Gardner

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Subscribe to my Newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to: yvettecarol@hotmail.com

 

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Comments
  1. I have never had any sort of artistic ability outside of writing. Acting, a little, maybe. I’m so amazed that most people’s handwriting is legible, when compared to mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this Yvette. Very enlightening. I joined up with the Insecure Writers and posted on my new WordPress site: Life in Poetry. I still have my old blog, but Google is shutting down Blogger so I created a new site. Check it out. Have a nice day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Great post, Susan! It looks like we both are hobby artists – isn’t it fun! I love it 🙂

      I’m thinking of looking into selling prints of my paintings (like those featured down the side panel of this blog) on that online site artists go to. I forget the name. It might have been Society 6? I must look into it more as it’s been something on the “to do” list for years. Have you ever thought of selling your sketches? Just an idea 🙂

      Like

      • Go for it. Are you a photographer too. I love taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets, clouds, the moon !

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Oh, cool! Sisters separated at birth, we are.
        Yes, black and white photography was my hobby for many years before my two youngest were born. I had my own darkroom in the basement. My great grandfather was a photographer back in the Victorian era, too, which I always found inspiring. If you want to see examples of my photography, some of my photos are on my website http://www.yvettecarol.com and there are examples of my illustrations, and the stories behind them, on the website also.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can see why it was a struggle to decide between writing and illustrating. You have a talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. emaginette says:

    A balance between writing and painting would be ideal. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cleemckenzie says:

    I love illustrators. They enrich the reading experience so much. How great that you can do both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Clee! I love illustrators, too. At the moment, I’m going through that delicious waiting process – I gave the cover artist the nod to go ahead and start on the cover art – and I can’t wait to see the character brought to life (through his eyes). It’s so exciting!

      Like

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