m wood pen

freelance illustrator: have pen, will travel

cocktail stemware coupe

i’ve been interviewed before.  more than once.  jobs.  magazine articles.  depositions.

but today added a twist to the retinue of question-answer sessions that i’ve been privy to over the years, which, frankly, has me feeling a bit jittery with a side of surreal.

the thing of it is, i love to create and am always up to something here in my kookie country-barn-loft home + studio.

this summer found my daughter/sidekick and i whipping up a carload of decor for a college friends wedding, including miles of handmade bunting, banners, shepherd’s crooks, field flower stuffed mason jars, and anything else we could manage to pop into the theme of our own making.

as a seque to the props gathered for that event, i happened upon a source for 10 pound bags of lavender blossoms which have come in handy in our sachet factory (found a place to nab mini-burlap pouches, darling) and candle-making center.

over on one side of my studio, i’ve been dabbling in drying garden grown wild flowers and herbs, cozily packed into a tidy soldier’s line of mini mason jars, a spin-off from their previous use as both layered ice cream sundaes served at my daughters graduation party (complete with bamboo spoons) & also as votive holders for the above mentioned wedding.

speaking of graduation, how neat was it to ask my dad to whip up some 4×4 frames, made from the old pool fence.  formerly used to keep grandchildren from wandering near the family pool, built in 1969, and now, framing a concoction of chicken wire & laundry pins: a makeshift photo-booth and polaroid display center.

and today, to complete a few weeks of idle, sometimes frustrating, but all the while fulfilling work, (and thanks to timely arrival of a perfectionist friend with few hours and a big dose of patience), we topped off the final stitch of the big cozy crazy quilt set soon to jettison off to a first year of college with my 18-year-old gal.  the challenge: mash-up every piece of cherished clothing from her last dozen or so years (plus a few scraps from pilfered sibling attire), and sew them all together.  the joke: we don’t really sew, and had to teach ourselves how to maneuver the singer sewing machine and cantankerous bobbin device in order to do so.

but this evening, as i prepare to lay down my weary head (and aging eyes) for a good nights rest, i’m pondering the afternoon business call and follow-up emails.

it appears as though this very cool illustration work that i labored over last winter for a few months is to soon be packaged into a book.  this, of course, comes as no surprise to me, as i’ve been in on it from the beginning.

the odd part is that there is a life after the work.

for me, i typically draw, create, send off, then poof, it’s over.  on to the next thing.  and the next.

but in this situation, after a zany and informative conversation with a great gal who, with a talented team of pros, will be handling the promotion, marketing and zing zing zing splashing of press stuff, for said book…i felt an odd sensation.

as professional as i get, i was having this chat on my iphone (ripped out the house phone a few years ago when i noted, after several months, that not one of my teens, nor me, myself, ever bothered to answer the ringing device plugged into the wall), out on my front deck, happily  surveying the lavender, shasta daisies, old red barn and garden beyond, when marketing gal mentioned a few simple phrases that included the words “head shot” and “poster”.  my head began to feel a bit loopy.  i had to sit down. i felt a profound shift in what it is that i do.

something disconcerting? or perhaps, something destined? delicious? delirious?

whatever it is, it’s all new for me. and, appropriately so, i guess, as this nest is about to empty (which is all i hear these days from concerned onlookers who’ve taken note of the fact that my child rearing days on a full-time basis are officially on countdown mode!), there’s no stopping the tricky part of life that continually proves that the only thing we can count on is that things change.

and so, with that, i’ll embrace it, this change: one that brings me out a bit, my orbit revolving wider, my presence being required, my person being peppered about, my sketches multiplied,  spinning out there along with a larger sense of expectation, with one part of me yet here, at home, dipping back to this place: snapshots frozen from just the other day when all three of my blue-eyed children sat hunched over the island, busy with homework or deconstructing a perfectly scrambled egg in toast.

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