Tuesday, 29 January 2013

So that was the holiday...

I finished work for Christmas on the 19th of December. This being Australia, we have our long break now, to avoid going to school in the hot weather – well, some of it, anyway. Of course, the first week involved a mad rush to get ready for Christmas. I hadn’t bought any presents at all, so it really was quite chaotic, but I made it in the end and no one complained about what they got. Friends probably noticed the lack of Christmas cards, but I just didn’t get around to it. My apologies to everyone.

After Christmas, I had an article due for the British magazine, ‘Writing Magazine’ about the creation of ebook covers. It involved a bit of research, so it took a week or so. As soon as I’d sent that off, I started on two pet portraits that I’d promised to do for an old lady in town. She’s a regular customer, so though I don’t like using acrylics for dogs (I prefer pastels), I gave it my best. The major problem was that while I was trying to do them, the temperature was well over 40C, so the paint kept drying quicker than I could get it onto the board. The other problem was that one of the dogs was black; a lovely dog, but black is really difficult to make ‘alive’. 

Portraits done, I decided to start a new page on Facebook. I have an author page (Katie W. Stewart Author) if you haven’t seen it), but I thought it might be a good idea to have a page just for my illustrations, art and book cover designs to get some more work (Katie W, Stewart Illustrator). I got a lot of positive feedback and even better, a commission to do a book cover for a lady in the US. It was a Post-Apocalyptic Zombie story, but fortunately, she didn’t want Zombies on the cover. She wanted a woman on a horse. I’m not great at horses, least of all from the back when they’re rearing, but I did my best and hopefully she’ll be able to publish soon.

Only a couple of days after I’d completed that, I heard of a lady in England who was looking for an illustrator for her children’s book about Trolls. I offered my services and she signed me up, so for the last week, I’ve been drawing Trolls. I have to say, if this is work, then let me work until I’m ninety, because it has been so much fun. Imagine drawing a huge ugly ogre, dressed up as a fairy, knowing that the next day, you’ll be drawing a troll hanging from a tree and wearing a tutu. The mind boggles.
Illustration for 'The Troll Trap' by Rosen Trevithick

Unfortunately, I have only one day of ‘holiday’ left. On Thursday I have to return to work in the Library and I have to admit that the only good point about that is being with the great staff at the school. Otherwise, I could quite happily quit and spend all my time writing and illustrating. I’ve worked just about all holidays, except for the odd trip to Perth to see movies (hint – if you haven’t seen Les Miserables yet, you’re missing a great movie!), but I can honestly say my ‘holiday’ has been wonderful. All this creating has inspired me. I’m so glad that I’ve dropped a day of work this year to give myself more time (with the safety net of reregistration as a teacher so that I can earn some money if I need it doing relief). With a little organisation, I think I can make a go of this author/illustrator business. I might even persuade my accountant that getting a business number isn’t such a silly idea. Well, I can dream.


Anonymous said...

Hurrah! Terrific work, Katie. It's good to see you doing so well.

Kate said...

Thank you. It has been a lovely break!