I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I made up stories in my head all the time and my dreams at night were as vivid as any movie I'd seen. But when I became a teenager I decided to try my hand at drawing. I'd always admired the wonderful illustrators who created the artwork in the books I read daily. Not that I thought I had true talent, but I wanted to explore the possibilities.
I've always loved horses and this was my attempt to duplicate a picture I saw in a book once.
I expanded to other animals and was drawn to ocean creatures. I seemed to have an eye for reproduction but didn't know if this was a path to illustration or if I was just drawing some better stick figures than other people.
I went out on a limb and tried my hand at a lot of different animals. I made mistakes and kept at it until I got my drawings to look as much as the real thing as I could. They didn't look like the illustrations in my favorite books but I didn't think they were too bad looking.
I drew this one because I was trying to work with shading. I liked the balance between the larger cross and the book. It was hard to get things right when I had no one to learn from and no way of knowing if it was any good. I drew mainly for myself and hid them away for more than 25 years. I think my sister was the only person I might have shown these to...before now...
This drawing and the next one are my favorites. When I drew this boat I used to imagine myself sailing away from my childhood and traveling to some distant place where my life would be different. I didn't know all I needed to do in order to have a new life was to simply grow up.
I really like this drawing. It came from a thumb size picture I saw in some book and I wanted to attempt to reproduce it. It's not exactly perfect but I love the whimsical nature of the mouse sitting on top of a mushroom and holding that sunflower.
I now have my first picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, coming out next January and there is a REAL illustrator out there working on the artwork for my book. I admire that person for their talent, for their ability to take my simple words and create some magic out of one grown up child's dreams...