Well, It’s Blog #30 and as it turns out it’s our final Blog of 2018. I have to tell you that I have found it very therapeutic to take this time every week to craft these entries. So, if you are reading now, thank you for indulging me!
I love writing. It was something I was actually good at when I was in elementary school. I remember having my stories read aloud and my compositions being entered into contests. I loved English and Art as much as I loathed Math and Geography! I have always used journalling as a means of helping me to process information and to document portions of my life.
But I digress…
Today it’s all about sharing highlights from 2018
As you can well-imagine, publishing The Butterfly Trap was not only a highlight of the year but a highlight of our lives.
Let’s flashback to December 2017 when I was working on daily illustrations for an Advent calendar and posting the images on Social Media - Inspired by Inktober. I received so much great feedback including inquiries and comments such as “you should illustrate a children’s book”
This of course appealed to me in every way. In fact, I had already written and illustrated a children’s book years ago but never taken the next steps. I vowed to myself that I would finally make this dream a reality and submit my story and artwork to a publisher in 2018.
To be honest, I was further propelled to make this happen as a trusted friend, mentor and colleague had just announced that he was leaving Canada. I was devastated. This impacted me so deeply as much of my passion and dedication to my work felt integral to our relationship at this time. I felt unhinged by his pending departure so I needed to channel my energy into something productive and meaningful.
When I shared my decision with Kuki, we considered the options and possibilities for publishing. It became very clear that what we really wanted was to do this together. We knew that our shared interest, combined talents and abilities were the perfect formula for book success. We decided to reboot the project from scratch…. together as Dragon and Bunny!
We renamed the main character who was originally Lulu, to a combination of both of our names, Kuki and Lee-Ann, Luki. And there you have it! The rest is history.
Re engineering the illustrations and story to reflect both of us was a complete labour of love.
Over the course of the past year, we have gone through all of the emotions: from anticipation to anxiety, regret, fear, elation and bliss.
But despite the rollercoaster of emotions, what has become increasingly clear is what makes life meaningful, rich and memorable. Life expands when we expand. Pushing our boundaries and growing, doing things that are a little crazy, this is the real stuff of life. Acquiring new skills and being able to stand on your own two feet… that is where the highlights are.
When my boss/friend/mentor left I wasn’t sure how I could stand on my own two feet. But I soon learned that I could. Plus, I suffered from all kinds of self doubt with regards to publishing The Butterfly Trap but nonetheless, I persevered.
Here’s the thing, one of the best ways to silence self doubt is to prove it wrong.
So, the highlight of 2018 isn’t really about the actual publishing of the book it is more about the grit it took to acquire new skills and abilities in the process. Grit creates a deeper and more sustainable sense of well being, like the kind of well being that trumps other accomplishments likely because it endures.
I could make a list as long as my arm detailing the skills, knowledge and insights that this process has taught us. I am so grateful for this. It is worth every ounce of effort, time, energy and money that we spent.
Maybe one day I can share some of my learnings with you or someone you know who might be interested in publishing. We would love to share!
We are so excited to work on our next project in 2019. And can only dream of the things we will learn along the way! This journey really is all about the process!
Don’t go anywhere you guys because the best is yet to come!
See you in the New Year…. I wonder what Luki will be up to in the next round??? Any guesses or suggestions welcome!