Several weeks ago, a Live Journal author, whose blog I enjoy checking in on, told her readers: "my work is not my life." I can respect that, I thought to myself. It's good to separate the two if you are able to.
But it started me thinking about my own work. Is it MY life? Well, my real life is being a mother and wife and daughter, but besides that other life, is my WORK my life? Or is it my job?
I think it is my life. I cannot keep my need for art out of my life. I think that making some kind of artwork in one medium or another has been my life almost forever (well, maybe except for when I was between the ages of 13-16. Then maybe BOYS were my life). In college, before kids, and even after there has always been the need to scratch the itch of being creative. It took many forms, but it was always present.
Now that my kids are getting more independent, it is even more of an obsession--the obsession of creating books for children. Sometimes it is the story and sometimes it is the art for the story, but the end product is always the book and making it happen.
I thought I would present another author/illustrator who lives her art. If you attended the SCBWI Winter Conference last weekend or if you attended the Friday evening at Bar Nine, then you saw her. You saw her engaged in the activity which she appears to do nonstop during all of her waking hours: journal sketching. You saw her in the lobby of the Hilton, the corner of the room housing the Art Showcase, the restaurant in the hotel, the ballroom, the brunch room, and so one. Of course I am talking about Ruth McNally Barshaw as the roving on-the-spot sketcher and visual journal keeper. Here are some nice shots of Ruth doing what she does best.
And so when Ruth's book hits the stand this spring, you should know that this is not only a fresh approach to a new middle grade novel. This is REAL life for Ruth as projected on to her character. This is art immitating life. And because of that, it is sure to ring true.
P.S. Ruth's book is being pulished by Bloomsbury.
I got to see the arc and it looks wonderful!