Challenging myself…

People often ask me where my ideas come from and usually the answer is a difficult one to answer. I tend to daydream in images and often something as simple as a word will spark an entire scene in my mind. This comes partially from the intense brainstorming sessions I was forced to endure in art school. They taught me never to settle in with the first idea I have… but to push myself to think of all the directions I can take my interepretations.

As I have been working on my portfolio over the past year, the characters I’ve drawn have begun to come to life in my mind. In my studio, I began to imagine where each one came from, how they had reached the moment I was depicting, and where they would go next. Nobody knows their silly stories but me. However, having attended several conferences over the past year I’m beginning to think that their stories SHOULD be told. Maybe I could write AND illustrate… how great would THAT be?!?

I’ve decided to jump in with both feet and participate in the Second Annual Kidlitart #PBDummy Challenge. The worst case scenario would be a complete picture book dummy… which would be a wonderful addition to my portfolio (even if the story does end up being mediocre). The best case scenario would be that I find out I actually write pretty well and someone (dare I say it?) might want to actually publish my story. The tale I’ll be working on has been taking shape in my mind for awhile now… and I look forward to sitting down to actually put it on paper this month.

Not only that, but I decided to push myself even furthur and sign up for the 12 x 12 in 2012.

I must be crazy.

That challenge will have me completing 12 complete picture book drafts this year. Wowza! I tend to work really well under pressure so I look forward to seeing what I get done. Hopefully these deadlines will get me putting pens, paper AND brushes to paper more often.

4 Responses to Challenging myself…
  1. Lynn Alpert
    January 10, 2012 | 2:34 pm

    Wow! you’re really going for it! I’m doing the dummy challenge, too! Good luck!
    I have a question about your website – did you use a plugin to do the portfolio page? I’ve been trying to redo mine in WordPress and would like to have the thumbnail/big image style like you have (and I have in my current site) but can’t seem to figure out how to do it in WordPress. Thanks for any help you can give me!

    • Andi
      January 10, 2012 | 5:56 pm

      Thanks Lynn! Good luck to you in the challenge as well. Let me know if you need anyone to bounce ideas off of throughout the process.

      For my website I am using the Headway theme (excellent btw… it even includes a visual editor that is really cool once you get used to it).

      As far as the portfolio goes, I am just using Photospace. The website is here for the plugin (

      It is a bit confusing when you first get started setting it up so if you struggle with it at all let me know and I’d be happy to help you with it. Love your work and look forward to seeing the progress you make this year. Hope to meet you in person at a future event too!

  2. Julie Hedlund
    January 13, 2012 | 10:12 pm

    No surprise that I work best under deadlines/pressure too, which is why I created the 12 x 12! Glad to have you on board!

  3. Rena J. Traxel
    January 14, 2012 | 12:42 am

    I’m taking part in the 12x12in 2012 challenge as well. I find challenges like this help keep me motivated. Nice portfolio by the way!

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