Today, I shared on social media the very first illustration for my children’s book.
I must admit, I had to catch my breath after writing that sentence! The very first illustration for my children’s book was shared on social media today!
It almost doesn’t seem real.
And the truth is, it is real.
This edition of The Chronicles is going to share with you everything that transpired around the theme of illustrations.
See, a novel is made up of words; no illustrations necessary. I had the words, they were poised and ready to go. However, this story wanted to come into the world with gorgeous illustrations. You know, the kind that makes you admire each stroke and get lost in the colors; the kind of illustrations that literally transport you to another world.
I had a very clear idea in my mind of what I wanted these illustrations to look and feel like. The only hurdle was that I’m not the most talented artist, nor do I know how to do all the things you need to do to digitize a drawing and get it ready to be inserted into a book.
So in the summer of 2016, I went in search of an illustrator!
And boy did I find them! I found countless websites for self-publishers that showcased all the various types of illustrators they had on hand. I found free-lancers and incredible creatives on Instagram that had the specific talent I was looking for. Illustrators there were a-plenty … and this is where the story begins!
My first attempt to secure an illustrator was after I found a lovely woman in England (clearly there’s a connection to this country and this book!) who had a real talent for illustrating. She had illustrated several dozen children’s books and knew what she was doing.
I was elated! This is it! I found my illustrator!
Of course you know that she wasn’t my illustrator because if she had been, these Chronicles likely wouldn’t exist. She was very helpful and gave me a lot of information on self-publishers and other tips.
She also gave me a quote for the illustrations. 8,000 pounds. Yeah, as in British pounds. My heart sank. In US dollars that’s like double.
(Insert caveat here: It’s important to note that it is not about the money. If that illustrator had been incredibly aligned with my vision and everything I knew and didn’t know I would be creating, then, that money would have appeared. The fact that the number stopped me in my tracks is an excellent sign that my intuition was asking me to slow down, wait and … trust. You can read my thoughts on manifesting money here: 1, 2, and 3.)
Back to the story.
In short, I did not hire that illustrator and I again went back to my story, sad, angry and defeated.
Off and on over the next couple of years, I browsed through the work of people who had the talent to bring my words to life. For a short bit, I thought I would be the one to illustrate the story because I had just reclaimed my passion for painting. In fact, I even painted a few scenes from the book onto small canvases such as this one!
Looking back, I realize that those intimate moments that I shared with my story were meant to keep my inspiration and hope alive. It’s not easy when you receive a beautiful idea and create every part of it that you can, only to be left holding an incomplete creation.
I put the book aside and focused on other things that were calling my attention. Yet, the story still lingered in my heart. I was not ready to let her go and put her in the pile of “dreams that will never materialize”.
I became inspired again and reached out to an illustrator on Instagram who has like a zillion followers. She’s one of those incredibly talented human beings that can draw like nobody’s business. I’m a dreamer and someone who lives without regret. I figured that by asking I’d at least have a shot. I never heard back and so I left that one alone.
I repeated this story a few times. Each time, reaching out to someone new, learning something that I didn’t know before, and continuing to have faith that someday, this would come to life.
Fast forward to late 2017 when I became inspired to start learning about creativity and the moon cycles. I started leading workshops around the moon, picking up new books about moon cycles, and following fresh accounts on Instagram that could give me more inspiration on the moon and how to harness her power.
Then, magic happened.
I found an inspiring account curated by a woman named Jo. Her Instagram handle is @themoon_journal. I browsed her collections in her Etsy shop and ordered a few custom pieces to use for my workshops. I was in love with the pieces she created and I knew they would provide another burst of inspiration for the women who attend the workshops!
Then, like most of my brilliant ideas do, it hit me … “why don’t you ask Jo if she’d be interested in illustrating this book?”
Deep breath and …
And I waited.
Her initial response was a very polite, English way of saying “maybe”.
“She didn’t say no!” was all I could hear in my head. I was so excited! We hopped on a call together and I just knew. I had tears in my eyes, goosebumps all over my body, and felt an incredible sense of peace around the entire thing.
She also talked me down from a ledge, which I will chronicle about separately. ; ) And for that, I will always be grateful.
We talked again and she agreed to see my ideas and provide me with a quote. Oh boy, I was ecstatic! And, her husband knows how to do all the things digital to make it into an actual book! I simply couldn’t believe it.
It’s been about a month since my journey with Jo began. It’s truly been one of hope + faith, patience + trust. At the turn of this year, I didn’t even know Jo or know of her beautiful account. And then, just like that, my intuition lead me from one Instagram page to another, and then to Jo.
The timing aligned. The energy aligned. It all aligned.
So check it out, the very first illustration for my story, “Mama, where is the truth?”. A sweet and charming story about how Little One learns that the truth resides inside each one of us, and not out there somewhere.
I’m beyond excited and honored to have you on this adventure with me. Thank you so very much for being here with me!
In awe of you,
Coach + Author (eeeeek!)
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