One day, about 3 years ago, I was working on a monster puzzle with Gabe and I started to wonder why there aren't more girly monsters. The idea stuck in my head, and I started sketching out my princess monsters. Here is Ayzee, my very first:
And I said to myself this would make a great alphabet book. But life was busy and so I let that idea just linger in the back of my mind while I continued to sketch and paint princess monsters here and there. I kept learning more about art and painting more monsters, and all the while saying "One day I am going to make an alphabet book."
And then a few months ago I sat down and decided to just check how many monster characters I had created so far. And when I added it up, I had twenty characters created. And I realized that it was time to get serious about this and commit. I was ready to bring this dream from the background of my thoughts to the forefront of my life. I was ready to make this thing real.
Inspired by artists Danielle Daniel and Mindy Lacefield, who both released beautiful art books last year, I began to see the steps unfold in front of me. And I have been taking them one at a time, careful not to think too far ahead. I know that I can easily get overwhelmed by the vastness of a task like this and let the fear goblins take over my mind. So I told myself, right now all you have to do is sketch one more monster, or write one more verse. That's all you have to do. And I started making more space in my life, being careful to limit my other obligations to make room for this new project to grow.
So right now, here is where I am at. I have a rough draft of the text for the book written out and sketches for all the characters. I have a giant stack of MDF boards ready to be painted and a manuscript that needs editing. So this is where it becomes real. Because now I have to take this dream that I have been sheltering in the safe harbor of my heart and start sharing it with the world. I need to share my manuscript and get feedback (Oh how I hate feedback!) on how the verses flow. I have to commit to the painting style that I am going to use for all 26 paintings so that they will have a consistent look to them. And scariest of all, I have to start telling the world at large that I am working on this book so I can start generating some "buzz" for the project. This is all quite terrifying to take something that is so close to my heart, so much a part of me, and send it out. I can only imagine that when the book is done it will be even more terrifying.
So I remind myself that I only have to do one thing at a time. Take one little step. Write this one blog post and send it out. That is all. And then I can go reward myself with a nice piece of chocolate cake or a kitchen dance break.