In 2010, and after many years of thought and prayers, I decided to stop teaching. In some ways it was a gut wrenching decision since I loved the students, staff, and my role within the teaching community. Yet, as much as I loved it, I continued to long to be home with our boys.
What also made things harder was a great need to pursue my dream of becoming an illustrator. I wondered if I could do both or SHOULD do both… I fretted about not being successful and I fretted about becoming successful. If there was a worry to have; I had it. Yet after many prayers, conversations with my husband and family I felt a peace about at least giving it a whirl.
Shortly after I quit my job I drew the picture below for Illustration Friday. Much like I do today, I used their word for the week to inspire a drawing. Ironically, the word was “Adrift”. Knowing that I felt more than “adrift” and felt scared to my core, it was clear there was a joy in my new journey.
I spent today with the image on my desk and found myself taking moments to look at it as I worked. As I finished my to-do list for the day I knew that I needed to tackle another project, and that was re-draw the illustration. It was a fun and comical process. One where I found myself laughing out loud and saying, “Emily, what were you thinking when you chose that color? Giiiiirl, seriously…. your shading STINKS and what is with the dark outlines?!” I TRIED my best not to alter the placement of each object or person within the drawing (since they all had meaning at the time) but tried to just bring them up to date, a bit. 🙂 As always, I loved playing around with the expressions, and lighting of the piece and was happy to see a new rendition emerge after I was done. This project was a great tool to practice what I have learned over the years (mostly by trial and error) and remind myself that I have grown as a person and artist. I still have a LONG way to go, but I continue to LOVE the journey!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!” Jeremiah 29:11