I've had a very productive week at home, completing paintings for Little Ron on a Big Mission. That's great, but it also means I've been away from my main gig at the newspaper. That worries me.
I love my career as a children's book illustrator, but I need my job at the newspaper. Although I've had a very fulfilling week, there's something creepy about about being away from the paper for so long — particularly at a time when newspapers have been laying off their editorial departments. I'm told art departments go first.
I'm off work again tomorrow. Then I'll work two days before I'm off again for the week. I love my new schedule, but I worry about how much of an impact I can make in the few hours I am there. According to my boss at the time (two years ago), I was the MVP of our department. Now, I wonder if they even notice me at all.
By the end of this day, I will have completed Little Ron. Almost. The paintings are finished, but over the next few days, I'll need to fix inconsistencies and rework a few of the lesser successful paintings. Then there is the cover.
At Dutton — and possibly others, too — they ask that the cover concept be left until last. Once the art has been scanned and laid out with the text, we'll brainstorm ideas for the cover and any other spot art that may be needed.
In the last few weeks, I've received negative feedback from several parents about my son's school. My son attends a private Christian school, that some — parents of children who don't attend the school — accuse of being too hard on children. They say the school expects too much and pushes children too hard. "They're like little reading machines over there," someone recently said to me, while another person compared the school to the military, because of the high level of discipline. But I ask, what is wrong with having high expectations of children? Especially when these children always meet or exceed expectations? And what is wrong with a classroom that has very few discipline problems?
The administrators at the school compare children's brains to muscles — the harder they are worked, the bigger and stronger they get. I think this is great.
I have three children; two are grown. I've tried it the other way. It didn't work as well.
I received the sad news that my high school sweetheart and prom date died recently in a car accident. I'm stunned. And what's ironic is that I received the news from another high school sweetheart, both of whom had recently contacted me through MySpace.