The 12-week class that I mentioned in my last post finished last night with an interactive discussion with Editor Kate Farrell. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the class has been life-changing. The instructor, Arree Chung, spent more time focusing on our creative process than anyone I've ever taken a class from.
He's the sort of person you can't say "can't" around without being told not to limit yourself.
Isn't that the coolest book trailer?
Arree worked for Pixar before he started creating picture books.
I bought into his class with the expectation that I'd complete my first picture book dummy by the end of it. I'm coming out of the class with so much more than that.
Yes, I completed (and revised) my first picture book dummy, and I learned facts about design that will forever change the way I approach my picture book manuscripts.
I also gained an amazing critique group that will continue to meet, good friends whose work I believe in.
But my most important takeaway has been a change in the way I approach my work, both writing and illustrating. The morning pages Arree had us write clear away my anxiety, making it easier to work, and I'm finding solutions to story problems through taking walks and through drawing. Meeting regularly with a group of people who are working toward the same goals has been incredibly motivating. It's a healthier approach to creating stories.
I feel like I'm revising myself as much as I'm revising my stories. It's a great feeling.