I’ll answer the second one.

I never really set out to be a picture book illustrator, I wanted to be a cartoonist.

But as I walked down the path of picture books I found myself quite at home, maybe even more at home.

Shorter simpler stories

More time spent in the art it’s great!

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I decided to do 100 paintings and not suffer with judging each one. Finishing with a sense of “i like it - next!” would be enough. I have more joy in painting now!

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Nov 25, 2023Liked by Adam Ming

1. I decided to do a daily gratitude journal (going on 4 months now). That practice soon led to me making a daily “doodle”. I have been struggling to carve out time for my own creativity because I am a full time elementary art teacher and mom. Even just making a doodle for a few minutes a day has greatly improved my outlook and overall wellbeing, my ideas are flowing once again.

2. I discovered substacks this year and I have been filling my creative bank account by following authors and illustrators. My most recent discovery was the idea of tape collages/quilts from Austin Kleon’s blog and now I can stop collaging with tape and magazines! It makes me so happy to be creating for myself again.

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I love these questions, Adam!

Working at an animal shelter impacted my creativity more than I ever imagined. I felt so inspired by all the people and pets I met and worked with.

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Leaving my traditional illustrations more traditional and not ‘polishing’ them too much digitally . I think this has made me freer with experimentation with different materials and enjoying the mark making and textures I can create

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Nov 24, 2023·edited Nov 24, 2023Liked by Adam Ming

1. Bought a tiny sketchbook for $3.99 and created a daily habit to draw in it for 5min. Once my timer goes off, I have a choice to continue or do something else. I always continue…

2. I finally decided to embrace social media, Twitter/X in particular this year, which allowed me to discover you, Adam, through Mark Hoffman’s gab n doodle.

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Nov 28, 2023Liked by Adam Ming

What a great conversation prompt, Adam! I loved reading through everyone's comments. Here are my answers:

1. Maybe not a small change, but I took a sabbatical from Instagram for nearly an entire year. I had felt so burnt out by social media, and the pressure to constantly "produce." Giving myself the time to unplug from the noise helped me find my way back to my own authentic creative voice. It finally led me to my style (which had felt like a forever moving target).

2. Motherhood has probably been the biggest change in my life. It's what sparked me to go down this road of becoming a children's picture book illustrator. Ironically, when you become a mother, you suddenly have a lot less time to make art! There were a lot of frantic 1-hour drawing sessions while my son napped, and then long lonely hours drawing at night after I had put him to bed. The two worlds felt mutually exclusive, and I was burning the candle at both ends. Then I realized that playtime with my son is equally playtime for my creativity! Now that he's older, we are often drawing or making crafts together. He has inspired so many illustrations. I even ask him for his input sometimes, and his face lights up when he realizes he's "helped" with my work. Embracing the fact that your life is your art, and that inspiration is to be found everywhere in daily life, has been a great discovery :)

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No unexpected discoveries (yet) but using to-do/scheduling/reminder app sorted3 has helped me get into a more regular creative schedule, as well as other helpful habits

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