Friday, December 30, 2011

Growing List of Resolutions

     Okay, I hope everyone suffers from the same issue....the ever growing list of resolutions!  With only the best of intentions, every year I make my list.  Year, after year, after year, after year.  For some strange reason, they never seem to come off that list.  My list just continues to grow.  To be fair, I do manage to cross off a few minor things, which I think subconsciously I put on my list so I can actually cross something off and not feel like a total loser.  This year I am taking a different route! 

My list can have a maximum of 5 things on it.

They must be specific and obtainable (realistically!).

They can't all be about me- I know I need the work, friends don't give up on me yet, but I figure I better start paying something back.  Giving birth and providing the world with 2 amazing human beings, doesn't have the same level of amazingness with the general population as the grandparents told me it would.  My husband doesn't even buy the "I gave birth to your children" line anymore.  I have been using it for twenty plus years, I guess I can see his point.  If my girls are reading this.....You are AMAZING! You make the world a better place!

My list cannot contain any item that has been on a previous list.  That doesn't mean I don't need to lose weight.  I'm just not going to announce my pending starvation and grouchy moods to everyone.  I will just spring it on you when you least expect it :)

Finally, if I don't fulfill all of the resolutions on "THE LIST OF 2012 RESOLUTIONS," (in my head that actually sounds really cool)  I owe my husband a hundred bucks.  My husband and I are super competitive when it comes to meaningless wagers that we never ever enforce payment of, except when he loses and then I expect payment in full.

"THE LIST OF 2012 RESOLUTIONS"
(Again, if you could only hear it!)

 1.  Read at least 5 novels

2.  Do 1 silly/ridiculous thing a week- Sunday nights could get interesting!!

3.  Do someone a favor at least once a month (I cannot benefit from this favor in any way, other than it makes me feel awesome to do something nice for someone)

4.  Write at least 1 random sentence EVERY DAY! (cannot be work related, but can be used as inspiration for a future work related item)

5.  Enter AT LEAST 2 writing and/or illustration contests.

I will update you on my progress! (Unless I completely fail and then we will all pretend this never happened)

hAPpY NeW yEAr!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Chaos

I love the holidays. It's one of the few times we all get together in the same place at the same time.
Most families grow with new babies but ours seems to grow with more dogs. Right now, I am sitting in the living room sharing the sofa with 2 dogs while 3 additional dogs lay at my feet. I haven't even mentioned the 3 cats that seem to only come out at night when all the puppies are passed out after several hours of wrestling, barking (lots of barking), drinking, eating and begging, only to be followed by more wrestling.
So far they have unwrapped 3 presents, knocked over the tree, ate my earbuds, put a hole in my duvet cover (while wrestling of course) and the youngest, smallest one has figured out how to get on my drawing table, even with the chair pushed in! So far I am missing a knead eraser, 2 pencils and I had to chase her for 10 minutes to get my white eraser back. I suppose I should google the toxicity of knead erasers, but it's been several hours and she seems no worse for wear.
Silver lining.....no one has mistaken the Christmas tree for a warmer, more convenient place to expel the gallons of water consumed. They get very thirsty after all that wrestling of course!
Oh, did I mention we are adding 20-30 people to the mix on Christmas eve?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tomi dePaolo Contest/Award

I used pastels instead of my normal inks.....not sure about the result. I struggled with my color palette, I think I like being able to make any color I want with inks. Next illustration I'm going to use acrylics! I like to mix it up just to make life more interesting!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Progress Comes In Baby Steps

     I decided this week was an organizational week.  In artist language that means no drawing or painting.  With my art materials safely out of sight I sat at my computer and dared to open my Go Daddy account.
     It wasn't as bad as I remember!  Go Daddy has added some new features that makes editing a bit easier and I quickly added a few new pictures for everyone to enjoy.  Be sure to peruse my web site and let me know what you think!
     I also managed to order promotional postcards and business cards.  I believe that was my goal last March!  In all fairness I did order postcards earlier.  I was so excited when the box came!  I grabbed the scissors and ripped open the box..... WHAT?........HOW?.......ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I was expecting a beautiful image of blue green water and the perfect brown colored boat, blue overalls and a yellow hat.  It was more like an unkempt homeless boy, sleeping in a rickety old boat, floating on a sea of toxic sewage.  They were horrible.  To say the color was "off" is such a ridiculous understatement, I can't even go there.  Needless to say the postcards were returned for a full refund.  The company I used did not offer color proofs, so I did some research and reordered with a different company.  The excitement is building and I should get my perfect box moment sometime next week!
     The book launch party for Nan's Donut Dilemma was awesome.  Mary Ryan is a party organizing wizard and everyone had a great time.  We signed books all night and I believe Mary sold all the books she brought that night.  Thanks to everyone who came, it was a lot of fun to meet you all.  It was also the first time I met the real Nan.  I was amazed at how much my Nan character looked like the real Nan, considering I never even saw a picture of her.  I'm starting to think I might be psychic!  Well, not really, but that might make an interesting story. 
     I will let you know if my box holds any promise or just the images of a disturbed illustrating psychopath.  Be sure to check out my web site.  Also here is a link to Nan's web site http://www.nanstories.com/ if anyone would like to purchase a book.  You can also check out the publisher web site http://keeneditions.com/.  Ann and Mary were amazing to work with!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Launch Party

Book Launch Party for "Nan's Donut Dilemma" at Yo Yo Donuts in Minnetonka, Tuesday November 15th, 4-7pm! Everyone is invited! Hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Florida Inspiration!

It seems when I'm with my girls I get my best ideas. It helps that Lauren has always provides interesting places to
visit her. First New York and now Florida. Lauren is a photographer so she always inspires unique perspectives and subject matter. I can't wait to get home and create!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Picture Book!

     I have my first picture book coming out later this month! It was very exciting and terrifying at the same time.  My deadline was 6 weeks start to finish, needless to say I was very very busy.  I will post a picture of the cover as soon as it is available.  The title is "Nan's Donut Dilemma".
     I am taking my first writing class.  I have been to several conferences but this is my first attempt at an actual writing class.  I always go in thinking I am going to write a picture book and come out thinking YA.  There must me a YA story yearning to come out, so we will see where this class takes me!
     I will also be attending the MN SCBWI conference at the end of this month.  I'm hoping to be inspired to create a few new images.....all I see are "Nan" images lately!  It will be great to spend a day with lots of creative people after being locked in my studio for  6 weeks :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Resolution Failure

Obviously I have not lived up to my resolution to blog more often.  I believe my last post was in March?  I have been very busy lately..... getting my first book deal :)  with a new local publisher.  The book should be out in Fall 2011, so this will be a short post since I should be painting right now!  Hopefully this is just the start of many book deals to come.......a girl can dream!  I finally did order my postcards and they turned out HORRIBLE!  Instead of color everything was gray, they were promptly returned and I have to start over with a new company once I am done the book. 

I just signed up for a writing class at The Loft, which starts in September.  I've never taken a writing class before so I'm thinking I should bring a book bag with lots of books and wear my glasses, so it LOOKS like I know what I'm doing. Too much?

I better get back to work......I actually have a deadline to meet!!!

TTFN

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Updated Website

     This is a picture I have been working as part of an assignment for my critique group.  The assignment was six-word stories.  Ernest Hemingway once boasted that he could write a story in just six words.  His story was: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn.  Slightly depressing but effective.  My story was: Crazy noises. Doors slamming. People laughing.  My friend Linda had a very funny story: Dressed as clown. Having car trouble.  She told us a hilarious story....it also happens to be true, about the time she was pulled over for speeding dressed as a ninja turtle.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!  I love my friends in my critique group, we have such a fun time!     
     Well, if anyone has time, check out my updated website.  I only added a few new pictures, but it does represent about 3 hours of computer work (see previous posts about Go Daddy).  My goal was to have a promotional postcard out by April 1st, but...........May 1st may be more realistic.  We will see if I come up with anything postcard worthy in the next couple of weeks.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Studio

Thanks to my AMAZING husband, I now have a new studio!  He completely transformed the loft in our family room in 1 week. Now instead of being trapped in the secluded extra room/storage space away from people....light....life, now I am part of the family again.  A few very small finishing touches still need to be completed, but it is a HUGE step up from my previous space. 

I swear every time we start a remodeling project we would be $10k richer if we just had a camera rolling the entire time (America's Funniest Home Video's).  I'm not sure if hauling the cabinets over the railing from below with a rope, a ladder and the two of us would win, but trust me, it was quite comical.  Spiral stairs always look cool, but are not conducive to hauling things (especially heavy items) up and down.  Damn form over function!  The artist in me just "had to have" spiral stairs, they were artistic, interesting, unusual and surprisingly not that expensive.  I was much younger then and didn't realize will be spending a large portion of my life going in circles and I certainly didn't need to do it everytime I needed to change levels.

I can't wait to get working!  I am feeling more creative already.  Thanks Hunny!!
Enjoy the before and after pics :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Illustration Friday

My very first Illustration Friday submission!!!  This week's topic.....Surrender.  I think I channeled Nina for the story :)  It's impossible to read here but if you go to my website and look at the ONLY thing under the Editorial page, I think you can make out the story.  Find it at http://www.colleenmuske.com/

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My drawing for the day. I call it "Sheepy Girl" haha.

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post! Delayed New Year's resolution is to blog more often.... Starting today.

I went to see the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota yesterday with Linda, it was awesome!!!!!! It was amazing to see the original sketches, drawings, watercolors..... For 4 hours we dug through boxes but only managed to get through 4 of them. We definitely need to go back and see more. I really wanted to see the "Humble Pie" box by Stephen Gammell. The library employee told us it was about 45 pounds and she could not bring it up by herself. We offered to help or better yet just be let loose in the archives, but she did not thing we were as charming as we seemed to thing we were. Go figure!?! I think we might need a whole day just for that box next time! Of course we didn't do anything correctly from the start. We didn't pre-register or request boxes, so she was annoyed with us from the minute we walked in, although I think we did win her over in the end.

After 4 hours our stomaches were growling so loud and we were so parched, we had to call it a day.... no food or drink around all those precious artifacts! One box we looked at the artist had spilled his coffee on his drawings, I know how frustrating that can be!!!

So now that I am inspired to work even harder....FYI that means less house cleaning, my apologies if you plan to visit anytime soon....I spent the entire day in my art studio. Back to reality tomorrow, working six 12 hour shifts in the next 7 days. I wonder if my pencil and paper miss me as much as I miss them when I am away?