After attending the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in LA this summer, I headed to Portland, OR to process my thoughts before returning home. I was so lit up with inspiration following the lectures of some of my favorite illustrators like David Wiesner, Carson Ellis, and after meeting the wondrous Marla Frazee.
But I was also found myself flooded with anxiety as the words of one of the most reputable agents spun through my mind, "Get your priorities straight...everything you do has consequences... don't overextend yourself...don't compromise the quality of your work..."
Going back home and heading into the Fall/Holiday crunch in the fashion industry is all consuming and filled me with so much fear that my dreams were going to slip away. How does one balance full time responsibilities, find love, pursue their dreams, hone their skills, live healthy and fully, fill up on friends and family, and feel financially safe?
Stop stop stop. Rewind.
As Marla Frazee signed my copy of Stars, she told me to watch a documentary on Virginia Lee Burton after hearing that I work as a textile designer. It was the first thing I did when I returned home to Brooklyn. I knew of her books Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, The Little House, and Choo Choo, but I didn't know about the woman behind those magical stories. Virginia was a dancer, designer, painter, and sculptor. She was a mother and wife that lived an artistic life and surrounded herself with creative people. In 1941, she founded the textile collective Folly Cove Designers in Massachusetts. Their work can still be found in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.
Now that is a true Renaissance woman.
I will follow her lead and make a point to slow down, surround myself with creative minds, and just enjoy where I am at. My dreams will not happen overnight, but I can plant some seeds every day till I get there. Thank you, Virginia, for reminding me that I can live a full and creative life filled with joy and grace. There is no rush, there is only now.