Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Way Back When-sday: 2005 (and other stuff)


Well, welcome back to Way Back When-sday!! Well, it was Way Back in April I think when I did this feature the last time - goodness gracious, what a slacker!! Well, the reason I chose the year 2005 is that it was a complex mix of beginnings and endings. It is the year I started this great adventure called blogging - thus my 3 year blog birthday from June (which YES, I am still going to do a fabulous giveaway for!!). It was also the year that I re-energized my illustration work that had been dormant for years. Sadly, it was the year of the demise of my 22 year marriage, and then the subsequent move from Colorado back to Texas...which started me on a whole new adventure. So to say that 2005 was a pivotal year for me is an understatement...

First off, how the blog came to be. Well, I have to back up just a tad to the Fall of 2004. I had just completed my first freelance illustration job for the children's market (actually, it was the first freelance job I had done in years - that's one of the puzzle pages above). It was an activity book that never actually got published, but I did get paid. My mentor and pal, Liz Malwitz, had sub-contracted me to do it and it was so much fun! Well, now I was hooked on freelance illustration, and I sought work from other publishers and got work here and there all through the Spring of 2005 (I was working at the same full time home-based job then too, so this was all on the side). Then I began to surf the internet for information about illustrators in the children's market. That ultimately led me to Holli Conger's website, where I found her powerful year-long monthly journal that she called "Becoming an Illustrator". I highly recommend this article to anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a full time artist (of any kind) is a great, intimate glimpse into the process and is full of practical guidance and marketing ideas. Anyway, it was in this article that I first read about blogs. Then through Holli's blog and her links I found many more inspiring, creative blogs, and I was forever hooked. On June 9th, 2005, I started up Just Bee 'n Me (a name I had been toying with for months as a possible name for my illustration business) and the rest is history...

In Holli's article, she also mentioned Illustration Friday, a wonderful network of illustrators in all media who create artwork based on a weekly topic sent out by email to all participants. Participation in this venue probably did more to revive my desire to illustrate and hone my skills and help develop my style that just about anything I had done previously. Before I knew it, I was creating an entire new illustration a week, and this quickly built up my lagging, neglected portfolio.Plus, it was just plain fun! Sharing comments with and getting comments from other artists I admired was incredibly addictive and very helpful. Here are some of my early pieces from the first few months of IF participation:




IF participation, and blogging in general were becoming an increasingly important part of my life. This outlet provided me with a sense of community at a time when I really needed it. My 22 year marriage was falling apart - we were living under the same roof, but we were living separately in every other way. This is not the proper forum to share too much about it other than to say that it was a heart-rending, miserable time for both of us. The decision to divorce was not made lightly, I can assure you. I had come to love the life we had made in beautiful Colorado in many ways (we had been there 7 years after having moved from Austin in 1998) - and I had a LOT of wonderful BFFs in real life that I did not want to leave behind...but it became clear that moving would be the best thing to do. I needed to be surrounded by family, and family was all in Texas. So, on December 23, 2005, I arrived at my parent's door where I was welcomed and loved and cherished, and the healing process began...

2005 - what a year...


Upcoming Stuff...

On Friday the 18th, I will reveal the Cookbook Cover I designed for the Cookbook Cover Contest over at the Siesta Fiesta Blog, and I will ask you guys to head to their blog and vote for your favorite cover submission. I'm so excited to be participating in this project - it is for a wonderful cause - building a well in Africa (I'll share more of the particulars on Friday)...


Preparations for the Just Bee 'n Me Boutique (online) are underway! I can't wait to get it all loaded and functioning! It will be so great to share my creations with a wider audience...and give you an opportunity to buy many of the goodies that you've seen in photos on the blog. It's so exciting and I can't wait to share it with all of you!!


The Giveaway hasn't gone's just aging to perfection! :o) It will happen this week or early next week no matter what so please keep stopping by...I'm looking forward to showing my appreciation to you all through these handmade treasures...

Thanks again for stopping by - you have made blogging one the most fun and satisfying things I have ever done! I love you guys!!


  1. Well Becky, a sad story about the breakup of your former marriage, but it looks like there was a happy ending. Still, that had to be a terrible thing to go through and my heart goes out to you. I have always thought your artwork was perfect for childrens illustration. It is absolutely lovely.

  2. I loved reading how you began blogging and the inspirations behind dusting your wonderful art skills off. I look forward to seeing your cookbook cover entry.



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