Thursday, May 25, 2017

On Twitter Pitch Parties and Perfect Phobia

hashtag illustration
 My thoughts on twitter pitch parties:

Love them. They're a great kick in the seat of the pants to get me to finish things. I suffer from what I shall call, Perfect Phobia, and these online contest, pitch parties, word wars, etc. are a good remedy. I have a debilitating fear (if I let it) of everything having to be perfect. When I was in high school, a teacher once told me to stop worrying about my report being perfect and just get it done. I could always revise it. These contests help jar me out of the fear of perfection. I know manuscripts are supposed to be completely polished and ready to send, but then I'd never send anything. I have to let go at some point. Call it done.

My writing and manuscripts have improved in direct result of having subbed to online and twitter contests. And to be honest, I have to admit to submitting things that were not polished. While I thought they were finished to a high level, I do feel guilty for going against the rules when I had inklings some of my manuscripts were not as polished as they could be. However, my manuscripts wouldn't be in the better condition they are now without having done this, without the push of a deadline to complete to a solid level finish, and without the critiques and comments from generous authors also participating who nudged me in the right directions, helping me to recognize those inklings, the ticklings in the subconscious that I didn't look at directly -- like monster's eyes on the dark, don't look and they're not there. Well, they are and BOO! Gotta face 'em sooner or later.

I have received some likes (hearts) here and there. I haven't subbed to all of those since I'm searching for an agent for both my picture books (writing /illustrating) and my MG / YA. Many only rep older. But I'm not necessarily in these contests to find my agent. I am querying specific agents for that. I know there are success stories with these contests, but I also know how numb I get going through the feed of so many offerings. I don't know how agents and editors do it without it all becoming a jumble in their heads. So I don't pin my hopes on being discovered within the feed, but I do appreciate the kick in the seat of the pants and the feeling of community while constantly updating the hashtag feed.

I'd love to hear about your experiences and thoughts on twitter pitch parties. Do you love them? Hate them? Participate or not? Any success stories you want to share?

Here's a few I know of and have participated in. Please add any more on the comments.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ugga Mugga Love

The world needs love, lots of Ugga Mugga love. I painted this on Mother's Day thinking of my Mom who is so far away. This also works for Illustration Friday's theme this week, Mother. Go give your mother a kiss today! Aren't ugga mugga kisses the best?
Ugga Mugga by Traci Van Wagoner ©2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Girl in Pink

Sorry I haven't posted here in a while. I've been busy finishing the illustrations for Rest in Peace RaShawn, which is now available (see Books), as well as finishing some new dog toy designs, and game designs and illustrations. It's good to be busy doing creative work.

On top of client work, I've been having fun paint playing both in Photoshop and on my old iPad with Procreate (which I LOVE).  Lately, I've dived into the @colour_collective challenges each week. I love playing with color and this gives me a jumping off point each week and encourages me to expand my color palette. I have to admit that many of the colors I would not have picked, so it has expanded my art world. This cautious girl and her cat were in my to-do-someday sketch file from past projects, both personal and work related, which spoke to me when I saw the color for this week, Mountbatten Pink. I painted this in Photoshop using my wonderful Cintiq. Enjoy!
Girl in Pink by Traci Van Wagoner
Girl in Pink © 2017 Van Wagoner