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A New Day, A New Year

Xmas card 2013

(Sunrise in Maine, August 2013) 

A new day, a new year.  My warmest wishes for all your new beginnings! I hope you enjoyed very happy holidays and that 2014 is off to a great start for you!

My husband and I spent the holidays quietly, mostly working, but this past weekend, my good husband surprised me with a big Birthday Bash. And there was nothing quiet about that! Surrounded by friends and family,  I had a great time chatting, eating, drinking, singing, and playing charades well past midnight with my die hard party pals.  And so I enter my new decade ( do I really have to tell you my age?) and new year fortified with good feelings of love and encouragement.

As always,  I will be working a lot, but it is work I love so that makes it a lot better. I have  two picture books coming out- one in Fall of 2015 and the other in Fall of 2016. Illustrating is the most time consuming part of my work, and some books take longer than others. The  one I am working on now has taken over five months for just the dummy sketches. (I will tell you about this book and share artwork in the near future.) There are lots of characters and complex scenes it, so it is taking much longer than usual. In another few weeks, I will start the final paintings, which will take me another five or so months.

I put in long hours at the drawing board, but my goal is to find a balance, to set a limit, to leave some time for writing and other endeavors.  Maybe if I discipline myself to sketch/paint for seven or so hours, then use the remaining hour or hours (I have worked 12-16 hour days!) to write? I know it will be hard to pull myself away from the artwork, as I really get into it, but if I don’t, I will never, for one,  finish the memoir I have been working on for over four years! I am now in the revision stage after my agent’s and other early readers’ feedback. Still a good deal of work to do…

And then of course there are school, library, bookstore visits, conferences and book festivals,  office work, blogging and social media, everyday life chores, exercise, voice lessons and practice, time spent with my husband and friends, and I just volunteered to be a tutor for a local literary agency. What was I thinking? 🙂 Actually, I am very excited about it. It will be good, rewarding work.

But I will be busy. Wish me luck in finding a balance!

How about you? I know  I’m not alone in having a full, sometimes overwhelming life. How do you find a balance and maintain sanity? 🙂



About the author

Iza Trapani I am a children's book author and illustrator, fan of Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss, lover of big dogs, aspiring yodeler. When not in my studio, I spend time outdoors and have climbed over many a mountain to see what I could see.

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21 Responses to A New Day, A New Year

  1. cindy wider says:

    Wow Iza you sound as busy as me Lol! I am a guest speaker on a live hangout tonight at 9pm London time and anyone can register here if they want to listen in I am teaching a tutorial on how I draw people for my fine art and also my contemporary illustration style.

    I find balance by keeping my studio space super organised; I have four work stations; one for my fine art agent in Los Angeles (thats a huge easel on a table top for my acrylic on canvas paintings. Then I have my computer station with two screens for my Drawpj website and creating digital art for my agent in Florida at Porterfields Fine Art. Finally my fourth station is for my new foray into childrens book illustration. I am creating those images in water colour and loving it. So I have my hands juggling in the air, as well as being a mum to two little girls under 9 years. I love it all though, it keeps me sane.

    So my key to balance is organisation and keeping up with the washing, cooking and cleaning before it gets on top of me.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Wow, Cindy, you may be busier than I am! And you have two little girls to boot! I agree with you that staying organized is a big help. I know I can’t function in chaos. Sorry I missed your talk, but I had a class at the time. Hope it went well!

  2. Yay! More books coming from Iza!

    Boo! So much work for Iza to do.

    Hope you find a perfect, harmonious balance!

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I like hearing about your plans, Iza, & as a teacher, also love telling students about the patience an illustrator and a writer need in order to do their best, and get the book out! I’m glad you had a happy birthday, a good time to begin the year! Looking forward to hearing more about your new books!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thank you so much, Linda! Yes, I have learned to be much more patient than I ever believed I could be. There’s so much waiting in this industry, and so much time needed to create the work.But there’s much joy too! May you have a joyous year!

  4. Iza, congrats on your new books to be revealed in 2015 and 2016, and for your position. Thank you for sharing how long and hard you work, but that you take time out for other things that are important in your life. Can’t wait to see some of the illustrations you’re working on. 🙂

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thanks so much, Tracy! Busy as I am, I am glad I am taking the time to give back a little. I think it will be very rewarding. I will share the illustrations as soon as I can. Wishing you a bright, happy and creative new year!

  5. Hello Iza,
    They say when you need something done, you should find the busiest person around – because they will know how to fit one more thing in.:) Hopefully, no one will ask you to do one more thing, because you sound beautifully, excitingly and meaningfully busy already.:)
    Thank you so much for sharing your upcoming plans and books (YAY!), as well as your recent B-day celebrations. You are a most special lady…I am so happy to have connected with you. Best of luck in 2014!
    My year is going to be exciting and filled with doing what I love – I’m looking forward to taking Susanna’s Making Picture Book Magic class next month – as well as writing/revising/submitting my fingers off. I’m sure you can see me smiling.:)

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thanks so much for all the kind words, Vivian. I, too, am delighted that we have connected! I wish you an exciting year of writing. I am so glad you are taking Susanna’s class. She is a wonderful teacher and writer, full of fatastic ideas, and many years of experience. You will have great fun and learn a lot!

  6. BBF, congrads on the memoir. It sounds wonderful. And on your new picture book deals. Gosh you are busy, my friend. When you lay your head on your pillow at night, I suspect that heads falls to sleep quickly. I’m querying agents. ECK! I don’t like it. I do have a small article in the next SCBWI Bulletin. I’ve started writing poetry and found that I love doing it. I’ve been doing MOP all month.

    Thanks for filling us in. I was wondering about you one day. I’m very excited to see the illustrations, pal. Mwah! Hugs and squeezes. 🙂

    P.S. I’ve taken Christopher to a holistic doctor. Wish us luck.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Happy New Year, BBF! Wishing you great lucky in your search for an agent. ECK or not- Keep at it! I am really looking forward to your article in the SCBWI bulletin!
      Good luck with the new doctor. May this be the year that you find a solution to Christopher’s struggles. Sending all my love and big hugs!

  7. I hope it all remains busy in a good way! Congratulations on the books. Interested about the memoir. I’ve written one and never know if it will see light of day! I miss my volunteer days (much easier to do without a little one, but one day I will have time again). Here’s to a balanced and fun year!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Wow, Stacy, so you wrote a memoir too? That’s very exciting! Was it as enormous a project as I experienced? Is yours finished and ready for submission? Let me know if you have any questions, as I have learned quite a bit on this journey.

  8. Rhythm says:

    Whew! That’s all I have to say. I’m panting just reading about your days! A HAPPY New Year to you!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Hi Rhythm, a Happy New Year to you, too! I hope your dog days will be filled with great story times, good smells, tasty treats, fun walks and loving cuddles!

  9. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Iza! So glad you had such a fun party – what a wonderful way to begin the new year! I know exactly how you feel about trying to find balance in all that you do. I struggle with the same problem constantly. I wish I had some wisdom to share, but I have yet to figure it out! So DO let me know if you learn the secret! 🙂

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thanks, Susanna! It is hard, isn’t it? I’ll let you know if I figure it out- and you do the same for me- OK?

  10. Two books! I look forward to them! I was wondering today how folks seem to just be everywhere (social media). I mostly feel overwhelmed by it all as I try to write and revise and keep up with the challenges, etc. I’ve joined at the start of this new year. Alas, I have no words of wisdom for maintaining balance and sanity. I’m feeling a little crazy right now!
    I have a big decade coming up in March! Let’s just say that I’m pretty sure if I were a car and years were miles, I’d be due a major tune up!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Haha, Penny! You are very lucky to have been born when you were because cars today no longer get tune ups. The engine timing is set at manufacture and the spark plugs are very rarely replaced. You should have many more carefree miles! 🙂 Good luck with all your writing projects. I am so looking forward to your book in 2015!

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