"Josephine and the Gift" illustration by Joana Miranda

As I work at and sometimes struggle with creating my Josephine illustrations, I often have to remind myself that these are my “tuition pieces.”   Trying to learn new digital photo-editing and drawing programs while refining Josephine in my mind’s eye, isn’t always easy.  However, last night’s flop sometimes becomes today’s masterpiece – especially when you have an “ah ha!” moment just before going to bed and remember that there is yet another tool in the digital tool box that might solve your problem.  Each new illustration represents another step – sometimes many – forward in the process to “getting there.”

What keeps me from throwing in the towel and enrolling in the nearest design school?  I guess it’s partly the desire to go it alone (and save money) and also the knowledge that the world is really at my fingertips as long as I keep reaching.

More eloquent, would be the words of educator John Holt who said…

What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant, competent, confident, resourceful, persistent–is not having access to more and more learning places, resources, and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill, and judgment, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives of people around them.

What are you reaching for today?


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