February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gallery Exhibit, ‘In & Out’

Gallery Exhibit, ‘In & Out’
Selections from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Visual Artist/Educator Fellows.

I was invited to exhibit my illustrative work recently in a show at St. Elizabeth College in Morristown. The show is up until June 28th. The opening reception was on May 16th and I have included some photos of my piece and my daughter running around having a great time. Over 70 artists in the Foundation submitted and 36 were selected. I was chosen to exhibit a picture book illustration I had done for a story that has since expanded into a middle grade novel. I’m still working on the novel and the illustration is now a portfolio piece.

Thanks to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation I was able to kick start a new career as an author/illustrator of children’s books. I received their summer grant last June of 2007. Among other things, I spent it on summer day care for my daughter while I used that precious time to work on a picture book idea that had long been shelved. Since I currently teach commercial art full time I thought I would have to wait until my daughter grew up before I could find time for my own work. The grant changed my life. I had an amazing summer doing what I had always wanted to do and I wanted more.

As kismet would have it, I found out about the HCCBWG, became one of the facilitators based on my previous incarnation as a published fantasy illustrator and began my dual journey as illustrator and author in the children’s market. I reactivated my SCBWI membership and have been flying towards my goals ever since, at a pace I never would have dreamed possible!
Thanks to the grant money I now have a website, a new camera, lighting equipment for photo-shoots and a hoard of art supplies. My ‘day’ job ties in really well with my publishing aspirations too. This year, again thanks to Geraldine Dodge, I won a school grant and used it to teach my seniors how to create their own children’s picture books, from concept to dummy book to the final stage of a printed bound book.

Things are happening! Currently the Geraldine R. Dodge foundation is using another illustration of mine for the cover of their Annual Report which goes out to about 700 national foundations and will also be displayed on their website. I have been interviewed for the next upcoming issue of SPROUTS (the New Jersey chapter SCBWI magazine) and my SCBWI logo was selected as the winner of the illustrator contest for NJSCBWI, which will be featured at this year’s conference on June 6 & 7. This past April, I attended the SCBWI NY portfolio conference and received interest in my work from Highlights Magazine and a number of artist’s agents. I am excited about NJSCBWI’s June conference this weekend and look forward to editor feedback on my novel, a first page on a picture book and another portfolio review. I’m also looking forward to seeing many of the HCCBWG members there! Good luck to everyone!
Cathy Daniels


Jeanne said...

And just think, Cathy, this is only the beginning! Kudos to you - there is no doubt your amazing talent will grow and blossom into wonderful things. Kaida soars!

Sheri said...

Congrats Cathy! I am so happy for you and proud of you. As you know, I think you are immensely talented and know you will go very far. I LOVE your PB as a novel. It is a spectacular story told beautifully. See you this weekend at the conference!


Cathleen Daniels said...

Thankyou Jeanne and Sheri! As the conference nears, nervousness abounds and confidence sags a bit. Its good to get a boost from friends.

Aimee said...

You express yourself so beautifully, you always have. Stay the course & great things will come of it!

Patricia Koelmel said...

Cathy, I apologize for just now commenting on this posting. Congratulations again on all your recent successes! You are not only talented but dedicated and determined as well. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation also supports (in part) my museum so I know the magnitude of being awarded such a prestigious grant. I wish you continued success. By the way, your daughter is absolutely precious! She looks just like you.

LEEZY said...

GO CAT!!!! this is so awesome. You are an amazing, oh-so-talented illustrator (and author). I'm so proud to know you — what an inspiration!

Congratulations on all these successes, I can say I knew you when!