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Passion – If you could quit your day job and your quality of life wouldn’t change, what would you do?

The Queen of the Squirrels - by B. Baltzell

Don’t worry…this isn’t another post about roller derby.  That’s a new obsession, but something that hasn’t fully formed yet.

Instead, if I could just do one thing, I’d like to be an illustrator.  I am captivated by the artwork in children’s books, and I’d love to find some way to do it in collaboration with a writer, or come up with something on my own.

I love to draw.  I’ve never taken any art classes, with the exception of one drawing course in college.  I tend to work best from a quick idea.  Someone tells a story or makes a comment, and I immediately get a picture in my head that needs to be translated as a cartoon or a drawing.

A while back, my friend, Tracy, told a bunch of her Tweeps about things that she did as a child.  She grew up spending a lot of time in the woods around her house, and fancied herself “The Queen of the Squirrels.”  I could immediately picture Tracy as a little girl, wearing a crown of twigs and leaves, standing on a tree stump, delivering judgements and kindness to all of the woodland creatures.  The next morning, I dragged out my drawing pad and my colored pencils and got to work.  I spent the better part of the day drawing.

My family knows that when inspiration strikes, it’s best to leave me alone until I finish the project or the flame burns low.

Last Christmas, my business partner had been working on Christmas cards at a folding table next to her couch.  There was a long cloth covering the table, and she tripped over it getting up to answer the phone.  She ended up with a terrible black eye, and a sheepish grin when she told the story.  I worked for a couple of days on a cartoon of alternative stories for her shiner.  I slipped it in with her Christmas present and gave it to her at our office Christmas dinner.  She loved it, and had it framed.  It hangs in her kitchen for all to see.

Next, I need to work on a drawing for my friend, Sara Rose.  My vision of her is as a wickedly funny, glittery Glinda…all pink and sparkly and awesome.  Her reign of Taco Tuesday domination is growing to legendary proportions.

Eventually, I would like to learn to paint.  For some reason, I can’t translate the pictures in my head to paint the same way that I can with colored pencils.

As the years progress, I am more determined to find a way to do this.  I may never get published, but it’s definitely something to shoot for.

My step-dad loves children’s books…maybe I need to work on him to come up with a story…hmmm.

In the month of December, I am participating in reverb11.  It is a chance to look back and reflect upon the year just passed, and to look forward to 2012.  Each day, a prompt is issued, and the reverb11 community interprets the prompt in accordance with their own experience.  Join us, won’t you?