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AI Internet Takeover: What does it really mean?

 In the past year, AI generation has come to the forefront of the public's attention. It first came to my attention when listening to an art podcast where they brought up Midjourney and frequently discussed its implications and followed its progression and other sprouting AI offerings. Artists were enraged by duplicitous online artwork made in their styles and appalled to realize their art was no longer only being knocked off for a quick profit by cheap online POD merch stores, but now also by apparently anyone who wanted to. Now artists are not only losing rightful income due to copyright infringement, they are at high risk of artistic identity theft. The current climate of visual artists for hire depends on projecting a style, a self-image, online via social media. The danger of that style, that self-identity , being hijacked by anyone who could then possibly compete with the actual artist online or in the market is more than a little unsettling. It i

Another Step Forward

 Hey there again!

So you know I told you that I was working on a picture book right? Well, I've made massive progress over the last few months that I am so thrilled about! I created an updated portfolio, made a book dummy for my story, and sent it to an editor for some input. Now I am just waiting to hear back so I can know what to work on next!

It is kinda crazy to me that I was able to achieve all of this in such a short time, but I am so grateful for all the help I have had, and for the deadlines I found along the way that helped me get here. 

It all started with the SCBWI Illustrator's Conference that was in March.

I was not planning on attending the illustrator's conference because I felt I didn't have a good enough portfolio to share. And I didn't think I would be able to accomplish much with a little baby... but in February, as I was focusing on putting God first in my life, I had this little feeling that maybe I wasn't as far out as I thought, and I should try to get something ready and not give up so early. So I looked at my then 2-year-old portfolio and talked with my husband about a goal. If I could get a certain number of pieces refinished by the registration date (only a week away at that point) then we would register and commit to going to the conference.

I didn't quite make the goal, but I had made so much progress and had gotten so excited about going to the conference that we decided to go for it anyway. During that month before the conference, I felt my Father in Heaven show me how to find time to work, and how to manage my life better so I could succeed. I reworked an old project with several illustrations in a new media. I reimagined an old DTIYS-inspired piece. I leaned into visual exploration illustrations for my personal picture book. 

and somehow by the end of the month I had a whole portfolio I was proud of--and 170 postcards too!  (I have never made my own postcard before! It was so exciting I might have gotten a little carried away with the order quantity.)

The conference was the most helpful conference or artist seminar I have ever been to. Eliza Wheeler shared so much about the problems she faces in making picture books and how to work through them to create really good images. And at the conference, I found my next deadline. As conference attendees we would get the very first shot at registering for the SCBWI paid critique event (Critique-a-Palooza). I felt that feeling again. I felt like maybe this was something I could do. Maybe I really could make a book dummy for my story (two years old at this point) in the 48 days left before the submission date!

Using a lot of the amazing approaches and tips I learned from Eliza Wheeler and other presenters at the conference I got to work on my dummy. I made a pacing book and determined that I wanted to use a 40-page color-ended layout. As I worked in small thumbnails and messy scribbles to lay down the bones of my visual story I decided that I needed to use a landscape form to have the space I needed. As the deadline loomed, I decided to leave the draft of my dummy mostly in the stick-figure and bubble guy form since the dummy was going for a critique, and not as a serious submission.

I am so excited to hear back from the reviewer, Bunmi Ishola who is a children's book editor for penguin books, because I know she will have lots of great advice and insights on how to take my story to the next step, and how to make this story as authentic as possible.