Recently, we celebrated the release of my latest art education resource entitled, Jamilah Loves To Talk About Art. While the party was a great experience, getting to that point was hard. I decided to write the story after taking a part-time art teaching position at a local school. Being in a school setting is inspiring and helps me to develop art education resources that I share on my other website.
After using many other children's books to enhance the art lessons we present at school, I thought that I could use the same medium to introduce young people to artists they may have never learned about or heard of. Easy peasy, right! Wrong!!!
Writing the story was pretty simple because I already had the main character and a list of artists in mind that I wanted to talk about in the story. But creating the art for the story was a whole different animal. This book is the first story I have ever illustrated and shared with the public. Even though I am a professional artist and art educator, I did not realize how hard creating the illustrations for the story would be.
I experimented with various media, did tons of revisions for each drawing and edited them on the computer a dozen times. My hands and wrists would ache at the end of each day. Once I had a mock up ready to print, I had to go through at least 7 different revisions with the printing company before I finally settled on the version of the book currently for sale.
It took me approximately 8 months from start to finish to complete this book. Even though doing the art was challenging, overcoming self-doubt was the biggest challenge. There were so many times when I wanted to quit, but thankfully had lots of support and encouragement from my husband and friends. I also did a lot of praying in which I received strength from God to help me finish. I am so glad that I finally finished this book and now it's time to take a break!