Front Covers and Book Launches
posted by Kylie Leane on April 2, 2017

So recently I had the great honour of working with the emerging company Stone Table Books on a front cover for the incredibly talented, and beautiful Rosanne Hawke.
I love illustrating, it is what I hope to make a career out of to supplement my writing.
I've had years of not being able to draw well though, due to my health.
The year 2009 was the last, true, year that I felt I was drawing at a very high standard. Then my health went down hill very quickly. It was hard to cope with. I stopped drawing, unable to hold myself upright at the computer, unable to cope with the pain in my back, arms, and shoulders that came from just sitting for a short time.
I poured all my effort into writing.

There are some people who are immensely talented as artists. Who are born with a pencil in their hands, so to speak, and then, there are those who aren't - who need pratice and repetition to maintain a level of skill, otherwise that skill deteriorates. I am one of those types. I am not a born artist.
I am a person born with an immense amount of creativity, imagination and storytelling skills, yes. I was telling stories from a very young age. But I am not an artist, and I wasn't even a writer, that skill I had to learn along the way as well.

So, the years of chronic pain meant my skills just deteriorated and I became very, very upset over it, which meant I didn't want to do art even more. The passion just died.

However, something happened in the past year. Perhaps it's getting older, maturing. Perhaps it is learning to cope, developing a new set of skills. The skills to adapt around my condition. The years since 2009 haven't been easy, but each year I've learnt something about myself, about how my body works in its new state, about how to pace myself.
And you know what, I'm finally starting to draw a lot more again.
My old Cinqu is about eleven years old, and no longer works on Windows 10, it died half way through 2016. I finally saved up enough money at the beginning of 2017 to buy a new little Intuos. A few months of fiddling around, and suddenly, I get asked for some illustrating jobs.
Wait, what? WHAT? After the phone call, I just sat laughing. I hadn't worked on anything major in years. Was I up to standard? Could I pull it off? Immense doubt, but also thrilled excitement. Kyile. Girl. This is what you've always wanted. You can do it.
My computer was horrid. It froze and died every few hours. I lost content. I cried. I fought. I yelled at my technology, but in the end, I felt I produced the best I could at the skill level I currently am at. A level I'm aiming to improve with gusto (I want to return to 2009, but better, much better!)

All in all. The most blessed part about the last two months.
My grandmother offered to buy me a new computer, and a new cintiq.
My brother recently built that new computer. We called it the Dark Dragon. We thought that was pretty funny...
It's a monster, and oh, boy, does photoshop run soooooo smoothy!
Yeah. It has a lot of RAM. No more crashing computer for me.
The cintiq should be coming soon. I'm very excited.
My grandmother is the sweetest, loveliest lady. I hope to make beautiful art to show her the results of her kindness.

All in all, dearest readers, the last few months have been a real adventure. A lot has been happening.
A lot will continue to happen, I am sure, and none of it the way I expect.
If you're interested, Stone Table Books is having a book launch for Rosanne Hawkes two books that are coming out. I'm on a panel for it. I'm a bit nervous (hmmm, more like very nervous). Both Rosanne and DM Cornish have been heroes of mine for many years now, so its a little bit weird being on a panel with them.
I would love to see you there if you can make it.
I'll likely be taking another Uber.

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