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My art studio has been born!!!

I just started designing my new place… It’s called THE STORY EMPORIUM. Below is a description of what it is.

The Story Emporium is an art studio where children’s illustration can be purchased in the form of altered jewelry, prints, originals or books. I like to call it so much more than a children’s bookstore because not only can visitors come in and watch a children’s illustrator at work but 2 times a week we have visiting authors and illustrators who are interviewed for a local television station and a web show! Following each interview will be a book signing. Each visiting author will have their books for sale at The Story Emporium! In addition to our visiting authors we will have our resident storyteller for story times all week! Like I said…it is so much more than a children’s book store!

If you are a children’s author or illustrator and would like to be considered for an interview please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Erin

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Sitting Idle and Reflecting

Sitting idle frustrates me. I have been sitting idle for two years now because of my disabling spinal condition
and now it has traveled to my RIGHT arm … my drawing arm, uggghhh. VERY tough just to complete one painting or to even type for any decent length of time. I am actually looking into a voice recognition program to help me with the writing end. My intention here is not to complain because well, that’s just unattractive.

What I want to say is that I had a great revelation today. While watching my adorable kids and their friends selling lemonade, I found i was getting extremely frustrated having to once again sit idle when I could be working on my craft. However, it being 90 degrees, I certainly wasn’t taking my laptop outside to work so I just sat on the stairs and pouted to myself. Pathetic I know…. but it gave me time to reflect on the past week and how my artistic outlook has been boosted. I reflected back to having my oil changed in my car at Valvoline where  the attendants come right up to your car while you sit in it. They were awed by the artwork I had on my front seat and asked where did I buy it. Of course that is enough to make any artist proud but then they proceeded to look at my three childrens’ books that I keep in my car at al times. They told me my work was unbelievable. They lifted my spirits so high that day and that is not the only kudos I received last week. I met with RISCA (Rhode Island State Council of the Arts) and they too were amazed at the work I have accomplished. They even went as far as to say I don’t give myself enough credit. (and really what artist does?) Anyway, I got to reflect on this while sitting on the steps watching the kids at the lemonade stand. Reflection is so important and I just don’t do enough of it.

As I was pondering all of this I received a text from my x-mother in law. She had sent me a photo of my x-brother in laws newborn baby… just minutes old. It was then that I realized I have created more than books and art … but the wonderful children in front of me that were out there selling lemonade. It dawned on me that  I was not through creating them. I still have a few years before It is time to send them out into the world as I do with my finished books and paintings. I couldn’t help but smile when I realized I was working on what was now a 12 year old art project that is still not done!

Of course I had to grab my sketchbook and draw them at the lemonade stand and yes, I am happy to say that not only was that beautiful baby born today but a new picture book as well. I did rough sketches of my girls enjoying their summer and a story naturally followed in my head.

I will try to remember that sitting idle is a HUGE part of the process of creation, I just need to be patient enough sometimes to remember to do it.

Erin

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Updating my Charlie’s Head Site this week

With all this writing I’ve been doing my Charlie’s Head website has fallen behind. It’s tough to be an author and illustrator these days because not only do you have to create work and publish it but then you have to keep up with the blogs, websites, and all the social media! It’s confusing is what it is. All of my twitter accounts are active and you can feel free to follow me on any of those. All of my websites have the link to follow and are listed below.

erintwhalen.com  — Erin is the tweeter and tweets about all of her writing and illustrating adventures as well as                                ups and downs.

charlieshead.com — Charlie is the tweeter and he tweets on everything he is experiencing and seeing in the                                     new novel “Charlie in Underland”

lilycopublishing.com — Lily is the tweeter and tweets on publishing trends, books, marketing, and all Charlie’s                                      Head books!

I have just updated Charlie’s Blog or should I say Charlie did (tee hee). I still need to put links to buy the picture books, add some sketches from my novel and some excerpts, then get the Clubhouse going as well as teacher plans and kids activities. So much to do and only two hands to do it with. Any advice on how I can streamline my work would be much appreciated. Also… if you know of any interns interested in helping out a Children’s Author & Illustrator PLEASE send them my way.

As far as the art studio goes it seems we are having a new studio space carved out for us because the old one we had our heart set on is still occupied. I will post more news on that as I hear it myself.

The novel is soooo close to finished I can feel it. I am so excited!

PLEASE let me know if you would like to be on my physical mailing list. I will be sending out postcards when the new novel is ready! Also, I will be mailing out events etc. that I will be doing relating to all my art and writing. Just email me at erinesquedesign@mac.com 

Once again, thanks for following, reading, and enjoying the artwork and books I LOVE creating for you.

Erin

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Meet the Underground Witch

I have been doing so much character work as well as cleaning up my chapters and let me tell you this novel is shaping up better than I thought possible. I am so excited to be able to share the progress with you. I have taken this entire weekend to be by myself with my stories. I am popping back and forth from text to sketch then back again.

Underground Witch
Underground Witch
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I LOVE the artist village!

Ok, I went, I saw, and I LOVED!!! The Hope Artist Village is where I want to spend my days painting and weekends selling. The energy there is amazing. I am going to continue to create enough paintings to fill the walls in the studio so when I do move in, it will be beaming with all of my work. Please everyone send me good energy to obtain the perfect studio so that I can actually eat dinner on my kitchen table with my family instead of painting on it and have everyone eat in the living room … 🙂

Erin

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New Painting … enter evil ringmaster!

Evil Ringmaster
Enter Evil Ringmaster

Okay, the Ringmaster is stepping into the scene now. I spent last week painting this guy and I am finishing him up this week along with submitting some chapters to my writers group. What a wonderful group of women writers I got together this time. Writer’s groups are magical. You get different writers from different backgrounds all meeting up at a table two times a month and the energy and information fly!

My goal for this year is not only to finish my novel and get it in print for you but also to network and reach out to other artists – I mean really join the artist community by putting my work out there. I am going to put paintings out into the world as well as my books. As I near my 40th birthday I feel the need to expand my artistic world. As a matter of fact this Wednesday I am going to visit the Hope Artist Village to look at retail space for my work. I will let you know how that works out.

Erin

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Writer’s Nest

Evil Ringmaster steals the show!
Evil Ringmaster controls the show

The deeper I travel into this novel the more I love it! I am sitting upstairs in what I call my ‘writing nest’ and tapping away at the keyboard. Although my back is hurting me badly I am managing to type lying down on my daughters bean bag. Pain pill helps as well. Cross your fingers for me and perhaps you will have this very book in hand by the spring!

Erin

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Sketching my novel

Sketching some of my characters – here is a sneak peek of the ringmaster. There are so many more but I don’t want to spoil the

surprise! Keep your eyes on the blog for more info …

The Ring Master
The Ring Master

Erin

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Frustrated with disability

Good morning –

Today I begin with my frustration. Let me begin by saying I am and always have been an optimist but since 2009 of May this wonderful characteristic of mine has declined greatly and unfortunately it still declines daily. I never mentioned this on my blog because I didn’t think it needed to be talked about or was relevant but since this is my blog about my writing and artistic struggles I think it does need to be mentioned.

I need you to know that I am writing from my bed.

I am doing this because I have a major spinal disorder that prevents me from sitting up for long. Not only does it prevent me from sitting up but it also prevents me from running, walking, swimming, driving, and basically anything under the sun with ease. It hurts to put it mildly. I have been writing and drawing from my bed since 2009 of May because that is when my inherited disorder showed itself.

I think its important to tell you this because it is the number one reason I have been struggling to finish my novel. Although the ideas are coming fast and furious and I can’t seem to get them down as good as I used to. When I write, I tend to pace and walk then sit to write then get up and do the same thing all over again. It’s a very physical process for me. I have even gone so far as to lay on my living room for and have my friend help me set up all of my artwork and inspiration materials around me. I have attached a photo below.

My Disabled Office
My Disabled Office

I want you to know I am by no means complaining. I am just giving you a glimpse into my daily life because that is what blogging is all about. Please know that I will never stop writing until my hands don’t work anymore and even then, I will probably talk – type. I love writing and all that is involved but also please know that I am struggling to do it.

Thank you so much to all of my readers who have purchased my work in the past. I hope my new work lives up to your expectations.

Erin T. Whalen

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Boy can I get lost…

I have to say WOW, I just looked at my blog and saw the last time I wrote was August 28th and on that day I told you I would post a sketch the next day! So sorry. I can really get side tracked. I am writing like crazy this month and very happy about that. It seems I never want to go on the internet now because I am so into my writing which is a great thing because as any writer knows its usually the opposite. When it flows, it flows right? Gotta hold your hands under the faucet and catch every drop of creativity that is coming out! I have now put my bed in my art studio so I can absorb my project, it helps to see all of my sketches and notes posted everywhere before I go to bed and first thing when i wake up and its great, I don’t have to go far to get back to the drawing board! I just wake up, meander into the kitchen to grab my cup o’ coffee and head back to my lair. It’s wonderful when the writing flows. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe there is anything I can compare it too and only those that have experienced it can understand, all the rest just get to enjoy the literature that’s born from it.

~Erin~