Monday, June 09, 2014

A lot has happened since this blog was moved to HERE

You can sign up for emails of all my blog posts HERE. I don't spam and you get the full post delivered to you inbox.

Check out the Kid's Free Activities (adding more all the time)

 


You can hire me for school, library visits and conferences too! My agent is Creative Net or email me via my website


And don't miss out on the existing and upcoming illustration and craft tutorials!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Concept sketch & illustration on my new blog

Illustration Friday – Power

I actually got to colour this illustration, often Illustration Friday comes and goes with my ideas at sketch stage, and no post to show for it.

SEE THE ILLUSTRATION & DETAILS on my new blog:
This is hybrid man, cross street scene, and is scanned from one of my sketchbooks.

SEE THE ILLUSTRATION & DETAILS on my new blog:


Friday, June 14, 2013

Dream big and see it come to reality!

Years ago when I dreamed of writing and illustrating a children’s book I never dreamed it would lead me down such a fulfilling path. Read my latest news on my blog here: http://kayleenwest.com.au/portfolio/bigger-dreams-are-possible-with-books/

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

$100 Book voucher from Wombat Books



Wombat Books is giving away a $100 voucher for Wombat titles when they reach 500 likes on thier Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WombatBooks?ref=ts&fref=ts

They are only 3 likes away and so get in for a chance to pick up Australian titles from a wonderful publishing house. In a world with mixed morals, I feel privileged to be associated with such a great publishing house and one who believes in the great talent in Australia.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I am Moving

For various reasons I have decided to migrate my blog this year. To keep up with the move, see what has happened and get the goodies please visit: MY NEW BLOG and check out the latest on my website.

Ther are several new posts to look at already and I plan to be more vigilant this year.

You can also find me on Face book:
Author Page
Illustrator page
Adoptive Father Picture Book Page


The big shift

I haven't died I have moved my blog. Please check out my latest post here:NEW BETTER BLOG!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Next Big Thing Has Arrived



We all want to know what The Next Big Thing is right? Well I will tell you; it is a blog chain for writers and artists to connect and share their current projects. It gives you the reader, a chance to discover great writers and discover their current work.

This year is to be a massive year for me both as an illustrator and newly published author and I am on high charge. I was delighted when Jeanette O'Hagan (passionate writer of Akrad’s Children and Adelphi: A YA or New Adult fantasy series) invited me to participate. I met Jenny interstate late 2012 and have remained in regular contact - Hugs Jenny x

The concept is simple: each creator gets a chance to share a bit about their latest project (new release, completed book or works in progress). The opportunity is paid forward to another blogger or group of bloggers who likewise post about their next best thing in exactly one week’s time (16 January 2013) - still organising that!

My Next Best Thing:

1. What is the working title of your next book?
Adoptive Father: This week I am expecting the books delivery in Australia and in India. They have landed in both countries and clearing customs as we speak - finally! Can I technically say it is my next book? It will be released with a few weeks whilst I also work on two more books (at least) this year.
http://adoptivefather.org/

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Although I believe my gift is heaven sent, this book was a calling and something the book that steered my creative path into the wonderful world of children’s books. The idea came in one clear sentence and image after prayer one night late in 2009.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Christian Picture Book, however it has a strong message of how we can love one another better.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

More appropriate question for a novel but I would like to think we can all play a part of every page of this book in real life – no need to act at all.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A colourfully illustrated, endearing picture book about God’s adoptive love for each one of us and how through his example, we can love one another more.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This book was a personal project and involves missionary distribution and so I have chosen to publish and distribute this book myself. My next book is with a publishing house and will be my preferred avenue for my future books. I will be looking into an agent option in the near future as well.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The draft came easily when I found a way to create a quiet writing environment. Unlike my situation now, there was an avalanche of interruptions in writing the draft however this book evolved in a strange organic way with images sometimes superseding text. I let the book evolve as it was presented in my mind and trusted it would all work out – which it has.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Obviously the Bible has relationship to the adoptive, nurturing message in Adoptive Father but I would like to think all my books (Christian or not) compare it to the “healthy” children’s books available that impact our children’s social, mental and spiritual development in a positive way. Unfortunately healthy books for children are becoming more suffocated with the opposite. We as parents compete with TV, books and media that both celebrates and encourage a troublesome, self-entitled, and self-centred mindset in our children and we wonder why we see much troublesome behaviour in kids now! What we feed our children’s minds can edify, influence, and empower our kid’s or be destructive to their character. Books are both a powerful and destructive tool. Adoptive Father is all about the heart and how important the size of our heart is, knowing we are loved and have to capacity to love another more; a simple message so often forgotten.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This book was God inspired and most of my writing is inspired by the urge to help children or adults live with less pain, more security and peace within themselves. My three objectives are to edify, encourage and empower through my writing and illustrating.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Some may be questioning the reality or character of our creator or why they feel ‘heart-sick’. Perhaps the book will answer some questions, fill hearts with love, a sense of belonging. Perhaps another will question if there is any such thing as orphans or alones? Maybe it might even encourage someone to love another person at a time they really need it. That would be cool!


Jeanette O'Hagan’s new book series and blog post about three young lives are bound together in friendship, love, rivalry and tragedy: two orphaned refugees seeking a new life, a privileged prince striving to earn the approval of his father.  http://jennysthread.com/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/


Paula Vince has eight published works including two which have won awards and one, Greenfield Legacy, written in conjunction with three other Australian writers. She is preparing her ninth book Along for the Ride for publication mid 2013. While her preferred genre is Romance Adventure, I recently enjoyed reading the first book of Paula’s YA fantasy trilogy – the Quenarden series – and can’t wait to read the second one. Check out Paula at www.justoccurred.blogspot.com

Lynne Stringer is soon to publish her first YA Sci-Fi Romance novel The Heir and has two or three other books in the pipeline. Check out Lynne at  https://www.facebook.com/lynnestringer.author?fref=ts

Skye Wieland has recently published Sarah’s Gift – an Adult Christian Romance set in Australia and South Africa and the first of her Dare to Follow Series. Check out Skye at  www.skyewieland-author.blogspot.com)


Monday, December 31, 2012

Get published in 2013 and finish the race.



GET THAT BOOK FINISHED!
Have you ever wondered how many books are never read, artworks never seen and stories are never told? Distracted Creatives hit the wall of life all the time never quite finalising their inspired beginnings and I have been one of them on several occasions but this year was different.

It was this revelation that began a succession of finishes in 2012 for me. If I was going to be challenged with my time and energy I had to make my time count and seriously consider my goals and direction this year. Presently I have two picture books being published in 2013 (hopefully more) and I want to encourage you, YES YOU to finish your race this coming year.

Inspired beginnings – I get zillions of them. But it is finishing the race that takes real commitment. It is the difference between a pipe dream and a dream realised. It is also what turns a hobby into a profession. Regardless of a hard 2013 where my family had heart wrenching challenges, I made a decision to finish a few races no matter what and I managed to pull it off.

TURNING IDEAS INTO BOOKS
In late 2011 I had collected many story ideas and started several drafts. There were some good ones in there and it was time to develop as many as I could. It was a tough selection but I sat down and prayerfully chose what to finalise and worked on them one by one.

MAKING A LIST AND CHECKING IT TWICE
I drafted a small list, wrote them down as I knew I could easily forget some of them and remained committed.  It felt so good to get story after story finished and fortunately in time for an opportunity to run them by an editor (one of which I have an offer of contract on - Yahoo!)

I also worked more on my office workflow and this helped heaps (I will share tips SOON) 

TRADE YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION FOR A FINISH LINE!
In 2013 I encourage everyone to do as I will be doing; instead of New Year’s resolution, jot down a prioritised list for projects that are most important to you and make you dreams a reality. Write down what blocks your workflow or distracts you from finalising projects and write down the solutions. Don’t say you don’t know them – you do. You just need to take a little time to think it though. Even if they are small steps make an effort to work in those areas as much as possible and I promise you in time it will pay off. Like me, you will feel a sense of achievement regardless of the outcome. 

If you don’t get through the whole list don’t worry. When you pluck off a couple of big ones at the top you will be pretty happy at the end of 2013. Who knows maybe you’ll be published, or have an exhibition or whatever your dream is. Whatever it is, I wish you ever success for 2013 and thank you wholeheartedly for following my blog. 

FREE TEMPLATES AND INFORMATION FOR ILLUSTRATORS.
It is my intention to share more helpful information this coming year including sharing templates etc. This may help you with your own journey. Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Creating books to celebrate family this CHRISTmas

These days we have the luxury of creating lovely photo books for gifts and it is a great Christmas gift for grandparents. After receiving a rather generous 40% plus free delivery discount from one of the photo labs I subscribe to, I began creating a year collage of memories. In the end I decided to buy one for our coffee table and for our adult kids.

I did spend some time creating the design cover in InDesign and Photoshop but you can add one photo and be done with it.

What I loved most about the software is that you can drag as many photos onto the page as you like and then click a button to arrange the photos. It slides them into position and you can choose different layouts – too EASY!

I am considering saving a copy of the finished album and using it as a template to do previous years (I never did keep up with my scrapbooking) and continue the tradition. I wish all of the family did one and we could swap at Christmas – now that would be cool!

I also devoted the last page to the kid's drawings and scribbles with their ages printed on them. This way we can look back on their paintings and little notes - very cute!

You can send friends or family invitations to view the album and buy for themselves too.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's An Exciting Season Ahead



“The only time success occurs before work is in the dictionary.” via Cameron Cashmore

It is happening – my world is exploding!
It seems that when the timing is right all things fall into place. It has been a very exciting and eventful year for me and the last few months have really birth a massive shift in my life. I am finally seeing the fruit for my work over the past couple of years. Doors are flying open everywhere. 

Those of you who have journeyed with me on my blog would be wondering why my blog became quieter. This was because Facebook progressively took precedent when it came to my communication. For a long time I was forced into a very solitary existence. Facebook helped me to balance communication with family, friends, ministry commitments whilst building a platform for my writing and illustrating. It has proved to be an invaluable tool for many reasons and it continues to open up doors. I am going to pick up my blog more now and share the love.

Over that past 18 months family concerns have been enormous. I am a mother of 6 (3 at home) and our youngest (7yrs) had a rare deformity of the heart. Unfortunately he had no option but to undergo major open heart surgery twice in June this year and was in ICU for three weeks.  This was a very scary time and our faith made all the difference. It was hard to see him suffer, tiring and disruptive. Via Facebook Christian friends stepped into help us and now he is doing exceptionally well – thank you! Our super-active kid feels fine now but he still has a faulty aorta valve and on medication only God can heal.

“Life isn’t about learning how to weather the storm, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” - Monica Fish

The other challenges where creating a home working environment for both my husband around the 3 children still at home and building a sustainable income. My husband began a personal training studio at home and I needed to set up my writing and illustrating studio better. We are both set up now and loving our personal working spaces. My hubby is a great trainer and slowly building his clientele. 

I finally had an established illustration portfolio and had many started projects. I felt ready to present myself to some publishers but I wanted to go in with strong writing as well. I also had several manuscripts at draft stage after participating in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) last November. With nearly 60 book ideas, it was time to finish some of them. I attended a writer’s  conference/getaway in October ensuring I had 5 manuscripts finished ready for editing. The feedback was more than encouraging and they are now in the hands of two different publishers.

Since the conference I have finished another two and nearing completion on a chapter book for 8-10 year old children.

I still haven’t approached many publishers as yet but have been interviewed by 2 who have talked to me about several projects in the near future. It is highly likely I will be collaborating on a fiction novel (co-authoring) with a much admired author next year as well. I told you there were doors opening everywhere!

This year's main focus was to finalise a picture book project that initiated this wonderful direction in my life. I was given a vision for Adoptive Father and it was to be an international project. I knew its production was important but believed in God’s perfect timing. This is finally being realised and printing will start this week.

In collaboration with C.O.M and their sponsors we have ensured that 1,500 copies will be gifted to children together with their translations, in orphanages and homes in various parts of India. These children will be overjoyed and I can’t wait for January. 

Adoptive Father is also due for release early 2013 Australia (Hopefully January launch). The response to this book has been overwhelming already and it not even in the shops yet. One publisher has shown interest and it has been suggested to me by a large organisation that next year they may be interested in turning it into teaching material for missionary work in different countries (this is a time I could use an agent!) 

I have another exciting project offered this week which I wish I could share but I can’t yet – Doh!

All my late nights, long hours of perseverance squeezed into a perplexing 2012 itinerary, in one of my most tiring seasons for years, is actually paying off. I have met a wonderful colleagues and gained some great friendships as well. My worrisome season has passed and I am now enjoying a more balance with friends, family and work. I am loving my writing time as equally as illustrating. 

I want to encourage everyone starting out not to give up, keep learning, practicing your craft, networking and supporting the people within it. It will birth something wonderful and worthwhile.




 
The Positive Spirit Blog