I have been trying to stretch my artistic boundaries for my second book and current illustration project, Annie Kat's Absolutely Completely Really Real Magic Wand. This story is different from my usual work, as it actually takes place on our very own Planet Earth, and even stars--gasp!--a human being. It wasn't easy for me to figure out how to incorporate a human character into my style, and I have had to force myself to break some of my self-imposed art rules, but it feels good to expand and grow. And pushing myself a little bit has shown me just how much further I could, and hopefully will, grow as an artist.
Meanwhile, I have realized that growing as a writer means learning to cut back. I have put my first book, A Sheep and a Dream, through a brutal (and hopefully final) revision, throwing out about fifty superfluous words, and changing the name of my "home planet" for a second time. (Goodbye Eep, goodbye Emm... It's "Planet If" now.)
Last year didn't afford me as much dream-chasing time as I had hoped, but I am looking forward to this year being the year that I can finally feel like I have completed something important. And I have learned to accept and appreciate that my work--and I--will always be in progress.