The Question of Illustrations Rethought

As I’ve been working on writing the last 10% of the book, I’ve also given a lot of thought to the illustrations. Though in an earlier post I shared I would be creating a few drawings of my own for the start of the sections, I have gone back and forth whether to use a graphic of a labyrinth or my own art. Publishing a book is not a straightforward affair and decisions are often remade, choices changed.

When I originally decided to include my own illustrations, it was before I took my winter drawing and painting classes. Since then, I’ve fallen in love once again with the art form and joyfully look forward to each class session. A friend tells me my whole face lights up whenever I talk about them. I am truly, deeply happy with a pencil or paintbrush in hand.

You would think since I love creating drawings and paintings, I would be eager to include them in my new poetry book but I am not. I’ve realized over the last few months my art is the one thing I do purely for fun. All my other hobbies have also turned into work. I help lead our dragon boat team and am on the board for another. I teach the aerial silk tricks classes and my photography has been published in a variety of magazines and journals. I still love these activities but there is now a professional leadership component to them. It’s often not as much fun when you have to do something you used to do for the pure delight of it. And so I’ve come to the decision to not include my artwork in my upcoming book so I can still enjoy creating it. It’s a way to keep my joy just that: a joy.

Instead of my own art, I’m going to include a graphic of a labyrinth at the start of each section which will go better with the theme anyway. Then I can continue creating art with no pressure and no expectation. Just because we can do something doesn’t always mean we should. Sometimes, there are more important long-term benefits and drawbacks to take into account. This is a decision I have peace about.

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