Ways I Manage My Time

thought I’d share some things that I do to keep me organized. I made up titles for each day to keep me focused on what I’m doing each day so that I don’t spend forever online. I make notes of things that I want to post about on each day and try to take 5 minutes each day to post.  I have also made a “chain” of where my posts go to and try to be careful to not post the same thing twice.

#youtubetuesday – If I see interesting videos that I want to view (maybe educational or helpful in some way), then I will send that link to myself in an email with the title “YouTube Tuesday”. Then on that day, I will take the time to watch them.

#writingwednseday – This day, I devote my time to working on a book that I have started and maybe research others that I’m working on.

#technologythursday – My email box gets too full.  SO, I take this day to delete spam, maybe unscubscribe to things I no longer want, save emails to certain files so that they don’t just sit in my mail box and anything else needed.  I also take this day to blog (although, today I’m early.  lol)  I’ve also been reading a book called “Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing”.  On Thursdays, I will look at the notes that I have taken from the book and maybe try to put things that I’ve learned to use.

#focusfriday – I think about the next week and what I need to accomplish.  Review my week and see what I didn’t finish up and why so that the same thing won’t happen the next week.
EVERY DAY at 9AM my phone alarm goes off saying “Draw, Paint & Create” ….  SO, I try to stop doing the above things at 9 AM so that I can  ….  DRAW, PAINT & CREATE.

Hope this has been helpful.


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Digital Sketch

Just a quick post of a digital sketch that I’m working on today. This is my friend Nancy holding her granddaughter, Hadlee.

I’ve always loved paintings by Mary Cassatt …  the mother and child scenes.  From the time that I was very young, I remember always wanting to be a mother with lots of children.  To me there is almost nothing greater than the love a mother has for her child.  At least that’s the way it should be. So many people aren’t lucky enough to have that kind of love from their mother.  Then they say that a grandmother’s love is even greater.  I don’t have grandchildren yet, but I do have two wonderful daughters.

A child is a treasure that unfortunately a lot of people take for granted and sometimes don’t treat them as well as they should.  Both of my daughters work in a field in which, sadly, they see that.  I’ve always cherished my daughters and have tried to give them the best life that I could.  When people look at the drawings that I do of children, my hope is that they see love and that somehow translates to the love that they have for their child.

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Technology Thursday

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged.      2014 held a lot of set backs for me due to some medical issues and other things.

But, I’m back !!!  In the past, I had designated certain days to get certain things accomplished.  It seems to help me keep my mind on track.  I work on these things for a short while in the mornings then paint afterwards.

Before I had MEDIA MONDAY –  This is the day that I dealt with emails (unscubsribe and weeded through them), posted to various social media sites, dealt with anything pertaining to the computer (moved files to the appropriate hard drives … I tend to clutter my desktop BADLY)  My husband was ALWAYS off on Fridays which is why I used Mondays.  2014, his days rotated which did effect my ability to stay on schedule.  This year, he has MONDAYS off which effects my MEDIA MONDAYS …. so, I changed it to TECHNOLOGY THURSDAYS #techthursday.

I have A LOT of great things to accomplish this year and it all starts with a plan.  Organization is key !!!  Stay tuned

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My Visual Mentor class with E.B. Lewis

Today is my skype meeting with E.B. Lewis. I would love for you to check him out. http://eblewis.com/

I met him almost two years ago at a children’s book conference in Austin. We were asked to turn in a piece for the panel to critique in front of everyone. It was an auditorium and the artwork was projected on a HUGE wall. He TORE ME UP. haha. I shook his hand afterwards and told him that I appreciated his honesty and vowed that I would make it better. Fast forward ahead to now. He only accepts a few people to mentor and I am one of them !!!

He is still as honest with me as that day. The meetings aren’t easy at all. BUT, I don’t want someone to just say that my work is good. I’m almost 50 (yep, I said that out loud .. or actually in my head) .. point is that I haven’t gotten to the point that I want to. He has. SO, I owe it to myself to hear whatever he has to say… no matter how blunt or brutal. 

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Visual Mentorship with E.B. Lewis

SO, Friday, I had my weekly meeting with Mr. Earl B. Lewis. I have to say that I was so afraid. haha. I KNEW what he was going to say. It’s PORTRAITS. !! AND I knew that he was going to tell me to throw all of it out (he’d mentioned this already)

I have SCBWI conferences coming up this February and April. He had said before that I may not have anything in the portfolio. AND I do agree with what he says. IF it’s not appropriate for portfolio then it does need to go. BUT, where does that leave me.

I absolutely LOVE my meetings with him and I feel that he is teaching me a lot. That’s not to say that it isn’t hard because it is. I have felt like giving up so many times that I can’t count. It is frustrating but .. he has told me a few times that he believes in me and that he is seeing how hard I am working.

The hardest thing is to get out of my own head. And I don’t know where all this is going to take me. BUT, I always pray over these meetings. That I can back away from myself and truly HEAR what Mr. Lewis has to teach me. And that God uses my work for HIS glory. So, right now all I do is get ready for my meeting to start in a few minutes and “wait upon the Lord”.

So, anyway, the meeting with Mr. Earl B. Lewis went GREAT. I think he and I have developed a nice dialogue. I’m a talker and it’s hard for me to shut up. haha. BUT, I have to remember that I’m paying for HIS time and not to hear myself talk. lol

That said, today I left very hopeful of the goals that I’ve set for myself. His critiques were honest and yes .. tough. BUT, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The way that I see it is the way that I’ve BEEN doing things hasn’t worked out. haha. His way has worked for him.

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INKtober 2014

I would like to introduce you to INKtober. I started this last year on a whim. Read about it here.http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober

I plan on doing it again this year. Since my daddy died, the fall and October has always been so hard. SO, I have to say that I’m excited to participate in this again. I had started making plans for a lot of these drawings. I started working with the kids in some of these. My plans fell through because of a lot of medical issues. I am hoping that I can get back to those plans and maybe this INKtober can help me do that. I hope that you will both consider joining me in this. You don’t get anything out of it. BUT, you just share your stuff. It’s kinda cool.

You can see a lot of my #inktober drawings from last year on my website.  http://felicialilley.smugmug.com/

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another class with E. B. Lewis

My meetings with Mr. Lewis are always on Fridays.  It is a few days later and I thought I’d tell about it.

When we first started our meetings, he worked with me on watercolor painting. This went on for almost two months.  Summer was crazy due to some medical issues for me and some things with him.  Anyway, we started back up in August.  Before we started back up, I had decided that I wanted him to work with me on a dummy picture book.  We have SCBWI conferences coming up this February and April in Austin and Houston.

My thoughts is that I wanted to work on my book dummy and even my portfolio before the conferences.  He said that we could work on whatever I wanted to because it was my time.  I’m not sure at this point what I will do with the picture book dummy once I’m done.  But, I do think that working on it will be a great experience since we will be going through the entire process.

At this point, we are working on my thumbnails.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would take this long to get through the thumbnail process.  I thought that I’d be painting the pictures by now.  BUT ……. he is truly making me reach into myself and pushing beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.  I have to confess that it is sooo frustrating because I THINK that I’ve done what he wanted from me.  Then to get to our class and it still not be good enough or what he is wanting to see.  Yes, I’ve thought about quitting.  But, then I think about it this way. First of all, he is an award winning published illustrator and I’m not.  Second of all, if I were working with an editor, it would be the same thing.  Tons of changes.  Trying to tell what they are wanting to hear through my illustrations.

This isn’t easy or for the faint of heart.  Mr. Lewis is TOUGH !!!!!!!!!!!!  But, he isn’t trying to be mean.  He is trying to push you into going beyond what you THINK you are capable of.  He has really given me a lot of great things to think about.

I have met a lot of people in my position at conferences who come back to our table after their meetings with the agent or whoever.  They are all upset because their portfolio wasn’t “good enough” for the person that they met with.  They continue defending their portfolio and their illustrations.  Then they speak of how wrong that person was.  I sit there listening to them as they show me their portfolio and think to myself that they really need to listen to that PROFESSIONAL.  There were reasons that they said what they did.

It really is hard to not take things personally about what the professionals do say about your work.  It IS personal to the artist.  But, if you don’t step away from your work and truly listen to what these professionals say then you aren’t doing yourself justice. You really don’t know what more you are capable of, if you stay in your box and don’t try to push BEYOND.

Well, now, I’m going to rework these thumbnails AGAIN.  Yes, I’m feeling weary from reworking things so much and I feel liek I’m NEVER going to be good enough.  I just want to quit !!!  But, I’m not.  I’m going to continue with this because even though he didn’t like what I did.  He did give me encouragement when he said that he has seen how I’ve changed and that he believes in me.

Earl Lewis believes in me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SO … shouldn’t I believe in myself too.

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Class with E. B. Lewis today

I have my meeting with E. B. Lewis today. We are working on my picture book dummy. After we get that going then we will work on my portfolio for the upcoming conferences.

I’m excited about this picture book dummy. I’m not so concerned about getting it published as much as I am just excited to be going through the “process” with him. There is so much to discuss and so much to learn.

If you have followed me (a while back) then you’ve seen what I HAD for my picture book dummy. We have scraped all of that. Haha. I have a storyboard prepared to show him today using his comments from last week.

Also, the children that I was working on …. It’s not over. Still working on those things. He is helping me get those from being a portrait to an illustration that is narrative. SO … Hopefully that will end up in the portfolio. Stay tuned. 😃


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When I met E. B. Lewis

I met Mr. Lewis a year ago this past month at the Austin SCBWI Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) conference.  This was my first SCBWI conference EVER. Before I joined SCBWI, I had taken an online class  http://howtobeachildrensbookillustrator.com/NewCoursehome2/ through Mark G Mitchell who at this time was the Illustrator Coordinator of the Austin SCBWI.

When I started the class, the first thing that was said was we were going to illustrate a book that we had been working on.  WELL !!!  I’m not a writer and I thought this course was about ILLUSTRATING !!!  This really had me in a panic because I had nothing to paint.  I was told by the Mark that I could paint classic stories or a cook book.  BUT, I felt that having my own story was a challenge.  However, I was still panicked with NO idea of a story.

My daughter mentioned an incident that had happened when she and her sister were young.  SO, I went with that.  To this day, I haven’t actually finished illustrating that.  One reason is this.  When I started the class, for some reason, I felt that I had to change my art to a more simple style because I thought that is what was wanted in children’s books.  SO … the point is this.  THIS simple style is what I took to this conference.  I was never really happy with this stuff that I created either.  I hope to one day finish this little project in my true realistic style.

To continue with the conference part of this story and meeting Mr. Lewis –  There was an event at the conference where you could submit a piece of work to be critqued by a panel of professionals.  I had turned in one of the new simple styles of artwork that I had recently done.  To be honest, it didn’t FEEL like me.  I had even told my family what I expected to hear.  AND I heard it.

Mr. Lewis said that my anatomy was bad and that wasn’t either “stylized” nor “real”.  It was on the fence.  He said much more. He .. TORE …  ME … UP !!!  It was pretty rough and at first I gasped out loud but then I just started smiling and even giggled a little.  I was sitting by my friend Joel Cook (I think he even gasped.  haha)  What went through my head was all the things that Mr. Lewis was saying and I was thinking that I needed to go home and fix them.  Later, Mark Mitchell came straight up to me at the evening social and me if I was ok and said “OHHH that was harsh” and I looked at him kinda funny and then I said “OHH, well, I guess it was”.  Then I proceeded to tell him what I HEARD Mr. Lewis say and how I could fix it.  I personally found it very exciting.  I used to tell my daughter when she was in dance and would get “picked on” by the teacher that if that teacher didn’t think you had potential that he wouldn’t take so much time in critiquing you.  SO .. the way that I saw it was that YES, he was rough but I felt that he saw potential.


Later, I went up to Mr. Lewis, introduced myself as the one from that critique that he tore up so bad.. haha.  And I shook his hand.  I’m sure I babbled on like some idiot. But, I told him how much it meant to me that he said what he did and that I would go home and work on the things that he has said.

On the five hour drive back home after the conference, all I could talk about to my husband was Mr. Lewis.  Such as the things he had said during his presentations at the conference.  I googled him and read everything that I could about him and looked him up on “image search”.  When I got home, I printed out some thumbnails of his books and put them beside my drafting table to study and dream of being like him.  I never in a million years thought back then that I would have this awesome opportunity now.  Mr. Lewis only CHOOSES a certain few to work with and I am so grateful to him for that.  Also, God has totally blessed me with this opportunity.  I truly thank God and give Him the glory and praise for this.  I can’t wait to see the plans that He has in store for me.


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Visual Mentor – E. B. Lewis

I recently started a Visual Mentor Program with E. B. Lewis. http://eblewis.com/visual-mentor-learn-from-eb-lewis/
Check out his website!!http://eblewis.com/

I met Mr. Lewis a year ago this past month at the Austin SCBWI Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) conference.  I will tell that story later.

This program is just an incredible experience.  I’ve only had 5 classes with him so far but I feel like I have learned so much.  I have to paint TONS just to show all the things that I’ve learned.  

He only works with a limited amount of people so I am truly honored to be part of this experience.  For MANY years, I have prayed that God would let me use my art to honor him.  Because of that prayer, I believe that he put Mr. Lewis in my life and I can not wait to learn even more from him.  I told him when we started this that I would make him proud.  AND I know that I will.

My sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr. Earl Lewis for seeing something in me and taking me under his wing.  Look out world, because good things are happening and you don’t want to miss them.

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