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From Digital Animation Degree to Children's Book Author and Illustrator: My Creative Journey

After high school, I thought I would attend ITT Tech in Nashville. I passed the entrance test and was approved for student aid, but then I found out about the Digital Animation degree at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). The degree fascinated me, and there was no turning back. At that time, I hadn't realized that I would also have to have an art minor. Surprise! Even now, the thought makes me laugh, but I got through it. I came out with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Digital Animation and minors in Art and African American Studies.

Fast forward years, years, years, and more years later, I decided that I would become a children's book author. It wasn't until after my second book, Talee and the Fallen Object, that there was even a thought of illustrating. A friend at the time kept asking me why I didn't illustrate my books. I don't remember my response to her, but I remember that the idea kept nagging at me, especially since I inked my Talee book. So, I brought some sketchbooks and started sketching. My stick figures were awful, but I was determined!

Determined to get better, I began watching youtube videos, signed up for a few online classes, and then worked with an online art teacher. Years after pushing myself, I illustrated my first book for another author, and Wacom reposted one of my images on their google+ page. Then I decided to start illustrating the next books in the Anyia and Talee series but trying to match the first two illustrators' styles was impossible, so I decided to work with an illustrator. The style isn't the same, but the feel is similar enough that it works.

Now that I have an illustrator to work with me on those series, I'm about to start the journey of illustrating a story I've had in my head for months—a book about a young girl that is the sister of the new emperor and the trouble she gets into.

Here's a rough sketch.