by robin gayle howard

Category Archives: Creative Process

And one more completed to add to the portfolio. I am being a bit adventurous by including a mixed media piece. This is my favorite way to work, so I thought I’d just go for it!

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Here’s another version of the “Big Red” character for my portfolio. Big Red

Check out my ILLUSTRATIONS page for the first view. I really need to finish writing this fun little twist on a fairy tale classic story.  Hmm.  Where to fit that on my schedule?

One more sketch to go and a full spread (two pages) to paint to finish my portfolio by April 5th.  The next sketch is going to be a bit more tricky.  I guess it would be a good idea to come up with a PLAN B just in case I don’t like the results.  Stay tuned to see how things turn out!


I can’t believe that February is past half over already.  Time flies!  With crazy busy work days, a two year old grand-daughter and another on the way,my other son’s wedding plans for next year and working to improve my art skills with various classes (a big thank you to Tam Laporte and LIFEBOOK 2014 and Jane Davenport’s Express Yourself), I haven’t been very faithful in updating my blog.  So here goes.

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This week is a stay-cation week for me with a focus on updating my portfolio for another review at our local SCBWI event in early April.  I’ve been experimenting with new supplies and having way too much fun . . . but, sad to say, new art supplies are very addictive 😉 and one can never ever have enough shades of every color in all type of supplies to make endless rainbows, she says!

Yet, I really have accomplished a lot this week, even with all of my play.  And it is only Wednesday – YAHOO!!  I have one more sketch to finish, then two to paint.  I reworked some of my previous boring pieces and added a few new ones that are much more fun.  I have learned a great deal over the past year, but still have so much more to learn.  Check out my ILLUSTRATION page that includes my newest work.  Hope you all have a blessed week!

P.S.  If you’d like to know which art supplies are absolutely the most addictive and can’t wait to have way too much fun playing with them, check out the above mentioned on-line classes.  Art is the only addiction I know where you end up feeling better than before you started.


I just finished putting together my new fully adjustable drafting table. I saw it last weekend at Aaron Bros., started searching on the web, and was able to save $23 on it. 20130817-213524.jpgI am not totally crazy about the hot pink, but that was cheaper than all the other colors. I am sure it will grow on me.  As soon as I clean out my studio so I can get this puppy in there, I will be ready to roll!

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How can I sum up what I experienced this past Friday evening and all day Saturday? It was amazing!  I spent this time with a group of talented, dedicated writers who came together to learn more about how to inspire and help others through the written word. And that is exactly what happened.  The Inspire Christian Writers 2013 Write To Inspire Conference lived up to its promises.  (And a huge THANK YOU to Beth Thompson and her team for their work to put this all together)  The speakers, Debbie Alsdorf and John Olson, poured their hearts and passion into all who attended.  Their encouragement brought a great deal of affirmation.  “Become an archaeologist and dig out who you really are.”  When John spoke those words, he spoke about my journey.  The past two and a half years I have been excavating to uncover who God created me to be.  Debbie encouraged us to pay attention to our thoughts and ask, “God, is that you?”  The past year and a half I have been focusing on listening.  That, in and of itself, has been an amazing journey.  There were so many more pearls shared that I need to take a few days to review, ponder, and let it all sink in.  What I took away from this conference was the need to keep pushing forward.  I have been on the right path, and just need to continue persevering.  Learning, growing, and honing my craft.  We were reminded that God is always working behind the scenes.  I can totally attest to that given the events in my life over the past year.  Every day brings a new present and a new challenge.  I am being so stretched, and enjoying every minute of it.  There is so much more to that story and I will bring it to you as it unfolds.  The gravy for the weekend was that I won first place in the children’s book contest.  WooHoo!  I received a very nice prize as well as a critique from Christine Tangvald, author of a bazillion children’s books ( actually more than eighty-five children’s books with almost 3 million in print!!).

So, its back to work on the many stories that have been floating around in my head and just beginning to grow in black and white.

So who are you?  What moves you?  What are you living for?  Walk with me as we all learn to find the answers to these questions.  Have a blessed week!


Occasionally I write morning pages (Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way) as part of my quiet time.  I usually write them when I wake up at oh-dark-thirty because I have MUCH more time to write.  The other day I just started to jot down a series of words . . . direction-guidance-focus-path-steps-choices-mistakes-misreads-errors-bloopers and blunders.  Then I started to write using these words in the appointed order.  Here is the result:

I’m not sure the direction my brain is taking this morning.  Here’s another adventure that I need guidance on so that I can focus on what needs to be accomplished and keep my eye on the path.  As I walk down my path day-in and day-out, I find that each step has hundreds of choices to evaluate.  3 birdsTurn right, turn left, go lighter, go darker, make it smaller, make it bigger–the wrong choice will lead to an obvious mistake.  A mistake can lead the observer’s eyes in the wrong direction, causing a misread and a misinterpretation of the entire point.  What may originally appear as a small error in choice of placement, or lighting, or color can lead to an extreme blooper that affects the entire composition.  I feel like I don’t have a clue to what I am doing in composition and that I am just blundering through to put something together.  I desire to be much more thoughtful in the process. 

I would like to work from a plan or a distinct vision to be able to create something that is much more aesthetically pleasing.  I am learning.  I know that I will make mistakes, but like Thomas Edison said, the 999 mistakes are ways you’ve learned how to not achieve your goal – or something like that (talk about creative license ;op – the actual quote is “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”)  Every practice piece is leading me to something better, something more dynamic, something that I will be pleased with and will make me smile.  My hope is to bring a smile to the face of another.  That’s when I know I have accomplished my goal.  That seems like a very minute goal, but that’s a good place to start.  The lofty goals will come when each smile is achieved along the way.  And it all begins and ends with direction.  Guidance from my Creator.  I seek to retain the proper focus so that my eyes are ever on the correct path, that each step is carefully placed, and that my choices are made looking for the result of advancement of His kingdom.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a fabulous weekend!