Sunday, September 30, 2012

Illustration Friday~Book

Bark for Books is one of the programs that we have at our library.
Children get a chance to read to therapy dogs.
Since the word of the week is "Book" there was no way I could pass on the opportunity to write, and maybe brag a bit about where I work! Chances are if you're a creative like me, you're most likely holding down a job in the real world, one that supports your craft and pays the bills. I am grateful to have found a good one!

I'm a circulation clerk at the Willoughby Hills library. We are the smallest of the four branches within the Willoughby-Eastlake library system. We are not a full-time library and we all hold part-time hours. Housed within the Willoughby Hills Community Center,  there is always something going on within the building. Whether it's a wedding reception, a craft fair, or a program put on by the Historical Society. It's one busy place, and we are a very busy library!

The Willoughby Hills Library
There is so much that's good about working for a library, and being there to observe all the ins and outs is always interesting. As a whole, we attend to many different types of people, all with their own stories. Working the circulation desk, I'm usually the first one patrons see as they enter. It's my job to provide the best customer service I can, and for the most part that's not hard. I think about the people our library system serves. From preschool children to college students our collection ranges to meet their needs. The Senior citizens may come to our libraries for the book clubs and programs we offer. Then there are some who are physically unable to come to our buildings, for those, we have our homebound sevices, along with various outreach programs. Patrons come in to get assistance with their Kindle or Ipad, or to use the computers, knowing we might be their only resource for a job application. There are those that come in only to read the newspaper. I remember a homeless man who would come in just to rest a bit. We serve people with lots of money, and some with very little. We serve all ethnicity's. You just don't know day to day what the story might be.

I clearly remember 12 years ago, the day I walked into the Willoughby library and asked if I could fill out an application, I remember what I was wearing,  I remember how I felt.  My mindset was all about finding work that would make me happy, so the library seemed the perfect place.

The Willoughby library is set in the heart of our downtown area. It's a two story building with the non-fiction, children's and young adult areas on the second
floor. The look of it has changed from the time I was growing up, with a major redo back in the 80's. This library has always been close to my heart with memories from junior high to college. It's where I went to learn
about children's illustrators, and the different styles and techniques. I went through so many books  trying to find my own personal style, what I liked, which artists moved me. I especially enjoyed the children's magazines. I liked sitting in the kids section with all its colors and the fluffy stuffed animals. Then a few years later when my daughter Annie was born, I found myself there on a weekly basis, either taking her to storytime or just hanging out playing with puzzles and reading books.

In January of 2001, with my son Matthew, not quite a year old. I was hired at the Eastlake library. I was fortunate to work with a wonderful group of people, especially the ladies who taught me the job of being a circulation clerk. The Eastlake library is a one story building, that sits on Lakeshore Blvd. so you get a partial view of  Lake Erie; one of great features of living in Ohio. The children's department has this really great big boat structure that the kids get to play on, and have their storytime.

Through the years I've had the privilege of working at all the branches. Most recently I've been picking up a few extra hours at the Willowick branch. The Willowick library is also a two story building. The upper level is the library, and the lower level is home to the administrative offices and the various departments that keep our system running smoothly. They too have a great kids area!

This past March I was hired back to the W-E library for the third time! And it did not come without a fair bit of teasing. I pretty much heard a repeated "How long you gonna stay this time!" I did my best to take it in stride. After all I do know how lucky I am to be back! I have some regrets about leaving back in 2008, yet things happen for various reasons, and at the time my family was the priority. One thing I can say is, I've always kept my foot in the door as a substitute, and because of that I've gotten to work with so many good people along the way, and for that I have no regrets!

On a closing note--There's nothing quite like the feel of a brand new book in your hand, especially if it's a children's book! It's even better if you've meet the author or illustrator of the book here in blogland!

Check out some of these links!!/pages/Willoughby-Eastlake-Public-Library/37722405758 great video on Barks for Books at the Eastlake library. It also shows the  boat they have. It takes a minute to load!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Illustration Friday~Imagination

Tree on Red is done in gouache

Imagination has always come easy to me. I love anything with trees and rocks, happy little lands and strange creatures. Taking a walk in the woods alone stirs my imagination; trees come alive, rocks have faces and the strange little creatures scurry about. The magical fairy rings and puffy autumn clouds, yeah that's when I'm in my element. How about the feel of crunchy leaves under your feet, and crisp air! I'm so glad my season is almost here, it brings on my muse! Happy drawing everyone! I know I'm sappy, but that's me... 

I like doing these little art trading cards. They're right up my alley. They are all orignals. 
If anyone is interested I sell them for $10.00 each.

2 Trees by the pond is done in sparkly pens

Magic Mushroom is pen and ink, watercolor pencil and a touch of sparkly pens