“The Moment Before I Lost My Mom” Kids Book Project. . . CONTINUED

  • @Tiffany-Thomas Awe! I reckon it's the book of tears. I can't say how many times I've cried too. I know there are still many tears to come. Healing tears. Looking forward to having you on this journey.

    Awe! Thanks @erinrew, It's going to be a crazy journey seeing how this project unfolds. I truly hope it does help many. Lord, knows its helped me.

    Thanks @NessIllustration, I love your work, and its wonderful hearing your thoughts. Yes, it's strangly a dream come true in many ways. Very redemptive.

  • Week three of the Art challenge! Boy has it been challenging too. I've been trying to set aside 3 hours a day, 5 days a week to working on the book project. I had to do a lot of catch up this week cause I didn't reach my goal last week. Here are some coloring updates.

    Got two new spreads colored, and tweaked some old colored spreads to update the colors with the new colors. Also redrew the squirrels in the original drawing of mama and baby squirrel in the bedroom (Now they don't look so much like goats!). Worked on the ending a lot this past week. Ended up adding another spread. Now up to 44 pages for this book! But the ending flows really good now. I'll post later on the updates of the ending.

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  • Here are the last three spreads that I’ve changed the wording on. I felt like all the extra words before made the ending seem rushed. So the middle spread is the newly added spread. And the ending of the story divided up on those three final spreads. Open to any comments, tips or suggestions 🙂

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  • This is so beutiful! I started to cry when i read it. (And I havn´t even lost a parent) The feeling in your art with the easy to read words. ❤

  • Awe! Thanks @Sara-Nilsson, that was something I wondered about too. If this story would only effect people who have lost a loved one. That is so encouraging to hear 🙂

  • This is all so beautiful and perfect. The art is exactly hope through tears, you nailed it.
    I’ve had some moment in my art journey lately when I’ve cried because I just wish I could show my Mom.
    I really think your Mom would have been so proud of this and you. ❤

  • @HeatherBouteneff Awe, Thanks! I feel you, there have been many times I’ve wished I could show my mom my accomplishments and my creative projects. Just wanting a smile and a “Im so proud of you,” from her. Thanks again Heather, your kind words are filling my heart.

  • Finished drawing out this piece today. I ended up changing the composition to this layout cause I loved how the willow tree leaves flowed around the words. And actually, the very original thumbnail I did for this spread was the same composition and layout as the finished drawing, but I had switched it up in the rough sketch cause I thought showing the hill on the first half of the spread would help connect the prior page to this one (which is the spread of the squirrel walking up the hill to the grave stone). But in the end I decided it wasn’t worth it. I’m pretty happy with the switch 🙂



  • This is so beautiful!

  • Wow, this is absolutely stunning and soft and yup, made me cry too. Grief is so tough, having a gentle voice that understands it and shares it is amazing .

  • Thanks @erinrew!

    Awe thanks for the kind words @KayPotter! It has for sure been a struggle keeping the story simple. So much switching and tweaking. Goodness 🙂

  • Got this one colored up this week! The first drawing below is the very first inspiration sketch from July of 2019, then below that is the thumbnail I ended up choosing with the help from the amazing artist here on this forum! Then the full drawing and the full color. Still needs a few tweaks and clean up though.


  • @Elizabeth-Rose So beautiful!!!!!

  • Got this one drawn out this weekend. I really like how it turned out. I’m really excited to color this one too.
    I only have two more weeks left for the art challenge, and I still have 8 more spreads to finish. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be able to finish it in time. Fingers crossed!


  • @Elizabeth-Rose Love the composition and there is so much emotion captured in the drawing, even without the color! You can do it! We are rooting for you!!!

  • @Tiffany-Thomas Thanks for the encouragement. A few things have popped up this week and it’s actually been kinda hard keeping up. I really appreciate the kind words 🙂

  • Alighty, just about got this one finished up today. Just need to do some small editing and erasing where the leaves flow over other parts of the drawing. I’m really happy with how it has turned out.

    Also a question for everyone. This is something I’ve wondered about ever since I’ve added the Papa squirrel into the ending of the story. In the previous spread, I have Papa Squirrel in the background and in the spread below, his tail is in the scene and then the next page he is hugging Little squirrel. Does anyone else feel that it’s kinda abrupt how Papa squirrel comes into the story? Like maybe thoughts like: where did he came from? and how come he hasn’t been in the beginning of the story? I have some foreshadowing of the squirrel family in the spread where little squirrel is walking up to the tree cottage. Also a photo of the family in the bedroom scene too. And I feel that it also maybe doesn’t seem strange because of course little squirrel has a papa squirrel, but still curious on what you all think? I feel like I’ve stared at this project so much these past four weeks that I can’t tell anymore. I just don’t have those fresh eyes.

    The main reason I ended up adding Papa squirrel to the story ending was because my family and dad have been a major component to my grief journey. They have been a a huge source of comfort and support. So I do feel that it’s key having Papa squirrel in there. But wondering if there are subtle things I can add or change to make Papa squirrel’s entrance slightly more graceful. Maybe more foreshadowing in the beginning somehow? The last thing I want is something odd or seemingly abrupt in illustrations causing distraction from the story.



  • Next spread! Slowly chugging along.



  • Whoa! Here we are at the final week of my 6 week art challenge! Bellow are the next three spreads. Still not quite done with them.
    Been puttering around with them all week. Its been extra challenging with the papa and little squirrel together and trying to make their embracing not awkward looking. I’ve had to do several redos. I’ve also have had a bunch of friends and family look over the progress of the book and have gotten some good tips and suggestions. One really good tip a friend pointed out was that she felt most of the squirrel tails looked more like fox tails; they were bushing and pointed vs. long and more blunt on the end. And sure enough after she said that out, I realized she was right. So I’ve been going through the whole book and fixing all the tails. And I’ve even realized that some of the tails from the squirrels I drew a year and a half ago had tails quite a bit smaller than the more recent drawings of the squirrels and their tails. Goodness, lots of squirrel-tail surgeries going on over here.


  • Last Friday was the last day of the 6 week Art Challenge. So I’m gonna let it sit for a bit and let it pickle. 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks is a lot of illustrating. In fact it is a grand total of 90 hours of illustrating. Its even crazier to think that I didn’t even finish the book and that those 90 hours were spent mostly on just the ending of the book itself. Goodness! But I must say its been extremely satisfying looking back on those weeks of hard work, and not to mention how much healing my heart received during it. And there were even times during the Art Challenge that I had trouble falling asleep at night cause I was so excited to wake up and start illustrating. But Somehow I feel I’ll be picking this book up again soon, maybe later this Summer. Mostly letting it sit so I can come back with fresh eyes. I can’t wait 🙂


    Link to blog video where the new version this picture book is flipped through:

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