Hi, I'm friends with art again!



  • Hi, I'm new! I read about the podcast on 12x12 and have been binging that while drawing. I have gotten a bit stuck in that community since it is mostly geared to the writing part of children's books. This one looks much more like what I'm looking for, glad to be here! Here's a lot of tldr, but it's my story and why I'm suddenly throwing myself into art at 40. My website is https://www.heatherbouteneff.com

    I drew all the time growing up, I went to OU for art in 96 and after a year I applied and got into KCAI and transferred there. Unfortunately not only was wanting to do kid lit not respected there (weird in Hallmark town but it was the 90s- trash sculptures and stuff) but the foundation class was overfilled and my teacher was a grouchy temp that was not happy to be there. He would take my work from my hands and show it to every student as what not to do. At the same time at home my family was imploding and my Dad moved out. I left art school and mostly just used art for crafts after that, I guess I blamed it.
    Last year my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and I flew back to Oklahoma to spend the summer with her. While I was there I picked up a sketch book that ended up an illustrative grief journal. In the fall and Christmas I was having the hardest time missing her so I tried working on my book idea and it was like a renaissance for me. For the first time since art school I am excited about drawing and I'm kind of obsessed with it again.
    I'm trying really hard to get my art up enough to be able to illustrate my own books and have a good portfolio for the nescbwi conference early May. One of my new in laws founded Blue Sky so I'm asking my husband if maybe Uncle Eugene would look at my portfolio and I don't want to embarrass myself there either lol.



  • Hi Heather and welcome to the forum, it really is one of the most nicest forums I've come across and everyone is really encouraging and supportive so you've come to the right place to build your skills and portfolio.
    I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum 😞 Art really is an amazing way to help people grieve and to build themselves up again and I'm really pleased to hear that you're obsessed with drawing again 😃
    Looking at your work on your website, you're already talented and you'll only get better and better with time and practise 🙂



  • @Heather-Bouteneff Welcome to the forums 🙂 Art's always there when we come back 'round to it.

    It seems that when one of the SVS crew interviews an agent or artist and asks 'how did you get your start?' the answer is often 'my friend is an agent/my old coworker was head of acquisitions at/I knew a guy' so don't feel embarrassed about using your connections! Talk to that new in-law 🙂 At the very least he'll probably be happy to point you in a direction to run in.


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Heather-Bouteneff welcome to the forums!


  • SVS OG

    Welcome, Heather. So glad you've rediscovered your calling. It must be if it makes you happy. I like your website, too. Looking forward to seeing more of your art journey on the forum.



  • Wow Heather, go for it. Would love to see your work. (Sounds like you’ve had some very similar experiences to me)
    All the very best of luck to you.


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