1. Sketching has become my friend as I've set aside time each day to do it. Its influence is guiding my fingers in ways they didn't move before.
2. I submitted a couple projects to editors and agents and received personalized rejections that were helpful and confidence-boosting.
3. I submitted five articles to The Bulletin (SCBWI's magazine), had three of them accepted, and one has already been published. The accepted article ideas came from studying children's books, sketching, and experimenting with using textures in my work.
4. An illustration I submitted to SCBWI was published in their most recent Bulletin.
5. An editor approached me about illustrating a Sunday school curriculum. The timing didn't work out this time around, but she said she'll contact me again next year.
6. I met with my amazing critique group every month this year. (Well, maybe I missed a couple near the beginning?) They are wonderful friends, great confidence-boosters, and most helpful in their critiques of my work.
7. Two weeks ago I bought a Wacom Intros Pro (as opposed to the bottom-of-the-line model I was using previously). I already feel an upsurge in the quality of my work. (That pen makes a huge difference!)
It isn't always easy feeling successful in the field I've chosen, but I hope that with continued effort next year will continue to yield results I will feel proud of. To leave you with merry greetings, you've already seen an illustration I created for SVS's 3rd Thursday contest (Santa's reindeer have the flu, so he used . . .). Special thanks to my husband for giving me the idea.