Adventures in... Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland

I just returned from a weekend in Dublin, visiting a friend who recently got a job lecturing in medieval art history (think the Book of Kells) at Trinity College Dublin (I'm so proud of her!). 

I've never been a very good at keeping travel sketchbooks, so I decided that my one goal for this trip was to take some time to do some sketching.  Luckily it wasn't too cold in Dublin, so I didn't have to try to hold a pencil with mittens.  

I only brought pencils along with me; I tend to pack far too many art supplies and then never use them at all.  This time, I only travelled with a selection of pencils, an eraser and a sketchbook.  The simplicity of my supplies made the sketching less intimidating.  There were no decisions to be made (pen or pencil?  Colour or no?), and less to carry in my satchel.  

I haven't posted all my sketches.  Many of them were really messy, just little doodles to help me remember moments I enjoyed.      

This trip to Dublin was a substitute for going to Bologna.  The past two years I have joined thousands of children's book writers and illustrators in an annual pilgrimage to the Bologna Children's Book Fair.  I love the fair, and I love spending time with so many talented and inspiring people...  

But this year is different...  

For the longest time I've been working relentlessly towards my goal of becoming a children's book writer and illustrator.  I love what I do, and I love striving for ever-greater opportunities... but... somehow...the relentless pursuit of one goal at the expense of everything else results in a very flat and shallow life.  

I need to take a small step back to spend time with my friends; have new experiences; be inspired by the random things I encounter. 

And on that note, I need to hunker down in my studio and work towards another illustration deadline (due Friday! eek!).   

Dublin Castle

Georgian House and Plane Tree, Dawson Street, Dublin