Tuesday, March 18, 2014

on ancient rome, making books, and mental sanity

I recently said no to a potentially awesome book project with a major italian publishing house. after making this picture last year as a 'trial' for one book, they had decided to let me work on another text altogether, which i loved even more and wanted to work on badly. but the first weeks of a tiny human life take their toll, and lack of sleep, after weeks, drives you to such exhaustion that cannot be put into words. your body, brain and art suffers as a result. i had to be honest with myself, it could not be done. not at this time. it was a tough decision, because i've never really said no to any work before, especially not for book illustration. plus, i was already working on a book project. two would just be too much. it made me think about priorities, and that mental sanity has to be on top of the list. without it, i can do nothing. i cannot look after my child, i cannot create meaningful pictures. what i was making was empty and frustrated, and badly executed at that. it made me think that this is hard work that needs the right amount of attention and dedication, and not being able to give that to any one project means that project must not be done, by you, at that time.
learning to say no is hard, but is an incredible lesson in humility, which i need more of, always.
Having said that, i am working, slowly and steadily, in the cutouts of time she allows me, on other things, which i will share here soon. but now i must go read a book to my wide eyed child.

meanwhile,here is einstein on reading fairy tales.

update: this illustration is now available as a print on society 6.


Paprika said...

Sounds like a hard call, I reckon your choice was an admirable one though, and I love the illustrationxx

Cat said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm on a similar situation but I didn't have the courage to say no, and now I'm paying with my health and I've compromised quality. It will soon be over but I've learned a lesson about limits and myself. It's important (and hard) to say no and I will learn that lesson next time.
Your work is always incredible.

felicita said...

thanks paprika!

felicita said...

good on you for giving it a go! good luck!

Kayla said...


Every time you post something new in this space, I am in such awe of your work. I've been such a fan for a long time and finally decided to pop by and tell you. I hope the book you're working on will be available in the US! I'll snap that right up! :) Cheers! Kayla

felicita said...

thanks so much kayla!