Recently, I watched a show called Master Chef Junior with my children. My youngest loves to cook. On this show are kids between the ages of eight and twelve competing for the title of Master Chef. My littlest looked at me. “I’m going to have a restaurant when I grow up.” Then he went on to tell me some of the dishes he would serve.
I have always told my kids they could be anything they want to be. Quinlan, my twelve year old has always wanted to be an artist. I asked him what kind and his answer was, “A famous one so I can buy you a house.” He told me in detail about the place he plans to have someday. A three story storefront, each floor had a specific use. I want him to reach his goal.
Last year I wrote a story for my youngest child, not planning to do anything with it. I wrote it because I didn’t want him to forget what Christmas was really about. With all the gift giving, treats, and parties it can be difficult for a child (or adult) to lose sight of why we are celebrating. I did not send it out to anyone. My little artist said he would draw the pictures for me just so my kids would have them to look at when they read it. Well, why not send it out to someone and see what they think of the story and the first few sketches? About two hours after I queried it I got a response. I was ecstatic that the publisher liked Quinlan’s rough sketches. The next day I signed the contract for Christmas at the Zoo.
Quinlan is doing the illustrations. He’s been working diligently (as much as any twelve year old boy can be expected to during summer vacation) on the illustrations. At the time that I am writing this he has 12 sketches done where all he needs to do it outline and color them. He has 2 or 3 more planned. The goal is to have them done by the end of July so everything can be turned into the publisher.
I’ve been getting to watch my twelve year old work hard on his art. I’ve heard so many people comment on how talented he is. There is a light in his eyes that was not there just a few days ago. He loves art, he loves sharing that with others. He has big dreams for this little book and someone we know has already asked him to do illustrations for her books. That would be another three stories for him to illustrate after this one.
Yesterday Quinlan looked up from his sketchbook and said, “You need to write an Easter story with these guys.” He pointed picture he just created.
“Why?” I asked.
“I think we need more stories for them.” Then he turned back to his work.
It is never too early to start working toward your dream/goal. It is never too late either. Is there something you have always wanted to do?