The Evolution of Addy

As we’re finalizing the last few pages of Addy Wants to Fit In, I can’t help but look back on how far it’s come! I wanted to share some of the illustration progression with you.

As for writing, I took a class in Austin at The Writing Barn in January of 2017. It was an intensive 6-week class that I started with a very general idea of a children’s book I wanted to write about picky eating. But finished the program with a very concrete draft that got 8 peer-reviews and a detailed review from the instructor. Throughout the next 6 months I got a few more reviews and made some more tweaks until I completed it at the end the summer of 2017.

I knew Eddie Martinez, illustrator, from the school I worked at in Austin. He was the art teacher and was interested in getting into illustrating. We agreed that since we were both new to this, we’d be patient with each other and work together to get this dream accomplished.

Some of the first sketches Eddie showed me I was so impressed with! He wasn’t sure he wanted the ants to look so he did some discovery… note the manilla folder! Scroll down to see some of the progression.

E. Martinez, 2017

E. Martinez, 2017

E. Martinez, 2017

E. Martinez, 2017

In early 2018, I broke down the text so he knew where the words would go, and he made a full start to finish book with sketches of each scene.

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

This next one is when he got clearer on the shapes of their bodies (although the shape of their heads will change!) He decided on how they’d each have 4 legs and 2 arms. He added in this adorable ladybug sidekick, too!

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

These next few were almost final drafts, just missing color!

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

And then… the color begins!

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

E. Martinez, 2018

And finally, we start adding text!

E. Martinez, 2018 - A page from Addy Wants to Fit In by Jacky Lamenzo

E. Martinez, 2018 - A page from Addy Wants to Fit In by Jacky Lamenzo

Pre-orders are coming very soon — be sure to join our email list if you want to be the first to know when we launch! I am so appreciative of your support and Eddie’s endless hard work! Addy Wants to Fit In is coming SOON!

The First Elevate Like a Boss Retreat

It was a magic, life-changing weekend for all 12 women who attended. Here are a few reminders I walked away from this weekend with:

1. LET IT OUT. To get to the good stuff, you have to get the crap out. First in a notebook, then with a friend, then maybe, if you’re lucky enough, with your tribe. Putting it out there takes it off of YOU. And until then, you can’t strategize or move forward. So you MUST get it out somehow before figuring out the rest. Even if it means ugly crying.

2. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. None of this will matter if you're not filling your own cup. Whether that is processing and meditating, taking a nap, writing, walking or reading. We need to stay grounded though the twists and turns that life brings. It’s the only way to survive. Do something to make you feel like YOU.

3. BREATHE. When you’re overwhelmed, nervous, excited. It's a simple reminder of something we do without thinking but will bring you to an intentional state. It will keep you in the present and help you take next steps.

4. AGE DOESN’T MATTER. We had women of all ages, and what I realized while sitting in our group #sobfest (extremely therapeutic time where we all introduced ourselves on a deep level, what we’ve been through and what we wanted to get out of the weekend) is that everyone has a story. No matter how many years we’ve been on this earth. And being younger or older isn’t an advantage, just a number in our bios.

5. SHARE YOUR STORY. When you share your story vulnerably, you’re going to help others. They might have a similar story, and the feeling of not feeling alone is pretty powerful. Sharing is scary, but when you do, you feel better and you help others feel better. It’s just what happens. It’s worth it.

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