Secret Hobbies

Ten years ago writing was my secret hobby. I had a story bubbling inside of me that slowly seeped out in stolen moments alone with my laptop. That secret hobby morphed over time from “something just for me” into a possible second career. My path eventually led me to VCFA, and hopefully publishing is waiting for me beyond graduation.

After a few years of serious writing, I missed my secret hobby. The “something just for me” shifted from writing to art. I started with oil painting and moved into acrylics, watercolors, alcohol inks, oil pastels, inks, quilts, and – most recently – stained glass. On the horizon I glimpse glass fusion. That seems like a random assortment, but there is one common core: Designing and Creating. The same thing I love about crafting a new fantasy story world can be carried over into planning a new art project.

My art is no longer my secret hobby. I’ve showed family and friends. Many of my pieces hang in my home. I’ve even shared a few photos on this blog. That said, it’s a huge leap from hobby artist to illustrator.

In the past year, I’ve started to sit in the back of the illustrator sessions at writing conferences, looking at my new peers to feel out whether I belong among them. Story characters inspired my most recent watercolor paintings, and I started digital sample pages for a graphic novel. My toe has dipped into the illustrator ocean. It may take another ten years for me to pursue that idea with any seriousness.

This weekend, while on a break waiting for Packet 2 writing feedback, my husband and I strolled through a local art fair. I took home these gorgeous copper hummingbirds made by local artist John Lamar.


My husband scoped out the artist booths and asked me when I’d be ready to exhibit at this art fair. The question floored me. I’m not a real artist, am I?

Maybe I could be someday, but I’m not ready to fill that art fair booth just yet. There aren’t enough hours in the day for a possible third career. Baby steps: I’ve bravely added pictures of my art to my writing website.

Please be kind, so I don’t flit away from art like a startled hummingbird.

About Jennifer Kay

Jennifer Kay is a children's author aspiring to be published. All fingers and toes are crossed in hopes that one of her young adult novels will earn her that privilege one day soon.
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