A Beginning

D. J. Cools

6/18/20161 min read

There is a kitten asleep in my lap and the weather is romantic. Ragged clouds, patches of sun and a cool breeze outside an open window. The kids are reading in their rooms and the house is quiet. Seems a good time for beginning.

For several years—from circa 2004–2013—I maintained a blog. I had Instagram for a while, I had Dribbble, Facebook and others. I even had a Tumblr account, focused entirely on digital art. That first blog, started years ago, was the only one that felt right, where I wanted to be, but eventually, after a three year silence, I wanted a clear separation when I started writing publicly again.

As I work on finishing a draft of my second picture book and seek publication for my first, I am increasingly drawn into a particular kind of creative mood. Familiar, peaceful, filled with memories of childhood and coming of age. A place I love to be and want to write about. A place I lost for a while in the hurry and pressure of a career shift from car mechanic to graphic designer. Employer and peer expectations, long office hours and the ambition I was supposed to embrace as a young creative professional were often in the way of what I really wanted.

Now that I work independently, the pace is different. Not slower, but more malleable. Expectations are from my own clients, not a manager, and the only ladder to climb is the one I leaned against the wall of my choosing. It’s hard, it’s frightening at times, but it’s also beautiful, and I am grateful for it.

There is a greater sense of purpose, and I am sometimes able to find the peace that has eluded me for years. Most importantly (to me) I am able to put energy into writing and drawing. I don’t know how long the road will be, but I know I’ll get there. And along the way I want to share a little of myself.

So I begin again.