2014 in Review: My Family Inspires Me

© Sylvia Liu
I am so grateful that 2014 was another creative year with much support and friendship from so many fellow creatives. Last year, I talked about my creative communities, like my picture book critique group, fellow mentees from the Nevada SCBWI mentor program, and 12x12 friends.

I still have those wonderful people in my creative life. But today I'm going to talk about the people who are the very closest to me:

1. My daughters.

My daughters are funny and always give me great ideas for picture book stories. They also are very artistic. My older daughter, Sammi, doodled this great zentangle piece in study hall one day, which inspired me to do my own zentangle doodle (above):

© Sammi Jacobs, age 13
My younger daughter also loves to draw. Her speciality is ultra-cute critters facing dreadful peril or high adventure. A recent creation:

© Sarah Jacobs, age 10
They also both like to bake. Sammi once made Cut the Rope Nom Nom cupcakes:

and Sarah made Mario Brother Toad cookies (while I was away at my conference in Nevada):

2. My husband. 

My husband doesn't follow my blog, so he won't see this, but he is often my first sounding board for story and illustration ideas. And I am so grateful for his unconditional support of my creative work.

He is also creative and funny in his own right. He was my first collaborator when we started writing a picture book story together on our honeymoon in 1997 (which we think was preempted when FINDING NEMO came out) and I still have hope that his story, NORRIS THE NOSE, will one day see print.

3. My mother. 

I've blogged about my mom here: My Mom is So Creative. Here is a money origami boat she made a few years ago:

4. My father

y father has written a memoir of growing up in Taiwan and China as the son of a KMT officer in charge of the 25-year house arrest of the famous political prisoner, Manchurian warlord Zhang Zueliang (張學良). It's a fascinating story that I will blog about more when his memoir is finished. He is in the process of submitting the story to Chinese publishers, and it's been fun to compare submission notes.  (My mom also has a fascinating father, who was a high level KMT general, who I blogged about: Family Album, Lt. General Fan Han-Jie, My Grandfather.)

So who inspires you the most?

New Years Goals, Resolutions, and What Not

What are you looking forward to in the new year? In my creative life, I'm looking forward to:

  • Meeting the majority of my critique members in person at the New York SCBWI conference
  • Continuing to work on my craft (writing & illustration)
My personal goals are the same ones I usually set: be present, eat well, exercise, and my new one, try to be more organized in the home.

Happy New Year, and may 2015 bring health, happiness and creativity!

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