The Rest of Florida.

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After St. Augustine we headed down to coast so we could get a few last looks at the ocean before heading to Orlando. I was in no real hurry to get to Disney. I don’t really love the idea of resorts and everything about Disney is so commercial. But I have to admit when we pulled into the Art of Animation Resort I melted a little bit and then completely geeked out when I saw the incredible lobby full of concept sketches.

Everywhere were looked was amazing art and super fun details from some of our favorite movies. The icing on the cake was that the outside of our building looked like a giant sketchbook. It really got me thinking. I grew up on animated Disney movies and that is where my love of illustration was born. It has felt like such a chore and struggle lately. I’m lucky enough to have so much of it to do, but it has been feeling more and more like work and less and less like love. But here I was in this place where it was surrounded by imagination and design and getting to share that with the kids. I really wanted to hold on to that feeling.

We did a day at the Magic Kingdom, a day at Animal Kingdom and I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios with a friend. It all went so fast.

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I wanted to write something about our time at Disney and Universal. It has taken awhile though because I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to say. What is the point? Parenting advice about traveling with two kids to Disney? Um.. take your mother so you can go to the bathroom by yourself occasionally. Advice about working while traveling? I pretty much failed at that. I think what I more want to say is that sometimes it is really hard to find inspiration. It is really hard to keep that spark alive. But like the annoying embers left over from the fire you’ve been trying to put out before bed, life will dump on you and stomp you down, but you’re still in there. You’re still alive so try to find a way to enjoy it. Embrace and take advantage of every new experience. The lines at Disney were long but they have added little details everywhere if you take the time to look.

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J.K. Rowling is such a huge inspiration to me. Not only do I love the Harry Potter books and movies, but I also love the care and attention that she put into her world of wizards. The creativity and craftsmanship are unlike anything else I’ve read. Being at Universal and drinking a Butterbeer, riding the Hogwarts Express, have a beer at Hogsmeade with Hogwarts castle looming in the background was truly magical. I highly recommend any Harry Potter fan immerse themselves in that world as often as possible. I feel so lucky to have gotten to go and even luckier that I had a friend in the area to show me around. I have been telling myself for years to just do the work and put in the time and everything will pay off eventually, but inspiration comes from life and life isn’t happening in the studio. So go out and do. That is the point I think.

Things have been crazy since we got back. I’ve been working on one thing or another almost non-stop. I’ll get back to posting about art this weekend.

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