Xlibris Publishing introduces Jennifer Hynes, author of Nap Time Paintings: Thoughts on Motherhood through the Eyes of an Artist.
I am an author and artist based in Marin County, California. Nap Time Paintings: Thoughts on Motherhood through the Eyes of an Artist, is the first book I have published. I wrote this book because I found it difficult to find anything that addressed the struggles artists face as new parents and how parenting changes studio life. I would have loved to read something that gave me inspiration and hope. I found myself floundering in motherhood and missing my pre-child life. I searched bookstores and the internet and was left with only What to Expect, The First Two Years, and Cooking for Baby. These were great books, but I yearned for more—to learn how moms who were also artists did it! It took me a year to figure it out, but I learned how to get back into the studio and make art. I learned that even an hour in the studio is enough time to fill that creative void and connect with a deeper me.
Nap Time Paintings: Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist is a collection of essays and full color artwork. I started writing and painting again when my babies were about a year old. I worked during my babies’ naptimes. The writing would inform the artwork and the studio experience would inform the writings. I started at this point writing a blog www.dirtylaundryblog.com. After two years of writing in that format I decided I wanted to write a book; the decision came with the prodding of some of my most loyal readers! I was also working on my first solo art show and thought it would be cool to publish my book and present it at one of my upcoming openings at the gallery.
When I first started researching how to publish my book I came across Xlibris and made an inquiry. I told them I didn’t have a clue how to put a manuscript together and they assured me they would help me every step of the way. I printed out all my writings I had done, started editing, re-writing, and editing again. Writing a book was a lot more work than I thought it would be! My book wasn’t ready at my target date; I learned that the process of self-publishing is very time consuming. The first time around there were so many things I had to learn. I made many mistakes, I redesigned my cover three times, I didn’t understand the copy-editing process, I didn’t read the directions I received from the copy editors very carefully and made assumptions. I had a vision from the beginning of how I wanted Nap Time Paintings to look and read. I had to learn how to communicate this to Xlibris. I learned that details are important! The whole process from start of contract to final publication took about seven months, but I had much of the rough draft done.
My book received a Pacific Book Review Star, which is given to “books of excellent merit.” You can read the full review at http://www.pacificbookreview.com/nap-time-paintings.
I was also reviewed by the US Review of Books and have entered the Eric Hoffer Competition for self-published books. I have been notified my book was nominated for the Montaigne Medal. I am waiting for the results to find out if Nap Time Paintings will receive the Medal.
Additionally, I did an interview with TOGinet radio in which I talk about my book and the process of writing and painting. You can find the interview link under the Media and Events tab on my website.
For information on my studio practice and paintings, see www.jennyhynes.com.
I am currently working on my second book, which will delve further into the subjects of fertility, infertility, and using a gestational carrier to have children. I have four-year-old twins, and my road to having a family was a difficult one. In my first book I really wanted to focus on my experience getting back into the studio and being a new mom. I edited out a lot of information I wanted to share with people, saving it for its own book.
I am inspired by figurative/ abstract artists like Nathan Olivera, Jay DeFeo, Basquiat. I love reading memoirs by authors like Anne Lamott and Cheryl Strayed, I love reading Raymond Carver stories, I grew up reading The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S Thompson and books by Charles Bukowski. I am inspired by my brother, who is also a writer/artist/filmmaker and my mom who was an artist. She passed away way too soon, I wish she could see the person/writer/artist/mom I’ve become!
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