Hearing the Bells: 7:30 BELLS Guest Post by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

I'm happy to share this guest post by author illustrator Elizabeth Rose Stanton. And no doubt about it, she is an AMAZING artist!

For years I didn’t think I was meant to be an artist. Looking back on it I knew in my heart I wanted to be one but didn’t, for one reason or another, take it seriously.

I should have known, though, the first time I heard those bells go off. I distinctly remember the moment. I don’t remember exactly how old I was . . . maybe twelve? I was alone in my room, it was late and I was supposed to be asleep. I had a pencil, a pad of lined paper, and a photograph of something I wanted to capture. Then it happened. Without being entirely conscious of it, I had broken down an image to an abstraction, and reassembled it into ART! It was exhilarating and powerful. Bells and whistles went off!

I heard those bells, loud and clear that night, and I felt them . . . but I didn’t heed them. I didn’t know exactly what to do with my newfound superpower. I suppose it was because I didn’t have a frame of reference at the time. I suppose, too, it was because I grew up in a household that, while otherwise encouraging, didn’t value the notion of a professional life devoted to art.

But over the years those bells kept ringing, sometimes intermittently, sometimes faintly, as I wandered down one life path after another. I became an architect (lots of drawing, right?), I had kids (!!), and I dabbled in design and arts administration (getting closer . . .). Finally, in what was truly a clear-as-a-bell moment (and, indeed, it felt like it happened in a moment) I found myself an illustrator AND an author. Those bells were ringing so loud I couldn’t ignore them any longer!

Looking back a lifetime, I wish I’d had the wherewithal to realize how powerful that first moment, long ago, really was—and to fully understand what it meant. I wish I’d pursued my art more directly. But I’ve come to appreciate all the life experiences I have had and have come to know that every one of them has, in fact, been leading me straight to where I am now.

My bells are ringing loud and clear, once again.

So when your bells go ringing, be sure and pay attention!

Thanks for having me, Dia!

Elizabeth Rose Stanton began her grownup life as an architect; then segued over to arts administration and design after starting a family a long time ago. Now she builds picture books, and is having a blast!

Her first book, HENNY (Simon & Schuster), was named a best picture book by the New York Public Library (Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2014), was a Kids’ Indie Next List pick, and was a finalist for the Prix Jeunesse des Libraires du Quebec. Her picture book PEDDLES (Simon & Schuster), was just released (January 2016), and she has recently begun work on her third picture book for Simon & Schuster, BUB, due out in early 2018.

Elizabeth lives in Seattle with her husband and three Scottish Fold cats.

7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.
Join us on April 12 when author Kevan J. Atteberry shares what makes him ring, resonate, and feel alive.