Dear family with all those kids

Last weekend I had my art table set up at a craft event. After getting up and being awake for 5 hours with no food or coffee due to me running late, my husband text me to tell me he was on his way with the kids. When they arrived, the kids all ran to me, hugged me and started looking around at other tables. My husband handed over the 2 year old and the baby and took off. For about 15 minutes the kids asked all kinda of questions and told me about their day and when my husband came back, he had a coffee and a pretzel for me; God bless that man. They left soon after and I inhaled my pretzel and coffee.

Behind me, there were two women selling jewelry. They started asking me questions about my kids ages and a little about life at home with 6 kids. Then one asked me “how do you have time to draw?” I laughed a little and held up my coffee and I responded with “prayer and coffee”.

Fast forward a couple days to when I retold that same story to another mom. Her reaction to it was “how rude could she be”? I was confused for a minute. What had that jewelry crafter said? Later, I realized what it was. That friend of mine has 4 kids and I can recall a few of her stories about encounters with strangers asking her questions about the number of kids she has and why. I know that bothers her, like it bothers most people with large families and the questions are almost always the same:

Do you know what causes that? (Um, what?!)

Do you plan on having a baseball team?

Do you have hobbies?

Do you not have a TV?

I could go on and on but you know what I’m saying. The point is, a lot of parents with lots of kids seem to get bothered by these questions and once upon a I did too. But over time I’ve learned to take it a different way.

When that fellow entrepreneur asked me “how do I have time to draw” she wasn’t being rude or even intrusive. She was asking because her own life is busy with jewelry crafting, having a family and who knows what else she does with her time. She was asking because she was thinking about her own time being filled up during the day and tried to fathom how my day could have a spare minute in it. This woman smiled from the beginning to end of our conversation and she was a delight to talk to. So instead of taking offense in her innocent question, I chose to take it for what it was, a general inquiry about my life.

I like to believe that most of the time when most people ask questions like that, they are just curious, if not slightly amazed, at someone so willing to raise a lot of kids. It’s most definitely a full time job and requires a lot of time, energy, and, at full disclosure, a strong stomach (kids can be really gross). So when some of those questions are being asked it is formed from a different life perspective and in words that they think are an appropriate way to ask.

Now, there are just plain rude people out there that will just state their opinion on my current method of living. In one such instance I was asked “don’t you think you should stop having kids and start taking birth control?” (again, um what?!) These questions are of course met with sarcasm. In case you’re wondering what I said to that person, it was “I keep having kids for the tax break.” Secretly, I get a little proud of myself with the responses I can come up with in these situations!

So, if you have a lot of kids and are sick of being asked the typical questions that go with having a big family, just try and evaluate the person asking them. They could be, for the most part, harmless and just someone’s extent of trying to connect with you and your life based on their zero knowledge on the subject. So take it with grace and use it as an opportunity to teach your kids how to be proud your family and most importantly, grateful.

In Art News:

I’ve updated my avatar and recorded the process on my YouTube

31 days of ink – completed

I have made a playlist of my InkTober 2017 drawings on my channel. I’m leaving the final video below, but you can access the full playlist here. I am so glad that I was able to complete the challenge this year and enjoyed sharing my story with everyone. Take a look and listen to the videos and let me know what you think!

Posted in Art

InkTober Update – learning and finishing up

InkTober is over its halfway mark and I have learned some new things not only about inking, but about my style of art and attempting a monthly drawing challenge.

First off, inking is something I am realizing I am enjoying and more than I anticipated. Knowing the kind of artist I want to be, I was pretty nervous to take this particular challenge on and to study this medium. I can recall back when I was in middle and high school always having sharpie markers on me, especially a black one. I loved drawing on my hands and arms with cool designs and would even get requests from peers to do the same. Without realizing it, those doodles were the start to my inking knowledge.

Second, doing something for 30 days comes with an unmistakable lull in the middle of it. In the beginning I was going full force, with the resolve of getting my story and illustrations out, building my following and becoming more of the artist I wanted to through scheduled practice. When I started, I knew the daily drawings weren’t going to be a difficult task because I do that anyway, but the daily uploads would be. Editing a video even without a voice over takes a while and the production and upload time take longer. Around a week ago, I felt that lull and I knew I needed to get out of it. I didn’t want to get discouraged right at the end of this drawing challenge so I stopped and reevaluate my reasoning. Why bother with this particular drawing challenge? Why not just draw and upload everyday with out any other specifications? To answer that I needed meant I had to take out the difficulties of what I was currently facing at the moment and think about what I wanted to get out of this. Soon, it was very clear why I not only wanted to, but needed to do this particular challenge. I want to be an illustrator or graphic novelist and wanted my style of art to involve ink.

Lastly, I am a story teller. I have blogged about this before and explained why I like writing and illustration. But the more I think about it, I understand why I enjoy this trait of mine. Like many other illustrators, its just way of talking without actually doing that. It’s a way for me to give my audience a glimpse into my kind of world and to hear what they felt from it. It has been a long tie coming for me to get to this point. For so many years I would take on portrait commissions, draw nature studies, draw characters with no real background or purpose, doodle with no direction, etc. and wonder why I never felt like my art was going anywhere. I then started on fan art and tried to give any image a new look instead of just copying it straight from a picture. I would add some elements of the fanart in one picture like a collage and that started to satisfy me more than doing random art. It still wasn’t exactly what I wanted though. It took some more effort and self reflecting to find that I enjoy coming up with characters and story lines. Even though I am not at the level I desire, I feel confident about the direction I am going in and the imperfections and struggles I have now with my style are just motivators to be better.

With 8 days left of InkTober, I am still determined to finish out the month with daily drawings and uploads on my Youtube channel. I also hope to find more in this journey of mine and push myself to do better from here on out.

I have included some of the newer videos I posted. I know the last ones I posted were days 3&4 drawings. So here are some after that, but not all. I have a playlist on my channel that you can watch all the drawings done for this month.

Posted in Art

InkTober day 3&4

Here are yesterday’s and today’s upload for InkTober 2017. They are pretty much filler drawings since I’m not following a prompt list. I didn’t want to include too many drawings of scenes or characters designs because of time. I will say that after drawing out the Octopus tattoo, I want one on my arm now!

I created a playlist on my YouTube channel specifically for Inktober 2017, so if you want to just watch them in a row (highly recommended!) then head over to my YouTube channel and check it out!

 

Day 3 Octopus Tattoo

Day 4 Treasure Chest

InkTober Day 2 – Searsa

I have a voice over in this video explaining who Searsa is. I am really excited about introducing the story line more.

I also didn’t use white ink like I wanted. It didn’t work as well as I thought yesterday so I am a little hesitant to try it again. But I will have to force myself soon enough because I really like the way the black and white inks look on the parchment paper.

So take a look and let me know what you think.

InkTober Day 1- Lady Aurelia

I’ve been waiting to introduce my characters to you guys for so long! I’m so excited to have you all meet them and be part of their story! I will upload the videos here also and give a little back story to them when I do. Some of my videos won’t have voice-overs and that’s for two reasons. Time and purpose. Editing takes a long time with just video and music but adding in voice makes it harder because of mistakes and background noise, etc. And not all of my drawings this month will have a significant background story. I did sketch half of this months drawings in advance, and some of the drawings are just elements that are relevant to the main characters and don’t need any explanation.

So I hope you’ll follow my posts on a here, Instagram, twitter, and YouTube to see all the inkings! And if you’re participating in InkTober, good luck and let me know how you’re doing!

One of this months ink drawings will be a digital download for my patrons on Patreon ‘Wallpaper’ reward tier. If you would like to support and get a reward, just head to my Patreon page!

InkTober anyone?

Its getting to be that time of year again for artists around the world to partake in a fun month long drawing challenge called ‘InkTober’. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it was started by Jake Parker as a way to improve his inking skills every day for a month. Since then, its taken off and spread all over the world connecting artists together and showcasing some very amazing work.

Last year was my first time ever hearing of it. It was last minute when I decided to participate and I didn’t make it through the month. I followed the prompts that were provided from InkTober.com but I found myself at a loss. Instead of using it as a way to improve my inking or just to commit to the challenge, I felt inadequate and out of my league. So I gave up when I shouldn’t have.

A year has past now and I have more confidence in my skills to successfully complete the challenge. I don’t know what my inking will look like but I know that I can take my time and do what needs to be done and keep pushing to move forward.

I plan on posting a video every day of InkTober, which is another challenge in itself but hey we’re all a little crazy from time to time! I encourage you to take part in something like this, it doesn’t have to be an art challenge, just find something to improve on. Challenge yourself for 30 days. See what your results are in the end. I bet you won’t regret it!

Here is the 2017 InkTober art supply haul I made!!