My oils are here

My allergies have been so terrible lately and over the counter meds mess with my heart arrhythmia so I use essential oils to get the job done. My allergies leave me tired and with a massive headache which drags me down during the day and even more so with my art work. Which one, isn’t good as a stay at home mom and two, not good with I have a monthly commitment to my patrons on my Patreon page.

So once I got inside, I assembled my ‘Synergy’ blend (I blend my oils to names of fighting roles from Final Fantasy…yes, I am just that cool) for my allergy relief and dropped some lemon and tea tree in my diffuser. Took all of 20 minutes for my allergies to go away. I don’t mean to ease, I meant they actually went away. I blew my nose one last time and got to work around the house (meaning I cleaned because it hasn’t really been kept up with). I pocketed my newly made roller bottle and felt much better than I had been in the last few days.

I also use local raw honey and chamomile tea to relieve allergies. So after all my natural self medication, I was feeling back to normal. Which couldn’t come at a better time because I have a drawing to get done for this month’s patrons.

If you are curious about the oils I use they are as follows:

(Please, if you are interested in oils, do your research. There are some oils that are considered ‘hot’ oils that can irritate the skin. And with anything that you are using to help strength or help your body, be smart. Even western medicines have precautions. It is highly recommended that you ask and learn about oils before jumping in to them. And if you want to ask me anything, I will be more than happy to answer as best as I can)

Peppermint

Lavender

Lemon

Oregano

Coconut carrier oil

 

I wrote down the exact measurements in my journal but I am already snuggled in my blanket for the night. I didn’t use a lot of oregano but I wanted to add that in there because it can help fight off bacteria and I have had so many sinus infections that started out from just simple allergies. Lemon also helps with that, Lavender helps with calming anything that inflamed and peppermint helps open up passages. These could vary from person to person also, so like I said before, do your research, and be wise with oils just like you are with over the counter meds.

All of the oils I use are Young Living brand and they haven’t let me down yet! Especially their stress away blend, if there is any oil you try from this company, I recommend that if you need some relaxation in your life. I like to make bath/shower fizzy bombs with it for anyone that orders a kit from me. They are 98% in stock at my house, unless my husband and kids sneak them all! But why wouldn’t they!

 

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Colored Pencil Hair Tutorial

So I uploaded my first tutorial on YouTube this week. I was a little nervous doing it because I don’t have professional training in art and I am mostly self taught. And its intimidating because of the vast number of tutorials that already exist on the internet and especially sites like YouTube. It was almost pointless to me but I still wanted to do it and share something with the world and hopefully encourage someone to maybe give it a try and even comment on the video with some extra suggestions to help make us all better artists.

So if you want some of my own personal tips that I have collected over the years then check out the video link. These are from my own learning from books, videos and of course, practice. Let me know if you liked it or if it helped!

Where is the creativity?

Have you really ever felt that your creativity has been stifled or even worst, lost? Maybe you feel like you have gone through all the ideas you will ever have and haven’t had a new one in days, weeks, or months. These are times were the creative person can really feel beaten down and without purpose. Creative people need outlets that best suit them, being music, art, writing, building, crafting, photography, sculpting, etc. If that outlet seems to be lost or at a block, then there is a sense of ‘limbo’ as I like to call. Basically, there is the want to create without the motivation or inspiration to come up with something. So what are you supposed to do about it?

This is a hard question to answer, to be very honest, because everyone is different and has different ways of motivation. So to give you one set of ‘rules’ to get you out of a slump would be an exercise in futility. But I can give you some of what I do for myself so maybe it can help you set up some ways to get out or, better yet, avoid the block you get from time to time.

  1. Thumbnails- there are certain things that I know I like; nature, water, my family, food, hiking, tea/coffee, fantasy genre, Final Fantasy franchise, birds, dolphins…..so when I feel like I have nothing new to draw, I create thumbnails of things I like on just some notebook paper. Sometimes it jogs some creative ideas, sometimes I toss the paper. But I got something done that day and it can feel like I got the bad ideas out of my head and a good idea or two can begin to blossom in my imagination.
  2. Things I am not good at- hands, feet, animals with lots of fur, wrinkles in clothing, cars; those are things I am not good at or at least not satisfied with drawing. I don’t practice them during my bout of creativity because they tend to make feel held back. But when I have times of ‘blah’ I practice these ‘blah’ things and one of two things happen, I figure out a new trick to getting better or I am reminded on why I steer clear of these categories. (If you are a person who can draw cars easily then a virtual high five for you because that is awesome!)
  3. Studies- We all have someone we admire or look up to for inspiration for our own work. Try doing some studies of their work. Start a piece like theirs and see if you can figure out how they got that. While you can’t adopt their own style as your own, you can use it to shape yours. One of the YouTube artists I follow uses markers and colored pencils for their pieces. I love mixed media, so when I don’t know what to draw I will look at their other pictures, try to draw something similar, and use a color palette similar to theirs. It helps me to try other styles and learn something new. I usually just have this in my sketchbook so I can look back at it for a reference.
  4. Talk about your slump- this is mostly why I am writing this blog post. I have no idea what to talk to you about this week, so I thought I would help myself get motivated by maybe helping you get motivated! While I was writing this, I actually did come up with a solution to one of my problems I am having so it did help me. But talking about not feeling up to your creativity can help, especially if the people around you genuinely want to help you and know you.
  5. Do it anyway- Oh, this is so much easier said than done. Simply because, what do you do if your brain just feels like it turned itself off? You find a way to climb over the block. Some people like to do something creative every day. Some don’t. One thing does not always work for another person. Personally, I am someone who likes to do something creative everyday, even if its not drawing. Luckily I have my kids who love creative time and will often ask me do help with their own projects. While these projects are still relatively simple compared to my own that I take on, its still being creative and really, there is nothing better, to me, than seeing my kids love something that made and tell me thank you for the help. That always makes me happy.

So while this information may not be new to you, I hope that it helps you not feel so alone. Not every great artist/creator has inspiration pouring from their ears. We are all humans and have struggles, so this kind of experience can be turned into something good with a little time and patience.

Don’t forget to check out my shop tab that is added to the menu! I will be having a Kickstarter campaign soon, so be on the look out for that!

Have you been to my Patreon page? If you order before the end of the month,  you will be eligible for that months rewards!

Check out my latest YouTube video!

Time to help

So recently I announced that I have started a pledge called #2forthekids as a way for me to give to my community at the local foster care centers and orphanages. Basically, for every two coloring books sold (amazon/create space/by me), I will be donating essential items to kids in need. Things like clothes, athletic gear, school supplies, bags (you know some kids only have a trash bag for their stuff), books, toiletries, etc. Basic needs that people shouldn’t have to worry about having.

When I first came up with this kind of idea, I was thinking big. Donate or even start a non profit that helps fund adoption fees for couples, helps pay medical expenses for cancer kids or just ER visits for kids. The ideas I had in the beginning were good ones but unachievable by me, for now. I have just started really getting my art work out there and I’m constantly trying to market myself. At the end of the day I know I can help provide for my own growing family but not enough to make an impact for others.

That kind of broke heart. I am a very empathetic person so helping others is something that helps me be more me. But seeing as how I don’t have the multi millions that would actually be necessary to do the things I would like, I had to rethink how I can help others realistically.

So I thought about the ways I do help already and what the next step could be. We always donate clothes and toys to Salvation Army and Goodwill. We always take items to the CASA house which helps foster children. But those things are more often than not gently used or hand me downs from other people. While there isn’t anything wrong with it, I realized most of those things aren’t what kids always need and the things they do need, weren’t always donated.

After doing some math (yes kids you’ll always use math) I figured out a way to be able to give one or two kids some good essentials that they not only need, but could call their own. Thus #2forthekids was born and its not just for me to use.

We all have these kinds of centers in our community or close to where we live and a good way to make a great impact on the world is to help our own community be better. So I encouraged small/large businesses to take on this pledge also. Pick an item in your own shop that you can use for this pledge. If you don’t own a business, you can absolutely still do something for this cause. The smallest action can have the biggest impact for people.

 

Here is where you can find coloring books on Amazon.

Don’t forget to check out my latest YouTube drawing

Sign up for sticker packs, tutorials, prinys and so much more on my Patreon page

 

February Patreon designs!

Hello readers!

Some of you know about my Patreon page and how I have been working to build it up and establish proper reward tiers that are practical for me to create and ship every month and also something enjoyable for my supporters. I feel like I have finally got to that point.

For a long time I would look at the rewards I set up and feel overwhelmed. I knew exactly why too. I was researching other successful artists on Patreon to see why they were successful and what they were offering their patrons and then I would try to match that our come up with something like it. Some were offering original paintings to at least 20 patrons on top of prints for many more. Lots of tutorials and daily videos and even one on one chats. It was a lot and my initial reward tiers seemed were not what I could handle.

It took me about a month or changing the reward tiers to finally be happy with what I have. Its a good set up, in my opinion, and its practical for my lifestyle. Raising and homeschooling kids on top of being a wife makes the artist in me compete for time. But I know I’m able to produce at least one inspirational piece and coordinating stickers. My husband likes to take over the house and kids and let me ‘art’ as he likes to say, a couoke times a week. Without his full support, I don’t really get what I’d like to get done. Thanks honey. 🙂

So without further ado, I present to you the Patreon reward tiers by Madelyn Janelle

 

Tip Jar $1 -here is where you get access to exclusive patron only posts, work in progress photos (aka WIP) and a 15% discount code to my create space store for ALL coloring book purchases.

Line Art $2- The coloring pages I offer for free on this site have a watermark, but my patrons in this tier get them without the watermark. They also get real time video clips up to 10 minutes of a drawing or painting, tutorials, art tips, q&a, influence over next months picture and brand comparisons. They also get previous rewards!

Sticker pack $6- you’ll get 3-6 stickers that average about 2.5 inches in diameter that coordinate with that months design! Plus all previous rewards!

Just the print $15- this is just the print off the month. It will be 4×6 size, like a postcard, and will come with a sturdy cardstock frame. Includes all previous rewards, except the sticker pack.

You’ve got mail $20- this is the whole shebang! Includes everything in previous rewards PLUS a handwritten thank you note from me in every package letting you know your rewards are handled with appreciation and care!!

So what do you guys think? Honestly I love the idea of stickers! And they are high quality vinyl and perfect for anything. All designs will be available to patrons first and any left over will be sold in my shop or sold at fairs. If you choose to support me, even with just one dollar, you have my sincerest gratitude and I really appreciate it. 🙂

Click here to be taken to my Patreon page!

Don’t forget to watch my YouTube videos for more artwork!

Dear Aspiring Artist

I wish there were an easier way to tell you this, but there isn’t. So here goes.

You need to work on your art more.

Is that something that you’ve told yourself before? Have you done anything about it? Well, you should, better yet, you need to. If you don’t, you’re only going to get worse. I am telling you this with sincerity and encouragement and hope. I do have hope for you and all of us artists to one day be satisfied with our level of artwork, to stop comparing ourselves to other artists, to finally master that medium that has always intimidated us, to see which path of art we are supposed to take and conquer the struggles that are part of being an artist.

I don’t think it matters how long you have worked at it, you will always want to be better. You chose art or maybe it chose you, depends on how you look at it. Never the less you are with this ability in your mind and in your heart. So now its time to do something about it.

I am an advocate for practicing everyday at art. You have to. It’s vital to exercise your brain and hand to work together to turn a piece of blank paper or canvas, into something that literally expresses emotion. You can not get better without practice. Everyday does not need to be a masterpiece. No. Way. If that is in your mind, throw it out now. I am telling you that you need to draw everyday. Even if it’s a simple circle.

You think that’s crazy but let me ask you this-how perfect can you draw a free handed circle within the first 5 tries? What about 15 tries? See where I am going with this? Something as simple as being able to freehand an even circle, sets you up higher than you were before.

Next point, you know those artists that you envy and adore their work and kind of want to go that path they took, follow them (on social media only, please do not stalk a person) and practice what they draw. You can not steal their work in any way and get a way with it. You may think, ‘oh they probably won’t notice and it’ll be fine’, and you may be right. THEY won’t notice, but their thousands of followers will and out of those thousands of people, I guarantee, 10% of them do nothing but look at other artists artwork and will definitely  wave that red flag when they see plagiarism in any way. I have seen it so many times. So what I am telling you is to practice the way they do, not to copy their exact work.

If the artist you admire draws a lot of botanical pictures, you start drawing that. Do they draw people a certain way that stands out? Figure out why it stands out and then find a way to make yours stand out too. Can they shade a car drawing so well that it leaves a metallic finish even though it was done in pen or pencil? Well get out that blending stump and start practicing that too.

It’s a challenge to really devote yourself to one thing everyday. Internally you may feel that you really want to and physically it just doesn’t happen. That is the time to find a way to get the discipline you need for yourself to pick up that pencil or paintbrush and start getting to work. Easier said than done, believe me I know and I have personally been there.

I took so long off of my artwork a few years ago that when I came back, I felt that every artist in the world just showed up on the internet to tell me I had gotten worse. Everything I drew felt amateur. How could that be? Haven’t I drawn detailed pictures since I was young? Wasn’t I in the gifted art class? Wasn’t I accepted for an art scholarship? So why, all of a sudden am I so terrible and ‘uninspired’?

It wasn’t all of sudden and it was all my fault. Being good at a skill takes work. Real hard work. I expected to put out the works of a genius after I had put in the effort of a sloth. I was discouraged and embarrassed. It took a long time of me telling myself, yes you are still good and yes you will keep moving forward. I also had (still have) the support of my husband, family, and friends. For that, I am grateful and hopeful that you, also, have the support you need. If you don’t, then you have it from me.

If you really want this then go practice. If the first picture isn’t what you want, call it a sketch, figure out where it went wrong and fix it. Make your shading better, make your color palette beautiful and perfect that free handed circle.

None of us really know why we chose this path, but we did and we are loving every step of it. So good luck to you and always move forward.

Sincerely

Madelyn

 

Don’t forget to order your coloring books on Amazon made just by me! Want to support my art and get great tips, tutorials and awesome art prints too! Come by my Patreon page and choose a tier that best suits you!

Unscheduled meltdown

Yesterday I had a planned out day to get some art done, a video recorded, laundry caught up (or at least attempted) and finish up school with my kids. While I was reading outside with my kids and waiting to hear the dryer buzz, I was interrupted by my 6 year holding a lock of hair that didn’t belong to her. I asked her where she found it and she explained the whole situation to me and from behind her came my 3.5 year old daughter. One side of her hair reached to the middle of her back and the other side was to her shoulder. I sat there just staring at her in shock. And not because this was the first time I have seen this happen.

My three year old is my third daughter and fourth child. She is very aggressive and equally loving. Passionate is the word we like to use with her. She is also the third girl in my house to cut her own hair and the second girl in my hair to cut her hair twice. Both her and my first daughter cut their bangs to the base and then took chunks out again. My second only cut her hair once and I was able to turn it into a layer look and everything was fine. But this time, I had to cut my three year olds hair shorter that I ever had to before and thankfully, she was happy with it. She now looked like big sister who also sports and short hair cut.

The second daughter, who is 5, was feeling a bit left out. With every sister having short hair, she wanted her hair cut too. Now this really wouldn’t be a big deal, but she has been letting her curly-q hair grow out and it was long and myself and my husband were trying to make sure she understood what she was asking. 30 minutes later and a meltdown of still having long hair, I cut it. I took off 3 inches like she wanted and as soon as I was done. I hear sniffles.

She was quietly balling her eyes out and telling me how she didn’t really want her hair cut. She wanted it long again and missed her curls, etc. I felt so badly because I am the evil mom holding the scissors in her hand staring at her with disbelief. I instantly felt badly for her and also angry. I felt like I was literally set up for failure. I hugged her and told her that I was just doing what she wanted, but that didn’t matter much to her and honestly, why would it. We all have had bad hair cuts so everyone can sympathize with how badly she was feeling.

After she ‘accepted’ the situation she went outside to the trampoline to cry and soak in the sun. The dryer buzzed as I walked past to find my husband to tell him what had happened. He felt a little badly but also reminded me, she will be fine and hair grows back. Something we all know, but still. I had decided to let her pick the movie for our movie night and the dinner. That really did cheer her up.

Mothering can be so hard sometimes.

 

 

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