Today’s cup of coffee – In Tune

2017-08-11 16.02.09

 

Recently I found my sketchbook from last year and started thumbing through it. I came across some old character drawings I did and thought it would really fun to do the ‘Draw this again’ challenge where you take an old drawing and redo it to see the difference in your skill or just to make some changes. The character I chose was one I created when I first got my markers but instead of using markers again, I chose to use watercolor and ink (a technique I love to use).

I decided to film this challenge for my YouTube channel. I also used a much larger paper because I have always preferred to draw bigger and sketch smaller. I charged my very old camera, about a 10 year old by the way, and started recording. I was able to get a the base of the picture and the inking done before it died. Usually, I can predict when it will die so I can stop the drawing and charge it up again. But, from what I can assume, the battery is nearing its end in general so it died before I could realize it, thus sending my pregnant and emotional self spiraling down in a pit of anger.

(Side note- This kind of frustration, that happens more often than it should, could easily be avoided if I just upgraded my camera equipment. This is something I am working towards.)

Through low angry rumblings under my breath, kids giggling at me while I try not to throw the camera through the window, I plug in my camera to the charger and sit and stew in front of my unfinished piece, staring at it, feeling as though I won’t finish. I hear a small thud on my table and I look over to see a fresh cup of coffee and my husband just setting it down and walking away quietly, as to not further irritate his dragon of a wife.

The smell overcame me. I grabbed the cup and took a long sip. It was so refreshing on so many levels. Thankfully, I started to ease up and take a few extra deep breaths. I looked out of the window and saw that my husband went on the back porch to lay out and converse with the kids. My full on irritability had turned into a mild annoyance and I got up and went to sit and talk with everybody. After all, what was staring at an unfinished piece of artwork work and watching a slow blinking blue light on a dying camera going to do for me?

I was able to pull it off the charger and finish recording the last little bit I had left. If you want to take a look, watch below or visit my channel to see that and other drawing challenges. And remember, while you are watching it, that a simple cup of coffee and gesture of love helped to finish that art piece. 🙂

Finding my goal as an artist

Lately I’ve been thumbing through all of  my artwork on hand. I have noticed so many changes and more importantly growth over the years. I haven’t always made or posted a new artwork for social media on a set schedule or even every month, but I have kept up with working on my art. But there’s one thing that has really stood out and it really bothered me.

I have not kept up with a certain style art.

I have used so many different mediums and learned so much about them. I always used them in ways that other artists used them. And instead of using those techniques and that knowledge to my own advantage, I would just use it the way others did. And from what I can tell, it held me back.

I can recall saying to myself or close friends and family ‘I want to be a graphic novelist’. I love telling stories and I have a vivid imagination. I can draw out scenes and characters based on words and produce a captivating picture. And while I’ve known this and wanted to accomplish that goal, nothing was ever done about it.

Over time, I noticed I would produce cool sketches, fantasy art or fan art (which is an art I love). I would always take on commission portraits that would stress me out and take too long for the little pay. My previous art never followed anything specific and always  appeared scattered.

I noticed that I keep coming back to a particular style. With my characters outlined and the background of a picture in watercolor, Its a style I associate with comics and graphic novels, story teller artists. I draw in this way without thinking and it feels like I’ve been telling myself for years to draw in this way.

So what am I going to do with this newfound knowledge?

Embrace the style that I can natural go with and see where it takes me. I can use it to my advantage by furthering a new aspect in my artwork that isn’t just style, such as, technique, color blending, proportion, perspective etc. I fully expect, and hope, that my art will evolve in this style into something more than I can achieve now.

This will also give me a bigger platform to relate to fans of my work. They can count on me being consistent and will expect to see a style that speaks to them the same way it speaks to me. This is not only good from an artist to viewer perspective but in a business sense also. Showing my style in different subjects greatly opens up doors for opportunities that ‘just being someone who can drawn’ can do. Being artistic in your own sense has a better uplifting power and freedom for your work.

Find your style of creativity and run with it.

Until next time….

Today’s cup of coffee – Muse

Today I really noticed something about my husband. For as long as I can remember, he will randomly bring me a cup of coffee or tea. I don’t know what really prompts him to do it. Maybe he is making himself a cup and he ends up making one for me so I don’t drink his! No matter the reason, he always brings it to me at the right moment.

I wanted to work on some sketches to motivate myself to post something this evening. I decided to go to our bed and prop up with some pillows and work there. Being almost 8 months pregnant makes it a bit difficult to find any other comfortable spot in the house for me to be right now.

Anyhow, I wasn’t really working on anything in particular when I heard my husband coming up the stairs. He walked in with two cups of coffee and a kiss for my forehead. He then started rambling on about finances, stocks, assets, liabilities, etc. No, he doesn’t work in finance, but he is reading ‘Rich dad, Poor dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Letcher, so he is kindly informing me of all this new and insightful information he has learned, even though half of its going right over my head right now. Another down side to me being pregnant- concentration skills worsen each trimester.

As he was talking and while I really was trying to focus on every word he was saying, I started to realize that I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand and I didn’t ask for it. I watched him walk around our room, still talking, and putting clothes away, helping the toddler climb onto the bed and drinking his coffee. He wasn’t skipping a beat. I randomly inserted myself in the middle of his sentence to say ‘thank you’, to which he replied ‘of course, honey’. He continued on until chaos broke out among our older kids and he walked out to check on them.

I remained on the bed with our little toddler and my coffee. She was looking in my sketchbook while I kept coming back to the coffee. While it isn’t the first time I realize him doing that for me, it is the first time I really put some thought into the kind of husband he tries to be. Little gestures like this are just what I need to feel important in his life. He doesn’t have to do this for me, but he wants to and that’s amazing. So naturally, it has inspired to today’s and possibly a series of future posts about my random cups of coffee.

Thank you to my husband for the vanilla flavored caffeinated boost that has long since wore off but the love still lingers on. You are the best.

*Be sure to check out my latest YouTube drawing of the a wildflower coloring page!

*Want to join in on the fun and get me a cup of coffee as well? Head over to the donation tab to find out how you can show some love and support

*My coloring books are still available on Amazon!

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My husband got me floated

If you are familiar with The 100 which is a show based on a novel series about the surviving human race who live on a space ship, then you will get the reference I used for the title. For those that don’t, getting floated is a form of capital punishment where someone is executed by being sucked out of the ship into space. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for me and instead ‘being floated’ for me meant something that took place in a spa.

There is a type of relaxation method available called ‘floating’. Its a big enclosed tank that’s halfway filled with extremely salted water. Before stepping in, you have to shower and wash your body and hair with bastille soap, pat our body dry, make sure your hair isn’t dripping and then proceed into the tank. With the lights off, excepting a salt lamp, you step inside and shut the door.

Submerged in complete darkness and salted water, I lay back and allow the dense water keep me afloat. The water creeps in close to the corners of my eyes, but doesn’t touch them. My feet and hands are suspended. With the air being warm and dense, its easy to feel out of this world. Forgetting the size of the tank, I closed my eyes and imagined I was being drifted off on calm waters.

Silence

Darkness

Weightlessness

I submitted to the waters and I ended up falling asleep, or at least I think I did. Surrounded by nothing really allowed me to calm my mind and forced me to not do anything for a whole hour. That was the real challenge. With my day to day busy life, its always difficult for me to find enough down time that truly forces me to stop doing things for a while. As much as I appreciated it, it was definitely something that I am not used to doing.

After a while, the chime came on and when I sat up and opened the door, it only took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the small salt lamp that was still. I had to go to the shower quickly, I could already feel the salt crystalizing on my skin. After I was clean, I stepped out of the shower and breathed for a bit. Truly taking in what it felt like to be relaxed. And it was very welcome. I still had a prenatal massage next, because my husband signed up for me to have both, but I was already rejuvenated. While floating isn’t something I would have signed myself up for, I am glad I did it. To have a new experience of relaxation and ease is always something worth trying.

After both sessions were up, the staff told me about the client room. Here, clients can relax with a beverage and paint on the collaborated canvas. The canvas is painted by clients by adding in something special. This was really amazing for me. Especially as an artist. I took pictures of the part I added. My contribution are the fish at the bottom. I took the first photo after I placed the orange spots, but they are there. After painting, I went to my car and grabbed my ‘Fun for Hours’ coloring book for them to keep in the room as a thank you for having such a wonderful establishment!

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Fun For Hours coloring book- for those who enjoy a challenge for their coloring! https://smile.amazon.com/Fun-Hours-Madelyn-Janelle/dp/0997885211/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478490732&sr=8-1&keywords=fun+for+hours
Stressed Out! – For those who need to let out some anger without the profanity! https://smile.amazon.com/Stressed-Out-swear-phrases-profanity/dp/099788522X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478490861&sr=8-1&keywords=stressed+out+madelyn+janelle

Fan Fiction- The Huntsman Winter’s War and Rapunzel

“Don’t forget I made you who you are.”

Freya remembered her sister saying this before and still hadn’t understood what she meant. As she held out her right hand little snowflakes cooly danced around her palm while she stood puzzled on Revena’s words.

“Have you lost your mind?” Revena says to Freya in disgust and annoyance at her sister’s silence.

“What did you do? How did you do this to me?” Freya asks softly as she turns to her sister. Revena turns her heel and walks back towards her mirror, her safe haven.

“What did you do?” Freya calls out impatient.

“I don’t have to answer to you.” Revena replies unable to turn towards her sister. But upon Freya’s rapid footsteps and heavy words she turns to meet her face just as Freya is behind her.

“Oh but you do. You said it yourself, you are a thing between this world and the mirror and I released you and you are now bound to me. I command you,” Her cold hands now grip on Revena’s face causing her skin to slowly transform to metallic gold of the mirror she came from.

“mirror mirror on the wall…”

Freya’s mind is filled with the vision of her sister’s memories on that terrible night. Revena’s thoughts show Freya how she manipulated the Duke by controlling his mind and setting fire to the room in which his and Freya’s daughter slept. Upon seeing this Freya releases her hands from Revena’s face in pain. She has been shown the truth of her sister’s manipulation.

Revena takes a moment to recover and realizes her sister has not seen the whole truth before letting go and didn’t see Revena’s thoughts on the entire night.

Once the mirror revealed to Revena that her sister’s daughter would soon become the fairest in the land, she knew she had to get rid of her. While a small part of her wished she didn’t have to, she still knew what she desired more than family- to be the fairest of all.

The next day she wrote a letter and had it delivered to her sister. It was signed from the Duke and it told Freya to meet him in secret in the royal garden so that he, Freya and their new born daughter could be together forever and start a new life as a family. When Freya read this letter, her heart became full and she impatiently waited the entire day to leave the castle to meet her true love.

Meanwhile, Revena had found the Duke and took control of his mind. She made him want to set fire to his daughter’s room in the castle. Not knowing, he followed orders, taking a torch from the halls and walked towards his daughters room. Revena followed closely by to keep the hold on his mind strong.

He walked to the tower and entered the child’s room and walked slowly around the edge of the room, carefully lighting everything a blaze. The sudden heat arose the baby girl and she began to cry. The Duke turned towards the sound and Revena also stepped closer to take a look at the girl. She continued to cry louder and louder, Revena looked at the Duke and had him lower the torch inside the crib. The small infant seeing this bright light and feeling the raging heat, let out a yell and a flash of light shot from her body, knocking the Duke back and causing him to drop the torch. Revena had covered her face in time of the flash and looked once again at the baby. She was unscathed and her hair was glowing. Revena reached in to touch the infant only to be burned at the finger tips.

Castle nurses and guards quickly rushed into the room, grabbed a hold of the Duke, a nurse grabbed hold of the daughter and another pulled Revena out. Revena started coughing immediately and told them that the Duke had done this while she was trying to save the girl. Everyone started putting the fire out as quickly as they could.

Revena called to the nurse holding the baby, “take her to the abandon woods and find the cottage where the Dame Gothel resides. Leave her there and tell no one she has survived.” The nurse began to protest when Revena grabbed her face hard and stared into her eyes. With her mind weakened and under the control of the queen, she obeyed orders and took her at once to the cottage.

Dame Gothel lived alone and was a terrible old woman, she never trusted Revena but once the nurse maid dropped off the baby, a crow quickly followed holding a small scroll in its claws:

This child poses great threat to her majesty, queen Revena. She is to be dealt with immediately or the both of you shall suffer death. Take caution, the child is said to posses magical properties for her blood line consists of many sorceresses. Send word of her fate to the queen in two days time and you will be greatly rewarded.

Gothel looked at the sleeping child and lifted her slowly to her. She walked outside to the back of her cottage past her garden. She laid the babe down  next to the rampion flower. The scent woke the child and she began to speak soft sounds at the flower. Gothel reached in her apron pocket and took out a dagger. Her heart began to beat hard and loud and her breath became rapid. She knealt at the baby and lifted the dagger high over her head, never looking away from the child. The baby felt a sense of danger and began to panic and cry. The little one looked at Gothel just as she was bringing the blade down. Another light shot from the baby’s body and Gothel was thrown back to the ground.

Startled, she clawed at the ground to move her aching body away from the child. She sat staring at the crying girl and decided to leave the dagger on the ground. Slowly she crept back to the babe and looked at her face. A soft glow emited from her hair and gently Gothel reached out to stroke her hair. Once her old and delicate hand touch the soft warmth of the baby’s hair, her skin became brighter and younger and she started to feel energized. She looked at the rest of her body and felt all of her skin and even her hair becoming youthful once again. Amazed and shocked, she stared at the baby who had her hand reaching out towards the closest rampion flower. Gothel picked it and handed it to her and the baby smiled softly.

Gothel then scooped up the child, flower in hand, and walked back to her cottage. Inside, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Looking years younger and seeing every cut, scar and bruise she once had minutes before, were all healed.

Knowing the queen was expecting the death of this child, she gathered supplies in her home and all of her belongings and prepared to leave her cottage. She was heading to the abandoned tower, that laid outside of the queen’s kingdom behind the highest waterfall in the land. She quickly wrote a note out to the queen that read,

The child is no longer alive in your kingdom and I no longer reside in your kingdom either. I shall not do any more of your dark bidding and I will be where you or your dirty crows can’t ever find me.

As soon as she stepped out of her cottage, the crow that delivered the scroll waited on the gate of her fence. Aggravated, Gothel shoved her note at the crow and it let out a loud screech, the crow took it and flew away towards the castle. With the horse and small cart loaded, Gothel gathered the baby and took one last look at the cottage before settling into the cart. The horse began to trot off, pulling the two of them along. The baby still held the rampion flower in her hand and Gothel smiled at her and cradled her closer to her.

“I will grow you a garden of rampion and I shall call you Rapunzel.”

………….

I hope you guys enjoyed this! I like writing fan fiction and decided to share this with you all. I’ve always been nervous about sharing my fan fiction, or sharing it actually, but I thought why not! Let me know what you think and if you want more!! I posted a watercolor painting of Rapunzel on my channel, if you haven’t already be sure to check it and other videos out!

If you want to see some fan fiction art of the Hunger Games, check out this video I put on my channel!

Fan art or ‘OC’?

As an artist, I sometimes face the dilemma or coming up with an original character (aka OC) or drawing some fan art. I enjoy both very much and mostly I come across this issue whenever there is an event to table. There are advantages to both for sure but when it comes down to it, it needs to be a reflection of my particular style art.

There pros to fan art:

  • Capitalizing on what’s popular in the entertainment world right now, can be quite lucrative. Make an original art piece of a famous character or singer and make prints of it so you can sell it at a lower price therefore having a better chance of making more off of it.
  • You don’t have to brainstorm backgrounds of the character, outfits, hairstyles, human traits, etc. Its already done for you.
  • You can really show off your portrait skills this way. Can you replicate a phot really well and add a bit of your own style to it? Drawing fan art can really show off your ability to capture a likeness from a photo which can get you commission work in the future.
  • You can develop your style without worrying too much the actual character design. While you still have to pay attention to proportions and likeness, you can get a little more headspace to apply to technique and execution of the picture in your own style. Its a really good reference practice also to study color, poses, clothing wrinkles, etc.
  • You can share your own interest in what you like through fan art. If you like certain shows or music and want to really share that with your fans (which fans do like to know more about the people they admire) then you can be more open with them. You can meet others that share a similar interest

Cons to fan art:

  • Copyright. That’s a given. You have to worry about copyrighted material and turning it into fan art. This is frustrating to say in the least but I have watched a few conferences from speakers at Comic Con about this subject and they have said (I am paraphrasing) Fan art is an expression of love for these characters. While you can’t make millions and do mass publication of these characters, doing some fan art and making a little bit of money will not land you in jail or with a big fine. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all companies and copyrighted materials. And like a lot of things in life, there are loop holes. Can I set up a table in a smaller art fair with only fan art prints and get arrested? Maybe not. But if you open up a shop in a big city and sell your fan art paintings and make thousands of dollars every month from them, you’ll be found most likely. And I am not a legal advisor, but as someone who has sold fan art before, you do need to be careful.
  • Limits imagination for your own original work. This is more of a “it could happen” vice a “this will happen” instance. I.E. if you love a certain franchise and start drawing all the characters from it over and over, you could get stuck in that world. It could hinder your from developing new and original characters (if you are trying to make more originals) There is a chance it could influence your own original characters by using ideas from the fan art you are drawing, which honestly, would be so awesome if that happened!
  • Limited clientele. If you only like super heroes for fan art, then you are mostly going to get people that like super heroes purchasing your things. That’s not a bad thing but it does limit on purchases.
  • The competition is fierce. Not only are you competing against others that are doing this same fan art, but you are competing against manufactured products made by the bigger companies that have copyright on these characters. And when you capitalize on something that is popular, you are competing against a lot of other products. And while your fan art piece may be wonderful and awesome, it won’t have the advertising and mass production of the store products.

Pros to OC:

  • Its your own character. You make this all your own and you have the chance too truly express yourself and your style
  • You can draw inspiration from  multiple places or other characters to really fit your style
  • People can really see what kind of art work you like to draw and what to expect from you which can lead to a fan base of your own artwork

Cons to OC:

  • While we all want to have completely and totally original and cool ideas, you still are pulling technique and style from somewhere. So while you are still making your own art work it can have similarities to someone else’s artwork and may get questioned on it authenticity.
  • This depends on your style, but if you go for a more realistic look to your characters and less cartoon like style, you’ll need to rely on references which can be a pain if you can’t find the exact pose you are looking for. You could always take the pics of yourself also, something I have resorted to a lot of the time.

 

While there are many of reasons to both and all side of this, these are the main ones I wanted to focus on now just to share the wisdom and help anyone that may have this similar struggle. And you have anything to add to either list, be sure to comment with them below.

I would also like to take time to introduce my new shop ono Storenvy! I have set a list in my menu but I have hyperlinked it here also to save you some time. The feature image of the mermaid for this post is my first product I have posted! I am so excited to finally start a shop and hopefully get my art out there! Please check it out and check often for new items that will be available!

Consider becoming a patron on my Patreon page! You can select a rewards tier that best suits you or you can simply donate once a month and show your amazing support that way! You can find new prints and stickers there every month and at a cheaper price than you can find in my shop!

Like, Share, Comment!!

And I am back

So last week, if you noticed, I took it off from blogging. We are currently in the middle of a move and there is so much I had to get done that I had to focus my time and energy into what needed to be done. It was worth it and I am glad to be back on the blog, especially since I have an announcement to make!

If you haven’t noticed (or if you have) I have changed my blog headline to ‘artist and creator of handmade inspirations’ from ‘an illustrator with a few stories to tell’. Recently I was talking to one of my best friends and my husband and they both told me that I should expand my art into all things creative. I like to make art pieces but I also do other crafts such as sewing, crocheting, origami, etc. I really enjoy being creative in lots of different ways, so instead of limiting myself to just one way medium, I will start including all arts and crafts projects I make and also start having them for sale.

So while this is a brief post, its informative and fun! I will post things that are for sale in my shop tab so be sure to keep up that and check back frequently to see what’s new! I also post a lot on my Instagram which shares over to my Twitter and Facebook also, so follow me on anyone of those and you will also see progress photos and posts on new items! I am still on YouTube and Patreon also, although because of the moving process, I won’t be uploading new videos every week, but I will have new prints and stickers every month on Patreon! You can always check those out because those prints are at a special price for my monthly patrons and will only have limited quantities for sale in my shop!

Featured image is the March Patreon print and stickers!