So….yeah

Remember in my last post when I said something to the effect of “hey, I took a break but now I’m back every Saturday” yada yada yada..?  Well, as you can probably tell, I didn’t post last Saturday and it is very late in the evening on a Tuesday now when I finally started to write this one. And I will admit, I felt so angry at myself for not posting on Saturday even though I had every intention of doing so. So what happened? And more importantly, why would I even be upset about it?

Well last weekend, my oldest daughter celebrated her birthday and we had a small party for her and a couple friends. It really wasn’t anything major and everyone had fun and there was great conversation. (Bonus, the house still looked clean when everyone left!) After the kids went to sleep I pulled out my laptop and started blogging about the day and how great it was. It really started out as a great post that was full of emotion, reflection and motherhood. I wrote about half of it and decided to step away to get myself something to drink and that’s when my husband showed me some houses (we are moving soon). Of course we jumped in that rabbit hole and looked at so many houses and I completely forgot I even wrote anything.

The next morning, I realized I didn’t post anything and thought ‘no big deal, a post a day late is fine with me’. But Sunday somehow became one thing after another and yet again I forgot to not just finish the post, but I forgot half of what I was going to write. So I went to bed yet again remembering that I still didn’t post.

Yesterday and today, I worked on commissions. Almost entirely for both days. I went to a friend’s house because she was also working on orders so we had our kids play together so we could work. And work we did. I’m done with a crochet doll that takes forever and was able to work on some individual sketches. But it wasn’t until tonight that I forced myself to sit and finish the blog post. Well, I started a new one technically.

So there are the reasons, so why am I mad? It’s not like I wasn’t doing anything or that I just sat around for three days not caring. So there really isn’t a reason, right? Well, I hold myself to a standard with only a few things in my life. And keeping up with my creative outlets is one of them. I like blogging a lot. It helps me write, even when I haven’t written anything in my novel. I do expect myself to sit for an hour and write once a week about something because it’s not an unrealistic goal. But I also live a lifestyle that has a husband, 5 children, 2 dogs, homeschooling, working from home and  being a housewife. Sometimes those goals are easily over shadowed and even though I  feel great about staying on top of my proprietors, I still get upset when I don’t accomplish those personal goals. It’s so easy to lose yourself in taking care of others all the time. Seeing someone’s gratitude and appreciation for your hard work is a wonderful feeling and is something to be happy about. But when you set goals for yourself, to improve yourself or your own ability, and then don’t have the time to meet that goal, it can feel frustrating and a bit of a let down. But something I have learned and striving to remember, is that its not a failure. Its not a set back. Its a pause. I can pick up things relatively back up where they once were, may not be easy, but its reasonable and perfectly okay. When the time comes, and I can get my goals completed, I like to take a bit of time to appreciate what I’ve done for myself.

So if you can relate, then high five, because it’s nice to know we aren’t alone!

 

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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!

Growth

This week has been so chaotic that I literally could not think of anything to write today. I have re written this post about five times because I want to give you something positive to start your week off tomorrow. So here we go.

Today’s post is really just a realization that I have grown in my artwork so much that I have become somewhat satisfied with my artwork, that is something I haven’t felt before. And honestly, I still don’t have a real chance to embrace it because, life is just plain hectic. There is so much going on with me right now that I seriously can’t just sit and indulge in my art. But its okay. At no point do I expect to be on top of every emotion and make sure things go according to my plan. My plan in life doesn’t matter as much as God’s plan.

Sure I get frustrated when things don’t go the ‘rational’ way I have conjured up in my mind, but I get over it. Life isn’t about stressing over every single thing that went wrong. It’s about growth. Growth in anything and everything you do. Family, spirituality, career, hobby, health, responsibilities, etc. Embrace what you can when you can and keep growing. If your life is busy, embrace it and be productive. If your life is slow paced, embrace it and still be productive. Life is only lived once and dwelling on each mishap until a new one arises only slows you down.

Since I can’t just sit and soak in my little accomplishment, I can grasp on to what I can and keep moving forward. And I am happy with that. One day I will be able to take time to look back and be happy at how hard I pushed  myself, or maybe not. Who knows? But I do know that you have what it takes to move forward and the will to accomplish what you want is there. So the only question you have to ask yourself is – Are you ready?

 

 

Don’t forget to check out my books on Amazon and my YouTube channel for my drawing videos!

 

The most nostalgic Christmas

Today is the last day of 2016. Some of you are reflecting on the year and feeling many emotions over it. Maybe it was really successful and you accomplished more than you expected and maybe you didn’t realize the year was ending and wished you had more time. You may also not care at all about the fact that a new year is approaching because its just another way for you to spend all of January (or the first half of 2017) accidently writing 2016 on everything. Whatever your feeling may be on the subject, I will still tell you happy New Years Eve and I hope 2017 is a great year for you.

I typically spent New Years thinking about all the good things that happened to me or the lessons I had to learn, with either life or general knowledge, and talk about them with others and listen to their stories as well. But as I reflected on 2016 there is one thing that holds my heart more than anything.

When I was a kid I lost most of my childhood toys. Under very sad circumstances, I was left with just a few things to show my kids that I had from growing up. Not every toy had a special meaning but a few did and unfortunately, those were the few I would never see again. I would tell stories about them a lot to my kids and husband and they thought they were so cool, because they were! A couple of those was a Tuggabows doll I would call ‘Big Head’ because when I was little, she was so big and had a very heavy head that was covered in yarn hair, and an orange towel like blanket that folded in the middle into a pillow and zipped up. The blanket had a flower embroidered on it with the word flower underneath it. A Japanese girl scout who spoke very little English gave it to me and also took me out for a day to see what the Japanese culture was like with her family.

Yeah, I told you they were cool. So this year, during our many Christmas’s at multiple families homes, my husband decided to give me my presents before we got back home. We were at his parent’s house and it was pure chaos. There were 18 of us there with only 17 unwrapping gifts (the 18th was still sleeping and growing in my sister in law’s belly! (;  ) and my husband hands me two big bags and says, ‘Here’. I knew he had been up something and he isn’t a mushy romantic, he’s more like an awkward romantic, it’s really cute. So after he hands me the bag, he steps back and watches me open the gifts. I pulled out a pillow that had a sunflower print all over it and realized it unfolded from the pouch into an orange blanket. I stood stunned and looked at him and my eyes started to water. Before I could say anything else he pointed to the other bag that had a Lalaloopsy doll with a head full of yarn hair. I smiled and laughed to myself and had to hug him. He had no idea what he was looking for when he was buying me those things but he wanted to do something for my old childhood self. And I can tell you now, she was very happy!

When I think of 2016 and my accomplishments, hardships, lessons learned, and fun times had, I am happy to be where I am now. But those few minutes over Christmas when I was standing in a living room that wasn’t my own, mother of 5 children, holding a doll and blanket that my husband bought for me, I felt blessed and elated. It was truly the best Christmas I had ever had.

Are you done wiping your eyes? Because I still tear up when I think about this and it was almost a whole week ago when it happened! But that’s what floods my memories and heart when I spend time reflecting on 2016. I am truly grateful for other things, my kids scoring high academically, publishing 2 coloring books, starting a blog, getting a novel half written, spending time with my husband, expanding  my art career and so much more. There were a lot of hardships also, but the way I handle those times are to remember the good that came from it and move forward. That wasn’t always easy but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have so many things to be grateful for.

I am glad about 2016 and am excited for 2017! What makes it better, is that my followers, supporters and patrons from Patreon, are here by my side! I can’t thank you guys enough for your encouragement and helping make all of this possible. I could just be sending words and pictures into the abyss of the internet, but you decided to stick around with me for my art and writing journey and that’s just amazing!

I hope you have a fun and safe evening bringing in the new year and as my husband would say “Happy New Year where the cubs won the world series since 1908″……..so there ya go! He’s always been a die hard fan!

Thank you all for being you! Happy New Year!

 

Want to have tips and tutorials to help you become a better artist? Or maybe you want a print every month of one of my art pieces? Come by my Patreon page and check out all the reward tiers or just make a donation, that is always appreciated!

Don’t forget to check out my coloring books that are still available on Amazon! Fun for Hours and Stressed Out!

 

 

Self Promoting Journey (plus TIPS!)

(Does anyone know where the image reference is from? I love that meme so I when I thought of this post, I figured that would be a good drawing! Share this with your friends to see if they get the reference)

On November 11th I made a pact with myself that I would promote my blog, channel, Instagram, facebook, coloring books, writing, nearly everything I have been working on at home for at least 20 minutes a day for a whole year. Not only is this a great challenge for me, but its a way for me to get in the habit of staying on top of my work from home.

I can say that for the last 3 weeks, I have been successful in building a bigger audience and making a little more money in my sales. I still have a long way to go, but I want to go ahead and give you a run down of what I have done and hopefully, if you are trying to find ways to build your business and marketing, then these tips can help. Or maybe they can encourage you to keep moving forward with your business and to know that your hard work will pay off (one day).

First my Instagram grew by over 100 followers. I was tempted to use those apps that allow you to like or follow other people and they do the same with your account. Seemed simple enough. But the thing is with those apps and programs, they aren’t genuine. Nobody actually cares about what you are putting out there or what you are selling. So how are those numbers mattering in any way? They don’t. If you want just numbers, then go for it. I heard it really works and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time. But to make money, you’ll need more than just numbers.

Since my Instagram is artwork and business related, I needed to network like a business, not a machine. I utilized hashtags all related to my artwork. If my drawing had a girl with blue hair, I would use #art #bluehair #blue, etc. Why? Because its all related to my picture in some way and like I have said before, there is an audience for everything out there. Then I would click on the hashtags that I used and go through other people’s post with the same. I would like and comment on pictures I actually liked or I would mention my artwork. I kept doing this and eventually I had people following and liking my posts.

My blog and YouTube grew by 10- 15 followers each in 3 weeks. To me, that’s huge. I applied the same method I did to Instagram to my blog and YouTube channel. Networking on these two platforms take more time and brain power honestly. I don’t like to just click ‘like’ on everything I come across or comment with ‘Nice’ ‘Interesting’ ‘Way to go’, because I want to show that I care about what other people are saying and doing. So honestly, if I don’t have the actual time or energy to invest into reading blogs and watching videos, then I just stick with Instagram.

Growing a good audience on a blog or a YouTube channel is really competitive now a days. Literally anyone that has a computer can do either of these two and post whatever they like. I make art videos and you know how many other artists are out there that are doing the exact same thing? A lot. So many great artists and we are all fighting to share our work with everyone. Same thing with a blog. Anyone can just write about how they feel on the internet and click post. But how does that relate to an audience? Who are you targeting? What’s the purpose of your videos and posts? These are important aspects of using these two platforms and will help you figure who to go for to network.

My Twitter feed has not done that well. I have gotten about 10 followers on there, but there isn’t a lot of interaction. I have the numbers but not so much the communication. Which is okay. I am not that active on there unless something is shared from another site or media outlet. If that were my only form of networking, I’d be a little discouraged. So for now, I can handle just the numbers until I find a way to work in networking on Twitter.

So I had to choose what I actually wanted for my business. Is it easier to work my blog? My YouTube Channel? A social media outlet? Should I network more than one? What kind I realistically do to manage my time? These are all questions I asked myself when I set my ‘year of networking’ goal. They weren’t easy and I had to do a bit of thinking to really get a feel of what I needed and I had to come up with a good plan to start with.

I hope you see what I have been doing to make more of an impression with my business and maybe these simple tips can help you also. I am not a professional marketer. Even if my husband is a natural born networker and can literally talk to anyone about anything, I am not good at it. And asking him to take on a third job of networking for me, isn’t on my agenda. This post is just about what I have been doing on my own and how/if it has helped me. If you have any special tricks you do, share them with in the comments below!

Happy Small Business Saturday!

www.facebook.com/madelynjanelle

www.instagram.com/madelynjanelleart

www.twitter.com/madelynjanelle

http://www.patreon.com/madelynjanelle

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

 

offspchickwords

Passion over fear!

I have to say, the feedback I got from my previous post ‘The Second Civil War’, was relieving. Now, I didn’t have hundreds of readers comment me saying its the best writing ever and they are sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for me to continue (although that would rock my socks off!), but the little bit I did get, was positive and helpful. So, naturally, it was encouraging and kept me wanting to write more.

I was really nervous about my writing. I have always wanted to write and have filled many notebooks with stories that varied in genre. Instead of publishing it on the internet or in a book, I just left them there. Just untold stories, some with characters that have no names and unfinished dialogues. I lacked confidence in my writing, even though I have such a passion for it. I was more fearful or publishing my writing than I was my artwork.

With artwork, the reaction is immediate. The image you see makes you feels something , or nothing, right away and then you move on. With writing, there’s more to it. Time is invested in reading the story and then thinking about what was just read. For whatever reason, I was always intimidated to ask people, ‘Hey, read this please.’ I had this irrational fear that if they didn’t like it, they would be mad at me for even thinking about wasting their time to give them such garbage, even though they were willing to read it anyway.

At one point, I stopped my writing all together. Never bothered to attempt to write down any cool story ideas or even draw character designs for some awesome hero I just conjured up in my head. Now of course, I regret that because I could’ve at least had those ideas tucked away some where for the chance to have them written out. But at the time, I just didn’t see a future in writing for me, so I just didn’t see the point.

I had (still kind of have some left) self-doubt and fear about something I not only enjoyed, but that made me feel good about myself. I was realizing that in the end, I was wasting my own time with dreaming and not following through. So I stopped. Literally. I told myself, enough is enough, go for it and stop doing it, which is why I started writing my first story and later decided to write an online fiction.

So if you have any doubts about your dreams and passions, remember, you are not alone. Everyone does feel this way and it’s just a matter of your will getting in the way. There is an audience for everything out there. Maybe you’ll have to dig a little bit and network yourself a lot (A LOT!), but it will be worth it in the end because you did in fact do something for yourself and your passion. Following dreams wasn’t meant to be easy, otherwise everyone would do it. But don’t completely discard your passion because you think that no one could care about it. If you truly care about it enough, it will show through in what you do and then it really won’t feel like work.

What are your dreams?

Catching up with life

I have to say that I am pretty good at staying on top of tasks and getting things done. I personally don’t like to procrastinate but it does seem to happen from time to time and its seems to be inadvertent when it does happen. I take on too much, I know that, and therefore in the chaos of it all, some things slip through the cracks even though everything else seems to be on point.

I.E. My blog post

I knew for a fact on last Friday that I needed to have a drawing done for this blog AND start writing. So, I started writing a new post. It’s a great one, too. I am becoming more confident in my writing and so I thought a little fictional story on my blog would be fun to share and to also draw some concept art for it. Who knows, maybe even publish it into a book one day.

Well, I started writing it at 11 pm. It’s late but not too late, but being the time it was and the depleting energy level I was experiencing, the story is not up to par. No worries there, I will just edit it in the morning, since it’s not a long introduction to the story anyway, and then I will spend a couple of hours drawing concept art for the story and post by Saturday evening and viola! Only ‘Viola!’ didn’t happen. I never edited the intro the next day and I completely forgot about sketching a character design or any concept art for that matter. I, instead, got the house cleaned, helped 3 of my 5 kids with their rooms, went on a walk, went to church, played on the trampoline, checked on the garden, helped locate our two very large dogs that escaped the house, and made a bonfire and had cocoa with my kids just before putting them to sleep and literally passing out myself.

Sunday was my husbands full day off from both of his jobs so I told him to sleep in and I will take care of breakfast. Well, I did that and a lot of the same things from the day before along with 3 hours of yard work and sawing a tree branch into multiple logs. Yes, my arms are sore. After another bonfire (we have a lot of those) we put the kids into bed, I played Tetris with  my husband, and grabbed my sketchbook. I drew a rough sketch of my main character and still didn’t edit my story intro.

Today it needs to be done. I am not one to really stress over missed things, but I don’t like delaying on my art, writing, or learning. Its really not a habit I care to get into. So I have planned out meals today and told my children that I need to get my work done. Thankfully, I have thoughtful children and when I tell them that, they usually return with ‘okay’, ‘do you need anything done’ or ‘when can I read it’. I love their encouragement for my work and they do see that from their dad, who always asks those same questions.

I did manage to get a YouTube video done so that will have to be the image you see today. This image is from another story I am writing and its actually the first story I started this year. I am excited for that book to be published as well, and I do plan on having illustrations within the story and those will take a lot longer than the writing.

Be on the look out for my story that I am posting on here ‘The next civil war’

Here is the YouTube video I managed to get up and if you like it, be sure to share with your friends! This illustration is from the first story I came up with the year ‘The royals legacy’ (title a work in progress!)

www.facebook.com/madelynjanelle

www.instagram.com/madelynjanelleart

www.twitter.com/madelynjanelle

http://www.patreon.com/madelynjanelle

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

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