Uncategorized, Writing

Advancing the storyline

I absolutely love a good ‘choose your own adventure’ story. It takes me back to my old computer games like purple moon’s ‘Rockett’s New School’ where you chose the next part of the story and get to see the outcome. And now, one of my favorite bloggers just started one and I’m all about it! I linked it below!!

via Brash Detective Services, Inc

I’m also wanting to do a character design. For this. What do you think he looks like?

Art, Writing

2 weeks left

I have 2 weeks left in my first kickstarter campaign! I went from 11% to 20% in one week but I still need your help! Raising the other 80% in 14 days really seems like a stretch, but I truly believe I can do it! I will posting images of the pins soon as an update also! Ive already started showing off the amazing stickers! I will post the prints as well once they are all packaged! Here is the link so you can help see my campaign through with me! Thanks so much for the support!

 

Art

My first Kickstarter, now what?

Well, I’ve finally done it. I created a kickstarter campaign to help myself build an inventory and also make cool products for others to buy. I’ve been contemplateling this for months with so many thoughts and apprehensions. I read so many stories, both successful and not. I did mathematical research and product research and had to really evaluate what I could put out as a creator that would stand out to someone to want to buy it. So what made me finally get my butt in gear and take this chance?

Well, because I needed this risk. I needed this chance to see what I can do with where I’m at. I’ll admit, when you read kickstarter’s “all or nothing” policy, it can get to your head if you allow it. That phrased messed with me for a while. It made me think that this was it for me and if I don’t get funded, then what would I have left. But I put those irrational emotions aside and started to think logically. If this doesn’t work out, it will be okay. Its not another failure. It is a lesson though and it’s one that I’ve already started to learn from.

Creating this project with a limited following is a pretty big leap. But I believe in my artwork and in myself. I have a set goal I am trying to achieve and I will do what I need to in order to reach it. At this point,  I have 3 backers in 48 hours.  That’s huge to me and I have every bit of hope that I will reach my goal.

So for now,  I Am feeling rather confident and excited for this project.  Stay tuned for an update on whether that changes (let’s hope not).

Here’s the link so you can also check it out, pledge and help spread the word!

Art

Drawing for over 24 hours- what I learned

Recently I decided to do a 24 hour drawing challenge. As if that wasn’t enough, I also decided to record as much of the drawing/ coloring process, leaving much of the sketching off camera. As with most challenges, lessons were learned. Such as, editing 18+ hours of footage, is no walk in the park. Hats off to independent film makers.

The first thing I learned was that when I am given the time to dedicate to art, I take it and run with it. I have a busy home life with 6 kids and educating them with my husband, it can be quite difficult to have time to follow my art path. But I do have to support from my husband, more than I can explain. Once I told him I was ready for this challenge, he helped me to plan for it, He took care of the kids the whole day (nothing new to him) and gave me the precious gift of time. So when I have dedicated time, I not only use it wisely, but I really do cherish it.

Another lesson learned is that I really should take longer with warm up drawings. I usually draw or sketch for about half an hour before starting on major projects or commissions. But I know that if I don’t take more time with  warm up drawings, I rush through real work, which can lead to mistakes and sloppiness.

Something I learned with coloring- watercolors are going to be my best bet. I love markers, I really do, and they are great for some of the work I do. But they also take a very long time to color with and can cost me more money than I am making. I have a fondest for watercolors that I need to embrace rather than put on the back burner.

Speaking of embracing, not once during this whole challenge did I allow myself to ink the drawings the way I normally like to. Heavy black ink on the shadows and lots of hatching and not quite outlining every bit of the character. Why didn’t I do this? I have no answer other than, I was too focused on just completing the challenge and not fully using it to my advantage or to develop art skills.

116_2808(example of my inking)

Lastly, I learned that I want to so badly make graphic novels. I originally wanted to use this challenge to work on my graphic novel but couldn’t because of a last minute commission I took, I talk more about that in the video. But my love for story telling and art is so strong that when I don’t get the chance to work on my story, I don’t feel as accomplished.

So that’s what I am expecting of myself from now on. More stories. More art. Only time will tell how many novels I get out in my lifetime. Maybe I get picked up my a publisher, maybe I stick with self publishing, but either way, it will be done. I will of course keep you updated on progress. So if you like adventure stories and sequential art, you’ve come to the right artist.

Thanks for coming by, you can enjoy the video below!

Writing

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

Writing

Death makes brothers of us all

When I first thought of posting this, it was several weeks ago and I had just read about the loss of a friend from school, another friend I had met in the last couple of years and Facebook reminded me with their wonderful ‘on this day’ app that I had another friend commit suicide a few years ago. With the feeling of loss and inspiration, I was going to post these same thoughts then, but life continues to move forward, you follow it and some things get put off until another painful shot comes your way, reminding you of what you once started.

A couple days ago I was traveling with my kids across a few states that took me roughly 8 hours of driving, stops, and getting gas to finally reached my destination around 8 pm. Exhausted, I got on social media and started noticing similar posts only from my former high school classmates. Everyone was talking about him, asking for prayers, expressing disbelief, saddened for his children. It took up every other post in my news feed. Scrolling through the heartache and condolences, one post had a news article that said ‘fatal motorcycle wreck’. I clicked it, read it, saw the pictures that showed a motorcycle on its side and one empty boot laying in the middle of the road and as it closed the article and what happened, it ended with the name of the casualty. His name was Eric.

My stomach crumbled. He was in my graduating class. He was a father, son and brother. He was always kind to me and we were starting to catch back up on Facebook. Just the day before I commented on one of his posts to help encourage him.  And just like that, literally hours after that, he’s gone. And how, dear reader, how do you cope with that reality?

Death always brings questions. We always wonder why someone was taken, why they were so young, why now. We always feel better when we have the knowledge and reasoning behind certain events that occur. It makes us feel safer. And the reality is, we can’t know all of those answers. We can, though, trust that there is a higher power at work and is taking care of His ultimate plan. So in the case of trusting, what are we supposed to take away from death?

A small notion I have about people dying is for those of us who are in pain to remember the positive in their lives. That there is a reason we, the living, should be inspired by the dead in some way. We can look at the deceased and think about their qualities and adapt something from their lives into ours. Something that would help build us as better humans and bring us closer together. One bright aspect of death is that is does bring us all together. We cry on each other’s shoulders, hug family and friends we haven’t seen in ages, talk to those who we haven’t heard from, laugh about memories, console others, speak about the happier times in life and pay our respects to our brother that has passed from this life. On the final goodbyes that you say to them, be sure to thank them for however they impacted your life and live so that you are an inspiration when your time comes.

 

 

Writing

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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