Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SUMMER COLDS ARE NOT MY FAVORITE

I've been sick with a stupid summer cold for the past few days (courtesy of my husband - womp womp). I haven't had the ability to do much creatively as my brain's felt a bit melty as of late. I had a really good few days working on my novel prior to contracting this snot-inducing head cold. Not much writing just yet, but a good deal of research and plotting and character generation. Things are moving along and it's all rather exciting. 

But in my spare time in between sneezing and feeling yucky, I've been trying to finish up four doodle paintings that have been lying around the studio waiting for a rainy day (or a sick day, I suppose). This is the first of the finished paintings: It's called "Lonesome Dreams".  


Doodling can be a rather comforting process for me. I start with random colors and build the foundation for the drawing, but once I get going it heads in its own direction. I can't plan what it will look like, and I only know I am done when I get that feeling - the voice that says..."That'll do, Pig...That'll do."
In this particular instance, I really wasn't happy with the way it was turning out. But thankfully, the doodling process is a loving one. I don't ever give up on a doodle. I've done over 75 of these paintings now and never once have I scrapped one because I didn't "like it". In fact, I think part of what makes this such a meaningful outlet for me is that there is no stopping until I like it. I have to keep working at the whole painting until I feel like it's reached its purpose. And I take great comfort in knowing that with enough work and determination, anything can be turned around into something worthwhile.

In art, so as in life. Or so I like to think, anyway... 
That's all for now. I need my rest so I can get some art done tomorrow!


Friday, July 12, 2013

COME CLOSE, AND I'LL TELL YOU A TINY STORY

Yesterday I spent time building up my boards on Pinterest, including one board called "Say It With Style" which hosts myriad inspirational quotes in lovely typography. I came across a darling little graphic which reads "The universe is made of tiny stories" (by Jo Klima), which just so happens to perfectly align with my own perspective on life.


It inspired me to seek out the source of the sentiment. Turns out it originates from hitRECord.org, the successful collaborative media endeavor by Joseph Gordon Levitt. I then discovered the first two printed volumes from the site's "Tiny Stories" collection. Tiny stories are collaborative pieces in which a person can author a tiny story, create a tiny illustration, or do both. People then "remix" the content submitted, either by pairing a text with a image of their own or writing text for someone else's image. The result is fun and surprising, at times beautifully poetic and insightful, as well as funny and bizarre. These little books arrived today, and I can tell you from experience that they are delightful.



I decided that crafting tiny stories of my own might be a great exercise to get the word juices flowing. So I grabbed a fresh notebook and began writing freely in what felt very similar to stream of consciousness. Here are a few of my favorite tiny stories that emerged:

Sometimes I look up at the stars and wonder, who's looking down at me?

A shiny copper penny rolled under the refrigerator. 
"What a waste," it said to itself. 

For one brief, shining moment, the cloud saw himself as he truly was. 

Lazy Kitty waited patiently for the ball of yarn to bat itself.
The ball of yarn was not pleased. Not pleased at all.

"But we don't have a map!" she exclaimed.
"Follow your heart," he replied with a wink.
They were never seen again.

The toilet seat never quite warmed to his choice of career.

Every story has a beginning. But not every story has an

The potato was very self-conscious about perpetuating stereotypes, so he only watched PBS and The Discovery Channel. 

The book waited quietly in the corner of the shelf for the day to come when he was needed again.

She didn't know then that a simple 'hello' was just what he needed to hear.

Evidence of her happy life lay in the geography of her face; rivers, canyons, and tributaries carved deep by constant use.  


Feel free to leave your own tiny story in the comments!

Monday, July 8, 2013

SO IT BEGINS!

I've finally begun on the first bits of what will hopefully become my first full-fledged writing endeavor (it happens to be a YA sci-fi novel series in three planned installments). It's been an interesting experience so far, and probably the most exciting and intriguing creative project I've yet attempted. As an illustrator I've never thought myself much of a storyteller. Sure, I can grasp the kinds of storytelling cues to consider when bringing images to a text, but I never really feel like I put much of myself into my work. There is always a disconnect. A barrier that separates the satisfaction of creating something from the personal pride in imbuing it with some bit of my true self. I never feel like I'm illustrating for me. Because I'm not. I'm serving another author's words. A story that is not my own.

Writing allows for boundless freedom to express myself through my own ideas. But what if I'm not a good storyteller? This question plagues me beyond all others.

For now, I'm ignoring that self-doubt and replacing it with curiosity and the thrill of trying. Trying something new, something that scares me, something that allows me a level of self-expression lacking in my other creative outlets.  Perhaps I will turn out to be less of a storyteller than I wish I were. But for the first time in my life I feel like I have something to say and I must push through my self-imposed fear and limitation in order to serve that voice. The voice that tells me that there is something worthy in this struggle. That it just might be what I need to become the person I've known I was all along.

We shall see.