I didn’t know about that

Beautiful Champion 2 comments

I wrote a letter a few weeks ago, to myself in the future. It’s not something I do out of habit, but one of my friends – a kindred soul – inspired me to try a few weeks ago. What I thought was going to be something I saved and read to myself 10 years from now, turned out to be something more powerful, and something more….real. As I slowly become brave in myself, and learn who I am {becoming} and who I want to be…I find that deep down, the answers have been there all along, voices just waiting to be heard – beats meant to be danced to.

I feel almost as self conscious writing this, as I did when I wrote the letter.

I called myself Beautiful Champion, because that is who I want to become; and when I read my letter to myself, not 10 years from now, but when I read it adressed to myself now – I knew somehow, that’s not who I hope to become, but who I am. I feel, far, far, short of that title – I fail myself probably more than I fail anyone else – but my soul cries and it resonates, and somehow that truth penetrates.
Dear beautiful champion,
Your bravery, heart, and imagination inspire. Your strength, love, and passion help people you don’t even see. Your grace and empathy makes you safe for people to come to and discover that it’s okay to be themselves, as you are yourself. Your journey, your pain, your path, and your discovery are all important, while hard, parts of your journey and your story. You wouldn’t be who you are without the painful and sad pieces, because those enable you to understand what other people are incapable of imagining. 
Unwittingly, I wrote truths that I needed in this moment – truths that I battle to find all the time. Which is probably why, when I let my heart speak and write the words, I found exactly what I needed to find.
You beautiful, strong, compassionate champion – may feel lost at times, but don’t let that stop you from your journey – your journey to be and become and realize your full potential, you who truly are. Never stop growing, dear one – you are more important than you realize.


I get lost in my own little world sometimes. Thoughts jump from one topic and phrase to the next in a high speed chase while I keep my hands busy and let my brain work itself out. I did that today, while deep cleaning my kitchen in a race against the two loads of laundry I had going. I let my thoughts fade in and out of reality – sometimes paying complete attention to the music on my phone and others getting lost in the swirls of brown goop from cleaning the stove, so that it was nearly invisible.

Of course, I couldn’t actually tell you what I was thinking about, because I don’t remember more than bits, and not in any way that makes sense. But I enjoyed the process of cleaning and losing myself to whatever world my thoughts took me into. I think that helps me clean sometimes, being able to bounce my attention between music and cleaning and thoughts while still doing the same thing and racing the clock.

When I was driving this weekend I let the oranges of the leaves on the trees through the hills seep into my mind as I created a world (that looked suspiciously like something from Dr. Seuss) full of color and breezes and bubbles. The plant outside the restaurant was swaying to the music from inside.

And I had a really weird brainstorm on a comic, which seemed brilliant in the fog of just waking up…it’s lame now.

I’m getting better at letting myself go and not hold back – at least, inside the confines and safety of my own mind. I accidentally tried a new painting technique as I got lost in the texture and how the paint and the palette knife acted against the canvas.

Getting lost.

has become so much…easier as I’ve learned to let myself just be. By repeating over and over the things my soul needs to hear and keeping words on mirrors. Getting lost makes me come alive.

Two Jameses #artistictuesday

I’m facing a dilemma. I’m working on re-illustrating and I finally have all the drafts done. The problem is, the new James looks much different than the old James (two very different styles) and I’m not sure which style to go with. Obviously, James 2.0 will still be different from 1.0, but I’m wondering if I should bring it closer to 1.5 instead. Not sure, so today it’s open ended – which do you like better?

Original James

Draft James, 2.0You can comment here, or just like one of the pictures on Facebook.

In the meantime, I’ve been painting the non people scenes with acrylics on cold press paper. *love* it.

Erasers 1 comment

I ran out of eraser last week, so I couldn’t work on drafting my illustrations until I got more. So I got some on Saturday, and I picked up some colored pens, and a super-fine tip pen, and a 7 pack of canvases. ^.^

I realized something the other day – In film and in some books, the outlines are done in darker shades of the color used to fill in the object and black is used sparingly. For some reason I always registered it as a simple black outline and wondered why it didn’t look quite right until I realized there *are* outlines, but not in black, much. So I picked up a tan pen for skin tones and a blue and a red pen for the balloons, and a superfine black pen for other details. We’ll see how that goes, but I’m glad I think I figured that out. Maybe.

So, I’ll be getting back to illustrating this week (hopefully) now that I can put the desk back from filming this weekend 😉

Psychadelic, Baby! 1 comment

I’m going to say right now, that the title has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m writing about, I just wanted to say it.

In a bit here I’m going to start working on illustrations and stuff, but I wanted to take a sec to post something I discovered today.

Van Gogh is similar to me. Although, hopefully I never come down with the same mental disorders – I don’t drink Absinthe or use lead paints either. Anyway, interestingness ensues when I learn that he didn’t really start painting until he was 20 ish – and that he had an eclectic art education (school, private, and self teaching). There’s something inspiring about the man who thought himself a failure and yet has made such an impact in the world.

I feel so..small and unimportant most of the time. I have so much to learn, and the more I learn the more I learn how much I have left to learn. Something about knowing that Van Gogh didn’t actually seriously start getting into art until he was my age makes me feel less behind…

Fireworks v. Illustrator

in pictures.

Last night using Fireworks and a picture of myself sitting:Fairy (in fireworks)

Tuesday night using Illustrator:
Fairy in Illustrator

I did try to use illustrator again last night, but after spending a long time trying to just extract myself from the background and make a half-decent mesh, I decided to switch over to Fireworks – which I need to upgrade, because CS3 in OSX Lion is sort of weird. Also, I dropped my laptop last night and the keys are sticky – but that’s besides the point.

What do the pictures mean:

Probably that I should stick with Fireworks for my graphic-making experiments because as much as I hate to say it, I’m more familiar with it and illustrator just isn’t as intuitive to me. Because of that, I really want to learn illustrator because I feel like it’s lame to only stick with something because I’m familiar with it. But it’s not just that – I’ve spent hours and hours over the last few days trying to learn my way around illustrator, and I managed to make something that looks sort of decent in it, but I don’t have the patience to sit there and tap every single point on a mesh with my track pad (UGH!) maybe if I had a mouse or was sitting at a desk with my wacom tablet it’d be easier.

Fireworks, I’ve used for years, and I was able to pick it up very quickly. It’s more intuitive for me, and now even after not playing with it for ages, picking it back up again I’ve been able to make better images than I did when I was using it all the time. I think getting back into painting has really helped me with creating digital images. Understanding things about light and shadows and shades is apparently something universally applicable.

For now, the Pen tool + Gradients seem to be winning over the Pen tool +Mesh.