thoughts are things

The right project

If you work on a project that isn’t for you, then it probably won’t work out.

“There’s good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad.”

I couldn’t agree more with Kurt Cobain. I  agree and so I set out to paint Kurt’s words in my own words.

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I kept trying to think up the words and the color, it just wasn’t happening. After three times it happened…

As soon as I uttered the thought, “Did I just waste 3 sheets of watercolor paper?”, another idea popped in my head. Let’s take the teal tempera paint and glide it across the page. Let’s do a layer upon layer technique and see what happens.

And as I glided the brush over the mess, a quote revealed itself.  I painted my words and my  idea of Kurt’s beautiful words. The texture is unexpected. I saved another art poster.

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-There are no impossibilities

wise trees book

E-book is here!

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My book is here. Did I just upload the file and hit submit? Yup. Now I wait, until I receive confirmation that everything is ready for printing and press.  Thank you amazon. Thank you wonderful person.

Funny how the tables turned. Yesterday I felt this nudge in my heart. It yelled, I knew you couldn’t do it. I saw all of the books I am working on. All of the deadlines I committed to and the hope and love poured out on every single page.  I knew I could do it.

I took a break. I had some chocolate, tea and painted for my next book. Oh and I asked for help. Today I came home and in minutes finished my book.

Oh shoot now its on to other projects. I’m scared. I’m excited.

-There are no impossibilities

 

wise trees book

Don’t let resistance win

Oh my goodness resistance almost won today but I am still here. I uploaded the files for my book. I was already to do it. Today is the day.  That’s it, no more holding on to this project. The deadline is TO-DAY. I was nauseous, nervous  and scared. That’s when I new I had to do it.

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I had it all planned out. Copy and pasted my awesome book description. The listing was ready to go. I planned on giving the book away for free. It was my holiday gift to the world .I checked spelling and grammar, read the book out loud. Everything felt good. I got this, I told myself. Then I uploaded the file and previewed the e-book…

in that moment resistance showed up. The formatting was all wrong. I kept fixing it, hours went by and I just couldn’t get it right. I came close to desperately whining. OK I did. I have been working on this book for a year. Well, maybe 8 months. I went back and forth with the editing, the images, layout, font and every single detail. I still need to fix it but I needed a break.

It’s weird because I feel like this feels like a PROJECT. I mean launching something is hard. There’s sweat and tears. I certainly felt that today. If things had gone smooth, I would have just stayed in my comfort zone. I need exactly the opposite to succeed. Right? How many times have I published a book. Never. How many books do I need to publish to now what I’m doing? Who knows but I’ll keep working.

 

-There are no impossibilities

 

thoughts are things

Do it wrong

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I’m so glad I know who Seth Godin is. I want to be a Linchpin. I am a linchpin. A few days ago I was having this conversation, a conversation that I come back to a lot. A father can’t play legos with his son because the father has to build the right way? I did the very same thing creating with the notion of doing it the right way? What’s worse I taught others to do the same. 

I’ve seen teachers insist that students paint a tree with green and brown. That is the “right way to paint a tree” isn’t it? What does the right way mean anyway? I feel terrible about this. Truth be told I didn’t know why I did this. It’s not like I am this controlling person. I’m not. You see at a a young age we are taught to “do it right”. We are taught to color within the lines. That Jesus is white not black. That pink is for boys and blue is for girls.

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The other day I walked in a classroom and I saw all of these cool projects hanging on the wall. They were awesome and the teacher is amazing BUT THEY WERE ALL THE SAME. Oh but the kids who made calaveras, well these were awesome. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my heart when I saw what they made with the mere scraps I gave them. I say scraps because they were scraps from other projects. Sure I gave them my sample and showed them pictures but wow WOW magic happened before my eyes.

The students had and felt complete control. Each was wrong. I was curious and interested as to how and why they chose color and design. I say room 8 taught me a VERY IMPORTANT ART LESSON THAT DAY, a lesson that I think on as I read Linchpin, a lesson that I will probably never forget.

 

I will repaint this today. Should have kept with the first one I made.

 

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Sadly I repainted it several times because I had to do it right. not sure I’ll be able to capture the same magic. The others might look right but there boring. I’ll never make that mistake…

-there are no  impossibilities

 

book projects

Thinking Too Much

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So I am painting all these objects for my next book. It’s funny how I don’t fret about the mistakes I make. I remember the days when I’d get upset, throw it out and start over. I don’t do that anymore.

Something happens to me. I go into a, fix it or make it work mode. Now I paint over my mistakes or use the eraser tool in Affinity Photo. I think of  Jon Contino’s words. You could do tons of revisions but the first one is always the best. It’s so true. I’ll get perfect color, layout or just the overall design feels good. Then perfection takes over. I dip the brush in a wrong color and doubt creeps in along with the ugly splatters that ruined my art.

How many times have I done that? PLENTY, I checked.  I kept painting and repainting trees but then I realized, no I refuse to do this.

 

 

 

 

 

I recognize when I second guess myself. I have deadlines to meet. Oh my goodness I realize that I’ve always looked at mistakes as, what if my art is misunderstood because of a wrong color or maybe I should do this instead of that. But what if my art loses its magic the more I think and think about what I did wrong. 

Yes I gotta let the kid play. She has great ideas. I trust her. Did I just write that? OK I can see why I had to repaint some of the trees. Practice helps me find that sweet balance.

-there are no impossibilities

 

 

 

thoughts are things

I am an illustrator

I’m not an illustrator. I am not a hand letterer. Wait a minute, did I just write that? Yeah I did and its forever on the last page of my journal entry. Something feels wrong about this. I feel limited.

 

So then  I go and listen to an awesome The Nose Knows Podcast. Jon Contino answers the question, when can you call yourself an illustrator. “It’s all in your head he says. You don’t need for someone to tell you, a degree or instagram likes…”

Not exactly his words but yeah that’s what he said. He’s right.

I don’t need a contest on instagram to tell me. For some reason I did look to this contest as a way to prove myself in a sense. I don’t need to do that. It was awesome to be part of this project. It was awesome to share my project.  I am happy for all the winners! I’m happy that I was able to put this poster together. I am growing and working on amazing projects. Yes every now and then it is awesome to have a MOMA artist like my work. I’ll take that.

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THERE YOU GO. I am an illustrator. Sure my are isn’t like the cool illustrations in a Curious George book. Nor do they have to be. That’s the point.  I am  an illustrator and a hand letterer. There are different styles and mine IS MY STYLE. I mean its my voice. Lots of people draw letters, with quotes, about life BUT ITS HOW YOU SAY IT. Shouldn’t I be telling  my story? Yes.

All this goes back to the movie A STAR IS BORN and the phrase I learned from a character who when the world shouts impossible she says

 

…there are no impossibilities.  She says it a smile.

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Passion Projects

I’ve got tons of them and yet I am painting this poster.

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…which has me thinking about all the books I want to publish. Seems like there’s not enough time to get them all done. Maybe I should start with ebooks? Yes, that seems like a good idea. But I have dreams of holding my book in hand. I loved paining all of those trees. What about giving the ebook away for free? I want readers to imagine and be curious with every turn of the page.

I’ve been thinking about all of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve learned that I’m not an illustrator. I doodle. I paint. I CREATE. Ok yes I illustrate but I realize my talent is along the lines of, The day the crayons quit or Eric Carle’s collage art. I could do that. Well. not like Carle BUT like ME.

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I long to create  this type of work  everyday of my life. That’s why I painted this poster for #HOMwork. Painting this made me think of all the books I’ve either written or started painting.

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I feel like I just have to share my work. I have days where I paint thoughts that pop in my head.

I have days where I work on books. Winning the scholarship could help me write my books the way I see them in my head.

-there are no impossibilities

watercolor and tempera

Fingerprint Tree

I love this tree. Is there someway I can include this in my book? Yeah probably not. Literally, I placed myself in my art. Well, just my fingerprints but it was so much fun!

 

The paint was old and by old I mean the water separated from paint…if that’s possible. Ugh what a mess! But I was determined to paint something awesome.

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My curiosity was invited to play so what else could I do but, PLAY.

I mixed my color with very little water, dipped my finger in color and panted. I painted until my tree looked right…paint with my eyes not my hands is a genius idea. Thanks Michelangelo.

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Oh I had no clue what to do. Yet this beautiful tree happened.

My trunk is lookin’ good. Which brings me to fall. Fall is the time to shed all negativity, doubt,fear,worry and get ready for the beauty to come. The beautiy is all the awesome ideas to come.

 

This fall tree is in my wise trees book.

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I’m ready to launch my first book, making sure all the details are taken care of.

I’ve started working on an elf book, she’s Ellie now. Her friends Gus, Ralphie and Nikki help her realize that togetherness and love build the biggest and bestest tree in the world…as Ellie would say.

-There are no impossibilities

wise trees book

Practice leads to Adventure

seems like so long ago that I had this crazy idea to write a book. I painted trees and wrote. Now I have a collage animal book idea inspired by the man himself Eric Carle, the love poem that will be converted to a book, a flower book…I’ll be creatiing a book dummy for the next book. Oh gosh my heart is pounding.

First I must tie up loose ends with Wise Trees.

I have been repainting AGAIN, making sure all is the best it can be.

More spirals?

 

This is pretty good. BUT there”s not enough contrast in the spirals.

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Maybe the tree needs texture?

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Texture is all wrong?  I went back and forth. I kept editing and editing… back and forth and looking at the words for the book.

This tree needs a squirrel. Yes, hearts and all lookin good.

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There’s always an artist who has everything figured out. They are living the dream and maybe even film a live sketching or painting session. The art is amazing and the artists proceeds to say, this is a mess and it isn’t perfect so I’ll clean it up in photoshop.  Ha! Perfection is false. It’s all about the process.

 

wise trees book

When they love your art

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Today I had an unexpected opportunity to share my art with an audience, the children who will one day read it. My trees got wow’s The kids were excited and that’s what I wanted. As I think of it now, gosh it made me feel good. What a birthday gift.  For a while this has been my project. I painted these trees becasue I needed too. I understand how creative it is to create for yourself first before you can create for others.

 

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=There are no impossibilites