starrymite: Iroh (Iroh)
I'm not telling a soul what it is either. Not even David. It's for my original comic story. I've been struggling to find an interesting motivation for my heroes that hasn't been done to death. But now I have an idea that centers around a mystery that my characters will eventually discover. The kids just got home and I don't have time right now to explain the story that leads up to this huge mystery they set out to solve, but Im so excited to have come up with an answer that I think will offer a big enough payoff to readers after following this long quest of theirs that I have to take a moment just to do a little happy dance about it. :) And when they do discover the answer to this mystery, the answer will send then on another quest that will determine the fate of their entire race. A part 2. Yess...

Anyway, I'm just so glad to come up with a creative idea to get me motivated again. I'm thinking I'll actually do this as a graphic novel that I will self publish rather than a web comic, but I'll give that more thought after I've done a lot more writing.
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David took the day off so that we could register for baby things at Target. We did set up a registry and chose what we wanted, but the trouble is, the store is in the process of changing out everything in that department. A lot of what I registered for won't be there in a week. The good news about that is that if our friends haul ass to Target before then, they can get these things at clearance prices. But after that, we are going to have to make another trip to Target to select different items. Bummer, because I really want that particular bassinet and bouncer chair...Oh, well. If I don't get those, maybe they'll be replaced with something I like just as much.

We're trying to get Bridget's room cleaned out and this has been tough. I did manage though to find clear out a closet for all my canvasses and frames by making a space for it on the laundry room. The art stuff is what was taking up most of Bridget's closet space, so at least that's taken care of. David just needs to figure out what to do with more of the books. It's really starting to irritate me that that room isn't ready yet tbh. I was all chill about it until a few days ago when I got an unexpected burst of energy and went on a year throughout the house organizing and making space to store the stuff cluttering Bridget's room. And now I'm on a roll. But I try to remind myself that three months is enough time to clean that room and paint it and put in flooring. I'm still on edge about it though.

One nice surprise today was that we got to go out to eat at the fanciest Italian restaurant in town on Centenary College's dime. It was one of David's boss's birthday, so the staff and I were invited to the birthday lunch. I got this thing with beef and mushrooms in a rich chianti sauce served on creamy polenta. It was wonderful. Reminds me of an Italian version of the beef burgundy that I used to make a lot. I think I might be able to recreate it myself actually. I should try that...
starrymite: (Default)
Darn it, I've forgotten about it being Friday this morning and got on tumblr awhile. I decided that tumblr and FB would be the thing on Fridays that I give up. But I forgot last week too. :/ I guess I'll program an alert in my phone to remind me like I have to do to remember my vitamins.

I did discover though that those social networks have more of a hold on me than I thought. I really didn't think staying off of them for a day would bug me, but I've found it pretty difficult actually. I kept picking up my iPhone throughout the day like a smoker reaching for a cigarette. I don't like that. And I don't even spend nearly as much time on the Internet as most people I know. But just the same, I'm wary of things that have any hold over me. So my decision to give this up on Fridays was a helpful thing, I just need to make sure to pay attention to what day it is. Lol

But really the time I spend online effects my mood and thought patterns more than I like to admit. That's why I don't regret unfollowing all those fandom blogs last year. I was worried that I hurt some feelings, and maybe I did. But the result for me has been that I have less stress and I don't spend nearly as much of time being irritated over trivial things. And I no longer have to struggle with keeping my mind out of the gutter. Seriously though, I couldn't bring up tumblr on my iPhone when anyone else was around because I never knew when someone would post something obscene or offensive. But now that's no longer a concern for me. That's really nice. I hate that I'm pretty much out of touch with other fans, but the sacrifice is worth the benefits for me. And I've made a couple of friends recently that I can talk to about some things that I really care about most, and that means a lot to me, especially since it's difficult for me to initially connect with people over stuff that isn't fandom related. Also I have for the most part stayed in touch with the friends I met in fandoms that mean the most to me. I didn't piss everyone off, at least. ;)
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Monday's I am always feeling overwhelmed and unfocused. It's having to deal with the remains of the weekend that leave the house in chaos that does it. That and switching from spending my time with family mode to housework and art mode takes a day for me to do. So right now I just need to clear my head and take a moment to remind myself what I want to accomplish this week...

I think I should get out some craft supplies and have them ready before the kids get home so we can do Christmas crafts. I haven't done that with them yet. I'll need to spend plenty of time after that catching up on housecleaning so I can get on with Josiah's painting that I need to finish before Christmas. And, oh yeah, I need to send David to Office Depot to get blank cards so I can print Christmas cards. Yeah, I know. But most everyone I'm giving them to I'll see in person before Christmas. And it still counts as on time if you get them to everyone before Epiphany, right? Lol I'll stick with that excuse...

I realize that I need to limit my time on the Internet now. I mostly just look at sites from my iPhone in between doing other stuff, but lately I've realized that when I think I'm taking a 5 minute break, it's really more like a 20 minute break. I could have drawn something in that time. :/ And I need to get back to working on those little devotional paintings that I'm selling to Shawn. She's very busy right now, so no rush. But I want to have something ready for her. And I'd also like to start writing and drawing things for my original comic idea again. There was something I saw on tumblr that rekindled that, but I realize now that I only got so stirred up because this comic matters more to me than I realized. It's not very well developed at this point, but I just can't shake the feeling that it really matters to me. It's just a hobby, but it matters to me. I'd like to also work on a style for those comics that feels more natural for my skill set. I'm also getting excited about painting again. So I have so much creative stuff I'm dying to do that I'm just going to have to stop wasting any precious free time I have...

I've also got to get stocking stuffers and figure out what else I want to do for the kids, especially Elliot. Talked to my handy man father-in-law and he says with all the concrete I want to pour for a basketball court, we need to wait to do that in the Spring. He will help us do that, but we'll have to wait on that project. But we got him a couple of Lego sets and we still haven't decided what else to get him that he would like best. Maybe an erector set that builds remote control cars? I'm not sure yet though, David and I are debating that. Man, this holiday season is sneaking up on us!

... And now I need to hurry up and get out that craft stuff...
starrymite: (Default)
I think I'm feeling too emotionally sensitive to do social sites right now. I just blew up at someone on tumblr and mentioned personal things about my children *again*. I had another outburst over something else unrelated yesterday, and I'm afraid that if I continue to try to communicate in public online, people will start to suspect I'm a complete basket case. I'm not. And I love my life and I have so much to be gratefull for. And I'm not saying this to try to sound saintly or something (that'd be a laugh), but I'm honestly grateful for the hardships I've faced and am continuing to face now. Because I remember what I was like as a twenty-year-old and how selfish and self absorbed I was and it makes me sick to remember that. And I'd still be that way if I hadn't had to give of myself to children who need so much from me. My sons are my saving grace and I need them far more than they need me. But I still have so much pain that is more than I know how to yet deal with, and when I'm easily stirred up like I am now, I start vocalizing that pain when I don't want to. I feel like the pain I express out of a broken heart for my kids in their suffering makes me look vulnerable and pathetic in the eyes of many others. And the pain that I express that is directed inward that shows that I still haven't rooted out all my feelings of self pity like I hoped I had, makes me contemptible in my own eyes. I know the solution isn't to bottle all this up. But I can't let this spill out in public. I need to find someone I can talk to privately about all of this.
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Ok, I really need to settle down now. Nothing is going wrong so I guess my hormones are just screwing with me. But I'm feeling inexplicably fearful lately. And my fears only get stoked up worse by the strange dreams I'm having.
I woke up this morning from a dream that I'm still not over. In the dream I was home alone (which is bothering me lately. I'm feeling afraid to be at home alone during the day. But I don't have and other choice.) and I hear a sound in the house like someone was walking in but caught a glimpse of me and ran out of sight. So I sit in my bedroom terrified stiff but eventually start venturing out. Then this south African sounding guy startled me but says he's some kind of Christian minister of some sort, and I believe him enough to calm down. I don't ask questions for some reason. And he starts decorating my house so that I don't even recognize it anymore and it looks like kids classrooms. Then he leaves and I start to worry that the guy has something up his sleeve and that more people will break in my house and do god knows what. So I run to lock the door and there are these women already trying to come in. And I push on the door to shove them out but the door changes so that it's like really thin particle board. I still manage to shut them out, but then holes appear in the door and the women stick their hand through the holes and start touching me...Then I woke up from the dream freaked and immediately deadbolted the door. *sigh*

And I'm also constantly worried when I interact with people on the Internet that I'm irritating them. I keep running things over and over again in my head making sure I didn't write anything dumb... This is starting to get out of hand. I just need a really ginormous chill pill right now. I feel like I'm going nuts!
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I'm still on cloud nine over my little girl right now! It's just amazing how much she's grown in such a short time, and boy, is she an energetic little thing! I'm no longer surprised that I felt her moving as early as I did, because she's just dancing away in there! Lol But luckily she had enough still moments that the doctor could determine her gender with certainty. I would have been happy either way but I really did want to eventually have a daughter, so that makes me happy.:) Now I'll have a baby to dress up in all those adorable little dresses and tutus and bows and things! And I just know she will inherit a My Little Pony obsession from me. Hehe ;) Oh, and I'm really happy that David's cousin Joy is giving me her baby girl clothes. She's given away the newborn clothes, but she still has the clothes from 12 months to the present (her daughter will be two when mine is born). And she says she'll keep giving me hand-me-downs. Those are NICE clothes too. She can afford those fancy baby boutiques and she goes crazy with the clothes shopping for that her girl of hers. So my girl will be given a wardrobe fit for a princess, that's for sure.

We talked about names today, and I said that I still like the names of two of my great-grandmothers, Annie and Frances. And David, right after I finished up with the doctor, said he liked the name Bridget. I was surprised, because he'd never mentioned that name, or any girl's name at all, before. He said it just came to him, but after further thought, he remembered it was the name of a character's daughter in a series of books he's read. I like that name. I wouldn't have thought of it myself, but I do like it. He doesn't care much for Frances because he just keeps thinking of it as a boy's name. I know how that is, you think of a name a certain way, and it just stays stuck that way in your mind. Annie was my favorite of my choices anyway. And David does like that name. David's dad wanted Genivieve, after his grandmother, but he brought that name up before and it just didn't click with me or David. It's very pretty, but both of us like more simple sounding names. So right now it's a toss-up between Annie and Bridget. I'm really not sure which name I prefer, but we have plenty of time to decide...

But anyway, my head has gone and is stuck in Baby Land right now, so just leave a message after the beep! ;)
starrymite: Iroh (Iroh)
This is probably going to be a bit long because I really just feel the need to gush about how happy I am after today. It's hard to explain what Sean's birthday party meant to me today. Sean responded much better than I dared to hope he would respond to it and that gives me so much hope that now I can finally start giving him the happy childhood that I feared I'd never be able to give him. Sure, I've been able to do some small things that the kids enjoy. But those really big joyful memories that I had as a child that I wanted to recreate for my children, like Christmas morning finding presents under the tree, Easter Egg hunts, Halloween parties, and birthday parties, have all been a total bust. Like, just take Christmas for an example (that's been the worst). First of all, I can't explain anything about the holiday to them in any way they can understand. I can put out a nativity scene, Santas, and within the past three years I've finally been able to put out a Christmas tree without them destroying it. But none of those things signify anything special to them. Although they do get really excited about the lights on the tree, and they like the goodies that I bake, but that's it. Any party we get invited to would freak them out because of all the people and noise. I can't get them to anticipate the holiday. And before we learned to finally give up and lower our expectations, Chrstmas mornings started out with them getting upset because we messed up their morning routine. Then they were either uninterested with the toys completely or they did things like turn cars upside down and obsess over the spinning wheels or find the sound source on electronic toys and put their ears up to it. No joy in the experience whatsoever. We finally learned to start giving them things like bubble wrap to pop and candy. That at least made them smile. And occasionally as they got older we'd find a toy they liked. But still, it's not like those magical Christmas mornings that David and I remember as kids.

But things are turning around now! And it's thanks to their wonderful teachers/therapists. The thing is, they don't just teach the kids learning skills, they actually put a whole lot of time and effort into teaching the kids how to enjoy life. They take them to restaurants, have birthday parties, bring "Santa" to school with presents, and in their own ingenious way they teach them what all of these things mean and that they mean fun! My kids are new there, but all of their classmates that were having a blast at Sean's party had been trained how to have fun at birthday parties after many such class birthday parties. The head therapist told me that all of these kids had the exact same problems with parties and holidays that mine did, some of them more so, but they just needed the right environment and behavior therapies to learn what other kids learn naturally. Now all of them look forward to holidays and birthdays and have long lists for Santa! :)

And the little bit they've been able to work on with my kids really paid off today! I was nervous at first. When Sean first saw the party room he shrunk down into a chair. And it looked like he really didn't get why we were pushing presents into his hands at first. He seemed more concerned that we hadn't let him finish his Dr. Pepper first. But after about the third present, he really started catching on! He had a huge grin on his face the whole rest of the time. And boy, everyone sure gave him some nice gifts, that certainly helped. And the theme I picked was a huge hit! Not only was Sean really happy, but all the boys (they were mostly boys. Only two girls) were ecstatic over it and they were all talking about their favorite turtles. And the big TMNT backdrop that I brought so that the kids could have their pictures taken in front of it was a surprise hit. All the boys had a blast doing ninja poses in front of it for their pictures. That was so cute! Lol And I noticed how all the enthusiasm from his classmates really started to work on Sean and he really got into the spirit of things. And the teachers were right on top of even the smallest problematic behaviors that might have made the whole thing go south and diffused them right away. (Those women really are a wonder to watch in action) And of course, he loved my cake! Heehee And this party place had a nice little arcade. Elliot loved the air hockey, and I taught Sean how to play Ms. Packman. :) Then when the boys and I got home, I turned on TMNT (what else?) and started to get the toys out of the packages. I have never been able to get the boys interested in action figures, even of characters they really like. But Sean took to his new Raphael action figure right away! He kept looking at the show and then back at the figure and smiling and giggling...and now I've just made myself cry!.. It's like thie party sparked a new sense of fun in Sean or something. He didn't put down that toy for hours either. And he seemed overwhelmed with everything at first, but he's been slowly going through his other toys and enjoying them. Especially the Nerf gun I got him. :)

And after this experience, I have so much hope for the holidays. I've shared all my concerns with the teachers and they have assured me that based on how well both of my kids are responding, they will be able to prepare them for fun holiday experiences this year. They say it will probablly take about two years to teach them how to anticipate birthdays and holidays and get them to fully understand what's going on, but even now they can learn to enjoy themselves. And I know that's true after what I saw today!... And now I am SO fired up for Halloween now, that I feel like a kid again! I asked the teachers about a Halloween party and they said that one of the kids has a birthday around Halloween and every year they do a Halloween party for him with the class. So I volunteered to make some spooky treats! And decorate! :D They said that after today I might end up being their cake and treat person from now on because of how much the kids loved my cake.:) (Hey, I made a gluten free cake from scratch that pleased a room full of autistic kids. Don't tell me I'm not a baking rock star! Lol) That's fine with me, parties are my excuse to bake my heart out. And I remember the Halloween birthday kid. He was the same one who was pestering the hell out of me for more cake. Lol So, the first treat I know I must make for his party is Halloween cupcakes using the same exact cake recipe that I used for Sean's cake. I'll think of other things too, but that one is a must... So I'm just buzzing with anticipation about all the fun I'm going to be able to create now for the coming holidays. And Elliot's birthday in November. I've been waiting to do this stuff for a long time! I'm probably going to be pretty obnoxious about holiday and birthday stuff now. But that just can't be helped. ;)
starrymite: (Default)
Ok, I just need to take a moment to clear my head here and figure out how I'm going to make the rest of this week work. The kid's teachers did a home visit today and just left. And left me with a whole lot if preparing that I need to do. I need to purchase some supplies and organize them before they come over for the next home visit which will be either this Wednesday or Thursday. But I also have to decide if I want to do Sean's party on Wednesday or Thursday. Something I didn't realize is that their teachers train the kids how to act at birthday parties. So to do this they work with parents to do the kid's birthday parties. They rent a place and parents provide cake and stuff, and all the kids in the class are there with all the teachers to help out with everything. Nice, huh? But now I've got to figure out if I can manage to to the party first or the home visit first... Both will take the same amount of planning I think... I thought that by writing out my thoughts that would clear my head, but that hasn't worked. Lol

Well, at least the teachers have given me some practical solutions to solve some major behavioral problems that they are going to help me implement on a weekly basis until I'm all set. I'm looking forward to seeing some good results from all this effort. :)...

Wait, I just realized something... I'll have to do a cake with a difficult design. Lately Sean has shown a clear preference for Ninja Turtles over TTG and that means I'll be drawing turtles with frosting. Eek. Maybe giving myself till Thursday for the party might be a good idea...
starrymite: Iroh2 (iroh2)
I've been debating about whether or not to start tagging my fan art again so fans can find it. I haven't drawn anything I'm proud of lately, so it doesn't matter right now, but I'm planning some stuff (mostly AtLA stuff. But some GL) But I'm wondering if simply not following fan blogs is enough to keep me from getting wrapped up in a fandom again. The fandom experience wasn't all bad for me. It's easier for me to connect with people over fan-ish stuff than anything else, and I made some friends, so I don't regret it. But it just got to the point where it was causing me much much stress than enjoyment. And I'm more likely to get stressed now than usual...
But then, AtLA isn't a current show, so I wouldn't have to deal with a lot of the same kind of crap I had to deal with in the GLTAS fandom. It also has a much larger fan base and is likely to be more diverse. That also means more weirdos though. But then, I don't have to follow anyone back or search the tags for the characters (man, just doing Google searches brought up some things that I wish I could unsee)...

IDK, but I'd love to talk about the show with someone...Maybe if I started tagging my stuff again, other AtLA fans will want to chat with me. And maybe even some of them are cool people with blogs that won't stress me out. Maybe. *shrugs*
starrymite: (Default)
I don't feel like my art is special enough to attract any fans, and yet, I do have a few fans. There are people who really follow what I do on DA, and ask me when I'm going to do more with my original characters. I got such a note today. It's an odd feeling because while I'm really flattered, I can't help but feeling like they have got to be putting me on. I'm not saying my art is bad, but with so many phenominal artists on DA whose art and original characters make mine look pretty flimsy in comparison, why would they even notice me? Maybe they just see some potential that I don't see and they are trying to encourage me. Idk

But they did bring up my characters just when I've started thinking about them again. I won't make any promises that I'm going to write or draw anything with them right now. But they are on my mind again and the thought that some people would like to see more of my original story stuff does make me more inclined to work on it.
starrymite: (Default)
I've started catching up on comics today. I've given up on trying to do any art until I'm feeling better. I hate that, but drawing only gets me stressed out right now, which makes me feel even worse. But maybe if I can just enjoy some of the entertainment that inspires me, I'll have some inspiration to work from when I'm feeling well enough to draw again. And to that end, maybe I'll watch John Carter when the kids go to bed. I've wanted to do some fan art for that movie since I first saw it, but I was waiting till I could buy the DVD so I could learn to draw Tars and Sorla's hard-to-draw features by doing a lot of quick sketches of them from paused scenes. That's how I eventually learned how to draw the GLTAS aliens, actually. I need to do that with TMNT as well. (I'm enjoying the show again. The criticism I voiced about the show didn't make a whole lot of sense, I know. I just got super annoyed that the Kraang were interested in April. I also didn't like that the Pulveriser was turned into Mutagen Man. It didn't freak me out like it did a lot of fans, but that was the first time I really started cooling to the show. And April at least needs to stay human. In a show where everyone is a mutant, or, like Baxter Stockman, soon will be, you need at least one person to stay normal as sort of a stand-in for the audience. But now that I see how Aprils "specialness" played out, I'm satisfied. I hadn't realized that that character mattered so much to me though... But now I'm mostly interested in Splinter and Karai/Miwa.) I don't know if the comics will offer me any ideas or not. I did enjoy reading them today, though. I haven't picked up this week's comics yet, but I read the issues of GL titles that I hadn't read, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The odd thing is, I'm enjoying Hal more that I am Kyle right now. Hal isn't being very smart right now, but I think he's overwhelmed with responsibility that he didn't ask for, and he's taking the latest defeat and the casualties very personally. But Kyle's attitude bugs me. I do like seeing him with Carol though, I think she brings out his better qualities. I'd never want to see them become more than good friends though. But I hope they do become good friends. And Larfleeze continues to be fun. And Guy Gardner's presence is making Red Lanterns really interesting. The only thing that is a major turd in the punch bowl for me is yet another threat to the emotional spectrum. I'm super sick of the writers threatening to do away with it. DC should understand that they will lose fan in droves if they ever do that, but then based on other creative decisions they've made with the New 52, they don't seem to care. But I'm probably worried for nothing. It's most likely cheap drama to get fans stirred up. It's comics after all... I'm still enjoying GotG. The only complaint I have is the complaint I have with all Marvel comics, and that is that I'm largely unfamiliar with the Marvel Universe... I know, this was nothing but a ramble lol
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I've got to do something to lighten the mood around here, I dont know what. I've tried to do some art, but it's just not happening for me, and that just made me feel even more crummy. David wants to go out to our family haunt tonight, Get the Scoop (our friend's frogurt place) but I don't feel like eating something super sweet. I'd love to see our friends there though and I could just sip tea, but I don't think I have the energy to go out and be good company. But then they're such sweet people they'd just enjoy seeing me anyway... Maybe I should go just so I can do something more than being a boring old lump on the couch.
starrymite: (Default)
I'm getting GLTAS feels coming back full force after seeing some fan arts, and it's killing me. I emotionally distanced myself from that show shortly after it ended simply because I had to. I don't normally get fanatical about TV shows, so this was a big deal to me. There have been only two other shows throughout my whole life that have had such an impact on me: Star Treck TNG and Batman TAS. Don't ask me why those two shows (especially the former, I know how cheesy and downright stupid the writing can be, but it doesn't change my feelings.). I was really loving TMNT, but for some reason I can't explain, it never had the hold on me that GLTAS did, and for some other reason I can't put my finger on, I've lost interest in that show.

I was thinking about these shows and wondering why they had such an effect on me and if they have anything in common that I find appealing. But I can't figure it out really. To me it's interesting though, that in a way, GLTAS combines elements from the two other shows I obsessively loved. I mean, there's the whole Bruce Timm and Paul Dinni take on DC combined with the Star Treck formula. That doesn't really explain why I love this show so much, but that is sort of interesting (if you find really inane things interesting, that is)

Will I do some GLTAS fan art though? I don't know. I'm not getting involved in fandoms any more though, thats for sure. But I'm able to add things to my DA gallery and even submit them to groups without getting engrossed in the fandom like I did on tumblr. But if I do anything, I want it to have some kind of narrative to it, either an implied one or in actual sequential art. I've drawn those characters so much that just drawing beauty pieces of them is boring at this point... IDK, if I come up with some good idea that helps me work through my "feels" I'll do it. If not, I'll just watch old episodes of the show, eat lots of chocolate, and cry.
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I've fallen in love with oil painting and enjoying it more than I ever have, and this is just SO problematic. For one, the process is so much slower since I have to wait for a layer of paint to dry before going on to the next layer. I think I may pick up some Japan dryer today so that I can at least add it to my base layers to speed up drying time.But then, I have to be careful with it because it can darken and crack the paint as it dries. And that brings up the next problem, it's tricky to get just the right mixture of medium for whatever stage of the painting you're working on, or what technique you're using.
Plus, oils are so darn messy to work with...

But I love the feel and look of oils so much that for me there is just no substitute for them. But I guess I can work on multiple paintings at the same time so that I won't have to quit painting when a layer needs to dry, I could just move on to another painting. I'm doing two right now, but when I get this Mac presentation out of the way, I'll start a third painting. (I completely shirked that Mac thing this week. The oils just called to me, it's not my fault...)

I will eventually post pics of these online, but I'm waiting until I get to the point where I've found my stride with the oil painting and I'm not so awkward with it. I know I was trying to post sketchy things, works in progress, and whatever mediocre thing I turned out during the day, but I've started to feel a bit self-conscious and just plain embarrassed over some of that stuff. I'd really rather post pics of things I feel confident about. I feel like I'll get there pretty soon though, I am improving pretty well lately.
starrymite: (Default)
I've realized today how much I've been missing my kids. Elliot certainly have me a really hard time today but that didn't change the fact that today my kids' presence woke me up out of this bad feeling of lethargy that I haven't been able to shake for the last couple of months. I thought something was physically wrong with me, but, nope, I guess I just missed my babies. I've perked right up now.:3
starrymite: (WarthS)
Today has been very good for me. I've been whining a good deal on this journal about how I feel about my art, but I feel like I've gotten a bit of perspective today that I was really needing.

David has become friends with the owner/manager/chef of a local restaurant across the street from the campus where he works and he showed her some pics of my paintings on his iPad. She loved my work so much that she asked him to ask me if I would display them in her restaurant. And her place *did* need some art, those blank walls were overwhelmingly dull to look at. And it's possible that I might sell something, so of course, I said yes. I hung them up today and this lady was just overjoyed. She was going on and on about how much charm my paintings added to the place and the other workers were also gushing over my art with compliments that I felt were far more generous than my work deserves. And I was actually rather taken aback by such enthusiastic reactions. I mean, it's like I wasn't seeing the same paintings that they were seeing.

But then I got to thinking, maybe I've gotten into the comparison game with artists on the Internet without realizing it. I'm constantly seeing phenomenal art by artists almost half my age who will post a picture that I could never do in my wildest dreams and they'll comment on it and be like, "Yeah, I'm feeling uninspired today with this one. Total crap piece." And it makes me feel totally worthless as an artist. But the truth is that Internet Land isn't the same as the smaller world around me. On the Internet, I'm seeing a constant influx of art from artist from around the entire world. And the entire world is a pretty big ocean for a small fish like myself. But in my own little pond where I live, I can do things that others around me feel is truly special. There isn't tons of amazing art everywhere you look around here. There are quite a lot of bare walls actually, and where you do see art, it's usually generic looking prints. So it really means something to people to be surrounded by original art works that an artist really put their heart into. And it felt wonderful to bring in some joy with my creations.:)

I think also that I've just gotten very critical of myself because I feel like at this point, I shouldn't still be trying to find myself as an artist. I feel like I should already have both a recognizable style and specific niche. But as it is, I go all over the place with watercolors, oils, acrylics, and every other media under the sun with just my "fine art" paintings that range in style and subject matter so much that several different artists could have painted them. Then there's my illustrative art, which to me looks pretty generic (although, it seems to be the most salable stuff that I do). And the comic work which I really haven't developed very much (I think the best comic work I've done so far is that seven page deal with Aya. But I got a shot of inspiration for that one that I just can't seem to duplicate again.) So I'm all over the place with my art and I feel like I'm doomed to be a "jack of all trades and master of none", so to speak. Since my children's book has been more successful than anything else I've done, I've tried to focus on creating children's books. But my amateurish self can't seem to focus on what I've decided to focus on that might possibly lead to some financial success.

But then when I really think about it, I have only very recently decided that I want to make a career out of my hobby. My art has pretty much been just something that I do to keep myself sane, and it's gotten me through some hard times, let me tell you. And also, my situation with my kids has been such that until very recently, it would have been absolutely insane to consider making a career as an artist. My kids may have a lot of needs now, but this is a picnic compared to what I had to deal with when they were younger. And when I was trying to homeschool them? Forget about it. I accomplished staying relatively sane through that experience, and that was the most I could accomplish... I'm curious to see what I will be able to do with with my summers being free now. Today is my kid's last day of school at their old school, and in three weeks they start at the new place. Usually I just have to write off my summer months and do whatever art I can manage, but never an involved project. But now that I will be able to work year round, maybe I'll be able to find a new rhythm and build up momentum with my work that won't suffer a three month long interruption.

But anyway, I haven't found myself as an artist, but I'm still producing art that matters to some people. I'm still trying to figure out how to accomplish the bigger goal of going professional, but I'm accomplishing some smaller things on my way to that goal. And I made some folks happy today. So I'm gonna be happy too.
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Lately I haven't been able to stay on course with any plan that I come up with for a project. The ideas for my children's book just aren't coming and at this point I really doubt that I have the skills yet to pull it off. That's why I've been trying to work so hard on my draftsmanship skills. But I'm not improving very fast, and this has completely drained me of the last but of confidence that I have in myself as an artist.

But then seeing that Marc Chagall exhibit the other day was so up lifting. When I first started painting, all I cared about was color and expressiveness. I couldn't draw, but I didn't care that much because I felt free to express what I wanted to with color and simple forms. But I also love art that tells a story, so I eventually started learning how to draw, which I don't regret of course. However I'm feeling like at this point I've gotten so obsessed with improving my drawing skills that I've lost my creativity. I'm so focused on all my technical flaws that I don't feel much freedom to just create.

A few weeks ago I started a series of small oil paintings of the mysteries of the Rosary. It's something that I'm doing for my personal devotional purposes and I haven't wanted to show them to anyone. They are more abstract because I can't be adequately expressive enough with these subjects if I stick to my awkward illustrative style. But in a few of these pictures I feel like I'm starting to break free creatively. Just a little bit though. And I'll want to do all the paintings that I've already done over again. But it does seem that working on something that has a very personal meaning to me seems to be helping me artistically. Today I tried to do a study on ArtRage simply because I'm tired of using up all my art supplies on preliminary studies. There is an aspect of this picture that I like, but I don't feel like I'm "there yet". And that's pretty much how I feel about all these paintings. But at least I feel like they are coming from a very genuine place in me and these subjects move me to be more creative. Although I've posted a picture of that ArtRage study today, I still don't know if I want to post pictures of some of the other paintings in this series. It makes me nervous because it's so personal and on top of that I have this nagging feeling like I shouldn't tackle such lofty subject matter until I improve as an artist. And also most people follow me because of fannish stuff. But then at this point, I'm so darn tired of worrying about my inadequacies and what other people think about me, that I may just stop worrying about this out of sheer exhaustion.
starrymite: (Default)
I've realized that I need more time to work on my art anatomy studies, so I've decided to cut back on the time that I spend on the Internet significantly. I figure from now on I'll check up on the social sites for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. If I'm stuck waiting on something, I'll look at sites on my iPhone, but nothing more than that. I can say anything I want to say to anyone and see what all my friends are up to in that amount of time.

I'm happy to say that I am starting to improve with my artistic anatomy. The annoying thing though, is that now that I go back and look at all my pictures, I see so many glaringly obvious anatomical errors. I almost just want to delete everything with a human figure in it at this point. But, who cares, I'm happy that I'm moving forward and I don't have the time to bother deleting everything right now.
(BTW, Susan, if you happen to be reading this, your advice to me about studying the pelvic region has been the most helpful single bit of advice I've gotten from anyone. Ah! I could just kiss you for that!)

I'm also working on drawing hummingbirds in ArtRage to work on a style for my book. Yep, I'm going with the hummingbird people idea after all. The thing is, I realized that this concept has been around for awhile, actually. There's even a Newberry award winning book out there with a fairy that rides a hummingbird. And there are figures with that motif on Etsy. So the concept isn't original after all. But my story idea and my own take on the concept is original. And besides, I want to play to my strengths, and drawing birds is one of them. I have other story ideas, especially with biblical themes, but those are a bit too ambitious for me to tackle right now.

Also, I've decided that I would aim to have my hummingbird book done in time for Christmas of 2014 instead of this Christmas. I need time to develop this book, and I haven't even done jack to promote the book I've already done. So learning Internet marketing skills is another thing that will be up there on my list.
starrymite: (Default)
David got some texts tonight from the person in charge at the school for autism that we've been planning to send Sean. She said that she talked to the pastor of the church that funds this school and he is making some way for us to send Elliot to the school as well over the summer! We only have to pay Sean's tuition for now. She said that she'll see what she can do to make a way for Elliot to stay at the school longer than that. She seems to really think that they can work something out for the fall, but for now all we know for sure is that we have the summer. But I never would have imagined that we would be blessed like this, so my hopes are high, and I'll be praying that God will continue to make a way for us to get the help we need for both of our kids. I really don't know how they are arranging this, though. The church already pays for about two thirds of the tuition for each child, so I don't know how they are doing this. But this gives us some time to see what we can do about Elliot's tuition in the future.

But I just feel like there will be a way. It just felt so impossible before, but the fact that those in charge at this school and this pastor are doing whatever they can to help Elliot go to school gives me some renewed hope about this whole thing. And this buys us some time to see what we can do about getting the extra funds. I'm going to be doing some research into online marketing strategies to see what I can do about selling my book. I really feel confident that I have a good product here, and if I could figure out a good way to market it, I think I could bring in the money we need. I don't know what else we'll do, but his is the main thing on my mind right now, because it's one one thing that I can contribute myself. But David also mentioned crowd sourcing on Facebook, and already people are writing in saying they would contribute... But I'm just so incredibly grateful right now, I don't even know what to say!
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