Where’s my phone?! (I may be a bit scatterbrained)

Where’s my phone?! (I may be a bit scatterbrained)

I may be a bit scatterbrained… especially with my phone.

Under pillows, on the floor, in the laundry basket, in the fridge (yes, really), on random shelves, under pillows and/or blankets, in the car… you name it, I’ve left it there. I’ve even done searches when the phone was RIGHT IN MY HAND!

Don’t lie. You know you can totally relate.

Conversations with hubby #2

* A typical day *

Me:
(frantically searching through the house)
Sweetie, have you seen my phone?

Steve:
(without looking up)
Did you check your purse?

Me:
Yes.

Steve:
The kitchen?

Me:
Yes!

Steve:
The bedroom?

Me:
YES!

Steve:
…IN the bed?

Me:
(through gritted teeth)
YEEEEEEEES!

Steve:
Then I got nothin’.

Me:
(Stomps away angrily)

* Five minutes later *

Me:
I found it.

Steve:
And, it was….?

Me:
(Mumbling)
In the bed….

Steve:
Huh? What’d you say? Did you say it was in the bed?

Me:
Yes, yes!!! IN THE BED. UNDER THE DAMN PILLOW.
(Flops down on the couch)

Steve:
You’re welcome.

Me:
(Angrily flips through the phone in silence)

*AAAAAAAND, scene*

 

Giving up: an artist’s journey of self-realization

Giving up: an artist’s journey of self-realization

Have you ever thought of giving up?

Let me rephrase that. I don’t mean giving up ENTIRELY (please don’t do that!). No, I’m talking about that come-to-Jesus meeting, that intervention we all face at strategic points in our lives. Who am I? What is my purpose? Apparently, I did that this week – to a lesser extent. Not so much, “What is my purpose?” as, “Why don’t people like meeeee?!” (Or, maybe I just had a mental breakdown and started talking back to the voices in my head. But hey, I’m an artist. We’re allowed a little bit of insanity.)

So how does giving up work, exactly?

1. Learn from your past, but don’t live there.

Memories 259x300 - Giving up: an artist's journey of self-realization

This is me – my story of how I got to where I am, and my story of self-realization. I began the journey a long time ago. Lots of starts and stops along the way, from the kid who doodled all over her books in elementary school, to the artsy girl in high school drawing anime characters, to the budding art professional with a Bachelor in Studio Art. I have worked in graphic design, as a preschool art teacher, and all kinds of non-creative jobs scattered in between.

During some of that time, my muse stayed close. We were best friends. I had so many ideas, I thought I may burst if I didn’t get them down on paper. Long dry spells inevitably followed. Days were spent plagued with depression and anxiety and a constant struggle to find some sort of self-worth. Nothing I did was good enough. I felt inferior and longed for days past when things weren’t so complicated and hard.

Both sides of that coin shaped who I am today, so I cannot regret any of it. But I can learn from those times. And, when those dry spells inevitably come around again, I can be ready for them.

2. Let go of unrealistic expectations.

UnrealisticExpectations 300x263 - Giving up: an artist's journey of self-realization

I found my footing again last fall. Since then, I have spent every-possible-moment-since taking advantage of the inspiration, painstakingly trying to create quality content — and trying to grow my fan-base, extend my empire. Except, my empire is very, very small (really more of a village). For a while that bothered me and, if I’m honest with myself, it still bothers me a bit.

But, do you know what? I am learning that when I raise the bar too high, too fast, that’s when I crash and fail. So what if I have few followers? Those that do follow me, my people, my kindred spirits — they are gold. YOU, my friends, are precious gold. Because you are real people who take an interest in what I do. You find value in the work I create (if not, you wouldn’t bother hanging around). That means so much more than thousands of followers.

At the end of the day, I need to feel that my art means something. I need to believe that my words have power. We all do. But if I touch only one soul, make only one person smile, that still means something.

3. Give up on what you can’t control.

HoldingOn 300x284 - Giving up: an artist's journey of self-realization

I have spent years fighting for control. Control over my circumstances. Control over how others perceive me. Things that I can never hope to attain but that I continue to beat myself up over. I cannot force others to like what I do. I cannot force others to invest in my work. But I CAN foster relationships and build trust with those who do. And that’s my focus, from here on out. Creating quality art for quality people, numbers be damned.

I may not have 2000 followers. I may not be earning much at all from my Patreon campaign. But if I focus on the small things, I realize that I’m pretty lucky in the long run. 🙂

What do you have a hard time giving up on? Let me know in the comments below!

My husband says I have always been flaky

My husband says I have always been flaky

Flaky [ˈflākē] : ADJECTIVE. 1. Breaking or separating easily into small, thin pieces. 2. Crazy or eccentric.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m flaky. Still, there’s a time and a place for such revelations. Case in point:

In the morning, on the way to work, I step down our four measly brick steps in the garage on my way to the car. Unfortunately, my brain forgets the routine I have been performing almost daily close to the last decade and my foot misses the last step. As I crumple to the floor, my knees save my face from planting first on the concrete.

And so, I unceremoniously pick myself off – laughing, because what else can a klutz do in this sad comedy of errors? – and gather my fallen belongings.

Does Steve offer a hand, a word of sympathy or encouragement?

Of course not.

Convos with hubby #1

Steve (watching bemusedly from the doorway): What in the world happened?

Me: (sighs) I missed the step.

Steve: But… how?

Me: I don’t know! I just had a flaky moment, I guess.

Steve: Moment? But… you’re always flaky.

Favorite childhood books: things that inspire

Favorite childhood books: things that inspire

This content uses referral links. Read the disclosure at the bottom of this post for more info.

Everyone treasures those select few favorite childhood books. You know the ones. These books have been read so many times, the binding is cracked and splintered. And, these books came to life when we read them, and the words engraved into the very marrow of our bones. These books hold stories that were our dearest friends, our closest companions, and our solace in many a darker time. Finally, they helped us to escape from the drudgery of life. They became our first loves. And, they taught us how to dream big.

So, what makes us gravitate to certain books more than others?

In all honesty, I have no answer for what makes this book greater than that book and vice versa. I know only that the books I gravitated toward had a tendency to show one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A character I identified with: If I could not find a character to identify with, I put the book down. I have always needed that connection to the story, a person who made me cheer for them, cry with them, feel everything they felt. Otherwise, a story lays flat and wooden to me.
  • Fantasy: Honestly, the more fantastical a story, the more I loved it. Real life can get pretty darn bleak, after all, and I wanted my stories to take me away from real life.
  • Humor: No book is complete without the ability to make me laugh. Sure, most of the time I laugh, then cry, then laugh some more, then get angry… whew. But, while a really good book sends me on one humongous, emotional roller coaster, it needs to make me laugh a lot to make up for it.
  • A happy ending: That’s right folks. No tragedies for this girl (see Fantasy section). Now, don’t get me wrong, I can handle a book where I KNOW there’s going to be some sort of tear-jerk ending (Fault In Our Stars, anyone?). However, I just tend to avoid seeking out those books unless they come HIGHLY recommended (and, to be honest, FIOS is absolutely hilarious, too, so I can forgive the sob fests). That said, I absolutely loathe being blindsided and will hate a book forever if it tricks me with a horrible, dark, tragic ending.

Want to know more?

Then, keep reading my top 5 favorite childhood books:

Check out the slideshow* below:

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Just Imagine

favorite childhood books

My all-time favorite picture book, and one of the many reasons I wanted to be an illustrator when I grew up. The rhymes are ridiculous and lovely and chalk full of fantasy – from dragons and fairies to teddy bear knights and beyond – and each illustration captures the reader. Honestly, this book is too perfect for words.

Sadly, this one is out of print, but it can be purchased used and, to me, is worth so worth every penny!

buy now from amazon

Winnie-the-Pooh

winnie the pooh book coverAnother huge favorite. I have always loved the sketchy, soft quality of the original illustrations. The stories are sweet, whimsical — and the characters, beloved. I loved these stories so much that I have always vowed my first nursery would be a Classic Pooh theme. Sadly, that hasn’t been possible, but it doesn’t keep me from having my own little collection of keepsakes. 😉

“Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A.A. Milne, who wrote this book for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape. These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.”

buy now from amazon

 

True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs LLED 402 Blog 241x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireI remember winning this book at my elementary school, and it was an immediate favorite. The story made me laugh out loud, but the illustrations really drew me in and made me love it. It’s such a silly premise that I would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t enjoy it.

“In this hysterical and clever fracture fairy tale picture book that twists point of view and perspective, young readers will finally hear the other side of the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs.'”

buy now from amazon

 

Anne of Green Gables

619RpdGjmwL 275x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireI consider Anne of Green Gables another classic series. The story follows a young orphan girl through life, from finding a family, to finding friends, to finding love and beyond. It warms the heart, has all the whimsy a girl like me could ask for, and has been read by me more times than I can count. Those characters are MY kindred spirits.

“Favorites for nearly 100 years, these classic novels follow the adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets.”

buy now from amazon

Chronicles of Narnia

the chronicles of narnia 199x300 - Favorite childhood books: things that inspireLast, but CERTAINLY not least – C .S. Lewis tops my chart of all-time-favorite authors. I’ve read about everything he’s written twice and three-times over, this series most of all. I cannot say enough good things about it, from the character development to the breathtaking description and the poetic way Lewis writes. You aren’t dragged into the story – you go willingly, excitedly, through that wardrobe and into an amazing world where things aren’t always what they seem.

“C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years, enchanting them with fantastical talking creatures, epic battles between good and evil, and magical doorways into new lands.”

buy now from amazon

As I mentioned before, these are only a small sampling of my favorites. After all, I was a huge bookworm growing up so to really delve into all of the books who touched me in some way throughout my childhood — well, we’d be here a long, long time. 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my favorite childhood books, tell me, what are yours? I’d love to know! Just write them in the comments below.

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Lady Liberty Coloring Page: “These Arms are Wide Enough”

Lady Liberty Coloring Page: “These Arms are Wide Enough”

Lady Liberty Coloring Page“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”

For those who expressed interest, here is a FREE coloring page download of the Lady Liberty Coloring Page based off the drawing that I’ve titled “These Arms are Wide Enough.”

This illustration was hand drawn and optimized in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The coloring page depicts the Statue of Liberty holding refugee children in her lap, with the words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

*** I would love to see your finished art. Feel free to post them on my Facebook page, or tag me via Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. I can’t wait to see and share what you create! ***

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD!

Happy Belated Holidays – 2017 Edition

Happy Belated Holidays – 2017 Edition

 Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! -and- Happy New Year!

Happy belated holidays, y’all (she said, sheepishly)

Well, this is the first Monday back from the holidays (boooooo!). I hope that everyone had a nice, relaxing break! Mine was not nearly long enough – but that’s the sad truth of a developer who has very little vacation time (boo, crappy benefits packages).

Anyway, did you miss me?! (Sorry. I may have watched Sherlock this weekend. Ehem.)

For those of you dear readers who may not have received it via my social media accounts, here are my holiday illustrations. The first I did for Christmas:

I also did a little one for New Year’s Eve – because, frankly, the only way to celebrate the END OF 2016 was to drink lots of alcohol fizzy drinks!

Now, it being a new year and all, how about some resolutions? January comes every year, and every year I like to think of it as a mini reset button on my life. Not to say that the year before never happened — but it’s a chance for me to stop and think about things I’d like to change and better myself. Many people hate new year’s resolutions, and I totally get it. But, I always like to think of things I could improve on from the previous year. Here are my top five resolutions:

  1. Be more present.
  2. Stress less.
  3. Exercise and meditate daily!
  4. Focus on the little things.
  5. Show gratitude.

Not too bad, eh? Definitely things worth striving for, in my opinion.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited to see what 2017 has in store. Be on the look out this week for some news — both here and on my social media (if you don’t follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook, the links are to the left!).

Lots of love to you all!

♥ D.

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