On Wonder: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

October 30, 2016By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, children's books, Encouragement, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, Recommended Tools

Hello All, 

On this blog, where I am sharing my recent art, tips, tools, etc. I am also writing about the foundations beneath all the work we do as artists. My wife and I have long conversations and consider where we are, where we’ve been, and where we want to go. We recently gathered our thoughts and made it into a list of commitments I hope you picked up for free last week. If not, you can still get it here.

Over time, I’m looking forward to unfolding our ideas behind the list. Beginning with…

WONDER

“I commit to wonder, believing without it I will no longer be the explorer I need to be, to tell the stories I need to tell, or to create the art I need to create.”
—Jay & Raynna Myers,
Thirteen Commitments For Artists to Cultivate Inspiration

Here is where we are coming from with this: without wonder we’ll lack the drive and curiosity to look around and that curiosity grows into ideas and imaginations. Without wonder we are no longer explorers, no longer fully alive. Without wonder our imagination will be stifled and bland, and that’s a problem.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” —Albert Einstein

Wonder happens when you remember how you felt as a child and don’t dismiss the awe as you experience something new or previously unknown. Fear will often block us from wonder, it causes us not to explore, not to take our shoes off, not to…

Here’s how this can work out practically in life: Commit to being a student of the world around us, to science, to being outdoors, to being interrupted, to feeling the wind and letting some things fly away in that wind, looking up at the stars, reading, going barefoot, looking into and through our children’s eyes, and most of all not being afraid to love fully.

Love in my marriage has been my biggest resource of inspiration and instruction as an artist. Wonder has everything to do with love, because it’s true, love is the finest art. Love teaches us the way to our best art, because it’s where we learn to give of ourselves, completely and honestly.

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. —Vincent VanGogh


Exploring stories and especially the ones inside us, waiting to be found, can lead us and be lead by us. There’s so much to all of this, the depths are unable to be explored, the vastness baffling.

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” —Albert Einstein

I used to think because I had a wife and many children I needed to not pursue art, but the truth: the deeper we get into loving each other, the more fully we become ourselves. My family needs me to be myself fully, in doing so I give them freedom to do the same. Learning this needs to express itself in many ways, through myriad mediums. It’s how the world will heal.

 



This commitment to wonder is number one on my list but it’s inextricably connected to number nine, “doing the work”. Every single next step in art that we take gets us closer to wonder and every single choice to put it off takes us further away from it. The first steps we take are not always the final word on the kind of work we will do, but it gets us closer.

You’ve probably experienced this, the way doors of thought or insight will open up once you begin. We must begin and keep taking one step at a time. A book could be written on this alone, but I hope this brings some practical, doable thoughts and encouragement to you this week.

Commit to wonder and then do it again. Inspiration will not run low.


More Recent Art:

This quick sketch was a precursor to the above, inspired by Tom Booth @tomwilltell

Here’s a new tale I woke up thinking about the other morning and have been sharing with my kids this week.

Got to see my nephew perform and hear my niece play cello in The Fiddler on the Roof recently, definitely inspiring. I love Tevye. Sketchboooking:
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Recent Good Reads:

The Green Ember by S. D. Smith, really enjoying beginning this with my family. Definitely one where they do not want to stop listening.

 


This Week’s Recommended Tools:

This week was a fun week of giveaways, on the blog and Instagram.

If you didn’t get your free pdf on cultivating inspiration, do so here.  I sincerely appreciate the feedback I’ve gotten on it. Would love to hear more!

On Instagram, I gave away some original art and two Pentel Pigment Ink Brushes-Extra Fine. If you didn’t win, and want your own you can find both on my store or tools page.

Have a great week and keep creating,

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

Check out my free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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Sky photograph compliments of Raynna Myers

 

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On Inspiration: A MrJayMyers’ Week in Review

October 24, 2016By jayart, Blog, Encouragement, giveaway

Hey Everyone, Giveaway Time!

First and foremost a BIG thank you to all my subscribers, old and new. My hope is that you will be encouraged to keep creating each week. With this in mind I have something for each of you today (So keep reading!). I wanted to do a giveaway to return some of the kindness you’ve shown in trusting me to be an encouragement and inspiration.

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So, the winner of the Little Bot and Sparrow book by Jake Parker and fan art by me is: Paul G. Check out his great art!

Congratulations! I have already been in contact with Paul to make sure he knows he has won. I hope you enjoy the prize!

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As for the rest of you, I’m really stoked about this; my wife, Raynna, and I have been working hard on a free download for you. If you are currently a subscriber that gift is already in your inbox. If not, please subscribe and we’ll send it as a free gift to you right away.

It’s a list of thirteen commitments we have personally made and believe in order to cultivate and find inspiration as artists. We are happy to share these with you because it’s made a difference in our family’s life. We are still very much in a process, so we share these as ones in the process.

We say they are commitments we have made, realizing, they are very much making us.

Here’s a teaser of the topics we hit and expound briefly on in the one page download we’ve made for you all: wonder, purposefulness, friendship, listening, honesty, studying, rest, encouraging, doing the work, sketchbooking, scribbling, shipping and challenges.

It was a lot of fun figuring out how to succinctly share the things we have and are learning. Raynna, although not an illustrator, uses these same concepts in her work as a photographer, writer and mother. For example, instead of sketching, for her it’s journaling, instead of scribbling it’s carrying her camera. The concepts are universal and can be applied to many different disciplines.

I hope you will print it out, keep it somewhere that you can see it and stay inspired. I’m rooting for you, and know the struggle. I’m looking forward to revealing more of how each of the commitments are shaping me in the blog posts coming to you in the next several weeks. I hope you’ll stick around.

Around here, my family has been doing a lot of traveling the past couple of weeks. It’s been great and a little short on sleep at the same time.  So, this week as I have endeavored to settle back into our rythyms it has been a two-sided coin.

On one side, it’s been sturdy—I have a sense of being more able in my art than I have felt before. One of our trips was to Nashville, TN for a gathering called Hutchmoot, and the time there was a HUGE encouragement to me. On the other side, I am feeling drained from it all—what is good about both of these things, however, is that I can rest knowing what I need is rest and not to push. I can rest confident that I am not slacking, but that I’ve grown. These times are necessary.

It’s also had me returning to Steven Bentley’s question from the other day, “where I get some of my inspiration from”. I’m really looking forward to answering that further and specifically in the area of cultivating inspiration. In other words, what we can do, considering our part, in staying inspired.

 

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Life is full for all of us, with so much vying for our attention, it’s more than easy to not be intentional or make any progress on the things that are important to us, let’s support each other today. Having support continues to definitely make all the difference for me.

Subscribe here to get Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration, a one page PDF for free, to print out and use as a reminder to commit to the work, as well as give you a jumpstart on what’s coming ahead here on the blog.

Recent Art:

Keep creating,

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

Check out my free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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Subscribe below to my email newsletter and get a link for a free download of a one page PDF to keep you inspired:

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On A Giveaway: A MrJayMyers Week

October 15, 2016By jayart, Blog, children's books, Encouragement, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hey Everyone,

I’m excited to do a giveaway this week (more on that below). I thank each of you for joining me here on my blog, as I grow as an artist and hope to help you grow too. One of the biggest “helps” I have to offer is my own learning through failure.

Failure as a man, as an artist, and every other area—is where I have had the chance to grow most. It’s the same for all of us. These are the places in life where we are finally humble enough to learn. I’ve had more than a few of those opportunities.

If we listen closely we’ll hear it all around us: leaders telling us how their lowest points were the best thing that ever happened to them. It’s a reality. It’s one we can all experience, and we need to because we all have something to offer.

“Everyone is an expert at something. The problem is that we are unaware of it—or take it for granted. The key is to discover it and step into it. What is your expertise? You aren’t doing the world any favors by minimizing your expertise or trying to deny it.           -Michael Hyatt

I’m not only surprised and honored to have you follow along with my journey here or my other social media outlets, I think of it as a privilege to get to share out of my own failures and successes. Those are the kind of people I learn most from and care to follow myself.

No one is perfect and we’re only hurting ourselves and others when we put them on pedestals, because it’s not true. The truth is we’re all in a process, learning and gaining inspiration from others can sharpen and strengthen us unequivocally.

Steven Bentley asked me the other day “where I get some of my inspiration from”. This is a question I’d like to revisit regularly. Thank you, Steven. Today, I’d like to honor my friend Jake Parker. Especially because he’s just recently released a new book, Little Bot and Sparrow, that my kids have been loving. (See more below.)

I first stumbled onto Jake’s work in 2010. That was the year I decided to return to illustration (after an almost ten year hiatus)—in order to tell my own tales. In my stumbling, I discovered Inktober and a whole host of awesomeness through Instagram. I became inspired.

I was most inspired by Jake’s ability to seemingly draw anything. So, I followed him and have since—studying his use of figure, composition, and so much more.

I don’t recall when or where I first saw the story of Little Bot and Sparrow. It may have been in Antler Boy it may have been in one of Jake’s Drawings books. No matter where it was, I was instantly captivated by the story.

Jake has done what he does best and drawn this tale with warmth and technical skills that will pique your imagination and inspire you to try your own hand at stories—oh and your kids will love it too. :)

Little Bot and Sparrow
By Jake Parker

The Giveaway

Win a copy of Jake’s book (unsigned) as well as an original fan art of Little Bot and Sparrow (by me) that will be shipped out with the book simply by being a subscriber to my blog. Not subscribed yet? Hurry! :) Winner will be announced in the next post.

 

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All current email subscribers are entered already. Huge thanks for being here and thanks sharing my posts on your networks or with other artists that you know/think might be interested in the posts and subjects here!

For those who are new: I’m glad you found me, I know there’s a lot of voices out there, just sign up for the newsletter and you will be entered to win!

Enter to win here:

(This form subscribes you to my email newsletter as well as enters you for a chance to win.)

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And as always—keep creating.

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

Check out my free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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On Finding Light: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

October 3, 2016By jayart, Blog

Hello All,

Welcome to a new week. I hope you had a great weekend.

I hit a struggle last week: been a bit creatively blocked. Over the years, I have learned to deal with this in various ways: sketch anatomy, search Instagramers’ art I like the best and just sketch their composition (often, this leads to new ideas), rest (because sometimes, a block is just a result  of exhaustion), work on a story I have no intention of doing anything with, scribble on a page and find something in the mess, etc.

Last week, I sketched compositions and doodled till I found something. It paid off, as one thing I noodled in my sketchbook blew up my Instagram feed. I’ve never had anything like it in likes or comments. Thanks to all of you who helped make that happen.

Today, I have a new video because adventurousarchie has asked “Where do you find your light?”. Thanks for asking Archana!

Here’s what I hope happens with these blog and video posts: I want to encourage you.
I know it is hard to push through the struggles we encounter as we try to step up to the next level as artists.

I didn’t go to art school. I could use this “fact” as an excuse and tell myself that and any other number of things disqualify myself. There’s a choice we all have to make every time we pick up our drawing tools. I hope this post/video gets you one more step closer to that choice getting easier to make.

 

This week’s art:

 

 

Mentioned in the Video:

I commend to you: Griz and Norm’s 100 Tuesday Tips not only because it’s awesome, but most of all due to it being a consistent resource that I go to foremost out of all the resources I have, and I have a lot.


It deals with principles and not just exact specifications. Check it out.

Thanks for all your support! Have a great week and keep creating.

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

Check out my free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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