On Giving Thanks: A MrJayMyers Holiday Special

November 25, 2016By jayart, Blog, children's books, Encouragement, giveaway, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hello All,

coloringbookIt’s Friday in a pretty special week ’round here, days of reflection and giving out of it, thanks-giving.

tjcolorcoverI’m all in—except for when I get stuck in my ruts, in mind-sets that don’t give and only take. Daily, I become more convinced of the staying power of encouragement and forging forward with community. This is why I am thankful for you all, my friends, and family.

To celebrate, I’ve got three announcements!

1) I’m doing another giveaway—and your chances of winning are good. This time I’ve got a copy of the first chapter of my western fairytale comic Adventures of Tomy and Jon book and a MrJayMyers Color Me coloring book coming for three subscribers to this blog. (Current subscribers are already in the bowl.)

Thank you for being here. I’m sincerely thankful for you. Sign up here if you haven’t yet.

2) You can also DOUBLE your chances by subscribing over at TomynJon.com because I am giving away three more of each to three others there.

3) Last but not least, I’ve got a whole new page of my fairytale up for you all on my webcomic page NOW at tomynjon.com , a holiday special during my current hiatus.  I hope you like it. I know I wouldn’t have made it this far without all your support, so thank you immensely.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!


Recent Art:

Here’s part of my process for the new Tomy and Jon Thanksgiving page:

To see the final and read it, visit TomynJon.com.


RECOMMENDED TOOL:

a1rzr-plyql-_sl1500_Derwent Watercolor Colored Pencils (Amazon link)

“Derwent Inktense Colored Pencils offer intense color combined with a translucent effect for bold, expressive drawings; round 8mm barrel; wide 4mm core

You can use them dry, but mix them with water and the color turns into vibrant ink; once dry, the color wash is permanent and can be embellished with wet or dry media

Highly blendable texture in a range of jewel-like colors; blue barrel with color end tab for easy identification; durable metal tin includes 36 pencils, each of an exciting color range.”

Just got these two days ago, so far …..

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Even with my limited experience with them I rate them very favorable. I did this while playing cards last night.

 


RECENT GOOD READ:

I’m still reading: Bandersnatch, by Diana Pavlac Glyer– also available on, Audible

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I know I mentioned this last week, but I’m still reading it and it’s entirely worth a second mention.

From back cover:

An inspiring look at the Inklings and their creative process
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other members of the Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other’s work-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example?
Featuring full-page illustrations by James A. Owen, Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford, and a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and dozens of other books written by the members of their circle. You’ll learn what made these writers tick, and more: inspired by their example, you’ll discover how collaboration can help your own creative process and lead to genius breakthroughs in whatever work you do.

Here’s a quote:

“…Evidence of creative breakthrough is found in unlikely places: a quick note, an offhand remark, a journal entry, or a formal letter. We gather the scraps, and we piece them together the best we can. The fact is, creativity itself is a messy business. We want to think of it as linear and efficient, but in actuality, it is full of false starts, dead ends, long hours, setbacks, discouragement, and frustrations. Knowing that it works this way can help us be more patient with our own untidy processes.” —Diana Pavlac Glyer


One of the things I am seriously thankful for is what Diana Pavlac Glyer calls “resonators”. One more quote from Bandersnatch; “What is a ‘resonator’? The term describes anyone who acts as a friendly, interested, supportive audience. Resonators fill many roles: they show interest, give feedback, express praise, offer encouragement, contribute practical help, and promote the work of others.” For me this is you—thank you.

Do you have resonators in your life? How can you be one for someone else today? We all need help getting out of our own creative ruts or non-creative ruts, mind-sets that don’t give to us or anyone else. Forging ahead with you.

Have a great weekend. Create, be happy, keep creating,

Jay

Don’t forget to subscribe to get in on the giveaway and get a free one page PDF as well: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. Winners announced next week!

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks!

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.
image

 

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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Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. See my disclosure policy here.

On Friendship: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

November 18, 2016By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, Encouragement, Writing

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to Friday. How have your friendships gone this week?

FRIENDSHIP. I commit to friendship, starting at home, believing that I was created for community and to share love. My best art will come out of a life lived well with others. –Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration 

Writing about friendship is hard for me. The irony is I don’t do it well, but I try and I’m growing. A lot of artists I know are hermits. It’s not that they can’t be good friends, more often it is that they don’t know how to build worlds and be in their own well. My struggle has always been in the upkeep. I can meet and get along well, but the long term commitment has always been my downfall.

Enter my family: they truly are my best friends and have taught me so much about being a friend and how life with others can inspire great ideas. So many of my best stories come from them. I never tell a direct story of their life, but there are glimpses of heroics that filter into the stories, lessons they’ve learned, ideas they’ve shared.

All of my kids are artists in their own ways, my wife is an excellent writer and photographer so we share our work, but more importantly we share life. The “How are you today?”, the “Is everything alright?”, and the “How can I help?” questions are all important to keep you grounded in the daily lives of your family—and this applies to friends as well. To all my friends out there—I’m still learning.

So, this week and last week has been an odd one for me. Usually, I can go a month or more and not talk to anyone on the phone—but my wife. This week as I am considering friendship, serendipitously, I’ve had two phone calls and have a third lined up (and I went to a movie with a friend from work). I don’t usually do phone calls, that said: I do text—a lot. Daily, artist friends and I will text art to each other for critique or encouragement. Think of it as a more focused Instagram.

My family, my art friends, and this unusual, but really cool, week has shown me that this friend thing is all it’s cracked up to be. The big thing here is to learn not to reject yourself for other people. This fear of rejection is most likely the main reason we can’t easily build worlds and be in our own at the same time. It’s most likely that fear is the primary culprit behind our lack of wonder, our purposelessness, and our struggling friendships.

Bottom line, the truth is, our best art will come out of a life lived well with others. I’ve heard Andrew Peterson say it this way a few times now, “Art nourishes community. Community nourishes art.” Most artists I respect, once I get closer to their life, I find there an integral, even if small, network of friendship that has supported them to be who they are. I believe in this, so I’ve committed to it.

If this has been difficult for you, don’t give up, especially at home. Get it right there and the rest of the world will get easier too.


RECENT ART:

 


RECOMMENDED TOOL:

Parallel Pens  (Amazon link)

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I ordered these pens in October and they have already found a lasting place in my workflow. I am trying to learn how to use them for writing, but for drawing they are incredible. I still have a long way to go till I get a handle on them, but I am very happy with them.

 

 


RECENT GOOD READ:

Speaking of friendship, I’ve been reading: Bandersnatch – Audible

51qxtborvfl-_sx330_bo1204203200_I haven’t made it very far in the book, but the impact of encouragement and critique is palatable. These people hadn’t a clue who they’d become. They just gathered and grew. Commit to friendship and become who you will be.

 

 

 


Does friendship come easy for you? Have you found living life well with others feeds your art? What have you found to be the biggest hindrance to friendship for you? Let me know in the comments.
Have a great weekend.

Create, be happy, 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.
image

 

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 Purposefulness: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

November 4, 2016By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, Encouragement

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to Friday, I hope you’ve had a great week!

I’ve given a lot of thought to PURPOSEFULNESS, and how it affects us as artists.

For many of us, not having a sense of knowing our purpose hurts deep. I’ve experienced it. We need to start with what we know, and not belittle even the most minimal thing. Take one step at a time and truly, “do not despise the day of small beginnings”. Your life matters. Yes, even when it’s hard or feels impossible to understand, or see a way forward, it matters.

One of the bigger watershed moments in my own journey, thus far, occurred once I decided — I’M AN ARTIST. Knowing who you are gives you intent in your direction. If you ever get lost in the woods or turned around in a park, you will find that without that clear sense of direction you end up where you started. You will literally walk in circles. This is due to uncertainty, and there’s now scientific experiments showing this process as well as the reason for it.

“The results from these experiments show that even though people may be convinced that they are walking in a straight line, their perception is not always reliable…People need to use reliable cues for walking direction in their environment, for example a tower or mountain in the distance, or the position of the sun.” -Marc Ernst, Group Leader at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics

A focal point guides us with the certainty we need to hit our goals, in the woods and life. When our minds are jumbled with all possible directions we will try to head in all of them. That’s called distraction, otherwise known as a cruel form of torture that leads to death. Don’t do that. Narrow it down. What is your purpose? Stick with it.

But what if you don’t know what that is, right? I believe living with wonder, awakening with wonder, is the straight path to this answer.

“The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel

Or what if you’re sure it’s more than one thing? I’m sure you are right, but I’m also sure you have to start with one thing. Do that one thing first, then move on to the others—if they still apply. I know for me I had multiple ideas, but when it gets boiled away, storytelling is my one thing. How I approach storytelling has been boiled down too. Fairytales are my subject matter of choice.

Knowing that our life has purpose and even specific, knowable, purpose connects to what I write about honesty in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. Often we want to understand the purposefulness of our lives by some message coming down out of the sky, but most often purpose is found by a willingness to look our fears in the face.

I cannot commend a quicker way to moving toward your purpose than facing your fears, not just acknowledging them, but doing the hard work of asking whether the fears are true or not. You can do this alone, but it is best done with someone who knows and supports you. Sometimes simply the act of revealing the fear as we share with another person holds enough power to remove it. Hard, yes, but vital.

The importance of saying, “no”,  to the lies that tell you, “you have nothing to offer” cannot be overstated.  That lie is just not true. Value your knowledge. Value your skill. You were created in the image of a creative God with much purpose. I know that may cause some of my readers to want to quit reading, but I hope you won’t. I hope you’ll make a commitment to purposefulness with me.

Here’s how we put it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration (get your free copy by subscribing if you haven’t already):

“I commit to purposefulness, believing in the transformation this brings. I may not always understand, but I will not despise the day of small beginnings.”


RECENT ART:

 


RECOMMENDED TOOL:

Luxury Brands Noodlers Ahab Fountain Pen

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I have used this pen off and on since 2014. I love it. I use it for drawing and recently writing as I attempt to a) tell stories in my sketchbooks and b) try to learn to get better handwriting—this is ebbing and flowing. The pen, unlike my handwriting, flows really well. I use the Noodler’s Black Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink in it and have been using the same ink to refill my Pentel BrushPens.


RECENT GOOD READ:

I’ve been listening to: The Neverending Story, Audible – Unabridged

As a kid, I watched the movie multiples of times, but I hadn’t ever read the story. As a person who loves the oral tradition of telling stories, Audible gets me there closer than anything. This story is heart wrenching and gut punching. I remember the first time, I watched Artax die in the Swamp of Sadness, I cried. I was 12. I had to hide the tears, but I did cry. It’s even more so in the book where there are multiple twists like this. But, in the end, as you watch Bastian grow and change, you see the wonder of his life play out and his search for purpose almost destroy him (not to try to shoehorn this into my post). If you enjoy story and haven’t read or listened to this tale, pick it up.

What have you found helpful for finding and keeping purpose? Let me know in the comments.
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.
image

 

Subscribe below to my email newsletter and get a link for a free download of a one page PDF to keep you inspired:

* indicates required



Email Format