On Rest: : Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

February 13, 2017By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, inking

Hello and welcome to the week.
I hope you’ve had a restful weekend and are ready to dig deep and pull out incredible art. I know a lot of us freelance artists view our work week as Monday through Monday. But there is a time and place for rest. It gives us strength and helps us to reflect. That reflection is part of where new inspiration comes from. When we are drudging from one day to the next, without end, we don’t get time to recapture thoughts and understand experiences. Inspiration thrives on these thoughts and experiences.

Epiphanies may seem to come out of nowhere, but they are often the product of unconscious mental activity during downtime. (Scientific American)

My family and I have a rhythm of keeping a day of rest each week. Being at rest causes all the work you’ve been putting in to ferment and grow. So, rest. The greatest Artist I know created a day for rest and I figure if it is good enough for the Master artist then it’s good enough for me as well. (Have you see the trees? He’s my top favorite artist.)

What does this rest look like? Well, for me, as a 9-5ish UX designer, it means that all projects cease—I have personal projects I am working on, besides my full-time job, and for our time of rest, I don’t work on them. That doesn’t mean I don’t doodle or jot ideas down. I use my sketchbook as a journal and usually not far from it. As a person with a typically non-illustration job (though I do sometimes work on Beat Boards), I view non-current-project doodling as restful.

We’ve had to fight to get to this rest. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth the fight.

Here’s how we put it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration: “I commit to keeping a day of rest each week, believing God is the greatest Artist and He created a day of rest as a gift—I want to be like Him.” Get your free copy here.

By the way, I’ve collected all of the “Thirteen Commitment” posts, so far, under one link. Please share them with the artists you know. You can find them here.


Recent Art:

 

 

 


How do you overcome the hindrances to rest and creativity?

Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,

Jay

Subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

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

Other ways to connect (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

Check out my free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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On Studying: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

February 5, 2017By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, Children's tales, inking, story, Writing

Hey all, welcome to a new week!

When I was younger,  I wouldn’t draw something—perspective or cars for example—because I thought that one day something would just “click” in my brain and I’d be able to draw whatever I wanted. It never clicked and it stunted my imagination as well as my skills.

I realize how silly that was now. I didn’t then.

Now, I know if I want to do well at something I have to study, I have to work, I have to show up and put pencil to paper, I have to learn from those who do it, whatever I am studying, well. This practice helps even when I am dry artistically.

One of the main ways I study, and get inspiration, is by following and in some cases mimicking great artists. One of the exercises I do, when I am feeling particularly dry or am challenging myself to learn something new or better (like perspective), is to go to Instagram and look at the artwork of others. Then I’ll sketch their composition, forms, or poses using my own characters or simple shapes. The effect—I am making myself be creative (it is my hand and head that is doing the work after all), I am learning, and I am leaning on those better than I for support—sometimes, this is all we need to have that “click” for our own ideas.

Here’s how we put it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration: “I commit to studying the artwork of others, believing this is part of the importance and purpose of art: to be inspired and to inspire others—passing the torch.” Get your free copy here.


Recent Art:

 

 


Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,

Jay

Subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

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

Other ways to connect (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

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 Honesty: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

January 28, 2017By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, Encouragement

Hey all! I’ve been absent for a month or so. I hope you all had great holidays and New Year beginnings. Most of us, if we’re honest, try to do some kind of resolution—and then fail it, and then feel bad about it, and then give ourselves a hard time about it.

However, honesty isn’t telling ourselves that we suck—as artists or people. Honesty happens when we take a true look at our place in this world and seeing how far we’ve come—as well as how far we have yet to go.

If we are honest, we can admit to some point of pain (or a lot), that we have had to face and get through in order to move closer to the best version of ourselves—and not just give in to the compromised one. This has everything to do with who we are as artists.

Our lives feed our art. Our art feeds our lives. It is the burning in our chests of the stories we have to tell. Life is hard, but the good news (kind of) is that it’s meant to be—it’s the sharpening of the pencil to a point. Honesty in the midst of the challenges we face is the quickest and least destructive path to the other side. Honesty enables us to move forward in our truest purposes, even if at first it looks, feels, and tastes like a set back, usually it’s not, usually it’s a huge leap forward—that we can’t see until we look back. What’s tough and hard for us will in turn out to be a blessing to those who are watching our lives as well. We need to be honest, face our fears, live humble.

Here’s how we put it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration: “I commit to honesty, believing it will be the quickest, least destructive and most inspiring path to the other side of fears, challenges, and lies—for myself and those I love. A true life will foster my most impactful art.” Get your free copy here.


Recent Art:


Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,

Jay

Subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

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

Other ways to connect (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

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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Listen to Grow: Artist Kindling from MrJayMyers

December 11, 2016By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, Encouragement, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hey guys,

Welcome to a new week. Are you ready to delve into part two of: making a commitment to listen as a way to cultivate inspiration as artists? If you missed part one, read it here.

First of all, this is hard at anytime. But especially during busier times in our lives, listening takes incredible amounts of intention. Whether it’s our schedules or simply the things coming at us (advertisements, cultural noise, etc.), listening is not for the faint of heart.

But—listen we must, if we want to grow. Here’s the focus this week: listening to the voices and work (others have produced) that has gone before you.  There is no shame in this. In fact, it’s more shameful not to listen to those who have created before us. This is like any conversation we want to enter in life, it’s best to listen before we just start talking. Because, if we want others to listen to our tales, to our inspiration, to our art then we must become listeners—it will show if we aren’t.

Don’t be afraid of this. A common refrain among artists is “I don’t want to study (others) because I am afraid I will lose my own voice.” There is only one you in the entire universe, the more you work in applying yourself to your craft, including knowing the arena you enter, the less you have to fear. Believe more in the purposefulness of who you have been created to be than in the possibility that can be lost. It will be lost quicker by our lack of intention and attention than it will by careful listening. The more you apply the knowledge of others in your art, the more you are able to express yourself.

Here’s how Raynna and I state it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration:
I commit to listening to the work, the conversation I join, and to those who know me, believing there’s a bigger purpose as an artist than I might know on my own.” It was a challenge to compact so many big ideas into one sentence, the most important however is the underlying reason: we are born for a purpose—I’ve dismissed this truth in the past, but that just resulted in a loss of time. So let’s do the hard work of believing it now until it’s not so hard anymore. Anyone up for taking that challenge—believing your importance enough to listen to others?


Recent Art:


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

Jay

Subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

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

Other ways to connect (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

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 Listening, Part I: A MrJayMyers’ Artist Kindling Letter

December 5, 2016By jay13 Commitments, Blog, Encouragement, giveaway, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hey Everyone, welcome to a new week.

In Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration I talk about three specific areas we need to have our ears turned on: 

1) Listening to the work,

2) Listening to the work of the genre you want to join. Think of it like a conversation already in process at a gathering. When you walk up to join you shouldn’t just start talking without first listening. And last, but definitely not least,

3) Listening to those who know you, and by that I mean, care about you as well.

All three of these needs have one big truth they rest firmly atop and that is this; there’s a bigger purpose to being an artist than we know on our own.

You Shall Not Pass!

 As I come into another work week I’m turning my thoughts towards the first kind of listening I note above, the work of listening to the work. What does it mean to listen to the work?

Listening to the work is what happens when you are no longer an artist or a writer or an anything because it’s “cool” but rather because you were created to do it, for a purpose that’s bigger than yourself. In many ways, this work goes on behind the scenes of the work of the everyday.


”We must work everyday, whether we feel like it or not, otherwise when it comes time to get out of the way and listen to the work, we will not be able to heed it.” —Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

Listening to the work is more than a singular, isolated event, it’s a continual cultivation/action. In the same way a farmer can’t harvest his field without the prior work of ground preparation and sowing seeds, neither can we as artists listen to our work, if there is no body of work to listen to. I don’t mean published, polished or completed works, I simply mean work, practice, actual doing-ness in physical reality, not only our “one days”.

We have all wanted inspiration to come down out of the sky and, it does, regularly. Think of it like rain. How much better is it for rain to fall on ground turned, prepared and with seeds in it, than unturned and unprepared? Growing as an artist means understanding our own part in this process, grasping the reality that inspiration can be cultivated. I’m not speaking of manufacturing something—that would be the opposite of listening/receiving. I’m speaking of preparing yourself to be inspired. I’m speaking of being found ready and faithful. When the rain comes, make sure your ground is ready.

I shared these words last week from Diana Pavlac Glyer, “…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.” I believe it can also strengthen our perseverance knowing that all of these challenges, common to artists of every flavor, eventually lead us to a place of being able to listen to the work. It helps me.

What do you do if you can’t hear anything? Don’t give up. Don’t give in to self-hate. The hard fought battles are the worthy ones, right? Right.

Huh?…I’m here to rescue you.

 


Giveaway time! Thanks to everyone who jumped on board with me this week! If you haven’t got your copy of my one page PDF, Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration, subscribe to my blog here and it’s yours. I’ll be unpacking it here for the next few months, and I hope it will be a big encouragement to you.

As for the giveaway of the first chapter of my western fairytale comic Adventures of Tomy and Jon book and a MrJayMyers Color Me coloring book, here are the winners:

  1. John P.
  2. Lauren N.
  3. Max

 

If I haven’t contacted you personally yet, I’ll be in touch soon to get those to you. Thanks everyone! I enjoyed that.
coloringbook


More Recent Art:

 

Sometimes we need to amaze ourselves.

 

Rabbi Judah Loew Bezalel of Prague and his Golem.
Rabbi Judah Loew Bezalel of Prague and his Golem.

“Going somewhere, Solo?” (I forgot his ears) create, be happy, create more :)



RECOMMENDED TOOLS:

a1rzr-plyql-_sl1500_I’ve been continuously using my new Derwent Watercolor Colored Pencils this week, and really, really like them. You can use them dry, but mixing them with water results in a highly blendable, vibrant ink. There’s 36 in this set for $23.76, from Amazon, which I wanted to tell you about because it ended up being the best deal at the end of a hunt for me including going to Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon as well as Dick Blick’s .

In my search, however, I also came across these other Derwent Colored Pencils (not watercolor) and a 24 pack this time, but marked down by 61% it’s regular price. I have always found Derwent to make a quality tool, so I wanted to mention these to any of you who use colored pencils as a medium of choice or if you know someone else who does. Colored pencils get expensive but these are going for more than half off right now.
Normally $51.99, they are currently only $20.30, and Prime if you’ve got that. Good deal on good pencils.

I always want to disclose to you that I do use affiliate links on the products I recommend but never at any extra cost to you and never just to make money. I’ll only recommend products I believe in. Thanks for your trust. My full disclosure policy is here if interested.


Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, keep creating,

Jay

Don’t forget to subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.

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 (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

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 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 …..

img_7465img_7460

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

51qxtborvfl-_sx330_bo1204203200_

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)

91hnpp0umll-_sl1500_

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.
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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 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

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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.
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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