On Shipping: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

March 19, 2017By jay13 Commitments, art, Blog, children's books, Encouragement, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, miscelany, process, Recommended Tools

Greetings world. Welcome to your new week. Learn from the unsuccesses of last week. It’s time to create, be happy, create some more.

I know my art lacks perfection. My goal is: done, not perfect. Doing my best and shipping it is what I am striving for. I believe in this. Some days are harder than others. I do believe it, but then I want something just right. Which isn’t wrong—occasionally. It’s when I get caught up in a never-ending cycle of self-inflicted revision, that I need to reign myself in. If I use done as my learning meter and choose to be happy with what I’ve made, then I can move on and create more—which actually gets me closer to a more perfected skill set.

“Finishing a thing is way more important than having something that is perfect but not finished” — Jake Parker

What have I shipped? Well, on a semi-daily basis I am sharing my art to Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. I have also published my Tomy and Jon comic. As well as created a Color Me Book from my daily arts. And, weekly I am publishing a blog post about inspiration. I am working on a short comic which I plan on making available digitally and in print. The dailies are my way of keeping my skills sharp, learning new things, and seeing what resonates and what doesn’t.

There can be different definitions of “shipped” as we grow. I often am simply shooting for: done, choose to be happy, and share. I believe that we should ship/share in order to grow. When we are wrapped up in our own model of done—where no one sees/hears what we are working on—we don’t get valuable feedback. Shipping gives us that so we can grow forward and create more. Keep in mind this feedback shouldn’t define our happiness, but it should help us understand the strengths and weaknesses we have.

#8 Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done. — Done Manifesto

In the long-term my definition of shipped will mean published. I am working on projects that are in process/progress, but aren’t my daily shippings. Every step of the way, I am giving it my best and then having to remind myself; be done, be happy, create more.

So, let’s commit to shipping and throwing out the fear that often keeps us in a loop of revision. Ship, then ship some more.

Here’s how we put it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration: “I commit to shipping my work out into the world, believing that the time is now. I will do my best, not trying to perfect it for so long that no one gains from it.” Get your free copy of our one page PDF Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration 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.


Sketchbook 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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MrJayMyers.com

July 14, 2012By jayart, miscelany, story, Writing

As a subscriber to this blog, you may have just received an email that was very similar—ok, I’ll just say it, it was identical to one you received previously. It was an accident. However, it was a happy accident. If you look at the URL you will notice that it no longer says, RandomlyOrganized.com. This is because that URL is going the way of the winterized bear. It will remain available, but will dormant.

As of June fifth, I had been writing on RO for two years. That was very cool thing. Randomly Organized began as a place for me to blog random items, but grew into a place where I wanted to share stories—written or otherwise.

By June fifth, I knew what I wanted to do. I dedicated myself to writing for 15 days, wrote, and I succeeded in telling a fable both visually and written. During discussions with my wife, we concluded that RO was good for what it did, but it wasn’t “it”. It was a path to “it”.

So, now, bad punctuation in hand, art not perfected, and a heart’s desire to tell tales: I am (my family with me) launching mrjaymyers.com (jaymyers and several other permutations were already taken) with a focus on Storytelling.

I apologize for the happy accident, but not for the opportunity it provided to share with you our forward motion away from the random organization to one of random tales. We might not have it figured out, but we feel that this is the right next step. Thanks for being with us through it.

I accomplished something

June 27, 2012By jayart, miscelany, story, Writing

Over the last fifteen days, I accomplished something. I rose early, mostly, every morning. I wrote. I thought. I didn’t head into work feeling like I was missing creative expression.

That’s cool.

I also conquered two posts that I had struggled with—as noted here. I actually thought it would be a few months before I could complete them. Not only did I finish those two, but I added in one.

Basically, I downsized them.

I focused them.

I reorg’d them.

Those three links above were at one time one post. I also conquered this one.

That all feels pretty good. Right now, I am in the process of reorg’ing my social presence. RandomlyOrganized will become much less random. In its place I will be focusing on Storytelling. I have a new URL (which I will post in time) and will merge my visual, my stories, and my written (this blog) all under one URL.

If you haven’t done so—and you are a writer/storyteller, I suggest looking at Jeff Goins’s blog. Interestingly, the timing of all this has been—not so randomly organized.

Writer, Move On

June 4, 2012By jayart, Faerie-tales, grammar, miscelany, story, Writing

Writing is a difficult process for me.


I love to write, rather I love to make up stories, but I struggle. Each word, each sentence, each paragraph is a fight. I have been working on two posts for the last three months, but I have been unable to finish either of them. I am going to stop fretting over them and move on. Maybe some day, when I am stronger, I will return to them—for now they are just too big.

For now, I will return to smaller posts until my writing muscles have grown bigger. Remember practice makes stronger.

The Adventures of Tomy and Jon
The second issue of Tomy and Jon is out. Find it here: Amazon link. I am considering packaging the issues differently—more on that when I have decided.

Facebook
I hate Facebook. Not the medium, but the policies. Anyway, with much reason aside, I threw myself into FB plus a Tomy and Jon page.

Other
I have been focusing on illustration and ave been posting on DeviantArt, Dribbble, Instagram (randomorg) view on Statigram, as well as on my art site. If you prefer Twitter you can follow me here.

I think that wraps up the update. Contact me if you have any questions or thoughts.

UPDATE: fixed Statigram link.

Visual Voice

December 30, 2011By jayart, Faerie-tales, miscelany, story, Writing

What is visual voice?

In a nutshell: it is my individual expression that people see in my art. Some artists find their visual voice early on in their life; some take years to mold and grow. I am in the later category. I know what I like, I know what I want, but getting it to work the way I want and like—well, I am still not there.

Paul and the boysOf course, most artists don’t feel that they have reached their zenith either. However, many, at least, have found their voices and are able to continue to hone said voice. Unfortunately, and somewhat fortunately, I haven’t.

This shows up clearly, in my series, The Adventures of Tomy and Jon, the illustrations change a bit even within the first issue. From issue to issue it will as well. Issue two is being developed and it’s quite different in illustration style. The characters will be somewhat similar in appearance, but they, like my style, are in flux.

It isn’t that I don’t want consistency, I do, but I haven’t figured my visual voice out yet.

It bothers me. But, it also doesn’t.

Because, until my skill matches my mind’s eye I am going to be in this dilemma. The best thing I can do is just keep pushing myself and find satisfaction and discontent with my current abilities. Satisfaction, because I am trying to produce good work and I am doing my best with the time and ability I have allotted. Discontent, because I want to grow and get better.

The best thing I can do is push myself, yes, even in public-eye, to be better and grow my abilities. The best thing I can do is work to find my voice and share the tales I have to tell—because this is why I was created.

 

 

Stop Apologizing

November 17, 2011By jayart, miscelany, Writing

Several weeks ago, I sent an email to an illustrator whom I have been following to gain inspiration as I return to illustrating. I wanted to share my eBook with him, but I was nervous about what he would say, what he would think of my writing, and what he would think of my art.

I struggled with the “If you don’t want to…” sentence.

In the end, I forewent the apology and chose to turn it around a bit. The return email was kind and contained a positive response to my work. My fear proved unfounded.

This post, from Jeff Goins, reflects that experience and other posts I have read.

Either say something worth saying or don’t say anything at all.

If you feel like you have to apologize, then you probably shouldn’t waste someone’s time.

Or (and this is a big “or”), learn to be confident in what you do. To the extent that you don’t have to end your requests with clauses like, “You don’t have to…” or “sorry to bother you.”

When you obviously believe in your message, so will others.

Check out the rest of the article. It’s a great one. I still do struggle with asking but, now, when I do ask I am turning off self-rejection (most of the time).

Favorite Artists

November 13, 2011By jayart, miscelany, Writing

Favorite artists can be a troublesome lot. It’s not their fault really, but they mess with us. They get into our work and tangle up our natural tendencies. Why? Because we let them.

There are several things that we need to recall as we look to our favorites.

  1. They may have talents we don’t yet possess.
  2. They may have been at this longer, or more consistently.
  3. They probably don’t feel that their work is as easy as we think that it is for them.

I have touched on the first two in this post. I am not going to beat that one dry. I want to focus on number three. When we look at our favorite’s work too often we assume that they can just spit and their work comes out perfect.

It doesn’t. Follow a few of them on Twitter or Facebook.

You will read about them, at times, with their guard down. You will discover that they too have difficult days. Days when they just can’t get anything right.

This is good. It is helpful. It means they struggle too. Don’t let their polished work fool you, in the end they have favorites that they too feel can do no wrong. (That too I wrote here.)

Ok, so enough of repeating myself.

When we see an artist that has a smooth line style and we think they just whipped it out. Think again. They took their time. The same holds true for one with a scratchy style. Just because it looks rushed and quickly drawn (in a good way) doesn’t mean that it was. In many cases, what we think might be a ten minute drawing (because they are just so cool like that) might in fact be an hour long drawing or more.

Yes, it might be true that their crap is better than our masterpieces or it might be that we have blinders on and that all we need is more confidence in our line-work—that comes with work and persistence.

So, before you close up shop try slowing down. Try easing up a bit on the expectation to perform to your favorites’ capacity and discover your own strengths.

That’s my current process: slow down, reassess my strengths, strengthen my weaknesses.

INKtober

October 4, 2011By jayart, miscelany, story, Writing

I began doing INKtober on Saturday. What is INKtober? It is an ink only challenge for October started by Jake Parker of Missile Mouse fame.

I am posting my drawings on my portfolio at mrjaymyers.com. I have begun (and hope to be able to complete) a children’s story called, Tiny Giant Island. If I am able to do this I will be posting a page a day. We will see. I am tweeting when post an image. I will generally not be double posting—both here and there.

UPDATE: Ok, so I leapt in too soon. I still need to do character designs. This has become more of a process. I will be showing the character designs and once I get that worked out I will begin the pages.

 

Writing Dialogue

July 27, 2011By jaygrammar, miscelany, Writing

Hey, mom! What’cha doin’?” Tomy asked.
“It’s ‘What are you doing?’ I am getting dinner ready,” she replied.

Writing dialogue can be difficult. It doesn’t have to be. Gary shares some great steps to point writers in the right direction. I never realized the final comma before the end quote. I should have but I didn’t.

Gary Smailes shares dialogue wisdom.

This article has highlighted just the very basics of dialogue formatting. However, the aim is to give you just enough information to get it right most of the time. As with all writing rules there is some give and take in the system and sometimes the way you present speech in complex situations becomes a judgement call.

 

 

 

Creation: Day One

July 26, 2011By jayart, Faerie-tales, humor, miscelany, story, Writing

The Creator saw Light and smiled.

Then He rent light from light—bright light torn from dark light—with a crackle. God named the new sound, Crackle. Crackle, looked around. Bright Light was next to him and knew that he was bound to her.

Bright Light saw her brother Dark Light and moved to be near him. The closer she came the further he moved away.

With a laugh he fled.

With a giggle she pursued him with Crackle hot on her heals.

There was Evening there was Morning chasing him all over the sky, day 1.