Be You (In Process): Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

September 27, 2018By jayart, Blog, Encouragement, Faerie-tales, process, story, Writing

Hey Friends,

I don’t need to tell you the inner gymnastics we all often go through to figure out what it means to be ourself. But I do want to write to encourage you to persevere. The days, weeks, months, and for some, years, have exhausted you on so many levels. You need a break. Yeah, I mean some literal time, but I also mean for you to not be hard on yourself as well. Don’t be hard on yourself for what has been hoped for so long but isn’t here. You are on your way, you are here.

Until we all value that—being the people we were born to be—dreams and hopes coming true will do little for us. Goals attained and items checked off will only be another superficial fix until we actually accept ourselves, like ourselves.

Cast of Stones cover image by Jay, (coming soon!)

We are surrounded by a message in creative culture that we can attain all of our goals with enough hard work, we can “live the life we dream”. Even Christian culture talks much of this, as though the one we call Author didn’t first publish, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19: 21)

It’s a tension, to be sure, to stand in the two realities of one, the necessity of hard work and two, that the unfathomable possibilities life holds is not a bad thing. But, it is a tension you are not alone in. The creative life, along with all of its hopes, dreams, and visions is an untidy, grubby thing. Don’t get stars in your eyes over anyone ever telling you anything different.

We will feel lost sometimes. We’ll have highs and lows. Expect this and don’t be frightened when it comes. Walk with these feelings in one hand and hold value of yourself in the other, because both can be true without tearing down the other. You have been created in the image of a Creator. Respect that and let yourself rest there when the waves of doubt, comparison, discouragement, and general griminess arise.

There is a whole way to let these processes work their way through us without it bringing about destruction and more than that, even letting it teach us. First, we have got to let go of the fear that often attaches itself to these feelings of insecurity, then we can see what’s really there—and not for some magical end goal but for the process—it’s good. It’s excavating us, who we are designed to be.

Funny ways, little and big, we can notice and learn from these things. Here’s one example from Jay, he’s learned about himself. He is drawn to loose lines but often when he works his lines get tight. Listening to this cumbersome and often disappointing process he realized there was a reason. He has been concerned about his abilities, having more exactness, and so he would lean more toward tight lines because it was “safe”. This got to the point to where not only was this an issue in finished pieces, he realized, in his words, he was “not even practicing freedom”.

So, the next time those lost, untidy, grubby feelings about creating begin to overcome, stop and remember: we are co-creating, man makes plans, the Lord orders the steps, and all those feeling are normal. Listen to them, learn from them, but don’t let them tear you down, let them build you up. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how cliche’ it sounds, it’s true—there’s only one you, and you are needed. Let’s get after it.


Follow Jay on the gram @MrJayMyers

Each week I always ask Jay what he’s learning. A lot of what I wrote above unearthed through our conversations lately. It’s been encouraging, even in the midst of struggle, but also I got a treat in my inbox this week! A note from Jay and he said I could share here. Enjoy—

The difficulty those of us living in the outer veil face is that this veil seems to define our thoughts and expectations for all reality. It is those of us who attempt to reach back into the inner veil that begin to see the outer veil as a mystery to be enjoyed as well.
 
The tree of life teaches us that without it, there would be no eternity for us. It teaches that until we partake of life we are temporary. So, humanity was driven from the inner veil from the wonders of the fae into the wilds and waste places where we must muster courage and seek for a way back in.
 
But too often rather than search for the inner veil we get caught up in the wilds and waste and live out our days without a hope that one day someone will deliver us to the inner veil to the kingdom of light and let us once taste the fruit of life.
 
The inner veil beckons us but we don’t hear it. It pleads but we don’t want to seek it. The outer is our home we hate but never enough to escape it by searching for the way back to the tree. It is now that we find ourselves in the predicament of reality. It is now that we find if we would love the life we have and search for the inner path that we, in the outer veil, could find the way toward the inner and expose ourselves to life that we would live out here and now.
 
To express this in a more blunt manner, the only way into the inner veil is through life delighted upon in the outer veil not escapism through death.


Storyteller:

Teaser from a long-term writing project of Jay’s called,
Consider the Ravens, a compilation of  poems & stories:


Poetical

The paths are blue down the alleyway
Where streets grow acorns and beans.
The stoplight flickers red, yellow, and pink
As the traffic animals pour through the light,
Like butter on ice cream or toast on gin.

Arrrg

A poets life for me.

Jay Myers, Consider the Ravens

 


So, tell us about you, are you delighting or drudging through right now? What are you learning through your processes? Thank you for being a part of our community! Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,

Jay & Raynna

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.

Raynna hangs out most on IG: @raynnamyers

Check out Jay’s free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
image

Want a free downloadable encouragement tool? Fill out the info below and get a link for a free download of a one page PDF to keep you inspired:

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You’re a Storyteller, Live True: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

June 27, 2017By jayart, Blog, Children's tales, Encouragement, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, story, Writing

Storytelling is an inescapable way of life. It is in the conversations we share, in the work that we do, when we are at the bank and need to explain our frustrations—we want, we need, others to hear and understand our stories. Story is the primal driver of life—when denied, it creates a chasm of confusion, disorder, and dysfunction. However, when we embrace this part—this primal necessity of story—we bring clarity, order, and healing to ourselves and those around us.

How do we deny story? That’s the easy part. Here’s the hard part:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” —E. E. CUMMINGS

Because living our true stories, the ones we are created for is, “the hardest battle which any human being can fight”, it is easier to live the broken, counterfeit version of ourselves, our stories. I’ve done this. Most notably as a child with the most fantastic (to me) “stories”, I was always amazed how others could tell I was lying.

But when I used to live behind the excuses of my art, “not being good enough” to share and kept it all to myself, I was doing this too. Likewise, when I said, “I’m a dad now, there’s no time”, I did it. I have to and will need to continually fight to not do this in some form. Here’s what I know: we’ll never escape being storytellers, but will we be truth-tellers or liars? We get to choose this, everyday anew. These choices will either be our inciting incidents: that lead us in new adventures/misadventures or they will be part of overcoming our crisis which leads us toward our climax.

Our world started, with “In the beginning” and since we have seen the rise and fall of many. We live in the conflicts and crisis, and the rising action of our world’s story. That’s good news. But we each need to share our part of the story.

Your story matters. You need to believe this—we all need to.

We have no idea the miraculous power held in our seed sized actions toward believing the importance of our part, but I can tell you it is transforming. When we walk in our true stories with freedom, we give others permission to do so as well. The great news here is this is not a pressure on us, the miracle is in the seed.  Plant well this week. Have faith that we are living and breathing in a design that has us each here for a reason.

Find someone to share your art, your story, with this week.


Storyteller:

Keeping with my assertion that in sharing we will grow: Here is another short “story”—I am writing a compilation of stories called, “Consider the Ravens”:

 

Kings

The winter treats us all

Like kings

It paints a carpet

of glittering gems

And waits for us to fall.

 

 

 


Commissions Available:

Recently Finished Commission

Here is what you will get:
An 8×10 watercolor on watercolor paper (cold press 140lb)

Examples of commission ideas:

  • Characters from your favorite films
  • Scenes from your favorite book
  • A Woodland Wanderers, Homemade Heroes, Handcrafted Hooligans, or any all-age character of your choosing (this could be a superhero, a film character, etc. I will email you regarding which character)

Each painting will be bagged, protected, and shipped as soon as it’s complete.
If you follow any of my networks, you will see process shots of the project (ex. I just wrapped up the Hagrid above.)

All of this will only cost $100. Shipping, in the USA, is included.

Thank you everyone for your support! From being a part of my community to sharing these posts.  As for the commissions, I have set up a commission spot on my store and it is available immediately.


 

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

Jay

P.S. As I mentioned before, Raynna and I have been concocting something that we’re hoping to announce soon. Thanks for being here everyone!

Also, get the free one page PDF: Fourteen 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.
image

 

Want a free downloadable encouragement tool? Fill out the info below and get a link for a free download of a one page PDF to keep you inspired:

* indicates required



Email Format


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.

Why is Sharing In Public Important: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

June 12, 2017By jayart, Blog, children's books, Children's tales, Encouragement, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, News, story, Writing

Hello world. This is the first code that most people will produce when they begin to learn coding. There are a lot of technical reasons for “Hello World”, but let’s look at the emotional impact—there is a successful sharing with everyone (who can see it). You succeeded.

“Hello World”—is the coder’s refrigerator art. It’s the, “Hey! Look at what I’ve done”. This gets more difficult the older we get. As children, we share freely. We grow (or we are stunted) by the response to our art, but we continue to share. That child-like sharing becomes discombobulated over time and we lose boldness to share our art and our heart.

Yet, this discombobulation is only in our head. Our definitions of good or bad are being made in the dark. We can’t know how well we progress once we quit sharing out loud because we have cut off all critical feedback. Forcing ourselves to refrigerate our art again opens us up to input and insight. This then allows us to grow a thicker skin around our heart (in a good way) and grow with foresight into our weaknesses.

This week I want to address a question I have had or have been asked, but first…


Personal update:

I’m opening up five more commission spots! Due to a reorg and a miscommunication between my last employer and the recruiter, I was working for, my contract job ended. I ‘m leaving on good terms but I have found myself without a job a month earlier than expected. I am thankful to have found some freelance in the meantime, and I am opening up commissions in this in-between.

More about that below.

 


The question:

You say I should keep putting my work out there, but I only want to share my best. So, why share if I’m not fully satisfied with it?

I get it. I want to put my best out there too.  But how do we know what our best is without sharing? When we don’t have a critique group the only voice we have is our own. This creates one of two problems: thinking too highly of our skills or not thinking highly enough.

On the first note: The failure of perfectionism is that it keeps us out of the “spotlight” and light in general and that keeps us from needed course corrections and a humble evaluation of our current skills. Our tendency in this situation is that we are better, in our head, than anyone else. The “I could have done that better” bug litters our brains and we never strive toward true betterment—because somehow we already are great.

This was my attitude through much of my youth. It tried to plague me when I returned to art, after a 10 year hiatus, 2010. I remember seeing children’s book illustrators and thinking, “I could do that better”.  Maybe I could have, but I wasn’t. I was afraid to share—and I knew it.

The people who were doing children’s books—were doing children’s books. They were doing it and sharing their art—in whatever state they found themselves in. They were going to grow. I determined that the “I could” bug was not how I would live. (Honest insight here—yes, sometimes it still hits me. I’m sorry.)

On the second note: productive feedback, which we get from putting our work out there, frees us from the fear of imperfection. It builds us in confidence and leads us toward clarity of voice.

When we are stuck with only our own voice our work, skills, understanding—nothing will ever be good enough. We get trapped in revision and reevaluation with a tendency to never put anything out because we are afraid that we aren’t good enough—whatever that means. It’s a lie.

This fear isn’t healthy. When we enter into our first job as working adults, we don’t know it all. We learn openly and make mistakes openly. Sometimes, those mistakes affect the world, sometimes they affect no one. But we learn publicly and become better for it. This is our refrigerator and our successes and failures are on display. If we are humble, we become better for it.

If this feels hard to you, I get it, you are not alone. Check out last week’s post: Practice Leads to Mastery.

Create. Be happy today with the art you make and share it. Then, aim to create something better tomorrow.

 


Storyteller:

Keeping with my hypothesis that in sharing we will grow: Here is another (I have shared this one before, but I am going through a compilation of stories called, “Consider the Ravens”) short “story”:

Hunter Child

The day grew long as the hunter came upon his prey: the last dragon of the valley.

He made taut his string and nocked the arrow. Everyone believed this thing should be killed and in doing so they would rid the valley of evil forever.

The hunter paused.

With the last dragon gone who would they blame if evil persisted?

The dragon woke.
The arrow flew.

A deadly stroke
The hunter knew.

photo by Raynna Myers

 


Personal Update:

As I said above, here’s more info on the commissions I am opening up, due to a reorg and a miscommunication between my last employer and the recruiter, I was working for, I have found myself without a job a month earlier than expected. As I  look for my next steps I am thankful to have freelance and I am opening up commissions in this in-between.


Here is what you will get:
An 8×10 watercolor on watercolor paper (cold press 140lb)
Your choice of:

  • Woodland Wanderers (any scene of one or more characters in a woodland setting)
  • Homemade Heroes (you send a photo of your child in their homemade hero outfit and I will capture their essence, not portrait. I will email you for a photo.)
  • An all-age character of your choosing (this could be a superhero, a film character, etc. will email you regarding which character)

Each painting will be bagged, protected, and shipped as soon as it’s complete.
If you follow my any of my networks, you will see process shots of the project (ex. I am currently working on the one above.)

All of this will only cost $100 for Woodland Wanderers and $75 for Homemade Heroes & Character of your choice, shipping, in the USA, is included.
It would be great to get 5 commissions. Thank you everyone for your support!
I have set up a commission spot on my store and it is available immediately.

 


Even if you choose not to share widely, share with someone. Don’t let your voice and eyes be the only ones who see your work.

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

Jay

P.S. As I mentioned before, Raynna and I have been concocting something that we’re hoping to announce soon. Thanks for being here everyone!

Also, get the free one page PDF: Fourteen 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.
image

 

Want a free downloadable encouragement tool? Fill out the info below and get a link for a free download of a one page PDF to keep you inspired:

* indicates required



Email Format


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.

Practice leads to Mastery: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

June 5, 2017By jayart, Blog, children's books, Children's tales, Encouragement, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, Recommended Tools, story, Writing

Hey there. I hope your week is off to a great start. Below you will find encouragement, a story, art, and a personal update.

Everyone knows the unreasonable phrase: practice makes perfect. I call it unreasonable—because it is untrue. Practice creates passion, it leads to betterment, it grows mastery, but it never, ever, makes perfect. Perfection as we know it is a lie.

I’m sure you’ve heard the fingernails-on-chalkboard-scratching-question/comment: “How did you get so good? I bet you were born with it.” (or some form of these misguided ideas—they normally run in pairs). It’s true some people were born with a certain inclination to see, hear, understand, or remember things that makes it easier (I’m thinking about the Mozarts of the world), but none were born with the skills to do their inclination masterfully (draw, maths, write, sing, account, etc) without practice. Practice just simply means doing it.

Each of us must practice within our chosen fields. Yes, we might have inclinations toward science, coding, managing, whatever, but without the passion that it takes to apply ourselves these skills will languish and will never develop.

Practice makes better and passionate practice leads to mastery. The opposite of this is also true: never better and never masterful.
Practice often. But most important: create, then be happy, and create more. This will lead you toward a life of humble growth and enjoyment in your work. If you hate what you do, if you disparage it, if you slander your work, then you can’t be happy with it—even if it is masterful. You will never know it. Practice, Be Happy, Practice more—you’ll grow.


Storyteller:

Keeping with my suggestion that you share to grow. I will be adding a short “story” (in various forms of drafts) to each of my new posts. I would love to hear what you think.


Warning

The giants were forming their battle lines,
A lone warrior stepped out to meet them.
Stepped out to defeat them,
“I warn you. You shall not survive today.
I warn you. I warn: Flee stinking giants, flee in dismay.
I will confound you—astound you.
Step off you miserable beasts.
You face defeat.
I warn you.”

photo by Raynna Myers

 

 


Personal Update:

Last week I had a surprise waiting for me in the morning. My contract job ended. I hadn’t done anything wrong, there was a miscommunication between my contract agent and my work. So, I have found myself without a job a month earlier than expected.

In this in-between while I look for my next steps I am opening up commissions.
Here is what you will get:
An 8×10 watercolor on watercolor paper (cold press 140lb)
Your choice of:

  • Woodland Wanderers (seen above)
  • Homemade Heroes (you send a photo of your child in their homemade hero outfit and I will capture their essence, not portrait. I will email you for a photo.)
  • An all-age character of your choosing (I will email you regarding which character)

Each painting will be bagged, protected, and shipped as soon as it’s complete.
If you follow my any of my networks, you will see process shots of the project.

All of this will only cost $100 for Woodland Wanderers and $75 for Homemade Heroes & Character of your choice, shipping, in the USA, is included.
I need 10 or more commissions.
I have set up a commission spot on my store and it is available immediately.

 


Don’t fear practice. No matter how something looks keep creating.

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

Jay

P.S. As I mentioned before, Raynna and I have been concocting something that we’re hoping to announce soon, if you like free encouragement. Thanks for being here everyone!

Also, get the free one page PDF: Fourteen 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.
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


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.

On Growing Up: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

July 22, 2016By jayart, Blog, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, review, story, technology, Writing

Hey guys!

Welcome to Friday, I hope you’ve had a good week.

My personal journey of “who I want to be when I grow up” is all over the place. As a child I wanted to be an artist—like my big brother (Well, that was after a policeman, fireman, clown, and several other things—but when I grew a little more serious at the age of 4 or 5 it was definitely an artist.). That said, I failed art in high school and never got a degree in art. In fact, my area of study, on the surface, may even appear to be on the other end of the spectrum from art. I studied Jewish history/religion and Hebrew—one of the most infinitely creative things I’ve ever done.

Oh yeah, and there was that time I was a school bus driver, worked in advertising, gave up on drawing, designed and developed Flash (yuck) websites, worked as a speaker/teacher, launched my own endeavors, worked as a youth pastor, and spent over a decade in the field of User Experience Design.

From the outside looking in I may look scatter-brained, truth be told, from the inside looking out, it has felt like it too. But story and art have always been the string I can follow clearly throughout. I have found truth through them, on a personal level, in leading my family, and in a broader more sweeping sense. With G.K. Chesterton I must agree, “The Ethics of Elfland” where he stated;

“My first and last philosophy, that which I believe in with unbroken certainty, I learnt in the nursery…The things I believed most then, the things I believe most now, are the things called fairy tales.”

There are times, I question where all this is heading, but mostly, I am trying to listen to the conversation my son and I keep having: stay diligent in the small things and keep our eyes tuned to wonder, not the next big thing.

I feel his pain as he laments, “But, sometimes, I just want to skip the small stuff!”. Some days, I wish I could just wake up incredible, knowing everything about art, and doing it exactly as I want to—without all the practice. You get it. We all do.

Here’s one of my kids dreaming big with his own handmade “jet pack”. Yep, cardboard.

This Week’s Art:

In my western fairytale webcomic, The Adventures of Tomy ‘n’ Jon, the plot thickened:

The-Adventures-of-Tomy-and-Jon_037(Sign up to get it in your inbox, every Wednesday for free, here.)

This story is almost over and then we will take a break. Get caught up, or if you want to have a limited print edition of this, I still have a few.

Fairyland is never far from my mind,

IMG_6600


Better scan to come. 

As a storyteller, I like to say that “sometimes I use words”. This week I was totally stoked to get to play around a lot with words when Scrivener, my favorite writing app, came out for the iPhone! (I don’t get any money for this, but you can tell them I said hi.) I love Scrivener, it’s the best writing/thought organizing app in my book, because:

  1. The learning curve is not huge—but there is one.
  2. The ability to cork board notes (you’ll have to see the site). I don’t know if they were the first to do this or not, but they definitely do it the best.
  3. Organization. I can write a whole story or multiple stories in one project, close it and start another.
  4. Community. If you need to know how to build a dummy book for a picture book—there’s a template that someone somewhere has created.
  5. So many more things.
  6. iPhone app! It’s clean, it works. It syncs. I’m happy with it.

I’ve already been revising some of my unpublished writings, here are two I thought you all might like. So, speaking of fairytales being a string:

String of Things

“The world we see is only one,
One of hundreds of thousands,
Strung together in the lap of the infinite.
You and I are within each world,
Within, we are whomever,
Whomever we’ve wished and feared
we would be.

Do you feel that shudder?
Giants are roaming the country side.
Roaming free. Cage free giants
Are chasing you, not the you here—there.

You, the you reading this,
You never see them.
You only ever feel the shudder.
The shudder as they pass by unseen,
Unseen in our string.

Fairytales are strings.
Strings, that once in a while connect,
Connect by the will of the Almighty.”

— Consider the Ravens*

For those who know my love of all things Bigfoot:

Brandycreek (in modern parlance)

“Brændicręk be their name—the name they knowd theirselves by.
We call ’em Bigfeet, Sasquatch, Yeti, Wild Men, HairyMan,
SkunkApe, and so—all manner unbecoming of their charms.

Shape shifters they be—by day they roam on all fours—that’s when we call them b’ars.

In this way, they’ve hidden theirselves ‘mong us. They be grace-filled creatures full of song but savage when attacked.

And if’n y’ver try to capture one on film they’ll shift ‘fore your eyes and all you’ll ever be get’n is a blurry image.

True story.”

Consider the Ravens*


If you are wondering and working toward what you’re gonna be “when you grow up”, be encouraged that the “small” things are really only small from a very limited perspective. The alternative, of skipping them, is a mess, trust me—I’ve tried.

Being “in process” is a lot like being in a story, that’s a good thing, and a lot more interesting than having everything “figured out”. No matter how “far” we get, there will always be more to learn, to understand, to see. Even if it’s a challenge, appreciate where you’ve come from and where you are today.

“I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller”

—G.K. Chesterton

Have a great weekend everyone, keep creating,

Jay

P.S. 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 if you missed it this week: The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.
image

FOOTNOTE:
*Unreleased compilation of stories, poems, thoughts, and haikus by me.

Why ask Why: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

July 15, 2016By jayart, Blog, children's books, Faerie-tales, Writing

Hey guys,

It’s been a quiet kind of week around here. That disturbing kind that also allows for reflection. The kind of quiet where sense can begin to be made, because there is space for questions to be asked and thoughts room to breathe. 

It’s been awhile.

curiousGiant_sm
Curious Giant, cover of my Color Me book

I chuckled a bit when I read this, this week:

“Nowadays silence is looked on as odd and most of my race has forgotten the beauty of meaning much by saying little. Now tongues work all day by themselves with no help from the mind.” —Toni Morrison

Samurabbit

I’m guilty of this too.

A book I am reading, particularly for my work as a UX Designer, has been good food for thought all the way around recently. Here’s a quote I like,

“If we’re going to sort out the messes around us, we need to ask difficult questions and go deeper than how something looks to determine if it’s good or not.” —Abby Covert, How to Make Sense of Any Mess

We all want to create something epic, be a part of something epic,  just be epic. The hard work of mastering our crafts to get there definitely needs space for asking questions.

Make Me King

One particular question that keeps coming up in conversations at work and home this week is,  “Why?”.

“Understanding the why behind what you’re making allows you to uncover your intent and potential.” —Abby Covert, How to Make Sense of Any Mess

KingIsBorn_sm
King Is Born

Currently, as I write this, it’s about ten o’clock at night, my kids are asleep and I have a neighbor who is cutting up his dining room chairs with a chainsaw. This too begs the question, “Why!?”. Just kidding, he did just rip out his chainsaw, but he’s moving in two days and that explains everything. Right? Well, not really.

In actual seriousness though, this month the significant Elie Wiesel passed on, leaving a very clear “why” behind. He was a teacher and a writer, a creator, whose work I admired. Here’s some of his wisdom to close up this week,

“There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don’t see them.” Elie Wiesel

Cloud Girl

 


Recent Art

For several years now, I’ve been using single sheets of paper for my sketches. This past month, starting a new job, I wanted something easier to carry, so I picked up an old Moleskine sketchbook.

This thing was already about a third complete when I started it. I restarted it the third week of June and completed it this week—that felt great.

So, I picked up another uncompleted one with only about 10 pages finished. I taped them closed and now I’ve been doing a lot of extremely loose head shots. I wasn’t trying to get to the epic hero, but the common one. The one that anyone of us would be if we were to don a cape and cowl.

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Have you taken the #15minartchallenge lately? Encouraging you all to do it has kept me active as well. I definitely filled that sketchbook quicker than I used to. Thanks guys. Keep posting and sharing, it will keep you going too.

Hey, let me know what your “why” is behind your art in the comments? I’d enjoy reading.

Have a great weekend everyone, keep creating,

Jay

P.S. 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 if you missed it this week: The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.
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The 15 Minute Art Challenge: MrJayMyers Week in Review

April 29, 2016By jayart, Blog, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, review, Writing


Little by little does the trick. —Aesop

This week has been awesome. I’ve had a great time working and posting with you guys with the #15minartchallenge. It is quickly taking on a life of its own and that has made me smile big. Great job everyone!

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’ve got a challenge for you. A challenge to make the most out of your sparest of time to do something to grow your skills.

If you find your time to be constrained then use what little you have and join in The 15 Minute Art Challenge.

It’s simple: Time yourself drawing for 15 minutes.

Then stop.

You can add color, but no more “drawing”. Tag #15minartchallenge on your social media accounts. Share and encourage others to join and use their “spare” time to create something.

Trust me, doing so you’ll get: faster and better. It was my main source of drawing for almost five years.

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Constraints concentrates creativity. 

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A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark. —Dante (Alighieri)

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If you add a little to a little and do this often, soon the little will become great.—Hesiod

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The nuts and bolts of how I came up with what to draw this week had everything to do with daily life. My kids and I are totally absorbed in reading The Wingfeather Saga books by Andrew Peterson right now. Inspiration—check! Also, we celebrated two birthdays in our family this week and pulled out a favorite movie in the celebrating, The Hobbit. Oh yeah—I always love to draw bigfoot.

How do you decide what you are drawing?

Keep Creating Everyone. Have a great weekend!

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Jay

 

 

 

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Check out my free western fairytale webcomic if you missed it this week: The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.

Tales, Tools and Changes: MrJayMyers Week in Review

April 15, 2016By jayart, Blog, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, review, story

It’s been a fairy tale kind of week around here. That’s my favorite kind of story, so that’s alright with me. Tomy and Jon’s on-going adventure posted Wednesday.  My kids and I have been reading and re-listening to The Wingfeather Saga and creating as we go.

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I also had the opportunity to paint this Faerie Gathering Dust commission over this past month and finished it up this past week.

This process was a lot of fun, especially being introduced to glow-in-the-dark paint by my kids. It was an amusing surprise for my client.

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I also thought you’d dig this practical and economical find. I am always on the look out for staying mobile with my art supplies, and I know many of you are as well.

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Check it out: The IPOW Canvas Pencil Wrap, 72 Pencil Case Roll Multi-Purpose PouchI’m loving it,  and I love the price too. It’s currently 80% off the list price of $50.98 and selling for only $9.99 at Amazon.

As it’s original intent is for pencils, I ended up modifying mine. I cut a few of the threads to open up the width of some of the elastic. It took me less than five minutes to customize just the way I need it. Fold, roll and go.

If this looks like a good fit for you or an artist in your life, you can see more about it HEREand at no extra cost to you, clicking my link will also benefit my family, so THANK YOU!


If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
-Albert Einstein

Here’s my imagining of Pete the Sock Man, from aforementioned family read aloud: The Wingfeather Saga: —our family laughs pretty hard over these books.

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You can see more art from this week on my instagram account.


Change is Good?

The change in frequency of posts recently has a purpose.

Rather than send all my art that posts to social media, I’m sending fewer and more personal updates along with thoughts/ideas I hope will be resourceful and encouraging to you in your own creative journey.

What do you think of the change? What kind of things would you like to hear or see from me here?

Keep creating, and have a great weekend,

Jay

P.S. 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.

The First Ten Thousand Drawings…

April 8, 2016By jayart, Blog, Faerie-tales, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Thank you to everyone who supported The Wingfeather Saga animated series Kickstarter Campaign. They met and went beyond the goals. So, a film and much more is happening!

I am thoroughly excited to take part and have the opportunity to illustrate the rooftop capers of The Florid Sword / Shadowblade comic written by Andrew Peterson.

This week I’ve been exploring one of the main characters.

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Also, I recently began sharing an art prompt on Saturday evenings where I am posting a short story idea for any one looking for some outside inspiration for their drawing. It’s been a good time seeing what others come up with. I am picking several to share each week. If you are interested in joining:

  1. Every Saturday I post a prompt,
  2. During the upcoming week you and I draw something based on it and, prior to following Saturday,
  3. We post & tag our work. Tag me @mrjaymyers and also #mjmartprompt (I’ll share several each week)
  1. This week’s prompt: The desert raiders had tamed raptors for hunting. Who knew that they were also great pack mules? Tyran the great was the first known to use the raptors for riding. He was known to traverse a four day’s journey in less than two carrying two camel’s worth of packaging.

     


Here’s one more in my march toward ten thousand from this week:

 

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You can see a video progression of this piece on my instagram account.


 

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Keep creating, pushing toward that first ten thousand, and have a great weekend,

Jay

imageI, Jay Myers, am a husband, father, and storyteller. I write/illustrate short stories, myths, and adventures.

Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook . Follow along with my free western fairy tale webcomic HEREThe Adventures of Tomy and Jon.

Tomy and Jon Weekend Adventure

October 2, 2012By jayFaerie-tales, review, Writing

TOMY & JON
Two weekends ago, I gave both issues of The Adventures of Tomy and Jon, on Amazon, away for free. I had intended to to a post on this blog, but that didn’t happen. So how did that go? and why did I do it?

Here is the report: 613 total books were downloaded. More people downloaded Tomy and Jon in two days, than all of months prior.

The reality is I get zilch, monetarily, from this venture. However, if even 3% (18) of those people return with favorable reviews then that will better my standings in the Children’s Book fairy tale section—of paid ebooks. Yes, I would prefer 10% which is still only 60 people, but seeing as that often isn’t the case 3% would be wonderful.

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