Cultivating Creative Kids: Artist Kindling Letter from MrJayMyers

September 13, 2018By jayart, Blog, children's books, Children's tales, Design, Encouragement, inking, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, Writing

“Invite us. Interrupt us. Be with us.” That’s some of what our kids said when we asked them what we could tell others about involving and coming alongside their own tribe in the creative life.

We have a solid twenty to thirty minute drive to just about everywhere we go, now that we live in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. This gives us a lot of good space for conversation as a family (when Jay and I feel up to facilitating anyways). But this day our conversation took on a life of its own the entire car ride.

Jay and I asked a few questions and they were all over it. All we had to do was ask more questions and listen, and I took some notes to share with you all while Jay drove. More below…

Jay’s recent sketching out ideas for upcoming Florid Sword Comic, based on The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson.

If you are just catching up with us in this space, my husband Jay is on a bit of a writing hiatus, so in the mean time I am essentially interviewing him (or our kids apparently ;) ) and together we are sharing our creative journey to serve and inspire fellow creative souls to not give up and to keep our eyes on the right things to help us all persevere.

We believe community is essential to the process and growth that can come from living the creative life, whether that’s how we are raising our families, setting our tables, writing songs, painting, drawing, writing, etc. Individually, Jay is a storyteller/illustrator and I am a writer/photographer. Together, we’re aiming for our best work to be evident in our crew of six, because they are definitely our most important. So, we thought we’d let you hear from them this week:

In all honestly, it felt like they were all saying the same thing over and over in different ways, but it was fun and insightful to listen close to the differences. It was mostly our teens (we have three right now) and pre-teen who chimed in the most. Here’s what they gave us:

  • “TALK, it’s important to ask if we want to spend some time creating together. Even if it appears like an interruption. Kids are sometimes too afraid or stubborn to ask for what they really want.”
  • “BE WITH US, just give us attention, every kid wants it. Kids like to be with and do what their parents are doing more than you know.”
  • “BE PATIENT, results may not be immediate — teens especially can be stubborn, be available. Just choose a table, or couch, any place without devices and screens and just be with us. Bring your sketchbook or project you are working on. Just your being where we can come be with you feels like an invitation.”
  • “KEEP SHOWING UP, put it on your calendar if you need to. We like to know you’re going to keep coming back.”
  • “GIVE US REAL ART TOOLS. Parents give their toddlers imitation power tools, lawn mowers, etc. try giving teenagers some ‘tools’ you like to use to get creative with too. We still like to try to be like you, we’re just less outward about it sometimes. Initiate.”
  • “Help us CONNECT with others in creative ways, it inspires us and gets the creative juices going.”

We hope listening in to the things the kids said spark some ideas inside of you the way it did us. They make it sound pretty easy and simple, right? It felt like the Nike slogan “Just Do It” became the theme of the night. Of course, the doing is another story. We’re a little ways in now, but still in the experimental stages honestly. Our oldest is seventeen and our youngest is six, but we think it’s going to be a story worth writing.

If you have found it challenging to cultivate and come alongside your kids in creative ways, you are not alone. What have you found most challenging and most effective in these goals? We’d love to hear.

Sketch book page this week.

What We’ve Been Reading:

We have been reading through The Chronicles of Narnia out-loud as a family this year. Before you get a cozy picture of all of us sitting peacefully around the fire, we’ll be the first to remind you that life is real at our house too.

We are currently on Prince Caspian, and our six year old is a little less interested than he was when it was all about Poly and Digory, but I have noticed him experimenting with a British accent more often, and [insert my own British accent] we find that brilliant.

The Full Color Collector’s Edition of The Chronicles of Narnia is currently discounted at 46% off from Amazon.


Storyteller:

Here’s an excerpt from a long-term writing project of Jay’s, a compilation of stories called,
Consider the Ravens :


Float

Writing for children must never sink.
Children are filled with wonder.
Wonder floats.
Writing for children
Must ascend to the heights,
To the heights of those who float
Who float and swim in the infinite.

Jay Myers, Consider the Ravens

 


The Goods:

Newest Bigfoot Tee-shirt design is in the shop!  B.F.F. — Bigfoot Forever

Because we know everyone needs a Back-to-School Bigfoot Tee-shirt (parent’s included):

When you click the link above.

  • Choose design you’d like on your tee. Here’s some examples: one, two, or three below. But MANY more options available, including hoodies for Fall.
  • Choose department: men’s, women’s, children’s, accessories (you can even get a beach towel?!)
  • Choose the style of shirt you want, t-shirt, tank, long-sleeve, tri-blend, scoop neck etc.
  • Choose size

Commissions: Closed for now. Thank you to everyone who ordered! We’re hoping to open up some spots again before end of year. 

Follow any of Jay’s social networks, (MrJayMyers: Twitter , FaceBook , Instagram) or subscribe here to know when.

Recent commission of a knitting Bigfoot. Talk about imaginative!

 


So much gratitude for all of your support! From being a part of our community, to sharing these posts, we seriously appreciate you!

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.

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



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We always want to disclose to you that we do use affiliate links on the products we recommend or share but never at any extra cost to you. Also, we’ll only recommend products we believe in. Thanks for your trust. Our full disclosure policy is here if interested.

 

 

Pulling Up Roots Builds Creativity: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

July 26, 2018By jayart, Blog, Encouragement, giveaway, inking, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, Writing

“Doubt sucks the soul dry, and creativity is a muscle.” That’s what Jay said when I asked him what he had learned this past year since he had last written to you all here.

We thought it might take a month or so to get resettled after our move west. That was a year ago. Sometimes we are a little overly optimistic.

A lot has changed in that year. We now live in Washington State, and Jay works for HP as a Interaction Experience Designer. He never stopped creating but taking the time to write about it has been a different story. So, I’ve decided to help — because I think he is really good at it.

One of my favorites of Jay’s recent sketches, contrasting peacefulness and fierceness.

After he told me that doubt sucks the soul dry, I asked him to tell me more. Wanna listen in? Here’s my notes from our conversation:

This is really an issue of humility verses self-doubt. Doubt makes everything tedious. You lose love and want-to. Whereas, true humility develops perseverance and overcomes the doubts.

Two pitfalls, that at first appear opposite, are actually entirely similar:

  1. The problem of doubting ourselves to the point of paralyzing inaction.
  2. The problem of our identity being wrapped up in being an artist, illustrator, or anything else we do.

Both feed off each other because neither are humble, and both will suck you dry. Your greatest, most satisfying, and fullest potential as a creative soul waits outside the gates of this self-imposed prison — called, “pride”.

Recent sketchbook page

We have been reading through The Chronicles of Narnia out-loud as a family this year. Before you get a cozy picture of all of us sitting peacefully around the fire, we’ll be the first to remind you that life is real at our house too.

Sometimes before we begin reading or midway through there are squabbles and tensions that need to be worked out, etc. But, that’s part of why we pick the books we do, the ones that broaden all of our imaginations, beyond ourselves.

As we talked on about these hard-fought-for lessons concerning self-doubt, we remembered Bree from The Horse and His Boy. Bree had encountered fear and failed in the face of it. Afterward, he felt fit for nothing better than slavery, unworthy of the company of the free horses of Narnia. (Pride in the wrong form kills delight and steals joy.)

Jay’s rendition of Bree and the Hermit of the Southern March

Though he had traveled far already, to get to Narnia, he told his companions it was only right for him to turn back, when the Hermit of the Southern March, “…had approached them unnoticed because his bare feet made so little noise on that sweet, dewy grass.”

“My good Horse, you’ve lost nothing but your self-conceit. No, no, cousin. Don’t put back your ears and shake your mane at me. If you are really so humbled as you sounded a minute ago, you must learn to listen to sense. You’re not quite the great Horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help being that. It doesn’t follow that you’ll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you’re nobody special, you’ll be a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole.”
-The Hermit’s words to Bree in chapter ten of The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

Have you noticed the way self-doubt and warped identity issues come from the same root (being strangled by the work we do, rather than nourished)? We’ve all spent time here, the important thing is to pull up doubt and pride by their roots and in true humility persevere.

What is true humility? It is the heart of a student: a willingness to learn from anyone, anywhere, without thinking everyone is better than you. Remember, creativity is a muscle, exercise it. Don’t give up.


Storyteller:

Here’s an excerpt from a long-term writing project of Jay’s, a compilation of stories called,
Consider the Ravens :


Breath of Wind

When my eyes cracked opened
And I saw all worlds become one
In fear…
I hid my spirit and hid my soul
And hid my form.

It was in this infinite infancy
In this monumental moment
In this tangling of time and space
That I heard the wind
As it breathed out my name.

It flowed down through the valleys
It floated upon the streams
Weaved through the meadows
And danced upon the leaves

My ears caught its words
But my eyes couldn’t see it
For now the wind was hidden.
As it came to dance with me.

The perilous morsel
Was pleasant and true
Though my soul became aghast
And my mind became aflame
And my vision became blurry
As the wind called my name.


The Goods:

Because we know everyone needs a Back-to-School Bigfoot Tee-shirt (parent’s included):

When you click the link above.

  • Choose design you’d like on your tee. Here’s some examples: one, two, or three below.
  • Choose department: men’s, women’s, children’s, accessories (you can even get a beach towel?!)
  • Choose the style of shirt you want, t-shirt, tank, long-sleeve, tri-blend, scoop neck etc.
  • Choose size

Also, Commissions Available For a Limited Time:

A current commission in progress.

Here’s what is possible:
An 8×10 watercolor or inked illustration of a favorite scene or (all-age) character. Think storybook or film character.

It will be signed, protected, and shipped as soon as it’s complete. And when you follow any of Jay’s social networks, (MrJayMyers: Twitter , FaceBook , Instagram) you will see process shots of the project.

Costs: Watercolor: $100 or Ink: $35 See more info here. 

 


Give-Aways!

One of the fun ways Jay has kept himself creating within the constraints of full-time work and full-time family life has been to take on or even give himself challenges. One of those fun challenges every year is Inktober. In 2017 Jay and good friend and fellow artist, Therst, persevered through the entire month by focusing on one theme: Bigfoot!

If you’d like to enter for a give-away of some of Jay’s Big Foot Illustrations, we’ve got TWO going right now until Sunday at noon Pacific Time. Don’t miss out, the odds are in your favor. Here are the links for both: Give-Away One & Give-Away Two

Thank you everyone for your support! From being a part of our community, to sharing these posts, we appreciate you!

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.

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


We always want to disclose to you that we do use affiliate links on the products we recommend or share but never at any extra cost to you. Also, we’ll only recommend products we believe in. Thanks for your trust. Our full disclosure policy is here if interested.

The Full Color Collector’s Edition of The Chronicles of Narnia is currently deeply discounted at 58% off!

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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On Art Challenges: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

September 2, 2016By jayart, Blog, Encouragement, process

Hello all,

I’m running about a week and a half behind on this post, but I hope you’ll find it worth the wait. I won’t spend much time writing as I have a video post for you this week. The focus of this post is challenge.

Image disclaimer the featured image for this post is not the same as the one from the video. I did a second 15minartchallenge drawing later in the day, because I really didn’t like the face of the one from the video. 


On Tools:

This week’s tool is another art challenge. I recently discovered this one introduced by Jake Parker on his Youtube channel. I haven’t done this one yet, but it looks to be a great one that I plan on doing soon. Check out the video and you’ll understand why.


On Questions
dansbycomics asks:
“I was wondering how you got started in art, who your influences were/are, and what tips you would give to an aspiring artist.”

Hi Dansby, (I know that’s not your real name, but I liked responding to you by it. 😄 ) thanks for writing. I decided to answer you on my blog because this way others, who might have the same questions, will be able to read it as well.

How [I] got started in art:
Probably much the same way you did. Very early on I was doodling. I wasn’t totally serious about it until later in life. I’ve read stories about people who were making comics when they were four or five. I don’t remember ever making my own stories until I was 12 or 13. I remember my original dream was to do animation. I never pursued that. I didn’t want the debt. I remember later becoming very enamored with comics and picture books. I still am.

I did professional commercial illustration for several years and eventually gave it up. I became a web designer, Flash designer/developer, User Experience (UX) consultant, and a UX designer. About 10 years after quitting illustration, I bought some brush pens and sketchbooks and began teaching myself all over again. Six years later, I feel like I have a better understanding of art and am working on finding an agent so I can tell my stories.

Who your influences were/are:
My first inspiration was my older brother. Later it was Schulz, Sienkiewicz, Edlund, Waterson, then Kieth, Jae Lee, and Wiley.

The first time I remember really connecting with comics was Sienkiewicz’s New Mutants. That floored me. I didn’t want to be a traditional comic artist. Bill showed me I didn’t have to be. Later, I was inspired by The Tick and TNMT (specifically Michael Zulli’s take) basically put these together with Waterson, and Keith and you have my primary inspiration list. Nowadays, there are people like Parker, Archer, Galloway, Brown, and about 400 more amazing artists on my IG feed who amaze me on a daily basis.

What tips you would give to an aspiring artist:
Draw. Draw everywhere. Draw all the time. Draw everything. That’s number one.

Two: No one else will help you become good. You won’t just wake up one day and be good. You have to make yourself become good.

Also, remember, we have, no matter how good that “we” is, all been at the beginning. We have all come through the hobbyist phase and grown into the artist phase. We have all had our paths that look successful or not. No one was born good. It’s a fight for everyone—some just forget they were beginners so you will run into jerks—don’t let them dissuade you.

Three: be fearless. Don’t treasure your style or your current skill. Be thankful for them, honor them, but don’t treasure them or you’ll never grow.

And lastly, don’t be afraid to learn from others. Seeing how they draw, redrawing their work, tracing, etc isn’t bad. Just figure out what they are doing so you can build your art your way—not their way. Learn and they will help you understand art better. (One of the ways I do this is to IG surf and sketch gestures based on what other artists have drawn. I use those gestures to help expand my visual database.)

I hope this was helpful.


One Last Thing:
I was recently reviewed and thought that it was an extremely graceful review of my storytelling and artistic abilities. Plus, I was reviewed along side two other VERY talented artists. Check it out: http://computerpaperproject.weebly.com/blog/article-15-3-artists-you-need-to-follow

Alright guys, have a great week and keep creating.
Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

 

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: The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.
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Drawn from Life: MrJayMyers Posts in Review

August 5, 2016By jayart, Blog, Design, Encouragement, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Sometimes we build so much we need to stop and remember what is behind us. This post is a refresher, drawing from a few key posts that maybe you’ve missed or might encourage you where you are right now:


If you relate to this: Need a tool to help you grow your skills in your busy life? 15 minutes is a load of time when your time is crunched. Whether you’re like me and have a family, full-time (non-art) job, responsibilities, etc., or you have your own puzzle to make work— sometimes for all of us, it can feel like there isn’t enough time to work on growing our skills. Sometimes, it can feel like we’ll never hit our goals. If that’s the case for you, check out the 15 minart challenge. It’s a challenge that will help you grow.

Check It Out: #15MinArtChallenge


If constraints feel bad, know this—they can lead to great results. Find that sweet spot to get stronger in your skills.

I still like how Jake said it,
“Creativity thrives on constraint.” — Jake Parker

Read: Find Your Creative Sweet Spot & Tools to Help: MrJayMyers Week in Review


Need Encouragement to: Grow your skills? Forge through? Give yourself some rest time, but mostly push those skills till it hurts?

Drawing is like working out. You have to build the art and creativity muscles. But, don’t overdo it. Rest is as important as working out. Balance the workout and rest. Here’s a key: while you’re doing it, if you run into a dry spell—focus on growing your skills, not waiting for inspiration.

Read More Here: MrJayMyers’ Lost Month in Review


Life truly is like a box of chocolates: there are some tasty times and some not so tasty. But, if we are going to get where we want to go we need to stay the course.

I’ve worked at all kinds of places. I’ve even given up drawing—for 10 years. So, don’t freak when you find yourself where you don’t want to be. Use it.

READ: On Growing Up: A MrJayMyers Week in Review


And just last week, this is what I wanted to pass on: you are your best and most important asset.

Don’t give up being you as you pursue learning from other artists. Figure out how you draw, by drawing often and by letting yourself out of the bag. Sometimes, “my stuff isn’t good enough, but that artist over there is” bug hits and it seems better to be like someone else. They are being them. You be you.

READ it here: On Being You: A MrJayMyers Week in Review


Recent Art:
Some of you might recognize this guy. I had to draw him with a Florid pencil. Initial sketch and color using my Winsor & Newton travel set.

IMG_6655

Process 1

IMG_6657

Process 2

IMG_6659

Process 3

IMG_6666

Process 4

IMG_6668

And here is the final scan. (The color differences are based on yellow light vs white light. Even the scan isn’t exact, but it’s close.)

FloridSwordFinal_sm


Two 15MinartChallenge drawings:

IMG_6673

(Side note: I tried coloring her and let’s just say, I’m glad I took this photo first.)

IMG_6685

Michelangelo was always my favorite.

Art Tip: See all those multiple lines right next to each other? They were done with a pentel brush pen that I modified. Mod your travel brushes, it’ll help.


This Week’s Recommended Tool:
Also a review from a past week, but sharing again along with some helpful info below if you got them:

Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen – Extra Fine : Permanent less likely to bleed with was over the top.

Pentel Fude Brush Pen, Extra Fine : Works well with ink wash.

Pentel Fude Brush Pen, Medium : Good for large area and for larger art/line needs.
IMG_4813

All of these I have modified. The cartridge is replaceable, but it is also refillable and that’s awesome. Check out the mods below. One more thing, these pens are squeezable, which means you have to control the flow of ink.

When I first got mine (years ago) I didn’t understand that and I got frustrated with them. But, the beauty is that not only can you squeeze ink in, you can withhold it and have really nice dry brush effects.

Remember, if you choose to buy these through the links above you are helping my family out and I truly appreciate that.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset


Current Good Read:
I’m still making my way through last week’s book: Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days . Highlighting as I go.


Thanks for being great readers and for all your feedback, as I learn how I can help you on your art paths as well. I’ve got some ideas I’m excited to share with you all soon.

Also, I’d love to hear what would you like to see me share here? or if you have any questions I could address?

Alright guys, have a great weekend and keep creating. Here’s some words that hit the mark, to carry with you:

“Illustrators are word people who happen to draw. We work with one foot in a book, the other stuck in a paint pot. Our shoes are a disgrace.” —Wallace Tripp

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 the finale of chapter one this week: The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.
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The Bigger Picture: A MrJayMyers Two Weeks in Review

May 13, 2016By jayart, Blog, humor, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hey Everyone,

The last two weeks have been an intense challenge. You have seriously been inspiring me with your #15minartchallenge participation. Keep up the great work!

Last week my family and I made a huge decision. We are going west! Well, more west than we are currently east. By the end of this month we will have moved eight people and all their belongings 350 miles away from their current geographical position. Crazy.

All that to say, the last two weeks, the rubber met the road. I definitely met resistance. Is 15 minutes of creativity worth the effort when you are dog tired? YES.

I struggled with drawing this week, but the years of working fifteen minutes at a time has paid off. Here’s a recent piece I didn’t show on any social media.

Tomy & Jon from my western fairytale webcomic. 

 

Tribute to Mike Kunkel’s Herobear

Is using the sparest of your spare time a worthy endeavor? It really is, but not because it always works out perfectly. It’s worth it because it’s more than about that one drawing we are working on at the time. It’s about a shift in our thinking. It’s a shift that says, in 15 minutes or even less, I can and get to do something meaningful.

This exercise molds our habits and our priorities into pursuers of purpose, and trains us to be less wasteful of the time we have.

Concept Sketch of Artham Wingfeather from Andrew Peterson’s The Wingfeather Saga

Recently, for me, 15 minutes was hard to find without falling asleep first. Then when I tried, I was unsatisfied with most of what came out. Some of the times I realized, OK, I tried and now I really do need to fall asleep. Other times, I decided to stick with it awhile longer. Both were good when seen through the lens of the bigger picture.

What’s the bigger picture? Training our habits and mindsets through discipline and perseverance, a little bit at a time. So much to gain.

 

SnoopyWereHome
Limited Edition Signed Prints Available Here of Star Wars/Peanuts Mashup. Thanks Mr. Lucas & Mr. Schulz!

I love these words:

“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

Great job again everyone. I am encouraged by you. Check out the #15minartchallenge tag on Instagram and be encouraged by each other, feel the momentum, and create on.

IMG_5973

By the way, for those of you who still have any questions about the #15minartchallenge, I am creating a FAQ page. If you have questions or answers you think need better clarifying, please hit me up with your input here because you are probably not the only one wondering. So, if you ask and bring it to my attention, it will help me bring clarity for everyone. Thanks in advance!

Also, here’s this week’s Adventures of Tomy and Jon free western fairytale webcomic strip: Subscribe to join the adventure here and have it come to your inbox.

The-Adventures-of-Tomy-and-Jon_028

(Click image to enlarge.)

Have a great weekend & Keep Creating!

Jay

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.

Find Your Creative Sweet Spot & Tools to Help: MrJayMyers Week in Review

April 22, 2016By jayart, Blog, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,, review, Writing

It’s been a time constrained week around here, more than usualI used to think that was negative and even a legit reason not to make or meet creative goals. Now I think differently.

I like how Jake said it,

“Creativity thrives on constraint.” — Jake Parker

With a full-time (non-illustrating) job and a family of seven (besides me) this has been a necessary and significant shift in perspective. Instead of using my constraints as excuses, I now see them as strengths.


Tomy and Jon’s on-going adventure heated up on Wednesday. I worked for months ahead before I ever launched my webcomic so I didn’t work on it this week. It posts on a schedule now.

This is my best example to date of choosing a personal project (as far as art goes) and sticking with it. It’s really helped me grow my skills and put myself out there, and definitely within constraints. I can’t recommend this enough.

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If you do not have natural constraints there are things you can do to enforce some on yourself. Even with natural ones, this helps.

The main limitation I put on myself is choosing to work in 5, 10, or 15 minute time allotments. Set a timer if you need to—I used my phone’s.

How to Find Your Creative Sweet Spot:
Find the most effective constraint for yourself by asking yourself what you believe is your biggest limitation. Then begin the process of choosing to believe it could actually be exactly what you need.

After several years of working in this way, I doubted that I’d have much art to show for between 75 hours of non-illustration work on my plate this week.  I was wrong. It proves to me again how true it is, creativity really does thrive on constraint.

Here’s my week in review:

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(This doesn’t even count the nights I was just worn down and sketched a bunch of stuff that never saw the light of day.)


Not having my own studio has been another hidden aid that has worked to help me stay mobile and make due with space limits. I gather many of you are in the same position.  So here’s a trick for the trade: modified brush pens.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Instead of an elaborate set up, I use six Pentel Fude Brushpens that I modify with scissors or needle nose pliers.

You can get them with a medium or extra fine point. Find out more by clicking the highlighted words. If you decide it’s a good fit for you (or gift for another artist in your life) at no extra cost to you, it will also benefit my family, so THANK YOU!

If you’ve already got some, or after your new ones arrive, here’s a 15 second video to show you how I modify mine.

Huge thanks to everyone who purchased through my link last week on The IPOW Canvas Pencil Wrap. I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.

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The IPOW Canvas Pencil Wrap

 


With all this talk about constraint and limitation, rest has a place in this too. My family and I skipped some stones over the weekend. Photo by my wife, Raynna.

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How have you found working within limits helps you? Care to share any examples or tips below? I’d love to hear.

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.

Concept story art

December 22, 2015By jayBlog


Concept story art "The Giant" # http://rndm.us/jms # #
Concept story art “The Giant” # http://rndm.us/jms # # #usa #drawordie #drawventure #drawdaily #kidlitart #comics #childrensillustration #childrensbook #comic #story #children #allage #scbwi #childrenstory #artist #artistofinstagram #artistoninstagram #art #mrjaymyers #pentel #pentelsecrets #modmypentel #staedtlermars #readaloud #readaloudrevival

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Upon Raven Back

December 16, 2015By jayBlog


Upon Raven Back In the beginning, God created everything upon the back of the Raven. Its feathers were contained all the colors that God could imagine and it shimmered in the sun. Every creature lived within the safety of its wings and they lived and they built there. They had peace as the breath of God would flow between the Raven’s wings as it carried out its charge with dignity and joy. (From a short creation myth) # Today is Webcomic Wednesday! 2pm EST # http://rndm.us/tj # #
Upon Raven Back In the beginning, God created everything upon the back of the Raven. Its feathers were contained all the colors that God could imagine and it shimmered in the sun. Every creature lived within the safety of its wings and they lived and they built there. They had peace as the breath of God would flow between the Raven’s wings as it carried out its charge with dignity and joy. (From a short creation myth) # Today is Webcomic Wednesday! 2pm EST # http://rndm.us/tj # # #usa #drawordie #drawventure #drawdaily #kidlitart #comics #childrensillustration #webcomic #childrensbook #comic #story #children #allage #scbwi #childrenstory #artist #artistofinstagram #artistoninstagram #art #mrjaymyers #pentel #pentelsecrets #modmypentel #readaloud #readaloudrevival #western #fairytale #myths #creation

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