Endure: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

November 23, 2018By jayart, Blog, Children's tales, Encouragement, News, story, Writing

Hello All,

It’s been a busy time at Jay’s full-time job at HP, working on the Sprocket app that he was hired to redesign. The portable printer that the app works with was released in October. Everyday has been saturated with the goal of updating it to a new look and feel. This has taken a lot of his focus.

BUT, that’s not all we’ve been up to. See some of his and our kid’s most recent art below as well as our newest product: Yeti ‘Nother 2019 Calendar.

A lot of honest conversations lately that he is not hesitant to bring you in on. In all the busy he’s been fighting with art along the way, trying to understand his continued purpose. Some days have been easier than others, many days have been difficult. 

It’s also been a busy time around our home. All of our kids just participated in their own local art fair. It’s been neat watching them develop their own creativity and we’re so excited the way they are bringing their best.

What we have been learning through all of this is: endurance. Endurance is hard. We’re thankful for this Thanksgiving and the opportunity to have a few days for the mental break and time to relax as a family. We hope you all are getting the same. Remember, the highs and lulls of the creative life are real for all of us. Keep going.

Currently Jay is working on sequentials, which is how the panels in a comic are laid out, how you tell a story using panels to create a flow that leads a reader easily through a story. It is the design, the shape of boxes, all of it. One thing he’s come to recognize over time is that all of his energy does not need to go into drawing but also researching, studying, soaking up the creative juices of other artists who excel at what he’s working at.

Art by Sergio Toppi

Lately he has been relying heavily on Toppi and Sienkiewicz. Also, different but so much inspiration, listening to The Silmarillion.

After finishing his all-pencil sketchbook last month he’s been focusing on more watercolors again. What are you working on lately? It has been helping Jay to pick out a theme/goal for a month or so at at time.

Storyteller:

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

Beasts

Hoomanz were afeard ah dem
Dragos not do eats em
Not never wasn’t she feard ah dem
She herd em upup on er fawm
Wit all de an-mals der
She herd dem on er fawm an
Led em rest der ’eads

Den dey’d gront er peez
an gold an uder fancyfull stuffs.

Jay Myers, Consider the Ravens


The Goods:

Get a Year’s Worth of New Art on Your Walls: MrJayMyers’ Yeti ‘Nother 2019 Calendar

We’re really excited to finally get to offer Jay’s Sasquatch collection as a calendar! This has been a long-term project that feels great to release. You can get yours here.


Thank you for catching up with us! We hope you feel encouraged to keep going. Write us and let us know what you want to hear more about. Create, be happy, create more,

Have a great weekend everyone,

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

image

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

On Studying: Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

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

Hey all, welcome to a new week!

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

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

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

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

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


Recent Art:

 

 


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

Jay

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

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

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

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

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


On Purposefulness: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

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

Hey Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


RECENT ART:

 


RECOMMENDED TOOL:

Luxury Brands Noodlers Ahab Fountain Pen

31j7fcqfsvl

 

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


RECENT GOOD READ:

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

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

What have you found helpful for finding and keeping purpose? Let me know in the comments.
Have a great week and keep creating,

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

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

 

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

* indicates required



Email Format


On A Giveaway: A MrJayMyers Week

October 15, 2016By jayart, Blog, children's books, Encouragement, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hey Everyone,

I’m excited to do a giveaway this week (more on that below). I thank each of you for joining me here on my blog, as I grow as an artist and hope to help you grow too. One of the biggest “helps” I have to offer is my own learning through failure.

Failure as a man, as an artist, and every other area—is where I have had the chance to grow most. It’s the same for all of us. These are the places in life where we are finally humble enough to learn. I’ve had more than a few of those opportunities.

If we listen closely we’ll hear it all around us: leaders telling us how their lowest points were the best thing that ever happened to them. It’s a reality. It’s one we can all experience, and we need to because we all have something to offer.

“Everyone is an expert at something. The problem is that we are unaware of it—or take it for granted. The key is to discover it and step into it. What is your expertise? You aren’t doing the world any favors by minimizing your expertise or trying to deny it.           -Michael Hyatt

I’m not only surprised and honored to have you follow along with my journey here or my other social media outlets, I think of it as a privilege to get to share out of my own failures and successes. Those are the kind of people I learn most from and care to follow myself.

No one is perfect and we’re only hurting ourselves and others when we put them on pedestals, because it’s not true. The truth is we’re all in a process, learning and gaining inspiration from others can sharpen and strengthen us unequivocally.

Steven Bentley asked me the other day “where I get some of my inspiration from”. This is a question I’d like to revisit regularly. Thank you, Steven. Today, I’d like to honor my friend Jake Parker. Especially because he’s just recently released a new book, Little Bot and Sparrow, that my kids have been loving. (See more below.)

I first stumbled onto Jake’s work in 2010. That was the year I decided to return to illustration (after an almost ten year hiatus)—in order to tell my own tales. In my stumbling, I discovered Inktober and a whole host of awesomeness through Instagram. I became inspired.

I was most inspired by Jake’s ability to seemingly draw anything. So, I followed him and have since—studying his use of figure, composition, and so much more.

I don’t recall when or where I first saw the story of Little Bot and Sparrow. It may have been in Antler Boy it may have been in one of Jake’s Drawings books. No matter where it was, I was instantly captivated by the story.

Jake has done what he does best and drawn this tale with warmth and technical skills that will pique your imagination and inspire you to try your own hand at stories—oh and your kids will love it too. :)

Little Bot and Sparrow
By Jake Parker

The Giveaway

Win a copy of Jake’s book (unsigned) as well as an original fan art of Little Bot and Sparrow (by me) that will be shipped out with the book simply by being a subscriber to my blog. Not subscribed yet? Hurry! :) Winner will be announced in the next post.

 

img_7241

All current email subscribers are entered already. Huge thanks for being here and thanks sharing my posts on your networks or with other artists that you know/think might be interested in the posts and subjects here!

For those who are new: I’m glad you found me, I know there’s a lot of voices out there, just sign up for the newsletter and you will be entered to win!

Enter to win here:

(This form subscribes you to my email newsletter as well as enters you for a chance to win.)

* indicates required



Email Format


And as always—keep creating.

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

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

Grow on Purpose: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

September 12, 2016By jayart, Blog

Hey guys!

Welcome to Monday, I hope you had a refreshing weekend.

For me the break from the work week brought some needed rest and with it, renewed creativity. Last week was a hard one as far as drawing goes. Every time I go through one more day or week like that, I don’t like it, but there’s always something to gain from it.

Change and growth is on my mind a lot these days. We can change, it’s just really difficult to do—and takes time. We have to plan the changes we want to make. The plan does not have to be elaborate—but should be specific. The plan should more often, consist of what we need to remove than what we intend to add.

Decision is the stripping away of things less important: Do I get my style just right/perfected or go for finished and as good as I can get it now? If you decide on style, then finished isn’t most important. Either way you grow. But, deciding on finished allows you to have something to share with the world and have growth.

I’m still growing in my ability to plan (just ask my family), but it’s helpful to be at this long enough now to be able to look back and see changes, I aimed for, have taken root.

Question:

This week @Tylerhallstrom  asked me about seeing improvements from year to year:

Hey Tyler,  thanks for asking. Here’s my process/plan: for each period of time I want to focus on growing my skills, i.e. this year, the next six months, this month, etc. I define what I want to work on specifically.  Here’s what I mean,

This year, my goal = clean up my lines (simple plan, definable outcome).

The reason to be specific is to enable us to have an intentional “metric” to judge our progress by. If we make specific goals then we have those specific characteristics to look at in our art.  The question of whether I’ve progressed or not is not left to my subjective mood or opinion but rather an objective measuring of progress in specific areas. Make sense?

So, like I said, I wanted to be able to draw with cleaner lines when I wanted to. I’ve been studying other artists with clean lines in order to learn from them, so that I could bring more clarity to my drawing. I’ve accomplished that to a large degree, (along the way, I played with how far I could take my lines to be rough, as well as how simple I could get them) now I’m in a process of bringing what I’ve gained back into my own style.

This works for me. I gauge my progress this way. I studied color for a year, and once that time had passed, I compared how I colored the year before to how I am coloring now. I focused on perspective for a set time, and then compared my use of perspective from the prior year compared to the present.  The same with storytelling, inking, etc.

Throughout the process, I also consider and keep at the forefront my purpose for my goal. I shared in this post that I realized a lot of the reason behind my unclean lines was more about a lack of confidence than it was a style I 100% wanted. (Now, I LOVE rough lines over precise ones, but there is a difference between control and lack.) If you’re not sure about your purpose just give yourself some space to be quiet and ask yourself why, then ask why to your answer until you get to what you know is your bottom line “why”.

I hope that adds to your arsenal of growing and making the changes you want to make, on purpose. This really is within each of our grasp. It’s hard at times, but the payoff is worth it.


Recent Art:

 


One More Thing:

To wrap up, here’s a couple more thoughts, I’ve got words for this week. They may not all seem connected, in some ways they aren’t, but each one speaks to making decisions. Maybe they’ll hit home for you too?

*Trying other artist’s tools is a good thing, but being honest with yourself about what works best for you is a crucial part of that process.

*I like watercolor, a lot. I’m not great at it yet, but I think it will remain a primary tool.

*Art drops can be disheartening, but it’s still a good idea.  About 90% of the time I haven’t heard back from recipients, it stays in the back of my mind wondering if the wind blew it away or if someone found it and saw no worth and trashed it, etc. It’s still a good idea because it allows you to put yourself out there and get used to not having feedback—but still feeling good with what you do.

*You gotta have hope to draw well. Without it, you create a cycle of pain. e.g., Pain: this is terrible. I can’t draw. I might as well give up. Hope: this is terrible, I’m going to get this—keep pushing forward.

*Inktober is coming. Gotta decide if I am going to do it.

How do you guys measure your progress from year to year? I’d love to hear what works for you.
Alright guys, have a great weekend and keep creating.

Jay

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .

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

 

 

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.
image

On Process: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

August 12, 2016By jayart, Blog, Encouragement, process

Hey everyone,

Here is a process for an illustration I did recently. The original vision I had for this piece didn’t pan out the way I wanted. Here is what I wrote in my Instagram post when I posted the final:

This isn’t what I saw in my head. I almost scrapped it last night, but I pushed forward. Sometimes you have to throw it away and start over, sometimes you just need to push it a bit and test yourself. I chose to push.

I’m glad I did. It still isn’t what I wanted, but I have grown through it. I gained understanding about why this didn’t work. I was afraid. I allowed fear to create too much caution about how I mixed the colors and allowed them to blend. Overall, I am very happy with this take on Ant-Man.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Step one:

I first began by doodling and looking up different Ant-Man designs. This was a third or forth attempt at sketching him and by this point I felt I knew him well enough to really do my own take on him.

IMG_6744

Step Two:

Initial sketch and composition. I roughed out a few more sketches in my gestures thinking about the character and his attitude. He isn’t dark like Batman nor regal like Superman. He’s much more, bug references aside, like Spider-Man. So, I captured this gesture and then sketched it larger and began designing.

IMG_6766

Step Three:

Clean up the initial sketch and design.

IMG_6772

Step Four:

After taping the edges, I wet the page around the figure and started putting in the background color.

IMG_6749

Close-up

IMG_6771

Step Five:

Initial color for the figure. I knew I wanted to have an underlying red all over the character. I also, I began laying down the shadow areas at this stage.

IMG_6765

Step Six:

At this point, I was still very happy with how it was working out. This was the point I became nervous about what I was doing. I started laying in a red/blue that wasn’t totally mixed into a purple.

IMG_6769

Step Seven:

This was the stage I almost stopped on. I wanted the dark areas to be a warm grey-more tinted red. However, my watercolors don’t have a black and I tried using an ink wash brush I have to make that and it didn’t mix well.

IMG_6768

Step Eight:

I let it dry and began darkening the shadow areas better and started pulling out the reds more. I used color pencil to define the reds and add them to the grey areas. I then used my white pen with a brush and defined some small highlights. I then added direct whites and used my modded Pentel to add some texture. I still wasn’t satisfied with the shadows—so, I had just heard about a trick from Jake Parker about using purple to add texture and depth to the shadows. This was a last ditch effort to really like it and it paid off.

 

IMG_6761


Thanks for being great readers I hope you all have a great weekend.

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

 

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.
image

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.
image

On Being You: A MrJayMyers Week in Review

July 29, 2016By jayart, Blog, children's books, Design, Encouragement, review, story, Writing

Hey guys,

Welcome to Friday! It’s been a week of discovery around here. I’ve discovered something about myself the last several weeks that I finally have words for. Maybe you’ll relate:

For awhile now I have been hiding too much of myself. Specifically with my art, I’ve hidden beneath splatters and grunge inks. Lately, has been different in that I have been finding joy in drawing and not caring if Sienkiewicz, Parker, Brown, Waterson, et al would do it that way. I’ve just been drawing.

I’ve been drawing and letting Superman look weak, Batman look old and unattractive, Spiderman look spindly, and generally just delighting in art as it comes out of “me”.

Each of us has a story. We each have a tale that we express through our art. But sometimes, somewhere, we can often lose track of our own tale and begin to tell someone else’s. That happens when, whether from admiration or insecurities, we begin to let their style overshadow how we draw, color, write, etc.

Each of us needs to find that “you” we were created to be. That certain expression that isn’t being bound into someone else’s way, but still learns from others. You have that. You have a uniqueness that unleashed will make what you are doing delightful and inspiring.

Find that You and hold onto it. Don’t let it go, but do make it grow. This isn’t a one time static “moment”. If we look at it that way then years could pass without any real changes/ progress. Your true “you” needs to expand and become better. It needs to be challenged to do things better, but it must never let go of its own story.

The goal of an artist is story. Some people disagree with this notion, and believe that the artist’s goal is expression. However, expression is itself story. When we look at an artist’s work, of splashes and dots, and we are inspired to read into the work, that artist has been the vehicle for story.

Find you and help that tale grow from a three word tale into an epic. How? Books are written on this, and to say what I believe may sound over simplistic, but it has been my path: let go, just be you, one step at a time.

One of my personal steps is wrapping up this next week: The Adventures of Tomy ‘n’ Jon. This has been a great experience, I really appreciate those of you who have joined me thus far! There’s a few physical copies left if you want to grab one.


Recent Art:









This Week’s Recommended Tool:

When I considered a tool I could recommend to you all this week, the one that came to mind is my travel water color set. This is specifically because I’ve been using it a lot lately, and I love it. The fourth, sixth and seventh images above were all painted with my Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Field Box —a treasured gift my wife gave me several years ago.

I hesitated, on one hand, to recommend it because it is a more costly tool than I usually bring up, so head’s up on that. But, if you love water color, love to be mobile, and can afford it or want to give a VERY special and enjoyable gift to someone else, this comes highly recommended. Get it here.
41VLQLKCDQL

The link above is from Amazon, however, sometimes Hobby Lobby has these in stock and there is always a 40% off coupon available weekly there. (If you have a smartphone, you can get their app for coupon.)

imageimage


Current Good Read:
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days


If you do interface design at all this book is for you. If you do product design at all this book is for you. If you work on a project for any customer this… well, you get the idea. Some projects can take forever to figure out. What if you could get a great baseline for your project in just one week? Would you be interested? You should.

This is a fantastic play-by-play of a one week design sprint intended to help you get to the bottom of a problem and find a solution in one week. Check it out.


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

“Our freedom to be creators is far less limited than some people would think.” -Madeleine L’engle

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

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.