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

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

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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

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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!

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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.

Because Fairytales Really Do Teach

April 2, 2016By jayart, Blog, inking, stories, children's tales, comics, children's books,

Hey guys,

Every once-in-awhile in life we get the opportunity to connect with like-minded, like-hearted people and projects, beyond ourselves. So, right now, I am extremely thrilled to have recently been invited to do just that and I want to invite you to as well.

Have you heard of, the vast and perilous like “Lord of the Rings” meets the whimsy of “The Princess Bride”, fantasy tale called, The Wingfeather Saga? Our family just discovered this four part fiction series this past summer. It is wonderful.

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If you’ve been tracking with me long, you know I love whimsy and fairytales, because it’s fun and because there can often be immense truth within them. The Wingfeather Saga, by Andrew Peterson, has both. It’s the kind of tale you want your kids to read and they want to read too.

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Actually our whole family is hooked. Before finishing book one our kids wanted to see if it had been made into a movie yet. It was already playing strong across the landscapes of their imaginations.

Well, there wasn’t, but an animated series is now in the process!  I’ve been invited along with other amazing artists like, Corey Godbey, Doug TenNapel, and Justin Gerard to come alongside The Wingfeather Saga Animated Series KickStarter Campaign to make it soar to the highest goals possible. I really want to do this.

Would you consider joining me and watch this massive and meaningful endeavor unfold? They’ve already made KickStarter history and surpassed the largest fiction campaign goals and are now into stretch goals.

This is where I get to come in. If they reach their next stretch goal of $230,000 in the next 23 hours they will unlock a new level of rewards, including a comic I will get to work on with Andrew Peterson. Here’s the amazing part: they’re already 84% funded.

Let’s beat some dragons guys. I’m writing today to ask you to back this campaign with me, the purpose is strong and the rewards are completely awesome too. Here’s the link to learn more:  rndm.us/wf

And here’s some of the fun I’ve already been having: (nothing official here, just playing with the characters!)

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Thanks for all your support!

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 HERE: The Adventures of Tomy and Jon.

As You Wish…

January 30, 2014By jayBlog

I began a project, this month, based around an 80’s theme for a show with CricketPress. I can create any illustration as long as it keeps within the 80’s theme. I have chosen The Princess Bride. Here are a few of my warmups, in all their instagram photo glory, to understand the characters and to figure out what I want to emphasize. I will share the final when I complete it.

Hello_5x5_Practice_for_a_show__in_Feb.__at_the__cricketpress_studio.__share__inking__firstattempt__theprincessbride

Farm_Boy._She_s_not_great_but_that_s_why_it_s_called__practice.__share__theprincessbride__buttercup__themaninblack__vizzini__inigomontoya__illustrations__inking__1980s

I_ll_explain_and_I_ll_use_small_words_so_that_you_ll_be_sure_to_understand__you_warthog_faced_buffoon.__themaninblack__theprincessbride__share__10minsketch

I_have_come_a_long_way_from_not_being_able_to_draw_women._I_still_have_a_ways_to_go.__theprincessbride__share__imessedupthehands

Better.__share__themaninblack__theprincessbride__fezzik

Commissions

January 3, 2014By jayart, Blog

I don’t do commissions often. But toward the end of 2013 I opened up a several 10-15 minute sketch commission spots. I have yet to post these on my blog, and some I forgot to scan, so I thought I would share them now.

The Hobbit

December 29, 2013By jayart, Blog

 

I am going to try, again, to keep my blog up-to-date. These were created in honor of The Hobbit. I will be coloring these soon and will post them also when I do. Bilbo_sm radagast_sm radagast_bw_sm

Star Wars

December 28, 2013By jayart, Blog

Recently, I completed five illustrations based on the Star Wars characters.  I really enjoyed the project and am finalizing them for their new home.

 

 

Bigfoot

December 24, 2013By jayart, Blog

 

Those who know me, well enough, know that my favorite mythical creature is Bigfoot. Here is a recent Bigfoot character design.

As an added bonus, check out: Google’s Book NGram Viewer. This tells you the occurrence of words in literature between the selected dates. I have this one preset to look up Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Skunk ape, and Yeti between the dates 1800-2000.

I hope you enjoy.

Bigfoot

Comic Book

March 16, 2013By jayBlog, Writing

I have been a bit remiss in my blogging of late. Primarily because, over the past few months, I have been working on a mini comic. I have created this piece to distribute at the Lexington Comic Con. I will share more about this endeavor in a follow up post.

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