Inktober & NaNoWriMo Prep

Hello beautiful people! So it’s the first day of Halloween October and there are two major events going on that I’m going to be participating in, and they are:

Inktober and NaNoWriMo Prep.

In case you don’t know what either of these things are, here’s a little info about them & what I plan on doing:

Inktober

Inktober is a drawing challenge that has four rules:

  1. Make a drawing in ink.
  2. Post it online.
  3. Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017.
  4. Repeat every day of October.

That’s it! I first saw the challenge last year around the time I started my art Instagram and I wanted to participate this year. There’s an official list of prompts for the 31 days, and I’m going to be using that list to draw every day in October and – hopefully – improve my skills more.

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I’ll be using Micron Fine Liner pens for the majority of my work, but I may do some in color? I’m not sure as I’ve always loved drawing in black and white, but we’ll see how I’m feeling for that prompt that day. So if you want to see how the challenge is coming along then please check out my art Instagram linked above!

NaNoWriMo

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National Novel Writing Month is coming up NEXT MONTH (ugh, it hurts to say that) and OMG I NEED TO PREP SO BAD. Like. I’ve never really prepped for this before? I kind of did last year where I had an outline and things were going pretty good UNTIL THEY WEREN’T. URGH. But it’s fine. Everything’s fine.

So what’s NaNoWriMo you ask? It’s a 30 days writing challenge that takes place from November 1-30 where you are challenging yourself to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s a super fun (and kind of exhausting) challenge, and if you love to write or you have a story idea that you’ve been dying to tell, then this is probably the challenge for you!

Of course you don’t have to write 50,000 words if you’re unable to or if your story doesn’t need to be that long, but the goal is to reach that word count if you can in 30 days.

I don’t have a synopsis ready yet as I’m still working out some kinks in the story I want to write this year, but here are three keywords that my story revolves around: fantasy, depression, love.

This is a story that I NEED to tell. It’s a subject matter that’s close to my heart and it’s one in which I feel will not only be challenging for me to write, but also beneficial. I hope that during the month of October I will be able to successfully prep myself by doing the following things:

  • Write an outline of the whole story. I found that I actually like outlining as I’m able to use it as a guideline for my writing so that I don’t stray too far from where I had imagined the story going.
  • Come up with a synopsis. Honestly, this should be the first thing I do because even though I have a concept of the character and the power she’ll have (I was also going to originally make her a male, but I think I’m going to write her as a female… we’ll see), I don’t exactly have a plot figured out. Like, I know the general message I want to get across in the story, but I don’t have a way to get there. I sort of do but I don’t? It’s very hard to explain.
  • Work on small writing prompts to get to know my characters, the world, and what they have to deal with. This is a new thing I’m going to try this year. I usually already know my character as I have a file in my head of who they are in everything (imagine Bruce Almighty when he’s in that building meeting God for the first time and opens the file cabinet), but I think that this will also be very beneficial as I can write back story, side story, develop the world, figure out weapons systems and powers and stuff like that. I have vague concepts but not enough for me to really go on.
  • Participate in little NaNo Prep challenges here and there. I think it’ll be fun to join in with other writers and brainstorm and chat about our novels. Plus it’s a little encouraging to know that others will be doing similar things as I am.

Alright, so there you have it! These are the two challenges that I’ll be facing in October. I’ll try to do weekly wrap ups of Inktober to show the art I created for that week, as well as discuss what I’ve been doing for NaNoWriMo as well.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

If you’re participating in either of these challenges please let me know! I’d love to be able to go on this journey with you and see just what October has in store for us. Are you interested in either of the challenges? Let me know how you’re prepping for NaNo.

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Finding Joy in Art

I’ve always loved to draw. From the time I was young to now, I’ve always had a creative spark in me. I find it to be extremely fun and relaxing (even if I’m annoyed with how the product is turning out to look like).

I’ve been drawing almost every day for about a week now and I’ve found myself to be so happy and lost in a world that I haven’t visited in a long time that I crave more.

I haven’t had this feeling in so long and I need more.

But then I wondered to myself, “What is this feeling?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad to have it, but what is this actual feeling? I thought about it and then I came to the conclusion: joy.

Now, if you knew me personally and some of the things going on in my life, you’d know that I haven’t experienced joy like this in quite some time. Yes, I find pockets and moments and those are of course just as precious and important, but this feeling of doing something I’ve always loved and had stopped for one reason or another to only pick up again and see myself improving and having fun doing so?

Yeah, that’s joy.

And I kind of just wanted to talk about that today because I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of my generation is having a lot of trouble finding joy in life. Like, actual, pure joy. Something that makes our hearts sing and makes us feel so happy and content in the moment that we want to continually go back to those moments over and over and over again.

Finding what you love to do and actually finding the time to do so can be two wildly difficult things to accomplish. I’ve been searching for a purpose for quite some time now, trying to pinpoint something that can bring me happiness in my stressful world, and I found it once again in art. It’s great having people appreciate my art, complimenting me and telling me I’m improving, giving me tips if they’re artists themselves on how to improve a bit more, and then just people who like my art for the art itself. I find joy in that feeling of bringing other people happiness, for sure, and I want to continue to grab it.

And then there are the nay-sayers. The ones who will say, “Oh it’s great that you have that and everything, but what about real life?” I know of one very significant person in my life who is like that, and I let their words affect me all the time. I don’t think that you should put the things that you love so far on the back burner that they become a distant memory. In fact, I hate that with every fiber of my being. I know I’ve stated in a post before about how I put off art for some time and that each time I did draw I would feel this incessant urge to continue to draw and create more and more and more, but I never really hooked myself on that. I never took that step to really sit down and do it.

And now that I have been, I don’t want to let it go.

See, now, I’m the kind of person that puts everyone before myself. I’m still a selfish brat, but I still put others before me in almost all things. So when I say that I’ve been thinking about wanting to do art full-time, or at least start part-time, I get scared. Not only will it affect me, but it will also affect my husband. I’m afraid that if I were to pursue this kind of thing that it would be just too much all at once. He says I should just Shia Labeouf it and JUST DO IT, but it’s extremely difficult for me to do that without taking SO many things into consideration.

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And then there’s the part of me that looks back at that joy and that feeling I get when I’m drawing and I think, “Yeah, I want to do this. I really, really want to do this.” I want to improve my art skills, become better at multiple mediums, really showcase my style and show that I’m better than mediocre. I want to be able to have fun and do something I love in life that isn’t just a hobby, that isn’t something I just come home to from a job I couldn’t really care about.

I don’t know about you, but finding that joy and latching onto it, is such a beautiful thing. I know that I have obstacles to overcome (like the biggest one that every artist ever faces: comparing my art to others, ughhhhh), a lot of research to do, and a lot of saving up to do, but this is something that I’ve been becoming more and more serious about as time passes. And frankly, my happiness should really start to be coming first.

Anyway, that’s what I wanted to talk about today. My thoughts are probably all over the place, but I needed to express it somewhere and what better place than here, right? Also, if you want to check out my art, you should check out my art instagram!

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Do you ever face these kinds of problems of finding joy in your life in something you love to do, but not really doing anything about it? Do you consider it just a hobby or do you wish you could make it something you do day in and day out? What are some of the things that really bring you joy in life? Tell me all the things!

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #2: Mix & Match

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

So this mini-challenge is all about combining your love of books with another hobby/passion/fandom/talent that you might have. We can do this through photos, artwork, videos, collages, whatever we’d like and t just have fun and be creative with it.

So, as I stated before, I love to draw. I’m doing my own 365 Days of Art Challenge where I’m going to draw something – anything – no matter how big or small, complex or simple, every day for the next 365 days. I started this back on February 5th, so I’m a couple of weeks into it now, and I’ve been keeping up with it pretty well.

I’ve done fanart before of characters, but I’m doing these pieces in a traditional fashion rather than digitally. So here are some of my favorite characters and how I view them in my mind (except one which is from a manga, so I kind of already know what he looks like). Can you guess who they are and what book they’re from?

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I’ve always found drawing to be a very relaxing activity from the time I was a child. Like reading, I’ve always loved to draw, and of course I improved greatly from the time I was a child, and I’m going to continue to improve the more I do draw. I find that drawing is a way to escape, it’s a way to really let the mind go and dream and be free from the rest of the world.

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Of course, that’s not to say that reading doesn’t have the same effect, but drawing is just something that really takes my mind away from the present and really allows me to be unique, to show myself what I can do, and to truly be me.

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I think that combining two of the things I love most – art and books – to be a very natural thing for me. Of course I have to rely on the descriptions that the authors provide, but I also love that because it allows for so much creative freedom. You can make them look how you envision them, which may or may not match what the author had in mind. And I think that that is so cool.

I hope you guys liked this and that you’ll be inspired to maybe pick up a pen or pencil and draw some of your favorite characters! Can’t wait to see you in the next post!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

If you’re into drawing and art, what’s your favorite medium to work with? Do you prefer more traditional works, or digital ones? Who’s your favorite book character that you’d want to draw out yourself? Tell me all the things!

Hobby Corner: Keeping a Sketchbook

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Welcome to another edition of Hobby Corner, a monthly edition I introduced to talk about my hobbies and interests other than reading. It’s always important to not forget these things, so here I am to talk about some of mine.

This month’s topic: art!

Today specifically, though, I wanted to talk about keeping a sketchbook and why doing so can be beneficial not only to those who are visually creative, but also for those that might need a way to escape for a little while.

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I’ve always had sketchbooks of various kinds, but my favorite is the Canson XL mixed media sketchbook in size 5.5 in x 8.5 in. It’s perfect for pencil drawings but can also be used for water color, acrylic, pen, or whatever else you want to use really. (Obviously depending on your medium will depend on the quality of the paper.) The sketchbook I have now is one that I had gotten many months ago but had barely used until very recently because I had gotten into a drawing funk.

Much like a reading slump, a drawing funk/slump happens to me quite frequently now that I’m not taking art classes or anything like that. I’ve always loved to draw and to be creative, but my drawing time fell to the wayside as I became much more of a reader than I’ve ever been. Every time I’ve painted or drawn something detailed or whatever over the last year I’ve had that feeling of “I need more, more, more,” and I’d do it more often around those times, but then it would dwindle and die very quickly.

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So I’ve been following some artists on YouTube and listening to them talk about how much they enjoy art, which made me miss doing art, and then I read an article that really inspired me about keeping a sketchbook. She talked about how not only does keeping a sketchbook keep your creativity flowing, but it can also help with emotional distress and a needed release in the times that I really need it.

And, frankly, she’s right. For someone like me who loves to do creative things regardless of what it is or what medium (making art, listening to music, writing, etc), I think doing something like this will really help to keep my interests and my momentum and desire for drawing going. I won’t feel that dreaded slump or that high and need when I finally do draw or paint or whatever after months of not doing so.

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So I’m taking on one of the challenges she suggested in her post: draw at least one thing in my sketchbook every day for a year. Even if I don’t do it every day, as long as I draw multiple times a week that will be good enough for me.

Art has been such an integral part of my life that I can’t imagine ever not having it be in my life somehow. I may not become a professional artist, but I’ll be able to see my progression, to see what I can create, to do studies and take notes and more.

So why should you keep a sketchbook?

  • It’s an emotional release. If you’re feeling happy, draw something that represents happiness to you. If you’re feeling angry, use dark, bold strokes to represent it. If you’re feeling sad, draw something that represents sadness to you. It’s a healthy way of dealing with emotions, and even if you don’t know what to draw, that’s okay because it leads to my next point:
  • You can make it your own. A sketchbook isn’t going to be graded (unless you’re in school and you need one for a grade), you don’t even have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. You can write in it, put magazine clippings in it, cut up pages, do whatever you want. No one’s going to judge you for it.
  • It’s a place where you can dream big or small. And by that I mean you can create as much or as little as you want. Getting your ideas and thoughts out can be extremely rewarding and all you have to do is draw what you think needs to be drawn.

Let Nela said in the article: keep the sketchbook with you at all times (sketchbooks come in a variety of sizes, page textures, etc, so find the one that fits you), because if you don’t keep it with you then you’re never going to draw. But if you have a scrap piece of paper or a receipt or napkin, draw on it then stick it in your sketchbook later.

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Art is one of those things that I’m very passionate about, and I know that, for me at least, keeping a sketchbook will help to keep that passion alive.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you have a sketchbook? How do you use it? Do you use it like a diary? Or are your works more open to the public? Tell me all the things!

Hobby Corner: August ART Edition

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Hey peeps, so I wanted to do something a little different and talk about hobbies other than reading. I KNOW, it’s weird, right? Well, when I think about what my other hobbies are, I seem to always to defer to the usual: writing, drawing/art, and playing video games. Each have been a huge part of my life almost my entire life, and I can’t see myself without any of them in my life at all.

How is it going to work? Well, I’m going to be introducing a bit of different things to the blog once a month that will include artwork, poetry, writing (which I’ve already introduced), video games, anime, etc. Whatever my hobbies are, that’s what I’m going to talk about that month! It’ll become more detail and focused on certain topics and other things after the initial introductions are out of the way, but for now, I’m just going to talk about why each of these hobbies are so loved by me.

So, for this month I’m going to talk about ART!

Now, for those who don’t know, I love to draw. I always have, so I can’t really pinpoint a time where it really began, BUT I can tell you that my love for drawing grew after my introduction to manga in sixth grade, around the age of eleven or twelve. I loved manga and anime styles, and my friends who introduced me were also very much into them.

As I got older, though, and continued to take art classes every year throughout my schooling, my art began to improve more and more, but I feel like I’ve reached a sort of plateau when it comes to certain styles of drawing – my style – and though I’m okay with that, of course I’d like to improve still. In fact, I love art so much that I took AP Art in high school (and got a 0 for the AP score, but an A for the class, oh well) and I minored in art in college.

The picture above on the left was drawn using only charcoal pastels. I’ve always loved drawing flowers, especially roses, and when I have a model to use it makes it much easier to draw. The picture on the right was drawn free hand, but I did use a little help from online sources for the placement of the hands.

I know my strengths lie in still life, pencil, pastels, and charcoal. My favorite medium is in graphite pencil, with charcoal being a close second. But I also draw digitally.

I love drawing and creating cute chibi characters for people on other websites or just for fun (I did a whole bunch when I was still on Gaia Online, which is where the above pictures were drawn for: people on Gaia). They’re the easiest to me, especially head shots, and I just have a special place in my heart for this style of drawing.

I haven’t drawn much since I graduated college, though. I’ve been in sort of a rut since having to work full time, but when I participated in the Biannual Bibliothon, I did a challenge where I let a character take over my channel and I chose be Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury and paint three paintings.

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And it was marvelous.

The paintings didn’t come out spectacular, but it was the first real kind of art I had done in a long time and it felt amazing. I had a blast! And I’d totally do it again, too.

Being able to touch and hold paints, paintbrushes, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks, tablet pens, and more just bring a whole other level of happiness into my life and I don’t know why I don’t just do it more.

I think having hobbies that you love and cherish are important, especially when they’ve been so part of your life for as long as art has for me. So pick up that paintbrush, get those colored pencils, and make art!

If you want to check out more of my work, you can visit my deviantART account. I don’t post a lot any more, but I might start doing so if I pick it up more again.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you like to draw or paint or do any kind of art? What’s your favorite style and medium? What are some of your strong points? Are you better at still life or creating from your imagination?