Ever feel like you’re in a drawing/creative rut? I’ve been in a seriously unproductive rut for the better part of a year (or so it feels like).

Life got pretty busy.

I got into doing less self-care, less sleep, and then my output dropped. There’s a mentality that as soon as you free up time, you should fill it back up again with things that need to get done. And then the things you enjoy doing get put on the back burner.

Speaking of which, I recently read a post about the 4 burner’s theory. Basically, there are four burners:

Family, Friends, Work, and Health.

You can only focus on 3 to be generally successful at balancing. But to really succeed, you need to trim it down to 2.

And that got me thinking as to what two had I landed up focusing on lately. For me the answers were Family & Work. But work for me is the 9-5 life+ version of work. Where we don’t really stop working. That really edges out heath and friends. And where does self-care fit into that equation?

Back to the whole RUT.

Self-care is essential to getting creative in my world. I have to find time to refresh myself via a walk, or time drawing/painting, or writing. I’ve found new appreciation for waking up early to do something I enjoy – journaling. Journaling for 30 minutes in the early morning has helped center me and let me focus on what exactly I’m feeling at that moment and where my worries lay. Five years ago me would have scoffed at the idea that I wake up at 4:45 am to find time to write in a journal for 30 minutes even before I get ready for work.

As an illustrator I find that when I’m in a creative rut, it helps to do something else. And since I can’t go on a hike without it being a whole circus, then it’s good to have another way to jog that creative muscle. Writing helps me in that I don’t have the same pressure as creating a drawing that will be judged when I share it. Writing in a journal frees me to tune into my subconcious and my concious in ways that I cannot by illustrating.

Sketchbook revamp.

I also took to creating art that nobody will ever see. Ever since AP art class I’ve had a bit of anxiety and burnout when it comes to sharing my art. It all leads back to fear. Fear that the art isn’t good. I’m still working on it and ran across a great article by Christine Nishimaya of Might Could Studios that pointed out several things that I need to face and work on.

Anyway here’s a bit of art I doodled recently that I’m proud of:

68301203_2311225895593424_565082662381813760_n

Its been a bit since I’ve posted here – been a little busy and I’ve somehow unlinked my phone from my wordpress which makes it a tad harder to post.

I did a quick digital painting today off a Photograph from Reddit just for practice. Its from a photo someone took in southern Texas, quite beautiful out there. Maybe eventually I’ll actually go.

speedpainting

I’ve been keeping very busy with SCBWI (just did an interview on the North Texas SCBWI blog with award winning artist Terry Widener) and work and other things (instagram) but I keep trying to find time for personal projects. Here’s an illustration that I started with traditionally, but then added additional texture digitally. It lost a bit of the color when I imported it…but I kinda am ok with it. Its now the header on the North Texas Illustrator newsletters I send out periodically.

SCBWI_bannerart

Finally, I’ve been really keeping up with my sketches on my KristineDraws Facebook page. I really have some days where the art works, others, well not so much.

Next goal: finish updating my actual website. It went down early this year and I’ve yet to sit down and update all the pieces. Also, take some of my sketches and make them a series of finished pieces that I’m happy with.

bearsketch

Progressing slowly on making this quick sketch into a finished piece. Still needs work but don’t want to overwork it either. PS – I love panda bear cubs!

What a great little post and cover reveal!

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

I’m thrilled to host the cover reveal for a story I have longed to see in print. The lovely Marcie Colleen is here to show it to you and tell the tale of her own literary love triangle…on Valentine’s Day no less!!!

by Marcie Colleen

When I first set out to write a picture book titled LOVE, TRIANGLE (see the origin of the idea for the book here) I just wanted to tell a punny story that hopefully someone would want to publish someday. But my meager expectations were highly exceeded. In fact, the entire journey of this book has been unlike anything I could have ever imagined and I have my very own “triangle of amazing-ness” to thank.

First, my agent, Susan Hawk, who first realized the potential in this story when it was simply a concept pitched to her during our courting phase. And although it took me almost…

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storystormwinner

Some days were harder than others, and some ideas will be scrapped, but I now have two notebook pages of ideas written down. Now to pick one or two to start writing and see what happens.

I’m joining in again this year!

Oh, Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore… That’s right, Picture Book Idea Month has been blown away by STORYSTORM! Need to know why? Check here. STORYSTORM is a mont…

Source: STORYSTORM 2017 Registration is Open!

I’m a bit of a nerd and was always inspired by Princess Leia once I discovered her in Star Wars. I had to draw something today because of the impact this character had on me as well as the impact Carrie Fisher had on the industry as an actor & writer. Rest In Peace Carrie and thank you.

I walked over ten miles today between work and home/mommy duties. Managed to eak out a drawing for inktober in the moments after groceries and just before bed. Ballpoint pen, some markers, and a touch of colored pencil.