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It’s 2020! Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2020! I hope the new year finds you well!

What’s New? 

Last time I posted Inktober was approaching and so was my carpal tunnel release surgery. I sat down a bagillion times to write an update, but… ok, no excuses. I just didn’t do it. But it’s a new year and the perfect time to start afresh! 

First, what happened with Inktober and Drawlloween? Let’s start with the bad news. I didn’t finish Drawlloween. I got the first week done and then fizzled out before surgery. For some reason it just wasn’t flowing this year. There were a couple of decent drawings in there, but a few bad ones killed the momentum. I thought I might finish it up once my hand felt better after surgery, but recovery took a lot longer than I expected. You can find the stuff I did get done here. 

Now on to the good news! I finished Inktober! Aaaaaand I did the whole thing left-handed! The drawings aren’t detailed and they are mostly terrible, but it was a fun exercise in just getting some stuff on paper. Even better, I did some additional left-handed drawings – most of which were Pokemon. Not to toot my own horn, but they came out pretty good! Head on over to my sketchbook page to see all the things!

What’s Next?

Streams! Lots and lots of streams! I started back in August on Mixer and have been semi-consistently broadcasting jewelry, drawing, and digital art. Now that I’ve been at it for a little bit, I have a basic schedule sorted out. I plan to be on Monday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, with any additional days being fun, fun extra days! 

There’s going to be lots of digital art, too! Clip Studio Paint is my go-to software for digital painting. If you can deal with me being kinda slow (at digital painting), you’ll be able to check out all of my progress and finished work on Insta and Twitter

There will still be traditional art and jewelry and Chewy and Pokey AAAAND we have two new additions to the household – Shawn and Timmy the parakeets! I’m super excited for 2020! How about you? 

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

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Why Did I Buy a Hedgehog?

Two weeks ago I brought home a hedgehog. A week before that I didn’t even know I wanted one. I don’t know why I’ve been looking for a new pet for the past few months. It started with looking at cats, and my friend did an awesome job of talking me down from that ledge. Then I moved on to guinea pigs, but they have more social needs than I can provide. Then somehow I stumbled upon something, somewhere on the internet – and it was about hedgehogs. 

Cue the borderline obsessive research into everything hedgehog-related. I don’t remember where it started – it definitely hasn’t ended – but none of that matters now. She’s all set up in my room and I can already tell everything she’s doing by sound. It’s like having a late-night buddy for those times when I can’t sleep. 

This the the first picture we took of our new hedgehog, PokeyNibbles.
Introducing Nico PokeyNibbles O’Shaughnessy! This is the first ever pic we took of her. <3

She’s also adapting really well to her new home. I thought my 85lb ball of codependence (Chewy) would be an issue, but she simply doesn’t care that he’s there. Of course that drives him nuts and makes him want to play with her even more! Funny thing is, no matter how much he bugs her, she rarely hisses at him. What a good hedgie!

It doesn't matter what kind of animal it is. Chewy will sniff the butt.
Chewy has been trying so hard to figure out what she is.

We have her out all the time and once the weather warms up it will be even more. I’ve never had such an impulsive (but ultimately well-researched) decision end feeling so right. Who would have thought such a prickly little creature would be so meant to be? But it’s forced me to ask myself why. Why the hell did I buy a hedgehog??

PokeyNibbles the hedgehog
This should be all the answer I need, right?

Hedgehogs aren’t pocket pets. Yeah, they’re super cute and they can do neat things and OMG TINY HATS, but they aren’t cuddly the way most mainstream pets are. Case in point – I brought her into the office one day and all kinds of folks were stopping by to see her. She handled the field trip really well, even when my one colleague came in and shouted, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?” The whole time she happily snuffled along my desk and (mercifully) didn’t poop on my keyboard. She didn’t even hiss when he gave her a quick pet and said “That is NOT what I was expecting!” I still don’t know what he was expecting, but his whole interaction with PokeyNibbles was pretty entertaining. 

But why? Why did I bring home this little creature that is adaptable and adventurous enough to always want to be climbing all over me, but insists on pooping on my left shoulder nearly EVERY TIME. She’ll let me pet her through fleece all day, but without it I get the quills. She’s not big on being held – definitely an explorer hedgie – but makes up for it by being so fun to watch. 

PokeyNibbles is all cozy in her blankey. <3
Maybe she found deeper meaning in there?

Maybe it’s not worth trying to find some deeper meaning in something done on a whim. I could say I identify with the hedgie’s personality wrapped in a prickly exterior or something, but I don’t think it’s even that. There wasn’t a single bit of hesitation in making the hedgie decision, even after I tried to research myself out of it, and there’s not a single bit of regret now. It was a right place, right time, balance in the universe type of thing to bring Nico PokeyNibbles O’Shaughnessy into our home and she is perfect. 

Her face when she’s going for that left shoulder…

Thanks for reading! Of course, PokeyNibbles has her own Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to take a peek at her latest adventures. Until next time!

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Roadblocks Don’t Have to be Roadblocks

manga atsushi nakajima anime bungou stray dogs drawing sketching

Life has weird ways of interfering with the things we want to do. Roadblocks happen all the time. Sometimes they seem to be everywhere, sapping energy, joy, and inspiration. Ugh. That’s a bleak start to a blog isn’t it? But it’s kind of how the last week or so has been. Lots of effort (or maybe not nearly enough?) and not much to show for it. This first paragraph is even a stretch. I’m saying I’m sorry now because I know it’s not my best. 

So what can we do when are just – blah?

I can tell you that a couple of days ago I was so tired I just lumped on the couch and binged a few episodes of Attack on Titan, occasionally glancing over at my sketchbook on the drafting table. It was a horrible feeling, like I just couldn’t handle getting up to do even a *little* bit of sketching. I knew physically I was capable, but it didn’t happen. I fell asleep early and woke up feeling… not at all better. Yeah, I know. You totally feel bad for me now. 🙂

manga atsushi nakajima anime bungou stray dogs
Atsushi Nakajima referenced straight from the Bungou Stray Dogs manga!

This next day was different though. As icky blah as I was feeling the following evening (my only time to work on any art during the week), I did a little drawing. It was just a bit of work on a drawing of Atsushi Nakajima (Bungou Stray Dogs) I started the week before, but it was something! And I think that’s the key to these types of roadblocks – or at least part of it. Something is better than nothing. A squiggle, a few lines, a small start – something that could be built on later. Or not. But it’s something!

Atsushi Nakajima Bungou Stray Dogs manga anime drawing sketching
Got a bit more done on Atsushi. One more sitting should do it!

There’s something important to remember, though, and it deals with part two. We all have those days where stuff doesn’t get done for one reason or another. Sometimes being tired is a perfectly ok excuse! Feeling bad about it doesn’t change anything. Guilt doesn’t make roadblocks go away – moving on does. It can start with a small bit of progress on a tough day or by taking a little time to check out mentally. Neither one of those things is wrong!

The blah isn’t totally gone, but taking a day off from work definitely helped. Just thinking about having the better part of a day with the house to myself was super relaxing! The night before I worked on a bunch of jewelry and poured a painting and still had a little time to play some video games with my kid. 

The day off is being spent working on whatever I feel like working on because it’s right now and the first thing I’m doing is finishing this blog post. I plan to finish Atsushi later this morning, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t. Maybe I’ll take a nap or do a little painting. Whatever happens after I hit publish, I’m moving on from those roadblocks. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

P.S. If you want to see my stuff as soon as it’s done, check out my Twitter. Thanks! You’re the best!

 

***UPDATE***

September 30: 

I finished it. 🙂

bungou stray dogs Atsushi Nakajima anime manga
Atsushi Nakajima is all done, but this won’t be the last time I draw him!

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Getting Started

Getting started – it’s tough isn’t it? Maybe it’s not the getting started part that’s hard, but getting the start that you want. I had a whole plan for the first blog on this site, all starting with this project I did turning an old book into my current journal. It was called “New Beginnings” and every time I got started writing it was TERRIBLE. That’s the point at which it’s ok to walk away because it’s just not going to happen – at least not at that moment. So I’ve been sitting on this for a while because I couldn’t get it right. That’s a dumb reason, isn’t it? So I’m just – starting. Worrying about how it all comes out is silly. It didn’t have to be some elaborate account of a project I did. This little bit is enough because all I really ever needed to say was this:

Hi! Welcome to my site! I make art and jewelry and I’m glad you’re here to check it out!

getting started journal book making
My future journal 🙂