A wonderfully messy thing to do

My friend stopped by to pick something up and caught a picture of me in my studio in messy collage focus mode this morning. Working on some art revisions for a WIP. I love stepping back and noticing the clutter and chaos around both me and my tunnel vision. Maybe lots of creative play looks like clutter and chaos. That’s my happy thought for the morning.


New Studio... Another post about it

MOVE is a four letter word.

My new house, my new studio, they are both fantastic dreams. These are pictures of my studio. Isn't it incredible?

But somehow I was in complete denial that moving would not throw me off my game (while I have a toddler around no less! HA!). While it was a fun challenge to be a superhero-mom-artist-mover person, it did not (of course) work that way really. Really it was a heck of a lot of distracting work (good work, but not my illustration work). And my studio was in chaos for far too many months (we redid floors, painted, etc etc etc).

Still I got a bunch of writing done. 

And! I upgraded my technology (since I was derailed a bit anyway and technology upgrades are always a bit unsettling).

Check out my new printer and scanner! BIG FOOTPRINTS! But it is beyond nice to have a scanner that works really well! HOORAY!

All this being said, I'd be lying if my inner mean-girl wasn't fussy nearly the entire time I was fixing my house and studio that she couldn't do everything. (*Sigh.* Why can't I always do everything? And do it perfectly? )

And it can suck to pick up the pieces when you drop the ball on things important to you. It's hard! You feel overwhelm! And neglect! So you procrastinate!

But then, one day, you decide to let the perfection go because what else can you do except never do it because you didn't do it all perfectly. Besides that who really cares except you anyway? 

In order to pick up the pieces you just have to pick up the pieces

So this is all just to say hi to the internet again. I'm still here. I'm really here this time. I'm drawing again and those projects I mentioned a couple posts back that were pestering me to finish are making me super happy lately because I'm working on them and I see many months in my future where I get to be type A like I like to be and try to get them done.

I have a big fat hairy goal that I'm working on. And I'm hoping to use this blog to help me make it happen. But let's save that for another post and for now I'll just enjoy the fact that I picked up the pieces and rejoined the internet. 

Cheers (always and forever) to letting go of perfect. Because perfect is truly the enemy of getting anything out there at all. 

New Studio

The last few months I've had a surprising development...
 My husband and I bought a new house in Bellingham.
My new studio will have a view of the bay.

Unfortunately I'm under a bit of construction in part of the studio as you can see here. But I have a nook with a sink where there are no construction plans.

And basically...
I'm back in business.


It is always hard for me when life chunks out some of my work time for a month or two (or sometimes three). But I'm hoping that this move will be worth it. This is an amazing new studio (even though I'll miss my old tiny colorful studio that I've cherished for the last decade).

And now I'm bursting with pent up art on the to-do list. I'm flooded with half finished projects (or nearly-finished projects) that are pestering me to tend to.

So here I am again. Butt in chair once again. Loving what I do and anxious to be back at it.

The Thirteenth (and a half) floor

That's soon to be part of my new address, home away from home, in Malaysia. Not only does it feel kind of Being John Malkovich to live on such an odd floor (didn't that movie take place on the 7th and a half floor?) it also is the thirteenth floor... Spooky!

What's up?

I guess in Chinese the number 4 sounds a lot like the word death. So four is an unlucky number. As a result, in lots of places in Asia (including Malaysia) there isn't a 4th or 14th floor in any kind of high-rise building (kind of like how some high-rises in Western countries don't have 13th floors). Instead you've got a floor 3 and a floor 3A. You've got a floor 13 and a floor 13A (which I have lovingly nick-named floor 13 and a half). Essentially there are two 13th floors.

Now here's the question. Is floor 13A doubly spooky because it's not only a 13th floor (unlucky in my culture) and technically also a 14th floor (unlucky in the culture I'm moving to)? Or does it squeeze by all those superstitions because it's not really a 13th floor or a 14th floor? I guess it depends on my attitude. I'm choosing the 13 and half mentality -- hoping that it will be like a gateway for crazy impossible, yet marvelous things to happen.

Here's a photo of what will be my studio for the next two years:

And my lovely highway view:For now, I'm soaking up my current studio view, Northwest evergreen trees dripping quiet rain drops. I wonder if those trees are going to miss me like I'll miss them.

Views from my studio

(This is a view from my computer's IPhoto collection. I often use photos in my collages -- so I collect oodles of "texture" pictures like this one -- everywhere I go. It's fun to look at the world through such a lens)

(Reams and reams and reams of it. Drawers of it. Piles of it. Confetti all over the floor.)

(Run with them.)


My studio is my sanctuary.
I'd rather be there than almost anywhere else.
So it's difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I'll be leaving it soon.

I guess I need to make the formal announcement. Here goes: I'm moving -- my family, my studio, my life -- to Malaysia for two years. My husband has taken a two-year assignment for work there.

As you can imagine, my little world flutters in a whirlwind right now.
This week I had to start packing.

I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined I'd be hauling my studio across the ocean!

But I am.
I have a two-year art retreat waiting for me.
You'll still be able to buy stuff from my etsy shop -- a friend said she'd take care of shipping stuff for me while I'm gone (Thanks Marcy!). But I won't be making new journals and photo albums while I'm gone (get them now, folks! I can't very well do craft shows from Malaysia!).

Instead this will be the first time in my life that I'll be dedicating 100% of my work time to children's book illustration and writing.

Watch out world.
Because even though change whirls around me and my to-do list is longer than my leg and I'm bidding adieu to beloved people and places and responsibilities
my center dances in the eye of the storm.
Sitting down at my drawing table to work on the children's book dummy I'm working on makes me feel giddy like an ant at a picnic. And the way I've been getting through this transition is to make sure I keep working on that story that holds my heart.
Every single work day. Every. One.

The rest of the to-do list can wait at least a few hours every day.

Do you ever find yourself whining? Dragging? Wondering how to get through?
Count your blessings.
Get out a journal and write a few down.
Because that's your eye of the storm.
And you can thrive there.

Confetti Maker

My business card says "Paper Artist." But when I look at the mess in my studio after I've been busy with my trusty sissors, I think of myself as "Confetti Maker." Nevertheless, I tried snapping some photos of my work desk yesterday after I finished the third in three new color samples for my story WHEN WALTER WAVES. (My studio is right next to my son, Oscar's, room -- see the crib in the background of the first picture?)
I'm not sure why I felt compelled to share this moment on my blog. I think it's kind of a pat on the back for myself.
Like: "YEA! Look what I finished this week!"
Yep, that's it.

But I've been meaning to post pictures of my studio at some point anyway (which I keep not doing because my studio consists of two adjacent rooms and I keep waiting for a moment when the floor is clean in both rooms at the same time (insert gafaw here).