Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Happy 2017 Reboot

Rooster © Diana Ting Delosh
Ink, watercolor

Actually Happy Upcoming Year of the Rooster! The rooster year officially begins on January 28th. So if you've had a rough start to 2017 you can just reboot your goals and resolutions this Saturday. Like me, you've listed all the things that went right/wrong in 2016 and what you're going to do differently, back around January 1st. Blah, Blah, Blah New Year, ad nauseum. By now you've realized a new year is just an illusion and nothing has really changed. All the good and the bad of yesterday, last week, last month, last year still remains. The slate wasn't automatically wiped clean. Starting "FRESH" is just a mindset.

Footprints © Diana Ting Delosh
Pencil sketch. Fragment from my PB dummying that's all I can share for now.

Bummer? Not so fast. It means everything you did right is still in place, waiting for you to build on it. It also means you can just keep taking that next step and go onward. And since the New Year is just another day, you can always begin anew with a fresh mindset any day. No need to wait the whole year to review and reboot.
Be Bold, Be Unique © Diana Ting Delosh
Fun Quick Ink Brush hand lettered affirmation  

In 2016, I trusted my instincts even when I was afraid I might flop. Usually it worked out really well. In 2017, I will continue to trust my instinct to be bold and unique. To clarify, I am talking illustration, writing, creative choices not playing in traffic or other risky behaviors. And to review and revise my life as I go.

Wishing everyone a wonderful creative, productive and prosperous 2017 / Year of the Rooster!

Twitter: dtdelosh

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hello Again by Jason Kirschner

I've been away.  I'm pretty sure none of you out there noticed because my partners have been turning out some seriously good posts.   I haven't been contributing to the blog in quite some time. I really haven't been contributing anything kid-lit-ish for a bunch of months now.  I've got a day job -- I imagine there's a good portion of you out there that do-- and lately my day job has been a bit overwhelming. So I took a step back. It was a bunch of steps, actually-- probably a few too many.

I had so little time to write or draw.  I put a good amount of pressure on myself to use the little time I had wisely, which to me, meant a new book manuscript/ dummy. The problem with this was that I was too tired and the work wasn't good. Which made me frustrated. Which made the work even worse. You can see where this is going right? It's a vicious circle. Mix in a huge dollop of exhaustion, a dash of cynicism, and a few teaspoons of doubt and you get one hell of a creative blockage. And, no, more fiber doesn't help.

So there I was. Winter was coming ( literally and figuratively. Sorry George R.R.) and I had absolutely no new work to show. No portfolio pieces. No manuscripts. No book dummies. I was so frustrated. When I don't draw regularly, I get angry -- kinda like a smaller artsy Hulk. And then I found the one thing that saved me. Want to know what turned it around for me? Get ready for the big secret.

I started to.....doodle. 

Well, that's not quite right.  I doodled....With Intent. 
(This unintentionally sounds like an SVU crime.)
Instead of drawing the same characters over and over again like I did in junior high ("Look it's Wolverine. Again.")  I started setting myself little drawing challenges whenever I had a few free minutes.  These had nothing to do with my flailing book dummy or any other required work. I'd challenge myself to draw a cowboy lizard, or a raccoon in armor, or space. There was no pressure because I drew on cheap lined pads lying around the office. It didn't matter if I screwed up. I wasn't going to post them online or show them to my agent so there was no fear of what others would say. It was just for me. And it was fun. It was so good to be drawing again and taking a break from the characters in my book dummy was refreshing.
I even made a pocket on the back of my pad!

After a few weeks, er...months of this I was able to get back to my book dummy and complete it. And some of the doodles sparked other ideas. Some didn't. That's ok too. And so now I'm talking more forward steps than backwards ones. And here I am. Blogging again. I mean I'm pretty sure you all knew about doodling already but it's my first post in a while.  I'm building to the good stuff. 


By day, Jason is a set designer for television, with credits that include The Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Late Show with David Letterman. By night,
Jason is an author and illustrator of children's books. You can find his debut picture book, Mr. Particular: The World's Choosiest Champion on shelves in bookstores everywhere. See more of Jason's work at Follow him on twitter @jason_kirschner .

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year, by Mike Ciccotello

Just some simple words to share with you for this wonderful New Year. Don't sit around waiting for a rainbow to knock on your door. Believe in yourself, get out there, brave the storm. When you finally find it, follow it all the way to the end. Always believe in yourself and enjoy every day, in every way.

I hope you have an inspirational New Year.

Twitter: @ciccotello 
Instagram: @ciccotello