itchy fingers

no pages written
no pictures drawn
looking at other people’s art
& being
down
on
me
wondering
when i will get it right
when i will
win the race
trying to find my way
and feeling like
i’m going in circles
today is a new day
but
in all fairness
so was
yesterday.

just me. fucking around with lines & colors & concept after looking enviously at the art of other artists on instagram.
i looked through five journals today, trying to figure out which of my self-portraits i like the best to do a final draft of. that is a lot of me to look at. and although–yay–i like a great number of my self-portraits, i suppose i am going to have to narrow it down. maybe i will try to get some audience participation 
who wants to pick self-portraits for me?
i also worked to edit my short story, “together, tangled” while sharing my laptop with three minions who think they should all come first. c’mon kid, is daniel tiger more important than my becoming a successful writer? 
i guess that depends.
eventually, i got tired of the editing & pulled out my journal to see what would happen if i put pen to paper.
but even in my goofing off, i am working towards being a better artist, a better writer. 
i feel very grateful that the things i love to do are the things that i love to do. 

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treasure hunting

so it turns out that if you spend thirty-six years writing without locating a publisher who will publish you & then just saying “fuck it” and squirreling all your writings away, you create a bit of a situation. 
i just went through some actual folders (not virtual ones) to find these gems from the early 90s when i was still using a typewriter because, fuck it, i am….(wait, what’s the opposite of cutting-edge?)
retro?
archaic? 
luddititious?
a dinosaur?
(if i am a dinosaur i want to be a velociraptor.)
wait–you know what–i am going to circle back & say i am cutting edge. i was years ahead of the hipster typewriter trend. i am a goddamned trendsetter. 

typewriters are cool.

so, in addition to my working on creating a book from select pages of my art journal self-portrait series, i am also working on putting together a collection of short stories. 
short stories that i wrote, and then left to age.
i think they are well-aged at this point, and ready for harvest.
or bottling? 
how would that metaphor work?

as you can see from this incoherent post, i am using all of my brain power for editing short stories & art journals while juggling four screaming minions. 

meanwhile…i am almost almost so close to being done with the postcard commission & the portrait commission.
so close!

too many fish in the sea

the minions are away so i can spread out
& take over
& work on all those projects i have been 
waiting 
to do.
someone commissioned some quixotic mama under the sea cards
my biggest problem?
picking the sea creatures to paint.
so many awesome sea creatures!
she only asked for 10 cards but i was all
“better do more…just in case”
and because i had too many fish 
i wanted to paint.
also! 
i am working on painting a portrait other than my own!
what? 
really. 
i was scared about it at first…as if my brain would not be able to
process
a face other than mine.
turns out, i am so enjoying it.
new lines
new shadows
new demons.

and if that were not enough.
i made a list of my top priorities right now.

that is just about as organized as i get. 
so exciting!
i am hoping i can get a rhythm going that i can maintain
even after the return of the minions…
without losing sight of my 
commitment to my kids.
time to don the tiara & grab my golden lasso & get to work.

half-assed theories & no plans for thanksgiving

i have just finished reading two different suspense novels that were suspenseful…but so so so fucking badly written. one was a writer who apparently has written dozens of books & won awards. has she just gotten lazy? or have readers become lazy & writers aren’t trying? or is the market just saturated with bad writers and it is difficult to find a well-written novel these days?

fuck a duck.
i need to write a book. no, i’m not a great writer, but i can write decent dialogue, goddammit. i have read a few blogs on here where there is brilliant dialogue. i don’t think someone who writes crappy dialogue should be given awards & book deals. but that’s just me.

i have mentioned a couple times that in my teens & early twenties i wrote a half a dozen books or so. none are published.
and then i quit writing books–when i should have kept writing & tried to get better.
why did i quit?
i just lost the ability.
and got distracted by men.
this all happened around the time that i met & became good friends with paul tobin. so it is now my working theory that not only men i dated took the best pieces of me but also men i was friends with.
paul tobin stole my writer’s soul.
when i met him he only wrote comics & semi-autobiographical short stories. he was all envious of my ability to pump out full length fiction. he would ask me all kinds of questions. after becoming friends with me he was writing novels, & i could only come up with short fiction & semi-autobiographical comics…. and he never took me seriously…even though i went to  him for advice on comics & writing. he just treated me like a bimbo & then took off with my novel-writing abilities. these days he will barely return an email. he got what he wanted.
it’s a theory.
what else could it be?

so how do i get my novel-writing soul back?  of course…my novel will have pictures, as all should. who’s idea was it to take all the pictures out of books for grown ups? as if.

and it is thanksgiving. i waited. i received no invitations. maybe i was supposed to invite people here? i’m better at being a guest than a host. trust me.

i could butcher a couple of ducks. i mean, too many males…& y’all can guess how i am feeling about males these days….

okay.
i don’t like thanksgiving. i don’t. you know, alcoholic father…bitter mother…november in illinois.
then i married two different men who’s extended families were not drinkers.
a dry thanksgiving? are you mad???

anyhoo. 
i will be doing art, working on my soon-to-be-best-selling novel (with pictures) & watching the incredibles 2 (which i have only been waiting like 13 years to see) and maybe some reruns of remington steele & moonlighting as i am now convinced that they were instrumental in allowing me to release my innate feminism while living in a catholic (aka women-hating) small town (aka women-hating) farm family…so i’m thinking my boys would benefit.

wow.
i think the flavor of the day is bitter.
with traces of sweet…there is always sweet
you just have to get past the bitter & will find my sweet.

 

progress

i am almost finished with this commissioned piece.
i like it. it reminds me of shel silverstein (who happens to be one of my favorite male artists.) so i felt happy about that. i also love being able to get messy with my ink.
i just emailed the people who requested it & quoted a price. then vowed to myself to start doing that before i accept a job.

so there’s that.

also! i find myself, when thinking of good things to come, thinking of artwork rather than relationships. which is a big step for me. i tried to express that in my last journal  page “a letter for me,” but i think maybe i didn’t say it the way i meant.
i am trying to explore these things further in my art journal, but i have just gotten started.
meanwhile…
my minions are back from their week at their dad’s and i am struck by how i go from living in an isolation tank to living in a house full of feral monkeys. it’s quite a shock to my system.
something i should maybe start preparing myself for…other than just buying alcohol.

yesterday i heard my ten year old boy (iggy) say of my seven year old girl, “misha is running a fight club–” i did not catch the rest of the conversation. i just hid.

then while i was doing yoga for ptsd , iggy & fidgit put on a movie i got for them and then iggy was in the doorway lamenting that the movie was black & white and how could i do that to him as i know he just hates black & white….
i assured him it would turn to color as it was not a black & white movie, and i kept doing my yoga.
fidgit then appeared in the doorway after some loud scuffling. he said something about iggy attacking & injuring him but all i could think to do was ask (of the movie) “is it colored yet?”
to which he replied, “no, but it will be soon.”
“good,” i answered right before he began wailing about my not caring that his bruise would soon have color.

for some reason that communication mix up really struck me as funny.  i started laughing & could not stop.
i would think i was losing my mind…but i am going to blame the yoga. yoga tends to release things for me. usually i cry. it felt nice to laugh like i did not know how to stop.

even though i probably further traumatized fidgit. (it still kind of makes me laugh though)

why i’m not a sex worker

so someone over on tumbr asked me to illustrate a story for his girlfriend’s book. this is the work in progress for that.
however, as usual, i said “yes” without agreeing on a rate/price for the artwork.
i mean, i love doing art.
i love seeing if i can illustrate someone else’s ideas.
it’s fun & challenging for me. i like fun. i like a challenge.
but, yes, i need to start being more professional & less quixotic sometimes. like…when i’m done with this, there is going to be that awkward email where i have to say, “um, in order to get the finished piece, i need money.”
and what if they are all–you never said it cost! and yes…they should know artists do not work for free nor donate their talent (except for a good cause.) but i still dread that point when i have to ask for a fee.
crap. i should have settled it sooner.
right?
i can’t afford to give it away for free.
(that’s what she said)

meanwhile, for another commission i am doing without settling on cost first, i am googling images of every cool sea creature i can think of to make a set of greeting cards and getting excited about painting them.
however, there is probably no way someone expects to pay as much as i think they should pay for a hand painted series of greeting cards.
and i do know this person–which makes it even harder for me to ask for what i feel my art is worth.

crap.
i need an agent.

that’s what i get for going out in public

i totally have some cold/flu thing. crap. we didn’t get sick all last winter. now it’s only november & i’m down. i woke up yesterday with a sore throat & immediately began worrying about the minions who are in wisconsin with dusty.
he texted later to say poppy was down & the others were a bit snuffy & sore throats.
crap.
when you do the whole no-refined-sugar-&-artificial-crap lifestyle…but then let your minions go trick-or-treating & binge on just that…. for a day or so i think all we ate were “foods” we don’t eat the rest of the year (i’ve never claimed to be mother of the year.)
probably a shock to our systems…the immune one for sure.
plus spending a night cavorting with public school children.
i might need to re-think my allowing a halloween binge.
i mean, at least, ration or something a responsible mom would do??

but yesterday i did get out some of the things i need to be working on. i set up space for them on the kitchen table, which means moving the other random things to the other end of the table (homeschoolers, y’all.)
and i did get some work done! i just need to shade the last page of beyond the field, and all of those pages will be ready to send to the author. i have yet to start the final for another illustration project, but i have been turning it over in my head for a day or two…that’s actually part of my process. thinking about it. some label it “procrastination,” but i learned in my writing courses at UW that this is a very important part of the creative process. i call it “percolation.”
and i did draw a journal page, but it felt so much like all the other journal pages that i could not bring myself to finish it. i am feeling a bit crappy about my art right now too. i mean, i know it is being triggered by doing art for people other than myself–i start to doubt me & wonder if i am any good at all.
i wonder if shel silverstein or ralph steadman (two of my favorite male artists) ever felt that way…i am going to go ahead & guess that vincent van gogh did. imposter syndrome on red alert, y’all.

speaking of, i included in my yesterday layout of work to do the workbook “healing wheel” a samhain to samhain workbook. i was late getting started (too busy gorging on candy it seems.) and decided to start yesterday on the new moon. the samhain section is focused on confronting/noticing our fears. i did manage to do my tarot–which told me what it always does–i use distractions & escapes & do not take myself seriously when i really really should.
i tried to cast a circle…making me realize what a lazy witch i am. i was supposed to call a challenger. i imagined my first ever therapist. and to call upon a healer. i imagined…fuck. i could not think of someone who believed in me. so i started crying & closed my circle. later, i thought of a wonderful female friend who seems so open & accepting of me.
but overall i felt like a letdown to my witchy bloodlines.

all i can do is keep trying, i suppose.

maybe i will finish that journal page & post it later.

if things are a bit wonky….

okay…so i am trying to make my site look a little less chaotic.
a bit more “professional,” make it easier to identify art for sale, etc.
i am not skilled at web building. i am more of a cricket than a spider. …or a mantis…. can i be a mantis? they get to eat heads & stuff.
anyhoo.
i am playing around within my own limitations as well as the limitations of a free wordpress website. however, if anyone wants to donate any help or do it for trade. i am open to suggestions.

speaking of art & being a working artist…
i have been working on illustrating a story for an awesome writer. i am nearly done with it, & wanted to put out this teaser to get y’all excited for that. (i’m excited for that.)
i will keep you updated.

 

dare me?

i am thinking
of venturing out of my house
and down the road
and into the horizon
to find a venue
a cafe or a gallery
who thinks my art
just might
hang
on
a
wall.
maybe make me
a buck or two
get the name
emje
out there
and into ears
&
onto lips
or
at least
get me
adventuring
out of my house
& down the road.

so i have some art i think i could display…like in a public place. i have my series of “whimsical inkings
and i also have the starts of a self-portrait series on water color paper (does anyone know the world’s record for self-portraits?)

 

plus the ink on canvas self-portraits i have been accumulating…i think i have a show-ish.

so that’s my plans for the beginning of the month. maybe hit first friday…maybe rub elbows with some art lovers. maybe make some connections/set up a showing?

in other news…
my terrible funk seems to be lifting and i am no longer imaging my life as anna karenina vs. the train.
so that’s nice.
my house is infested with fleas & i lost a beehive to a massive wax moth infestation…but i am squinting and maybe? maybe see a light at the end of the tunnel?
my mindset is slowly shifting back from “holy fuck why is my life so weird?” to “i love my weird-ass life.”

i am deciding what extra weight needs to be thrown to keep the ship from sinking…but i think i may have successfully deterred any upcoming visits from diabolical parents…so i might not have to pack up so soon?

everything is in flux right now.
everything.
but i am slowly transitioning back from severe motion sickness to enjoying the ride…so…hold on y’all.

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