let me illustrate

a friend asked me to illustrate her story. this is an ink i did in my process of figuring out how i want the characters to look. it’s just a mess around rough draft, but i really liked how it turned out. my months of doing ink stain work has shaped my drawing skills and given me lots of fodder for other projects.
i’m excited about working on this project. it is my first chance to work as an illustrator. other than my own stuff, that is.
i like collaborating. i always have. i have found that i work well with others. either flushing out their ideas or letting them help me flush out my own.
i hope that this is the first of many collaborations & illustration gigs.

i haven’t gotten much art done.
i have tried to milk sheep with minimal success.

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i have been growing seeds for spring.

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i have been putting in beehives.

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and raising up more chickens.

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and planting potatoes…(no picture here because planting potatoes is not really a photo op)
ah. the life of a homesteading artist.
with kids.
and dog.
and sheep, chickens, and bees.

and, of course, the dysfunctional relationship that i am working really hard to avoid dealing with.

mister chicken

so as it turns out,
i’m not crazy–i’m an empath.
okay,
sometimes i’m still crazy.
but when i get super sad and then feel elated the next minute–
the thing is–
i often don’t feel my own emotions,
i feel other people’s emotions.
so weird.
i always knew i was really really empathetic
but only in the past couple of years have i learned about being an empath.

so i’m an empath.
i feel things
and know things
that other people cannot sense.
i know when someone is lying.
i can see an aura better than i can notice the color of your eyes.
and it has come to my attention that being an empath–& not knowing how to protect yourself–is a dangerous & even a bad thing.
i don’t know how to protect me.
i lay open for everyone to just dump their emotions in.
and then i turn into a raging pond of dumped emotions.

so today i was reading a book about service dogs for families that have special needs children and i felt profoundly sad. ¬†and instead of just feeling sad, i examined why i felt sad…only to realize that the sadness was not my own, but the sadness of these families.
it finally clicked.
i was not feeling my own emotions.
i was feeling someone else’s!!
and just like that, the sadness evaporated.
how often am i doing that?
being angry with someone else’s anger?
being happy with someone else’s happiness?
being frustrated with someone else’s frustration?

i wonder.
when i was a child, i loved¬†animals. all animals. i loved them. i collected them. i had over fifty pets as a kid–and even more imaginary ones.
but my dad was so angry.
and he put that anger on us kids
and on the animals.
and i felt myself absorb that anger.
i felt it grow inside me.
i recognized it when it came out–it was his anger, not mine.
but over the years i adopted it as my own.
i was the one being angry at the animals.
it stopped being his and became mine.
and i felt so horrible about it
about myself.
i cringe to think that that is who i am.
but what if it isn’t?
i wonder…
if i now realize it is not my anger after all…can i send it on its way?