Here’s an excerpt from my comic collection, “My Mom Is An Artist.”
When I was seven, a nice lady asked me if I wanted to be an
artist when I grew up. Confused, I replied, “I am an artist.” An
artist was a person who did art. I did art. I was an artist. But
some concepts are more difficult for adults to grasp than children,
and three decades later I am still learning how to say with
confidence, “I am an artist.”
The day before I drew my first comic in 2010, I was not an artist.
I was not doing art, and I hadn’t in a very long time. At thirty-
seven, I was a mom with a baby and a toddler (a job I had
long wished for), and I had an identity crisis of epic proportions.
As two tiny faces looked up at me, I was filled with doubt. How
could I help them grow and find success, when I couldn’t follow
my own dreams?
I have always believed that everyone has a God-given purpose
in life, but though I had some talent, my creativity never seemed
like a significant contribution to the world. So I spent twenty
years wandering in the wilderness of ideology, doing everything
but what, deep down, I knew I really wanted.
In the Icarus Deception, Seth Godin says,
Art is personal. Art is untested. Art is intended to connect.
As a child, I did this naturally. My art was very personal, untested (for me) and it’s purpose was to communicate. Along the way, I lost the sense that I had anything at all to say, because I went through a crisis of personality. I tried to fit in to the world around me so I could find friends and avoid ridicule. (Junior High is brutal, ya’ll.) I continued this pattern of trying to blend in for the next two decades. It made life a little easier.
I lost the ability to connect with other people through art. I was simply pursuing some skill with what I saw as my talent. The comic brought me back because its only purpose is to connect. It doesn’t matter how well you draw a comic. It matters if it resonates with at least one other person on the planet.
Connections come from something genuine inside you reaching out to someone else. It’s something we should all be doing.
We should all be artists.
I’ve always told stories about my life. We all do. We might tell them to our BFF or a stranger in the checkout line at the grocery store, but we’re always telling stories in funny or dramatic ways. Of course, many of the stories I tell about myself are in comic form.
Leap is different. It’s a complete story, and it’s not about me. I’ve worked on stories for decades, but I’ve never finished them because I was so personally invested. They were too important to me to get wrong. Too emotionally big to risk failure.
Leap is just a story. A story with magic and mystery and murder. There’s not much magic, mystery, or murder in my life.
Along the way, however, the main character, Nina, started to take on familiar elements. Nina is a young woman who finds an ancient source of power, which causes some terrible things to happen. But Nina’s biggest problem is herself. She’s given away her own power. She’s let people take power from her. She struggles to make decisions.
How many people do I know who are Nina? Myself, sure. But beyond that I can’t even count. Some have grown and taken back their power. Some are perpetually stuck in a cycle of letting others take from them. And hopefully, in the people that read this story, there will be someone with whom that concept resonates, and maybe even subconsciously, it will help them realize that they are strong enough to take a leap, spread their wings, and fly, even if they aren’t sure where they will land.
Read Leap only on LINEWeboon:
For years I’ve had people ask me to put my comics in a book, but I couldn’t figure out the best way to do it, so I put it off, thought about it, worked on it a little, then put it off again. Now, after seven years of making comics, I’m finally going to gather up the best and put them together.
My journey through webcomics is so much more than the effort to be funny or meaningful. It’s my journey through the process of figuring out how to believe in myself and my art. It isn’t always easy to do the thing deep down you know you are meant to do, and I hope to share a little of the emotional path I took while making the comic along with the best panels.
I’ll be posting updates all next month, so check back!
I’ve made the decision to only post updates on Webtoons and Tapastic from now on, so if you’re looking for new comic updates, you’ll have to go there! I do also post to social media, usually within a day, so if you follow on Twitter or Facebook you can also keep up.
I’m really enjoying Webtoons as a comic platform. The response has been very encouraging, and I’m loving getting to interact with more people. Comments here on the website have always been scarce. If you enjoy webcomics, or are already into LINEWebtoons, please subscribe to me there and give me a good rating and some likes! It really helps my exposure.
I made a little looping gif for Colour Collective with some snowflakes I drew. Snowflakes done in Photoshop, animation in After Effects (and a little photoshop)
Also – Merry Christmas from me!
Getting into the Halloween Spirit.
Sketchy colour collective piece this week in shades of cadet blue. I might finish this someday because I rather like it. I’m not sure why I’m stuck on ocean themes right now. Maybe I need to figure out how to work in another beach trip this year.
Quick colour collective piece in pink. Inspired by a fun playdate where all the kids ended up splashing in the kiddie pools.
I don’t often do fan art, but in my house right now there’s an ongoing battle between two shows on Netflix–Kate & Mim Mim and Voltron. Madeline (age 2) loves “Kim-Kim” and the boys (6 & 8) are a little obsessed with Voltron. To be honest, I’ve hardly watched Kate & Mim Mim, and I haven’t the foggiest idea what’s going on with Voltron. He’s some kind of Transformer, right? No? Are you sure? Wait, what’s up with the pilots? And why does he have puppies on his hands and feet? Lions? No, I’m pretty sure they’re puppies.
Anyway, here’s MimTron, a happy compromise between the two. If anyone out there has connections and can make this show happen, my household would be grateful.
A page from a book I’m currently working on illustrating. I’ve actually been toiling over this project for a couple of years, trying new things, throwing out everything and starting over, going back to something I did before and then repeating the whole process. But every year I get a little closer to something that accomplishes what I want while reflecting where I want to be as an artist. Fortunately the author is a dear friend and, apparently, a very patient person.
Another Colour Collective piece, for Light Yellow Glaze.
I’ve had some people tell me they want to know the stories behind these latest paintings, but I really don’t have one. This one moment in time is it. But I do think they would be fun writing prompts. So, if you’re a writer and so inclined…
This week’s Colour Collective features Scheveningen Violet, which of course I totally knew was a color before I started.
This is, without a doubt, the most pink and purple I’ve ever tried to put in one image. And I don’t hate it.
This week’s colour collective is Limpet Shell, and after missing several lovely colors because I’ve been too busy, I didn’t want to miss this one! We’re heading to Florida in a few days, and I was inspired by the story of the lighthouse restoration on St. George Island. According to authorities on the subject, the lighthouse was pulled off it’s foundation by “storms and natural erosion,” but I’m pretty sure this is what really happened.
I know I’ve gushed about the Colour Collective community before, but I have really missed the challenge the last few weeks. One of my weak points is color, and forcing myself to think around a single color that I might not normally choose has been a terrific exercise. I don’t have time for as much art lately, but I’m always looking for ways to push out of my comfort zone and learn something new.
James just turned six and John will soon be eight so I made an all-super-hero super city cake to celebrate! Where has the time gone?
I’ve started participating in Colour Collective again, one of the loveliest artist communities out there, organized on twitter. Each week a new color is given, and a wide variety of illustrators create works of art using that color.
I’m creating some original artwork for a card game I’m developing, with the help of my creative boys, that is a bit of a role-playing, storytelling adventure, that’s easy for anyone to participate in. More on that soon. Here are a couple pieces I created recently.
Want to hear more or get involved? Get in touch!
The comic will return in two weeks, February 4th, and be updated every Thursday.
The last two years we have enjoyed store-bought costumes, as John & James have chosen superheros or transformers. I have to say, the break was good. But this year, I opted out of the October Game, which left a bit of creative free time, and we did a family Star Wars theme.
Once I had the boys talked out of being Jedis, it was fun to make some of the minor characters from the Star Wars universe.
The Tuskan Raider was a last-minute addition for Daddy, and it turned out to be my favorite – probably because I made it from scraps and trash.
Painted Super Sculpey, a stuffing box, an old hat and scraps of fabric from the boys’ costumes.
Here’s a better look of the mask on John: