Out from Under my Rock (For a Moment)

Midway through the summer, I let all of my social media fall by the wayside. Some of it was that I was working on secret projects I'm only unveiling now, namely some cute animal paintings that will be showing at Nice Things Handmade in South Philly this Saturday from 5pm to 8pm. Some of it was that I was working intense hours as a teaching artist. Some of it...was that I needed a break.

I still feel like I need a break. It's difficult for me to tell to what degree that's true and to what degree I'm just being lazy. Nevertheless, I've been hiding under a rock. And I'm poking my head out for a brief moment to tell you a little about what I've got going on under here.

Confession: I've been cheating on my art with writing.

Just before I started this blog in 2014, I considered myself mostly a writer who sometimes made art. After moving to Philly and working weird hours, visual art was easier to fit into the cracks and the balance shifted. 

Confession #2: I'm writing some silly, nerdy stuff.

If you're curious and you want to look through the archives, you'll see that both this blog and my decision to pursue illustration more seriously started with pokemon fan art. The pokemon fan community was a huge part of my childhood -- geographic isolation necessitated long-distance friends -- and it's still dear to my heart. For some reason I can't fully explain, it still calls to me very loudly sometimes. What I'm working on isn't just fan fiction, it's almost like fan fiction of fan fiction, because I'm trying to create a more grown up version of some of my first ever stories I wrote when I was twelve. (Both so proud and so horrified of my past self!) Some of it is good old fashioned escapism with its themes of magic and freedom. Some of it is... something else. I'm working on something right now that explores some of the issues in our real world like political division, violence, and climate change. The distance of fantasy both offers a new perspective on what a friend has called "our boring dystopia" and creates an emotionally safe way for me to explore those themes. So that's what I'm doing.

Luckily, it's not all bad news for my "real" creative projects. First, I'm still definitely gearing up for the usual holiday markets and gift orders. Second, my nerdy hobby has always inspired me to try drawing things I wouldn't normally -- like the watercolor landscape study up top -- which is great. Play is so good for a healthy, creative brain. 

I thought I'd leave you with a few of the drawings I've been making for these side projects. If you're super curious, you're also welcome to poke around on the lil website I whipped up for my projects...because I'm that flavor of nerd. I'll come out from under my rock eventually, but until then enjoy the weird gems I'm finding in the dirt here under my rock.

Comment and tell me what you're nerdy about!


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