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Tag: art

Thing I’m Gonna Try

So the last three weeks have been getting ready for my spouse to leave and then dealing with my spouse being gone, and that was very hard. I don’t like sleeping alone. Anyway. picked up spouse from the airport yesterday and suddenly ALL my energy and focus came rushing back.

I realized that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing with my life (and pursuing opportunities to continue that). Art and Programming are both necessary for my happiness and I want to get better at both of them (also I shouldn’t feel guilty about focusing on being good at both of them, either, because I can). So I came up with a thing to try for a while to see what happens and if I can maybe eke (eeeeek!) out a little progress again.

MWF = drawing days: Fairy Porn, E.R.A., Bitch Goddess

Tues/Thurs = Treehouse Days: WordPress on Tuesday and Ruby on Thursday, so I can actually start making progress on all the things again and have a break from WordPress so I don’t just cry out of frustration for several months because of PHP. Not that it was a thing that happened or anything (okay it was).

I’m going to attempt to do recaps of programming days and mayyyybe see if I can set up a way to screencap or stream some drawings so other places like youtube will be updated. Not sure, we’ll see. If all goes well, new things’ll happen again now that I’m not entirely focused on distracting myself from utter loneliness.

 

Also, I ordered myself pieces for a fairy costume so I can go to the Short Run thing on Halloween. 😀

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on Windows 10, Art Work, and Self Care

I was apprehensive about updating my laptop to Windows 10, especially after getting it and needing to wait for patches for games to work on Windows 8. Since the entire reason I have a windows laptop is to play PC games, it seemed like a good idea to not rush into upgrading until I knew I would still be able to play something.

But the other thing I was waiting for was the roll-out, because Win10 launches on a rollout so the other day I got the notification that it was ready (and that I could switch back) so I thought I’d give it a try.

First of all, everything still seems to run – Guild Wars2, Origin, Minecraft, Steam. And Secondly, my laptop has finally come to grips with it being a laptop and gotten rid of the tablet interface and strange outside-of-desktop fullscreen apps. Which means, there’s a twitter client, and I’m not accidentally popping out to the start screen at random, and the UI is generally nicer and easier to use because it’s in laptop mode. Of course, if you have one of those “it’s a laptop! it’s a tablet! what is it even!” computers, there is a tablet mode for you.

So, I like it, and I can play my games, and have twitter open on the desktop instead of in browser, and Microsoft Edge is actually a pretty nice browser.


I haven’t drawn a proper E.R.A. comic in a couple weeks and I’ve been feeling guilty. It’s not that I don’t want to or I’m lacking motivation (it’s not), it’s just that the last couple weeks have been intense. I don’t want to apologize for not drawing because of exhaustion or need to self-care, but I did realize something – a couple things actually.

1. I make my best art when my physical and mental health is taken care of. Depressed Kiery’s art is still (pretty decent) art but it’s not as good as the things I’m capable of making when I’m actually doing okay.

Which, has what to do with E.R.A., exactly? I draw when I’m not okay all the time, in fact I make a lot of angsty comics because they’re important for my mental health and they’re great – I often keep coming back to reference the comics I made out of frustration because they’re powerful and they stick. But unlike the one-shots I usually do, E.R.A. is a story with a lot of arcs and… I’m going to be honest here – it terrifies me.

I’m not used to writing long stories that don’t end after 10 panels or go on longer than the length of a children’s book. I don’t even think I’ve successfully written anything longer than a short story for NaNoWriMo.

E.R.A. is a story that I feel like needs to be written regardless of how much it terrifies me and makes me stare at my insecurities about my ability to write interesting fiction. I think about it all the time, I have pages of notes that are arcs ahead of where we are right now that are constantly be added to and revised and the world is growing. It’s really magical and amazing and scary.

So sometimes, if I am as utterly exhausted as I have been, and it’s all I can manage to doodle to a prompt…..I don’t end up sitting down for hours to draw E.R.A. because I know I’ll scrap it. I’ll be spending energy becoming frustrated because it’s not what I know I could make it be if I only just let myself rest. So instead, I rest, and come back to it stronger and better and prettier, and make something I’m at least a little more proud of than I would have been if I had made it when I was burnt out, just to say that I had made it that week. I really want E.R.A. to take off massively and my theory is that it has to be consistent in order for that to happen, but sometimes, I just can’t.

And I think that’s okay. Because I make the rules for this particular comic, and I want it to be as amazing as I imagine it. It’s a process and I’m not there yet, but I know the days I’m incapable of even coming close and those are the days when everything else is telling me that I need to rest.

2. My health and sanity is more important than my productivity.

It feels scary to be writing that professionally, but it’s true. If I want to keep making art (and writing code) I need to remember that productivity shouldn’t come at the expense of my health and calm, because I need both of those in order to make anything and be able to actually live. That I make cool things is just a perk of me being me, it’s not my point or value. I’m saying this just as much for myself (and for coming back and reminding later) as anything. My value is inherent and it’s not based on what I make even though what I make has the potential to be really amazing (and I hope it is).

So at like 4 this morning I finally reached a point where I was calm, and I’m just going to spend the rest of the day trying to stay in that zone and have some Kiery chill time.

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Wield it Wisely

Free speech is important, vital, even, and should be protected, yet does not serve as a buffer or shield from criticism. Just because you are free to say something doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for the words you speak or write. The pen is mightier than the sword. We can say so much, so much more powerfully with ink and lines than we can in other ways, which is why it’s important to remember than when we choose pens as our weapons, as creators, we are more dangerous and more powerful than we realize. While doodles and letters put together in sentences and satire don’t physically harm anyone, we are making a difference (however small, however subtle) and we are either moving society forward or protecting the status quo. We are dismantling society, or perpetuating oppression, or maybe we do some of both because we’re human. We are communicating on a level that surpasses the conscious and meets people in their souls. When we are cruel, and racist, homophobic, or misogynistic, that still matters, it still affects people, it still hurts.

We should never be afraid to create, to say what we feel needs to be said. But we need to know, we need to be aware, that our words, our drawings, our art is powerful. That’s why so many people try to destroy it, so many people try to hide from it, and if we really want to, we can make the world a better, more equal, represented, and understanding place with it.

The pen is mightier than the sword, wield it wisely.

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mental notes

Things I did:

  • built a comic website/CMS from scratch in a month
  • built a resource website and started collecting and posting content over the holiday
  • upped my meds, starting the new full-dose tonight
  • scheduled my 2nd HPV shot appointment for Friday
  • wrote myself a starting place for new comics so I can start drawing this week
  • made mental notes about the last episode of KieryGeek season 3(!!!)
  • listed PS3 on ebay and made mental notes of easy things to do this week for more Seattle prep
  • wore bright red lipstick, because fuck the patriarchy
  • launched Swan Children

Things to do:

  • laundry
  • draw
  • draw
  • plan Humorotica
  • draw
  • add meta
  • add posts
  • write
  • write
  • film KieryGeek
  • hide long-sleeve shirts for the next month and a half until I need them again
  • finish code academy ruby course
  • start on making my badge site because self esteem reasons
  • update portfolio
  • draw
  • film new patreon video

muse:

I get in these moods where I’m almost hyper focused on one thing, which works out well until I finish that project, and then I feel lost. I love ruby/rails/making websites in general because it gives me the same kind of, good creative feeling, but on the other side of my brain that art and drawing does. It’s hard to describe but doing both of those (drawing and programming) makes me feel nice in my head, weirdly satisfying, but sometimes changing gears is really weird – like programming all week and then suddenly stopping because, hey look, the site’s basically finished (for like 10 minutes and then you realized there was more functionality you should have added but it’s so late and you need sleep, so you need write it down and do it later, okay? seriously, Kiery, it will still be here tomorrow when you’re awake) and I have a comic deadline I should do because comics.

But expelling a lot of creative energy in bursts is really exhausting. I don’t know how to balance that yet. Right now I’m at the part of the cycle where I worked non-stop, and I have more that I could do, but I’m soooo tired that I can’t, so I’m putting everything back into little bite-sized chunks even though I just really want to do all of the things (but the thought of doing all of the things is so overwhelming and makes me tired).

I go through this pretty frequently, eventually I’ll figure it out…probably. And later this week I’ll have a couple new announcements on the aforementioned website fronts that I’m really pleased about.

For now, I think I’m going to attempt to relax and calm my brain…maybe I’ll finally get past that one fucking level in Trine 2.

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This Week in Art & Life (But Mostly Pictures)

Last weekend Alex and I went to New York to see some comedy shows as an early anniversary thing and it was awesome.

We saw The Thrilling Adventure Hour and Comedy Bang! Bang! and went to a movie and checked out central park and generally had an awesome weekend. Then we drove all night Sunday night and got home at 5:30 am Monday morning, which actually wasn’t all that bad, although I’m not sure my neck appreciated it.

I also consumed unheard of amounts of caffeine, which has been exciting this week. When I went to Planned Parenthood to get my shots on Monday I was still buzzed and slightly shaky, so…I warned the nurse about that when she took my blood pressure, because I was also over-tired and talkative.

One shot in each shoulder
One shot in each shoulder

Gardasil? NO BIG DEAL. My arm was slightly achey for a day or two, but nothing more than mild irritation. Tetanus, on the other hand. Dude. My left shoulder is still sort of sensitive – much more sensitive and irritated than Gardasil arm, so, if you’ve had tetanus and are skittish about Gardasil, Tetanus is worse – but still not in the horrific “I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN” category, so if you’re due for a booster, you should get it. Achey arms hurt less than dying, I’m pretty sure.

 

 


A lot of media attention is finally being given to the craziness that is modesty culture in homeschool circles, thanks to Hännah’s sister, Clare (who is amazing).  Which has made this week very Patriarchy crushing and awesome (albeit intense).

I’ve needed to paint for a while, and I felt like this week called for all of the art to happen – including a rage-comic I haven’t written yet, and one I have. I channeled all of my feelings of rage and patriarchy-crushing into paints and mirrors and canvas, which did wonders for my mental health (as it usually does), and I feel like I can breathe again.

Fuck the Patriarchy
Fuck the Patriarchy
Rage
Rage
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Reminders

I’ve posted this before several times, but sometimes I’m at this point where I just need to listen to it again…

I’m at a point in my creative cycle where I feel like all of my goals are unattainable, that I’ll never be where I want to be. I feel like everyone is just better at everything by default and flying by and I’ll never ever get to the point where I’ll be good enough – to where I can make what I want to make and it’ll be as good as I wanted it to be.

All of my ambitions seem so impossible, and then I remember this is the part where a lot of people just stop, and so, if I don’t stop, if I can just manage to push through, I’ll get better. I always do.

And then I remember that I’m not 45, I’m 23, and I’ve only been doing things consistently for a couple years. My life hasn’t passed me by yet, I still have time.

It’s normal to take a while.

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Early Art

I’m trying to pare down on the amount of random bulk that I/we have in preparation for moving to Seattle next summer(!!!!) and sell as much as we can to help with the move. I’m also trying to distribute all of my art that is not on my walls. All of it is circa 2010-2012 – the earlllly stuff, from when I just started re-learning drawing and painting, and I’m “selling” it for the cost of shipping.

If you’re interested in peeking at what all that looks like, or getting your hands on some really cheap fairy paintings, check out my Art Sale.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 3.26.02 PM

(I was up until 4am last night building this from scratch with Ruby and Rails and I’m very proud, so)

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Guilt and Art and Stuff

You know when you hate yourself and you just want to give everything up because you’re doing things different and you feel like you shouldn’t be able to? Because nothing makes you special or better than the next person who’s doing things the way everyone else does and that person is even better for it because they’re pushing through more creative blocks than you are because you actually have time? And then you feel really guilty for having that time even though it’s the one thing that you value above all else? Because you know that given enough time you can do something really neat? But you feel like you really really don’t deserve it? But you have it, so you’re not going to waste it?

Then you hate yourself because you feel like a leech, and you feel like you should require nothing, and you feel like you deserve nothing, because even though you’re working really hard on projects that do or will eventually make a lot of difference and contribute to the world in a positive way, you’re not working for a paycheck? And because you don’t have a paycheck and because you spend your time working on things you love, you feel like you don’t deserve to be able to live as fully as you want because you’re…doing it differently?

And deep down inside you KNOW it’s bullshit, because art is important and artists deserve to be able to live, fully, and spend their time making art and contributing to the world – but no one really seems into that and it’s crushing?

So then you launch a campaign that lets you get monthly donations so you CAN make art and live fully, and then you just feel crushingly guilty and undeserving and worthless and don’t even know how much you should tell people about it because you can think of so many people who are working at jobs and still creating and what makes you so special or worthy anyway? Why should people donate to your art when there’s other art?

So you just go hide under blankets for the rest of the day. You know that feeling?

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I have something to show you

It’s funny and probably in no way coincidental that I was talking about art last night  – and how powerful it is – with a couple friends. It’s been a while since I really thought about the subject, I’m more of a “just leave me alone and let me make my own shit” kind of person who will learn theory and whatever I need to in my own time, at my own pace, and it will happen organically at a point where I really get it.

But art being something subjective and the beauty and power in that is something I’ve always loved about it and what draws me to it. I believe that good art lets the viewer find their truth, find what they need and is less of a cohesively preachy piece of work than something powerful on a subconscious level. The beauty is the creator doesn’t know what people are going to find when they look at it – the artist knows it means something to them, so they paint it – people who view it might not find what the artist intended them to see, but something they needed to see instead (which, can be frustrating). I believe that good art does this. Good art resonates on a level we maybe don’t consciously understand, or at least maybe don’t right away (or we do right away, because that’s how we are and what we need). Good art resonates.

And I’m happy to be able to announce a project that showcases good art – with people who understand the power and beauty and vulnerability of it.

We are the Swan Children, and we have something to show you.

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