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from Karin Wanderer Learns

Hello & Hello Again! We are talking about paints today. I usually avoid mentioning brands, because no one is paying me. Today I need to specify that I use Daniel Smith watercolors. Every brand has their own unique spin on a color- it may be a little cooler, or more transparent, etc, compared to other brands. If you love a shade you see from a specific brand, buy that color in that brand! If you really like a shade but think it could be better, check out that color in different brands! #NotSponsored

Welcome back to our ColorFull series!

Colors have great names. Paint colors doubly so.

Alizarin Crimson. Quinacridone Pink. Isoindoline Yellow. Some paint names make immediate sense, like Sap Green. Some make no sense whatsoever, like Elephant’s Breath. One color I have always wondered about is…

Payne’s Gray

Payne’s Gray is one of my most frequently-used colors. It is an absolutely lovely shade of blue-gray. At its most concentrated it is almost black, which shows more & more blue as you dilute it. It makes for lovely shadows, & nothing matches that blue-black you find in cats’ fur better. I use just a touch of it mixed with other colors all the time. I blend it with other colors so often, in fact, that I had a hard time finding paintings that actually show off the color itself.

A kitten sits on a cliff & reaches for the moon Good thing one of the past #KWPrompts was #Monochrome!

Payne’s Gray was named after William Payne. Although he sounds like an old-timey vampire in a YA novel, William Payne was a watercolor artist. He supported himself by tutoring other watercolorists, & eventually gained a measure of renown. Landscapes were his specialty. An alien mountain range full of giant butterflies, as Payne intended.

There are a lot of stories about why, exactly, Payne made his Gray. The most popular one is that he was trying to make a mixer that had a lot of the qualities of black, but was less overpowering. If that was the reason, he certainly succeeded. As I mentioned, I mix & blend with this color all the time! My favorite story is a bit different. It is said that Payne, in his work as a watercolor tutor who specialized in landscapes, got absolutely fed up with having to mix the perfect shade of blue-gray to portray mountains off in the distance. He solved this problem by inventing the perfect color for it! As a teacher, I empathize- anything to cut down on lesson prep.

Payne was a good artist. By all accounts he loved art & he enjoyed teaching others. His paintings are on display in many private & public collections. But his biggest contribution to art was definitely the Gray. Payne’s Gray plays beautiful games with the atmosphere & depth of a painting. It is important to remember that Payne’s Gray loses some of its cool as it ages & becomes a more neutral gray. If you look at his surviving original works, you may not see Payne’s Gray! While Payne’s Gray initially came out for Winsor & Newton watercolors, it is now available in just about every brand & type of paint I could think of to check. I love this color!

This Yellow Robin has Payne’s Gray in its feathers

What’s your favorite color name? Is it the same as your favorite color? Let me know! You can find me everywhere

Tune in on future #ColorFull Tuesdays to learn more!

We’ll be talking about how our ancestors made pigments & what they used them for. We’ll be talking about how we currently make pigments & what we use them for. We’ll be talking about how we physically see color, how we categorize it, & how we organize it. We’ll be getting down to brass tacks & talking about specific colors! It’s going to be a wild ride.

My 2-week #KWPrompts art challenge is ongoing!

We still have another week of the #Sky prompt Check out the #KWPrompts list for more info!


from Karin Wanderer Learns

Every 2 weeks I post a new art challenge prompt! The new #KWPrompts is #Sky

Powerlines, roofs, & treetops are silhouetted against a cloudy sunset sky. The clouds are a dark purple-grey but their undersides are gorgeous swirls of yellow, pink, & purple. Your skies can be any colors you like!

Don’t want to limit yourself to already existing skies? You don’t have to! Make terrestrial skies, or ones nobody has seen before, or ones nobody should ever see! If you live somewhere that allows you to see the stars, please know that I envy you deeply. Let’s spend the next 2 weeks thinking about the skies!

Photo of gorgeous fluffy clouds drifting through a light blue sky over Florence Italy. I’m realizing I have tons of cloud reference & barely any cloud paintings…

You can submit a new picture every day, work on one picture for 2 weeks, or post pictures randomly. This is the most laid-back art challenge on the internet, & that means you have plenty of time to make your art however you want. Just make sure you tag me @KarinWanderer so I see it!

Watercolor/Ink painting of a telephone pole with lots of wires towering over trees. The sun is so low you can't see it. Yellow streaks the sky & pink tinges the underbellies of the heavy grey clouds. Join me in painting lots of clouds!

Use #KWPrompts #Sky &/or tag me so I can see how you think!

Pick your social & post your art! Mastodon Bluesky Cara

All art styles & skill levels are welcome- beginner to expert, renaissance painting to rough sketch! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week! I'll save you a search: the title is from a poem by Emily Dickinson


from RMiddleton

recent posts on this blog probably should have been placed on Planet B but current pain levels prevent multilayered thinking

also I don't understand the difference between toward and towards so I'm probably going to have to rewrite the current title of this blog post

also I think I've lost all focus! Yes I blame pain for that. See it's like this: all progress encounters interference. The addition of pain at a high level makes overcoming standard level interferences unlikely. Right now I'm going to jettison this writing because my energy levels are low. New priority is to eat and take medications. I probably won't be back. I had a great post planned.



from RMiddleton

Conversations are like this:

“Kids will say anything, like Why are your teeth yellow!”

“Oh I know. My niece said that to me!”

“They all do!”

“I was stunned and didn't know how to answer. Then later when they ordered cokes somewhere I said that that may be why my teeth aren't very white, because for years I've drunk a lot of brown liquids.”

“I use teeth whitening strips and baking soda toothpaste.”

“Yeah I've tried those too. Baking soda toothpaste is too salty for me and bleaching hurts my sensitive teeth. Fortunately a kind dentist once told me that not all teeth are naturally bright white, that ivory and cream colored teeth are perfectly normal. So I worry more about holes and sensitivity and gums than appearance.”

“I just like my teeth to be white.”


from RMiddleton

lifelong obsession with right and wrong & nowadays I want to put those terms in quotes What changed? Abstract art is part of it. Changing how my mind interprets. A long journey. Imagine competitive praying, World Championship Yoga Meditation tournaments ! Now don't imagine those things, they're terrible. Reality isn't a contest. Lives aren't ranked


from RMiddleton

incomplete that's the theme joined in the middle, in medias res so much to figure out, too much, need help and guidance that reproduces past misunderstandings, a % of rebelliousness is necessary for growth What %? Complete upheaval? gay atheistic socialism? Division. “find your people” but what about the rest? Tensions. Opposition. } = unnecessary strife in life strife in life strife in life the unavoidable strife in a life is living. stay alive. eat. protect. biological breakdowns. forgetfulness. focus. limits. nature's dangers. to survive the above humans align, support, care, love, console, repair, heal, invent, inspire together with other humans survival


from RMiddleton

Everything is a rough draft. And that's good. For me and for everyone. Improvement is possible. Slow, difficult, frightening, and always possible. I don't need to do anything beyond survive and I do not need to know anything beyond what's necessary for survival. Everything else is gravy. I happen to like learning how to make gravy, and a variety of many other sauces beyond that. That's fun. Life is fun. I like learning. I love learning. Again, rough draft. Keep revising.

I do not need to have or express an opinion about everything and everyone. I need to stay alive, safe, happy. Since a metaphor is incomplete, another way to look at life besides rough draft is that it's therapy. Revisions in writing are drafts. Life rewrites can develop through therapy. Therapeutic processes improve physical and mental health. It can be safest to work on major improvements with professional therapists. Changes are also being field tested in real time by all of us without professional supervision. If (when) someone speaks or behaves around me in a way that I believe is “suboptimal,” what are my options? Assess whether they are putting me, others, or themselves in danger. If so consider safe interventions. In most cases the offensive behavior is not threatening, in which case I am free to ignore it. Ignoring it might be the best option for my own mental health. I'm talking online and in person, when someone is acting out I might be best served by tuning it out. Or, to use my therapy metaphor, they are working on themselves, showing me their messy process. Like many a well trained therapist I can keep quiet. Let them keep fumbling around until they get to some better behavior. Then if I happen to be around for that I can chime in with encouraging words. But when I witness someone being an ugly mess I can remain unaffected. I really believe that I can.

(This therapist angle comes from some interactions on social media. You know the kind, when someone comments and you think, “Really? Why did you feel the need to say that?” And that's exactly it. I am seeing it as almost a compulsive need sometimes for people to say completely unwanted opinions. They're working on their own issues and I need not get involved even when it's a comment on my own post. My silence says, “this response does not speak to me,” and that's enough. They said what they wanted to say. I'm unaffected.)


from fieryzard

Welcome to the Fediverse.

This is a work-in-progress guide for friends, acquaintances, and followers in the art & fandom spaces to populate their feeds when first arriving to the Fediverse. Enough has been stated about which platforms to use, what instances to join, and how the Fediverse works. So this blog will not seek to answer those questions. I find that, for many people, the hurdle is finding who to follow. I'd like to help with that.

There are many people on here and following more people will lead you to discovering even more people. So follow freely and unfollow freely, too. Mute and block freely. Make a space that is safe for you and healthy for you in your current moment. We're here to have fun.

Also, there are so many people on here that I am still discovering new ones every day. If you find cool people, boost them so more of us can see! Remember this doesn't work like Twitter: feeds are chronological and you only see posts from those (or that, in the case of hashtags and groups) which you are following. Having said that, here are some suggestions from me to make new beginnings easier. If you copy the link and search them through your instance's search bar (@user@TheirInstance), you can open their feed on Mastodon and easily follow them. If you can't find them by doing that, your instance might have blocked their instance.


  • Plumy – comics, art journaling about videogames, perfect if you love looking at sketchy work
  • Cindy – plants, environments, animated illustrations, the loveliest mark-making
  • Tisha Mark – small-size abstract landscapes, really cool!
  • Colossal – the popular contemporary arts magazine
  • Léa Muna – beautiful watercolor illustrations
  • Malky – illustrator from Mexico making cool animal designs
  • Maruki – lovely pixel art, especially if you love mushrooms
  • Elaine Will – lovely environments with a Ghibli-Don Bluth vibe
  • Ego Rodriguez – the most gorgeous illustrations of gay/queer men, by a queer person, too!
  • Himbo Beefcake, PhD – 18+ art and comics of himbos, with the most crisp lineart and delectable shapes
  • Ksenia Palchikova – detailed illustrations with lovely lineart and that “flat” coloring style I really like
  • Victoria Maderna – gorgeous children's book like illustrations
  • Averil – SFW slime girls, art & merch for you art nouveau lovers
  • Kim Hu – the most fun urban environments and character designs
  • Mossypine – lovely, whimsical & earthy nature merch designs
  • Irene N. – if you're into horror... this one's for you
  • Julia Bausenhardt – nature sketches done on-field, it's really fun to stumble upon these
  • Djamila Knopft – lovely Ghibli-like nature work
  • Hiko – anime-like illustrations with gorgeous, stain-glass like colors
  • Hoka@名古屋クリマM-538 – really cute, vintage-y, cartoon-ish, anime-like illustrations
  • Cartoonist Cooperative – just as it sounds like, it's a cooperative for people making comic-work
  • Me!! – I tell stories through colorful illustrations, inspired by anime and Western cartoons
  • This blog!! – you can follow this blog by searching for on your Mastodon search bar.
  • Your Name Here – join us!!


You can search these from your instance's search bar and then press the Follow button to follow them. This might need to be done from the web or mobile web version of the platform. Some apps out there might not have this option available. * #MastoArt – a popular hashtag for artists * #CreativeToots – another popular hashtag for creatives * #WordWeavers – a monthly challenge where you answer one question about your characters/story each day, to help motivate you and connect you to your writing community



from Karin Wanderer Learns

Every 2 weeks I post a new art challenge prompt! The new #KWPrompts is #Bears

Watercolor bear sitting happily next to a clump of ferns. I do not paint bears often

Don’t want to limit yourself to already existing bears? You don’t have to! Make traditional bears, or ones nobody has seen before, or ones nobody should ever see! If you live somewhere that allows you to safely photograph bears, please know that I envy you deeply. Let’s spend the next 2 weeks thinking about bears!

Minimalist watercolor pandas! I practically never paint bears

You can submit a new picture every day, work on one picture for 2 weeks, or post pictures randomly. This is the most laid-back art challenge on the internet, & that means you have plenty of time to make your art however you want. Just make sure you tag me @KarinWanderer so I see it!

Ink painting of polar bears on a snowy background. One bear is sitting upright, the other is sleeping. These may be all the bears I’ve ever painted

Use #KWPrompts #Bears &/or tag me so I can see how you think!

Pick your social & post your art! Mastodon Bluesky Cara

All art styles & skill levels are welcome- beginner to expert, renaissance painting to rough sketch! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week! I'll save you a search: the title is from “Grizzly Bear Blues” by Corb Lund


from Karin Wanderer Learns


As of the day this article is posted, we will be 45% of the way through 2024. Now is a good time for my resolution review! My overarching goal every year is “make better choices than last year.” I have been sticking to that, albeit a bit differently than I planned. Originally my goal had been focused around making the doctors appointments I had been procrastinating, but when I lost my health insurance (woooo! USA! USA!)I needed a new plan. Instead I have been focused on eating better & exercising more- the boring resolutions.

Watercolor Jewel Beetle in iridescent greens & blues. Eat Your Greens

All 5 of my specific goals for 2024 have been focused on art. Here they are, listed in order of what I thought (in January) would be least to most challenging: Let’s See How I’m Doing!

Goal 1: New Art Challenge Approaching!

I wanted to create my own art challenge to see/share other peoples’ art, to entertain people, & to help me stay focused on a single category of painting instead of flitting from one topic to the next at random..

How Am I Doing So Far: Success! Check out #KWPrompts for more info on the current theme (as of this article’s posting, it’s #Plants!) #KWPrompts is the most laid-back art challenge on the internet. You can submit a new picture every day, work on one picture for the whole challenge, or post pictures randomly. You have plenty of time to make your art however you want. Now instead of bouncing from subject to subject without rhyme or reason, I spend 2 weeks on a single theme. I love it!

Digital drawing of a giant shrimp rampaging through a wrecked city, destroying buildings with her atomic breath. The #Cryptid prompt brought us Shrimpzilla, hallowed be Her name

Goal 2: Feature More Artists!

I should have put this goal way at the end with the harder stuff. For my featured artist articles I research the artist, reading everything I can get my hands on that they’ve written (including picture books) & viewing every piece of their art I can get in front of my eyes. (I have a fantastic library network available to me, but having to wait on hold lists makes everything move in fits & starts.) Then I write about the artist & review a few of their picture books before picking a few things from their work to paint myself & accompany the article. It is a labor of love, with a whole lot of love, but also a whole lot of labor. Originally I had thought to interview some artists directly (online), which would reduce my workload a bit. I guess I forgot how bad I am at reaching out & asking for help? I get so anxious thinking about it that I haven’t even made a list of artists I might reach out to.

How Am I Doing So Far: Bad. Trying to research Tomie dePaola – who worked on over 200 picture books – broke me entirely. My featured artists series will continue- but slowly. If there is an artist who you think should be featured, let me know on Mastodon, Ko-Fi, or BlueSky.

Watercolor & ink of a tree surrounded by a grate. Next to it is a green motorized tricycle with a compartment on the front for a child to ride in. Do yourself a favor: read My Beijing by Nie Jun

Goal 3: Expand My Shop

This one is pretty self-explanatory, I want to expand my shop & update it more frequently. How Am I Doing So Far: Success! My Ko-Fi shop has my art available digitally. My Spring shop has useful art on mugs, notebooks, & practically indestructible vinyl stickers for you to stick on other useful things! [A portion of all sales go to help support the LA Food Bank.]

I’m even getting better at updating my shop frequently! If there is a piece you wish I sold, let me know- I will add it & send you a coupon code

Sticker of a black cat with bright yellow eyes painted in watercolor. The cat is a perfect balance of adorable & evil. Imp Cat is waiting for you

Goal 4: Tell Everyone How Awesome Animals Are

News flash: Animals are fantastically wonderfully great, folks. My goal is to get the picture book I have been writing about Marine Animals to the “dummy” (or mock-up) stage! How Am I Doing So Far: OK, but I’ve hit a surprising snag. I paint very small, because I like it & because I have no money to buy more watercolors & paper. Unfortunately, my standard 3x3 inch squares are too small for this project! I need my paintings to be as big or bigger than the picture book page, because you can size something down & have it look nice but that doesn’t work in reverse. I am trying to paint larger pieces & conserve materials at the same time, which leads to me painting lots of small pieces to test things out & then one larger piece to see if the details work on a larger scale. It is quite frustrating to work like this (why yes you can help me, thank you muchly!) I am enjoying the work though, & I’ve gotten a lot done. I am learning so much at every step, & I really love the process.

Watercolor damselfly perched on a stem. Damselflies hold their wings together, dragonflies stretch theirs out to either side.

Goal 5: Touch Grass, Seek Inspiration

I thought this was the hardest goal I’ve set. I want to spend this year experiencing a wider range of art. My plan involved going to Museums, Galleries, Art Fairs, etc., or just walking around outside taking pictures. Why was I thinking this would be the hardest? Because I have agoraphobia.

How Am I Doing So Far: Pretty good, all things considered. I haven’t made it to many museums, because I'm terrible at remembering when their free admission days are, but I have been going out & walking around more. I am very lucky to live in a neighborhood where every building has at least a small yard, & most are full of lovely plants!

Photo of a beautifully round daisy. Whatever works, right?

There we have it- 6 month’s worth of work. Sometimes it can be frustrating, sometimes it feels like I'm making no progress at all. When it gets to be too much I imagine I am running a Couch to 5k. My first goal would not be “run 5k”, or even “run 1k”– it would probably be “stretch really well” or “walk around the block.” It is a good way to remind myself that “slow & steady wins the race.” Also I hate running, so it's always nice to remember I'm actually not training for a 5k. Everything seems easier compared to long-distance running! Perspective is important.

Overall I’ve made decent progress on my goals so far. Touching base halfway through the year is always useful to me. I wonder how much progress I’ll make over the next 6 months!

But enough about me, how are your resolutions going? Let me know on Mastodon, Ko-Fi, or BlueSky! I'll save you a search through a broken engine: the title is from “Pictures of Success” by Rilo Kiley


from the glass wall is holding strong, the fog is unrelenting

I wonder who she is, in a vacuum. When devoid of a point of reference, my colleague's abrasive internet humor or my throwaway existential nothings.

What does she do when not tapping away at a keyboard in the library? What movies make her cry that she would never admit to? Does she dance in front of a mirror to songs in her head? Does she imagine little people running through the streets and fields like an obstacle course, when looking out the window of a moving train?

I wonder what personal meanings she ascribes to gestures she says are “just because”.

What she is one millisecond before someone taps her on the shoulder to ask a question. What opinions she chooses to replace with silences when someone's passionate attitude compels her to nod.

And I'm curious what she thinks, what kinds of images pass before her eyes as she falls asleep. What parts of her everyday performance dissolve into the dark when the lights go out and all that's left is white noise.

Czytaj dalej...

from Karin Wanderer Learns

Every 2 weeks I post a new art challenge prompt! The new #KWPrompts is #Plants

Watercolor of pink water lilies (one open & one a bud) and a lily pad. The flowers are reflected in the rippling water. Water Lily

Don’t want to limit yourself to already established plants? You don’t have to! Make traditional plants, or ones nobody has seen before, or ones nobody should ever see! Let’s spend the next 2 weeks playing with plants!

Watercolor bear sitting happily next to a clump of ferns Ferns

You can submit a new picture every day, work on one picture for 2 weeks, or post pictures randomly. This is the most laid-back art challenge on the internet, & that means you have plenty of time to make your art however you want. Just make sure you tag me @KarinWanderer so I see it!

Watercolor ginger root. Ginger

Use #KWPrompts #Plants &/or tag me so I can see how you think!

Pick your social & post your art! Mastodon Bluesky Cara

All art styles & skill levels are welcome- beginner to expert, renaissance painting to rough sketch! No AI, Yes alt text, CW as needed.

Flower with large white petals stained with yellow, with smaller purple petals at the center. I don’t know what kind of flower this is. Do you?

I'll save you a search through a broken engine: the title is from Emily Dickinson's We Should Not Mind So Small A Flower Have a fantastic day, draw something for my art challenge, see you next week!


from humanissome

I shared the previous post introducing the interview podcast project, We Respectfully Disagree, just to put something on the blog after 2 months dormant. If this podcast project were a recipe it's not on the front burner or even the back burner. It's a bunch of ingredients still in the pantry for now.

Look for me:

Randomly streaming on Twitch, where I use the excuse of streaming to get my phone out of my hands, and to mumble a few ideas while getting things done. So far I don't use Twitch to interact with viewers.

My neighboring blog that is most frequently updated.

Mastodon, where I hang out every day and interact often.


from humanissome

Humanissome podcast series: We Respectfully Disagree

I'm currently seeking guests willing to be interviewed on video or audio-only for the program described here. I have 2 friends in mind currently & think that I would need a lot more lined up before launching. Maybe?

intro Rob: Welcome. I'm your host, RMiddleton. Guest: And I'm [guest name]. Both: And we respectfully disagree.

Rob: Welcome, Guest. Before we start talking I want to welcome any listeners, and since this is a brand new podcast I will explain what I hope to offer. I like my work as an artist to meet 2 criteria, to help me and to offer something different than most other content. I think learning to love all humans is the challenge that's required to make major improvements in the world; and a personal challenge for me to feel more at peace. Before I can learn to love those I dislike I thought I would practice how to respectfully disagree with those I like. Interview styles I'm most familiar with either feature zero conflict whatsoever, 2 people discussing a mutual interest, maybe promoting a project; OR they are all-conflict, antagonists representing polar opposite positions trying to win an argument and humiliate the other side. Zero conflict content can feel like forced positivity or meaningless marketing, while verbal combat does nobody any good. I'm starting small, hoping to interview many people I know and like who are willing to tread into areas of disagreement. Guest, are you game?

Guest: [ ... ]

Rob: Ok, well, I see no reason to leap into disagreement without first establishing who we are, how we know each other, and things that we like about each other. Also I should point out that I'm a sneaky host and Guest does not know all the subjects we may get into talking about today. In fairness they also could bring up unexpected topics. It will be a free-ranging conversation. My policy with these interviews is that both parties approve the final edit before it is published. So today's Guest I know from [ ... ] and they are [ ... ].

Thomas Mann quote on black background: War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace


from fieryzard

This week was an improvement from the previous week. However, I would like to post these updates on Saturdays, which I've failed to do, mainly because my Saturdays tend to be somewhat busy with family. I'm still not at 100%, and last week, there were many times when I felt too hopeless to get into drawing. I think I'm getting back to remembering my muscles, and that's something I can be proud of.

  • Weight Training – I did all three days this week. Some of the workouts that used to be difficult now hardly break a sweat, and we've finally been adding weight to the bar.
  • Morning Pages – I did morning pages 4 days this week. While I was able to do all my pages, the days that I was not at my desk, I obviously did not do them, and I don't think much of it was particularly enlightening at the moment. Some of them made me feel upset. I know these are stream-of-consciousness, but I'd like to somehow add gratitude and positivity to my day, and I think journaling is the easiest way because it's a habit I have already established.
  • Artist Date – No actual artist date this week? I forgot.
  • Journal Sketches – No journal sketches this week. I haven't been able to get back into them. I think I was committing myself to too much time here, which puts pressure on me to make it look pretty. I would like to avoid that by shortening it to about 15 minutes of sketching.
  • Gesture Drawings – I did gestures for three days this week. It's been difficult to get myself to do them when I'm conscious they're not a warm-up because I don't have the spoons that day to make art. So, I think the solution is to target the reason why I haven't been making art.
  • Anatomy Studies – I did a knee study this week using Proko's videos. It was refreshing. I really enjoy doing studies. Besides taking notes/copying what I was seeing, I didn't really do repetitions, but I've been trying to keep it in mind when sketching. And also, using the same technique/information for the elbow.
  • Misc Studies – No extra studies this week, but I was doing some vision board stuff for direction.
  • Illustration – No work on illustration(s) this week.

I know not everyone will enjoy reading these updates because maybe it's too close to the “productivity mindset.” I don't really want anyone to look at it from that perspective. Making art and getting inspired requires skill, and that skill, like a muscle, can stop working as well if it's not used. If you're a hobbyist, this is not a problem for you, you can simply move on to whatever it is makes you happy in the moment. I'm trying to get my life together and work with my depression, my negative thoughts, and my ADHD. Without art, I feel like I've lost a limb, and I won't be happy existing unless I do this for myself so I can figure out what's getting in the way. You know yourself best. Does this post make you feel motivated and less lonely, or does it make you feel pressured and alienated?


from fieryzard

I won't start by saying I'm disappointed in myself because I did not do as intended this week. I'm proud of myself because I was able to get back into writing. However, one problem I've encountered is that if I spend my energy writing, I cannot draw that day, and if I spend my energy drawing, I cannot write that day. What a dilemma. If any of you do both, I'd love some advice or acknowledgment.

I had to take rest time for body and health reasons. My mental health was so-so last week, so there was no art or routine. And because I was not at my desk, there were no Morning Pages either. That's alright. I heard my body, and I answered. I used my time for other things that equally support my creativity: writing, playing video games, and watching anime.

  • Weight Training – No weight training this week. I needed to rest my body.
  • Morning Pages – No morning pages this week because I was not at my desk.
  • Artist Date – I played Sticky Business while watching Twitch streams and Given (anime). It was nice. I feel like I want to get back into fandom and creating merch.
  • Journal Sketches – No drawing this week.
  • Gesture Drawings – No drawing this week.
  • Anatomy Studies – No studies this week, although I started watching a video about how to study Bridgman.
  • Misc Studies – No extra studies this week.
  • Illustration – I missed the goal of getting my illustration done in two weeks. That's okay. I got quite a lot done in one week, and I would have finished earlier had I had two normal weeks. However, I opened it and glanced at it a few times to study my next move (I was kind of stuck because of the composition).

On Writing

I mentioned this on a stream with anqi a while back, but I've been revisiting my approach to The Thread of Caona. A few years ago, I decided to write a story and make it a webcomic. This whole time, I've been struggling with the plot and, as such, the drawing portion because my ADHD causes me to have problems processing information. That means writing, especially long stories, becomes very overwhelming because I can't connect ideas together, and text on a page just becomes a wall of overstimulation.

Additionally, I've been doing a lot more inward exploration, and it turns out I'd like to write a lot more stories in my lifetime than a long-running webcomic allows. Running a webcomic also means I'd have to dedicate my days fully to it, putting aside other things I enjoy doing more than webcomics, like illustration. Frankly, I'm not willing to give that up.

So why did I make it a webcomic in the first place?

In part, it was because of a bad experience I had in art school with a toxic person that I carried with me for longer than I should. I was only able to understand what it meant and what I wanted to do after joining Mastodon because I was allowed to get away from toxic mindsets in this space.

Secondly, I also really wanted to make something story-oriented with original characters. The common belief seems to be that “People are not interested in OCs unless you make a webcomic.” I've found that to be largely false. If anything, my engagement has dropped because I turned to comics and away from what I'm passionate about, resulting in a creative block. This does not mean comics equals a less engaged audience; that is a sweeping generalization. I think if you're passionate about comics, it will show in your work. For me, it's not that I'm not passionate about them, but that my brain has a very distinct way of showing me the story, and I'd like to be as true to that as possible so that I'm not fighting against my ADHD, but using it to my advantage to become more creative.

I don't regret the path I took—not at all. I stretched myself as far as possible to discover how far I could go, and along the way, I discovered where my interests lie. The story of Karana, Elpis, and Rytar has not ended yet, and I'm excited to share with you in the future what I've been working on and exploring.