A Campfire Tale

Shhh…..Okay.  It’s okay.  The fire’s died down now.  Don’t be frightened!  Just a few little embers left, they won’t spark now, I’m sure.  Come closer.  Settle in and cozy up now.  It’s allllll going to be okay.

Now that the fire’s down, I can go on about posting regularly again.  Are you wondering if this post will be as cool as the last one?  I’ll just assure you, it won’t be.  I’m not sure if any will ever be again.  That fire spread FAST, and I had no idea that was going to happen.  Sorry about that.  Here, have some marshmallows…

There were some harsh words from strangers said.  About how the drawings weren’t THAT great.  How it’s nothing new.  About how my daughter can’t hold a pen right.  About how I intentionally set out to exploit her as a gimmick to “go viral” (as if THAT storm could have ever been predicted).  I don’t care about any of those.  Ignorance usually remedies itself.  What’s more important are the AMAZING things said.  New moms trying to combine their former lives as solitary artists with this new little person in their lives, and finally feeling like it was possible.  Aspiring artists who thought they had to be “good” before they tried something new.  People who were told as kids that they couldn’t draw and therefore stopped trying.  People who used to draw that are creating again.  People exploring new techniques.  Writers, poets, painters.  I had no idea THAT would happen just from sharing something fun I did with my daughter.

But parents are doing projects with their kids.  Teachers are trying this experiment with their students, using magazine faces.  Kids are being inspired and encouraged to create.  And THAT is awesome.

So there are a lot of you I haven’t met before, and to you I say:  welcome, welcome!  Cuddle in by the fire and meet the others!  I started this little blog up in the hopes of sharing creative ideas, not only as an artist but as a mama.  I like to try different things, and I think it’s cool when other people do the same.  I want people to create.  I want people to try new things.  I want to share ideas.  I want people to cover the world in doodles, even the ugly parts.  (ESPECIALLY the ugly parts.)

So please!  I know you’re curious, so please sit down!  I know the firestorm brought you, but now that it’s settled, I hope you’ll stay for the warmth.

53 responses

  1. That was beautifully said.

  2. My 10 year old grandson is a wonderful artist, and I have tried to imagine ways to collaborate with him to include some of his wonderful whimsy in my work. I love that you found a way to do that very thing.

  3. You have the right idea, the whiners will fall away if ignored. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

  4. Aww, this made me hold back a little tear. Your pics were inspiring and as a mum, I wondered how I could do something similar. As a teacher, they inspired story-telling and collaboration between Art and English and different age groups. Thank you for making me smile twice in one day. x

  5. Very beautifully said.

  6. You have the right idea, do what you do, whether the whole world agrees or not. Thank you for sharing with us.

  7. I think they look amazing! Your daughters additions make the pictures so quirky and spontaneous and full of imagination.

  8. Sad that some people have to be negative about anything beautiful or fun. Keep up the good work, both as a mother and an artist.

  9. Well said. I’m also an artist mom and I’ve always loved creating art with my kids, who are now in their teens. They’ll often finish a doodle I’ve left unfinished. The work you created with your child is beautiful and memorable. You say fostering creativity is your goal and I think you’re doing a great job.
    People will always think what they want, after all, we all look at life through different lenses and filters. I just wish that there was more of a desire to understand than to judge.
    As I see it, creating and looking at art, of any kind is about challenging yourself and those who view it. I always tell my children that if they don’t like something, or have a hugely negative reaction to a piece of writing or art, they should ask themselves WHY they had that reaction. What does their reaction can teach them about their belief and value systems and vitally, what does it teach them about other people’s views.
    You obviously hit a nerve and ruffled some feathers and I say good for you.

  10. I loved it. It was the post that made me say, I need to follow this chick! When (if*) I have children you better believe I will do something like that. I believe there were valuable lessons learned by both of you- like sharing 🙂 keep being awesome. A wise woman once said “forget the haters” -miley cyrus

  11. Your art is beyond inspiring! When I saw it my heart started pounding and I felt so excited inside. I immediately got out my sketch book that was hiding all summer and I haven’t stopped drawing since. I love, love, love your art and the collaboration with your little darling is amazing. All I can say to you is thank-you! Just incredibly awesome!

  12. So incredibly impressed by your wonderful attitude and fantastic artwork. You know how sometimes something can come along and change the way you look at life… you just did that! Looking forward to many more stories and beautiful creations.

  13. Have enjoyed sharing your seat on the roller coaster … a little trip down that back country road sounds nice. 🙂 Still extremely happy for you. You are an amazing artist and person. I am sure that there is so much more still in store for you (and Myla).

  14. I tell you, I started following you after I have found online the pictures of your last post
    I shared it on my Facebook page
    And everyone loved it
    So keep up because it’s inspiring people
    That’s the main thing 🙂
    Have a great day
    Lou

  15. Settling in for more inspiration — thank you very much. A few years ago I picked up a camera and after some early (and very surprising to me) success, decided to open a shop on Etsy. Since ‘going public’ i’ve had a few experiences with those who don’t feel my work is up to their standards. Their comments reminded me that some people sorely need more love in their life and unexpectedly, firmed up my resolve in myself and my work. When I post new items on Facebook, I try to find interesting, related quotes to go along with them…yesterday I found this one. I love it. “Inside the peach, there is a stone.” –Margaret Atwood Being any kind of artist requires strength. All the best to you, E.

  16. I am DEFINITELY in for the long haul. Good for you!! I am so glad I found your blog.

  17. Reblogged this on Miativity.com and commented:
    I love this blog! And the candor and exuberance of this woman!!

  18. I think what you did is so great…and inspiring others is wonderful.
    I found you because of the wildfire, but am a lifelong artist and will stay for the camaraderie!

    I printed out part of your blog…it inspired me…being my harshest critic…the part where you talk about not having a preconceived notion of what something will be…and just let it be…in a nut shell 🙂 I love that! I needed that. Thank you 🙂 It applies to so many things in life.

    Here it is: “I learned that if you have a preconceived notion of how something should be, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED. Instead, just go with it, just ACCEPT it, because usually something even more wonderful will come out of it.”

  19. I loved this — so much. And I am so sorry that people said mean or thoughtless things. I am very grateful to you for sharing this wonderful collaboration with the rest of us.

  20. Dear Busy,

    Letting your child add her own inspiration to your work is incredibly generous and a super fine experience for her. Once when my son was her age we saved all his scribbles and ‘toons, they were just so loaded with imaginative energy we couldn’t bear to not save them. A few years later I met a Polish weaver in a San Francisco gallery who suggested that she weave her inspiration of one of my son’s drawings and so she did. I have a photo of the beautiful result which I would love to share with you. It has the same raw energy as your daughter’s drawings.

    I see I can’t attach it to this post. Can I email it to you?

    1. Certainly, you can email at micaangela.com

  21. Very nice – I had no idea what I might be signing up for because I knew not of us can hit it so perfectly every time, but I’m encouraged. Thanks!

    1. Well, I’m not sure it’ll get much more widespread than that, but I hope you enjoy it!

  22. I’m one of many who found your blog through that post. And as I dug, I saw cool art and a neat person doing their own thing. Add to that some cool bird art, and how varied you are in all you do (all good), and you’re one of the handful of artists I will always look forward to seeing in my blog reader.

    1. Ah, thank you so much! Good to have you!

  23. I too, found your blog through that post. I’m very happy to see you pull out from the ugly stuff and focus on the positive, it’s much more powerful, and a great reminder to me.

    I LOVE the idea of doodling over the ugly parts. LOVE IT! I shall do my best to do my part. I’m not a mum, but one who creates and your work with your daughter’s assistance is incredible, beautiful, and very, very fun. You have shared so much good with that post, as well as the graceful way of you dealt with the “firestorm” as you put it. There are far more hearts with you and the beauty you have created. There will always be haters and they simply don’t count.

    Through that post you have inspired a lot of creativity and that is undoubtably good work. I’m glad I found you.

  24. I’m still in,……. for the nay sayers…. Many decades ago My Mom taught me this catch phrase that has served me well in almost any situation….. ‘water seeks its own level’!!! So allow those who need to criticize or complain fall by the way side and the rest of us will joyfully read on and enjoy the ride you’re takin gus on

    1. Well thank you. Your mom said smart words. Good to have you!

  25. What? Aw, don’t listen to the internet except when they tell you you’re awesome, because you are!! No, seriously, you’re great!

    I saw a couple friends share your post about the drawings your daughter did the bodies for and then I kept going through all your posts and was really impressed with your creativity and how great you at all the creative ideas you have! I’m a subscriber now! Keep it up & I’m excited to see more of what you do!!

    (dumb trolls)

    1. Well thank you so very much! I admit, part of me cringed, and part of me (the mama banshee where my kid’s involved) wanted to find people and punch them right in the gut. But logic prevails, and I realize that people are quick to say nasty things when they don’t have to say it to your face. I’m glad you’re along! Good to have you.

  26. I found you among my Google scrolling for other “art moms” in the midst of the viral response. I helped spread it along too – I was so enamored with you and your daughter’s collaboration. I will be one who sticks around to see what you’re up to and look forward to your future posts.

    1. Your blog looks like a great place for artsy moms!

  27. You know what, haters gonna hate, it’s kinda their job 🙂 Don’t mind them. And don’t be pressured by the popularity, I mean don’t lose who you are for that – lots of people are changing their ways (and lose their unique personalities) just to be in the gleaming lights. You did not exploit your girl as a gimmick to “go viral” nor you wrote the post plotting to take over the World 🙂 You wrote what you are passionate about, what you are happy about, what you are enjoying so much – and everyone felt that. You’re one of a kind, don’t ever change (of course you will, we all are changing as life goes on, that’s inevitable, but you know what I mean (I hope)) 🙂 – Mod

  28. As another who found you during the fire storm, I am happily pulling up a seat.

    And, yes, I echo what others have said about admiring you for seeing the positive in so much attention and letting the negative go. As the meme says, “keep calm and ignore the comments” 🙂

    Best wishes!

    1. Well, thank you so much! There has definitely been WAY more good than bad.

  29. There’s a lot of crappy people, but there’s a lot of great people too. Glad you know it!

    1. Certainly! I don’t know why the negative ones affect us so much, when there are SO many more of the positive. That’s why it’s important to focus on the good. Thank you!

  30. I became an instant fan from your last post. But I’m staying a fan because I’ve since read more of your blog and sat mesmerized by your art. You even helped create a wonderful conversation between me and my 18yo daughter.

    Naysayers suck at life. Glad you’re not letting them bring you down.

    1. That’s so awesome! Thank you so much for that.

  31. I had checked out your drawings when a friend (who also loved them) shared them with me on Facebook. I had posted my comments and even now, after reading your most current blog about the negativity you received, I guess I was surprised.
    You won’t always please everyone and there are always those who have no understanding of art. Any type of creativity and use of the imagination is wonderful. Again, thank you for sharing the creations you and your daughter created together.

    1. Thank you so much, I appreciate it! The negative ones are annoying, but there are SOOO many more of the good. I try to focus on those. Thanks!

  32. Good approach to the fire storm–May I offer this marshmallow meditation, courtesy of one of my FAVorite creators, Amy Krouse Rosenthal? Thought of it instantly when I read your play on camp fires– http://marshmallowmeditation.weebly.com/ Amy is creating something new each week–lots of fun stuff to explore. Maybe you and your daughter would like to participate in her pantone project, too. I did! You can find that here–http://www.pantoneproject.com/ Still openings for different colors. I contributed photographs for two colors, but drawings are welcome too : )

    Glad to hear you are wise about the viral attention, and focused on the positive feedback and ripple effects from your sharing. Keep feeling the warmth and ignoring the comments that want to put out your fire!

  33. You inspired me to collaborate with my own daughters and yes, I’ll stay for the warmth! You’re blog is awesome. 🙂

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much, and I’d love to see what you come up with over on the FB page. Good to have you!

  34. Well – in our case, we linked over via design mom (though i’m pretty sure i’ve been here before) and immediately fell in love. “we” is my daughter and i and she immediately made me pin her favorite poster to save up for and put in her room. and then she made me copy and print a black and white of her favorite (it will go no further than a scratch piece of inspiration, i promise) and is currently mocking up her own creation. so, thank you. we will send pics once she can afford her first poster (she’s six, it will take a few months)!

  35. Why do people always, ALWAYS find something negative to say?! It’s incredulous. It’s ridiculous. It’s sad.
    But you, you keep right on trucking.
    And I’d love to see the world covered in patterns. But doodles are acceptable;)

  36. wow. just…wow.
    i’m just THAT articulate, particularly when faced with the ignorance of the internet masses.
    i found you (so many before/above me) through that last post. and i can say i 100% unreservedly whole-heartedly and in all other ways LOVED it. i loved what you said, what you drew, what you turned your collaborations with your daughter in to. i related to your ❤ of a new sketchbook…your conscious decision to let go and allow your daughter (not to brag, but i myself feel that same "letting go" when i allow my children to mix playdoh colors. i know, i know. one day you'll get there)

    i didn't read the comments, just read your post and promptly added you to to my reader. your art + words are inspiring. the fact that some…well, ignorant morons would feel the need to stoke their own egos through the anonymity of the internet and asinine critiques of your work makes me see red.

    so keep on with your bad drawin' self. taking the high road and shaming those…err, dingdongs with your grace. sorry. like i said: articulate.
    dingdongs. sheesh.

    xoxo

    1. Ahh you’re awesome. Thanks for the positive words! And playdoh colors–RIGHT?!? Ugh. I let go of that too… but I really really want them to be separated!. Still, she enjoys rainbow swirl. Ah well. As for the Negative Nancys, there really has been WAY more good than bad, so I do my best to ignore them. I love hearing the good stuff. Like people commenting and sharing and writing in. Warm fuzziness!! Thank you!

  37. You seem to have weathered things with grace and humility. Few seem to do that, so I’d say massive congratulations are in order.

    I love what you’re doing. You inspire and delight. All the best to you and yours.

  38. Realy likes this. Tryed it With My eight year Old son. IT became a really nice pirate. My head, his body and à crab.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Oh I’m so glad you did! How awesome

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