Going Away and Returning

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I’ve been away.  I had lost my voice a bit.  I needed to take a little time to remember WHY I was making art, because for some reason social media slipped in, and I started rating myself against others, and feeling down because of it.  A little inspiration and competition is healthy, but when you start basing your entire self-worth on what other people think of you, that’s when it gets sticky.

So I took some time, and reminded myself that I love making things.  I’d make things even if no one was looking, because it makes me feel good.

art

So I’m back now, and I’m happy for it!  And I thought I’d share a bit about what I did while I was gone.

We went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.

harry-potter-world

I’ll do a full post on this next week, but it’s safe to say I LOVED IT THERE.  We had a day to travel, and two full days scheduled at the park.  But thanks to some MAJOR messups on the part of American Air (not helped by their VERY bad attitudes), we had to spend the night at the airport and didn’t get to Orlando til the late afternoon of the first park day.  Yes, that’s right–we had TWO DAYS to enjoy the park, and one of the days was spent getting there.  Anyway, we had so much fun while we were there.  We’ve decided we’d like to live there.  Not in Orlando specifically, but in Harry Potter World itself.  No one would notice us, I’m sure.  We wouldn’t bother anyone.  We’d dress in wizard robes and carry wands around, and people would just assume we were part of the ambiance.  Please, can we make this happen?

We had family time.

My husband’s family came for the holidays, and we had such a great time!  My little niece Sophie (who is 3 years old) even doodled some “magic” in my sketchbook drawing of Dumbledore.

dumblydore

It seemed we had Potter on the mind, as Myla turned herself into a wizard in this doodle, surrounded by several characters from the various wizard movies.  (Can you tell who they all are?)

harry-potter-doodle

Here’s Myla using a stick as a wand while she holds her pygmy puff (which she got at the Harry Potter park), while we wandered around our favorite walking area back home (which is also Bigfoot’s stomping ground, we’ve decided).

bigfoot-walkHere’s another little doodle we did together, of Myla the animal adventurer, taming some wild sloths.  Like one does.

sloths

Myla and I also entertain ourselves back home by making on-the-spot stories about a long-bearded goat named Clyde, and his best goat friend Amie, who came from a science lab and can teleport.

clyde

We filled our patch shirts.

patches

Myla and I have been collecting patches, and we’ve finally decided these shirts were fairly full, and we each started another jacket, both of which are olive green.

I made tiny Mandrakes

You know those ideas where you just have to run directly out to the craft store to buy all the supplies to make them happen?  That’s where these little mandrake seedlings came from.

This first batch had loose dirt inside, which I found got sort of stuck on their tiny faces so you couldn’t see their grumpy expressions, which didn’t work for me.

mandrakes

It took some tweaking, but I finally figured out to put glue in the bottom so the sand would stay put, and sealed the corks so they wouldn’t come loose.  I made them mostly for friends & family, but once I make a few more, I was thinking of putting a few in the shop.  They have real dried plants on their heads and rough string “roots” on their arms and legs.  They’re frustrating but so much fun to make!

mandrake-seedlings

I sewed.  A LOT.

sewing

Okay, I always sew.  But this time, I’ve got a goal.  I think I’m going to try for a large convention this year, and sell the Dream Creepers.  It’ll be fun.

I put some things in the Etsy shop.

beetles

I thought it’d be fun to make a few things to put in the shop for fun, instead of by request.  I painted beetles, and drew tiny moon necklaces.

little-moon

I even painted a color version of the Newt doodle from Fantastic Beasts

fantastic-beasts

They’re all in my Etsy shop…have a look, if you like!

I did some projects I’ve been waiting to do.

diterlizzi

Since I was busy with commissions and requests and gifts, I didn’t have time to do a few “me” projects.  So I used this time to do projects like this Tiefling plastic sculpture kit by Dark Sword Miniatures that was sent to me by Tony DiTerlizzi.  It was so much fun gluing the tiny pieces and painting them.  I finally displayed it by gluing it to a clear frame with a print of the painting the sculpt was inspired by.  So much fun!

I needlefelted.

felted-moths

Hm.  Jury’s still out on this one.  Just because I learned how to needlefelt by watching YouTube videos doesn’t mean I’m an instant pro.  I’m not sure I even have the patience for it.  But it was fun trying!  After finally learning not to jab myself repeatedly, most of the things I needlefelted I wanted to burn with fire afterward.  Thankfully, Myla’s not as critical, and was excited to wear the moth clips I had made for her.  (Hopefully my terrible felting won’t traumatize her for life.)

I learned a new (old) thing.

You know how I hate pencils?  Maybe you don’t.  I always HATED the way rough pencils felt in my hand, and on the paper.  Somehow, the grating of graphite on paper was like nails on a chalkboard with cold hands–it’s a textural thing that’s always made my spine shiver.

But over the holidays, our good friend Mab Graves gifted us some of her lovely pencil sets by Alvin Draftmatic.

mab

Aren’t they BEAUTIFUL?!?  From time to time over the years, I’ve keep TRYING to enjoy pencils, but I just couldn’t get past the feeling.  But when I got these, I decided to give it a really real try.  I got a blending stump and an electric eraser (thank you, Christmas gift cards!), took a deep breath, and gave it a go.

And can I tell you, it was like realizing there was a little magic door right in front of you that you hadn’t noticed before, and you happened to have a little proper key, and it opened up into a lovely little forest fairy pixie world  you always suspected was there.

makingfriendswithmonsters2

It was so much fun, I filled a sketchbook full of little doodles of Myla with monsters, and decided I’d make a book of it, calling it Making Friends With Monsters.

makingfriendswithmonstersIt’s just in the doodle phase for now, and it won’t be anything fancy, but maybe I can make something fun of it.  In any case, these pencils have been the magic keys I needed to open up that little door and I’m so grateful to Mab that she sent them to me.  So I’m going to keep visiting this little world.  I like the things that live there.

But never fear!  I will never give up my trusty ballpoint pen.  Ballpoint is and will always be my “true love” of art supplies.  It’s not going anywhere.  It’s been my loyal and faithful magic wand for the doodles I like to make.

pen

So that’s what I’ve been doing!  The break has been quite nice, and I’m happy to be back.  It’s been such a gift not to place so much mental value on sharing with others, and just draw and create what makes me happy.  I need that from time to time, and I need to remember that for the future.  So thank you for sticking by me, and giving me the time to grow, and the time to rest.  I appreciate that you all read these words and look at my doodles, and I’m so glad to have you around!

❤ ❤ ❤

18 responses

  1. Your work is always wonderful! Don’t doubt yourself.

  2. It is lovely to see your post again, and I totally get it about rest. That is part of the process too. Your talent is enormous and it inspires and encourages me. Thank-you for dooing…I intentionally didn’t fix that typo because it tickles me to see “dooing” spelled that way. So, thank-you for dooing what you doo!! 🙂 ❤

    1. Thank you so much! I’ll keep doooing what I love and hope it makes people smile!

  3. You do so many things so well that my expectations when you share things are always high, and I’m STILL regularly floored by what you do.

  4. Welcome back! I am SO envious of your time at the Wizarding World! I went to Florida last year, but it was just too expensive to go. Maybe this year… I recognize SO many of Maya’s drawings. Bowtruckle, Fawkes, Dobby, Thestral! She is getting really good!

    1. You recognized the baby thestral! Good on you!! Oh man, we had been wanting to go to Harry Potter World since we first heard they were building it. Since before Myla was born. Myla would say she wasn’t interested in a certain shop there, and we’d say “ITS NOT JUST ABOUT YOU!” hahahah She thought it was funny that we were as excited as her. 🙂

      1. My youngest is 8, and he is not yet interested in Harry Potter. He’s a little intimidated by the size of the books, but he doesn’t want me to read them TO him. I am trying to get the first one on tape so he can listen to it at bedtime and see if that will expedite his interest. Hopefully. Because last summer, he was relieved we didn’t have the money to go!

        Myla’s drawing ability is really coming together! Of course I recognized the thestral!

  5. I’m glad you’re “back.” I always adore watching what you do especially since I’m so doggone left brained. Your work is just amazing!

  6. If this is your version of ”downtime”, it is an astonishing amount of excellent work produced. And if you have trouble when comparing yourself to others, I cannot fathom why as your talent and ability to get it out is uncomparable. You can do anything, as long as you want to.

  7. Lovely to see you posting again; it’s always such a treat to see what you’re up to. Glad that you had the self-awareness to know you needed a break from all those expectations, and to take one instead of getting totally burned out (like some of us have in the past!). Thanks always for sharing your thoughts and creativity with the world. 🙂

  8. Great to see you back!
    Would love to read stories about some of your characters … I suspect Clyde would have some interesting stories to tell.

  9. I’m so glad you feel rested and restored. I’m not given to comparing myself to others but I often kill my creative energy by letting my inner critic get too loud. I’m glad you’ve been busy having fun in so many varied ways. I adore Myla’s drawing of the mandrake and your tiny mandrakes are adorable. My kids want to make mandrakes from air dry clay. We too are a Potterphile household. Love the Myla and monster friends series!

  10. You SO rock, Mica!

    Haven’t been online much lately, doing my own “Mandrake” purging, just without the Mandrake. Vewwwwwy powerful medicine. My world-renowned herbalist friend had me grow some for him a few decades back.

    BTW, what ever you’re doing is working . The photo of you with the Singer is fabulous!

    Thank you three for being you!

    Hugs, Margaret

  11. So glad you were able to live your dream w your loved ones. I think you are amazing – not only your art but your ability to reach out to others w ways to help service families, lonely ppl, sharing how to do your amazing, crazy critters & other fum stuff. Plus you are an amazing mom & pass along such good parenting advice. Love Myla & her art. Carry on! Thanks and peace

  12. Electric eraser? I didn’t know such a thing existed.
    I’m glad you’re refreshed and back with us, I missed you!

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