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Posts Tagged ‘artists’

Distractions, when you’re trying to accomplish anything, are a problem. But distractions are a part of life.

For me, it’s a challenge to balance creative time, free from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, and living life! Family, friends, pets, exercise, cooking, gardening, etc. are important to me, and inspiration for my writing and art. I embrace life with all its complexities and contradictions and don’t want to miss it while still pursuing my creative endeavors.

So what to do?

– Scheduling creative time, and letting family members know, unless it’s an emergency, you’re not to be interrupted – works for some people.

– Limiting social media time (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) by using a timer can help control that distraction.

– Recording your favorite television shows, then speed through the commercials when you watch them later saves a few minutes. And I’ve found after a show is recorded, I think about if I really want to spend that 45 minutes or more watching it. Often, I just delete the show and pick up a book.

– Use Caller-ID. Unless you must talk to the person or fear it’s an emergency, don’t pick up the phone. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message.

– The weeds, dust bunnies, and dog hair will be there tomorrow. When a deadline presses close, let the garden and cleaning wait a day or two. Notice I did not say forever here, a few days won’t matter – a few weeks will!

– Eat convenience foods or carry out. Again, this isn’t a long-term solution, but if you’re pushing to the end of a project, pizza one night and Chinese carry-out the next night is fine.

Remember, distractions are a part of life. Don’t complain about them – deal with them!

For a funny, tongue-in-cheek look at distractions, check out this post from Writer Unboxed. Enjoy!

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I’ve known many artists, writers, and other creative people over the years. Hard work, determination, and luck were as important as so called “talent” in determining which of those men and women were successful. My advice to writers and artists has always been to practice and persist.

It is in the spirit of persisting against all odds, that I invite you to view this video of the extraordinary artist, Paul Smith. Despite life-long health challenges (as a result of cerebral palsy) and living at Rose Haven Nursing Center in Oregon for decades, he celebrates life and the creative spirit using a typewriter to draw. Yes, I wrote draw.

Sound incredible, let me assure you, Paul Smith is an incredible person and artist. View the video and let me know what you think.

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Wendy Froud Wendy Froud is the designer-creator of wonderful fantasy soft sculptures (and is married to illustrator, Brian Froud). I saw her intricate creations at an East Coast FaerieCon (where this photo was taken), and found a wonderful quote from her on the World of Froud website: “I feel that my work is a sign post to the half forgotten world that we all carry inside of us.”

I think all writers and illustrators whose roots are sunk deep in folklore, myth, and legend feel this way. For us (yes, I count myself among those legend-myth folk), the stories and art we create, harken back to a time when the world was steeped in magic. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just reminding my readers of something they already know in the marrow of their bones.

And thanks again to Faerie Magazine for having me as their guest at FaerieCon.

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Castle Rock Cropped For my readers who are artists or illustrators, I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to have a free online gallery of your work along with an art statement and CV. I stumbled across the Irving Sadler Artists File two years ago, and just recently updated my gallery and some of my info.

Artists and art-lovers alike, please check out my listing on the Irving Sadler Artists File. You can find thousands of other artists there, plus artists can add their own gallery.

Happy viewing!

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 We’re right in the middle of National Magic Week – when it seems all the world acknowledges that magical things are still possible. And I think it’s no coincidence that Halloween is just a few days away. But rather than magic in general, I’d like to celebrate the illustrators (like Gary Lippincott pictured here) I met at last year’s FaerieCon who bring their visions of the usually hidden worlds of fairies, elves, trolls, giants, and such to the reader.

 I’m one of those devoted readers and appreciators of illustration who drags a knapsack worth of books to a conference and patiently stands in line for the signature of the artist or author. FaerieCon, held this year November 4-6 in Hunt Valley, Maryland, is a great place to meet these artist-magicians. Last year, I met the gracious Michael Hague (see my Jan. 6, 2011 blog) and the fabulous doll-maker, Wendy Froud (see my Dec. 12, 2010 blog) – but they weren’t the only artists I chatted with. Brian Froud (pictured on the left), Wendy’s husband and perhaps the most well-known fairy artist working today, spoke as part of several panels and shared his delightful tales of bringing Faeriefolk to life. And if you took the time to stop by and visit with the Frouds, both Brian & Wendy signed their books and chatted amicably with their fans.

 Faerie Magazine, www.faeriemagazine.com , usually hosts several illustrators and authors at their FaerieCon booth. Last year, the colorfully-dressed and always-smiling Linda Ravenscroft signed 2 books for me. She seemed happy indeed to converse with her many fans as well as talk a bit about her art. (Linda is pictured on the right).

For those who decided they wanted to know more about the business of illustration, businesswoman and illustrator extraordinaire, Jessica Galbreth, gave a workshop.  Not only did Jessica tell the audience about the ins & outs and ups & downs of life as an illustrator, wife, and mom – but those who registered for the workshop also received a copy of her Artists Manual. And as the owner of an autographed copy of that manual, I can tell you it was a worthwhile workshop. (Jessica is shown to the left).

And lastly, but never leastly, Charles Vess, autographed 2 of the Neil Gaiman children’s books he’d illustrated, for me to give as Christmas gifts to my daughter. This year, Charles has a wonderful painting that will be displayed at FaerieCon.  For those who’re interested, you can see the progress of the enormous painting on Charles’ facebook page. I’ve already got my copy of a book of his magical art ready to take with me to hopefully get autographed when I visit FaerieCon in a little over a week from now. (That’s Charles in the photo to the right).

And what of my illustrations? I had a successful exhibit of fantasy paintings this summer (sold 4). My illos have been published in a few speculative magazines recently, and are scheduled to a appear on the covers of several more in 2012. A small crocus fairy illo of mine will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Faerie Magazine as part of an ad. And of course, I included over 30 of my drawings in my recent book from Cold Moon Press, The Greener Forest. For those who’d like to read more about what I have to say about illustration, check out a guest-blog from me at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog:
http://wp.me/p18Ztn-17n

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Balticon 2011 was a wonderful experience. On Friday, the publisher of The Greener Forest, Cold Moon Press, had a publisher’s presentation where Editor Katie did a fabulous job: http://coldmoonpress.com Cold Moon Press had so many cupcakes, cookies, and other goodies prepared for attendees, that I took the extras to the Broad Universe Reading.

Broad Universe is an organization that supports women who write (and illustrate) science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Gail Z. Martin, D. Renee Bagby, Danielle Ackley McPhail, Roberta Rogow, Jean Marie Ward, Phoebe Wray & I each read an excerpt from our writing. It was a wonderful hour-long reading. For more information about BU: http://broaduniverse.org

On Saturday, I shared an early morning booksigning time with novelist Leona Wisoker, and invited her to read with me during my afternoon reading slot. (She kindly agreed, and shared a few pages of her 2nd novel, Guardians of the Desert). We followed friends, Katie Hartlove & Michelle D. Sonnier. Great fun & a nice audience. I also participated in an Artists & Publishers Small Press Round Table that was relaxed & informative. A group of us went to dinner afterwards, including Balticon regulars writers Grig “Punkie” Larson & Jhada “Rogue” Addams.

Sunday began early with a panel on heroes, a presentation by Dark Quest Books, and I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Robin L. Sullivan & the authors of Ridan Publishing. They’re quite an impressive group. Sunday was also the 2-hour Poetry Workshop. We made the attendees write, write, write – and invited the women in attendence to submit something to The Gunpowder Review http://gunpowderpenwomen.wordpress.com

On Monday, I managed to attend 2 more presentations that featured folks from Ridan Publishing. Robin was sick, but her authors did a great job. Look for me to apply some of the lessons I learned from them in the future. Also, I was the moderator for a panel on Cardboard Characters. And I got a few compliments on the maze I’d drawn for The BSFAN, the con’s program book.

Balticon was a fabulous place to network. It was friendly, there was an exchange of opportunities, and people were supportive. I got to meet fellow writers, readers & fans, and a few editors & publishers. I bought books by others, and folks bought a few of my books. And that’s what good networking is all about. Watch online for info on next year’s con chaired by Patti Kinlock: http://balticon.org

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