16 Questions with Marc Taro Holmes

Superfoods Illustration for BlendTec

Urban Sketching in Montreal

Throwback Halloween

Oh look! I found all of your missing socks.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Importance of Laying Low

I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal. Sort of. And though I like having a plan, the fly-by-the-seat part of my personality seems to dictate the outcome of my day.  This usually means that I keep quite busy, but feel like I don't accomplish much.

Flying-by-the-seat is especially helpful during things like home renovations. A certain flexibility is needed, so that I'm available should things come up. Sometimes that means I have to be willing to just clear my schedule and stay put. My house is nearly emptied of food, and my children are starting to make comments like, "um, mom, when are you going to go buy food?"

To be fair, it's not the renovations that's keeping me home (though, today it is - waiting for a delivery of materials), but my kids appeared to have the chicken pox. Now, however, I'm not so sure. All three of them went through the fever/headache/sore throat part (chicken pox doesn't always present with these, but I've read it can), but my daughter is the only one who had any pox marks, and they were few (a dozen or so), and only on her face.

Anyway, as a precaution, we've been pretty much housebound for the last two weeks. This has been great for my to-do list. Sometimes it's just wonderful to not be flexible; to not have the option of going out and being busy.  Yes, we are renovating, so we've been busy at home, but aside from that, I've had time to settle into myself a bit and readjust what I think I want from myself - what I expect from myself. I've had time to work on some projects, and I may even finish that blasted novel revision I've been procrastinating over. I've worked on some graphic design projects, and some research and preliminaries for a greeting card project I'm collaborating on. I've done some reflecting on what I think success really has to do with how I value myself, and I've wrestled with what I actually identify as "success" in the context of my own life.

I've had time to declutter my house a bit. I've been doing this deliberately little by little since summer, but life with kids and animals and seemingly not enough space can heap chaos upon chaos on a person, to the point of immobilization. I really feel like decluttering is key to a more organized head, giving me, perhaps, a greater ability to be creative and productive. My own human condition - clutter in my house and in my brain - robs me from seeing that I can push through my own self imposed obstacles to what I really want from myself. I haven't convinced myself that I'm good enough yet (at what? I'm not even sure). And, really, I don't expect that I ever will. And I don't presume that I'm alone in that feeling of self disappointment. But, the least I can do, is give myself the space to try and get there. This seems to be a common thing among creative-types, yesno?

Also, laying low at home means there has been time for holiday baking. Whipped shortbread cookies, nuts and bolts, caramel corn, sugar cookies - of course, I have a teenager and two almost-teens, so the baking is gone nearly as quickly as it comes.  It's tradition, in this edible form, that delivers happiness to my heart. And my kids aren't complaining about cookies even when there isn't much else to eat in the house.

I've been avoiding my blog for over a month, feeling like I've had nothing to say and no time to say it, anyhow. But I do have something to say, and I'll say it to you.

I hope you find some time to just lay low this holiday season. Lay low and be you. Wrestle with your demons - don't busy them away. Take on one at a time, or all at once, or not at all. Just give yourself the time to find your own value. Find strength in knowing you are not unique in this thing we call self-loathing, or disappointment, or fear of failure. Find some moments to lay low and collect yourself. 2015 is coming. May it be your best yet and may you find more space in it for laying low.

Friday, October 31, 2014

#Inktober 31 - A 1981 Halloween

Halloween is, if you are at home, a time of getting up and running to the door, almost as soon as you sit down from the last time,  making it difficult to string together any kind of train of thought that might require concentration. But I love it so. I've been running to the door, opening it super quick and yelling "Trick-or treat!" to the kids, who stand there bewildered for a second, until I say, "Oh dear, that was your line."  The parents always laugh, so that seems to be encouraging this corny habit.

In the intermittent sitting down times, this evening, I've sketched a replica of a 1981 Halloween costume sewing pattern by Simplicity. I'm sure the designer imagined that this is what we'd really dress like in the future.  The future is now, man. Where is your suit?

And that's it for #Inktober!  Find all of my inktober drawings here.
Thanks for following along with me. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

#Inktober 27 - An Autumn Picnic

Did I picnic today, on this fine autumn day? No. But I dreamed a little about it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#Inktober 26 - Cat Bath

I spent some time observing my cat, Quinn. She's still a kitten and is often either sleeping or tormenting our dog.  I caught her in the midst of a bath. I guess one would have to be a bit of a contortionist to clean oneself off with one's tongue. Quinn does it well - the contorting. 
She spent several minutes combing over her fur, and with one last lick, fell fast asleep.  As I write this, she's sleeping on top of her head. It can't be comfortable. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

#Inktober 25 - In Which Carrie Wears A Tux

Saturday night sketch time. I sat down and navigated to Netflix. Hey, look Sex and the City 2 is available. Let's watch that - I say to myself because, seriously, my husband is so not going to watch it, especially when there is the option to play World of Warcraft in the living room, far far away from Sex and the City.
I've seen maybe, I don't know, 2 episodes of Sex and the City, and I think only part of the first movie. I just didn't get into it. So, I don't know what possessed me to watch it now.  However, Liza Minnelli doing a Beyonce cover at the gay wedding in the first 20 minutes of the show kind of made it worth my time.

Here's a sketch of Carrie as the "Best Man".

And now, I'm going to go watch the rest of the movie. Don't tell me what happens, I like to be surprised. But I'm guessing some misunderstandings, inner emotional turmoil, whole lot of over the top fashion ... and I'm guessing wildly here, but probably some sex.

#Inktober 24 - Reading Corner

Fridays are a pretty packed day for my family.  We spend a full day at our homeschool community centre which, at the end of it, works out to about 10 hours of chaotic fun. We did have some quiet time in the afternoon, in the form of a meeting. Woo Hoo! But a full day equals me not getting to my computer to upload this, so I'm a day late.

This sketch is of a section of the reading corner at Centre Communidée.

Stay tuned for another sketch upload later today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014