Inktober 2021 Day 6: SPIRIT

Step Daughter didn’t want to draw anything scary looking so she decided that Spirits from Spirited Away had to be the best option. She’s actually doing a few “Asian” style things this month. Her fan is one of the folding fans her Great Uncle brought her from Thailand.

She wanted to draw No Face and the frog that he swallowed as well as Haku from Spirited Away. She loves Ghibli films. I do too. Haha. She keeps getting Haku’s name wrong though and calls him Haiku. It’s cute. Lately she’s been asking to use a 3D program on her computer to draw. I’ve insisted me continue to do pencil and paper art for the Inktober at least. We’re letting her use the program to doodle as well, but I don’t want her to think digital is the only format.

I’m all for digital art. I know that for some, it’s quite a bit easier than pencil and paper. I’m just a bit apprehensive because my step daughter hasn’t really gotten to work on her basic mundane skills. She bares down too hard with her pencil and hasn’t learned to create basic shapes. There are a ton of tools that do this automatically in the program. Easy short cut, I know. But they don’t even cover this during art class at her elementary school. They’re doing some kind of packet right now that’s “About Us”.

Five years at Elementary school and they’ve neglected color theory, shapes, or any other basic art information. I’m not even sure my step daughter knows that yellow and blue makes green. Her maternal grandmother has paid for expensive art camps over the summers. I think the art programs lately have turned into glorified crafting sessions. I.E. They did Christmas ornaments every year. They don’t even learn to do the clay part. The teacher does it all and they decorate them. Then again, I might be biased because I went to art college for a bit.

Okay! Sorry for the rant about art in education. Here’s my drawing. I decided to follow my step daughter’s lead and drew the tree spirits from Princess Mononoke. Which was one of my first Ghibli films beyond Totoro. I love the Kodamas. I made a few Sculpy ones back in the day. I tried to attach their heads on with springs so they’d move like the ones in the anime. I have no idea where those went, but they were definitely a fav back in the day.

Inktober 2021 Day 5: RAVEN

I banned the use of color pencils and markers for today’s drawing. I was hoping my step daughter would be able to focus more on the drawing than coloring. Especially since Raven’s don’t have a lot of wild colors besides maybe a dark blue tint to their feathers. She wasn’t satisfied with one so I suppose she made an unkindness of Ravens.

I let her use examples. We have the tablet and she has her own computer that she can pull references up for. We’ve also grabbed some drawing books from the library this last visit. We’ll see how this goes. She’s actually requested to work on the October art stuff more lately so that’s always a plus. Thanks for joining us for another day of Inktober!

Inktober 2021 Day 4: KNOT

I had such a hard time with this one. It’s so simple, but it took so much time to brain my way through it. Urgh. I feel like I’ll need to go back through later and color some of these pieces. Or ink them. I know it’s just supposed to be a simple drawing prompt month, but I feel very frustrated. That’s probably why I haven’t been able to do any art since my Dad died. I’ve been a perfectionist about it and anything that isn’t exactly ideal, faultless, and flawless just gets scrapped.

I think my step daughter was frustrated at this point as well. Haha. Well, it makes sense she would use a shoe string knot as her illustration. She has a rack FULL of shoes. Most of them don’t involve shoe laces for obvious reasons. I didn’t let her color this one. She used heavy pencil for shading and I’ve been trying to explain to her that markers tend to get muddy from the pencil lead.

We’re trucking along with this Inktober project! I actually just remembered that she has Fall break this month, so it was probably a good idea to work on this before October. She’s bound for the beach for an entire week! I think that Fall is probably one of the only times during the year that the beach is actually the perfect temperature. Sadly I’ll be stuck at home with the lovely SO watching the fur babies.

I’ll be dreaming of the beach though…

Thanks as always, guys!

Inktober 2021 Day 3: VESSEL

VESSELnoun

  1. a ship or large boat.
  2. a hollow container, especially one used to hold liquid, such as a bowl or cask.

We decided to do a ship since my step daughter thought a bowl would be boring. Part of me was interesting in doing a variation different from this, which I might try to do digitally at a later point. This project started for me in September. I know you’re supposed to draw once a day in October, but since my step daughter doesn’t stay with us throughout the entire week, I had to alter it a bit.

We have her four days out of the week, but that ‘s usually along with three school days and the one weekend day involves karate. As you can imagine, the schedule is very chaotic and hectic. So we’ve been slipping in drawing when possible.

My first attempt at this picture involved a reference and I drew it too high on the page to fit the sails. So I had to go back, erase it, and restart. Thus all the erased pencil markings. Ironic since I always chastise my step daughter for bearing down too hard on her drawing notebook.

My step daughter isn’t a fan of looking at references and attempts to go by her imagination or her memory. Not a horrible thing for a nine-year-old, honestly. We’re still working on the idea of just using pencil marks lightly. She really wanted to use her new Crayola markers for this one so she decided the ocean and the sky needed it.

We’ve also talked about a Disney cruise eventually. Urgh, it seems unaffordable right now, but we can dream, right? Any who, thanks for checking in today, guys!

Inktober 2021 Day 2: SUIT

I was honestly stumped on this one. I thought about doing something creative, but I didn’t have that much wind in my sails today. I just did a suit jacket. I was supervising my step daughter a bunch for this day of drawing. Suits aren’t something she’s had to see that often in her life so I had to show her some reference pictures.

Which is a bit ironic. My step daughter has wanted to be in STEM for the past few years, but suddenly this year she changed her “dream” adult job to be a lawyer. I think someone told her that she could argue a bunch with people if you become one. It seems like lately she’s loves to debate things. Even matters that are not up to debate. Haha.

I don’t think either of us were feeling the “Suit” prompt today. Anyhow, thanks for checking in today, guys! This month will be a less intense writing month and more heavily focused on artwork.

Inktober 2021 Day 1: CRYSTAL

Since my step daughter isn’t here for every day of the month of October, I started working on Inktober with her in September. Also, one drawing a day can be rough for a 9-year-old so we are trying to space the project out a bit for her. The first drawing was a bit rough on her already. We’re still working on learning to do the basics, like drawing lighter to make it easy to erase and sketching out the basic layout before starting on details.

Inktober’s first drawing prompt is Crystal. Here is mine and my step daughter’s interpretation:

I did a couple practice versions before I decided on the heart. I looked at an example so it wasn’t perfect. My step daughter looked at one of her gem books from the library to draw inspiration from. I think it’s pretty decent. What do you think?

Apologies if the October posts are a bit shorter. I’m going to be focusing on drawing a lot this month so it’ll be more visual that textual. See you guys, tomorrow!

Inktober

What exactly is Inktober? (FAQ)

I mentioned that I was going to do this way, WAY back in August. I’m even writing up this post during that time period.

Okay. So I’ve had plenty of time to amend this post since I first started writing it in August. I really just wanted to keep myself accountable for doing what I said I was going to do. At this point, I’ve started working on the project with my step daughter. We do a few drawings each day that she’s home in September.

Oh man, one drawing a week all year long sounds intense. I know it’s only one drawing a week, but still… at this point I’m still having trouble sticking to things. I’m still amazed that I’ve been able to continue doing this blog for so long.

I’m still nervous that I’m going to drop the ball on things, but part of me knows that anxiety is a good motivator. Instead of avoiding it, Opposite Action! Do what you fear! Face your anxieties. Oh boy. Yeah, that’s easy to say. We’ll see how this goes. Just like DBT, doing things while you are happy and in a good place are much easier. It’s harder to do it when you’re low or in a bad mental place.

Practice makes it easier. And Radically Accepting that everything doesn’t have to be perfect all of the time. Perfection is a myth. And repetition is the thing that makes artwork improve. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself. Really. I swear.

Here’s the list of prompts for this year:

See you guys tomorrow with the first day of virtual Inktober!

Prelude to Inktober

Tomorrow’s post is about preparing for Inktober, but I thought I’d do another post about past Inktobers. I’ve considered doing it in the past and I’ve started it a few times, but I’ve never really stuck to it since my drawing is always so sporadic. It’s one of the things that helps me realize art is not something I was as a career. It’s not something that I enjoy doing on command. I’ve never liked doing commission work unless I had some emotional investment in the project.

I’ve been really stoked because at this point, I’m on a 90+ day streak with my blog posts here. I’ve been working ahead really hard to make sure I have my buffer days, but I’ve only needed one or two days for a break so far. The whole, getting some writing done while I’m Manic really helps. Sometimes, I wish I could do that with my art as well.

I thought I’d share some of my past works. Please don’t hold my current work to these pieces! 😅 I’ll admit that my past work has a ton more detail. The things I’ve been working on lately have been rough, ROUGH sketches I’ve done while sitting with my step daughter. Just to get back in the whole process of drawing once again.

One year, I did Inktober with Elder Scrolls online. I’ve got a bunch of ESO stuff under my belt. It honestly just became so hard to do these sketches every day that I ended up getting burnt out by day five. I was doing Inktober as well as making other random sketches for people around me.

I made it fourteen days the year before when I was trying to do Pinktober. I had hoped the cute fairy tale prompts would help keep me motivated towards the goal. I don’t want to jinx myself, but it’s amazing how well I’ve been able to keep up with blogging each day so far. I’m really excited for the chance to be able to post Inktober pictures every day this upcoming October.

I will admit that I started earlier than October for this one, but I’ve mentioned before that I’m doing this along with my 9-year-old step daughter. So we’re trying to work towards this on her capacity. And honestly, this has made things a bit easier for myself. Even on the days she hasn’t been here, it’s been really difficult to find the motivation to expand upon the pieces I did while she actually was here.

Having her work on this project with me has been a great chance for bonding. I hope you guys all enjoy our pieces. Even the ones that aren’t perfect. See you tomorrow for another post!

If You Need a Pick-Me-Up

In our DBT Discord, we’ve got a venting channel for when you’re having a hard time. Sometimes talking about your struggles can help. It’s always good though to be cautious about talking about your sadness and depression. Especially to a source outside of your therapist or psychiatrist. Focusing on it can cause you to be stuck in place.

Remember some of the skills from DBT. Accumulate positives. Build Mastery. Cope Ahead. Treat yourself well. Sometimes we’re our hardest critics. We judge ourselves too strongly. If you were talking to someone else about this, you’d probably attempt to build them up, right?

If you have the self awareness to recognize that you are struggling with your mental health, you should consider that a plus. If you’ve taken the step towards getting therapy. Finding medication to try and improve your situation. You should pat yourself on the back. Give yourself some credit.

I know it’s so hard to stay positive sometimes. Things are not fine. You aren’t good. It feels like you are slowly drowning in stress. You’re afraid of panicking. You’re afraid of loosing control of yourself at school or at work or outside your home. Heck, maybe inside your home. Those of us with mental health issues that struggle with suicidal ideations or self harming are constantly at war with our brains.

Just remember that you’ve got this. You’re still here right now. You’re reading this, which means you’re alive and yo have the capability of pulling through. We’re living in a pandemic right now. The world has changed in so many ways that it would boggle the mind. We’re living in an era that will go down in history.

It is OKAY not to be okay. Not just because of COVID. Not just because you’re going through a rough time period. The biggest part of Radical Acceptance my last therapist and I covered was the fact that you can come back to a subject you are struggling to accept. Accepting that it’s okay not to be okay is one that I will struggle with for the rest of my life.

You need to get your brain wrapped around that you are going to fuck up. Because we’re humans and we’re not always going to be able to juggle getting things right. That’s what we do. We make mistakes. We have our bad days. We fuck up and we have our imperfect time periods. Just don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Look at what’s important.

You are here and eventually things will get better. You will eventually reach a point in your timeline that is not as bad as the worst times. You’re mind will find something positive. And from there, you will pick up the pieces. It might not be perfect, but I don’t think anything ever is.

Sorry for going on that rant, but I really hope that someone that might need that pep talk finds it. Love you, guys!

I have Evolved…

I absolutely hate thinking about what Generation I’m from, but the other day it hit me as hilariously funny. I’ve been feeling funky. I had a very specific craving. I wanted a roast beef sandwich on a baguette with some horseradish sauce and provolone cheese. Roast beef was like $7 at the grocery store so I veered away from that craving HARD.

I still had the bread though. And my MIL came home with like… ten avocadoes. If anyone knows Avocadoes, they are expensive and fickle things. They’ll be green as the grass one day then suddenly ripe and if you don’t use it THAT day, it’ll start to rot. One of the days, there was about three ripe and I made my family some guacamole. Which was destroyed and gobbled up in a day. Haha, very delicious especially when made with homegrown tomatoes.

The next day there was only one ripe so I made myself toast. I put some cinnamon and sugar on some of the bread for my SO. Then I ate avocado toast. For breakfast and then again at lunch. Because apparently I’m a millennial now. That’s the joke, isn’t it? We destroy industries and only eat avocado toast.

I did it! I was sort of bland for the morning. And then at lunch time I was still really not feeling anything heavy. So I did it again… but I did it the way I looked up online. Because if you’re going to do something, you should at least try to half arse it. Apparently, you’re supposed to mash it, which I did. So… at this point, I sort of feel like avocado toast is just smearing guacamole on toast?

Haha, I won’t really go into anymore Millennial talk. This was more about the joke that I ate avocado toast for the first time. I like Avocado, it’s tasty. I’ve had it in sweet form before. Boba smoothie. But dang are they expensive. I don’t think we have the heat in Tennessee to grow a tree though. SIGH.

Thanks for putting up with my silly notions. I think I’ll probably talk about reboots of my childhood in another post. Tell me something you find amusing as a Millennial!