imAGYnations- my creative process

Archive for September, 2011


When I was a kid I would take at least four books along to wherever I went (unless it was my boycott period, and then it was comic books and lots of paper and pencils). I would often leave bits and pieces of what I took behind, living life only slightly aggravated much of the time, as I would reach for a thing and realize it was misplaced somewhere on the meandering road of my life and the dreams and thoughts in my head.  And meander I did.

I got older and traveled far lighter. I had some very comfortable (and exciting) times,  I loved Sotheby’s and Brimfield as well as meeting some brilliant and sometimes wealthy people with a fascination for time keeping and antiques. I loved meeting artists, and it was thrilling as a young grrl to help create a successful calligraphy group, respected internationally with enough pull to reach Nationally and internationally acclaimed scribes, and when I lived in Arizona, for that to extend to their society no matter the nomadic lifestyle. I helped build a house that was mistaken for a hotel.

At one point, I would shed myself of my possessions every 3-6 months, had actually lived in a tent on the side of a mountain (in the beautiful town of Sedona, Arizona), winnowing it by halves or thirds easily. Things started to shift for me when I had children. Or at least the first child. I became afraid of not having enough, when before, I could and sometimes would go hungry for days. The recycling I’d done as a kid, became more passionate, more profound and at the time I worked it into found materials craft classes. I became a collector.

The last few years though have become a time of loss, a time of trial by fire for me. I realized when I lost my blog and most of my files (all the Photoshop documents and the book projects, and it was the second time it had happened to me, though the last time seven years ago was through ignorance, this time from failure of material, and my circumstance) I’ve been trying to come back to where I had been.  What I realized when I needed to restart my blog, is that place never existed. I’ve always been a moving target, a somewhat opportunist (I will use whatever means at my disposal to commit expression), an observer. The blog that the Magnificent Margot Finke had started for me, had GROUNDED me at a time when I was about to whirl off into space. I talked about process, it made me think things through, and I found new people who liked my art, or writing or both. I’ve always had great big ideas, that I’ve run after trying to manage the abilities to master those ideas on the way, secretly knowing I will fail to realize them. But I will say my anger had come from it wasn’t enough that I did that to myself, but it seems the world keeps on doing it to me as well. So the nice thing is, I’m at no longer at the “WHAT the HELL?!” stage, but the “What the hell?” stage, if you get my drift.

What I hope to do. Talk about my process again. I hope people like my work enough  they check it out, even better, if they like it enough to buy it so I may live to create more. But even if they don’t, I’M passionate about it now. Prior to my blog shutting down and losing the books, I was excited to get up every day. I was beginning to fall in love with what I loved oh-so long ago, and had shied away from. I still did it. There were times when I’d invest myself. But mostly something intrinsic to who I am, I treated as a hobby, as there was always something more important to do. So perhaps my life falling apart is a gift, after all. I’ve shed most things, and learned I can live without most of them (though there are still a few art tools and material objects I would like,  at this time, I have enough to at least DO what I want to do),

And I want to do so much. I would like to finish Annie. I share the recent detail of one of the illustrations, as I’m so happy and proud I think I figured out how to create her character, which I was so worried about, and now the thought is making all the illustrations consistent,

blog Duke day for Anny Spread 3 copy

I also had completed my zombie illustration for my various stores:

Blog eat me

and had completed a drawing I’d hoped as a banner for this blog. I don’t want to find out how to apply it yet, as I’m under the gun for a lot of things, but it’s a cute concept and I will be continuing the challenge, whether I use it as a blog header as it will aid me in my goals of getting faster and better at illustrating, especially the story, the thing Bill Collins railed against so long ago, lol

New blog heading one copy

I will be attempting NanoWrimo, this month, and hoping to finish Duke Day for Annie. November 2, my sister Val and I have a show of our art going up at the Walker Memorial Library. I’m so proud of her as this is her first show ever, and though she hadn’t picked up a paint brush prior to her husband’s untimely death, her paintings are beautiful and precocious. I have a few projects that others would like to collaborate with me on, and I have about a dozen projects  I hope to start and finish in the next couple of years that have roiled in the brainpan for awhile. One of my more exciting thoughts is to publish a serial graphic novel (or three, depending on the success of the first) via this blog. I also want to up my images on merchandise at my various online stores. For now, simply FINISHING this post and getting the blog up and running will do wonders for building my heart back up.  In a few months, I will also be sharing my space with my artists and writer friends, will continue to review and reinstitute the coloring pages. For tonight, posting the first blog and getting the appearance mostly if not completely situated will be a worthy enough goal.

By the next post, I’ll talk a bit about the process and progress of Annie, and get some of the links to my other dabblings nestled in their new home. I have other projects I’ll share the images of the fully rendered version of this perhaps:

Steam punk bride copy.jpg detail 5q Steam punk bride (and her whittled husband)

Feel free to ask questions or make comments I’ll try to address them all.

I hate being cold, and truth be told there are times I dread the idea of winter. Except it’s a wonderfully productive time for me. In a time I’m finally ready to allow myself. A time to bring the things I’ve been dreaming about, the stories I’ve made up for myself. the heart and vision I’ve had of this world out to play with others. Whether anyone pays attention to it or not. I do this for the kid who survived some rough beginnings became a daredevil a scaredy cat and is ready to become a mountain top. Wish me luck.


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EMU's Debuts

From Deal to Debut: the Path to Publication


David Macinnis Gill

Flashlight Press

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Kelly Barnhill

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Kid lit book reviews

Books in the Meadow

I'm Hayley Barrett. I write for young people. I live to make kids laugh. Committed rereader. Dressage daydreamer. Pollyanna deluxe.

John M. Cusick

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Under the Honeysuckle Vine

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Brain Boss

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copper, tin, wood, & will

...a woman's journey into building

Raising Book Monsters

Kids who devour books and hunger for knowledge

Noble Illustrations

Kathryn Ault Noble Illustrations

A walk with my camera

all about human interests