end of a busy day

I got back home on Saturday night after an unexpectedly long trip. My flight from Montreal was cancelled, and I was moved to a later one, which caused me to miss my connection from Toronto to Vancouver. The airline found me a spot on the next flight, so I was really only delayed by a couple of hours — not a major disaster, but I was tired by the time I made it home. Because I was added to the Toronto-Vancouver flight at the last minute, my suitcase did not arrive with me, and I was waken up the next morning by the airport delivery person knocking on my door. I think I managed to scribble something resembling my signature on the receipt before stumbling back to bed for another three hours of sleep.

Surprisingly, the day wasn't a total loss: I got some grocery shopping done, made a loaf of chocolate-chip banana bread, and cleaned the condensation spots off my bathroom ceiling (this always leaves me with a sore neck, so I try to do it shortly before my chiropractic appointments).

Today I have been experimenting with starting a timer as I begin each task, and I think I'm having some success. In the last 12 hours I have:
  • cropped and uploaded thumbnails for ~3 months of artwork
  • added the paintings from Sketchfest 22 to the database
  • actually had breakfast and remembered to eat lunch at lunchtime instead of mid-afternoon
  • done the dishes
  • finished two loads of laundry
  • vacuumed and got rid of most of the dust that accumulated while I was away
  • gone to my chiro appointment and run some errands on the way home
  • given myself a haircut
  • made stew for dinner and
  • started a new Story Sketch while waiting for it to cook
Using a timer seems to help me stay on task because I know I will be free a few minutes later to pursue whatever new item has attracted my attention. Something interesting that I've discovered is that my internal clock seems to run fast. I consistently found myself thinking that 20-30% more time had elapsed than actually had. That's probably a good thing in that I am able to accomplish more than I expected to in the time allotted — as long as I can maintain my focus.

I think I'm going to try working on more art tomorrow, with the goal of making at least one Story Sketch post or update and one book post per week, and finishing at least one painting per month. I'm also slowly moving some of the snippets and random notes I have floating around into Evernote, so I won't be struggling to remember eg. where I filed the description of a character that I need to draw again.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.
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thoughts after a year of crowdfunding

April 11th marked the first anniversary of my crowdfunding debut, and it was probably the most consistently busy year I've ever had. I've posted over 150 paintings and sketches, received thousands of feedback comments, unexpectedly won a Rose and Bay award, and met a lot of really creative people. I've sold prints, done private commissions, and received tips from over a dozen generous patrons, including three K-fans, each of whom contributed over $120 to my various art projects over the last year. The Kickstarter campaign for my first picture book exceeded it's funding goal and raised over $11000. Your support and enthusiasm has far surpassed my expectations. Thank you all!

As you have undoubtedly noticed by now, the Story Sketches project has been largely dormant for a couple of months, but fear not! I have no intention of abandoning it. I've been sort of waiting for my workload to lighten, but after taking stock of my plans for the next year, it's become clear that that isn't really going to happen. The challenge is to figure out how to manage more than one ongoing project at a time, and I appreciate the patience you've all shown while I try to work out a solution.

I know that several of you are balancing multiple projects and/or offline jobs and families, and it's encouraging to know that it can be done — I just have to come up with a better workflow than
  • start working on something

  • receive message about another thing to be done, start working on it

  • get distracted by a third thing

  • belatedly remember what I was working on in the first place

  • repeat :P
The best approach for me will probably be to divide tasks by project (e.g. Story Sketches, EDST, Torn World, self-promotion, one-shot commission) and/or by type (e.g. research, drawing, technical, writing, design) and pick one category to focus on at the beginning of each work day, depending on the relative urgency of each and the number and type of spoons I wake up with. This could result in more image-only posts (with text to be added later), or making several posts at once instead of uploading each picture as I finish it.

Participating in SketchFest (run by champion multitasker ellenmillion —Thanks, Ellen!) has shown that I can be very productive within a limited time period, so I may try to apply this model to other types of activity. Setting a timer while I work on posts like this, for instance, will hopefully stop me from spending days on composing and editing an informal piece of text that my writer friends probably wouldn't spend more than a few minutes on. :P I'm sure I had more to say, but this post has been in-progress for nearly a week(!) which is long even for me, and I expect to be afk for most of tomorrow, so, ah...consider it a 'sketch'? ^_^;

If those of you who are more organized than I am have any advice, I would certainly appreciate it!


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.
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Signal boost!

I've had a post in-progress for several days now, that I'm struggling to get done amidst all the distractions (planets! pie! IRL people!) but here's some stuff to check out in the meantime!

It's Muse Fusion weekend at torn_world.

[personal profile] ariestess is hosting a free one-card draw until 1800 PDT.

The sixth Crowdfunding Creative Jam is open on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, with a theme of "blood".


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.

report from a busy weekend

I spent a busy but enjoyable weekend in NJ, attending my cousin's wedding, and visiting with relatives in the area. Now that I'm back, I can finally share a couple of my big projects from the past couple of months.

This was the painting I made as a wedding present:

It was inspired by the library scene in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which my cousin and I once watched together over twenty times in a single week, and is set in the Barnes and Noble store where she and her husband met for their first date. Eagle-eyed viewers may notice a bit of subtle advertising on one of the tables in the background ;) I had this printed on the same watercolour paper as the Salt and Pepper painting that I did for my aunt and uncle last year, and presented it to the new couple in a frame 'wrapped' with a translucent overlay that I also decorated with a Beauty and the Beast inspired image, and the words "May you live happily ever after..."

The wedding, of course, presented me with the recurring problem of finding sensory-friendly formalwear...and this time I decided to solve the issue once and for all by sewing my own dress!

fabric & lace detail:


Unsurprisingly, my sensibilities lie more toward costume design than fashion design, so the pattern was heavily influenced by renaissance gowns and Disney princess movies. In a stroke of pure luck, the fabric I found happened to be an exact colour match for a shirt I already had, so I didn't have to sew the sleeves. I'm quite pleased that the full skirt allowed me to add unobtrusive in-seam pockets, and let me walk without getting tangled around my legs, but the best part is what you can't see in the photo. The bodice is lined with plain cotton cut from a bed sheet that I got at the local thrift store, so I can wear it sleeveless without irritating my skin, and under the skirt is a hybrid petticoat with a skirt made from the same cotton bed sheet attached to the waistline of a pair of short pants! I think this was the first time in my life that I've been able to wear a dress all day without squirming.

In EDST news, we've begun distributing rewards to our Kickstarter backers! I took advantage of my visit to the US to pick up the puppets for those backers who chose them as rewards, and I will be adding eyeglasses to them over the next few weeks. ego_sideways also sent me a few copies of the book to give to my family, and everyone who has seen them so far has been impressed with the quality. :) We are still working on arranging large-scale distribution, but in the meantime, copies can be ordered from Elder Days Story Time (Only US addresses for now, sorry! Still working out the details for international shipping.) My sample set of cards from moo.com arrived as well, and I'm very happy with it, so I'll probably be placing an order with them soon.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.

state of the meeks

I'm at YVR waiting for my flight to start boarding, which gives me a bit tof time to just sit and breathe for the first time in a month. With the print run for Lorelei done months ahead of our original schedule, I've found myself thinking about sending out both the kickstarter backer rewards and a promotional mailer for publishers a lot sooner than I expected. Combined with the stuff I had to get done before this trip, it's been an exhausting reminder of how poorly suited I am to multitasking. It seems that the busier I get, the less inclined I am to talk about what I'm doing, so as the first anniversary of my crowdfunding efforts approaches, I'll be looking at ways to structure my time better to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

More later...have to put my phone in airplane mode.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.

And a week became two...

Or maybe I should have just written 'month' in my last post? I'm nearly done...this is probably a good time to stop looking at this painting for a couple of days and try to get a full nightmorning's sleep. At least the days are long enough now that I don't have to worry about my nocturnal tendencies causing me to miss the brief appearance of the sun :P


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.