Kickstarter! Park Sweet Treats Enamel Pins

DISNEYLAND! DELICIOUS TREATS! ENAMEL PINS! These are a few of my favorite things! 🎵

My good pal (and phenomenal Dungeon Master) Nikki Ward has taken all of these wonderful things and wrapped them into a fun Kickstarter project! Nikki ADORES Disneyland and visits more than most people I know (she and her husband even got married there). While I have yet to visit, I can’t help but me enamored by these adorable characters she’s created based on her favorite Park treats.

Nikki is a professional illustrator located here in Austin, TX and draws some of the most adorable fanart I’ve ever seen. She travels a lot for shows that she exhibits at and her style is all her own. While she’s known for her Disney work, she also does fanart of Overwatch, Critical Role, and much more – you can find prints and other products on her Society6 page. Nikki is also the founder of Geek Fire Labs where she makes bath and body products that SMELL AMAZING. From where I’m currently sitting, I can see three of her products in my bedroom: a kodama forest wax melt, my Droid Please lip balm, and my favorite Cthulhu perfume. Seriously, her stuff is so great.

As you can see, Nikki is a very skilled and experienced artist and maker. She’s made enamel pins before (I have her gorgeous Sailor Moon magical girl pin) but this is the first time she’s using Kickstarter as a platform for them. I’d love to see these Disney treat pins become a reality because they’re not only a personal passion of hers, they’re also just dang cute.

So please head over and pledge to the Park Treat Sweeties Hard Enamel Pins project.

Spoiler-free Feelings on the 13th Doctor

When the new Doctor Who started in 2005 I was an old Who elitist who swore never to watch the new stuff. I’d grown up on the old. It was everything. I couldn’t imagine how they could make the old Doctors better than they already were. Turns out I was just being a stubborn snob. Thankfully people change and I’m glad I did. My dad is the one who ultimately got me to embrace the new Doctors by introducing me to a few Matt Smith episodes. I gave in and I’m so glad I did. Because it all led to this perfect moment. Something I’ve wanted to see since I was a wee teenager stuck in her ways.

I dressed up for tonight’s special occasion.

Having someone you’ve loved and admired, someone you’ve idolized, someone you’ve considered a hero for most of your life, suddenly become a reflection of YOU is life-changing. It’s heartwarming. It fills you with joy and love. And most of all, it gives you hope.

Seeing the Doctor become me, even for a moment, was everything. I can’t stop crying. I cried when they first announced her and released the video of Jodie Whittaker taking her first steps towards the Tardis. I cried when they gave us photos of her new outfit. Everything about her speaks to me and who I am. I can’t help but cry.

Representation matters. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. I hope that every single person gets to feel this feeling. It needs to happen more. For all people. It needs to happen now. This is why diversity matters. This is why being inclusive and welcoming MATTERS.

It’s sad that after SO MANY YEARS we finally got a female Doctor. A WHITE female Doctor. Now imagine the impact a Doctor who is black or brown or any race other than white would have on young children searching for themselves on TV. Imagine a trans Doctor or a disabled Doctor or ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT WE’VE ALWAYS HAD.

This small step, making the Doctor a woman, has reduced me to a blubbering baby because my heart has wanted this since I was introduced to Doctor Who when I was a kid (it became more of an obsession when I was around 14). MORE THAN HALF MY LIFE I HAVE BEEN WANTING THIS MOMENT. I can’t adequately describe to you all of the feelings I am having right now.

I want everyone to have this feeling. I want future kids to grow up not having to know this feeling because diversity is so common they don’t have to wait for these moments. I want them to grow up seeing themselves in media everywhere, no matter their walk of life. That is the hope.

This is a small step but it matters. Representation matters.
I am so excited for our new Doctor. I love her already.

Animal Allies Oracle Cards by Jessica Swift

One of my fave pattern designers and painters is Jessica Swift (I’ve written about her before on this blog) and I happen to have four or five of prints hanging up around our house (plus I am a proud of her adorable rainboots). I’ve been a huge fan of her Animal Totem art since she first began them as daily art projects at the beginning of 2016 (you can read that story here) and I was ecstatic to learn a few months ago that she was turning those paintings into an oracle deck!

Suffice to say as soon as I got the email that the preorder was up I mashed that button so hard. And I’m stoked to tell you that I now hold the final product in my hands and I’m blown away by how perfect and just how accurately they represent everything I love about Jessica Swift and her work. Her work has always spoken to me and this deck has quickly become a daily motivation for me.

My favorite card (& painting) of course is the coyote, but each animal chosen for the deck has the potential to bring about change and inspiration to the every day. I’m so grateful that Jessica brought this beautiful product into existence. You can pick up your own Animal Allies Oracle Deck on her website!

ART! 15 Days of Inktober Fun!

Last year I tried out Inktober for the first time and while I really loved doing it, I only made it day 9 because it was around this time last year that the arthritis in my hands started to get worse and was making it very hard to hold a physical utensil. This year, I’ve been taking it a lot slower and have been using my Surface because drawing digitally means not having to control the pressure with my hand, but with the brushes instead. It’s a lot easier for me to hold the thicker tablet pen too.

I’m days behind but I’m being forgiving of myself because this is the most I’ve been able to draw in awhile and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. I decided to sketch animals that mean something to me in someway so every animal that follows has made some sort of connection in my life.

Hope everyone has had a very happy and spooky and cheerful October! You can follow the rest of my progress by following me on twitter or instagram. Update: Because of health issues, I wasn’t able to do any more inktober-specific art. BUT! This gave me a good boost of confidence in my art and I can’t wait to draw more. Thanks for all your support!

Learning How To Draw Again

One of my fave artists (she made my custom Shepard portrait) is helping me become a better artist and has been sending me really helpful tips and exercises to do that will help me relearn how to draw while dealing with arthritis (it’s been really hard on my hands). Her name is Cheyenne and she’s wonderful (you can find her work on Tumblr and her words over on Twitter). First step: gesture drawings to focus on how my hand moves.

Since I can’t stop watching Yuri On Ice (I’m watching it for the fifth time now), all my gestures are based on figure skating poses. These are each quick 30 seconds sketches to loosen up my pen flow. I’m still pretty slow and rigid, but I’m getting there and it means a lot to have the guidance of an artist I admire so much.

I’ll keep getting better every time I draw. One sketch at a time!