Inspiration: Think.Make.Share.

I found the perfect blog for me! It’s a blog from the creative studios at Hallmark called Think.Make.Share. I’ve spent hours looking over every single section/link and it is honestly my dream come true! There are so many things I want to make from there. I’m making a list so that I remember:

More to come!

 

 

Zines!

I really love all things DIY and I keep finding inspiration for them. These are some of my favorites.

  • Hallmark has a wonderful blog called Think.Make.Share. I want to do everything on here! I will be reading this blog all the time.
  • Oh so beautiful paper has a DIY section that’s perfect for papercrafts.
  • Babble has a DIY section that’s geared towards parents but great for gifts.
  • The Creative Independent has amazing guides on balancing daily life and creating.

A creative hobby that ties together the things I love–writing, drawing, sharing, and having an opinion–is zines!!! I had heard about them before. Now is the time to make one! Here are some resources I’ve gathered about making zines:

Excited to embark on my zine adventure!

Small presses rule!

It’s been so much fun doing research for my Etsy shop. I love small presses/studios because their cards are unique, and I love whimsy! I found many inspiring shops today. Hopefully, I can join their ranks one day.

Here are a few small presses I have come across and loved:

  • Trendspotting @ Oh so beautiful paper – This is exactly what I was looking for! It might be fun to go back to some of the trends that have already passed, such as winking eyes. I still love them!
  • The Good Twin – I absolutely love her designs!
  • Pencil JoyThis card speaks to my life. I love their illustrations!
  • ban.do – I love their focus on mental health and joy.
  • Red Cap Cards – I love how they’re an artist collective.
  • Ramona & Ruth – Unique and minimalist cards based in Omaha, NE!
  • Odd Daughter Paper Co – I love this company! It really is perfect and unique.
  • Worthwhile Paper – I really love this too. I love simple and clean designs.
  • Our Heiday – I love that this was started by Asian-American sisters!

There are many business lessons to learn. For example:

  • Naming products – Simple is best.
  • Pricing products – It must be valuable to customers.
  • Writing product descriptions – Again, simple may be best.
  • Making it easy for shoppers – Menus, bundles, etc.
  • Categorizing products – It’s all about occasions and seasons!
  • Offering choices and variety – The more the better. I believe in custom designs.
  • Offering compelling design – There were times I saw a card, such as the book case one, and I immediately wanted it! I want people to have the same experience when shopping at my store.

This is such a great project and learning experience for me!

Design trends #1

For my Etsy shop, I’ve been spotting trends and thinking of how to incorporate them into my greeting cards. I’m learning how to create each of these designs and these are the online source I’ve referred to:

  1. Galaxies
  2. Marble pattern
  3. Monstera leaf
  4. Watercolor
  5. Emojis
  6. Avocado
  7. Letterboard

There are so many great resources and tutorials online! Some other design trends/themes I’m interested in recreating are:

  • Gems and geostones
  • Fast food: burgers, tacos, pizza
  • Animals – ocean animals, woodland critters, pets!
  • Movies, such as Moonrise KingdomUp, with a lot theming
  • Activism & empowerment
  • People/diversity: action shots, tribal prints, body types
  • Daily life: electronics, social media, slang
  • Wildflowers and plants!
  • Cutie kablooies: combinations of all of those things!

It’s really exciting to create things! I love it.

Kweli, comics, writing & therapy

I went to Kweli this weekend and it was a wonderful, healing, and affirming experience. I have never been in a room full of writers and illustrators. I’m really thankful Laura Pegram created this space for us. Some thoughts:

  • Meeting authors, librarians, and kidlit people in person was a dream come true. It felt like the first concrete step toward my becoming a writer.
  • The kidlit community is real and welcoming. It’s a little surreal to meet Karina Yan Glaser, Cheryl Klein, Alvina Ling, Minh Le, Alia Jones, Tiffany Jackson, JACKIE WOODSON, Susan Tan, and all of these authors that I’ve followed for a long time.
  • I loved meeting debut and aspiring authors too. I met Jessica Kim, whose Yumi Chung is coming out next year, and Emily X. R. Pan whose books have been missing from my life.
  • My thoughts about books have changed so much since I was in high school. All I ever read were dead authors with a few minority authors on the list as tokens. Going to Kweli and reading contemporary books made me see that authors are living and breathing, and they are people living in the same world as I am.
  • My favorite session were the picture book sessions. I learned so much about picture books and they are an ART.
  • Speaking of that, I’m going to start following illustrators and practice drawing.

I had gone to the conference wanting to meet people working IN the publishing industry, but I left wanting to do writing and illustrating myself. I am thinking it would be ok to have a job that supports me, but is not all-consuming, and be able to write and draw. I’m happy being an Admin Assistant and I actually think I’m pretty good at this job. I’m realizing that some jobs are a calling and passion, where you are willing to make sacrifices, and others are something you do, with relationships being a really nice bonus. In a world where work can be literally traumatizing, I am thankful for a job I can do decently and with pleasant coworkers. I realized that as long as I can 1) support myself, 2) pursue my hobbies, 3) working environment is not harmful to my mental and physical health, it is the right job for me. Having been so traumatized, I no longer need my job to “BE” or say something about myself. I just want to feel safe, respected, and get donuts once in a while.

I’ve done a lot of work in therapy the past 3~4 months, and I feel like my life has transformed because of it. Some takeaways:

  • Self-care is noticing when you are not well, and taking steps to FIX IT. Bearing something and hoping it’ll pass or you’ll get used to it is not at all a healthy way to go through life. The problem is going to get worse rather than disappear.
  • It takes a lot to undo years and years of toxic relationships.
  • You need to build up your muscle/shield for dealing with people who attack you. I’ve dealt with my share of aggression from my own parents, students, students’ parents, and bosses. Like a physical sickness, it doesn’t get better unless you treat it.
  • I still need to work on being detached and observing how I’m feeling before acting. Being defensive is also not a healthy response.
  • My biggest takeaway is probably learning to accept who I am and the path I’ve chosen. There are many kinds of success and no one is more valid than the other. Success is when you feel good about yourself and are not constantly rejecting and struggling every day.
  • I’m not really done working on myself and I’ll never be, but I’ve come a long way <3. I am more loving toward myself and finding my community and purpose.

Purpose is not the same thing as passion. Passion is not always a helpful word because it can put people up to a lot of abuse in the name of “passion.” As a teacher, this killed me. Purpose, on the other hand, is a little more detached yet still personal. You have a purpose and everything you do pushes you a little closer towards it. But if it is harmful to you, you can say no. This has made all the difference to me and taken me 7 many painful years to learn.

My purpose now is graphic novels. I am going to work hard on writing and illustrating so that I can make my own graphic novel. Some steps I will take toward my purpose:

  • Read a lot of graphic novels!
  • Listen to Graphic Novels TK, a podcast
  • Practice drawing
  • Brainstorm story ideas
  • Study picture books

 

My inspirations, pt. 1

I’m inspired by many things and to start with, these are 2 people and 1 source of inspiration for me! To be continued.

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Grace Lin – She is an author, illustrator, and all around excellent book maker! She makes books and really creative and relatable stories for someone like me. I will read anything she writes and share them with my students as well.
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Rapunzel because she is super creative – she draws, paints, reads, bakes, cleans, stretches – basically she is my role model.
Image result for cookat
Cookat – I love recipes and food and it is my dream one day to make all the things I want to eat.

Doodling and coloring

Hello! It is summer and I recently was inspired to start drawing and crafting again. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.I decided to start with somehing really easy. I have a Klutz book on doodling fruits, animals, dumplings, and they are sort of like Shopkins. I decided to name them because I might want to make a story or comic about these.

I have so many craft and coloring supplies I’ve neglected since school started. I’m not great about balancing school and life, but hopefully that will change and I’ll keep up with my hobbies and blogging.

Eiffel Tower

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My new year’s resolution was to draw and color more. Here it is! I’m bad at watercolor. I will have to watch YouTube tutorials to find out how to do it properly. I love color pencils but I’m going to use crayon and watercolor so I get more comfortable with it.

Mudkip Airways

One of my goals this year is to get back into drawing. I have a lot of sketches that need to be colored in but I’ve never been great at coloring. I know there are coloring techniques like shading, cross hatching, and stippling. I would like to try them to add more variety to my drawings.

I will post my sketches on here, not because they are great but because I want to practice and keep myself accountable.