A TRIBUTE TO THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THIS PANDEMIC!

This tribute of gratitude goes out to ALL of our front line heroes right now! I couldn’t perfectly represent all of you here in this art, but you know who you are! <3

To all our healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, care aids, scientists, first responders, firemen, paramedics, law enforcement, border guards, police, military, essential public servers, grocery store staff, pharmacists, janitors, factory workers, mail delivery staff, city service workers, child protection services, social service workers, uber and taxi drivers, truck drivers, and all those keeping us afloat like teachers, pastors, and people spreading positivity online… I know I’ve probably missed some of you, BUT WE ARE IMMENSELY GRATEFUL FOR YOU ALL!!! Thank you for keeping us going through this pandemic, you are REAL HEROES!

Show these heroes your gratitude and honour their sacrifice by staying home!

Vision vs Execution

“After a few months of practice, David lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get it out of my fingers.”

To which the Master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes?” “ ~ Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland

Yesterday I posted a portrait of my character, Sable, on IG and I hated it. I tried hard to convince myself to like it, but I couldn’t do it. She just did not look the same way she did in my head. It maddened me. I deleted it. And then today I started all over again. The portrait you see here is my fourth attempt at Sable. That’s right, yesterday was my third. She has been down right obstinate, and nearly impossible to capture.

If you are a creator, then I bet you too have faced this kind of frustration. Our vision rarely fits our execution. It’s like the image in our mind’s eye gets twisted, mucked up, and lost in translation. On rare occasions it manages to work out, but for the most part it’s much like Picasso said, “I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else.”

Now, we can do one of three things with this experience; we can simply give up, we can try again (and again, and again in my case), or we can just accept what Picasso calls “something else” and move onto the next creation. Nowadays, option two and three is where I usually land, but in the past I have given up. I don’t recommend it. It’s important to realize that our vision (the picture in our head) is, as the Master said to his student above, always going to exceed our abilities. And, in the end, this is NOT a bad thing. Without this vision we would never improve. The vision pushes us beyond ourselves. It asks greater things of us each time we create. While we strive to reach it, we grow. And growth is good.

Am I completely satisfied with how Sable came out today? That’s a good question. Maybe… She’s a bit better, I think… Either way, she’s taught me a lot. 😉

Sable is an original character from my up coming novel, The Maiden Ship.

From Adversity to Creativity

Isn’t it amazing how adversity can redirect our path? Most of you know that my drawing arm was severely injured six months ago, and for nearly five of those months I could not create art. It was an immense blow, not only financially, but emotionally. In addition to other chronic health struggles, this injury pushed me to my limits, and for the first couple of months I struggled through a profound depression. Eventually I sought professional counselling services, and for the sake of my mental health, I worked hard towards finding another creative outlet.  

It was writing that I steered towards. It was something I could do despite my physical state, I could dictate verbally when the pain was too great, and I could use my good arm to type on the better days. It became a way to get the pictures out of my head without being able to draw them, and it gave me a sense of purpose amidst the suffering.

Years ago, when my children were small, I started a novel called, ‘The Maiden Ship’. However, as work and the demands of life accumulated I set writing aside. After nearly a twenty year relapse I returned to this book, and I returned to it because of adversity. Surprisingly, I managed to finish the novel just as my arm slowly began healing at the five month mark. The book is completed and now in the editing phases. The thing is, if these struggles had not happened to me, I very likely would have never written the book. I would have been too busy making art. (Which is still obviously my favourite thing to do in the world. 😉 )

I know this is the first book I’ve ever attempted on my own, so it’s definitely not going to be a New York Times bestseller, but that was never the point. If, in the end, only three people read it, I’m good with that because, honestly, this novel has already proven it’s worth, it saved me. That’s what makes it special. 

All that to say, this is my first drawing related to my new novel, and I promise to share more details about these characters, the synopsis, and the release date soon, but for now, if you’re interested, take a peek at my Maiden Ship story highlight on Instagram to read some quotes and see some character aesthetics. 😘

If you read all the way down to here, then you are my hero, and the truest WHIMSY at heart. You are loved! ❤️

Charting Stars Progress

Hey friends! Just a little post with some sneak peeks and also to let you know things are still progressing!!! Only one and half chapters left to draw in our first volume of Charting Stars! It’s amazing the things you learn during a process like this and I’ve certainly come to a full understanding of how long it takes to create a graphic novel! Haha! Whew! Our hope was to have the first book released by the end of this year but things in life just like to take their own course sometimes and our release date is looking more like it will be in January. Never fear though, this book is coming even if it’s later than intended!!! Thanks for your patience and for sticking with us!!! Pssst… remember you can follow along more closely with us on Instagram or on Facebook!

A QB Tale

A little QB comic tale for you today! 🐿💕

For new followers who haven’t yet met the main characters from our upcoming graphic novel, Bash (first frame) and Jarrett (last frame) are rivals for Talia’s affections. QB (the squirrel) is Jarrett’s long time travelling companion and friend so that’ll help you understand the end a bit more. 😊 Mid-way are Maren and Moses (always quarrelling 🙈) and a sleepy Drew. Please consider following Whimsical on Instagram for more daily posts.

Charting Stars Character Glimpses

Talia never talks this much. Actually she is often more of a listener than a talker, but for some reason when she’s with Jarrett she just really wants to share everything.
Moses takes his night watch shift very seriously.
Bash: “They are called Nether blooms. Occasionally a merchant will happen upon a magic user who is willing to sell minor spells and potions. In this case the potion applied to the flowers prolongs their bloom for nearly a lifetime. A rare find. My hope is that you’ll accept my gift as a warm welcome to the Nine Realms.”
“What do you want, Moses?” “I thought that would be obvious. Kindly honor me with a dance, Milady?” The gypsy emphasized his request with a proper bow, his gaze never leaving Maren. . “Take a walk, sir.” . “Cruel, cruel Maren. What of the benevolence between our people?” A familiar smirk began to tug at Moses’ lips as he leaned casually over the irritated woman. “Chalk it up to an act of diplomacy?” . Matching his smirk with her own, a hint of amused pride gleaming in her eyes, Maren’s voice grew hushed as she took a single step closer to punctuate her reply. “The only act of diplomacy you’ll see from me is if I deem it appropriate to land my knife in your left boot.” . Retreating with hands raised in surrender, the prince’s manner showed no signs of disappointment, respectfully dipping his head in farewell as his smirk softened with an amused chuckle. “Understood. Perhaps later then.”

 

 

Sneak Peeks and More concept Art

Summer is a crazy time of year to try writing blog posts, staying inside to work and not going to the beach instead!  😉  Ha ha!  We continue to push on though and our first graphic novel in the Charting Stars series is developing nicely.  Attached here are a few sneak peeks at the some frames from the first chapter of our novel and I’ve also attached more concept art as well.

I hope you are all having the loveliest summer. Can’t wait for you to read our first book this fall!

Read the Prologue to Our First Graphic Novel!

We are so excited (and maybe a little nervous) to share this prologue with you from the first book in our new graphic novel series, Charting Stars. This series will be a set of illustrated graphic style novels with an educational twist. One page will be in a full graphic novel format where readers can see the illustrated panels and read the word bubbles however, the corresponding pages will be printed in a regular novel format. The reader will understand the gist of the plot from the graphic section but if they want to learn more about the story, the setting or the characters they will need to read the corresponding text to delve more deeply. We are hopeful that this style of book will encourage intermediate readers to take the plunge and read more. 🙂

Scroll on down to catch your first glimpse!

0001

Hushed, but not completely silent. The heavy rush of air beating against wings broke the stillness of the early morning, the stars above being the only source of light before the dawn. The ocean below made hardly a sound save for that of the water’s soft rhythmic splash against the wall of rock lining the coast for miles in both directions.

A single figure made itself known to the swaddling darkness. A woman, taller than most men and equally strong, alighted to the edge of the cliff as she folded her prominent wings. The angelic creature glowed of her own accord, her ivory skin radiant beneath the silvery white of her cropped hair, the color shining like starlight to match the snow-white wings at her back. The light from her presence shone gentle and pure, undisturbed by any shadow as she waited for something to come to her from the dark.

0002

For a long while, nothing stirred, not even the woman as she stood like a beacon shining from the rock’s treacherous edge. Hours passed, but there, someone had come to meet her.

She did not need the use of her eyes to recognize the newcomer, her lips softly moving to smile as she let her voice go forth like the mellow ring of a cathedral bell, rich and soothing. “Welcome, Maren. You are earlier than anticipated. I expected you with the dawn. Allow me to assume this is a sign of success?”

“Indeed it is, Jora.”

Another figure joined the angelic creature on the cliff, the young woman being a good two heads shorter than the one called Jora, but matching her in a warrior’s physique. Maren pulled the edge of her crimson hood away from her face to reveal the dark and exotic features beneath, her fiery red hair secured behind her.

0003

The woman’s voice was low like Jora’s, but she spoke in tones more hushed, the mark of a warrior accustomed to keeping her presence a secret. She habitually crossed her arms as she gave her observations, a foreign accent hinting at the edge of each word. “Something is stirring. A new star has formed not but two days ago, yet no one can account for its origin. None of your kind have passed on?”

Jora’s hair swished gently around her face as she shook her head, giving answer without a word as she thought for a few moments in silence before making her careful reply. “No, it is unlike anything we have previously observed. Both earth and sky are restless, but in anticipation of what, we cannot be certain. It is a mystery, one we must unravel, but not yet. There is a reason for all things. We will have our answer in due time.”

Turning to face her companion, Maren’s voice faltered with uncertainty, hinting at her differing opinion. “Are you suggesting that we simply wait?”

0004

Jora’s gaze did not waver, her sights set on a distant star, its glow a foreign presence in the heavens. “I ask that we remain patient for the time being. To do so will ensure that we recognize the proper moment to act. We know too little at present. For now, I must inform the Council of your discoveries. They will find this of great interest.”

Jora raised her wings to their fullest height, the icy blue of her eyes turning their attention to her companion as she dipped her head in a respectful gesture, giving closure to their meeting. “Until tomorrow, Maren. May your path remain clear in dark times.”

Taking a few steps back to allow her winged companion more space, Maren replaced her hood letting the darkness of the early morning obscure her face once more. “Fly safely, Jora.”0005

All copyright remains with © Whimsical Publishing 2017.

Charting Stars Update and MORE ART!

Our first book in the Charting Stars series is completed, back from the editor and now I am drawing, drawing, drawing and DRAWING some more. ;P (Actually it’s my favourite thing to do so it’s not so bad – ha ha. :D) The prologue is nearly all drawn and we’ll be sharing it here with you soon – can’t wait to show you!!! In the mean time attached is some newer drawings and concept art that I hope you’ll enjoy. If you’d like to see more daily posts be sure to follow Whimsical on Instagram or on Facebook!

News and More Charting Stars Concept Art

Morning friends! Excited to let you know our first book comes back from the editor today!!! That means that the graphic novel art sections now begin! Just to whet your appetite we plan to share the prologue with you for free as soon as it’s completed! Which should be fairly soon!!!
Attached are a few more concept illustrations of the Nine Realms characters – we hope you enjoy! 😀 If you’d like to see more art on a daily basis follow Whimsical on Instagram!