“Do you know why wildflowers are the most beautiful blossoms of all, my son?”Dain shook his little head.Soft waxen curls blew forward in the breeze as she lifted her storm-gray eyes to gaze out over the sea of petals. “Wildflowers are the loveliest of all because they grow in uncultivated soil, in those hard, rugged places where no one expects them to flourish. They are resilient in ways a garden bloom could never be. People are the same, son—the most exquisite souls are those who survive where others cannot.” ~The Maiden Ship by Micheline Ryckman
Micheline Ryckman’s debut YA fantasy adventure novel, The Maiden Ship, releases February 7, 2020, and is NOW available >>> Paperback is HERE for PRE-ORDER! And the ebook is on amazon.com for pre-preorder as well!
Dain Alloway was only nine years old when he began a new life with his father, sailing aboard The Maiden. Eight years later, the aristocratic city-boy turned merchant-sailor feels like he lives with one foot on land, and one foot in the sea. Life floats smoothly by until the night he wakes to find a mysterious woman in his cabin.
The events that unfold after her appearance transform Dain’s world. Now, hunted by empty-faced demons, he finds himself thrown into a dangerous web of intrigue and magic. As the crisis grows, the young sailor discovers powerful gifts buried deep within, talents that might shift the tide of a centuries-old war. Whether or not he’s ready, Dain will have to risk it all for the salvation and freedom of those he loves.
I’ve written about this before, how obsessing over numbers on social media can make me miserable. And I might be beating a dead horse with this new post, but apparently it’s still needs to be worked out of my system. It’s source is typically in that conundrum of working umpteen hours on a painting I’m proud of to have it flop on social media, verses doing a fast sketch that gets triple the love. It makes me shake my head in frustration, rail my fists at the social media gods, and even slump into minor bouts of depressive thinking. Maybe I should just quit? Why am I even doing all this work? What is the point?
Let’s just look at those questions a little closer.
Maybe I should just quit? This isn’t even a realistic question. Let’s be honest, I’m never going to quit. I love being creative so much so that quitting would be a greater injury to my soul than continuing on with no recognition at all. Which leads me realize that recognition and reward drive none of what I do. Surprised? So am I. Turns out I don’t actually need it to create. That painting I spent hours pouring my heart into, the one I was actually proud of, that’s my reward. The joy of capturing what I wanted, the sense of real accomplishment are far greater gifts than any number of likes on Instagram or Facebook. And now that I have realized this, I have also inadvertently answered my other two questions above as well. I do the work because the process is fulfilling. I love the process. I create because I love creating, that is the point, and honestly, it needs nothing more.
Now this is not to say that all the likes, comments, and interactions on social media mean nothing to me. They mean a great deal in the sense that they help me to make a living. Every interaction here helps my family buy groceries. It means I can work from home, and care for my son who cannot be alone. These are deeply meaningful things. However, what I cannot do is base my intrinsic worth as an artist on the interactions I receive here. Social media is a fickle friend, and while I might need her to survive, she doesn’t deserve to be in charge of my heart.
There, done, I think perhaps I’ve got this now. Hopefully it resonated with some of your hearts as well. <3
We are so CLOSE to having the first novel in our Charting Stars series complete! Just a few pages of drawing left and then it can be wrapped up and packed off to the printer. This has been a long journey (a whole year in fact) but it will be worth it all in the end! Attached here is the final cover reveal for the book and the NEW BOOK TRAILER! I hope you enjoy! Remember is you’d like to follow along with us on a more daily basis you can do so on Instagram and on Facebook!
Music: A Cool Rainy Night – Mike Durek (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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!
All the things promised in our last post; short stories, free colouring pages and more are still in the works and coming your way but here’s a bit more illustrated character visuals to keep you excited while you wait!
If you’d like to keep up with the Charting Stars’ character developments on a more daily basis be sure to follow Whimsical on Instagram –> @whimsicalillustration
Charting Stars, our new graphic novel series, is developing well and we are looking forward with joy to our release date this year! Ideas are generating, new supporting characters are being created, our world is taking form and so much more fun! Attached are more concept illustrations and explorations for you to take a peek at. If you’d like to see more daily updates make sure you join Whimsical on Instagram!