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.

The Maiden Ship

In my last post I shared with you about how The Maiden Ship came to be, today I’d like to share my first painting inspired from this new novel, and also give you a peek at the synopsis. I hope you enjoy! Remember to follow along on Instagram or Facebook for more daily posts. 🙂

Dain Alloway was only eight years old when he began a new life, with his father, aboard The Maiden. Nine 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 sails smoothly by until the night he wakes to find a mysterious woman in his cabin. She reveals that not everything is what it seems, and the events that unfold after her appearance go beyond all natural law. Now, hunted by empty-faced demons, Dain finds himself thrown into a web of intrigue orchestrated by gods he’s never even heard of. As the young sailor confronts the oncoming crisis, he discovers powerful gifts buried deep within. Whether or not these new talents will hearken or deter victory remains to be seen, but, either way, Dain is ready to risk it all for the salvation and freedom of those he loves. 

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! ❤️

Mental Health and Tourette Awareness

Brittany was diagnosed with TS-plus at a young age. In her words:

When I was first diagnosed with TS-plus, I felt like I was drowning. But in a way where I was the only one under the water. Only I could hear my singing and everyone else heard nothing, saw nothing wrong. I didn’t have any friends and no one really wanted to interact with me. No one understood what I was going through even my family (outside my parents and brothers) never wanted to understand what it was. An extended family member I loved told me I had to stop my tics because it wasn’t ladylike and they were gross. That’s probably what made me want to hide to the most… But overtime I learned to use my music to express myself and find courage. I still try to hide it. It’s probably something I’ll never overcome. Now even though days can be a struggle, I am more comfortable with myself and I’m thankful for everyday.

Tourette Syndrome (TS) causes tics that are sudden, intermittent, repetitive, unpredictable, purposeless, nonrhythmic, involuntary movements or sounds. Tics can be either simple or complex. The most important thing to understand about the tics associated with Tourette Syndrome is they are the result of a neuropsychiatric condition. The sounds and behaviours are involuntary and are not being done by choice.

TS can often come with package of other syndromes, people can also have OCD, anxiety, ADHD, depression etc. While some medications are available to help with the symptoms they do not completely take them away and there is no cure.

This art was inspired by a song Brittany wrote. The painting is meant to represent a feeling of what can go on inside a person with mental health struggles, the reason the individual is pictured nude is to represent the vulnerability of that struggle, the hand coming down into the water represents courage and hope. Sometimes courage can be found in unlikely places and can take many different forms. In Brittany’s case, courage comes through her music.

First Part of Song

Second part of Song

There is hope and knowledge out there for those who need it, if you have any of these health concerns please know that you are not alone and that you should reach out to the available services; doctors, counsellors and people around you. You do not have to face it by yourself.

Along with our previous awareness art this new print is now available in our shop and soon we will have bookmarks and stickers available as well. All the proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to Tourette Canada, tourette.ca . We truly believe that increased mental health awareness can drastically improve the lives of those who suffer.

Charting Stars Now Available as an EBOOK!

Good morning from Canada my friends! Just wanted to let you know that Charting Stars Book 1 is now available in an ebook version! We are hopeful that this option will finally give those who live really far away from us the opportunity to enjoy this story. Please take a peek in OUR SHOP!

Charting Stars Release Party

Our Charting Stars release party was a beautiful success. Sunshine, friends and food! We truly just had so much fun, great thanks to all those who made it out to the party – it was an honour to have you here! Also we really want to thank all of you for the incredible support you have shown to the book since the release date, we are overwhelmed with gratitude! <3

 

Charting Stars in Inktober

On Instagram there is an event called Inktober in which you follow a list of prompts for the month of October and do one ink drawing with each prompt per day. Well of course our Charting Stars character have made it into my Inktober series and I though it would be fun to share some of those here with you. Please keep in mind that you can follow along with our progress on a more regular basis via Facebook and Instagram!

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.”