austin kleon suggested that you and i should make some zines

If you’re looking for some inspiration to create, I highly recommend hanging out with Austin Kleon. He is a wonderful artist and also an incredibly generous one at that. Buy his books, listen to him on podcasts and find him on YouTube. I was SUPER JAZZED as he admires cartoonist extraordinaire Lynda Barry as much as I do!

I have read his books a few years ago, but decided to listen to them this week on Audible. There are countless gems but One of the things he suggests is to create with your hands and not on the computer.

The computer is not an ideal place to create your work. It makes you anxious, gives way to distraction and basically sucking the life out of you.

He also has this great tutorial on how to make a zine from one piece of paper. When I first saw it, I felt anxious (never made a zine, but really want to but it’s too much work??!!) but after I made the first one, I got lost in the process and now have a new way of creating. Thank you, Austin!

zine #1

zine #2

I had left over paper from when my printer printed out 532 sheets of gibberish. It also crossed my mind that the gibberish of numbers and ASCII characters were actually aliens from a far away galaxy were talking to my printer.

Either way, I appreciated how it adds to the weirdness of these two.

Respite For the World Weary

Today I thought of the lyrics “But Not Tonight” by Martin Gore:

Oh God, it’s raining
But I’m not complaining
It’s filling me up
With new life

The stars in the sky
Bring tears to my eyes
They’re lighting my way
Tonight

And I haven’t felt so alive
In years

Just for a day
On a day like today
I’ll get away from this
Constant debauchery

The wind in my hair
Makes me so aware
How good it is to live
Tonight

And I haven’t felt so alive
In years

The moon
Is shining in the sky
Reminding me
Of so many other nights
But they’re not like tonight

Oh God, it’s raining
And I’m not containing
My pleasure at being
So wet

Here on my own
All on my own
How good it feels to be alone
Tonight

And I haven’t felt so alive
In years

The moon
Is shining in the sky
Reminding me
Of so many other nights
When my eyes have been so red
I’ve been mistaken for dead
But not tonight

Setting Up A Cleaning Station

After watching this video with Sanjay Gupta cleaning his groceries I created a cleaning station to wipe down packages and groceries before they enter our home.

It occurred to me that we need a cleaning station for our mind as well.

My therapist recommended that I had control of the “inputs”. I can choose to watch the news, to refresh Twitter over and looking at all of the bad news one scroll at a time.

Or I can choose to focus on what the positive:

  1. How I’m connecting more to my children.
  2. How I am taking pleasure in the simple actions of every day life: cleaning, cooking, tidying.
  3. How I reconnected with my favorite cousin Tonya in West Virginia.
  4. How many great friends have reached out and supported me and my family.
  5. How we sang all sang You’ll Be Back at the top of our lungs and laughed hysterically.

There are things that we can and cannot control. The one thing we can control is our mind and that is our entire reality.

xo,
Natalie ❤

A Drawing Process For Self Care

To stay sane I began artist Ohn Mar Win’s 14 Day Drawing Challenge on Skillshare on April 1st. I came across Ohn Mar’s work in 2018 where I took one of her classes and found her so lovely: gentle, kind and a generous artist who shares all of her best secrets.

We’re taking everyday household items and drawing them, creating a plan and committing to drawing every day for 14 days.

Sometimes it takes all of my effort to sit down at the table and draw but I find when I do it, there is a joyful release, no matter what the outcome. I have the satisfaction of having created something and that somehow carries me through the day.

For a brief moment I can sit and focus on something that I love to do and those moments bring me a lot of joy.

I finally get what it means to enjoy the process and not worry about the outcome.

Drawing of a spray bottle.
Drawing of a brown and orange dinosaur toy.
Drawing of our tomato plant.
Drawing of a Matchbox car.
Various drawings of a teacup.
Drawing of of some cosmetics.
A drawing of a controller for a video game system.
A drawing of a huge earring from Patricia Fields.
A drawing of my daughter’s seal doll.

The class is actually a lot more in depth than I expected and it focuses not just on the drawing but the mindset. I highly recommend Ohn Mar’s classes. She is the perfect tone for these interesting times.

❤ Natalie