“Dear Younger (gay) Me” Book Update

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My agent Claire and I have been working hard on this for the last few weeks, and hopefully soon I will have more news to share!

This project has just poured out of me, like a pitcher full of water finally being emptied. In my 18 years as an artist, I have never quite had that feeling before. Usually I struggle with getting what’s in my head onto the page/screen. I’m really excited to finish it, and for everyone to get the chance to read it! I have a lot more work [drawing] to do, but I feel so incredibly grateful to work on it every chance I get. Here are the latest illustrations I have done – they will make more sense with the text. 🙂

Stay tuned for the full story and publishing updates!

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LGBTQ Story Illustrations for OnePioneer

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I was asked to illustrate a little story for this great organization OnePioneer, who gives LGBTQ+ kids the same experience at camps as the other kids. Growing up in a very conservative Christian summer camp [which I loved!], I understand how important this is, especially now.

To read the full story written by Michelle Dowling and Emma Silverthorne, click here! See below the illustrations in order of how they appear in the story. I love doing little projects like this!

 

Exciting news – I got an agent!

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Friends, I have some really exciting news!

A couple years ago, after listening to a particularly motivating Super Soul Sunday, the message was “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

So I went into my office, and wrote these three dreams that were hidden in my heart on a piece of paper:

1 – I will support my family through my art.

2 – I will help people and share my truth with my art.

3 – I will illustrate and publish kids books.

I signed it, and tacked it up in the corner of my little office at home, in a place where I would always see it when working at the computer.

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Last Thursday early morning, I sent out my art and book idea to a few places, following some inner motivation that I couldn’t shake. By Thursday afternoon, to my utter disbelief, I had two offers of representation from agencies in New York City.

After talking to both agencies on the phone and email, and getting over the shock at their enthusiasm to work with ME (??!), I had a really great problem in front of me. Thank you to my inner circle of friends (and of course Tams!) who helped make this decision clear.

This morning I signed a contract with Claire Draper from The Bent Agency in NYC, and I could not be more excited.

This feels like the beginning of a whole new road for me and for my family. To everyone I have ever worked with, or call a friend, thank you for always believing in me!

Let’s do this!!

Working on “Dear Younger (gay) Me”

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Hi friends! Life is sooooooo busy [Mamas & Papas raise your hands!] but I am continuing to move forward on this book project. I don’t know what will happen, but I feel it in my bones that I just gotta do it.

Here’s an illustration that will be for the inside.

If anyone needs/wants a reminder of why I am writing this, read my original announcement here. I will also post my cover again to see the art together.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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Oscar Posters 2019

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This is always a fun exercise for me each year, since I LOVE film, the Oscars and designing stuff! These are more for me than anyone else 🙂 But if you enjoy them too, then cool! **I only design posters for the films I see, so I can design the poster with the full picture in mind.

I managed 8 this year – here they are together, and then individual designs are below.

Congrats to “Green Book” for winning Best Picture! But really, congrats to every nominee, cuz that must be an amazing feeling! 😀

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**ANNOUNCEMENT**

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This project is a long time coming (out).

I love working in the animation industry, and I hope I continue to for many more years. But lately these words from Mary Oliver keep ringing in my ears:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do /

With your one wild and precious life?”

What messages do I want to leave behind? What messages would I want my kids to be proud of me for? I believe we all have talents, and I think it’s important to think about how we can use those talents for something bigger than paying the mortgage.

I want to tell people’s stories with my art. I want to tell of their triumphs, their struggles, and the priceless lessons they learned. And I think this time in history – maybe now more than ever – we need to listen to each other.

But if I am going to tell other people’s stories, I think I need to tell my own story first.

I have shared my story before of growing up in the church, and finding peace about being gay, and a Christian. For years now, I have wondered if I would have the courage to put some of my own triumphs, struggles and lessons into an illustrated book. For years I have been thinking about it. But lately, I have felt a need to do it. Maybe it’s just that now I feel ready to do it.

I really struggle with this, as I can’t stand the spotlight. Like all of us I wonder – does my story matter? I’m sure it will rock the boat in some of my circles. Putting my deepest and darkest struggle out there for everyone to read (in illustrated-form yet!) is… terrifying. But years ago, after God gave me peace about who I am, I felt Him asking me to be authentic about how I got there. I struggled so much for so many years, and if my story can help someone else, then I will tell it every chance I get.

We have come a long way with LGBT inclusion. But there’s still a lot of work to do, especially in our churches. There’s still (LGBT) voices to hear. I want to do this for that teen sitting in their non-affirming church, not sure if they can continue. I want to do this for that person struggling with rejection from family or friends because they just want to be honest about who they are. You are not alone.

So here it is.

This is my work-in-progress cover for the book I am writing & illustrating, entitled “Dear Younger (gay) Me”. The story will follow a present-day version of myself, going back to visit a younger version of myself, following the journey where I was struggling the most, and trying to leave encouraging messages in place of the hurtful or difficult ones I received at the time.

I will be posting updates, I need to figure out how to get it published, I am in the midst of storyboarding…. it’s all a messy work-in-progress – sort of like all of us. 🙂 I’m not sure how this is going to go, but I keep hearing a small voice inside saying, “Just draw it, and see what happens.”

So, one illustration at a time, I’m doing this.

Thanks to everyone who supports me near and far – most of all Tams, for giving me the (daily) courage to do this. Life is too short not to do hard things.

If you know someone who might benefit from this when it comes out, please share. I just really want all of us to feel less alone.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for updates. 🙂

 

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My Etsy shop is open!

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I have finally opened an Etsy shop to sell some of my illustration art prints! I will be slowly stocking it… and I will be taking a few commissions for Christmas gifts.

Please shoot me an email if you would like to snag a commission spot in time for Christmas!

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