“Downside Up” book is for sale NOW!

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This is exciting news for me! The book that my friend Peter Walker wrote, “Downside Up”, and I have illustrated for almost two years is for sale on Amazon NOW! It is also available in Barnes & Noble bookstores in the States! You can buy it Amazon.com or Amazon.ca🙂 And if you like it, please feel free to leave a review!

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This is the first project that I have worked on that I have fully been able to combine my art and my faith, and I am so excited it is available for purchase! It’s also the first published book I have illustrated🙂

Feel free to like the Facebook page for more updates! Here is a synopsis of the book: “A picture book for grown-ups! Satire and humor in rhyme and verse about Jesus, the church, and what’s gone wrong! Is there any reason for hope?”

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A couple teaser illustrations:

The front and back covers:

My Oscar Posters 2016

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Every year I love to reimagine the Oscar-nominated films in quick posters that I design. It’s mostly just a fun exercise for me. The only rule is that I have to see the film, and then one scene or image that sticks out or sums up the film, will make up the poster.

Here’s what I came up with!

Another letter to Baby Chomiak: She will never say “I love you, Daddy”.

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Hello my little one…. it’s me.

[We will teach you about Adele when you grow up a bit!]

I can’t even believe you are already 28 weeks along, and growing so strong inside of Mama’s belly. Wow, you are doing so great little bean!

First let me thank you for a precious gift you have already given me. [Truthfully I think you and God were in on it together.] A few weeks ago, your Mama and I were putting the Christmas tree up, and decorating it with all of our ornaments. Your Mama said she felt you moving around inside, and to come and see if I could feel anything on the outside. I hadn’t yet. I put my hand on her belly, and we waited there for a minute, in the silence of the twinkling lights from the Christmas tree.

All of a sudden we both felt a huge BOOM from inside – a direct hit to the palm of my hand, and my heart skipped a beat! I heard you, little one! Blinking back tears, I realized how real this journey is. This is happening – you are coming into our lives, a kicking, screaming, laughing, thoughtful little being. You, my little girl, are my miracle. I already thank God daily for your existence; for being allowed to witness this sort of love in my life. I am in awe.

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Now, little bean, I have been thinking about something else I wanted to share with you.

As you will learn, there are many different types of families. Some families just have a Mommy. Some families just have a Daddy. Some have two Mommies or two Daddies. Some are raised by a grandparent or an aunt. Some – maybe most – will have a Mommy and a Daddy. The love is still the same, my sweet one.

I grew up with a Mommy and a Daddy. I was very lucky that they were [and are] both around for my whole life, spoiling me and loving me as I grew up. And if I am being honest, I was definitely a Daddy’s girl. My Daddy is very generous, very funny, and one of the true heroes in my life. I know I can always count on him to be there, fix anything, or make me laugh. I have always thought, even as I am now a grown-up, that I have the best Dad. (He will be the best Grandpa to you, I know it.🙂

And as you get bigger and bigger in Mama’s belly, I realize that you will never say those words: I love you, Daddy.

My Evangelical Christian upbringing wants me to feel guilty about that. I want to say that I am sorry that I have chosen a “lifestyle” that omits a Daddy from your life. And I admit that it was one of the fears I had when I was struggling with becoming a Mama myself. How can I withhold anything from an innocent child?

But, my Sweetheart, I won’t apologize. Because I have chosen love, and love is something we never apologize for. My heart is too full of peace and gratefulness to be sorry, little one. No, you won’t have a Daddy in the traditional sense. You will have two Mommies instead. Two Mommies that already love you so entirely, it is hard to properly put it into words. So we will show you. We will show you with every hug, with every tear we wipe away, with every cuddle, with every crust we cut off your bread, and with every moment of sleep we lose when you cry or are sick. You will be so absolutely loved.

I believe to the depths of my soul, that this is the path God has chosen that has led you into this world. I believe that God knows what He is doing, and He isn’t scared that you will be coming into a family “without a Daddy” – but that was His plan. God does not make mistakes – He makes miracles.

So maybe one day you will be with your friends and they will be talking about their Daddies, and it will hit you: I don’t have one. And maybe you will wonder why. And I hope you will come to us with all of these questions, and more. And above all, I hope that your heart and soul is just so surrounded with love that you won’t feel like you are missing anything – but have everything you need. That is my prayer for you, little one.

We are counting down the days until we can stare into your beautiful little face.🙂

Last sketches of 2015

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This October – December was the busiest on record, what with starting a new show at the studio, piles of freelance, and selling and buying a house…… so sadly my sketches took a backseat. I managed to squeak out a few, here they are!

For Inktober 2015:

A couple sketches in time for “Back to the Future” Day! [Brush pen on Moleskine sketchbook.]

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A couple sketches of some of the regular dogs that frequent our studio🙂 [Brush pen on Moleskine sketchbook.]

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And of course a sketch of our cat Mowgli in his favourite position.

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I managed to fit in two commissions done as Christmas gifts for clients. The first one was for a couple who had just gotten married and loved trees, hence the background. The second was for someone who is a composer. Both digital.

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A letter to Baby Chomiak

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My dear sweet little bean,

You don’t know it yet, but you are so entirely loved.

These past few weeks, the word miracle has taken shape inside of your Mama, and I have had the honor of having a front row seat to the unfolding of it all.

Let me tell you a little bit about how you got here. After all, your Mommies are a bit older and bound to forget some of the details one day.

My sweet little one, this road to bring you into our lives has not been the easiest, nor the most traditional. But as you will find in life, some of the most incredible things in life require the roughest road to getting there.

Your Mama and I went to a fertility clinic and tried six times to bring you into our lives. Each time, we were hopeful and our hearts filled with visions and dreams of what could be… until we heard “Sorry, not this time.” Little one, we shed many tears wondering why we had to wait, and what we were doing wrong. I have to be honest that my heart started to wonder if you would ever come into our lives.

We decided to try a very complicated process called Invitro Fertilization, or IVF, for our seventh – and final – try. [Maybe I will draw a story to explain how it works for you one day!] Your Mama gave herself many needles of medicine for many days, had two procedures, and then we waited and we prayed.

Photo of two fertilized embryos implanted on July 26, 2015: [the day after my birthday :D]

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The day we were to find out if you were going to begin your journey to us, your Mama and I met over lunch time when we were both at work. We pulled over to the side of the road, and in the car we called the clinic and held our breath. When we heard those words: “You are pregnant!” – well my sweet child… that was the moment that our hearts burst with a joy I cannot properly put into words. Those tears were oh, so very sweet. And without the lows of the six no’s, the high of this seventh yes would be so much less sweet. And for that, little one, we are so grateful.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, we reflect on this season of waiting. It has brought your Mama and I closer together, and forced us to trust that the God we believe in, has it all under control, despite what we can see or feel. He has been so faithful to us through each step of this process. So in the end, we are thankful for this season of waiting, and for the tough lessons our hearts have learned. What a gift it has turned out to be – the slow and hard waiting, in this world of rushing from point A to point B. We are so thankful, knowing that the waiting will allow us to cherish your arrival that much more. For how can we enjoy the mountaintops without the valleys?

Your Mama and I have been together for many years, and we love each other so much. You will soon find out how incredible she is – she gives the best warm hugs, she cooks the most yummy meals, she will laugh at silly things with you, and she will have a calm wisdom for you when you don’t know if things will be okay. You will be so proud to share some of her genes, and I can’t wait to see how your little face bears an adorable resemblance to hers.

Your Mama, not me, is the one who is carrying you in her tummy right now. But my child, I am carrying you just as gently in my heart until we get to hold you in our arms. We just can’t wait to hold you, dance with you, stay up nights with you, pray for you, wipe the tears away and laugh alongside you.

My precious little bean, you should know that some people have their own opinion about the love your two mommies share. But my sweetheart, the world is sometimes scared of things that are different. I believe that the God who is knitting you together in Mama’s womb right now, is the same God who holds us together, and has blessed the life we have led together so far. We have made mistakes, but we have tried to love, and love well – and we believe that is the most important thing. The love we share is so ready and waiting for you. And through the years of loving each other, maybe we can all show the world that love is love, and family is family, no matter what it looks like.

Maybe you won’t remember, but I have been dancing with you already. I put my hand on Mama’s belly and then I may or may not listen to the latest Justin Bieber song and dance. I am sure one day you will put music on that I don’t understand, but I promise to dance with you anyway.

I pray that you will know what true compassion is, that you would see someone and not question whether or not to help. I hope that you will lead the sort of life who idolizes the Malalas, and not the Kardashians. I hope that you awake each day with a sense of hope and wonder, and embrace beauty in all things. I pray that we can share with you how love can heal, how forgiveness is powerful, how grace should always be the goal, and how to live a life that puts love first.

I know the label Christian is a scary one sometimes, but believe it or not, your Mommies still hold onto that label. Yes, we have been hurt and misunderstood by a lot of people who bear that label, but please keep in mind my little bean, that where the Kim Davis’ of the world exist, there are also the Mother Teresa’s. We have been hurt my little one, but we have also been loved so very well. We can’t wait to share with you why our faith is so important to us, and to see where your journey of life and discovery takes you.

We are trying to be patient these last few months… but we just can’t wait to meet you, Baby Chomiak.

Until then, my little one, keep growing strong.

 

6 week ultrasound:

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8 week ultrasound:

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13 week ultrasound: [Oct 2015, already sucking his/her thumb]

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I’m gonna be a Mom. :D

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We announced our big news on the social medias today, and I did this little illustration for the occasion.

Our hearts are dancing, and we breathe in these moments of joy after a long journey. 😀😀

 

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Winery-inspired commission

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A friend contacted me to do a commission for her and her hubby who were going to celebrate an anniversary. They share a love of visiting wineries, so she told me that she would love to have that incorporated somehow into it.

She also said that their phrase they always say to each other is “That’s amore!”, so I wanted to make sure I included that somewhere.

Here is what I came up with!

Rough sketch [digital]:

missi_andy_roughFinal colour version [digital]:

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