Orange Unicorn – Remember This 08

Remember This - Self-careJust still reminding myself of things that matter to growth and learning in relationships. But I think this also counts when thinking of yourself: sometimes others have already forgiven you for your mistake, but you keep beating yourself for it.


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Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. Going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

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Orange Unicorn – Remember This 07

Orange Unicorn - Remember This

A little bit different than my usual for Orange Unicorn. But it’s something I need to remember. People, with their actions, and their reactions to me, are outside of my control. And that’s okay.


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Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. Going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), and Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

Orange Unicorn – Remember This Series 06

Orange Unicorn - Mental Health Reminders

I decided to make a short series of reminders for myself, for you, for whoever wants it. They’re reminders of things that I think are obvious, but that sometimes I just forget. Things that I want to remind myself, every day. They tend to be things related to my mental health and relationships close to me.


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Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. Going. Going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), or Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

Orange Unicorn – Liiiiiiine 05

Orange Unicorn - Self-CareOrange Unicorn - LineOrange-Unicorn_005C

Practicing self-care with my art. Struggles are real.

Have I mentioned though how cute it is to look up “self-hug” on Google images?

But.

Let’s celebrate! One month of Orange Unicorn and we’re still pretty orange over here! Even if it’s hard. And tiresome. And my ideas dissipate into the thin air from which they also came. From air they were born and to air they die.

Anyways. It’s one month of Orange Unicorn now!

Expect some #Inktober inspired reflections and episodes coming for October.


Previous episode – Next episode

Your support means a lot to me: it helps me keep going. Going. Going. So if you’d like to stay updated with the webcomic make sure to follow the blog, there should be a button off to your right!

You can also follow my Facebook Art page, Instagram (@jandrewgilbert), or Twitter (@jandrewgil), for updates.

The Friends You Need For Making Art

I wrote this blog post midway through summer. I think it still relates, and seeing how the main theme surrounding Orange Unicorn is friendship, I thought I’d share this one.


It can be your mom. It can be your kid. It can be the close friend that you’ve only met two years ago and that you lived with in their basement for two weeks. Whoever it is, you need people to push you to be productive. People that push you to make art.

I have had many different people encourage me as well as push me to make art. I cannot emphasize enough how important they have been to my success. I’ve identified three types of people you should try and have in your life to help move your art forward.

“The Strategizer”

This was my mom. She has always been good at mapping out my dreams in accomplishable ways. She had an ability to bring to the present whatever was hidden in the future. What did I have to go through to get where I wanted? What could I do today that would be one step closer to where I want to be? What is working, what isn’t?

“The Motivator and the Muse”

I’ve always had someone in my life that I wanted to make art for. It’s that one person that I want to show whatever I’ve been doing and see the sparkles in their eyes, the hidden smile on their lips. This type of person is a great source of motivation and inspiration. Wanting to make them happy can be a healthy way of pushing yourself to do art. Although be sure to also listen to yourself, and not only the motivators. They’ll encourage you again and again to get going. These have usually been my close friends.

“The Mentor”

This might be one of the hardest to find. They have a similar purpose to the Strategizer, but different. This is the one who sees the whole battle field, they’re by your side in the trenches. They’re there with you, teaching and instructing you. New tricks, advice and insights. Like the Motivator they are also constantly pushing you to keep going. I have usually found a Mentor in my art teachers, but also in youtubers, and podcasts like Chris Oatley’s. Online classes have also been an area that I found this even if momentarily, like through CGMA classes.

 

I sincerely believe that making conscious decisions in pursuit of these types of people can be helpful in your journey as an artist. In a Mentor you might find a Motivator or a Strategizer. Or maybe your Stratetigizer is also your Motivator.

But I think identifying people that help you in different areas is helpful to you. Invest in those relationships. And honestly, at times you’ll have to jump in for that position, you will have to become your own Strategizer, Motivator or even your own Mentor.

So when you see yourself lacking in one of those relationships, seek one out, or build it within yourself. Read a book, listen to a podcast. Make it happen.

 

To Be a Flower

To be tender. To be frail. To be a flower: vulnerable and open.

That’s what I tried doing for most of this summer. To write blog posts and make art that mattered to me. That showed you parts and facets – of me. In the hope that, for some reason, those images, those pieces of me, also mattered to you.

A lot of the time it felt like I was just ignored. Writing into this void of the internet, where there’s already too much going on. Posting pictures and images that got few likes. After all that’s what it’s about, right? You liking my writing. You liking my paintings. My drawings. You liking… me. Right?To be a vulnerable flower - creativity

Every now and then I have to hide in a hole. When around people I’m constantly trying to please, to make them feel better, to add something of value to them, to offer something up – even if it’s some of my weirdness at times. So, every now and then, I must hide in a whole to just please myself, and not be constantly evaluating: Do they like me? Was that good? Was that worth their time?

Every now and then I need to hide my art in a hole. To make it only for myself. To bury the piece amidst all the files in my hard drive. To bury it within all the other papers. It’s art that doesn’t ask you to look at it. It’s just asking to exist for a second, only to be hidden and forgotten – it grows best in the dark confines of the earth.

Flower Hope

This is very hard, because in the end, the only way I can survive – to bring in the bread – is if I show my art to you. If I’m tender, frail, vulnerable and open like a flower. And trying to find that balance, between the art that I make for others, and the art that I make for myself, is a complicated one. The art that sprouts out in colorful petals and the art that hides under earth – gathering the nutrients.

 

Right now, I feel drained. My creativity has been flowing over this summer, and it’s running out. I know it can replenish itself, but it needs time. It needs time to allow the water to evaporate, condensate and to come back again. In that soft refreshing drizzle, that smells like summer and nourishes the earth.

If you’d like to get updates when blog posts come out, you can follow my Facebook page, or sign up for the mailing list that WordPress has set up — it’s on the bar to the side I believe!

Hope to see you soon! Or next week more precisely, at 10AM!

 

Do Something New Every Day

Do Something New - Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Ok. I exaggerate, it doesn’t have to be something new every day. It can just be every week. Or maybe every month? I don’t know. Just try and do something new, is all I’m saying.

Today (as in 2 weeks ago, when I wrote this) I went to Dinderbeck Studios, here in Grand Rapids (GR), and took a 4 hour long workshop on screenprinting. Before the workshop, I had never heard of screenprinting, or any other forms of printing besides digital, to be honest. And it was so much fun learning something new.

Screenprinting is a fairly simple process. You just make the image, transfer it to the screen, then apply paint and transfer it to your paper, canvas or cloth of choice. Some people do t-shirts through this process.

It’s great for making hand-made prints. It offers you the chance to make several copies of that one print, but each print somewhat unique – or you can make it be. It will always have, at least when I’m doing it, mistakes or small flaws.

I think that’s part of the beauty of it. It’s not perfect, it’s not the same, each one is unique. Hand-crafted. It allows for the artist to be a part of the reproduction process – Marx would appreciate the ability it gives the artist to be closer in touch with the “means of reproduction.” Bye bye alienation.

The workshop was also just great to get to know some people from GR. There were 5 of us. We each worked on our own prints, but at the end we exchanged ours with each other! So I ended up getting some free art for my room.

Below you can check out the prints I worked on. They allowed us to come for another week after, during their open hours, for free.

But the reason I’m sharing this: it’s because it’s one of those “new experiences” that has helped me get pumped up for art again. New experiences change the pacing that you make art and your thought process opens up to new pathways. However, it doesn’t have to be a new art form that does this – although new art forms can be great – but really just about anything new does it. Open up your brain pores to creativity.

You can explore a part of your city you’ve never dared to go to. Or it could be going to a new city or country. It can be going to a new café, or starting a new type of project – like a blog! It can be to go to a new event. Or even to try and recreate one of your old pieces, under a new light. It can be to go be a reading mentor at middle school. Or to help at a homeless shelter.

Anything that gets you thinking in new ways. Step out of your comfort zone. I know. It’s cozy there. But just do it. It’s fun. Sometimes.

If you’d like to get updates when blog posts come out, you can follow my Facebook page, or sign up for the mailing list that WordPress has setup — it’s on the bar to the side I believe!

Hope to see you soon! Or next week more precisely, at 10AM every Tuesdays and Thursdays.