I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my drawing skills. I do this by hunting around the Internet to see if I can find new tutorials. Yesterday I stumbled across a cool pencil drawing site that I thought was pretty awesome, especially if you want to draw realistically. Continue reading Pencil Drawing Made Easy! (Review)
I hate it.
There’s nothing I hate more about myself than fearing things. Mainly people.
You know that jittery feeling when you’ve had too much caffeine, or you’re walking down the hallway to your first job interview? Yeah, that feeling. That’s the feeling I have when I meet new people, or I have to speak or stand in front of people, or even when my name is called out loud in a group of people.
My heart sinks into the pit of my gut and I start sweating. My muscles tense up and my heart begins its all-out assault against the inside of my chest. Continue reading Read This! But Not Really.
Hiteto! Nehowaselap’wi yanoli!
(HahTeeToh! NeeHohWehSeeLehP’Wah YehNohLah!)
Hello! Happy to see you!
Redbubble is a new online store that I’ve opened up to sell my artwork. It’s very similar to Society6 in that my art can be put on various products that the site sells; apparel, device cases, stickers, wall art, home decor, stationery, bags, and gifts.
As of right now, my Redbubble online store is empty until I can start populating the site with my artwork. It will take some time, but keep a lookout for my art to start popping up.
It’s an extra site to get my art out into the world!
I’m also looking into Etsy for selling some of my canvas pieces, but I’m not sure yet. So, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me through email or social, which can be found on my CONTACT page.
Neyiwa! S’kitinoke kaniks’kola!
(NeeYahWeh! S’KahTahNohKee KehNahkS’KohLeh!)
Thank you! I hope to see you again!
Check out my stores by clicking on the links below…and SHARE!
(Sah-wahn-wah Nee-lah) I am Shawnee!
I’ve struggled with identifying myself for the longest time; Christian, American, overweight…but I’ve come to realize that Shawnee is who I am. (I’m overweight, too)
I will, for the rest of my life, identify as a Shawnee, even if I never know what my ancestors believed in or how they kept that belief alive for thousands of years.
I am learning the language and teaching my son, and I am proud of the blood that runs through my veins.
I’ve learned in the last few years that I’m descended from a prominent chief of the Shawnee; Chief Blackhoof. He was a chief who focused on peace with encroaching Americans in order to prevent the decimation of the Shawnee people and opposed the policies of Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet.
A few family members did the hard work of tracing our lineage back to Chief Blackhoof, and we have since created our annual Blackhoof family reunion.
So, when it comes to painting, digital art, pencil drawing, etc., I want to start incorporating “Shawnee style” designs. I still don’t know much about what those designs are, though I know floral designs were prominent in their clothing and beading, as it was with many woodland tribes.
I still have a lot of research to do.
Until then, I’m trying to create some kind of art that incorporates a feeling of who I am as a Shawnee person.
These art prints and more can be found at my online store on Society6.
I hope to add more photography to my portfolio in the future. It’s mostly nature and wildlife right now, but I hope to move up to shooting portraits of Indigenous people in my area; leaders, dancers, singers, children, etc.
If I had to give one major flaw that I hope to shake myself of, it would be self-censorship. There are a lot of paintings, writings, and drawings that I didn’t do because of the fear of what my family would think. So, I censored myself.
But, no more.
I AM SHAWNEE!
And I will not be ashamed of it. If you ask me today if I’m proud to be an American, I will answer honestly…that I am only proud of being Shawnee.
Well…a husband and father, too.
I don’t think there’s anything that can beat that.
Neyiwa! Thank you!
Time is a manufactured measurement of progress of our existence; from the beginning of time to the end of time.
Somewhere in the midst of all of that time are our individual moments on this earth. Moments that many people describe as “a blink of an eye”, and moments we wish would last forever.
Every once in a while, my wife and I will look at our 3-year-old son and whisper to each other how big he’s getting. He’s going to be starting school soon, and every time I think about it my heart sinks into my gut.
Time is flying by.
It’s a goal of mine to be able to spend more time with my wife and son as much as possible, meaning working from home and finding a way of making money. It’s another goal of mine to be able to have my art be that income, whether I’m writing books, drawing or painting.
So far, it’s a no-go.
I have two children’s chapter books that I’m working on, a poetry book slowly coming together, a partial novel written, paintings stacked in the corner, and an endless amount of digital artwork on the computer, a lot of which is for sale right now on my Society6 online store. There are nearly 400 products for sale with my art printed on them.
I’m hoping that soon I will have art prints available on hand to be able to sale from home. I know some of the prices on Society6 can be a little steep for some, so hopefully, I can sale some prints from home a little cheaper. But, for now, they’re only available on the online store.
I keep telling myself that I have time. But, I blinked, and now my son will be 4 years old in June.
I want more time.
I need more time.
[Below you can find the links to my online stores.]
Neyiwa! Thank You!
It’s rough and full of potholes.
Too many times I’ve wanted to pull over and call it quits. I keep telling myself to keep moving forward and, eventually, this long and bumpy road will lead me to something meaningful and rewarding.
…And after a long and weary sigh, I trudge forward.
I don’t know why I keep going, except for the sheer joy I get out of creating new things, but I could save hundreds of dollars a year just by passing up the art supplies in the stores or online.
Financially, my art does nothing for me. It contributes nothing to my family. Zero. Zilch.
So, why do I keep doing it?
I feel that I’ve plateaued artistically. I will never have the money to go to school in order to hone my skills, so, in my mind, I will never have the skills to do anything potentially great.
So, again, why do I keep doing?
This is my mind every single day. I struggle with self-doubt. Actually, to be honest, I don’t struggle with self-doubt because, most of the time, self-doubt paralyzes me, it paralyzes my spirit, almost to the point of no return.
There have been many times that I’ve gathered all of my materials, my paintings, all of my work, and have gotten to the point of tossing them all in the trashcan.
But…I don’t. I never do.
I lay all my painting out on the table and look them over. I think about the work I put into them. I think about the joy it brings me to paint and to create things…anything.
It’s usually at that point that the road smooths out again and the ride isn’t so terrible. I roll the windows down, take in the fresh air, and enjoy the things I do. I believe in myself again, even if for a short time.
I know somewhere up the road my confidence will, once again, slip out the window and I will find self-doubt in the passenger seat telling me how bad of a driver I am…
But until then, I’m going to paint pictures, I’m going to write books, and I’m going to enjoy the ride.
P.S. – I found a home on Society6 where my original art is put on products like art prints, canvas prints, framed prints, coffee mugs, travel mugs, pillows, throw blankets, and much more! Check it out!
NEYIWA! Thank You!
It’s been 5 months since I last posted. Wow!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I have a lot going on, but things are still moving along. Had to put my new book Indian Boy on the back burner for a bit. But, during some of my downtime, I started writing on book #2.
We moved into a new house a couple months ago and things have gotten mixed up or I just don’t have enough room now for all of the things I need. So, I’m trying to make do with what room I have, which is very little.
What’s left? Well, I have to finish editing book #1 and begin the art for it. Once all of that’s finished, I can publish it! Yay! Then it’s on to book #2. I don’t know how many Indian Boy books there will be yet, but I’m hoping to get at least two right now. I might continue the story in the future. There are a lot of projects that I’m hoping to get started on, and some I’m hoping to finish. Many projects require money that I just don’t have so it will take time to get those projects rolling. So any donation, no matter how small, will help and is very much appreciated. You can find the donation button on the home page.
2018 is the year! Get book 1 and 2 of Indian Boy published and begin new projects.
I keep telling myself, “get up and KICK it into gear, buddy!” The only problem is that I don’t know how to drive a stick.
So, at this moment, my life is in automatic and it’s puttering along and I might even have a flat. I guess I’m trying to say that there are some tune ups that need to be done on my life and I need get things fixed in my mind to be able to focus on my work. I have a full-time job and little boy that needs my attention. Well, he doesn’t NEED my attention, I just give it to him because sometimes a Ninja Turtle comes out of nowhere and punches me in the belly and it almost makes me pee myself, and sometimes I need to transform into Shredder and chase him around the house.
That’s me. I give my son as much attention as I can, and now I’m trying to do the same with my artwork. There’s something inside of me that won’t let me quit, even though I tell myself that it’s just too much to do. I love art and I love being Shawnee and I want to combine those two aspects about myself to create something amazing for Indigenous children and adults to be able to look at and say, “Hey, he looks like me,” or, “Hey, I’m Shawnee, too!” and I want them to be proud that there are Shawnee characters, or just Indigenous characters, for them to relate to. Indigenous children need to be able to see themselves in their favorite genres,
There are a lot of native artists coming up that are making indigenous movies, comic books, novels, etc., and I want to be apart of that revolution. I want to be able to say I did something for my people. I put us in books, comic books, movies, novels, and not in a broken English native role, but in the lead role. My characters went to space and time traveled to a distant planet full of strange aliens who wanted to eat them, so they fought them, but they also made friends with some of them. The best part is the protagonist is Shawnee!
Whoa! What! An indigenous sci-fi story?
Thought that story hasn’t been made yet, it’s a story that indigenous youngsters can get into. Just because they’re native, doesn’t mean they need to read stories about feathers and powwows all the time. They want stories that they love to read that just happen to have a character who is Shawnee and they can be proud of it.
It’s time for me to stop driving in automatic and learn to drive a stick shift. That’s the only way that I’m going take control of how fast I move toward my goals.
I’m just a one man crew…but it’s time to get up and kick it into gear!
I’ve been using WordPress for a while now, but only recently started really using it for my website. I think I have everything switched over to link here but I’m sure I missed something somewhere. Until I can save the money for an actual website, this will have to be my home for now, which isn’t bad. Going to be doing to website shopping for a while until I find something I like. Currently looking at Squarespace, which looks really nice and I already have a domain I bought from them by accident. Oops.
But, other than that, it all seems to be coming together pretty nicely. Now I just need to start busting some art out. Got some stories for some children’s books as well as a novel brewing. Going to start back up with some painting when I can get some canvases and some paint. Got designs made for some beadwork which I just decided today to start working on and selling. My problem is prioritizing and working on one thing at a time. Too many things running through my head that it starts to overwhelm me sometimes. But, no worries. I’m not giving up. There is a future out there waiting for me and I want to take my wife and son to see it. It’s going to take a lot of work, but one day that future will be my present.
Neyiwa! Thank You!
As someone who is constantly buying sketchbooks, I figured it would be pretty cool to have a custom made sketchbook of my own. It is for sale ONLY on lulu.com for $11.99. It is 150 pages with a spiral coil binding for easy use. As I’m writing this, mine is in the mail and on its way! I hope it turns out pretty good and I can keep coming back and ordering me one when I need a replacement.
Check it out HERE!
Good days come and go…but I alway seem to return to when I feel like my art just isn’t good enough to do what I want to do with it. I’m very happy to be where I am and with what I have accomplished so far, but I wish I was a little further along. I feel I lack the skills needed to accomplish what I need to do in my art to push myself forward. I lack the finances needed for school, so I’m diving head-first into YouTube and other sites for my education. I’ve learned a lot, but it’s not the same as a classroom setting, tools in hand and someone personally showing me what I’m doing.
I’ve given up I don’t know how many times. I throw my pencil or brush down in frustration and tell myself that I’ve reached my end. I want to pack up all of my art supplies; my pencils, pens, brushes, canvases, paint…and just chuck them in the dumpster. But I can’t. No matter how much I want to quit, I can’t bring myself to rid myself of creating art. No matter how bad I think it is, those good days still come along once in a while to pull me back in.
Things are going pretty good. I’m getting things set up through various sites, trying to get myself out there. So far, I’ve set up my author page on Lulu Press, Goodreads, and Amazon. I’ve had awesome comments from family and friends, and I’ve had many people interested in buying my book. It’s awesome!
Hopefully, in February my new children’s book, Koko’s Secret Treasure, will be out. I’m going to shoot for around February 11th, which is my birthday, to release it. I have lots of art still to draw, but it’s shaping up nicely, and it looks like I might make my deadline.
Though I sell myself short because my book is self-published, I can’t explain the joy of having a book published and actually having people buy it. It’s amazing!
There’s nothing but good days ahead…
HEY! There’s a new place you can check out my children’s book. It’s now at Goodreads!
You can find it HERE. Don’t forget to leave a review.
My children’s book The Snake Hunter is now available threw the following stores:
- BARNES AND NOBLE
You can find the links in the “shop” menu above or by clicking here.
I want to thank everyone who has bought the book and supported me, and continues to support me, motivating me and pushing me to keep moving forward.
The Snake Hunter is about Eli Tecumseh, a young Shawnee boy who dreams of being a brave water protector like his dad, who is away fighting the “black snakes” that are destroying Mother Earth.
Eli teaches us the dangers of oil pipelines and the importance of the one source that all things on earth share and need to survive; water. There is no alternative to water and without it all things on earth will perish.
Water is sacred, water is medicine, water is LIFE!!
The book is dedicated to my son Eli Tecumseh, from who the main character took his name; to my wife, Amy, who is my motivation to keep writing, when I just feel like giving up; and last, but not least, the land and water protectors of Mother Earth. Without the water warriors, our waters would have long been polluted and/or dried up. So, thank you!
This is my first book and it was self-published through Lulu Press (www.lulu.com), a self-publishing website for anyone who wishes to get that one story they’ve been working on published and distributed through major online stores, such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
I have a couple more titles coming out in the next few months, and I can’t wait to share them.
You can buy The Snake Hunter on Lulu Press HERE.