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Read This! But Not Really.

Anxiety.

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.

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New Online Store!

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!

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Siwinwi Nela!

(Sah-wahn-wah Nee-lah) I am Shawnee!

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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.

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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.

SIWINWI NELA!
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.

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I don’t think there’s anything that can beat that.

 

Neyiwa! Thank you!

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Time

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.]

 

ARTWORK: [Society6]

BOOKS: [Lulu.com]

 

Neyiwa! Thank You!

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The Long Road

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!