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Personal

New Life In Yellowknife

By | Art, Blog, Personal, Yellowknife | One Comment
It’s been 2 weeks since I arrived in Yellowknife and it’s starting to get cold. They warned me it would get cold. But its not the kind of cold that penetrates deep into your bones. It’s fresh, and wakes you up. I find myself keeping the balcony door and windows open all the time. Sometimes I only realize how cool it is in my apartment when I step out into the rest of the building’s heated hallways.
On my first evening here I was greeted with beautiful clear skies, mild weather and one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. Although it’s been cloudy ever since, the beautiful view I have from my living room widow does a good job of making the clouds seem less ominous.
I find myself in Yellowknife because my husband has a one year contract as a Lawyer with the Federal Government of Canada. When I first learned of this new opportunity, I wanted to take a break from having a day job so I could spend the next year working on my art. But my feminist brain said “cannot…live off…husband…cannot be… house wife…” So I secured myself an eLearning Contract. eLearning and education is my day job, and though I certainly love it, making art is what drives me. It’s what wakes me up in the morning, and keeps me working into the wee hours of the night.
Having a day job/contract won’t stop my art making. In fact I haven’t even taken a break during these last 2 hectic months. My husband went up to Yellowknife first, and I finished up the last 2 months of my work contract in Ottawa. All of our possessions went with him, so my computer was packed in a box. I still had access to my work computer and my drawing tablet, but I didn’t have a dedicated space to work. I lived in 2 different apartments, and never had a permanent desk set up. I was always on the floor, at a kitchen table, or in a cafe. I also decided to put all my energy into day job projects, which were fun, but took away from my own art.
I did however rekindle my love of life drawing in sketchbooks. I had gotten so used to working digitally, I had forgotten how fun it is to carry a sketchbook around and just draw everything. I drew quite a bit of my last days in Ottawa, then tragically lost my phone with a month’s worth of reference pictures, including shots from some of my final bike rides outside of the city. Shit happens though, and it could have been worse.
Artistically, I want to explore all the ideas I’ve put on the shelf over the years. I love life drawing, and I love cartoons. I’ve always just assumed each one should be on a different website, as each was a different part of myself. But I want to see if I can bring these two styles together. I’m not sure if that will mean making my life drawing more cartoon, or adding more realism and detail to my cartoons. I hope you’ll follow along as I experiment and work through these stylistic changes, and perhaps find a way to merge my two styles, instead of having two very distinct ones.

Till next time.

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New Project and Updates!

By | Art, Blog, Personal | No Comments

I haven’t abandoned you! I’ve been working hard on a new project, and I’m in an art show this Friday so I’ve spend the last month finishing my 3 pieces for the show! (if you live in Ottawa you should come! Adults only though! Click Here for all the info!)

It’s been an awesome year with lots of new opportunities for me.

The new project I’m working on is an Erotic Art site. I have spent a long time debating about weather I should feature sexy pinups on this site, but after much thought I decided against it. I think good quality, sex positive porn is a wonderful thing, but it’s not for everyone. I don’t want to present sexualized images to anyone who has come here for my activism, strong female characters and funny animal comics. Not that strong female characters and activism can’t exist in the same world as porn, they certainly can, but I have a specific audience I want to appeal to with my erotic art, and I don’t think it’s the same audience who will enjoy the work on this site.

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I will still be creating lots of work here, but I’ll be spending a little more time on my erotic art site as I build up my body of work.

I’m happy because now that I have a place for my erotica I can start filling this site with the amazing stories, characters and comics I’ve been sitting on all year, without worrying as much about what my “niche” should be. I’ll be a little more free here to post art which might not be marketable, but will be really fun to draw and share.

You won’t just find art on that site, but articles on my thoughts on porn, feminism, activism, sex, male gaze, and lots of other interesting topics that are bound to come up when a feminist draws porn.

So if you want to follow me over there too you can visit cutekink.com and all the appropriate social media links can be found there.

And if you want to come to the group Art Show I’ll be in this Friday the 8th of Janurary you can get all the info here

http://venusenvy.ca/events/filthy-dirty-art-show-3rd-annual-2016-01-08

I hope you’ll still follow me here, as 2016 is going to be a very exciting year for art!

Why I don’t draw “Real Women”

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robot woman

I can’t believe I still hear this buzz term being thrown around. I find it a little disheartening that so many women still don’t see the problem with it. I understand the sentiment, but saying that there is a “real woman” means that there is also a woman who isn’t real. Who, then, is this fake woman parading around acting like she is “real”?

I get that it’s about women’s bodies, but that’s even more reason not to use the term “real”. For a long time women who didn’t look like 16 year old supermodels have been made to feel inadequate. Women have been held up to a standard that is impossible to reach. But those slender 16 year olds are still women, and they didn’t make the choice to look the way they do. What about the 16 year old girl who could be a model but doesn’t want to be? The skinny teen girl who likes wearing baggy t‐shirts and shorts and stick her nose in a book? Are we telling her she’s not “real” because she happens to look like the current female ideal?

What about Trans Women? When we say “real women” what are we saying about trans women? When we live in a world were some women were not biologically born as women. So is the term “real” even appropriate anymore? Real seems to denote that a woman has certain qualities (curves, blemishes, small breasts, female reproductive organs) while “fake” women have other qualities (no curves, no pores, no body hair).

So I don’t draw “real women”, but I do draw women with vastly different body types, backgrounds and gender identities. I love strong, complex, female characters. I want to see more of these characters represented in stories. But I won’t empower some women, by disempowering others.

 

 

frustrated artist

How I cured creative block, by drawing for fun

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I have so many personal projects I want to start that when I sit down to draw I often end up in “paralysis by analysis”. I think about everything I want to create, and become so overwhelmed that nothing gets done. The less I draw, the more frustrated I become.

Sometimes it’s easier to work on a project for a client because the idea is fleshed out, all you just have to draw. When you’re drawing for yourself, you can come up with so many reasons for NOT drawing a particular project, that you’re stuck in the planning phase forever. It’s not enough for me to only work on client projects. Working on the projects I feel passionate about is what wakes me up in the morning.

Recently I’ve been thinking about where the resistance to drawing what I love as come from. I did some “time travel” and found a few particular moments.

One of these moments was when I was in University. I was sitting with some friends in the animation studio and we decided to take a break and look at art online. We shared artists we loved, and one that I shared was an artist who drew rather pretty girls. When we looked at this artist’s work, a friend of mine said “Drawing girls is easy. Anyone could do it, it’s just a bunch of curves”. I was mortified. I loved drawing girls and my drawing station was filled with pinups. I felt so ashamed, as if she was talking directly to me (she wasn’t but we love to project don’t we!). I became so self-conscious of my pinups from that point forward, I just couldn’t do what I loved anymore. Even when other people told me they loved my work, I couldn’t get those words out of my head.

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I was searching for something else to work on, which should have been easy because there is an infinite amount of things to draw. But when you’ve had the rug swept out from under you it’s hard to just jump onto another project. I tried to focus on drawing other things I loved, just to get back into the habit. For me this was anything in the Fantasy genre. Then one day in a drawing class one of my teachers said “don’t add sci-fi or fantasy to your portfolio”. I understood what he meant, and why he said that. I knew he was talking about portfolio worthy pieces, not personal work. But I was still so fragile from my last ego blow all I could think was “oh no! Everything I do is cliché!”

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I was young and easily impressionable. I was so concerned about not being cliché, lame or drawing things that were “easy” that I paralyzed myself into not drawing at all. Drawing became stressful. I had embodied a feeling that if something was fun to draw, it must not be mature. Real art had to be hard and painful, otherwise you were just playing. I know this way of thinking is crazy now, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how that feeling has followed me for the last decade!

In an effort to turn off this negative thinking, and nurture my inner child artist I’m going to spend some time drawing things that I really love drawing. I think by allowing myself to have 100% fun with a project, I can get my focus and discipline back. My current personal project is a series of pinups of subculture girls. I have such a deep love for different subcultures, in particular the Goth subculture. Even though my fashion choices are quite diverse these days, I will always consider myself a Goth at heart!

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I don’t want to spend any more time looking back and thinking about the work I could have done, I want to move forward from here. I’m starting my art making process by drawing things I love to draw. I won’t critique the work until it’s done, not during the process. After I get my flow back I can start to work on those bigger (epic) projects, for now expect to see Jaymie working in her element.