Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Digital Art - How to Draw Chickens Like a Boss... Or like a SAHM trying to pay bills...

So this is the beginning of our rags to rich... ermmm... not-so-raggedy... story.

Back in late August my husband lost his job. Losing a job sucks. Especially when you've finally worked your way back up after losing everything just 7 years before to medical bills. Just when we thought we were hitting the big time in our new-to-us circa 1973 sexy single-wide that just happens to be on the most beautiful 2.7 acres in the Appalachian Mountains ever (yeah - OK... we were going to start building a home on our land in January of 2015) we crashed face-first into the mud!

 I mean really? Even the brand name is some sort of strange misspelling...

But it's OK!

You see, as much fun as it sounds to be "rich," that's not my goal in life. It never has been. My goal is to be HAPPY and (gasp) self-sufficient. A rustic log cabin, my family and my chickens... that would be just awesome with me! (OK - well I'd really like a horse for me and some ponies for the kids... but those would be like the best frosting ever on my gluten-free cake!)

So over the past few months I've been working my right hand off trying to create my own rags-to-not-so-raggedy story, and you are invited along for the wild ride!

If you can't tell by the sexy circa 1973 single wide, this is the rags part. And this is where my art comes in. You see, my parents paid for my college education. Now if I had paid my own way, I would have been an art major (and a theater minor). But that wasn't the case, and because my parents paid my way (thanks Mom and Dad!!) my choice in majors was a little more limited. Art was "a nice little hobby" but not something someone else was going to pay for me to major in. LOL!

In fact, I sing, act and write just as well as I draw (though the shower walls and the kids are the only ones who get to hear any singing these days).

Simple girl that I am, I started out just with pencil and paper. I did these two pieces at age 15/16... back in the olden days... when I lived in Pangaea... and rode a dinosaur to school... up hill... both ways... in the snow!

When I got older and had kids to take care of and bills to pay, I didn't have time to doodle, so instead I used the boring white walls (in the house we used to have in TX) as my canvas.

 (Otherwise wasted space above the refrigerator.)

( My youngest daughter's room.)

( Kitchen back splash - yes... that's a flat wall that I painted.)

(Around the tub. Again - flat walls.)

And I even painted my parent's bathroom as a surprise while they were away. 

I just could never help myself around blank walls! Art found ways of oozing out of me and adhering to the objects around me. Yet it was always a bit cost prohibitive, so I had to keep my impulses in check.

Then about 4 years ago, I discovered digital art. I got the cheapest electronic art tablet I could find at the time - a Wacom Bamboo. (No - they don't make these any more.)

I plugged it in and I... WAS...


OK - so it took me a while to get used to drawing on the tablet while looking at the computer screen. That can be a BIG adjustment for those of us who started in classical art.

But I did start to improve a little with time.

Fast forward to job-loss-city and desperation to earn something towards bills, and I posted some of my more current art on this blog:

And KAPOWIE! I've been working my right hand off ever since! I'm currently working on 25 illustrations for Grit Magazine's annual chicken issue. I'm not getting rich off this job, but... I mean, my art is going to be in a magazine! 

Mind Blown!

What an opportunity!

So - here are the pieces I've been doing on my little Wacom Bamboo:





 So - I'm still in the rags part of the story, but I'm enjoying the work! needless to say, I'll be asking Santa for a Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium Tablet (CTH680) (Yeah - don't know if we'll be able to swing it this year, but who knows? Maybe next year!)

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EN27UC2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00EN27UC2&linkCode=as2&tag=natuchickeep-20&linkId=4ESBELZOVA5QONOG">Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium Tablet (CTH680)</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=natuchickeep-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00EN27UC2" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
Oh - and I've had a few folks ask about buying prints. Well I have finally uploaded some of the art to a site where you can buy prints, canvases, note cards and more. I haven't had a chance to get them put on mugs and other such chachkis, but it won't be too much longer!

For those interested in prints, here's the link: http://pixels.com/profiles/1-leigh-edwards.html


So there you have it! Once I get past my deadline for Grit (they've been kind enough to extend it a bit) I'll be blogging more. Maybe if you're lucky I'll post pictures of the really cool disco lights in our sexy single wide trailer's living area! So keep checking back! You just never know what I'll do next!

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  1. Your art is beautiful it looks like the chickens will walk off the paper and the work you did on the walls are fantastic I pray that everything good comes your way

    1. Thank you, Vivian! My parents always taught me that good things come to those who work their arses off. Hopefully in a few more months I will no longer have an arse to speak of!

  2. I am so glad that in a weirdly bittersweet ironic way, you are able to do what you love as a 'living'! You are truly talented and will find your bliss one day soon I a sure! I can't wait to see your art in print - I'm sure it will lead to more work. Oh, and when's the new deadline - becuase I am DYING to see more of the photos you took during our photoshoot (yeah, Leigh's a super talented photographer as well!) Lisa

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I am hoping to squeeze in some of your photo edits here and there. The new deadline is Dec. 1, but I *should* be finished in the next week or so... I HOPE!!!!!
      (Keep your fingers crossed and send me goo work vibes so I can get these finished up!)


  3. Great Guest Post over at www.theartofdoingstuff.com. Fermenting feed is such a great way of making sure your flock are healthy AND saving $$$ at the same time. (And since we eat the eggs and eventually the chicken, having them as healthy as possible just makes sense, right?)

    And, of course, your art is simply amazing!!!!!

    1. Thank you, Collette! And yes - the benefits of fermenting feed just seem to go on and on!

  4. I loved your guest post, too! Very well written. Hope you get some regulars from the Art of Doing Stuff.

    1. Thanks Mel!
      (I owe you big time!)

  5. Happy I found your site! Looking forward to all kings of chickeny advice!


  6. I'm so happy your art is finally taking off. You are so talented. Good luck to you in the new year.

  7. Great artwork! As a fellow artist, I am gratified to see such talent recognized! Those are some detailed drawings, and only fellow artists, (of any stripe), know the hours and work that goes into producing them! Hats off to you!!!

  8. Hello! My friends and I have been reading through your blog and we love your posts and especially your art! Just curious...what program do you use for your digital artwork? Thanks! :D

    1. Thank you! I use GIMP - it's free and you can download it from the internet! :)


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