Adventures in Business

Adventures in Business

It’s spring and a young man’s thoughts turn to visions of popcorn -at least around here. Thing2 has become a dedicated foodie, as interested in making it as he is in eating it.

For me, spring is the beginning of the craft fair season. They’re moderately profitable, and there are worse ways to spend a sunny day in Vermont than sitting in a meadow surrounded by other artists. Thing2 loves to come and help me set up. He loves arranging things. He usually brings his own sketchbook to keep busy, and there are always other kids at the other booths to play with.

This year he’s more serious, wanting to start his own booth. In addition to selling Icelandic style hotdogs that we discovered on our trip, he’s decided to start selling flavored popcorn. he’s been testing recipes for the last couple weeks, and we been finding stray popcorn everywhere. It’s a small price to pay for doing our part to help small business in America.

A Fish Tale

A Fish Tale

Today, on All My Guppies, The little Thinker Girl tries to arrange a quiet algae dinner with Herman the Hermit, but is foiled by the snails who, toddling nicely at the ripe old age of the five days, have developed a severe case of Herman worship (T1, who wanted me to attach a picture of T2 glued to his tuxedo sleeve, mentioned how well he empathized with a guy who only wanted to have a nice quiet date without snails or siblings trying to tag along.)

Herman, preferring to be left alone by everybody except the little Thinker Girl, was last seen plastered to the glass border of Tankland, screaming “Get. Them. Outta here!”

Creative Coffee

Creative Coffee

My morning pages are caffeine. I start off with a drawing exercise from Charles Bargue’s classic drawing course and get loose with a three minute life doodle of the fish or the dog or cat before I get down to business with book illustrations or–time allowing — an actual painting.

My creative coffee doesn’t just jump start painting or illustration. It’s part of the 10,000 hour journey towards mastering an art, and it’s the reminder that anything worth achieving takes practice and persistence.

 It fuels the rest of the day, but it also drives every part of my life.

Creative Blocks and Rocks

Creative Blocks and Rocks

5 8Dweezil

Back in April, just about the time I was trying to untie my creativity from a paralysis of over-analysis and get the last few pages of The Truth about Trolls laid out, Thing2 was exploring his and putting my resolve not to limit it to the test. 

His spring time creative effort led to a rock pile in the middle of his room, the fruits of a “quarry” he and a couple friends had started near the kids’ Lord of the Flies training ground in the woods behind our house.

That was three weeks ago. The rock pile is still there.

He’s cleaned his room. I have cleaned his room-a bit. Laundry has been done. Baths have been had. But that rock pile is still there.

At first thing to wanted to hang onto it. Then he was afraid he wouldn’t clean it up the right way. 

It was a story writing itself (Élly has been very understanding, as long as her pages keep developing). 

Thing2, aware that the rock pile and the absurdities of our undeclared battle are serving as inspiration, is more determined than ever that it should stay. To his credit, however, he has moved it out of the center of the room so the rest of us can get from point a to point B without breaking or next.

I’ve decided to exercise my mom authority and remove the “inspiration” as soon as he goes to camp or I finish his story, whichever comes first.

 

The Care and Feeding of Giants

The Care and Feeding of Giants

When Thing1 gets on a new diet kick, The price of frozen concentrated orange juice on the commodities market gets thrown out of whack.

Lately it’s been apples and oranges–clementines to be exact. It’s also been lemon on everything, instead of adding salt oil. 

Yesterday, for drawing practice, I picked out one of the clementines that had started to “age out” before it could be inhaled with the rest of the 5 pound box that was supposed to last three days but barely made it to two. I like to draw imperfect fruit more for some reason.