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November 2018

Of Coloring Projects and Comebacks

2m1knrI have been making art since I was a very small child. I've also done freelance work of various sorts since I was a teenager. In 2011, after changing my business name for the umpteenth time, I finally settled on "Mixed Mayhem Studios." It was a clever play on words since I usually opt for mixed media to create art. Why settle for one medium when you can have all the things? That year is when I really felt I had my "official" start in having a "real" business. I mean, I even registered a "doing business as" name.

I did pretty well for myself at first since I was quite consistent with my work, but life has a curious habit of getting in the way. Especially when there's a day job that seems hellbent on consuming every iota of energy you can muster. Without going into too much detail, I will admit that my own health, work, and caring for family took precedence over art and making beautiful things. By 2013, nearly all of my projects had come to a screeching halt for one reason or another. My side hustle had also become a tiresome chore rather than a labor of love. 

Recently, that love has been rekindled, and I am hoping to also get back into the habit of sharing my work regularly. I had briefly started doing this again earlier this year via Instagram and Facebook, but I encountered another one of life's curve balls around March of this year. I'm not ready to share the details of that instance publically yet. It's a sensitive topic that I'm still quite moody about, and I'm trying to keep this blog post a positive one. I only mention it because I want my readers and anyone who follows my content to know why there have been such impressive instances of radio silence on my part. Long story short, I suffered a rather impressive injury in March that involved a bit of nerve damage in my right arm. Guess who is also right-handed? This gal.  Watercolorpainting112018

Anyhow, I have no desire to dwell on that. I still don't have as much free time as I would like, but I carve it out in little stolen moments late at night and during work breaks. It makes for a pleasant escape from the little stresses of day to day life, and thankfully I have an awesome job now that I really enjoy. One of my current most favorite things to do during those reprieves is to color. What can I say? I love vibrant colors and this whole adult coloring book trend (please never die, oh beloved trend) is the best thing since sliced bread.

My house is filled with stacks of coloring books and oh so much art supplies! It's a wonder I get anything else done. I love pens, markers, paint -- nothing is off limits! I have also always been kind of a doodler. No margin of notebook paper or blank space is safe from me. The combination of doodles + coloring also makes for interesting designs. I have enjoyed the process of creating these types of paintings and mixed media pieces so much lately that several thoughts occurred to me: This would make for an excellent starting point to start sharing my work again, and how fun would it be to create my own unique coloring book pages? Who knows, I might even publish my own coloring book one day.

Before I get ahead of myself thinking I'm the next Johanna Basford (I LOVE YOU ♥), it occurred to me that I could easily create some coloring book pages, have them printed, and share with friends. How fun would that be? I can't tell you how many weekends I've spent with friends and family just hanging out while coloring beautiful things. I love everything about it. I think that I also miss the community feel of art classes where we were all working on our own little versions of the same project. It's such a unique atmosphere that I have rarely encountered as an adult. I want to foster that feeling and sense of community, so I have set up a Patreon account to do just that.

My plan for that account is twofold: I want to share my process of how I create art step-by-step by taking my Patrons, blog followers, and other social media peeps behind the scenes. Second, I want to encourage others to partake in the joy of coloring by creating intricate coloring pages while walking you through how to color them. I am so excited about this project! I am so excited about ALL of the projects I have in the works currently, some of which have been waiting in the wings for quite some time.

In addition to all of the coloring excitement, I am also working on some special Art Abandonment projects (I love that this is a more common thing now!), revamping my jewelry store, and restarting an old, beloved game. It's a lot, but it's not something I've taken on all at once. This is the culmination of many months of tinkering, plotting, and note-taking.

I hope you'll join me whether it's here, on another social media platform, or Patreon itself. In the meantime, I'd like to share with you the very first coloring page I've created to date. This is free to download. I only ask that you link back to this blog or to my Patreon page if you post it online. It's not for resale. This is for you to enjoy. I would love to see what you create from it, so please share your work online if you can! I'm on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the usual places. If you'd rather not share publically, you can always email me instead. Print it out, color it Photoshop, whatever floats your boat!

Thank you to all of you have stuck around through the years! You are so appreciated!

Much love,