Connect. Create. Inspire.

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True freedom is where an individual's thoughts and actions are in alignment with that which is true, correct, and of honor - no matter the personal price.

-Bryant H. McGill

Sunday, I spent nine miles of bike trail searching for something. I'm not sure when I lost it, but its absence weighs heavily on my soul as of late. Every rivet, curve, hill, swarm of gnats, and spider web I hit brought me closer to the realization that I not only lost something, but I was lost myself.

I started off this summer wanting to accomplish a lengthy list of projects that pushed me to my limits. I had high hopes for myself and just knew where I wanted to be at the end of it.

Not only did I not complete even a quarter of that list, I also completely lost sight of that plan. Instead, I spent a lot of time being completely and utterly unproductive. Some excuses were legitimate. I made new friends, dated, helped with various projects, and broadened my professional circle. But, I also spent a lot of time with my head in various social media networks.

I used a lot of my time unconsciously distracting myself. I could probably write a dissertation as to why, but I won't. It isn't worth it and will only bring me down. So, I'm going to view that segment of my life as a season and now that season has come to an end.

It is time to start anew.

Autumn has always been the one time of year when I felt most like myself. There's something both sad and romantic about it all. The cooler weather slows us down and makes the present more palpable. It eases us into the stark realities of Winter while filling our lives with things that bring us closer to others. The one good thing about losing sight of the plan that I crafted was the fact that it helped me clarify what I wanted out of my life. That's why I titled this post "Connect. Create. Inspire." 

Connect. I want to connect with like-minded individuals as well as connecting them to other people or places that could add to their lives.

Create. I want to learn to hone my creativity and settle my anxious/distracted mind. Boosting my productivity will become one of my major goals in the coming months.

Inspire. I want to continue to bring positivity into this world. I want to inspire young people - especially those who look like me. I want to show them that there is more than just the conventional path. 

It is time to align and I believe I've reached a place in my life where I'm able to adequately do so. 

-Bron

Fears & Finding My Style

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Hey everyone! Last week, I talked a bit about one of the biggest motivators in my life, heartbreak. Well, I'm back to talk about another because I love being honest about my process and how I got to where I am. I've learned that by revealing how much I struggle, helps others feel less alone.

So, fear. Fear is another one of the major driving forces for me. Being afraid of things has pushed me to shed a bit of my introverted shell and made me do things that I thought I would never dream of doing.

It has led me to meeting people that I would've never interacted with if I hadn't have taken the leap to talk to them. I wouldn't have started my blog that eventually led to my web comic that eventually led me to becoming a published cartoonist, writer, and photographer.

I do well at my full-time job because I face my fears head on. I interact with, make decisions for, and establish a repertoire with people every single day. I now help plan events. I can deliver bad news. I can make suggestions that help better my clients' ability to reach their audiences.

But fear can be a double-edged sword for me. When it comes to my design and illustration work, I'm always fearful that I'm not good enough. I've gotten a decent amount of freelance business for doing it part-time, but I often still feel like a hack. I worry that I'm floundering along with no  real clue what I'm doing and I'll never be good enough to work at an ad agency or creative firm. This has held me back from reaching my full potential for the last couple years. Don't get me wrong, at 25 I've done much more than other people my age. I've been featured in local art galleries, I'm published in a magazine that reaches thousands of people, and I get hired to do work with local bands and businesses, but I've still feel subpar.

I know that a lot of it has to do with me seeing other, more experienced designers out there just making some amazing strides. And I also see people my age with a very specific style and just killing it. It's all kind of intimidating. For the longest time I was afraid that I'd never figure out my own style or what I was good at. I know, I know, a lot of people feel the same way, but I still felt alone.

In the last several months, I've been pushing to challenge myself. I've spent my free time focusing on building my portfolio, adding new skills, and establishing my style. I've learned that I'm very good at vector work. Illustrator works well for me and I love simplicity. Icons, logos, and vector art really come alive in my hands. When it comes to digital painting, I have a sketchier style that is not rendered to the full extent that others do. It is on that fine line of cartoon-like and realism. I've let go of the idea of being a comic book artist and found the line of the dream and what I'm actually good at.

Now that I know where my strengths lay, I can hone them and make an impression on potential employers. I am shifting into the mindset of getting into design and illustration full-time. I believe that it's time to leave the nest and tackle my dreams head on. Hopefully, I'll get where I want to be and I can show people that never giving up can result in major rewards.

Below is a design that I finished up earlier today. Last year, I would've never dreamed of making something like this. It's fairly simple, but it was something new for me. Let me know what you think.

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- Bron

P.S. I got a haircut and I've never felt so at home.


I'm Back!

Hello everyone! I apologize for taking so long to update this side of my site. A lot has been happening on my end. Namely, heartbreak, juggling 4 jobs (three part-time creative jobs and 1 full-time marketing job) and friendships, and finding myself and my style. 

 

I've struggled a lot over the years with having too many fires burning at once or using life as a distraction from me practicing on my skills. Heartbreak has been one of the most effective motivators and catalyst of growth for me. I've always made substantial leaps during that emotionally devastating process. This time is no different. I've learned so much about myself and it is still in the early stages. 

 

During this last week, I've worked on a lot of design pieces. Some were commissioned, some for my day job, and some were personal.

Here's a glimpse at some of my sketches from the last week: 

 

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I'll be posting some of the finalized work to my site in the coming week and I'll try to post more from my sketchbook as they come. 

 

Cheers, 

-Bron

A Writer's Nightmare

Photography; the art of capturing a sliver of time forever...

I've always been intrigued by this method of art. There's something magical in the ability to freeze a moment that is as fleeting as the tide. That particular moment will never be perfectly replicated again and that, that's beautiful.

I've been lucky enough to have such beautiful people in my life. Their ambition, strength, and determination to succeed inspires me to continue forward. Featured is one of those people.

I call this photo set "A Writer's Nightmare" because as a writer, I understand some of the fears that we face. I understand the feeling of not being good enough. I understand the fear of getting in front of the camera instead of letting your work be your image. I understand the darkness brewing within the creative soul.

These photos have a darker, moody feel. The setting is that of a foreclosed home. Glass littered the yard, a metal bird house rusted as it hung from a rotting tree, windows boarded up to keep vandals at bay. It was perfect for what we were trying to convey.

I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did taking them.

-Bron

Authors Sketch Series Pt.1

Writing, along with reading, will always be my second love. Art is obviously my first and all others come after those two. I've spent a large majority of my life reading and writing. It is one of my favorite ways of dealing with the chaos of my life. It helps me clear the mess in my head and has eased my broken heart a number of times. It was only right of me to combine my top two favorites. 

About a month or two ago, I started this small side project. It is portraits of my top 10 favorite authors that I eventually want to develop into prints for sale. I've provided you with the first four. They are in no particular order.

Lang Leav “What was it like to love him? Asked Gratitude. It was like being exhumed, I answered, and brought to life in a flash of brilliance. What was it like to be loved in return? Asked Joy. It was like being seen after a perpetual darkness, I replied. To be heard after a lifetime of silence. What was it like to lose him? Asked Sorrow. There was a long pause before I responded: It was like hearing every goodbye ever said to me—said all at once.”  ― Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure  

Lang Leav

“What was it like to love him? Asked Gratitude.
It was like being exhumed, I answered, and brought to life in a flash of brilliance.

What was it like to be loved in return? Asked Joy.
It was like being seen after a perpetual darkness, I replied. To be heard after a lifetime of silence.

What was it like to lose him? Asked Sorrow. There was a long pause before I responded:

It was like hearing every goodbye ever said to me—said all at once.” 
― Lang LeavLove & Misadventure

 

Charles Bukowski “For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”  ― Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” 
― Charles Bukowski

 Maya Angelou “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”  ― Maya Angelou

 Maya Angelou

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” 
― Maya Angelou

Anaïs Nin “There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.”  ― Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin

“There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.” 
― Anaïs Nin

Thanks for reading,

-Bron

Inkmas

I've decided to start doing a 25 Days of Inkmas challenge. I ended up missing Inktober this year so I'm using this as a substitute.

I've been in a rut when it comes to my art for a while. I haven't been doing enough sketches and I don't do scenes very often. Finishing big projects has been a challenge as well.

This has got to change. If I'm going to get anywhere in this industry I need to be better than I am now. Always strive for improvement. 

Here are the first two days of Inkmas: 

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- Bron

Alphabet Designs: A

Typography has always been the thing that I've had to work the hardest at. It's one of those skills that take a lot of time and dedication to perfect. I've made it my mission to be proficient in it, as well as hand-lettering. 

To help with my goal I've decided to start working on a alphabet series. We'll see how it goes. 

Here's the first letter:

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- Bron, The Mad Artist

The Fifth of November

Hello all! Im incredibly excited to introduce my portfolio site to the world. It's been a work-in-progress for a long time. 

In addition to a visual artist, I am a bit of a verbal storyteller. So, I decide to use my sketchbook area as a small blog focused solely on my artsy thoughts/stories in addition to highlighting my practice work.

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I shall leave you with this: 

 "Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason Why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!"

- Guy Fawkes (Also quoted by V from V for Vendetta)

I hope you all enjoy my site!

-Bronlynn, The Mad Artist