mama wolf

Another big piece, this came up a bit out of nowhere. One of the ladies I follow on Instagram makes merchandise revolving around tough, alternative mamas. And after my first round of holiday gettogethers with Ronan around, I realized how just, primitively protective I am of my little prince. Between that and the wolf theme of the Instagram mama I follow, I hatched a Wolf Mama drawing of me and Ronan. My husband said the furries of the internet would love me for this. That makes me sad.

Regardless here we are, me with my scars and stretch marks and Ronan with his fingers in his mouth and a handful of my hair as he tends to be these days.

I also got an iPad as an early Christmas present from my parents and have been slowly getting familiar with the all-famous ProCreate. But my caseless, fragile, slippery iPad isn’t quite the baby-friendly mobile drawing station I expected yet, so it’s gotta wait till my case comes this weekend before I can really integrate it into my baby time. Here’s the picture I did first on it. My mom said Ronan’s eyes creep her out but I think that’s a personal problem.

The Pencil definitely has enviable brush stabilizing that I would never want my Wacom to have, so that’s a game changer for incorporating text into my work. ProCreate also very obviously works for graphic and illustration work in a way that Clip Paint Pro doesn’t and I also wouldn’t want it to. So so far my conclusion is that the iPad will work for the style of graphic, marketable work I want it to, but it’s not necessarily the same sketching, brainstorming, feeling, serious illustration platform that I didn’t want it to be. That is, my Wacom and my desktop art station will not become obsolete because of the iPad.

rpg fam!

I have been mostly focused on video games and cuddling my son in the last few weeks and days of my maternity leave. I go back to work the day after tomorrow. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’ve been home for 2 and a half months with my lil guy. I also can’t believe how painful the thought of leaving him is.

When my husband and I were talking about the announcement of Diablo IV, we were saying how we’d have to train Ronan into being a class that neither of us want to be. Ryan then described a drawing I could do of the three of us in our classes with Ronan as a little head on one of our backs.

Over this last week I ended up putting WAY more work into this than I could have expected, especially since Ronan was super clingy a few days this week and I could only work like 10 minutes at a time before he’d be like “no you’re too distracted cuddle me harder”

I made a point in the drawing especially since I play as a barbarian-type “fuck em up” class to include my scars. One of my laparoscopy scars ended up being the spot for some of my only new stretch marks and they made a cool little lightning bolt. And my huge-ass c-section scar is pretty symbolic to me ultimately.

Also I figured since I didn’t need to showcase my post-breastfeeding small boobs I’d showcase Dat Booty.

Anyway, who knows what’s gonna happen to my art productivity once I go back to work and also have a child to take all my attention when I’m not there!

baby art

Hello and welcome to the final stretch of Mary’s maternity leave, wherein she’s gotten a bit bored and uninspired and has only done art of her and her baby.

Except there’s also a story in the works! But it keeps starting and stopping and it might not end up finished. It’s a good idea though! With a weird array of inspiration, haha. We’ll see.

First family portrait I’ve attempted. As you can see I didn’t finish the shading and the lineart is still a sketch..but hey it’s been posted now.
So of my three cats, the gentle friendly ones have ended up hating the baby most. That is, they hate sharing my attention with the baby. Miss Replacement Baby enjoys climbing on me and trying to climb on the baby. Jericho just looks dejected when the baby is in his way, and tends to follow me around if I don’t have Ronan waiting for attention.
Miss Prozac Snowball, though, has continued on with business as usual and has allowed Ronan into her inner circle. (Actually she got stuck in the living room when our besties were over the other week and just sat in the corner of the room looking less and less frightened, and even took some of her tuna treat from them). Snowball usually gives Ronan a kiss or a bath like she does me and Ryan. And over the weekend when we were napping as a family she got really excited when I came back from the bathroom and ended up doing her “tidal wave” fall onto Ronan, who was like HUF but stayed asleep, so I lol’d and let them both be.
As mentioned, family naptime. <3

maternal instincts

As I slid my hand around my newborn’s back and settled into bed with him, I realized I never expected to be this kind of mom.

Especially in these early weeks I thought about what I was feeling and deciding about my child and felt like a psychologist, clinical, calculating, and insensitive. Except all of those early child psychologists were men, who weren’t affected by the same rush of hormones as a mother is, who aren’t evolutionarily primed to know their child is sleeping next to them, regulating their breathing and body temperature and feeling secure just by the smell of me.

It’s raised the question a few times in my head about what kind of mother I think like as opposed to what kind of mother I feel like. A lot of my feelings are instincts, intuition, and hormones. My husband has admitted a few times he doesn’t feel connected to our mewling newborn the same way as me, and for someone as clinical and masculine in her thoughts as I am, this has been a remarkable identity transformation.

For me, too, I’m bombarded by sappy mom posts about how overwhelmed with love moms feel for their babies – which is true; I’m confounded by how strongly I feel for Ronan, and the rush of affection I feel when I squeeze his warm squishy body against myself. But for me, the love is honestly aggressive, assaultive, truly hearkening to the “Mama Bear” identity more than anything. Mess with my cub and I’ll rip you apart.

There’s also the fact that as I’m moving through this postpartum period, the hormones are starting to ebb and thus affect my creativity a bit less. I’ve always known the PMS-y hormones make me ultra creative, and giving birth to a baby is truly the ultimate culmination of a rush of female hormones. So I was explosively creative despite my deep and confusing hormonal distress. And now as my body is slowly returning to normal (a new, cyst-free normal), my creative levels are returning to normal as well, and admittedly I feel like I’ve dried up a bit. I don’t ever force myself to create, so I went from making two or three sketches today, baby aside, to knowing I’d rather read a book or play the Untitled Goose Game.

I really will have to redefine normal for myself though, and that’s before I even go back to school in 2 months. Eep.

baby + boys

Yesterday when I was going to lunch with my husband and baby I realized I hadn’t formally introduced my child to my OC boys. I told Ryan I had to make a drawing with the three boys meeting Ronan and Ryan seemed confused and indifferent. Until I started this drawing. Then he told me yesterday night that he felt a little jealous that I had myself drawn with our baby and three guys (my “waifus” he called them. Only Micah was my waifu though…but I didn’t correct him) and he was like “boys get out of here” and then admitted with annoyance that I’ve technically known them longer than him.

I told him unfortunately for him it was delightful to be having a conversation like that with my awesome nerdy husband, who the day before had harshly judged me for telling him that I’d had Yu-Gi-Oh fanart at the library we were driving past when I was a kid.

THAT STARTED MY LIFE AS I KNOW IT OKAY

Anyway, I did the above drawing pretty easily yesterday and slapped some color on it today. I must say I have hit a new level with skin shading and I’m really happy about it. I probably credit Dumping a Dragon for that and for pushing my digital coloring to new heights, but that was a whole year ago now that I was working on DaD according to my Timehop.

Finally when I was working on the picture of my guys meeting my baby I kept thinking of this picture of them.

Based on the jacket I’m wearing this one was from my junior year of high school, so 10 years ago.

The funny history of it is drawing them when I’m 28 and a mother with a husband who in certain lights definitely does look like he could have evolved from Myoku. 🙂

#weebforlife

baby art

My first alcoholic beverage during daylight (a cider) and I spill it on my nice green keyboard. Nice one Mary.

Anyway, here is some doodling I’ve been doing since Ronan came. Honestly I have a lot more free time than I did when I was working right now. Newborns just sleep, pee/poop, eat, repeat. And my husband is home still for another week too so we just trade off doing whatever we want and holding our calm happy sleeping (attitudey) baby.

In the mornings I get up early, get him dressed, and sit him at my desk with me. I sing terrible 2000s punk rock to him (FOB) and don’t feel sorry for it while I do art on my tablet.

A few mornings ago I finally painted my baby. I think it turned out to be a pretty good likeness of him. He’s the cutest baby in the world fight me.

painting practice on my new monitor setup
an elf lady doodle during a break from holding the baby
in my brief use of photoshop. I hate photoshop, long live clip paint pro.
More mystical girl doodles.
This morning I woke up wanting to make a busty anime girl my husband would approve of and then it occurred to me that he should be approving of me as a busty anime girl. Milk boobs are big (and fading fast, so they must be memorialized.)

snowball’s crow boyfriend

Okay so a few weeks ago I woke up to, of all things, a very noisy crow cawing. I went into the nursery to look out the window and found Snowball very intently watching a crow perched in the tree outside our house, who was very very noisily cawing at Snowball. At one point he even jumped on the roof to get closer to the window (then I yelled at him because that was scary). So then I started telling Snowball that was her boyfriend and have since seen her go careening into the nursery window in response to crow cawings. I’m just saying. I ship it.

So this week I have snatched some quiet time at my art desk and worked on some fanart of this ship. It was also a good chance to get used to drawing on my new computer setup.

Ryan said I did this one because I needed “something saucier.” I mean, he’s not wrong.

early reflections on parenthood

It seems my speedy efficiency with art might have its parenting benefits! Here are some sketches/doodles/thoughts on the first almost week as a mom.

Thoughts about the hospital, including angry tears, seeing my husband change his son’s diaper, sitting uncomfortably in a hospital bed with my favorite boys, c-section scars, and the sudden arrival of breast milk completely transforming my body (much like pregnancy)
And, on a similar note, I don’t know if many mamas necessarily have the same baseline for body changes but I feel like a million bucks right now. My pumping bra has been described by Ryan and I as Final Fantasy getup. And my tummy is super flat – I’ve lost almost 20lbs since delivery, and breastfeeding is continuing that trajectory.
Nighttime adventures with diaper changing (and trying to get my pen to work right on my new computer)
My baby narration is weird at the moment

double august feature!

Work while very pregnant and also slow in the summer meant I grabbed some oversized paper from the documentation room and did some pen drawings on my last weekend working. I decided this warm and “last days of summer” girl could use some color and I’m reallly happy with how it turned out. Done on my new all in one of course.
Deer girl work doodle
Ironically, this is the drawing I did the morning that I went to the hospital to have a baby. I’d been experiencing signs of pre labor all weekend that I was convinced were all in my head, because they either could mean labor was imminent or else weeks away. For me, it was imminent!

Worth publishing, but incomplete – I was working on this blog entry and scanning a large painting with my newer scanning software, paused for dinner, and then after dinner, my waters broke and I went to the hospital to have a baby! So…a bit distracting, the whole week is gone now!

Ryan and I became parents on August 27 at 3:30 in the afternoon to our magical boy Ronan Mylo. The three days since then have been quite a roller coaster. I obviously haven’t been doing any art, but I’m gearing up! :3

end of the road

I am 37 weeks pregnant! That means our little boy might be joining us any day now and we’ll welcome him with all our love and cuddles and it’s gonna be CRAZY. On my drive home today (I seem to do a lot of art planning on the way home from work) I decided I needed to do kind of a “last drawing” of us before we’re parents.

I think it captures the sentiment I’ve held for most of this pregnancy (ugh mostly), and Ryan’s sheer “I can’t fix it but I know you’re miserable” support.

I was also working on a Micah painting but it slowed down a lot since I started it last weekend so I decided to just save and post the incomplete sketch/painting. His face was turning out a bit weird anyway. It’s really that extended hand that made me even work on it for as long as I had. Perfection.

The slice of yellow was gonna be a highlighter but I redid his whole shirt and hadn’t gotten back to it yet haha.

Last weekend at work I was so bored I grabbed some 8×14 paper and did some pen drawings that I’ve been meaning to scan since they turned out pretty cool. But I have to scan them in and, lazy.

I mean honestly Ryan and I were in our best friends’ wedding this last weekend and that made all last week pretty fucking busy.

I’m also being cut a $3900 check from my insurance company for hail damage to my car, so Ryan and I are gonna both upgrade our computers! It’s just a matter of whether we can make our choices and get the check soon enough to have them before our son comes, haha.

State Fair on Friday – then baby can come!