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!

i am growing but please let me be

Blammo! I have just now completed a brand new Emotia drawing. It’s been a year and a half since my last piece in this series, and good god was there plenty to try to put into it since then.

I would like to present, “I am Growing But Please Let Me Be.”

This took an extraordinary amount of work to conceptualize. I actually had a fairly completed first draft of this concept that hung me up when I got to the shading pieces. Looking at the first draft now I definitely see how it hadn’t hit the mark yet, but honestly it left me fairly surprised that when I sat down to restart again, I actually completed it. All week I’d been trying to start a new draft and not getting much farther than an outline and maybe a background color. But I also couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I guess I knew I wouldn’t quit until I had finished this.

I’m not really sure why or how this ended up being the final pose. The previous drafts after the first attempt were much more aggressive than this one. But I looked through my other Emotia paintings a lot as I was working on this and none of the others are incredibly assertive or aggressive either, so ultimately I don’t think that would have worked. Plus, if this hadn’t been the final pose I don’t know if I would have liked how I tried to incorporate the books/papers.

Anyway, there were so many emotional layers to try to fit into a single image from 2019. It’s been intense. It’s been really difficult to process.

In many ways I don’t believe I’ll fully process my cyst and subsequent surgery, weight loss, and recovery until long after I’ve also given birth. The cyst still feels like an emotional gaping hole because I have a lot of resentment for the timing of how we found it. While on the one hand if we’d found it on its own, when I wasn’t pregnant, I know we would have felt convinced it meant we could never have kids, and that would have been devastating (and also incorrect). But as it happened, not only did it make the first trimester really really difficult (not that anyone loves the first trimester), it robbed me of the opportunity to essentially see what my healthy body was supposed to look like without the cyst. And I never will, because the next time my belly will be empty will be after I’ve given birth to a human.

And it also definitely feels like the cyst came out and my baby filled that hole without actually…patching it up so to speak? It was really interesting gaining those first 15lbs after the surgery because I still maintain that since my belly had previously been stretched around the cyst, I didn’t get a pregnancy belly so much as my baby belly filled up the cyst belly, same shape and everything. It wasn’t until after I passed the point that my cyst had brought me that my stomach looked and felt different to me. So it felt more appropriate to include the representation of my pregnancy still in a gaping hole in my body.

Finally, this year I’ve also just been calmly keeping my schoolwork in lockdown. What a better way to represent that than have it be squished under my thick ass? I actually put some screenshots of three papers that I wrote for my program on the fluttering papers haha. It was hard because I haven’t really had any significant textbooks necessarily for this program; it’s been mostly the paper-writing that has provided most of the learning. Grad school has definitely been a non-issue in many ways, but it always seems to come up and people always seem awestruck that I’ve been doing as much school as I have this year, with as slow as I’ve actually been going with the program.

Moving up, I’ve got my heart on my sleeve this time because pregnancy has destroyed any sort of social filters I used to possess. I’m cranky, you’ll know. Immediately. You offend me, you’ll now. Immediately. Fortunately, most of the time since maybe May, I’ve just been indifferent. But hell hath no fury like my opinionated ass if you start to rile me up.

This has not felt like “me” either. I’ve felt a bit of distress over the seeming lack of control I have over my tongue. I don’t consider that maybe I’ve gone too far till after the deed has been done. Fortunately I can still focus on smoothing things over with people after I wound them, without actually apologizing given that usually I lose my temper over shit I definitely still mean.

And…the eyes. So 2019 has been a very…public year for me. But not in a social, I’m involved with people kind of way. Pregnancy just is a very public affair. Your body becomes public property, essentially, with everyone soliciting their opinions, admiration, curiosity, etc. where they have previously not shown any interest in me. I think that’s the biggest difficulty I have with how closely people watch me these days. I know that many of the interactions I have had with people, especially at work, would not have happened if I weren’t pregnant. People who hardly consider me a fleck in their vision have to ask me “how are you feeling?” every time I see them. So really, the question is not even directed at me, but my pregnancy.

And the thing about pregnancy is most days, most hours, most experiences are just daily living, only it’s living that is happening while I also have a little boy in my belly rolling and jabbing and growing.

People are just really excited and curious about pregnant women and it generally ends up being inappropriate, invasive, and unnecessary in their execution. And circling back to me not being able to hold my tongue, if you are the 50th person in the span of a very long day where I work 8 hours and then go to 6 hours of class who loudly and enthusiastically asks “HOW ARE YOU FEELING!??!?!?”, then I will probably shut you down.

Maybe it’s because I’m someone who has had mental health problems for years and years but someone asking me how I’m feeling when they’re really just wanting to know, most likely, if I’ve got morning sickness right now (people honestly believe it’s normal or expected for a woman to throw up for an entire nine months of a pregnancy apparently), ends up feeling offensive, intrusive and disingenuous. If you didn’t ask the other two people who walked in before me how they’re feeling, don’t fucking ask me. Especially if you don’t actually care what I have to say (if I’m not comfortable with you as a person in my life, do you think I want to be honest when you ask me that anyway? Because the chances are, if I was great before you asked me that, the moment you ask me that my most honest answer would be “irritated” and you don’t want to know that, do you?).

Just because you’re really excited about babies and pregnant ladies doesn’t mean that the pregnant lady you’re projecting this onto has any obligation to share your enthusiasm. There’s less and less to be enthusiastic about when relaxin makes your neck crack every time you turn your head, or your thighs are constantly sore and achey because your pelvis is so aggressively shifting, or your baby moves so rapidly in your belly you get light-headed, or you read another article about the amount of blood you’re going to lose after you give birth and suddenly consider the possibility that you’ll just bleed out after delivery and die in a hospital bed.

At work at least, I’ve expressed my annoyance to the people I trust enough to lessen their pregnancy-related inquiries, and I’ve been rude or cold to enough other people so that my daily experience with people asking about my pregnancy has dropped to a more tolerable level. At school, I found, with few exceptions most 22-year-old girls and varying ages of men are disinterested if not terrified of “the pregnant girl in their class.” I could get away with nobody but me bringing up my pregnancy in a whole class, even after I was very obviously pregnant in my two summer classes. But when I did unironically have to pee two or three times during a lecture, everybody was quick to justify it for me, so I’ll enjoy the free pass to have an overactive bladder while it lasts (although the overactive bladder before pregnancy was most definitely a cyst symptom. It’s going to be crazy when I can potentially go 6-8 hours without NEEDING to pee in a few months.)

So…yeah, that’s the eyes. In my first draft I expressed the constant public interest in my body as a spotlight, but that didn’t feel right. It wasn’t really a source of light for me in any way. Usually it causes latent anxiety if not my normal irritability. And since I knew I wanted my belly to glow (although in the first draft I just did this weird like “here’s my heart, it slid down from my chest into my belly” which I didn’t end up liking), I didn’t want there to be a competing light source. I was going to try eyes on stalks for a while, or just like a grid pattern, but then last night as I was trying to decide how to display them I was like “wait why don’t I just do scribbly inky black drawings of eyes” and aha! Ryan helped me make them a bit more interactive with my hand and then I gave them some pigment and that was done.

Speaking of Ryan, while I originally wanted to incorporate the floofy white skirt that was in my last two paintings, I opted out of that and just highlighted my wedding ring. Which I haven’t even been able to wear for three weeks because it got too snug and I was paranoid it would get stuck. But I still thought it was important to note that my marriage has been a source of constant stability and refuge for me. Ryan has been an amazing and steady source of emotional and physical support for me. We’ll never forget those first few days after my surgery when I couldn’t get up from the toilet without his help. I’ll never forget how he cried when we saw our baby at 12 weeks before our surgery. I’ll never forget the sheer joy, camaraderie, relief, and pride of choosing a name for our son. And I also can’t take it for granted that he has been patiently supporting me while I’m in school even if it’s meant leaving him 2-3 nights a week alone to fend for himself. We keep in constant contact and if we argue it’s straightforward, quick, and honest. I really would be completely alone without him.

Finally, my other Emotia paintings except for “Rise Again, Fighting” don’t really feature “me” even though they’re embodiments of “me.” This time around, this feeling I was trying to depict was so intimate, and so closely related to my own bodily experience, I didn’t even bother pretending like it was happening to someone else. On the contrary, it’s very much me, and my body, that has been affected by these experiences.

The rest of the drawing feels a bit simpler than I expected but again, looking back at the other Emotia drawings, they haven’t necessarily been conceptually more complicated than this. If anything this one is a lot more focused and personal than especially some of the earlier ones were.

Another interesting contrast to the other ones is that at least in the last two I worked hard to include some of the recurring elements of earlier drawings. But any attempt to do so this time around would have been forced and unnatural. I think that makes a good point, though, about how different from my past self I have felt this year. I actually wrote a paper for my careers class, unexpectedly, that made me realize not only that I am in a very different place in my life than ever before, that that is in fact not a bad thing. Of course I am. I am having a child. That will change everything. I am fundamentally as I have always been, but in many ways my beliefs, feelings, and plans have shifted to revolve around the new and slightly strange concept of “my family” …where now, for the first time, by that I mean, my husband and my child.

And with that, here’s all the earlier ones! Most recent to the oldest.

Endure
February 2016

cats – then & now

On my husband’s birthday my Timehop was like 4 years in a row of fanart of the two of us and then when I was on my laptop working on his toast card, I fell down the rabbit hole of our whole folder of fanart and found this gem.


You can always tell how far along we were in our relationship based in part on how many tattoos we had, and definitely on the tone of the drawing. Am I still trying to impress him with being all cutesy but also, fancy pro art? We were probably actually really struggling at the time so I’m going to write encouraging things on art for us in hopes we will somehow be led to believe it? Yes, this one was probably the latter, haha. And without really knowing to what extent I would get into it, I decided this particular one needed a reprise.

And…voila.

I think I ended up spending two or three days on this one? I really really love it, except in the earlier draft I was snoozing with a little o mouth and that was why my eyes were closed. Now I look much more peaceful than I am, but we can pretend it’s general exhaustion, which is usually accurate.

I think my favorite part is the tiny kitty prints in my belly. And also Ryan’s silky smooth looking skin.

In other news, today marks 100 days until the due date for our little dude! Whether he comes that day, or hopefully before, or hopefully not after, 100 days until the day we were told about months ago when we really weren’t sure what to expect on this pregnancy journey (we’re still not).

After my semester ended and my daily digital drawings project came to a close, I felt a little void and wanted some new motivation to keep doing art regularly. So Ryan suggested another 100 days project like before our wedding, only this one would be up until our baby (should be) born. Since it’s following a fairly specific and limited project from the semester, I decided my only rule for this project is that I do a drawing more or less daily. Whether it’s an ongoing painting, a doodle in the margins of my school notes, or an unrelated cat comic like today, I’m marking the days until this baby is due by just being creative. I think I want to write the baby a note each day, but I don’t know if I’ve figured out how to document that quite yet. I’ll write today’s note, and then figure out how to tack it to the drawing when I have a full day off tomorrow.

That’s all I got! The cat comic I did today is posted on my art Insta account!

this stage in pregnancy

You know it’s really hard going into it to wrap your head around what you can expect throughout the whole course of being pregnant. 40 weeks is a long time. You grow a baby over the course of most of a year. And since I got pregnant right before the new year, it really is the cornerstone of the whole year of 2019 for me.

There’s a lot of moments to enjoy, and it’s great having so many people surrounding me to support me and listen and take care of me (usually anyway). My husband has been amazing x infinity hands down, patiently yelling at me when I complain about my daily changing body, planning activities for us after our son is born, and not giving me too much shit when I want to eat disgusting amounts of food (this week’s legacy was a double cheeseburger with a large shake – from a SECOND fast food restaurant).

But there are also lots of moments, more so right now that I’m looking pregnant, I’m feeling my son move everyday, and the summer is quickly flying by to where my son is coming in just about 3 months…where I’m just pretty scared.

Things should be feeling MORE real by now, and they probably honestly are…which is what makes them so scary. With the internet, and just…people giving you unsolicited opinions literally at all times in all situations, there are just a lot of big scary things that can happen to a baby. They probably WON’T, but when all you’re doing is waiting and waiting, it’s hard not to imagine many worst case scenarios sprinkled into the good daydreaming.

Obviously you can’t spend nine months in a state of perpetual excitement and optimism. Obviously there are days when I feel sorry for myself for gaining weight, or being sore, or having an anterior placenta. Unfortunately, those have been most days for me at the moment. I can’t help it. I’m naturally anxious when I’m waiting for things, and when people ask me how I am I feel guilty that I’m basically perfectly normal right now honestly. We got a lot of preparation for baby out of the way a month or more ago, and a lot of it is going to wait a month or so until the baby showers start happening.

The good news, and always, always, always the bottom line is that the only person I’m really in this together with is my husband. Always just him. Nothing else, or anybody else really matters, ultimately.

And luckily for me, my husband is AWESOME. He patiently yells at me when my self-esteem gets low (it’s almost always low right now), he doesn’t judge me when I get whiny, and he is so totally up for being a dad. What it comes down to is just putting one foot in front of the other, doing life together on the days when everything feels normal, and fighting through the days that feel terrible and scary because all I can do is wait and I’m hormonal and scared and frustrated.

I can only hope our little boy grows up with my husband’s calm in his head, and his deeply loving nature.

k, /endsap

other dailies (don’t worry this project is almost over)

This lovely very graphic artsy painting of Solveig and Lucy. Very glowy. Puts a lot of my earlier efforts to make pieces like this to shame, that’s for sure.
Antihero Solaris. Not really happy with this one compositionally, he’s very wooden.

This was in the same week as the above three where my only motivation to do art was to use past characters. I really really like this one though. It was a fun sketch where the colors still added to the final product.
This was a funny juxtaposition after I’d spent a day trying to sculpt this mermaid like a painting and then I looked at it the next day and I was like this is fucking nasty so I started over and did a lot more linework and dark colors and creepy faces and I was like …of course this worked.
This week I went from having gained basically nothing for my whole pregnancy to gaining about 6lbs and I took it REALLY hard. And everyone’s like yeah but you’re pregnant and I’m like that doesn’t undo years of psychological trauma surrounding my weight. Also, it annoys me that basically anything and everything I do people claim it’s because I’m pregnant. Like wanting to nap or wanting a lot of ice cream. I’m like heeeeeeeey so being pregnant is not my exclusive identity, I was a lazy fatty this whole time! 😀 And it doesn’t make me feel any less guilty when I do eat a shitload of something. It’s still eating poorly. Whether I’m growing a child or not.
This morning I looked at some old drawings of Andrew and Danny and Micah and decided to do a quick Andrew sketch. And as I was putting the streaks in his hair I’m like “am I thinking silver or gray?” and then I was like “LOL WHITE OBVIOUSLY, LIKE BAKURA LOLOLLOOLOLOL” and then I knew I had to post it on my blog.

baby run away with me

Click for full version! Oh yeah, I forgot about Micah’s very very very veiled Nikkei reference. I gave him a striped cat tattoo haha.

This was my weekend project for my daily art. The image literally dropped itself into my head on my drive home from work on Friday listening to the radio when that Khaled x Halsey song was playing for some weird reason. I hung onto it long enough to get home and start sketching it and the whole thing kind of completed itself from there.

I am getting SUPER comfortable, apparently, painting without lines – thanks mostly to all the daily drawings I’ve been doing since February! It’s pretty great, and I’m really happy with how they turned out. Literally my main question was “wtf couple do I used?” and nobody really spoke to me so I had to kind of go with more my aesthetic right now, which was Noelia and Micah for some reason.

I’m finding at least in the preview size of this that a lot of the glorious details of this are lost – not a common problem for me; I found myself working at 60-100% a lot of the time especially toward the end when I was just adding details like jewelry and of course all the raindrops.

Even after spending quite a few drawings experimenting with other brushes I find the best brush for painting is still just dropping the opacity on a pen brush. I don’t end up liking the fuzzy cloudiness of pencils I also can’t make as dark as I want them to be. I just kept shifting between 20-70% opacity and a lot of color droppering and it did everything I needed it to.

Even when you compare it to like this first “painting” I did back in February you can tell a lot of that hesitance and awkwardness about doing shading that’s stronger than lines has gone away.


In fact, I had originally added some light lines over their faces to add some structure but ended up working them back into the painting as I moved on. Pretty crazy. Very grateful to really really feel some muscle development from all the days I’ve been working with my tablet.

And even if I don’t feel like that, at least I don’t make stuff like this anymore! 😀

remains one of the scariest pieces of work I’ve ever completed, look at Lacy, what color is that?? ha

Hehehehehehhehehe

That is all. I was going to dump some of the other good dailies I’ve done in the last month but I feel like I’ll save that for another post soon.