★ Be You (In Process): Artist Kindling Letter From MrJayMyers

Hey Friends,

I don’t need to tell you the inner gymnastics we all often go through to figure out what it means to be ourself. But I do want to write to encourage you to persevere. The days, weeks, months, and for some, years, have exhausted you on so many levels. You need a break. Yeah, I mean some literal time, but I also mean for you to not be hard on yourself as well. Don’t be hard on yourself for what has been hoped for so long but isn’t here. You are on your way, you are here.

Until we all value that—being the people we were born to be—dreams and hopes coming true will do little for us. Goals attained and items checked off will only be another superficial fix until we actually accept ourselves, like ourselves.

Cast of Stones cover image by Jay, (coming soon!)

We are surrounded by a message in creative culture that we can attain all of our goals with enough hard work, we can “live the life we dream”. Even Christian culture talks much of this, as though the one we call Author didn’t first publish, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19: 21)

It’s a tension, to be sure, to stand in the two realities of one, the necessity of hard work and two, that the unfathomable possibilities life holds is not a bad thing. But, it is a tension you are not alone in. The creative life, along with all of its hopes, dreams, and visions is an untidy, grubby thing. Don’t get stars in your eyes over anyone ever telling you anything different.

We will feel lost sometimes. We’ll have highs and lows. Expect this and don’t be frightened when it comes. Walk with these feelings in one hand and hold value of yourself in the other, because both can be true without tearing down the other. You have been created in the image of a Creator. Respect that and let yourself rest there when the waves of doubt, comparison, discouragement, and general griminess arise.

There is a whole way to let these processes work their way through us without it bringing about destruction and more than that, even letting it teach us. First, we have got to let go of the fear that often attaches itself to these feelings of insecurity, then we can see what’s really there—and not for some magical end goal but for the process—it’s good. It’s excavating us, who we are designed to be.

Funny ways, little and big, we can notice and learn from these things. Here’s one example from Jay, he’s learned about himself. He is drawn to loose lines but often when he works his lines get tight. Listening to this cumbersome and often disappointing process he realized there was a reason. He has been concerned about his abilities, having more exactness, and so he would lean more toward tight lines because it was “safe”. This got to the point to where not only was this an issue in finished pieces, he realized, in his words, he was “not even practicing freedom”.

So, the next time those lost, untidy, grubby feelings about creating begin to overcome, stop and remember: we are co-creating, man makes plans, the Lord orders the steps, and all those feeling are normal. Listen to them, learn from them, but don’t let them tear you down, let them build you up. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how cliche’ it sounds, it’s true—there’s only one you, and you are needed. Let’s get after it.


Follow Jay on the gram @MrJayMyers

Each week I always ask Jay what he’s learning. A lot of what I wrote above unearthed through our conversations lately. It’s been encouraging, even in the midst of struggle, but also I got a treat in my inbox this week! A note from Jay and he said I could share here. Enjoy—

The difficulty those of us living in the outer veil face is that this veil seems to define our thoughts and expectations for all reality. It is those of us who attempt to reach back into the inner veil that begin to see the outer veil as a mystery to be enjoyed as well.
 
The tree of life teaches us that without it, there would be no eternity for us. It teaches that until we partake of life we are temporary. So, humanity was driven from the inner veil from the wonders of the fae into the wilds and waste places where we must muster courage and seek for a way back in.
 
But too often rather than search for the inner veil we get caught up in the wilds and waste and live out our days without a hope that one day someone will deliver us to the inner veil to the kingdom of light and let us once taste the fruit of life.
 
The inner veil beckons us but we don’t hear it. It pleads but we don’t want to seek it. The outer is our home we hate but never enough to escape it by searching for the way back to the tree. It is now that we find ourselves in the predicament of reality. It is now that we find if we would love the life we have and search for the inner path that we, in the outer veil, could find the way toward the inner and expose ourselves to life that we would live out here and now.
 
To express this in a more blunt manner, the only way into the inner veil is through life delighted upon in the outer veil not escapism through death.


Storyteller:

Teaser from a long-term writing project of Jay’s called,
Consider the Ravens, a compilation of  poems & stories:


Poetical

The paths are blue down the alleyway
Where streets grow acorns and beans.
The stoplight flickers red, yellow, and pink
As the traffic animals pour through the light,
Like butter on ice cream or toast on gin.

Arrrg

A poets life for me.

Jay Myers, Consider the Ravens

 


So, tell us about you, are you delighting or drudging through right now? What are you learning through your processes? Thank you for being a part of our community! Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,

Jay & Raynna

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be encouraged by these kind of updates. Thanks!

Other ways to connect (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

Raynna hangs out most on IG: @raynnamyers

Check out Jay’s free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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★ Cultivating Creative Kids: Artist Kindling Letter from MrJayMyers

“Invite us. Interrupt us. Be with us.” That’s some of what our kids said when we asked them what we could tell others about involving and coming alongside their own tribe in the creative life.

We have a solid twenty to thirty minute drive to just about everywhere we go, now that we live in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. This gives us a lot of good space for conversation as a family (when Jay and I feel up to facilitating anyways). But this day our conversation took on a life of its own the entire car ride.

Jay and I asked a few questions and they were all over it. All we had to do was ask more questions and listen, and I took some notes to share with you all while Jay drove. More below…

Jay’s recent sketching out ideas for upcoming Florid Sword Comic, based on The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson.

If you are just catching up with us in this space, my husband Jay is on a bit of a writing hiatus, so in the mean time I am essentially interviewing him (or our kids apparently 😉 ) and together we are sharing our creative journey to serve and inspire fellow creative souls to not give up and to keep our eyes on the right things to help us all persevere.

We believe community is essential to the process and growth that can come from living the creative life, whether that’s how we are raising our families, setting our tables, writing songs, painting, drawing, writing, etc. Individually, Jay is a storyteller/illustrator and I am a writer/photographer. Together, we’re aiming for our best work to be evident in our crew of six, because they are definitely our most important. So, we thought we’d let you hear from them this week:

In all honestly, it felt like they were all saying the same thing over and over in different ways, but it was fun and insightful to listen close to the differences. It was mostly our teens (we have three right now) and pre-teen who chimed in the most. Here’s what they gave us:

  • “TALK, it’s important to ask if we want to spend some time creating together. Even if it appears like an interruption. Kids are sometimes too afraid or stubborn to ask for what they really want.”
  • “BE WITH US, just give us attention, every kid wants it. Kids like to be with and do what their parents are doing more than you know.”
  • “BE PATIENT, results may not be immediate — teens especially can be stubborn, be available. Just choose a table, or couch, any place without devices and screens and just be with us. Bring your sketchbook or project you are working on. Just your being where we can come be with you feels like an invitation.”
  • “KEEP SHOWING UP, put it on your calendar if you need to. We like to know you’re going to keep coming back.”
  • “GIVE US REAL ART TOOLS. Parents give their toddlers imitation power tools, lawn mowers, etc. try giving teenagers some ‘tools’ you like to use to get creative with too. We still like to try to be like you, we’re just less outward about it sometimes. Initiate.”
  • “Help us CONNECT with others in creative ways, it inspires us and gets the creative juices going.”

We hope listening in to the things the kids said spark some ideas inside of you the way it did us. They make it sound pretty easy and simple, right? It felt like the Nike slogan “Just Do It” became the theme of the night. Of course, the doing is another story. We’re a little ways in now, but still in the experimental stages honestly. Our oldest is seventeen and our youngest is six, but we think it’s going to be a story worth writing.

If you have found it challenging to cultivate and come alongside your kids in creative ways, you are not alone. What have you found most challenging and most effective in these goals? We’d love to hear.

Sketch book page this week.

What We’ve Been Reading:

We have been reading through The Chronicles of Narnia out-loud as a family this year. Before you get a cozy picture of all of us sitting peacefully around the fire, we’ll be the first to remind you that life is real at our house too.

We are currently on Prince Caspian, and our six year old is a little less interested than he was when it was all about Poly and Digory, but I have noticed him experimenting with a British accent more often, and [insert my own British accent] we find that brilliant.

The Full Color Collector’s Edition of The Chronicles of Narnia is currently discounted at 46% off from Amazon.


Storyteller:

Here’s an excerpt from a long-term writing project of Jay’s, a compilation of stories called,
Consider the Ravens :


Float

Writing for children must never sink.
Children are filled with wonder.
Wonder floats.
Writing for children
Must ascend to the heights,
To the heights of those who float
Who float and swim in the infinite.

Jay Myers, Consider the Ravens

 


The Goods:

Newest Bigfoot Tee-shirt design is in the shop!  B.F.F. — Bigfoot Forever

Because we know everyone needs a Back-to-School Bigfoot Tee-shirt (parent’s included):

When you click the link above.

  • Choose design you’d like on your tee. Here’s some examples: one, two, or three below. But MANY more options available, including hoodies for Fall.
  • Choose department: men’s, women’s, children’s, accessories (you can even get a beach towel?!)
  • Choose the style of shirt you want, t-shirt, tank, long-sleeve, tri-blend, scoop neck etc.
  • Choose size



Commissions: Closed for now. Thank you to everyone who ordered! We’re hoping to open up some spots again before end of year. 

Follow any of Jay’s social networks, (MrJayMyers: Twitter , FaceBook , Instagram) or subscribe here to know when.

Recent commission of a knitting Bigfoot. Talk about imaginative!

 


So much gratitude for all of your support! From being a part of our community, to sharing these posts, we seriously appreciate you!

Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,

Jay & Raynna

Jay Myers: Curtesy of Raynna Myers

Please share this with anyone else you think may be encouraged by these kind of updates. Thanks!

Other ways to connect (MrJayMyers): Twitter , FaceBook and Instagram.

Check out my free western fairytale webcomic: The Adventures of Tomy and JonOr buy your own copy here.
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