[BEHIND THE SCENES] What Have I Been Working On?

As I ask myself that question, I freeze. What HAVE I worked on? When I talk about what I worked on, where do I start? Artwork? Stories? What? How far back do I go?

Over the past few years, I honestly haven’t worked on a whole lot. I ended up shutting myself down for numerous reasons, including fear and some type of perfection. You can go read about why I finally stopped letting that get in my way. (I’m pretty sure my life circumstances over the past few years haven’t helped either. If you need a summary of those, go read 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 end-of-year ones to get a REALLY good idea of what’s been going on.)

Artwork

I’ve slowly worked on artwork over the years, but not too much. Most of it is unfinished pieces. You’ll see some of them in the upcoming weeks. I think the biggest thing to note that happened with my artwork is that I tweaked how I do line art.

I talked more about it on “Kelly Sticking Out Her Tongue“. To summarize, I’ve never been a fan of line art and I finally asked myself if I actually liked to do it (no) and if it was actually necessary. I didn’t think it was, so I experimented to confirm it.

Kelly the Dreamer sticking out her tongue
The first picture I experimented sketch line art with.

It worked SUPER well, so going forward, all my artwork done in my Painted Dreams style will use the sketch lines as line art. Since then, artwork has become more enjoyable!

The next thing on my list is to tweak the Painted Dreams style itself into something that’s more enjoyable, faster (I have more fun the faster I go), and better reflects the name. I actually started running some quick experiments, but they were on a piece I quickly doodled. I’m better off doing a more serious piece for what I’m planning on doing. You should start seeing those at a later date.

I’ve done other pieces as well in this style, including:
The Queen’s Magic
Kelly on a Moon
Creator Drawing in the Air
I’m Retreating into the Darkness
Kelly the Winged One Among the Clouds
Releasing Dreams to the Universe
Adalynn in the Fall

Additionally, I have character sheets I’ve been working on that also use my sketch lines as line art.

I’m actually sad I don’t have any more artwork done at the time of writing this (September 4, 2020). I’m excited to start experimenting. I think my artwork is about to get an upgrade.

Perspective Drawing

I’ve started to practice drawing in perspective. I’m learning from a 2-part series by CTRL + PAINT. It was recommended by Reuben Lara (who I learned about through his class on Skillshare (pssst you get 2 free months and I get 1 if you sign up through this link), 4 Secrets to Draw in Perspective Like the Pros) in his Perspective Drawing course.

I’m pretty confident when i draw humanoid figures. I got them down pretty well. Not to say there isn’t room for improvement, because there always is. However, I’m at a point where I want to focus on drawing things I don’t have much experience in. At the moment, this is drawing in perspective.

I’m only three lessons in and something DEFINITELY clicked. I didn’t really quite understand how to use the perspective grid or anything, but I’ve started picking up on it and I’m REALLY happy with the results.

I practiced on some sticky notes:

I also have been practicing in Clip Studio Paint on my iPad Pro:

Perspective drawing is something I’ve been interested in for a while now, since it’ll ultimately help me with drawing backgrounds and more dynamic poses. I really want to get back to drawing comics at some point, but with my current skill level, my backgrounds just look bad. I would also love to make my illustrations more dynamic and interesting. Hence…learning how to draw in perspective.

So that’s been cool.

Writing Stories

I’ve tried to write a few stories over the years, but for reasons I mentioned earlier, I stopped. I hit mental walls and shut down. It wasn’t until VERY recently (and I mean very recently – about two months ago at this point), when I made the decision to rewrite old stories of mine from MIDDLE SCHOOL to start me out with, that I started writing.

I started with summaries. I wrote summaries for two stories completely so far and I’m still writing one summary, which is taking a lot longer than I originally anticipated.

One story so far has the first draft of the story COMPLETELY WRITTEN!!!!!

So, why would I want to start with stuff from middle school?

Well, it gave me a jumping off point.

All three stories were originally meant to be movie scripts. One of them, I think, was even recorded. The other ones, not so much. I think the only script that was finished was the one that was recorded (which, hint, is also the one I wrote the first draft of).

Each script had enough detail to start getting my creative juices flowing. I started thinking about how much better I could write the stories now. I laughed at how my middle school mind wrote some parts of the stories, such as having the main character’s friend faint and when the friend comes to, she shrugs off the fact the main character is missing and leaves to go home.

I also found I stopped holding back. When I originally wrote these stories all the way back in middle school, I wasn’t concerned with what other people were thinking about. I just made them and daydreamed. I was so excited about them! Re-reading them and reworking them really brought me back to that time, which is something I have been looking to get back to. I believe this uninhibited state is important for me actually getting work done.

I’m really happy with the first draft I wrote for my story and I’m looking forward to writing another one. I’ve decided to pivot away from the middle school rewrites and focus on something a bit later. It’s almost October, so I’m itching to write more about characters like Clyde and his friends & acquaintances. I have less walls with them up than I do with other characters/places in my stories (I’m looking at you, Naitmaric and Fairolk), so I’m excited to write about them once more, plus anything else I decide to write.

Summary Writing

It’s been a while since I worked off summaries for my stories. I think the only one I used recently was when I was working on Kelly’s Journey, my Pokémon fanfiction, a few years ago. I have a document with bullet pointed summaries of everything that happens in the episodes.

For the rewrites of the middle school stories, I’ve been using longer summaries. I’m not really sure if they’re all that effective. For my upcoming short stories, I’m probably going to try bullet pointing and seeing how well that does instead.

Sometimes, I really want an outline because I’m scared of writing without one, like I’m going to go off track or lose steam. Other times, I’m afraid of actually using an outline and taking the time to do it for a similar reason. For instance, with my upcoming short stories, I want to skip over even a short outline because I feel like I’m going to be wasting my time.

The thing is, I don’t think it will be a waste of time.

It will let me think about the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story. If I don’t have at least the beginning and the end, my story won’t go anywhere.

I think this comes from an automatic response deep in my subconscious that became convinced at some point I’ll get thrown off or I’ll stay on track, depending on what it is. I don’t know if it was just because I struggled when I was younger and I still think I’ll struggle now, if one of my parents or a friend or other family member said something that made me think this way when I was really little, or something else. Regardless, my mental hesitation isn’t welcome. It’s definitely self-sabotage.

The nice thing is that I’m better equipped to deal with these kinds of responses. I see them, I hear them, and I work on reprogramming them to something more helpful. I often take a moment to speak directly to myself, speaking to inner parts of me, to assure it to do something else, such as “I can write this summary and still work on my story easily”.

Stories When…?

I’ll be posting in April 2021. Before then, I’ll be writing, editing, illustrating, and laying out them. If I can get them up earlier, that would be super cool, but I need to see where I’m going.

All I can say is April 2021 for right now. That’s the only date I’m confident with.

Other Things

I’ve reading The Art of Creative Research by Philip Gerard and The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman. The former is because I was stumped on doing research and it has definitely helped me gain confidence. The latter is a two-part reason: for writing better descriptions on TrainerKelly’s Network & Extended Network sites and to write copy as a side hustle. Yep.

I finally stopped dragging my feet with web development. I realized my mind kept complaining I “already knew all this” for the material because I literally have perfectly good notes and I was just making my work harder for me by retaking the SAME EXACT NOTES all over again, so I’ve been taking the time to type up my notes, just so I can revise them, copy the revision into a new notebook, and then get back to working on course projects. My mind is a lot happier now.

I consider making my website to be a part of my creative endeavors. On top of that, it’s my main platform for TrainerKelly’s Network. I want my skills to level up so I can present and even better website.

Oh, I also want to have building websites to be a side hustle as well.

I’ve also been in the process of getting my art commissions website ready for reopening. When I wrote this ramble, I wrote up all the text content. I just need to code my layout, make all relevant artwork, and I’ll be ready for a full reopening. Yes, I’m reopening commissions! However, it’s a side hustle and it’s not a part of TrainerKelly’s Network – I’m putting it with my Kelly Mulry stuff instead. i.e. It’s a part of my extended network, but not my main network (TrainerKelly’s Network).

I’ve been working through some really cool business courses recently and they’ve been insightful. My favourite one is probably The Daily Shift by Scott Oldford and Libby Crowe. If you don’t mind practical wisdom, non-denominational spirituality, psychology, and personal reflection all rolled into one in bite-sized videos and have $197.00 to spare (or, should I say, to invest in yourself), I 100% recommend it. I’m still working down the list since I bought all the courses in a bundle.

I think that is pretty much it at the moment for my behind the scenes.

Okay, I guess that’s not the only things, but I think that’s the most relevant for the moment.