Illustrated shorts and other comforts

A Creative Life, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, creative thinking, fine art, functional art, illustrated shorts, illustration, life of the mind, mental health, Numpurrs, printed books, product design, publications - publishing, published art, small things, story, visual story, visual thinking, words and pictures, writing and illustrating

It’s election time in the U.S. This year is particularly full of hopes and fears. So I’m focusing on comforts as a topic for my art projects. I’m thinking of the importance of the ability to provide self care, self comfort and to comfort others. To feel ones feelings and to continue on without getting stuck in the feelings.

Here’s a book I illustrated some time ago that I’ve continually found helpful in life – and in my creative life.

Dr Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit – illustrated and collected by Sue Clancy

In the Dr Bob book there’s discussion of a self-care technique that I find most relevant to my creative life: keeping a list of things that I enjoy thinking about and, when worrying, to deliberately switch my thoughts to one of the things I enjoy thinking about. I’ve found that it’s helpful if at least one of the enjoyed thought topics on my list has gear. Gear; stuff I can buy, look at, use or touch in the real world.

Anyway here’s some items from my personal list of things I enjoy thinking about (in no particular order): fine art, art techniques, art supplies, reading, books, writing techniques, pens, papers, cooking, cooking techniques, food of all kinds, plants, wild animals, house pets, coffee, tea, mugs, cups, coffee urns, tea pots, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, fabrics, fabric designs, lap blankets….

There are many more items on my list but you get the idea and I got tired of typing.

This strange year, 2020, with its pandemic and, in the U.S., weird political scene, I’ve thought a lot about those topics. As a result I’ve been branching out creatively.

Creating original fine art and one-of-a-kind handmade books for galleries, libraries, public organizations and clients homes and offices has long been my main focus. Well, the pandemic has caused me to adapt my thinking and find ways to put my artwork and books out in the world in ways that people could get them via mail order (or downloads) while at home rather than having to leave home and go to a particular place to see my work.

I still happily work with all of my art galleries and they have adapted to the pandemic as well, delivering and shipping art to clients, doing virtual tours etc. My new work simply augments what work I’ve already been doing with them. For instance people have sought, from my galleries, the original artwork for my books.

Primarily, creating print on demand books and objects has been a way for me to practice my own self care.

Anyway, the result has been the creation of real-life books, fabrics and objects that have been comforting to me as I’ve made them. I’ve been told by other people that they have been comforted by my work too. I have even heard that my work has been given as gifts and the comforts have been spread! I can’t describe adequately how happy that’s made me!

So I’ve been increasingly focused on creating original fine art which leads to creating my artist books on Blurb and also to creating theme related objects on my Zazzle and Spoonflower shops. Then on my portfolio page on my website I’m grouping them together.

For example on my Numpurrs portfolio page you can see images of the original fine art (and the art gallery handling it), my artist book for children titled Numpurrs. Besides info about the printed book there’s a related poster, calendar, jigsaw puzzle and mug. Here below is the Numpurrs mug – wouldn’t it be fun to have Alphabet soup out of this mug?

Numpurrs mug by Sue Clancy

I’ve also created a new page on my website called “illustrated shorts“. The page has short examples of my thinking of fabric, note cards and coffee mugs as gallery wall spaces, so to speak.

For example here are a few of my illustrated short thoughts about love:

This is a page in my sketchbook
This was a redo of my sketchbook page on “good paper”
This is an “odd mug” I created with my design

It’s fun, and comforting, for me to think about self care and to create art, books and objects that could be accessible for other people to use for their own self care or to be given to others. So I’m likely to continue such thoughts during the coming weeks as we all prepare for “non-normal” holidays.

Check in again next Monday? In the meantime, please take care of yourself.

6 thoughts on “Illustrated shorts and other comforts

  1. I love reading about your collections and then seeing the mugs you created. Well done!

    Having recently moved to a smaller hime after 28 years in a huge family home, I had to seriously think about the items I would be keeping. Those items such as teacups, embroidered work, my nonna’s aprons, are just too precious to give away. However, I wonder if any of my children and grandchildren will cherish these items as I do. I doubt it.

    And now I am faced with a huge undertaking…setting up my new art room and figuring out where I will put all my art supplies.

    Honestly, we accumulate so much stuff in a lifetime, don’t we?

    Cheers from Ottawa, Canada.

    1. Cheers to you too from Washington state…(as close to Canada as possible so far…😊)… I hear you!
      9 years ago we downsized and moved over 2000 miles to where we are now in Washington. It is amazing the amount of stuff one accumulates. I too have stuff from people, important to me, that aren’t living now. For example I have a broken clock that belonged to my adopted dad. The clock is beyond repair but I keep it because it’s got his name on it and I have fond memories of it sitting on his desk, I remember looking at and touching the clock as he talked with me. No one else is likely to realize the importance of this broken clock…but to me it is the embodiment of hope and love.

      Re setting up art supplies again…there’s a joy I find in rediscovering old art-supply-friends and deciding where the old friend will be most easily within reach. I wish you joy as you arrange your studio! ❤

    1. Oh thank you!!! I’m delighted to hear you say that about my Zazzle merch!! I will keep it up!!
      And thank you for telling me on Twitter about the comments issue here on my blog!! I’m hoping I’ve fixed it now… but we’ll see.

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!