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[sticky post] Who is the nut behind the wheel?

Ellen Million: Artist, Writer, Project Enabler, Creative Force of Nature. And, Mom.


Currently in crowdfunding: Sketch Tarot! - Sponsor a card or pre-order a deck at a steep discount today!
Coloring Books - Highly detailed coloring books for grown-ups. (By many artists!)
Sketch Fest - a monthly prompted 48-hour creative jam for artists around the world.
Portrait Adoption - adopt a pre-finished character portrait that will be exclusively yours! (By many artists!)
Ellen's Escape - my personal webpage and an archive of pretty much my entire artistic journey.
Torn World - a shared science-fantasy world.
Etsy - digital stamps (digi stamps) and coloring books.
Patreon - support Ellen and get monthly surprise goodies!

Other links of possible interest:

2015 goals
2014 goals review
Chopping Block of 2010 - an interesting snapshot at all of my projects of that time, including several that did not survive the cull.

Ellen elsewhere:

Ellen Million Graphics at Facebook
Ellen Million, Artistrix at Facebook
Sketch Fest at Facebook
Torn World at Facebook
Ellen Million at Facebook - mostly a feed of this journal.
@ellenmillion at Twitter - almost entirely a feed of this journal. (Has been hijacked by hackers. See my business twitter: @ellen_million)
@torn_world at Twitter - updates for Torn World
ellenmillion at Deviantart - very, very rarely updated
Elfwood gallery - oldest gallery of my work (aside from my personal site, above).

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Today, we got SNOW.

It was a stay at home day, which was nice because everyone always forgets how to drive the first day of snow, and Guppy wasn't feeling very good, but had a quiet day to recover. We had a crackling fire and I did some laundry and we made a Halloween wreatch from a craft kit. We watched Incredibles, and I snuck in an episode of the Flash while she was napping. I did a lot of artwork that I feel tremendously good about today, and wrote a hard email that I feel was appreciated and also programmed a fab new toy to play with at Portrait Adoption:


The idea occurred to me a few days ago, while I was noodling around with things, and it turned out to be relatively simple to write up. I would still like to make a button to share it on social media, and possibly also save your results, but I'm not quite sure how to make that happen. I have a few ideas I could poke at if it's something people decide they want.

THere's also a new sampler page up at EMG, for the Wild Teas of Alaska: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/coloringbook.php?id=75

Guppy was feeling enough better at the end of the day to walk up the driveway with me. She was all smiles and glee until I wanted to take her photo, of course.

Looking ahead! I have a few things on the calendar to share with you!

Nov 5-6 I will be at the UWA holiday bazaar, sharing a table with laylalawlor. I will have painted ornaments and any coloring books that I personally am in.

Nov 11-12 I will be at PopCon at UAF. As time allows, I will be doing on-the-spot commissions of ornaments and sketches.

Nov 18-20 is Sketch Fest #81!

I'm also ruminating something fun and Sketch Fest related for Black Friday...

Wednesdaily with ugh.

I'm feeling rather discouraged about my artwork lately. Partly it's my usual 'don't have tiiiiiime to do everything I waaaaaaant,' and partly it's a few unrelated little ego-pops (not getting into projects I thought I was a good fit for, throwing a 40% off sale at my Etsy store last month and getting NO takers). Nothing entirely critical by itself, but sales have been dismal across the board. October is usually my best month, and this one has been absolutely DIRE for me. I am trying not to take it personally or let it slow me down.

Finished #inktober #12 yesterday, but haven't scanned it yet! Wrote some words this morning and think the not-a-book is going to be at least two scenes longer than I thought. Which means six scenes left to write. May have to start getting up early to write again. That was a good way to get words written. It's just haaaaaard to get up, especially now that it's so depressingly dark in the early morning.

Have to make a list, because I'm not going to get through it if I don't make myself accountable:

~Finish laundry (1 load in dryer, 1 in washer)
~wash dishes (left in a hurry this morning and didn't get them done)
~straw on trees, flowerbed, in doghouse (snow coming!)
~cover firewood (snow coming!)

~make a fire (do this first)
~project art - one new sketch, finish one sketch
~start soup? (Confer with husband on soup plan)
~Halloween wreath and monsters with Guppy.
~Unload car and repark
~Newsletter - Brains sale, new sampler, next Sketch Fest!

Note to self: binge-watch Flash is NOT one of these items. Do not get off track. No matter how tempting. Also, I dangerously noticed that Dark Matter has new episodes. And Arrow. And I haven't seen Luke Cage yet. NO BINGE-WATCHING, ELLEN.

Have another shot of Guppy from our walk a few days ago:

Okay, fire first, because fire makes warm makes happy makes work seem more fun.

Mondaily and a little Tuesdaily...

Parent aide day, and I survived! I had to nap on the couch during quiet time afterwards, and it was brutally cold and windy during playground time, but I survived! As usual, my dread of it did not survive the actual day, and it's not a real hardship to build giant towers out of tinker toys and sing silly songs and eat half of my daughter's snack because otherwise I'd starve to death on the spot.

No #inktobers attained today, nor any words. Trying not to think too hard about HOW FAST October is slipping past. I DID get seven sketches dashed out for Sketch Fest over the weekend: https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestartist.php?id=9&date=80

My favorite:

This will be a coloring book page in my next Coloring Alaska book. You can pre-buy the original at a great price at the Sketch Fest site: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=20072

I stayed up late last night for the first time in a Looooooong time and watched Space Pirate Harlock with Jake, which was great fun. Terrible dubbing, but amazing aesthetics. I recommend it.

Woops, I just sneezed and woke Guppy up, so it must be time to make breakfast...

I got Wild Teas of Alaska up on Amazon this morning, so that was something.

Guppy and pants.

Me: Guppy, do you want to go to [event redacted] tonight?

Guppy: No. I don't want to put on pants.

Me: ... You could wear a dress?

Guppy: Oh! Sure! That sounds great! I'll wear tall socks! It will be fun!


Sketch Fest is TODAY! I am hoping to work on some #Inktobers.

I've gotten some words on my not-a-book, and it's crawling towards the finale. I hate it completely right now, but am hopeful that will lift once I've actually written 'the end' and gone back and read it. I have dim (DIM) hopes of doing a modified NaNoWriMo this year (for something shorter, more like 30k), but this has to be finished first.

Guppy must be going through a growth spurt. She is in a total 'no' state of mind and testing ALL her boundaries, and had to be pried off, weeping, with a shoehorn this morning at preschool. Guh. It just wrecks me to leave her so traumatically. Even though I KNOW she's going to have a great time and have so much fun.

From our walk yesterday evening.

It is chilly, but not as cold as you'd expect for mid-October. My oregano is growing like crazy, and my strawberries, after a DISMAL summer, now have dozens of blossoms and green berries all over them. Poor, confused strawberries.

Writing now, then insurance stuff (because adulting is necessary) and the post office and then grocery shopping with the Guppy.

Thursdaily with #inktobers!

I got some scanning time.

Patreon patrons get first dibs on the pieces they sponsor, and half price on any of these - with free shipping! The upper left hand one available! As is the crystal dragon from the last batch I posted (his name is Geo)!

Not much other time, though, so I'm off to update Patreon and try to get some words written and some art arted in my remaining few moments of kid-free quiet time.
A little more progress on my project I can't share, and I've finished eight #inktobers (though I still haven't spent any quality time with my scanner...).

Added about a thousand words to my not-a-book today, and spackled all the holes and outlined the last four scenes. Then I polished up my summary and tweaked the cover a bit. The finishline is in sight!

Guppy is starting to be interested in having friends, and today attached herself to one of the little boys at the preschool to run an ice cream stand. When others wished to be involved, she announced that "This is a PRIVATE establishment!"

But she was still willing to sell them ice cream, because she's apparently a little capitalist.

This is a photo where she is wearing her 'winter fashion scarf,' which was what she chose to take to preschool for show and tell.

(I have no idea why LJ is showing me this image roatated - if you open it in a new tab it looks correct!)

Fridaily with #inktober progress

I'm working on a rather large art project that I can't share, but I'm so tickled with how it's coming along. I've made big progress this week, and the client is really happy about it. My writing is at a crawl, but progressing - the not-a-book has just topped 26k, and I may have finally worked out the sticky plot mire I was stuck in for the last few weeks. The last quarter of the book is going to need some heavy editing, but I think I've got a solution for all the problems I didn't like. Now, I just have to write the last 5 or 6k words that will wrap it up, and get it off my desk already. 600ish words today so far.

I continue with #inktober, and have gotten six finished, though only the first two are scanned yet. Last night I broke out the dip pen I got in the Artsnacks box Jake surprised me with. I haven't used a dip pen in a really, really long time, so I'm rusty, but I loved it.

Things to do now! Off to do them!

Mondaily, back home! #inktober begun...

I spent the weekend at SenshiCon, which was a delightful feast for the senses. Sales were modest on Saturday and modestly dire on Sunday, which would have been fine if I'd lived in Anchorage. I paid for my table easily, and about half my hotel stay (yay for airline miles!). I would love to go back, but it will have to be bundled with something else if I do. I did have time to do my first two #inktober pieces, and I also painted a number of ornaments. I also gave out all of my business cards, so hopefully some of that will come back around, too...

Here are the first two #inktobers:
(Both originals are on hold for the Patreon patrons who sponsored them)

Photos of the ornaments will wait until later in the week when I have them in hand again. (They are driving back with laylalawlor, while I flew.)

A pile of rough sketches are off to a client this afternoon, and a Guppy (who is very happy to have me back) is eating my hardwon Cinnabon. A fire is crackling in the woodstove, and the familiar strains of Megamind are keeping me company while I start a dish of potatoes au gratin...

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October 2016



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