Take the Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Change Your World
Deadlines Still Eating Me... Slightly More Tolerable.
Deadlines have come and gone, and I have been shipping off manuscripts like craaaaaaazy. I've got a handful of projects to send before heading up to Minneapolis, MN for CONVergence, and a brand new Kickstarter I'll be telling you about soon! Plus... MORE D&D, stories, and a few other fun bits.
It feels really good to be back in the swing of things, and I'm hoping my summer cons won't impact my schedule too much. I've got four conventions, one seminar, plus a trip to RenFaire that I'm scheduling and spring cleaning from... Uh... Last year. The struggle is real, as is the hustle. And right now, I need to keep grooving so I have a body left to finish up some languishing projects I want to do for me. Working on it!
Hope you're all doing well!
In the 07/06/2017 edition:
By Monica Valentinelli on Jul 03, 2017 05:31 pm
As announced on Twitter and Facebook, July’s Make Art Not War theme is MOVEMENT. The idea behind this month’s theme is moving forward at your own pace. I’ve had this on my mind, because I’ve had some personal goals in addition to the professional milestones I want to achieve. Sometimes, we want to get to that finish line and forget that going a million miles an hour is not “the” way to achieve success. Speed, or producing art quickly, can be “a” method, but it’s not the only one. Your path, your rules! But… Sometimes you need a gentle nudge in the right direction. That’s what this month is all about!
Creative Prompt: Mapping Your Artistic Journey
If you’ve been following my Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge from the beginning, you know that I’m a big fan of visualizations. I think they can be a very powerful tool to help you see, in your mind’s eye, where you are headed. To figure out your next destination, sometimes it’s helpful to know where you’ve been. This creative prompt is designed to illustrate your artistic path in a fun and tangible way, by making a map.
Here’s an example of how this prompt works, if you decide to create an aerial (or bird’s eye) view. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
1.) Grab a large sheet of paper. Then, create a grid of squares; you should be able to draw in each one. Each square represents an increment of time (six months, a year, etc.).
2.) Mark your starting point by drawing something memorable; it could be a statue, dragon, rainbow, etc. This point is the date, year, or phase in your life when you began to make art. If you desire, you might further customize your illustration by focusing on when you began to submit your art for consideration or when you started to sell it.
3.) Using the units of time you’ve assigned, mark your milestones and achievements. These are the memorable moments, good and bad, that you’ve experienced as an artist. You could apply a fantastical bestiary motif to your memories, or illustrate characters.
4.) Then, from there, start drawing the path and filling in details. Flat ground, bright green foliage, and flowers are great for productive periods and easy paths, while thorns, rocks, and mud illustrate darker moments along the way.
When you’re done mapping the route, you can add finishing touches like the addition of punny country and landmark names. Rivers, streams, and mountains can also be used to reflect changes that happened outside of your control. Trolls might literally be trolls, while bridges could reflect those times when you had a helping hand.
If drawing doesn’t work for you, here are some variations on this theme:
Write a story about your path in the genre of your choice.
Make your path with Legos or building blocks.
Record your memoirs, in the guise of a fictional narrator.
The point of this exercise is not necessarily reflection; that trip down memory lane will happen naturally as you draw. By creating a map of your artistic path, you possess those memories and take control of all that’s happened. This becomes a picture of what you’ve been through, versus what you’ve accomplished.
Your path is something to be proud of, and this exercise also shows how unique your journey is as well. By getting increasingly personal, your visualized path may provide a new sense of direction so you can move forward (or backwards, if needed) at your own pace.
P.S. Some check-ins this month and personal accounts will be delayed due to travel. I’ve got quite a few trips this summer, so bear with me!
Mood: air conditioned brains
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I CONFESS NOTHING!
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Hunting Pokemon
In My Ears: coffee shop white noise
Game Last Played: Pokémon Go
Book Last Read: Epic Fantasy anthology
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: The Originals Season 4
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.
By Monica Valentinelli on Jul 01, 2017 05:35 pm
One of the interesting things about worldbuilding, is all the wonderful artifacts and in-universe bits that you can create. While it’s not, and shouldn’t be a substitution for getting your story, comic, or game over the finish line, I find that interstitial fiction is a lovely way to flesh out the setting and think more deeply about characterization. A menu, for example, can identify holes in your world because it requires you to think about which ingredients are in your recipes, where they’re available to buy/grow, and how that food is processed. That covers a lot of interesting aspects of a setting!
I really enjoy creating interstitial fiction, because as a writer creating those artifacts are not only fun, they speak to what I love about the possibility of story. Often, that includes writing art notes to breathe life into how that bit is laid out. Mortal Remains, which is a supplement for Hunter: the Vigil first edition, is an example of my work in this area. I thought I’d share a couple of pages so you can see what the final result turned out to be! Due to the size of the images, I am presenting them in a reduced size. You can click on an image to see a bigger version.
MANW Check-In Week 26: YES, ARTISTS PERSIST!
An Immeasurable Loss of a Gaming Giant
My Schedule for CONvergence 2017!
A Moment of Love for The Originals
Alternate Rules for Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge