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The Power of Suggestion, Rules, Parameters, and the Glob Like Layers of Learning or Why Telling Me What to Do is Now a Thing You Get to Do (for a price)

When you think about creativity, as an abstract thing, I always used to think it was something akin to absolute freedom. The freer one was, the more creative one could be.

As I have aged and grown as a person and as an artist, I’ve found that creativity is often enhanced by limitations. Limiting your art creates barriers that need to be overcome, thus making it possible and even non-negotiable to learn new skills and achieve higher levels of creativity. Parameters make you look at smaller and smaller things. The more you give attention to small things, the better you are paying attention, and the better your art becomes.

I also used to think of learning as a steady process, sort of like climbing a mountain, step by step. But, again, with some age and experience, I have found that learning is more like painfully walking up a mountainside, slipping down a little, and then, suddenly, flying up a thousand feet, with no real explanation of why. And then, when you expect to fly up the next mountain, when you think it will be easy, you suddenly forget how to fly, and you are stepping tiny steps and sliding again-  but after a while of climbing, you realize this mountain started at 10,000 feet, where as the last mountain started at 7,000 feet. You didn’t perceive the altitude change. You were so into the climb. So, really, you’re actually doing quite well.

Without any suggestions or instructions from other people, without any audience input, so to speak, I think I would spend a lot of time walking around the base of the mountain, growing not at all as an artist or as a person. No art happens in a vacuum. It is my whole life and your whole life, it is everything around us, everything contributes. Creativity is a compilation of all things. But it needs parameters. It thrives on rules.

You might know already (or you might not know) that you can subscribe to receive two copies of each new book I put out for $25 a month at Patreon. If you already buy all of my books, it is a genuinely good deal. It is also a genuinely good deal for me, because it is a subscription service, and it gives me a steady income. I LOVE my Patreon patrons. And now, because I want to give Patreon members something more, and because I realize the value of your input and suggestions, I am offering yet another benefit to my Patreon subscribers. If you subscribe to my Patreon now, you can tell me what book to make!

I mean, a whole book. Not just a drawing. Tell me what the topic of my next book will be, and I will make it.

And so, as of today, the description of the $25 a month “Love to Color” level at my Patreon says,

“Get two copies of each book book mailed to you the second it comes out! When you start this subscription, you immediately get two copies of the most recent book. Applies to all books by Shoshanah Marohn or published under my new pen name, Shana Lee. (Due to the prohibitive cost of international postage, this reward is for U.S. residents only.)

You will also also receive a monthly, colorable pen and ink postcard note from me.

THIS JUST IN: Sign up now, before December 21, 2017, and you can (seriously this is crazy but I just decided to do this) decide what my next book will be about. Not just a drawing, a whole book!

Limitations:

1. It has to be legal.

2. No copyright infringements.

3. It has to be nothing to which I am morally opposed. (example: Swear word coloring books. I am morally opposed to them on the grounds that they are bad art.)

4. It must be fewer than fifty pages. (Not counting blank pages, of course.)

5. The book will go into my cue in the order it was received. The order I create the books will be the order in which I received your Patreon memberships. (Look at how many people are subscribed to this, that is the number of books before yours.)

Email me shoshanah@mhtc.net if you have questions.”

 

If you would like to tell me what to do, and thus exponentially benefit my art and make everyone who colors and reads my books happy, please click here. 

If you don’t want to do that, well, why not?

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Six Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About the Trolls of Mount Horeb

My next big project is a coloring book, “The Trolls of Mount Horeb.” The Mount Horeb Historical Society contacted me, saying that they would like an original coloring book to sell in their new Driftless Museum (or is it the Driftless Historium?) opening this June. (HOW COOL IS THAT?????) Since Mount Horeb is now billing itself as “The Troll Capital of the World,” it seemed fitting to make a coloring book of all of the trolls here.

In case you have never been to Mount Horeb, let me just explain for a moment: All over town, there are these statues, mostly of wood. They tend to be two to ten feet high, and they are all of these creatures, these trolls, doing different things. They’re really cute. You can take a selfie with them. It’s fun. (Read about the history of the trolls here.) They were created by a few different artists. I’ve been calling all of those artists and getting their permission to draw their work for the coloring book, and to learn a little bit about their work. Today, I called Bob Younger, creator of the troll at Culver’s, the troll at Village Smile Care, and the troll at Farmers Savings Bank, all in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

Bob Younger is such a wealth of information! Let me just list some of the things I learned about trolls from Bob Younger:

  1. The type of trolls we have sculptures of in Mount Horeb are called, “Land Trolls.”farmers bank troll
  2. Land Trolls are independently wealthy. They just work and interact with us to keep busy. This troll looks a little bit like he’s robbing the bank, but actually he just has all of that money, himself. He would have no reason at all to steal money.
  3. Land Trolls are the most social of all trolls. The Bridge Trolls are second most social, and the Underground Trolls are the least social of all.
  4. Land Trolls are also the largest of the three types of trolls, unless you count the Bridge Trolls living under large bridges- because a Bridge Trolls’ size depends on the size of the bridge he lives under, of course. Bridge Trolls can actually be quite massive.Toothbrush Troll
  5. This troll takes care of the teeth of all mystical beasts and creatures. The toothbrush he is holding is for a small dragon. Of all of the mystical creatures, he has the most trouble taking care of the fairies, because he has a hard time getting his big hands to fit in their tiny little mouths. Culver's Troll
  6. Trolls like butter burgers and frozen custard. This troll was stopping by for a snack, just like you or I would.

Well, I hope you’ve learned a lot! I know I have. All of these trolls pictured today are by Bob Younger. He is still a working artist, making wooden sculptures of all sorts of things. Click on his name to see more of his awesome creations!

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Crazy Hanahshosh’s 7-Hour Giveaway!!!!

Crazy Hanahshosh here, back with my crazy giveaways! I told Shoshanah that the Flaming Lips were playing a women’s march in Chicago, which (with driving time, parking, figuring out it’s not true, and driving back) gives me approximately seven hours to give away all of her books! For the next seven hours, you can enter to WIN ALL OF SHOSHANAH’S BOOKS! And download the Kindle app, ladies and gentlemen, because I’ve hacked Amazon and the ebooks are free! Because I’m Crazy Hanahshosh, and that’s how I roll! (After all, I sleep with a tiger.) We’ve got three types of books, all of them illustrated by Shoshanah Marohn, some written by her, too!

1.Crazy Travel Novels

Free Kindle Edition today only of Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen here, and Exhaust(ed) here. Enter below for free signed paper books!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends January 27, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Exhaust(ed) by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Exhaust(ed)

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends January 27, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

2.Coloring Books:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Tufa Coloring Book by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

The Tufa Coloring Book

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends January 27, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

3.Children’s Books:

Free Kindle download of A Murder of Crows and Other Woes here, and Murgatroyd Buttercups (written by Yosha Bourgea) here. Enter to win paper copies below!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Murgatroyd Buttercups by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Murgatroyd Buttercups

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends January 27, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Murder of Crows and Other Woes by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

A Murder of Crows and Other Woes

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends January 27, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Get all of the downloads and enter all of the contests, before she comes back from Chicago!

To quote a famous twitter bot, “There is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger.”

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Crazy Hanahshosh is Giving Away All of Shoshanah’s Books for Free!

Shoshanah is gone, and I’m her alter ego, CRAZY HANAHSHOSH! AND I’M GIVING AWAY ALL OF HER BOOKS FOR FREE! THAT’S RIGHT, ANY BOOK SHOSHANAH WROTE OR ILLUSTRATED, I’M GIVING THEM AWAY TODAY ON GOODREADS! Enter today, because tomorrow, SHOSHANAH comes home, and the game’s up! 

WE’VE GOT YOUR CHILDREN’S BOOKS,

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Murgatroyd Buttercups by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Murgatroyd Buttercups

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Murder of Crows and Other Woes by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

A Murder of Crows and Other Woes

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

YOUR COLORING BOOKS,

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Tufa Coloring Book by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

The Tufa Coloring Book

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Birds in Beards Coloring Book by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Birds in Beards Coloring Book

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Coloring Inside the Dreams by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Coloring Inside the Dreams

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

AND YOUR ILLUSTRATED TRAVEL STORIES!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Exhaust(ed) by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Exhaust(ed)

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

 

THAT’S RIGHT, I’M GIVING THEM AWAY, AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME! OFFER ENDS TONIGHT!

 

CRAZILY YOURS,

HANAHSHOSH CRAZY-McCRAZY

 

P.S. Also, I’m sleeping with a TIGER AS A PILLOW TONIGHT, because that’s just how I roll.