You can run, but you can’t hide from the men with beards! They are everywhere you would normally see birds. Are you going crazy? Or are you just coloring the latest Birds in Beards Coloring Book by Shoshanah Marohn? Probably both.
Are weird beards queer?
It’s time for another Birds in Beards Coloring Book! Weird Beards: Beards as Birds shows you what happens when every bird you see in your daily life turns into a bearded man. Kinda creepy, kinda pretty, always fun, this book was the brainchild of Patreon member Marilyn Reading. Thank you, Marilyn, for your wonderful ideas!
As you may or may not know, if you subscribe to my Patreon at the $25/ month level, you have the opportunity to contribute your ideas as to which book I should create next. So far, the ideas from the first three patrons have been extraordinary! The first, by patron Professor Batty, was Postcards from Joshua Tree, a book I would never have even considered writing. The second patron was Marilyn, who came up with every drawing in this new book, Weird Beards: Beards as Birds. She really has some crazy ideas! You should look! And the third patron, Heather, suggested the next book, which has yet to be written, but it will involve the inner emotional workings of Krampus, that famous Christmas Anti-Santa. I can’t wait to get started on it.
Do you have ideas that have lingered? Sign up for the Patreon. It’s a good thing.
Not ready to commit? Buy the new book! It’s only $6.38.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU,
These words brought to you by Patreon members like you.
How doth the busy bee
Improve the shining hours
By making honey sweet and good
From all the pretty flowers.
How doth this lazy I,
Improve (?) the shining hours
By drawing things
And painting things
With my nimrodic powers.”
Poem by Wanda Gág
I, too, revel in my nimrodic powers of “drawing things and painting things,” just like Wanda Gág. Yesterday, I named an online store after this poem. It’s called, of course, “Nimrodic Powers,” and it is an on line shop where you can purchase clothing and bags and magnets and what have yous with my famous art printed on it. I’ve been thinking I should “wait until it’s done” to share this shop with you, but then it became apparent that it will never be done. Or, maybe it is done. It’s a thing that I will keep adding drawings to as the mood strikes me, which could mean “I will add more art to this store every day for the rest of my life,” or it could mean, “it is done. I am never adding any more pictures again.”
Shout out to Christina McMullen for introducing me to the concept of a Zazzle Store. Christina writes good books and I follow her on Twitter. She also makes silly drawings. I egg her on. Then, she announced her Zazzle store, and I bought a few things and discovered them to be, actually, high quality and beautiful. So I decided to make my own Zazzle store.
Speaking of Twitter, McMullen is one of the few people with whom I truly interact on that forum. I used to subscribe to the idea that, the more Twitter followers I had, the more books I would sell. That has not proven to be the case. In fact, there was one instance when I shared a quote from Exhaust(ed), and immediately got a book of mine returned to Amazon. (I didn’t know you could return books to Amazon! Don’t return mine, now, please!) So, you could say that I proved that sharing my work on Twitter actually has a negative impact. Now, I’ve got thousands of Twitter followers, most of whom I “follow” back, and I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I think we’re all just out to promote ourselves. Everyone is shouting and no one is listening. It’s just a creepy mess.
So, I’m done with that. I’m deleting my Twitter account in one month. However, I still enjoy interacting with a few key people (Christina McMullen, Alex Bledsoe, Professor Batty, my dad… and a few more) and I do like to follow a few famous people, so I have started a new account. I’m keeping it small. I’m not following back, unless I know you. So, if I know you, or if you want to follow me and you don’t care that I probably won’t follow you back, my new Twitter account is @MyNimrodicPower I will still promote my books and art a little bit, because that’s just what I do, but I’ll try to be a bit more chill about it.
There is a book to promote right now, actually. Postcards from Joshua Tree comes out next Thursday, September 27. Do you remember when I said that if you joined my Patreon, you could tell me what my next book would be about? No? Well, that happened. And Professor Batty joined at the $25 / month level, and told me to write a book called, “Postcards from Joshua Tree,” about my times in Joshua Tree. So, hey! I did! I also enlisted the help of my many minions at Artsy Fartsy Coloring AND Colouring to color in some postcards for me. So, we technically had over twenty people working on this book, plus the idea came from Professor Batty. I think the end result is really beautiful, if I do say so myself. It’s a book of postcard-length vignettes, each one accompanied by a picture of Joshua Tree or the surrounding area, drawn by me and colored by a volunteer colorist from the coloring group. Then, at the end of the story, in the back of the book is all of the drawings, uncolored. So it’s a coloring book, too! (The kindle version does not include the coloring book, because you can’t color your kindle. Sadly.)
The offer is still on. If you join my Patreon at the $25 / month level, you get to tell me what my next book will be. Also, you get two copies of every book, when they come out. (Due to the high cost of printing color art books, I think one copy of Postcards from Joshua Tree will cost $25, so if you join this month, you get a two for one deal.) Also, on the months when I don’t produce a new book, you get a small original work of art in the mail. Also, you get eternal life. “But Shoshanah,” you say, “That’s so sad! I mean, if I had eternal life, everyone I know now would die, and I would continue living, forever!” And that’s why you should have everyone you know and love also join my Patreon at the $25 / month level so that you can all “live forever!”
Love, sin, and time,
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!
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 email@example.com 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?
Join the Artsy Fartsy Coloring AND Colouring group here.
My coloring book fans are goofy! I guess that isn’t surprising. In the Artsy Fartsy Coloring with Shoshanah Marohn group on Facebook, I’m running a contest where the prize is that you get to tell me what to draw! Tina won (there can be more than one winner) and she wanted me to draw a T-Rex in high heels, running from a lady with a flare. (She thought it was stupid how the lady in Jurassic World ran, like, forty miles in high heels, so she wanted me to balance the scales a little.)
Join the group if you like. I recommend it. You can be a lurker, or a full on coloring artist. I appreciate everyone.
from Birds in Beards 2: Dead Poets Edition
Thoreau is kind of a cheat. He wasn’t a poet. I just thought, what a weird beard!
“This is the only bird whose note affects me like music. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It changes all hours to an eternal morning.”
-Henry David Thoreau, June 1853, writing about a Wood Thrush
According to my friend Rui Afonso: XVI century… self exiled in military in North Africa due to an unrequited love. Lost his eye but lived to write the Epic poem that tells the story of the Portuguese Discoveries.
Poems don’t translate well, but here is a poem of his in Portuguese (Don’t speak Portuguese? Learn it!):
As Alcióneas aves triste canto
Junto da costa brava levantaram,
Lembrando-se do seu passado pranto,
Que as furiosas águas lhe causaram.
Os delfins namorados entretanto
Lá nas covas marítimas entraram,
Fugindo à tempestade e ventos duros,
Que nem no fundo os deixa estar seguros.
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
It’s a little bit different from the first Birds in Beards, mainly in that the poetry is a lot better. I used all of the best old timey poets in the public domain, so they are high quality.
If you are in my Artsy Fartsy Coloring Group on Facebook, you have already seen these previews. Also, you are amazing. Everyone in that group is amazing in one way or another. 🙂
Incidentally, this has nothing to do with that, but I’m writing this outside on my tablet in the heat with these sheep, waiting for the vet to come. He is an hour and twenty minutes late! It’s hot. They were penned up in the sun, but I thought it was too hot and I leashed them and put them under a tree with me. They are panting, nonstop. One just wiped her nose on my leg. We have to get their health clearance papers to take them to the fair.