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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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New Take on the Mad Hatter

Jill won the contest. 

“What’s your favorite animal?” I asked Jill.

“I am obsessed with Alice in Wonderland, so maybe a Chesire cat, or white rabbit, would be very cool.”

I drew Jill as the Mad Hatter: 


If you want to win a contest and have your portrait drawn, please join my coloring group, Artsy Fartsy Coloring with Shoshanah Marohn. 
Update: she colored it and it’s so cool! 

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The Flamingos, They Will KILL You!

THEY WILL KILL YOUWhen I started my new coloring group, “Artsy Fartsy Coloring with Shoshanah Marohn,” I kicked it off with a contest. The prize was to have your portrait drawn in a line-drawing style that you could color. Well, Marilyn won, and she requested that I draw her with a flamingo. There’s a story behind the request. In Marilyn’s own words,

“Knowing how much I love her Artwork, I asked if It would be possible, to add a Flamingo to the portrait, and here’s why….
I’m the mother of two grown, adult Sons. My eldest, once put me in a really funny situation while visiting our local Zoo. He was about 4 at the time. We were touring the Zoo, with some friends, and when we reached the Flamingo exhibit, my son lost his mind!! It was BANANAS!! My 4 yr old was running around shoo-ing people away from the area, yelling, “Go! GO! RUN!!” and he was actually clearing the crowd! When I finally scooped him up, and got him calm, I asked him,
“What in the world is going on, Ty!!?
He looked at me, complete seriousness all over his little face, and said,
“Those will KILL you, Mommy! They look pretty, so pretty, but they are NOT safe!!”
It was one of the funniest moments…but he was sincerely freaked out. Over the years, the story was told again and again, and he would laugh. It became ” a thing” for me to warn him away from certain things, by saying, “Those will KILL you!” Or “They are NOT safe.” It made us both smile. I still send him something Flamingo re-lated every once in awhile, lol.
Shoshanah incorporated this funny memory for me, in my awesome prize!”

 

I’m now considering creating a whole coloring book: portraits of colorists with wacky animals, and I’ll call it, “THOSE WILL KILL YOU!” just so I can use this picture as the cover. It has great potential.

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Win A Portrait of Yourself!

I’ve started a Facebook group now, “Artsy Fartsy Coloring with Shoshanah Marohn.” In order to really start it off right, I’m doing a contest!

CONTEST: Let’s kick off this new group with a contest! Win a free colorable (pen and ink) PORTRAIT OF YOURSELF, done by me, Shoshanah Marohn!

To Enter:

  1. Join the Facebook group Artsy Fartsy Coloring with Shoshanah Marohn.
  2. Post a picture you colored from a book by Shoshanah Marohn onto the “Artsy Fartsy Coloring with Shoshanah Marohn” group page. (Or, if your book is still in the mail, you can’t find your book, you can’t afford a book: color this picture and post.)Chris Wagoner

When: Post the picture by noon on March 2nd, 2017.

Why: Because it’s fun, silly.

How to increase your odds: Post more than one picture! Every picture is an entry. Colored pictures on this page make me happy.

Share this wherever you like.

Winner will be drawn at random.

Let the games begin…

 

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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.

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Enter Before Midnight to Win All of my Coloring Books!

birds-in-beards-makes-frog-applaus-comic-strip

Goodreads has contests out to give away one copy of all of my coloring books. Deadline: Midnight, November 16, 2016. (That’s today!)

 

First, enter to win the haunting drawings and haiku poetry of Coloring Inside the Dreams:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Coloring Inside the Dreams by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Coloring Inside the Dreams

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends November 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Then, enter to win the silliest thing you’ve ever experienced:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Birds in Beards Coloring Book by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Birds in Beards Coloring Book

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends November 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

And finally, sign up to win a fantasy trip to Cloud County, where fairies make magical music:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Tufa Coloring Book by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

The Tufa Coloring Book

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends November 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Good luck!

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Win a Free Signed Copy of “Exhaust(ed): The 99% true story of a bus trip gone wrong.”

It’s like the Love Boat, only sleazier. Our eighteen-year-old heroine (me, Shoshanah, years and years ago) travels across the United States by Greyhound bus, with only her Grace Kelly coat and her Elements of Style book to protect her. Original art work (by me, again) adds to this eccentric tale of travel on the cheap in 1993. Both terrifying and hilarious, this ill-conceived road trip is doomed from the start. It’s funny because it’s 99% true.

Enter the giveaway at Goodreads:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Exhaust(ed) by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Exhaust(ed)

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends November 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway