Human DOING.

Posted on Updated on

This quarantine time has made me see I am way better at being a human DOING, rather than a human BEING. I like to be busy. I don’t like to be still and feel hard things. It’s ugh, and uncomfortable. But this time is teaching me that’s exactly what I need to do.

Slow down.

Breathe.

Feel it. Stay with it. See what it can teach you.

This illustration came to me when I jogged passed one of my fav trees this week. Man, it felt good to dig out my pencils & ink pens and lose myself on paper. (Drawing on toothy watercolour paper is also really satisfying. My Moleskine sketchbook was full so I had to – happy accident.)

Hope everyone remembers to slow down! Love to you all.

TreeTrunk

TreeTrunkCU1

TreeTrunkCU2

Blippi’d

Posted on

My son Hudson is OBSESSED with Blippi. Can all the Mamas & Papas raise your hand if you have a toddler who is requesting to watch Blippi AD NAUSEAM?! (Send wine and headphones.)

My only appropriate response to this is to draw him in his glory wearing Blippi’s garb. Even when he asks for his children’s vitamin (which are Frozen-shaped because he has a very opinionated older sister), he pulls out ANY shape and yells, “BLIPPI ONE!”

Gosh, I love 2-year-olds.

HudsonBlippi

Side note…. I wonder if Blippi has any kids books out there and needs an illustrator…..

(LGBTQ) Marriage is hard.

Posted on Updated on

Today, Tams and I have been married 9 years. Together 17.

(LGBTQ) Marriage is hard.

(LGBTQ) Marriage with toddlers is harder.

(LGBTQ) Marriage with toddlers in an uncertain quarantine is harderER.

E89D29EB-CF62-47ED-843F-9F7FD4961A79

This photo is one of our happiest moments from 2009. Standing in the warm water in Huntington Beach, CA, laughing as a wave hit us. It was just us, the open road, and adventure. This was a high.

I’m not going to pretend this hasn’t been our roughest patch yet. Parenting toddlers and marriage-ing in a pandemic is TOUGH. There have been many moments of beauty and hope. But this season is a low. Stress. Tantrums. Uncertainty.

Some days I feel so strongly tethered to this immovable love. Other days the winds of life whip the dust around me and I can’t see properly.

I’m not the perfect wife. Some days I’m not even a good wife. But that’s where grace comes in. That’s where the depths of unconditional love reveals its’ beautiful face to me, and I can’t help but lean into it. Every day I am learning how to love well, by being loved well.

Being an LGBTQ person comes with its’ own set of challenges.

Being a married LGBTQ person comes with its’ own set of pressures. To not take the right to marry for granted. To not fail like many expect.

Being a married LGBTQ person of faith adds a thick and interwoven layer of shame and guilt that requires a continual dose of therapy and self-reflection.

(If you are an LGBTQ person and you are struggling – I see you. I am you. I want to make a mountain of space and sit with you in it. Don’t give up. You’re doing great.)

Because… there’s always love.

Some days it feels buried. Some days it’s just looking at each other and simply saying, “I’m not giving up today.”

This year we planted veggies in the garden boxes in our backyard. We stood with the kids in the fresh sun & peered into the wet soil. Tiny, teensy bits of green push their way to the surface, exclaiming, “Life is here! New life is growing!” It made me tear up.

Love – like life – is so damn resilient, and it just freaking never gives up.

Tams, I love you.

Happy 9/17 years together. I’m choosing us today, and believing for the tenacious love that just won’t give up. I know that through this, our love will grow even stronger.

Quarantine art club

Posted on Updated on

Sheesh, friends.

This new normal, this quarantine life – it’s not easy, right? I don’t do well with unknowns, with large fears, with missing people. I am thankful for so many things, and also struggling with so many things. I know we all are. For me, music helps. Dancing helps. Working out helps. Hugging my kids helps. Getting outside on my bike helps.

Making art helps.

Here’s a couple sketches I have done outside of my book/animation projects that I’m not allowed to post about. I will keep adding as I do them!

Hang in there, we are all in this together!

Sending many social distance tight hugs. I can’t wait to have a big dance party when this is all over.

Stay safe and healthy!

May 5 – I don’t know why, but it gave me immense joy to paint my favourite chair tonight. I need to actually sit and rest (or write!) in it more, though. #notetoself

mychair

May 3 – I think one of my fav things is hearing/watching someone playing violin. Man, I love that sound. (Best sound on film scores, too.) When I worked in Gastown (a trendy part of Vancouver) someone would take up residence on a bench and play their violin. It ALWAYS made me smile. Sending hope, love and music therapy to everyone tonight.

violin2020

Apr 24 – The sun was setting as I was biking the other day, so today I painted it. I’m hopeful, I’m sad, I’m trying my best not to give up. Remember, each day is a new one!

sunset

Apr 21 – My daughter turns 4 today! I have been dying to draw her in this most awesome Mr. Rogers dress she constantly wears 😀

Robson_is_4

Apr 20 – My daughter chose my outfit for me 🙂

toddler_dressyou

April 18 – saw this guy on my bike and his outfit made me smile, so I had to draw it 🙂

plaidguy

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!

Posted on Updated on

announcement

Friends, I can’t believe I get to announce this dream come true. If you don’t mind indulging me, I will give you a quick timeline of how I got here:

I have always wanted to do a project combining my art and faith journey as a gay Christian. In late 2018 I thought of doing a kids book so that my kids, and other kids, could read it. I called it “Dear Younger (gay) Me”.

Nov 2018 – I had a call with Jennifer Knapp (childhood icon!) about an unrelated project we were going to collaborate on, and I brought up my book idea. She encouraged me to do it.

Feb 2019 – I started sketching storyboards & writing on the train to and from work. I was shocked at how quickly it all came pouring out of me. I reached out to Rachel Held Evans. (I wrote a guest post for her blog in 2014 and had kept in contact with her.) She wrote me back saying: “What a beautiful book, Stacey! I’m happy to share far and wide. Thank you for making this.”

May 2019 – I sent out my book idea on a whim to see if I could get an agent to represent me. Within four hours of sending it out, and to my total shock, I had two offers of representation. I signed with The Bent Agency in NYC a few days later.

July 2019 – My agent Claire sent out a formal book proposal to a bunch of editors and we wait. (I am learning publishing is a slow game!) Claire helps me evolve and expand my story from a kids book to a YA illustrated novel.

Oct 2019 – We are approached by Beaming Books who are very interested.

Nov 2019 – Beaming Books sends Claire a book offer to publish! Claire goes back and forth to negotiate the terms as I vibrate with excitement in the corner.

Feb 5, 2020I officially sign the book deal with Beaming Books!! They start a discussion about changing the name of the book to be more suitable for a YA audience. They land on “Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming of Age Story (An Illustrated Memoir)”.

March 5, 2020 it is officially announced in Publishers Marketplace (above image) I can fiiiiiiiinnnnnnally share this with you all!!

I am beyond grateful for this opportunity. I am trying to do my best writing and drawing for the privilege to be able to represent a voice for the gay Christian community, and for younger me. ALL. THE. FEELS.

Children’s Bookshelf also shared my book deal in their list (below), and I still can’t believe this is happening. But it’s been a long road, so I’m going to celebrate each milestone! (In a perfect coincidence, I was having a dance party with the kids when the tweet came in! 😆) Click image for link.

 

announce2

Stay tuned for updates as I continue to work on it!

Oscar Posters 2020

Posted on Updated on

It’s my fav time of year! I have loved the Academy Awards since I was a little kid, and my love of film has only grown since then. A few years ago, I decided to do a poster for any of the nominated films that I managed to see. I don’t get to use my graphic design skills as much anymore working in animation, so this is just a fun exercise to stretch those muscles. I will keep adding the ones I do for 2020 as I do them.

*See below for a gallery of past years posters!

LittleWomen_2019square

Irishman_2019square

OnceUpon_2019square

Joker_2019square

JoJoRabbit_2019square

MarriageStory_2019square

FordvFerrari_2019square

Previous years 2016 – 2019:

… it’s being a parent.

Posted on

Sometimes being an artist for a living and a hobby can get tough. I often struggle to get out what’s in my head, and I am usually (always) super critical of myself and my work. I don’t often feel like what was in my head was successfully transmitted to the screen or paper… but I’m learning to be easier and more encouraging towards myself! Perfectionism is a tough & bumpy road.

When I have a big deadline looming ahead (as I do now), I feel frozen and overwhelmed. I start to doubt myself and feel creatively stuck. When this happens, I tell myself (usually Tams will tell me!) to take a break and go write. It helps to clear my head and be creative in a way that flows much easier for me.

Here’s something I wrote about parenting two years ago, and this morning while on a much-needed break, I edited it. (I’m also trying not to judge or assess it!) Hope some other parents out there can see themselves in the words. ❤

it’s a small warm hand on your neck

it’s sticky items in your pocket

it’s moments of no patience, then immediate unbridled love

it’s wiping big tears away, then chasing joy around the corner

it’s overwhelming doubts if you can do this

it’s big eyes staring silently at you to love them

it’s no answers, yet all the questions you never thought of

it’s sitting down to eat, and never getting to eat

it’s deep breaths & pep talks & breakdowns

it’s playing dress-up & funny dances & being silly because that’s all there is

it’s a little hand reaching up for help, knowing you’ll grab it

it’s a tiny toddler plopping themselves in your lap

it’s no personal space, fingerprints on your glasses & stains on your clothes

it’s a rollercoaster of emotions, then a gentle gliding of a canoe

it’s never feeling ready, yet somehow you already are

it’s rediscovering soft sheep’s wool, the joy of a puppy playing & the crunch of leaves

it’s letting your soul be fueled by the small voice calling “Mommy?”

it’s holding tight onto the big hugs until they let go

it’s learning to let go and see how much they teach you

it’s that feeling that you are a little being’s everything

it’s unbelievably hard

it’s so beautiful you ache

it’s all so worth it

…………….. it’s being a parent

Stacey Chomiak © 2020