SHEESH this was so exciting to open with my kids! My #illustrator copies of #RainbowBoy came today! Can’t wait for the world to get theirs Jan 19th!! 🎉❤️🌈 @BeamingBooksMN @TaylorRouanzion #kidlit #queerkidlit #picturebook #lgbtqartist pic.twitter.com/qCEm78GQI1— Stacey Chomiak (@stacerchomiak) January 9, 2021
THIS was a GREAT. MOMENT. I received my illustrator copies of RAINBOW BOY, and my kids helped me open the box and see it for themselves. These illustrations have lived on my computer for a while now, but it was so surreal to see them printed. IN A BOOK. AN ACTUAL BOOK!
The book is dedicated to them, and they thought it was super cool that their names are both in the front of the book. (I think it’s super cool, too.) We cuddled together on the couch and they each clutched their own copy tightly as I took turns reading their copy. At the end of the book there’s a little picture of Taylor (the author) and me (the illustrator), and my kids said “Hi Mommy!” and kissed my picture.
And that is what I will remember as a huge WIN in my life.
Get YOUR copy on January 19th! Order or find wherever good books are sold!
It feels like yesterday when my agent Claire sent me the first email about Rainbow Boy. Beaming Books was publishing it, and looking for an illustrator – and they were hoping I would be interested in doing it. A picture book about a gender non-conforming boy who loves tutus AND basketball? What’s not to like?!??!
I’m so grateful the author Taylor Rouanzion wrote this story – it is so needed! It publishes one month today on Jan 19, 2021. (Eeeeeek! Starting 2021 off right!) I can’t wait to hold it, and even more exciting – to see my kids hold and read it. First of many dreams to come true. Did you order your copy yet?? 🙂
Whew, this year is gonna be a liiiiiittle different for Christmas shopping, amiright?? Or maybe you already did all your shopping online, so no change for you.
Either way, it’s my artist duty to remind you that art makes a nice gift! I have a bunch of my original illustrations and poster designs up for sale on my Etsy shop. I sign every print, and include a handwritten note with every purchase as well. Because I love seeing written notes on paper – it’s so rare these days!
My biggest seller so far is my minimalist poster design for the film “Carol” (2015). As far as LGBTQ films with amazing acting go – it’s pretty high on the list!
Covid-fatigue is hitting everyone. I feel it all around me. This has been hard, hasn’t it friends?
Lately I have tried to allow this discomfort and fear and anxiety dust off the buried treasures within myself. I think there are extremely important lessons about life, and ourselves, that we can only learn in these types of seasons. I’m learning to be grateful for small things, to slow down and listen to my own voice, and how to show up for my family.
On Sunday I took a quick break from working on the sketches for “Still Stace” (pant, pant, there are 89 sketches now!) to go on my bike.
When I left it was sunny. Halfway through my ride, it clouded over and absolutely down poured rain. I pulled over, looked up at the sky and let it soak me. It felt renewing. I maintain that it’s one of the privileges to being alive.
There are days when we need to run and seek shelter from the rain. And then there are days when we open our arms, and invite the rain to wash over us.
Sending love, friends.
I know, I know – I’m Canadian… BUT that doesn’t mean I wasn’t dancing in my kitchen at the Biden/Harris victory announcement yesterday!! Us Canadians are used to constantly living America-adjacent, and while political decisions don’t DIRECTLY affect us, they definitely affect us down the line.
And even though I’m not American, I love a lot of Americans. And yes, I’m a self-appointed emotional-support-Canadian. It’s been scary as hell watching what has been happening with this (lack of) leadership, especially for our LGBTQ friends and friends of colour. Yesterday felt like SUCH an influx of hope for a change! FINALLY.
But let’s focus on something amazing about yesterday: KAMALA. It was a historical day for all women! We all stand on the shoulders of so many great women who brought us to this moment. (I see you, Stacey Abrams!) Kamala becoming VP has opened the door for so many more women in leadership in our future. It’s about damn time.
I had to draw this in celebration!
Get ready for a new day, friends. It is coming.
I’m not one to gravitate towards “horror” TV/films, but I love creepy, suspense stuff. Especially during the month of October, bring it on! (Otherwise I just watch “Hocus Pocus” on repeat, guys.)
We discovered “The Haunting of Hill House”, and I enjoyed it with many screams and a pillow in front of my face. “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is the follow-up series, and I really, really enjoyed it.
It was it filmed in Vancouver, so I recognized a bunch of locations right away, which is always fun! Gastown (where I worked for years) is always great to double as England. This series was less horror, more creepy, and – BONUS – there was a lovely lesbian relationship at the heart of it. Oof, Dani & Jamie got me in the yearning feels…..
ANYWAY anyway, the cinematography and colour palette they chose was incredible all the way through. My only appropriate response was to do speed painting studies of some of my fav scenes. I tried to keep these each to 20 minutes and not get caught up in detail, just mood, composition and lighting. I did five, but I might go back do more Dani/Jamie scenes cuz well, sigh. Feels.
Lately I’ve been working seven days a week on two shows Monday to Friday, and illustrations for “Still Stace” on the weekends. In between furious sketching and painting, I escape for mini hikes, walks and bike rides around our neighbourhood. It is for my literal mental health, and helps to reset my soul.
It’s Fall, and in this part of the Pacific Northwest, the fog sits heavier on the pines, and the leaves show off their brilliantly saturated colours. I breathe it in deeply. This is my absolutely favourite time of the year. Time for me to dig out my thicker hoodies and mustard-coloured toque, (if you aren’t Canadian, google that word) and admit that I do love to indulge in the occasional pumpkin spice latte.
The seasons changing reminds me that even in the middle of a world that feels upside down, there are some things I can count on.
By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! Wow, 2020 has thrown me for so many loops, but damn. There’s still so much to be thankful for. So hug your bubble people, eat some stuffing, and let yourself be present in this moment of gratefulness. I’m gonna try to do just that. ❤
Editing Oct 20 to add a couple more Fall-esque pieces:
I love being an artist.
If I wasn’t an artist, I’d be a musician, a horse trainer, or a backup dancer for P!nk. (I’ll settle for kitchen dance parties with my kids for now.)
Being an artist allows me to observe the world differently. It encourages me to see beauty in all things, to learn as much as I can, and to keep growing. I hope I always stay curious, because this world is overwhelmingly fascinating.
I bike past this old barn almost every day, and I smile as I pass, admiring the weathered paint and rich textures it displays. I love thinking about the history of it. But it’s not enough to admire it, I had to finally spend some time painting it. It’s my way of truly appreciating something.
A day after posting this to social media, I was contacted by the woman who grew up at this farm. She recognized her barn right away, and she asked to purchase a copy of the print to put in her house. She said it made her incredibly happy.
As I said, I love being an artist. 🙂
Have you seen this stunning film?
I have always been enraptured by the beauty and mystery of everything under water. The impossibly saturated colours of all that swims, the astounding design of the creatures. I have always felt more connected to my own life, somehow, when I’m under water. Which is why I love swimming so much. Time seems to slow, things become clearer. Watching this film, it made me catch my breath. And yes, I cried (a lot) over an octopus.
What a profound reminder that life is precious, breathtaking and utterly fascinating. (Like COME ON, that pile of shells it made as a disguise?!) We are all truly connected – human and creature. After many months of feeling heavy and sad with *everything* going on, this film provided a fresh breath of curiosity and hope.
I had to put some of my inspiration into a quick sketch.
If you want to learn more, watch the film and visit Sea Change Project. We have to work hard to protect all of this beauty, like all our lives depend on it. (They do.)
Last week the heat was surprisingly tenacious here in BC. My kids and I gathered on a beach towel in our backyard after they had jumped in their kiddie pool for the 76th time. I brought out popsicles for them and smiled as they dripped gleefully all over themselves, reminded that even though 2020 has been so strange and hard – they’ve had a pretty great summer. (Granted, life is easier at 2 and 4 years old.)
I drew this, trying to capture that moment. It took some tries and erasing of many layers and perseverance to get this out of my head properly. It’s not exactly what I envisioned, but it will do. 🙂 ❤