i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Chasing a childhood dream

I have always wanted to make my drawings move. Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were little? What did you say when people asked you? Were you going to be a fireman? a doctor? a nurse, a mommy, a daddy? I remember wanting to work at Disney and be an animator.

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I will  call my mom tomorrow and ask her what I said when I was little and someone asked me. I don’t remember if I ever told anyone about wanting to learn animation. Working at Disney was not something that seemed possible. I never pursued the dream. When I went to art school my drawing teacher told me I couldn’t draw. I majored in photography instead, and moved to Japan after I graduated. I lived in Tokyo for seven years working as a photographer.

Then I moved to The United States, got married, had three children and washed dishes for twenty-five years. Okay, I know, I know, I probably did more than wash dishes for twenty-five years. I probably did laundry too, and maybe I mowed the lawn once in a while.

But, I never drew, and I didn’t try to make my drawings move.

Three years ago I started drawing and writing and taking classes again. An on-line class in writing called Tribe Writers, and classes at the local community college — Computer Graphics, Typography, and Page Layout and Design.

The book The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield,  helped me silence the voice of the negative art teacher.

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second, we can sit down and do our work.”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Do The Work

This January I started a class in animation. The first assignment is a flip book. Making drawings move.

My flip book is a series of drawings of a person taking off her face, her mask.

I haven’t digitally animated the drawings yet. I will share those once I put them into Toon Boom, the animation software we are learning in class. I still have to learn how to use the program.

The dream is still there. The one I had as a child, to make my drawings move. I don’t want to work at Disney now, making some one elses drawings move, I want to make my drawings move. Creating, learning and chasing dreams.

Run Towards Your Dream

The flip book is called The Mask.

I will talk about the concept behind the story when I share the digital animation in a few days. And I will show you how I made the drawings.

Do you have a dream you want to run towards? Are you running? Strolling? Or did you stop somewhere along the way, sit down at a park bench, and give up on your dream?

Please tell me in the comments. Or just reply to this email if you are a subscriber. I always love to hear how you are doing. All we have is today. This moment.

p.s.

This month I am writing every day, sharing my life, my art, in little slices, at Two Writing Teachers.com. A supportive community of teachers and writers who participate in the challenge to write every day for the month of March. You can click on the slice and read other writers sharing their stories. Voices waiting and wanting to be heard.

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About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • I love Flip Books. Interesting concept- Mask. I too believe that there is an artist in each one of us. Some can paint, some weave, some dance…but all of us have this capability to show artistic side of us. Some identify it some don’t. You have got a new follower.

    • Hello Upasna,
      So nice to meet you. What do you like to create?
      xo
      Pamela

      • I love Crafts.. and like to refurbish the things at Home. I tried my hands at mirror painting and decoupaging.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Oh Pamela, how exciting, you talk about a “flip” book, when I was young we used to get these “flip” books, they were so much fun, why didn’t i ever keep them. I guess one thinks these things will always be around, but no, one day they weren’t printed anymore & for years I have longed to just be able to hold one again. Maybe you will fullfill my dream, your animations will be far different from the ones I watched in the flip books of 70 years ago. Maybe not!!! xo Mom

  • Sarah Simmons

    Love this. It made me smile for you, but also for myself. I’ve started the writing thing…now I need to get the guts to really start working on art. I’m so grateful you’re chasing your dreams and sharing the story <3

    • Hello Sarah,
      This morning I am smiling for you. Isn’t if fun to learn new things, be bold and chase dreams?
      Even when it rains all day, we can find a sunbeam in creating. Which means, even when I am depressed, I can find joy in life when I create.
      xo
      Pamela

  • La McCoy

    Moving toward as quickly as i can in he brace and with the cane.

    • Hello Laura,
      I pray you are feeling better. Maybe I shouldn’t have put so much focus on the speed but on the moving forward.
      I hope you have a day full of sunbeams and laughter.
      xo
      Pamela

      • La McCoy

        Thank you Pamela. I will put on the braces and the the cane and chase sun beam with Edel. Love to you. Laura

  • Katina Vaselopulos

    Wonderful news. Pamela! Happy for you for realizing your childhood dream. You are a talented woman and you will find your place in the world of art. Looking forward to your animated art, curious to see where you will take it.

    Yesterday I sent my grand daughter your Cat Coloring book and look forward to see what she does with it.

    Wishing you all the best, always!

    xxx

    Katina

    • Hello Katina,
      Thank you for buying a coloring book to send your granddaughter. I hope she enjoys coloring the cats.
      And, thank you for your kind words about my art. I don’t know where I will end up, I just want to keep moving.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Stacey Shubitz

    I thought about a career in animation after going to MGM Studios at Disney World as a kid… but I can’t draw.
    You are so talented, Pamela. I love seeing your works in progress.

    • Hello Stacey,
      I will send you a signed copy of my book, “The Artist’s Manifesto,” when I finally publish it. I am making the illustrations now. The book is for everyone who was told they weren’t good at art.
      How fun you went to Disney World as a child. And, to the little girl inside of you who said, “I can’t draw,” may she rediscover the childhood world where everything is possible, and all your drawings are wonderful.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Sarkis Antikajian

    Hi, Pamela. I also had a dream since childhood to become an artist. And although I went different paths for over 40 years being in fields that had nothing to do with art, eventually I managed to achieve most of my dream, if not all of it. That gives me self-satisfaction and I am at a point, I am able to do whatever I please to do for the rest of my life which is spending almost every day painting and also writing. When it comes to writing, I read books about writing, and articles that you and other writers post, and I love to read short stories. And I joined the Writing Practice group which is a wonderful place to post stories and poems and get edited by fellow writers. I send a monthly newsletter. In it, I practice writing about topics that deal with art and artists, and I include images of my artwork. And yes I am trying to write every day and that is not easy.

    And I am a subscriber to your blog.

    Sarkis

    • Hello Sarkis,
      I have seen your paintings and they are beautiful. How wonderful that after 40 years in different fields you were able to follow your dream of painting.
      Here is the link to Mr. Antikajian’s artwork. So full of passion and vibrant color

      Thank you for subscribing to my blog and for sharing your story.
      xo
      Pamela

  • EmFairley

    I love this, Pamela. As I said, or at least alluded to in my comment on yesterday’s post, I’d been strolling toward my dream because I couldn’t find the balance between both sides of me. I’m hoping that I am now as I run toward the dreams in both fields

    • Hello EmFariley,
      Strolling toward a dream works too. At least you are moving forward. Sometimes I think it is hard to run if you are not sure where you are going.
      Having more than one passion brings richness to your life. At least you don’t have to chose one over the other. It would be like having to only use one hand. So much a part of you.
      xo
      Pamela

      • EmFairley

        I totally agree, Pamela xoxo

  • Laura

    I really like the joy and enthusiasm in your posts. The feeling of life and possibilities. That you have begun painting and writing again even after 25 years if washing dishes 😉 And the part about whether one has giving up on a childhood dream resonated with me and inspired me to look at the pace at which I’m currently chasing my dream. Or maybe just look at it from a distance. Maybe a little more dream chasing and running would be just fine 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your posts 🙂

    • Hello Laura,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope your day is full of joy. May your childhood dreams always be full of life and possibilities. I really don’t like running, I prefer a brisk walk. Even if we meaner on some days, at least we are going forward.
      xo
      Pamela

  • I think it’s terrific you’re doing animation. It’s never too late to embrace your dreams! A 76 year old woman emailed me yesterday. She just finished chemo, is in remission, and decided to take up watercolors. And she’s loving it.

    • Hi John,
      Yes, never too late to chase your dreams. I can hardly wait to hear about your first solo show in Carmel when the police officer retires and paints full time. Maybe I had better buy a John Patrick Weiss while I can still afford one. And I do want one. You capture the coast I love and miss.

      I love the story about the 76 year old woman taking up watercolors. A great example of embracing life!
      xo
      Pamela

  • Cathy

    Loved this post, Pamela. It really resonated with me. I went to graphic design school and it killed my love and spontaneity for doing art. I still struggle to have fun with my drawing and painting. That big inner critic sits on my shoulder and tells me that the work is bad so not to bother. I took a life drawing class last year to confront my demons which helped a bit. I still struggle to enjoy creating art just for the pure joy of it. I don’t have trouble with doing my photography and music that way. Nothing like trying to make a job out of something to take the fun out of it. I’ve been trying to be a writer and sometimes the joy gets sucked out of that, too, when I get too caught up in the whole publishing thing.

    Good for you pursuing your dreams and not letting that art teacher squelch them. What fun about the animation course! I worked at Crawleys animation studio (they went bankrupt not long after) as an opaquer when I first moved here to Ottawa, Ontario. I was making minimum wage and could barely afford to live but it was a fun environment as we all envisioned ourselves like Disney North. I learned a lot about animation in the pre computer days and I met my husband which really made it worthwhile!

    I’m enjoying your blog and love your cat colouring book. So cute and what a great cause!

    • Hello Cathy, fellow Canadian!
      I grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
      Oh, how hard it is to be an artist, when what we create is public. Which is really the point. To hang our stuff on the wall, and print the stories for others to read.
      Perhaps the inner critic that sits on your shoulder needs to go an watch The Muppets on television. At least for an hour so you can have fun again.

      The animation studio sounds like it was an amazing experience, fun art and a husband.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      All my best,
      xo
      Pamela

  • Darcknyt

    I’ve always wanted to make my drawings move too. 🙂 I guess a lot of us who draw or paint dream of the static image becoming animated. I wonder if the great masters did as well.

    I’m happy you chased that dream and caught it. Maybe someday life will afford me the opportunity to do so as well.

    For now, the dream I want to run after, as fast as I can, is to be a full-time writer, indie publishing my work and running my own publishing business. To enjoy what I do – creating the covers, writing the stories, and being able to hire those things out when I can’t do it myself because I’m too busy creating – and care properly for my family, with insurance and finances and a future… that’s the dream I’m running for now.

    🙂

    • Hello Darcknyt,
      Love your little green character. Is that what you really look like?
      I haven’t caught my dream yet, and I may never. Because I am not sure what it will look like when I get there.
      For now I just move a little step forward each day, trying to be me, and not caring what someone else thinks.
      Running after my dream means getting off the bench and doing the work.
      How exciting to be working towards your dream of being a full time writer, and publishing your stories.
      I wish you all my best.
      p.s. Would you share your blog address? Maybe some of my friends would like to see what you create.
      xo
      Pamela

      • Darcknyt

        Hi Pamela,

        My blog is http://jdanetyler.WordPress.com, because I’m not yet cool enough to warrant my own hosted domain.

        And yes, this IS what I really look like.

  • Oh Pam,
    I’ve been to your blog many times as I am a fan or your work. I’m so happy you are a fellow slicer! The War of Art is one of my favorite books on creativity as I am constantly reminded of his message about all of our resistance keeping us from making art.

    My dream is writing, art journaling and illustrating. I used to dream of being published and I know I one day will (intention). But now, I’m just happy if I am creating. 🙂

    https://islandsofmysoul.com/2016/03/03/5-bullet-wednesday-sol2/

    • Hello Shari,
      Thank you for reading my stories. How fun to find you as a slicer too!
      I believe in you! You will be published. You can publish your own work. We don’t need permission from anyone to bring our work into the world.
      Thank you for sharing the link to your story. I will pop over and read it.
      Yippee! for creating.
      xo
      Pamela