2017- Recap

I would like to take the opportunity to recap the year, and thank those of you who followed the year with me.
Thank you to everyone who supports me, in what ever way. Everyone who comments, likes and shares my work, online or in real life, that really means something to me.
So in honor of the last day of 2017, here’s a short poem review. God bless you, and Happy New Year!

2017

Grateful for new places and faces, new cultures and more

Uganda. Albania. None of it asked for

Old challenges, redone. New versions of old

Masks in a new form

Some illustrations and paintings

And stories told.

 

All work and worry

All sickness and joy

Feeling strong, yet lame.

These are all part of the game

 

Where to? God knows

And I know he does

So I thank him

for all that was

And move forward

And trust him with all that follows.

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting other Artists!

SCBWI-critique-group-11-03-17

Today I went to a critique group for children’s book authors/illustrators in Stuttgart for the first time. I had connected to them via facebook and was excited for the day ahead. I had bought the train ticket, made sure I was at the station early and that I had everything ready.

But things don’t go as we plan them.

I knew that it would take a while to get from my house to the Stuttgart central station, but there were some unexpected train delays, so that it took me 2,5h instead of 1,5h to get there. The delays and circumstances were so confusing, in fact, that half-way through the journey, I found myself waiting on a cold bench in a small station for the next connecting train, all together questioning the sanity of my endeavor.

But when I finally did arrive at the Stuttgart Library, the “endeavor’s” sanity was restored and I could immediately see that it was worth the trouble. The meeting was inside the children’s book section on the 2nd floor, where we were a total of 10 authors. Some wrote for younger children, others for older children, some were also illustrators. We had people from all sorts of backrounds, ages and ranges. All of them creative.

We split up into 2 groups and looked over each other’s manuscripts and illustations and gave each other feedback. I found it very inspiring and fun!
Afterwards we had lunch at an Asian restaurant across the way from the library. And a few interesting conversations and encouragements later, I made my way back home.

Feedback and other artists are encouragement, and encouragement is encouraging :)
I hope you have people to inspire you where ever you’re at, it really helps. It can often feel easier to “do your own thing” and ignore feedback, but in the end I think it is better to have an honest critique, even if you don’t agree with all that was said. You learn to not only take feedback, but also give feedback, in a considerate but honest way.
So thanks to all the “critics” out there! And thanks to people who dare to be creative. And to everyone else: thanks for reading and for being “you”.

In that sense, be inspired, and have a great day!

Illustration Progress!

2-Familienfotos
Family Photos
dino-food (1024x751)
For my story “When you get Yourself a Dinosaur”

I am working on a project about a girl in Vietnam. She’s the girl in the green shirt, and the current illustration shows her family pictures.

I am simultaneously trying to finish up the illustrations for my story “When you get Yourself a Dinosaur”. My goal is to finish them by April 10th, because there is an illustration contest coming up for that deadline. It might work, it might not, but one can try  :)

A little bit of Art in Church…

I started my studies in theology a couple of weeks ago. The classes are really interesting and I already have some great new friends. But I also am keeping up the art side of things, even if I’d like to do more. Here are some updates:

  • The Kasperle mask turned out very well, so now I’m making a few copies to sell. Right now I’m painting mask #2 and doing some sculpting on mask #3
  • Yesterday we had a guest speaker talk about the role of architecture in spirituality/church life. It was a very interesting presentation. And afterwards I got to talk to the speaker. He is the head of Christian Architecture and Art in Germany, so he knows a lot about art. And he’s also written a few children’s books, so we had a lot to talk about. The connection is there now, who knows what will come of that. Either way it was really cool! :)
  • There’s going to be a worship night at our school tomorrow (like a church service). During the service there will be a part where we sing songs and pray. And while that is going on I will also be praying and express that through painting. I am looking forward to that :)

 

Moving to Ewersbach!

To summon up last week: I was in Bavaria for 5 days on a retreat (Monday-Friday), and moved to Ewersbach in Hessen on Saturday. The reasons for this are that I am now a theology student, and the school is in the little town of Ewersbach. The retreat was a “beginning-of-the-year-retreat” for the students.

The retreat was great, and the view of the Alps had a certain amount of class :)

Then, the day after the retreat, my dad and sister helped me to move an unreasonable amount of stuff to college. Ewersbach is in the middle of nowhere in Hessen, a 2-3h-drive away from my parent’s house. Interestingly I only had a small cars-worth of stuff for my dorm room, but dad was driving a whole sprinter-full of art-supply-stuff… 30% dorm room, 70% art room!
When we got there some students volunteered to help, and this made the process much faster. The dorm room is not very big, but it’s got everything you would need. And the art room is better than I expected. It’s in the basement, but the lighting is pretty good and the space has potential :)

Yesterday I took a trip to a nearby charming village.
Today I finished unpacking my stuff and made some improved covers for my folders.
And tomorrow is my first day of school. I am excited!

Some Sketches for “Chasing Chickens”

I started sketching for my story “Chasing Chickens”, getting some ideas in for the main characters.

The chickens are loose! But why, what do they want, and how do you get them back to the farm? After chasing the chickens all over town, it turns out they’re on strike! When the farmer promises better treats, they come to reason. Thank goodness! All is well now, but whether mom will believe what happened, is another story…

These are the main characters:

  • “the mayor” is a big guy, fat and has cheery eyes
  • “the farmer” is modeled after the painter Van Gogh, but softened up a little. A bit nervous, awkward, well-meaning
  • “Dan” (the narrator’s best friend), about 6-7 years old. A white kid, slightly self-important, curious
  • “Gabe” (the narrator), about 5-6 years old. A black kid, fit, curious, looks up to Dan
  • “the Chickens”. mischievous, smart, demanding

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts? Here are 7 Ideas!

In case you are drawing a blank on gift ideas for Christmas, here are some suggestions:

  1. Make a Card: You can use any material, like old magazines, colored paper, felt or candy wrappers. Just choose a simple design or think of your own. Here are some examples I did, but it can be much simpler as well, more is often less!
  2. Cook a good meal
  3. Write a Poem/Song: Find out what the gift recipient likes and have a go!
  4. Help out around the House: Actions speak louder than words, as they say. Do something you might not normally do and do it with a good attitude.
  5. Buy a cool Christmas Ornament: You know what he/she likes, get a fun ornament to go with it. Do they like Star Wars, Gardening, the color Orange? Find out!
  6. Make a Mosaic Number Tile: This one is really simple and also adds a fun DIY-touch to someone’s front door. Here’s how you do it!
  7. My CD “Crossroads”: You can also give your friends/loved ones a CD with 5 cool songs :) The “real CDs” cost 6,50Euros a piece and 18Euros for 3 CDs. Just write me an email at nicole_heymann@yahoo.de or download the songs on Itunes and Amazon

    cd-cover-double2-2-small

 

 

Ready to go!

I got my manuscript ready to send to 10 different publishers by mail and another 3 online.  Each of the envelopes includes a query letter (a formal way to ask them to take a look), a short biography, the manuscript, in some cases a German translation and several copies of the illustrations and sketches.

The manuscripts will be sent all over Germany, one to the UK and another to the US (Michigan). You have to send out a lot of submissions, since only 5-10% of manuscripts get accepted. Dr Seuss even had to send 28 submissions before he got accepted with his first children’s book. Having endurance and determination pays off in this business!

I am confident and not in a big hurry. Seeing the stuff looking so nice is amazing!

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The Missing Pictures

Yesterday I shared a bit of what I’ve been up to. The camera was lost, now it’s found, so here are the missing pictures!

 

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back yard mural, a work in progress!

 

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ark of the covenant, 1st coat of papermaché
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when you get yourself a dinosaur, concept art: book cover

Send me your Questions for a Q&A-Session about my CD!

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I’m going to release my CD “Crossroads” soon (in form of “real” CDs and iTunes,Amazon Music, etc.)

Most of the work is done, so now I’d like to hear your questions: What do you want to know?
Any questions related to art, music, the creative process and inspiration or even just life will be accepted.

The most creative and interesting questions will be brought together in a special Q&A-video. Thanks already for all your support, it really means a lot to me!

Send me your questions on facebook (www.facebook.com/NicoleHeymannArt) or to my email (nicole_heymann@yahoo.de).
#nicoleheymannCD

New Paintings!

For this spring break I challenged myself to complete 5 oil paintings and enter an illustration contest.

As far as oil paintings go I finished one and am working on the second picture. The finished one is called “Mountain Town Café” and is about 3’x4′ in size. Number two is not titled yet.

I ran out of time for the contest, but I did manage to complete an illustration in the style and tone of the project. The contest is every 2 years, so that gives me plenty of time to come up with detailed concept sketches, characters and of course the final illustrations.

So I guess you don’t always end up doing what you set out for, but it’s still good to try to touch the sky isn’t it? You get more done than if you hadn’t tried.

What kind of goals do you set up for yourselves? Leave a comment if you like, I’d be interested to hear about them!

 

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Mountain Town Cafe (2015) -$1200-

 

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making-of-untitled-painting-03-2015

 

 

 

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Illustration “Somehow something is missing!” (2015) -$200-

 

School’s out, bring in the Projects!

It’s spring break and will be for about 8 weeks. This means no lectures, but it doesn’t mean no art!
I will be doing a lot of stuff, but here are…
The Top 5 Projects for the Spring Break:

1. Paint 5 oil paintings (school work)

2. Take part in a book illustration contest to try to win the “Meefisch- Marktheidenfelder Prize for Book Illustration”. This is a German prize for the best unpublished illustration project in the German-speaking area. The winner gets 2000Euros and their book is published with the Arena Verlag, a big publishing group of the German-speaking area.
I will illustrate my story “Somehow Something is Missing!” (translated into German) and try to do this digitally. I prefer “real-life”, but digital paintings can be printed easier.
The book will look something like this:

art-illustration-castle1(2)
Opening illustration for “Somehow Something is Missing!” (“Once there was a big, big castle on a big, big hill.”)

3. Start selling postcards of the painting “Five Friends/Fünf Freunde” for my fundraising campaign. All the money will go to the FRRME (Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East) Click here for more information: www.patreon.com/nicoleheymann ; www.frrme.org

Five Friends/Fünf Freunde -$2200-
Five Friends/Fünf Freunde -$2200-

4. Finish my CD and start selling it, possibly also on iTunes. You can listen in for a sneak peek:

5. Get busy in the garden! I want to start some veggies and flowers for summer to give away to people. They will be able to donate whatever they like for the plants. The money will help pay for my plane ticket to Cyprus this fall. Gardening is a fun art form!

Inspirational Art: Big Hero 6 (Baymax)

Today we had a little birthday party for my little sister’s 12th birthday. We went with some of her friends to see the movie Baymax. I’m a fan of animation period, but there’s stuff that’s ok and stuff that’s amazingly well done. This movie was amazingly well done! Visually, story-wise, very good. It makes me want to do my best in my work, too. You could say we all had a great day at the movies.

Patreon and Fundraising for Refugees!

Hi Everyone!
Here is my new Patreon-site! It’s a crowdfunding platform where you can support creators and their content. I will use it for my art, but the first $2000 I make will go to the FRRME, because they are an amazing organisation that makes a big difference in Iraq. (Details on the site)

So if you want to sponsor a really cool cause by supporting my art, go check it out! Feel free to share this with anyone you know! :)

Patreon!

Here is my all new  own Patreon-site!

Patreon is a crowdfunding-platform where people can support creators of any kind. And when you support creators, you get rewards back!
I will use this site for my own support in the future, but first I want to use it to sponsor refugees. So the first $2000 will go to the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME), run by Canon Andrew White. They help people in Baghdad and the region with food, medical supplies and reconciliation work. (www.frrme.org).

So if you want to support me, the FRRME (or even just get rewards…), go check it out!