Weekly Blog 10/23/19: Semi-End of a Semi-Hiatus, “Speed Inktober,” and NaNoWriMo Prep

Hi all! Taylor here with a few updates and some thoughts on participating in monthly challenges (like Inktober and National Novel Writing Month).

First of all, my YouTube hiatus seems to be coming to a close. I’m settled enough in my new job that I feel like I can go back to doing maybe one or two videos a week. It started with “well, maybe I can do Inktober and film it,” and then extended to “maybe I can do some other videos too,” and it’s just grown from there. I plan to officially end my semi-hiatus in November, and come back to one or two videos a week.

So, yay.

As for Inktober itself: I feel a little bad in that I’m doing sort of a “speed run” of this challenge. A speed run, for those not in the know, is when a player plays through a video game with no goal other than to finish the game and beat the final boss in as little tim as possible. For me, I’m not TRYING to do an “Inktober speed run,” but that’s how it’s ending up: My first three”weeks” of Inktober inking have actually done in three single afternoons. The past three Tuesday nights have been spent inking madly, and so I’m not really doing 31 drawings in 31 days; I’m doing 31 drawings in, like, 5 afternoons.

Which seems, to me, to defeat some of the purpose of Inktober. I think that, at their heart, a lot of these “monthly challenges” really challenge us to develop a regular, if not daily, artistic practice. But unfortunately, for me, the only way I’ve been able to do this Inktober has been to only technically create 31 drawings in 31 days.

Still, I’m enjoying it, I’m creating a lot of new art, and I’ll have content for an Inktober 2019 zine. Looking forward to publishing that for you all.

Finally, I am doing a lot of prep work for my next monthly challenge – National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. NaNo has been around since 1999, so this its 20th year. It will also be (hopefully) my first year successfully participating. I have attempted NaNo in several past years, but have never accomplished the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This year it will be my main November project – no other personal projects are scheduled for that month – so I’m hopeful.

I’m quite excited to be getting back to YouTube, and I look forward to bringing you more content there. And as always, thank you so much to everyone liking, commenting, subscribing, following, and generally engaging with my work – and a special thanks to everyone shopping at my Etsy shop. I’ve stocked it with a few new items, so check it out.

And with that being said…I hope that you are having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very, very soon.

Bye!

-Taylor

Semi-Weekly Blog 10/16/19: Doll Customizing, Etsy Shipping, and Inktobering!

Hello all!

It may be a few days late, but I am DETERMINED to get this blog out.

So, I’ve been…pretty darn busy. Even aside from a full time job, I’ve been trying to do Inktober 2019, customize and sew for dolls (you can see some of that work over at http://taylorjohnsondolls.com), and run my Etsy shop.

It’s a lot. Inktober involves a good amount of time each day, not just sketching and inking but also filming and editing videos of my work. I’m posting weekly updates on my Inktober progress, and while they’ve been going up on Wednesdays rather than the more calendar-appropriate Mondays or Tuesdays, at least they’re going up. I’m excited to be able to have records of my Inktober progress, in video form. Here’s week 1’s video:

Inktober is totally worth it, though, as usual.

Sewing and doll customizing is my main hobby right now, in terms of “activity that does not, and does not need to, result in income or some other goal”…it’s my one thing that is legitimately just for fun. I enjoy it so much. Sewing has been part of my life for ages, and…well, here’s the video of me telling my whole sewing story on my doll YouTube:

And as for my Etsy shop – well, I can’t give many details because I want my customers to be able to remain anonymous if they choose – but I’ve gotten to ship a lot of things lately, and I am truly, deeply appreciative of everyone who has been ordering things, especially my original Tarot deck, the Millennial Mystic Tarot.

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Which, incidentally, you can order here, if you’re interested.

I think that’s all I have for now, and this is definitely all the time I had to write this blog. I’m sorry it’s late, but I’m glad to at least get a blog posted this week.

Thank you all for your support, and with that being said, I hope that you are having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very very soon.

Bye!

-Taylor

Weekly Blog 10/7/19: Where Have I Been?

Hi all,

It’s been a little while, but I’ve got a (rare) few minutes to sit down and write a blog. Carving out time for this blog has been a little bit beyond me lately, and I even considered deleting the blog portion of this site and converting it to just being a portfolio and glorified contact form…but honestly, I didn’t want to give up blogging – even if I feel like I don’t have time for it lately. I really enjoy the blogging process. So yeah. Not going anywhere.

I’ve also been largely on hiatus from my YouTube, and I just posted a video explaining that I’m kind of returning to it: I’m going to start posting videos again, but kind of on a “whenever” basis rather than having a strict upload schedule. And there will be less videos than in the early part of this year (I used to do 3 a week), but more than the two a month I’ve done the past couple of months.

So why am I struggling to find time? Well…two things. One, I’m working full time now, and I’ve learned that it’s called full time for a reason. (Spoiler: It’s because it fills up all your time.) I absolutely adore my job and my company, and it has changed my life in the best way. But it doesn’t come without a cost, and that cost is a lot of my previously-free time.

Two, I’m running an entirely new side project: Taylor Johnson Dolls, which has a website, a YouTube channel, and an Instagram, all focused on my work in doll customization and sewing.

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One of my fashion dolls, an Ever After High Ashlynn Ella, in a flannel shirt by me.

I actually have been into dolls for years and years, and recently tumbled back into active presence in the hobby. I’m thrilled to be back to it, and while it does take up a lot of time, I felt that I really do need a hobby! A genuine hobby, to me, is an avocation that is enjoyed without a clear plan or goals or things to accomplish in terms of growth or publicity or acclaim; it’s just for the sheer joy of it. Doll customizing and doll-clothes sewing are two things that I love as hobbies, and are also two things that, for me, do not have an end goal or any grand scheme attached to them. It’s literally just a thing I do for fun.

So, if you’re interested, or just curious, head over to taylorjohnsondolls.com for more. I also have free patterns over there for those who are similarly inclined.

As for art…while I haven’t had much time lately for art beyond what I do at work, I still haven’t been able to resist the siren song of Inktober. I really enjoyed my other participation, back in 2017, and while it’s probably not wise to do so, I’m doing a series of simple ink pieces on 9×12″ paper for this year too. I may watercolor some or all of them after this month is over, but I am certainly not taking on the project of doing a PAINTING every day when I can barely manage an ink piece!

I had said that I was going to post a few YouTube videos this month, documenting Inktober, and I have filmed all of my ink work so far, but I don’t know whether that’s an appropriate use of my spare moments. I don’t know if I can – temporally or mentally – afford to do that as well.

If it comes down to it, I’ll drop some things. Sanity and safety come first, followed closely by my day job. But for now, I’m hoping I can manage all of this, if only I choose my battles and am mindful of my time management.

That said, I really need to get back to work. Thank you for reading and for being here on this artistic journey with me.

Wishing you the best, as always!
-Taylor