Anonymous asked:

Hey, Chira! Google said that today's Dianne Wynne Jones' 80th birthday! If you have some neat idea on how to celebrate, you should totally do it!

I may draw something if I have the time and the right inspiration. Who knows. I’ll be coming back to DWJ sooner or later, she’s never that far away from me.

But for now I can share my story about her.

I discovered Howl’s Moving Castle when I was 19 (eight years ago). I wrote her a letter when I was 21, when I was getting very deep into her other books, especially Chrestomanci. The year when I was 21 was very, very awful, I went through some pretty brutal events, but her books were a great comfort and a great inspiration. They helped sort out a lot of understanding and tangled knots in myself. Naturally, I drew a ton of fanart, which a lot of people probably still know me by. It’s pretty old now. So I sent her some of that fanart, and a really embarrassing letter sharing what I appreciated about her books (her family dynamics, the lessons in them, how to deal with people you love and trust who disappoint you, among other things) and asked some questions about her characters that were plaguing me.

I honestly didn’t expect her to write back. So when I got a mysterious envelope with no return address and opened it up and saw what it was, I legitimately dropped it on my desk and went to go hide under my blankets. Eventually I crawled out and read it.

Dear Jayd,

          Thank you very much for sending me your fan pictures. The finished ones are awfully good and all of them show that you have really got inside the characters and their relationships, as if you knew them personally. You seem to be as interested in family dynamics and personal relationships as I am. I discovered I was while writing a story when I was fourteen (a long time ago now) about a large group of kids who, for various reasons, kept splitting into smaller groups - where upon the dynamics among them changed markedly and kept surprising me. I always like to be surprised by people in my books, as well as other things. For this reason I never actually plan what it is to happen in any detail. Teachers are always surprised and disapproving when I say this to kids, but it is really the best way. The story then becomes a living thing, going its own way.

          It is good to think you are searching out my books and reading them. Have you read my Dalemark Quartet yet? I think you’ll enjoy those. The relationships in the earlier books took me totally by surprise in the last one, by more or less standing on their heads. And if you read the books in the right order, they build into something more, in a way that I am quite proud of.

          As for Cat, it is fairly obvious that he has been damaged by his sister and slowly healing. There is certainly going to be another book with him in it. But I am not sure about Chrestomanci’s earlier life, largely because I suspect his knighthood was a boring matter of government endowing him with it for Services to Magic. But it may not be. We shall see. You have probably put ideas into my head.

          Thank you, and best wishes,

          Diana Wynne Jones


I only wrote her one other letter after that, a couple of years later. I put it off for so long because I wanted to draw her something more worthwhile. I don’t think I managed, but I accumulated a lot of sketches and art, and hearing news of her sickness I decided better now than never, so I bundled all that together and sent her that.

I received a reply about half-year before she died. In it she mentioned how she had stopped responding to letters because of how difficult the cancer was, but she handwrote one to me anyway to tell me she hung up my pictures on her fridge and her family had wonderful things to say on it. I would say that it’s an honor (I mean, it is) and that she was so considerate of me (she was), but I was grateful my art could delight her even a fraction of the way her writing delighted me.

I’m a little sad I never got to draw an illustration for her I felt was worthwhile, but that’s why one of my great dreams is to do an art fanbook on her bibliography, but I feel I still need to learn a thing or two first, about art and myself. Her stories are still helping in that regard. I still haven’t finished reading all of them (I have about eight or so left, including the Dalemark Quartet, which I’m saving for last). I imagine the day I do is the day I start working on that artbook.

And I spend a lot of time wondering about that first letter, and the stories she ran out of time to tell. I’m less sad about that, though. I can’t really say why. Maybe it’s because she told so many already. Or maybe because she’s always had a healthy respect for the imagination of her readers to carry things out where she didn’t.

Happy birthday.

Here are some things I’ve learned

People are always desperate to give what they wish others would give them.

The worst suffering anyone can experience is suffering alone.

Hoard as many good memories and experiences as you can. Be wealthy in laughter and smiles. It’s currency for when shit happens.

Emotions aren’t problems. They can’t be fixed, they simply exist. It’s like trying to cut water with a knife.

Emotions are symptoms of your experiences, in the same way swearing hysterically is when you stub your toe.

Emotions are like water. It can be carried. It can be drunk to nourish you. It can clean you. It can also drown you. Water is a force of nature and there is an ocean inside you.

The people around you are reflections of who you are. The people around you are the people you think you deserve.

Money makes things a business contract. Always honor your contracts, but be careful not to sell your heart. If you do, though, it’s all right. Hearts grow back. It just can take a while, like trees.

If anyone gets offended because you’re having a hard time, don’t talk to them until they apologize. You may get your apology or you may never talk to them again. Either one is a victory.

Falling outs, divorces, or breaks between people are growing pains. People learn with each other. When people stop interacting with each other, there is nothing left to learn.

Sympathy for the dead doesn’t exist. They are dead. The sympathy is for the living that has to deal with the dead.

Compassion is a strength, no matter what everyone says. It’s fucking difficult to care, especially when people shame you for it. That’s exactly why you’re stronger for it, because they’re too scared of being hurt.

You’re never the same person tomorrow as you are today.

If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re thirsty, drink. It’s amazing how often people need to be told this.

Anonymous asked:

Um, I wanted to tell you you're really wonderful and I've been following you since I was younger (about three years? a while anyway) and watching you and listening to you made me grow as a person and a storyteller so thank you, it might sound really weird coming from a faceless person but you mean a lot to me and I just wanted to let you know that. I was going to do this off anon but I chickened out last minute when I saw the option available for anon i'm sorry ._.

It’s not weird at all. In fact, it’s incredibly kind and sweet of you. Thank you.

If there’s any part of my online presence that helps motivate you or give you clarity in your own living, then it’s served some good.

secondlina

secondlina:

Valor: A fairy tale anthology about courageous heroines starts today!

Valor is a comic anthology of re-imaged fairy tales showcasing the talent of some of the top creators in the field of digital comics. The purpose of this book is to pay homage to the strength, resourcefulness, and cunning of female heroines in fairy tales. Some of these are recreations of time-honored tales. Others are brand new stories, designed to be passed to future generations.

The anthology will be young adult friendly and in color, each story being 4 to 15 pages long.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE KICKSTARTER PAGE TO SEE OUR LIST OF AWESOME CREATORS AND OUR FANTASTIC REWARDS!

CLICK HERE for the Kickstarter

CLICK HERE for the official tumblr.

Muun and I will be participating in Valor Anthology! We’re so excited for it. We’ll be adapting a short story comic for The Crane Wife, which will be our next immediate project after Small Town Witch is (finally!) complete in the next couple of weeks.

Please check it out and support a fantastic project!

So as it turns out I solved my tech issues with my tablet! It took completely nuking my computer to do it (clean installed that motherhugger) but hey all’s well that ends well right.

In conclusion I cancelled my order on the cintiq so that’s considerable less stress! I needed to open a new commission queue anyway so coming out of this week with a working tablet and money isn’t a bad way to go!! Points for ravenclaw.

Back work, art incoming, etc etc.

Welp, due to the fact my original tablet is giving me tech issues in a time of deadlines, I just bought a cintiq! An investment in upgrading my art path but money’s obviously tighter than ever. Which means commission queues are open again. Opening up 10 slots for now and taking it from there. More info here.
And because I get asked this every time I open up my queue, if you just want to put some money to an independent artist’s cause I do have a Donate button on my tumblr.
Thank you for your time!

Welp, due to the fact my original tablet is giving me tech issues in a time of deadlines, I just bought a cintiq! An investment in upgrading my art path but money’s obviously tighter than ever. Which means commission queues are open again. Opening up 10 slots for now and taking it from there. More info here.

And because I get asked this every time I open up my queue, if you just want to put some money to an independent artist’s cause I do have a Donate button on my tumblr.

Thank you for your time!

Life Update

  • Adjusting to new home! Harder than it sounds. Love the new city, new people, and new experience, but mental health has been sporadic and difficult to cope with, which has been affecting my day-to-day functionality, least of which is my internet presence.

  • Apologies for slow responses/contact, to those who have been trying. I’ll be correcting this immediately.
  • Getting back into the swing of drawing. Projects are being worked on (current ones and new), albeit with some delays, and will have more updates regarding those soon (hopefully).

  • Speaking of drawing, my latest hurdle is running into a technical issue this weekend with my tablet where I spent about two days trying to resolve (unsuccessfully). Very frustrating. I’m considering some options (like buying a cintiq) and will come to a decision tomorrow, as it means I’ll need to open up my commission queue again.

I realize my tumblr is kind of dry right now with not a lot of updates/progress/art, or even general liveliness, but thanks for your patience.

tamimay

tamimay:

Chira is AMAZING! I just love how dynamic, and full of life her character studies are! Here’s my oc Maria I commissioned from her.

Her art motivates me even more to practice, and try to break my procrastination streak.

Dusts off cobwebs from this tumblr.

Commission I did recently. I honestly get a kick of doing character studies more than actual illustrations. She was fun!