Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Professional Volunteerism

I am a stay-at-home dad.  My wife makes a good income as an accountant and it allows me to stay home and raise our son.  A few years ago I decided that if I was going to stay on this route I needed to give back to the community and I chose Cub Scouts as the means to that end.

Cub Scouts offers so much for young boys.  Aside from the many useful skills (knots, camping, building pinewood derby cars) they also learn how to grow up in a positive way.  One of my fellow Scouters says "We are raising men."  We teach boys how to protect themselves in a very dangerous world of online predators, and predators at home and at school.  Bullying is dealt with firmly but with an attitude of instruction to make both the bully and the bullied better people.  We teach that to live in a community one must give back to it through service.  Our Pack has many community service projects throughout the year that give the boys a foundation of giving that will last throughout their lives.

When I sat as a parent in my son's first Pack meeting and they put out a call for a Tiger Den Leader, I jumped at the opportunity.  I determined then and there that I was going to embrace Cub Scouts, not just for my son, but for my own betterment as well.  I'm going into my third year as Den Leader and also am an aggressive voice on the Pack Committee.  Our Pack has a phenomenal program with unbelievably dedicated leaders and I'm so thrilled to be working with them.

Last year I decided it was time to move to the next step of service.  That would start with training.  The Boy Scouts have a leadership program called Wood Badge.  It is an intensive series of meetings and a series of personal, pack, and community betterment projects.  I will be attending the first 3 day session at Camp Fire Mountain in a couple of weeks.  I am both excited and a bit intimidated.  This is a big step up because it moves me out of the Pack level of Scouts and into a larger one.

Just as I was getting my head wrapped around Wood Badge, I was approached to be Camp Director of the 2014 Silver Lake Day Camp. I had told myself a month earlier, inspired by the movie, "Yes Man," that I would accept any job that Cub Scouts offered.  Wow, was I not expecting this!  Day Camp is held over 4 days and can have up to 200 kids and dozens of adults and Boy Scout helpers.  Together with the Program Director and other key staff I will be responsible for organizing fun and exciting programs for kids going into 1st through 5th grades.

Part of taking the job as Camp Director is that I must attend National Camping School.  So this is the year that I move up in my volunteering level and take on more responsibilities than ever before.  I know I am capable.  I know the cause is awesome.  There is some trepidation, but overwhelmed by excitement.

Remember to do something good for someone else every day.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Art Challenge And Adult Nude Art

My Wonder Woman drawing should be ready to post tomorrow.  I know I've said that before but I'm being a perfectionist.

In the next 4 weeks I have 25 artist trading cards to complete.  My goal is to have them all done a week before my September 20th birthday.

1 Naughty card for a "Play It Forward" swap.
3 Ocean critters (I'm hosting)
3 Super Women (I'm hosting)
6 Naughty Nudes (I'm hosting)
4 People Practice (face, hand, body)
4 Landscapes created en plein air
4 Lions

Goal:  By 5pm tomorrow (8/15) 1 Naughty card, 2 Ocean critters card, 1 Wonder Woman drawing.

The swaps I am hosting end next week so I really need to focus on those.  The tricky part is that I have Cub Scout Day Camp all next week so it is going to cut into my time a lot.  I may have to take a sketchbook with me for the non-naughty cards.

A fan asked me what I do with all the nude cards I have.  I have hosted several swaps and have a lot of cards.  I'm still learning figure drawing and it helps me to draw nudes.  On a shelf in my den are two notebooks.  One is labeled "Artist Trading Cards" and has all of my safe for children cards.  I will be starting a second one soon as this one is out of room.

Next to it is one titled "Nude Artist Trading Cards" on the spine  It has all of my not safe for children cards.  They are are high enough to be avoided by small children. I don't allow kids other than my son in the den anyway.  Right now nudes, even artistic ones, are icky to Caleb.  Once he gets old enough to be curious he is welcome to explore them if he wants.  None of it is pornographic.  I don't hide them because I think it does more harm to hide.  Nudity and body image and sexuality are things we all deal with and hiding them makes them taboo.  Only negative things come from that.

I don't post my nude cards on this blog but you can see them in my gallery at http://www.atcsforall.com/forum/gallery/index.php?u=2980 or on deviant art at http://sasjhwa.deviantart.com/.  For both sites you will need to create an account.  At ATCsForAll you will need to request access to the adult gallery.  At DeviantArt you will need to turn off the mature filter.  At both sites you can see my non-adult cards without membership.  If you stop in feel free to leave a comment so I know you were hanging out.

If you are interested in joining any of the 3 swaps I'm hosting, cards have to be to me by August 22.  Folks in the Pacific Northwest should be able to do that.  Hand delivery is okay if you contact me first.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Art Cards, and Project Reports

I have been drawing a lot lately.  I've been forcing myself to draw at least a half hour a day.  Part of that involves the 30 minute timed session on http://artists.pixelovely.com/practice-tools/figure-drawing/.  In 30 minutes I have to draw ten 30 second sketches, four 1 minute sketches, two 5 minutes 45 second sketches and one 11 1/2 minutes sketches.  All are of nude models, both male and female.  What I am finding is that by the time I get to the final sketch I'm warmed up and ready to put in a lot of detail and even managed to get some shading done today.

In July I had a lot of projects to do.  Some succeeded while others did not.

The 50,000 word novel - Fail.  I got close but decided victory by typing out something that didn't fit the plot wasn't true victory.

24 page zine.  Done.  I will have it in a printable form soon.

Wonder Woman drawing.  It vexes me.  It may be that perfection is the enemy of the good in this case.  I plan to do one final version and that is it.  I want it delivered as soon as possible.

1 Undersea Critter art card.  Not Done.

4 Flora/Fauna art cards. Done.  The seagull is older but was submitted for the swap anyway.

I am a fairly private person.  My wife is about the only person that I share the deeper parts of myself with.  This week I shared something with another person that I trust.  I won't go into details (you can't get my secrets that easily!) but sharing something that I have not voiced for so many years to an understanding soul is liberating.  Parts of it I have held onto since I was a teenager and saying it to my confidante has liberated part of myself that has been blocking my creativity for decades.  I am finding myself reflecting heavily on it in my sketch diary.  No, you don't get to see those drawings!  Stop trying to figure my stuff out!  

I've also been listening to a lot of Willie Nelson so that may be contributing to a shift in my mental state.  :-)