In March, I had an idea for a new illustration, and asked the readers of my blog for input. I got some fantastic suggestions and your enthusiasm got me really excited about creating a large-scale piece of art.
In June, I started drawing Things That Are Awesome. I drew and drew and drew. I spent every day hunched over my studio table, sketching and inking, and at some points hating my life. I had grossly underestimated how long an illustration of this size and detail would take. It took weeks. Weeks and weeks of near all-nighters, cramped fingers, blurry vision, and questioning why I had undertaken such a task. Weeks of fitful sleep and waking myself up thinking of one more awesome thing that I couldn't fit on my illustration. But I forgot sasquatches! And pet rocks!
Weeks of tweeting my slow and strange progress:
I could've finished a dozen smaller pieces in the time I spent on this one illustration. But in the end, it was worth it. 194 awesome things covering 18x24 inches of awesomeness:
Artscape. It was one of my best-selling pieces at the show, and I was thrilled. People spent a lot of time studying this print, pointing things out to their friends, and laughing. They debated the awesomeness of chicken and waffles. Several people told me "You're right, everything on here is awesome." (Awesome!) One couple bought a print to hang in their baby's nursery. (Double awesome!)
In August, I listed Things That Are Awesome in my shop.
And now, it's September, and I'm finally sharing Things That Are Awesome on the blog. I finally framed it. I finally photographed it. Finally.
This piece was a labor of love and I couldn't have done it without the suggestions of my readers. The fact that this illustration was the result of community involvement made it a hundred times more awesome and kept me motivated to keep going when I was just about to go crazy from those long lonely hours in the studio. I wasn't able to include every suggestion I got (I ran out of room and some were too hard to draw!), but I'm happy that I included at least one awesome thing from every person who commented on my original post. So thank you all for the suggestions, encouragement, and support! And at the risk of turning this post into a cheesy motivational speech (Repeat after me: "I am awesome!") or a drinking game (Drink every time I write the word awesome! That was #16.), I'll say this: You are all awesome (#17) and there is a piece of each one of you in this illustration. I hope looking at it brightens your day and brings a smile to your face.
So hang this poster over your kitchen table, in your baby's room (though be warned, your baby's first words might end up being daiquiri, gin and tonic, or coconut rum), next to your favorite chair, or *record scratch* across from your toilet. I'm not kidding. This illustration needs to be gazed at and pondered...
(Wondering what all 194 awesome (#18) things are on the illustration? I've got them all listed in the item description in my Etsy shop.)
P.S. Remember when I asked for suggestions for this illustration and I promised one of the commenters would win a free print as a thank you? That winner is the fabulous and awesome (#19) Amy Estes! Amy suggested chocolate, bacon, flowers, the Eiffel tower, and my cat. (Sorry Amy, your cat isn't on here. But chocolate, bacon, and flowers are!) So send me your address, and I'll send you Things That Are Awesome. (#20)
P.P.S. And for the rest of you, have an awesome (#21) day. I hope it's filled with ukuleles, log cabins, homemade bread, bighorn sheep, and unicycles. :)
P.P.P.S. Awesome, awesome, awesome. (#22, 23, and 24. Drink! Drink! Drink!)