I’m proud and excited and nervous to share with you my first recorded single, The Net Tightens. It’s a song about remembering friends and loved ones that have passed away. I wrote recently about the passing of my friend Riley, who was a friend within the Amanda Palmer community. There is an unofficial group that started out as an Amanda Palmer fangroup on Facebook that has grown into a 4,000 strong family of creatives and wonderful people. “The Net Tightens” references many of Amanda Palmer’s songs, and the title is a reference to a quote in her book, where whenever tragedy strikes in the community, people get closer together, and we catch each other, like a net tightening in solidarity.
This song was written after we lost a member of our family, Riley Fuxley. Riley was an incredible person, full of love, who released their own music under the name Android Girlfriend. They took their own life on the 29th June 2019 and our community fell into grief once again.
Because of the nature of this song, all proceeds from download sales will be donated to The Trevor Project -a project dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA+ youth, a project Riley supported.
Enormous thanks to Bill Bates (my dad!) for the help in recording this, as well as providing the electric guitar. Couldn’t have done it without you!
More information about The Trevor Project can be found on their website:
We hold three fingers up and smile
We’ve never met but we’ve all fallen in love
Our family’s bleeding
We’re wounded, crying
And the net
We are the ampersands, united
We are the media, inspired
We’ve lost another
Our sins are shattered
And the net
But the noose, it keeps closing in
And the drugs don’t help forever
Though the net is tight they still fall through the cracks
And we all fall down
We raise our salute
We start to sing
And the net
And the net
For the last three weeks or so I’ve been having fun every Wednesday evening doing an art stream. I’ve been taking requests from my Facebook friends on what to draw, and have been drawing a variety of things from dragons, to animals in strange situations, and more. The great thing about taking requests is that it puts me out of my comfort zone, instead of falling back on my usual drawing habits I have to draw what other people suggest, and other people having their own experiences and inspirations and things will often suggest much more interesting things than my brain with it’s habits and comfort zones and routines can come up with. It stirs the creative juices and gets my mind working and I love it.
The other great thing about streaming is having people physically sit with you while you draw, perhaps drawing along with me or coming up with their own interpretation of the prompt word. I love seeing the art people come up with and I especially love seeing different interpretations on the same prompt word, it’s fantastic. It’s a great example of how we all interpret things differently. There’s also something extremely nostalgic about it; it reminds me of when I was a teenager when I would sit in groups of people, usually being fairly quiet, with my sketchbook, just drawing. I’d be in a group of people just doing my own thing but I was still involved and included. And the best part would be when other people came and sat next to me and opened up their sketchbooks to draw too. I’d end up accidentally starting a little drawing corner. I guess that’s how I invision the stream being – a place for us to hang out, a place where we can make time to do art. It’s Time to Draw, and it’s wonderful.
It’s not always super exciting, though. Sometimes I can sit in a stream on my own for half an hour before anyone shows up to say hi or to draw along with me or to listen. That’s usually okay because in those times I can just draw for myself anyway. It’s basically a couple of hours for me to spend drawing just for drawings sake – drawing because it’s my time, for me, and if other people come along for the ride that’s great too. Sometimes the art I make is terrible, sometimes I don’t feel like drawing, but I’ve got this commitment to turn up in my stream and draw something, and that kind of commitment holds you accountable. You’ve gotta do it. The hardest part of drawing is showing up.
Ultimately though, the point of it all, is to draw and practise and keep going. Make a time for the things you love, if you can. Even if it’s five minutes. I do my best, sometimes I don’t stream for a full two hours, but as long as I show up and keep drawing and keep having fun with it, it’s all gonna be okay.
Love you all!
Join me on Twitch every Wednesday at 8pm (UK time) and follow me on twitter @sarahstrangeart to get updated whenever I go live.
I’ve been working on this project behind the scenes for a while now, and I’ve finally started actually illustrating it. This is Life is beautiful, a new graphic novel set after the end of the world. The apocalypsehas happened and zombies have taken over the world. One zombie wonders what the point of it all is, and makes a discovery that changes the world. It’s set in Birmingham, UK, because I love that city and it felt like the perfect backdrop for a post-apocalyptic disaster comic! You can read the first four pages by clicking on the link below. This will be published as a graphic novel in 2019, and I’m excited about what you guys will think about it. (PS, the above image is the cover of the comic, but it’s not completely finished yet! I love me some work in progress things :3
It’s been over a week now (and has already been funded, what even) since I launched my most recent Kickstarter – this time to fund Llama merch! We’re already at 167% funded, because Llama fans are the best fans in the internet. We’re getting some of these made up:
Enamel pin badges:
The main bulk of the cost will be the enamel pin badges that are about £150 for 50 (and you can only buy 50. I couldn’t afford to buy these pin badges off my own back and figured I could crowd fund, and if I was going to crowd fund it I could also throw in extra llama merch like acrylic charms and stuff like that.
Acrylic Charms and Keychains
I’m actually really excited about these keychains because I 100% want one myself.
LOOK HOW AWESOME THESE STICKERS ARE GONNA LOOK THOUGH.
Okay I’m done screaming. The Kickstarter is funded, so it’s kind of like a preorder right now 🙂
Two years ago, I was having a fairly typical conversation about who would win in a fight between superheroes. Out of nowhere, I came out with a question that grew into a much larger scale project: Who would win in a fight between Batman and the Powerpuff Girls?
From that, I started working on the script, and then the comic itself, and 50 pages later, it’s completely finished and available to read, for free, online:
Other the past week I’ve been creating some fantastic colouring pages to sell over in the new section on my online shop. I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out and the quality is much improved from my last colouring book. Because of that, I’ve decided to start work on my SECOND colouring book, which I’m aiming to be ready for February 2018 😄
Until then, go check out the colouring pages that are available to download!
Cards for Cancer made it into my local newspaper this week. I found out because a family friend turned up at my parents house with a copy. I forgot to check, of course.
You can buy the cards through that link above, or check out the full Cards for Cancer page for more information.
More about Cards for Cancer will be happening in late November! Watch this space 🙂
If you’ve been following the madness going on over on my Facebook page, you may have noticed my new book – The Book of Llama – is now available to preorder. This is the first collection of Llamas in Pajamas and I’m a little bit excited about it *cough*understatement*cough*.
Here is an obligitory place where you can buy the thing:
I am, as always, fantastic at marketing.
So yeah, that happened. There was a whole Kickstarter about it, but the Kickstarter didn’t fund, which is okay because I learnt a LOT from it. It was an extremely fun experience as well, because I connected with some really funny people who gave me a lot of really good advice about making comics. I also had a great time making the things for the Kickstarter, and it’s stuff I can use for future promotional material, so it’s really hard to see the Kickstarter as a failure. People keep apologising to me because it didn’t fund, but honestly I’m just exceptionally grateful to all the people who shared it and took a chance on me and this project!
So the preorder is up instead, which has actually gone extraordinarily well. I broke my 24 hour target in about 5 hours. No, seriously. I didn’t anticipate how many people would actually want this book until I put it up for sale.
The next steps are pretty straight forward, and I’ve done most of them already. I’m currently waiting on the final proof copy of the book, which should arrive this week – and once that’s been cleared, all I need to do is hit an “Approve” button and people can start buying the books directly from Amazon. I’ve got to get the preorders sent out to people before that, and that should only take me a day or so. So, yeah, it’s all been pretty straight forward! Isn’t it nice when a plan comes together?
On a similar note, check out the new website design! It’s different. I’m currently a major identity shift in terms of my art and business, and thse shifts tend to come with a change in website design. I’m not sure why. In any case, here it is! Ta da!
That’s all I have to say about that, it’s 4am and I should probably do the whole sleeping thing 🙂
Until next time!