Lately I’ve been the recipient of so many kind gestures that I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate these helpful souls…And then when I did that, I found that my list kept getting longer and longer!! So here are a few of the people I owe a “Thank You!” to, but there’s an even bigger list of people to whom I’m extremely grateful to, and I hope that you know I appreciate everything you’ve done to keep me going on this journey.
Kristy has long been a remarkable source of unending support, and recently she wrote a lovely blog about her experience being a Patron of Moko Press on Patreon. If I’m not mistaken, she’s also the very first person that ever bought a LeyLines book. (That, or every person named Kristy is just amazing!) She’s a fantastic Force of positive support and fun on Twitter if you’re looking for a good person to follow. She also has a website called “One Sassy Homemaker” which is “a guide for those trying to make a house a home with a little sass and a whole lot of coffee.” Kristy, thank you for being such an absolute delight to talk/tweet with, for your generosity, and your incredible support!
Josh has become an anchor at conventions for me. Whether it’s in Seattle or Denver, he makes a point to swing by our table and brighten our day! Josh has a Podcast called Points of Interest that covers “the gamut of Nerd Culture” that he’s kindly let me participate in on occasion. I’m always inspired to hear what Josh is working on next, and how he’s gradually building up his knowledge, expertise, and expanding his reach. It seems like every time I see him, he’s just completed a new “the first time I ever…” Thank you Josh for your enthusiasm and support! Keep building that empire of knowledge and influence!!
…or, as my brain always remembers him, “Uncle Korm,” since that’s the Twitter handle I first met him through. Which seems appropriate, since James really seems like the kind of Uncle we’d all like to have. He’s a warm and good natured person, supportive, understanding, with a quiet strength I find inspiring. It was a wonderful experience to first meet him in person at Denver Comic Con, an organization he’s now offering some assistance to (and he’d no doubt like me to remind you that if you’re a local, volunteers are always welcome!!). If you’re looking for a wonderful individual to follow on Twitter, who also happens to be a local Colorado craft beer enthusiast, introduce yourself to Uncle Korm. James, thank you so much for sharing your kindness with Cory and I. It is always a pleasure to see you each convention!
Liz was one of the first webcomic creators I connected with online. Her enthusiasm and passion for her work was infectious! It made me feel much more welcome in the webcomic community, which I was rather intimidated by at the time. Her webcomic is Adrastus, which is about “Motorcycles, Giant Robots, and Aliens.” If you have a nostalgic love for Big Robot Anime, this comic hits that sweet spot between homage and humorous retrospective on the genre. Liz also was the best part of my artist alley experience at Intervention (The Internet Convention) which she is a guest for this year! Thank you so much Liz for your energy, passion, enthusiasm, and making sure I didn’t go crazy and starve while next to you at the convention. 🙂 You are a remarkable person and I wish you every degree of success!
It would be remiss of me to mention Liz without bringing up the wonderful man that essentially introduced her to me…and the rest of the internet, via the Comic Dish Podcast! Reed, Modesty, and Shayne were also kind enough to review LeyLines when it was still in its very first chapters. I admit to being over-eager when I asked, but I just got so excited listening to them and I wanted to hear their thoughts! I’m glad I did, their feedback had a direct influence on improving the quality of the artwork! Since then, Shayne has been a huge source of friendship, support, and encouragement. It seems that whenever I hit a stumbling block, I’ll find a kind word in my inbox. He’s always been eager to help spread the word about my projects on his podcast, and I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to talk with him and his co-hosts on multiple occasions. Shayne, thank you so much for being such a source of joy, humor, help, and fun. You’re amazing!
Thom and Kambrea Pratt
In the vein of unique and passionate creators, Thom and Kambrea Pratt of Shadowbinders have always been exceptionally kind to me. They’ve always been an excellent source of thought-provoking shop talk, and I’ve picked their brains on several occasions when I’ve run into a particularly tricky problem. I love how willing they are to try new things with their comic and their business. It’s been a huge inspiration to me, and I admire them both a great deal. Their comic, Shadowbinders is “a magical, SteamFantasy” story that is fantastically creative and beautifully rendered. Thom and Kambrea, thank you so much for all the incredible work you do and for your inspirational drive and creativity. I know that one way or another, you will find a way to make your dreams a reality!
It’s a rare enough event when someone says “I’ll come back” at a convention and they actually do, buying a book no less! Even more rare, when they say “I’ll write a review” and sure enough they not only do, but are exceptionally kind in their remarks. J.D. is a reviewer for The Nerdy Girlie, which has the goal of building “a community with ALL nerds and support other nerd girls!” Definitely a vision that I feel very strongly about! Thank you, J.D., for taking the time to support an independent creator, and for helping to create a new environment in nerd culture where everyone can feel welcome!
Eric is the author of Snow by Night, along with being an individual of excellent humor, generosity, kindness, and all around great-guy-ness. When I went, very nervously, to my first out-of-state convention on the East Coast, he gallantly invited me to stay with him and his wonderful family. Not only was he a blast to talk to, but he made my stay a joy and introduced me to all the local creators — something I would have been too shy to do on my own. I’m so excited to see what directions his story will take, which mixes a love of history with fantasy and is carried by strong characters. Thank you Eric for transforming my first big convention trip from one of finger-nail biting anxiety into an exciting exploration of all the East Coast comic community had to offer. All my love to you and your amazing family and absolutely adorable kids.
Of course, this cadre of fantastic folk would be incomplete without Chris Oatley. Whenever I meet an artist that wants to take the next step with their creative craft, the first words out of my mouth are, “Have you met Chris Oatley?” Then I follow up that with, “Because he is by far one of the most knowledgeable, encouraging, and incredible educators I’ve ever met.” ChrisOatley.com is bursting with valuable resources (His article about the Texture Monster rescued a painting I was working on just earlier this week!) and whenever I need to get SUPER-CHARGED inspiration I listen to his podcast! Chris was a character designer and visual development artist with Disney until he left to pursue his passion for teaching. He founded the Oatley Academy of Concept Art and Illustration with the mission to “create the most personal art education you can find online.” I enrolled in his Painting Drama course last year, and discovered an almost instantaneous unlocking in my mind of new concepts and principals. Any improvement you’ve noticed in my work, starting with Chapter Eight, owes an extreme debt of gratitude to Chris’ fantastic teaching. Not only from a technical aspect, but from a personal one, because joining Chris’ class was the first time I ever allowed myself to think of my work as art. Or to think of myself as an artist. Thank you so much, Chris, for being a constant beacon of hope, information, creativity, and learning. I am so happy for all you’ve accomplished, and so excited to see all you will do. Cory and I both treasure the opportunities we’ve had to talk with you one-on-one, because you always make us feel that anything is possible, and our creative dreams are worth pursuing.
And thanks are owed, as always, to every LeyLian that’s reading this right now. Your comments are an unending source of joy, and I can say with confidence that your thoughtful musings, personal recollections, and unique perspectives rank among some of the most incredible responses any creator could hope for. Your support of not only this story, but also Cory and I as independent creators trying to build a dream, is nothing short of amazing. Thank you for everything you do each an every day to help this story and this vision grow.
What people are you grateful to in your life?
Do they know the difference they made you you? Today I encourage you to write your own email, blog, tweet, or simply make a phone call and let them know how much their actions have mattered to you.