A quick cartoon drawn in Photoshop. I like imagining the words being spoken by George Costanza’s mother.
My art almost always contains an element of whimsy. It also often involves inspiration, encouragement, or entertainment. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to make something that combines all three.
Other times, I end up with something that’s just plain silly.
It all started with a mango with a mullet.
And I just could not stop. I felt compelled to paint pictures of food sporting hairstyles of varying levels of ridiculousness. When the dust settled, the series totaled nine in all, including cauliflower with a combover, cabbage with cornrows, and a pear with a perm.
I loved building snow forts when I was a kid. For those of us who grew up in climates with frosty winters, it was a classic childhood pastime.
After a big snowfall, it was it was easy to start visioning what sort of fort you would build. Your imagination kicking into high gear, you’d think about building two levels, with windows — and turrets! — along with a few secret passageways and, of course, extra thick walls to protect against enemy snowball attacks.
Here’s the thing: no matter how grandiose your plans, you always start out with a plain, untouched pile of snow. And if you caught sight of the neighbor kids’ fort — the ones who got started a few hours ahead of you — it might be easy to get a little jealous. I mean, they have a freaking moat. And is that a snowball CATAPULT? Continue Reading →
Rich Mullins was a contemporary Christian artist whose songs and perspective were a major influence on me during a crucial point in my life. He passed away in a tragic car accident when I was in college. I remember a chilly, late-night walk on campus during which I reflected on his life and the impact he’d had on the world. As autumn leaves crunched under my feet, I noticed stirring within my heart: a deep desire to make a similar impact. A dark voice of doubt tried to squelch it immediately. “Who do you think you are? You’re just a kid from a small town in Illinois!”
Fortunately, another voice came to my defense: “And Rich Mullins was ‘just’ a kid from a small town in Indiana. Why NOT you?”
I’ve always held on to that sentiment, especially when I’ve been intimidated, afraid, or feeling unworthy. Which happens a lot, especially when I’m about to give a speech to an audience that is out of my comfort zone. Yes, the people in the seats may have experience, social status, intelligence, or degrees that exceed my own, but I have something of value to bring to the table, too. I remind myself that my unique perspective may be just the thing that someone in that audience needs to hear on that particular day. Continue Reading →
My favorite segments of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood were when he would do some kind of epic behind-the-scenes factory tour. I remember the crayon factory, the marble factory, and the interview with Lou Ferrigno, aka The Incredible Hulk. Epic, I tell you.
I’ve always been fascinated with where things come from, and perhaps I have Mr. Rogers to thank for that.
This painting depicts where Lincoln Logs come from, in case you were wondering. It’s a fact, look it up.
Where do dreams come from? Not the kind you have when you’re sleeping, the other kind. The kind you can’t stop thinking about when you’re awake. The kind that get you up in the morning, keep you going when times are tough, and fill you with joy when you think about them actually coming true.
I happen to believe that those dreams were baked into us from the beginning. They’re part of our spiritual DNA. We discover them at different points of our lives, but when we do, watch out. Nothing can stop us.
Unless we let it.
Dreams are powerful things, and Adultitis will stop at nothing to get us to derail us. It will stonewall us, discourage us, frustrate us, humiliate us and do whatever it can to get us to give up on our dream, or worse, downsize it. That way we will go through life sleepwalking, mistakenly thinking that we are indeed following our dream, without ever realizing it is but a shallow knockoff of the original.
Discouragement may be its biggest tool, for when the no’s pile up and the closed doors begin melting our resolve, it’s easy for Adultitis to step in and convince us that we were simply mistaken, overzealous, or — my favorite — unrealistic. It wants us to forget the fact that it takes a certain number of no’s to get to a yes. And the bigger the yes we need seems to be in direct proportion to the number of no’s we will have to hear.
Don’t give up your dreams. And for goodness’ sake, don’t downsize them, either. A yes may be just around the corner.
Now available as a free download for Kim & Jason Insiders! You can print it out on your home printer and hang it on your fridge, in your office, or anywhere else that makes you happy.Get it here!
I became a father a little over four years ago. Before that, my wife and I had been married for eight years and worked together on our small business. We were used to working long days, coming and going as we pleased, and eating out at nice, quiet restaurants. We used to have a Cheerio-free backseat in our car. But now we have two kids, which practically makes me an expert at parenting.
An expert at knowing how little I actually know about it, that is. Continue Reading →
I made some art that features some whimsical little Christmas friends painted over the top of sheet music for classic Christmas carols. I was originally going to make them into a set of real-live Christmas cards. And them time went by too fast. Oh well, maybe next year.
So I decided to turn them into eCards for Kim & Jason Insiders. (Yet another perk of free membership.) Recipients don’t need to be an Insider to receive them, so you don’t have to worry about hassling them to sign up. Just a fun way to spread a little Christmas cheer without having to buy stamps :)
Here are the four designs:
I don’t get people who say that high school was the best time of their life. Sure, high school had some great moments, but I could have done without the zits, the awkwardness, and the over-dramatization of trivial things. I just find it sad to hear people say the prime of their life ended when they were 18 years old.
Don’t get me wrong; I often reflect on the “glory days” of my past: playing second base for the varsity team in high school, the comaraderie of taking shop with fellow art majors in college, and the sweet, sweet freedom of the pre-kid days of marriage.
But those glowing memories are revisionist history. Continue Reading →
When we were young, we had no trouble dreaming big. There was no other way to dream. We dreamed big, often, and with reckless abandon.
But somewhere along the way, our heart got broken. A dream didn’t come true and it hurt like hell. Continue Reading →
What expert decided that states that lean Republican should be red while the Democratic ones are designated as blue? Sometimes I wonder if mixing it up might contribute a little bit of levity to the whole process of choosing our nation’s leader. Because there sure is a lot of Adultitis involved as it is.
How ’bout some plaid? Polka dots? Or maybe some periwinkle?
Today’s election is an important one. But may we always remember that while we should always take our duties and the direction of our country seriously, we do not have to take ourselves seriously.
Living in the purple state of Wisconsin for more than a decade now has taught me that, by and large, most people sincerely want what’s best for our country. Sometimes, we just happen to have different ideas on how to go about it. While it’s easy to disagree with each other on issues, it’s hard to demonize someone when you keep in mind that deep down, their intent is the same as yours.
Now go vote. And let’s promise to all still be friends tomorrow.
Made with my iPad.
This was made for — and inspired by — my dad, who is pretty much the most optimistic guy I know.
Consider it a sign that you’re on the right track.
One thing my Dad likes doing with his grandkids is eating Hershey’s chocolate syrup with a spoon, straight from the bottle.
It was a big day in our household when Kim taught Lucy how to dunk cookies in milk.
And then there’s the story a childcare professional I met in Houston shared with me. Continue Reading →
When you buy something online, during the checkout process, there is almost always a checkbox with an invitation to receive promotional emails of some sort. Sometimes you have to check the box to get the emails. Other sites have pre-checked the box for you, automatically assuming that you want their stuff. If you don’t, you physically have to uncheck the box — or opt-out — yourself.
If you’re not paying attention, you could end up getting a bunch of stuff you didn’t really want.
Too many people live life with their checkboxes pre-checked. Continue Reading →
One of Kim’s favorite words is “savor.” The dictionary defines the verb this way: “to have experience of, to taste or smell with pleasure, or to delight in.” Continue Reading →
Kim and I recently attended the World Domination Summit in Portland for the second year in a row. The brainchild of Chris Guillebeau (Remember him? We did a fun interview with him a short while back), WDS is a conference inspired by the question: How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world? One thousand real-life answers to that question were in attendance. Continue Reading →
Last summer, after years of doing very little art, my creative juices started percolating. I felt the overwhelming desire to make stuff. To cast off in new directions and have fun. I started creating art again.
Not everything was great — most wasn’t — but I thought it was time to release some of the good stuff into the world. Here you’ll find the first new prints we’ve offered in several years. Perhaps one or two would look great in your home or office.
This is the first in a series of brand new art prints I’m releasing in the coming weeks.
I created this one in response to the global economic crisis. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it downright exhausting to hear the constant stream of negativity on the news and in daily conversation. No doubt, we are living in trying times, but no matter how dire the circumstances, there are always hidden opportunities waiting to be found. Some of the largest and most important companies and technological advances were born in the most challenging periods of history.
Some may discount the power of positive thinking, but the truth is this: You can’t spot a good opportunity when you’re looking at life with a bad attitude.
I used the weather section of a national newspaper as the foundation of this piece to serve as a reminder that it’s up to us whether our future forecast is sunny or gloomy.
Two sizes of prints are available, and the original is, too. And in an effort to spread some extra positivity around, I’m also releasing this as a free download for Kim & Jason Insiders.
Continue Reading →
A few years ago, Chris Guillebeau made it his goal to visit every country in the world before his 35th birthday. He’s already visited over 175 of them, and is on pace to complete the quest next year.
He is also a writer, entrepreneur, purveyor of the blog The Art of Non-Conformity, and author of the excellent book by the same name. His mission is to help people live unconventional lives, make their own choices, and change the world.
We had a chance to chat with Chris recently, and covered a wide range of topics. We asked him about his world travels, how his adventure has changed him, and what has rendered him awestruck along the way. Chris also shares his opinion on the most Adultitis-free culture in the world, his unconventional thoughts on life balance, and some tidbits from his childhood, including his favorite toy and the surprising thing he wanted to be when he grew up.
In this short but thought-provoking interview, you’ll learn a super tip on how to save money while traveling and hear some things that may inspire you reinvent the way you look at life.
A few months ago, I wrote about the idea of making a list of things you want to do this summer. A summer bucket list, if you will. This is mine.
Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not.
Creating a great life story requires living with intention. As the old saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. But if you want to create a life filled with great scenes and happy memories, you need to do your part.
You need to invite those scenes and memories into your story.
One way to do that is with a bucket list. Write it out. Draw it, like I did. Or make a collage with pictures from the internet or magazines. Fill it with big things and little things. Maybe team up with your spouse or family to create one together. Then — and this is the important part — keep it somewhere you’ll see it often. This bad boy is going on my fridge.
Summers get busy and are gone before you know it. Let this become your ever-present reminder to fill it with adventure.
We live in a culture that worships the new. I think it’s worth keeping in mind that just because something isn’t “new” doesn’t mean it’s without value.
This is true with things other than just cookies, too.
[ Cookie Sale. Acrylic on newspaper. 9 x 12 inches. ]