Listen to BIPOC


It is so important for us white folk to open our ears and listen to the voices of Black people, Indigenous people, and POC.

This is a silly art project for a serious theme.

As white people, we can easily ignore other voices out of privileged ignorance. Let us know in the comments how you’re practicing listening to BIPOC voices in your life.


Lend Me Your Ears, my fellow white folks! I’m doing a series of white listening ears and I’d like to draw YOURS.


I need help. This is a community project.

I want to make at least fifty drawings, one daily for fifty days. If you’d be so kind to be part of the project, please send me a pic of your ear. This is about demonstrating the need to listen, not bragging that you are! I’ve gotten 18 ears so far and put them up on my instagram @familiaroddlings. Send me more ears and share this post!

To my BIPOC friends:


Don’t send me your ears. You’ve done SO much listening in your lives! Your thoughts, feelings, or ramblings about whatsoever you feel like putting out here, are welcome! I will listen.

And I WILL DRAW!!!

I’ll make some kind of representation for your comment and make it part of this series. It can be anything. If you have something in mind you’d like me to draw, let me know. If you’d just like to let off steam or anything, I’ll find a way to draw it.

If you are an artist yourself and would like to share it, I’d love to feature it here too!

Thank you for sharing this space with me.

Simin Hailu’s ear
Julia Carranza’s ear
Leah Walsh’s ear
Karen Schlesser’s ear

Lorises don’t make good pets

Needle felted wool on wire armature with plastic eyes.

Lorises are adorable little primates with huge soulful eyes. Their round furry faces have “sad” eyebrow markings. They have tiny hands with five fingers, just like a human baby. They even at times appear to be asking for a hug or a tickle.

But they are not.

Loris doesn’t want your hugs.
Loris in distress

YouTube videos of these sweet faced animals lifting their arms and bearing their armpits have gone viral. We want to sweep the little darlings up in a cuddle. But most people don’t know that these critters are venomous and the arm lifted pose is in fact a sign of distress. They lift their arms to lick their inner elbows, where a special gland secretes venom. Their next bite is serious business!

The venom is only one reason why keeping a loris as a pet is a bad idea. They are taken illegally from their natural habitats in destructive ways, their teeth are removed in painful and often lethal procedures, and they are kept in small crowded cages. The stress of bright lights and transportation often kills them. And even if they survive the process of becoming a pet, once in human care, they are almost certainly malnourished. A diet of insects and tree gum is hard for humans to cater. Neither are they suited to human schedules – they are nocturnal and need solid chunks of sleep during the day. They also have complex social lives and need a mysterious combination of space and companionship that science is only just now starting to unravel.

If all those reasons aren’t enough, consider the fact that the pet trade is threatening the wild population of these animals.

I know what you’re thinking.

But they are so cute!

I know, I know.

We want to cuddle one, just one!

I hear you.

What if I told you there was a way to cuddle a loris and keep it in your home without harming it while ALSO helping lorises in the wild?

Watch my video below to find out how:

 

Lorises need to be free.

Please visit The Little Fireface Project to learn more about these amazing denizens of the forest and how to help them.

Help a loris.
Thank you!

A Taste of Art for the Holidays

I had my first “in person” art show at the Half Moon Bay Library on December 7th and 8th with the Colony of Coastside Artists. It was a blast! I had never met and spoken to so many people about my artwork – and they were all so supportive and kind! My husband, Nick, acted as my spokesperson when my shyness threatened to send me inside my shell and I was honored to make connections with so many fascinating people. I even got to hear an octopus story!

The library is gorgeous. The natural light from all the windows showed off our art beautifully. And the librarians were hospitable heroes! They made the entire event seamless and fun.

The first day was rainy.

I made cranberry and pecan pinwheel cookies! And chocolate chip cookies too, though they’re not as photogenic.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all the visitors who came, all the artists who participated, and all the library staff who helped pull off a wonderful show!

Familiar Oddlings is going to be on Patreon!

I’m putting together a Patreon page where you can support me making oddlings — and get some cool exclusive stuff while you’re at it!

Familiar Oddlings will launch on Patreon on February 20th

But what is Patreon, you ask?

Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.”

 

What will Familiar Oddlings on Patreon be like?

When you become a patron for Familiar Oddlings, you get a chance to win a custom felted snonkey!

Green Banana Snonkey, needle felted

Everyone who signs up as a patron will be entered into a snonkey giveaway. When we reach 50 patrons, I will randomly draw the name of the winner, who will get to choose what kind of snonkey they want.

Some of the prints available

And that’s just the beginning! There will be all sorts of other cool things, like exclusive photos and videos of my work in progress, prints, and even a discount in my etsy shop. You’ll also get to participate in polls to help me figure out what type of oddling to make next.

Why am I doing Patreon?

There are so many projects that I wish to pursue, so many new oddlings I want to felt, and even a book I’m working on illustrating in crayons. With your support and feedback, I could bring these projects to fruition. Having you all at my back will give me the courage to step beyond my comfort zone, learn new skills, and ultimately bring more oddlings into the world!

To be honest, I am both terrified and thrilled about this new step for Familiar Oddlings. I feel like I’m taking my first wobbly steps as newborn giraffe. All gangly and awkward and eager to get moving.

Thank you to everyone for being part of this exciting journey with me!

Remember, February 20th is Familiar Oddlings Patreon launch day!

Kaleb Sleeping Portrait

I drew a crayon portrait of my twin sister’s oldest child, Kaleb, for Christmas. This spirited little one is such a fantastic bundle of energy, it’s these rare quiet moments that catch me by surprise and squeeze my heart even tighter. I adore this guy.

He turned three on December 30th.

Kaleb Asleep in Crayola crayons on illustration artboard

Paul and Andrew Portraits

For Christmas this year, I made crayon portraits of my two nephews on my husband’s side of the family. These adorable little guys are the sparkle in the family! Paul is three years old and Andrew will be two in February.

Portrait of Andrew, Crayola crayons on illustration artboard

Portrait of Paul, Crayola crayons on illustration artboard

 

I’m so happy to have them in my life. And on December 26th we welcomed a brand new little nephew into the family! I’m looking forward to drawing another portrait for baby Tyler.

Anthopleura WIP Video

I’ve been working really hard on the needle felted Anthopleura sola, the Starburst anemone, but making all those tentacles is taking a long time. So I thought I’d give you guys a peek into the process by…

… making my first needle felting video! View it at the link:

 

Below are some stills from the video with a bit more information.

MixRoving1_web
I found a yarn that was the perfect color to blend with my other roving (loose wool ready for felting or spinning). I only need to take it out of its loosely spun strands and make it into roving. You can do this with any yarn that is %100 wool, or any kind of felt-able fiber.

MixRoving2_web
Using specialized carding combs, I blend the two colors of roving together. You can get combs like these from Etsy or your local craft store.

TentacleCore_web
Here you can see I am wearing leather thimbles on my fingers and thumb. I use a wooden needle holder that I’ve found to be the most comfortable. Even though it has multiple slots, I typically use only a single needle. I felt on a Woolbuddy pad, which is a mat of densely felted wool that works just like a foam pad but better.

The start of the tentacle is a core of plain undyed roving, which is then covered and expanded upon with the blended roving. After rolling the wool into roughly the shape of a tentacle, I poke it repeatedly. The barbed needle does the felting by grabbing the strands and tangling them around each other with every poke. Slowly the tentacle starts to form and hold its shape.

TentacleGreen_web
I stretch the blended roving out in a line to get the tentacle long and thin.

TentacleBlueTip_web
I add blue roving to the tip of the tentacle.

AnemoneTentacle_web
The tentacle is complete and ready to join the others on the anemone!

Thank you for watching my process! This is a long and intense project and I’m glad to have you all along with me.

Check back for photos of the finished anemone.