What If Your Favorite Story Had Never Been Told Because The Author Was Too Afraid to Share It?

We all have stories we tell ourselves.

We're too old. Too young. Too much. Too little.

Too strange.

It can be tempting to keep our most creative selves, our best stories, secret and safe. And while there's something appealing about having a good secret, not sharing our work with the world means other strange beings like ourselves keep hidden as well because they think they're alone. And all those stories never get told.

But there's another story. A better one.

What if there are other magical creatures out there? What if they are just waiting for the right signal that it's safe to come out of hiding and join you on your creative adventure?

Meet Katy Morgan. As a writer, editor, and creative community builder, she knows what it's like to have a creative secret and to wonder if it's safe to put it out into the world. Recently, Katy and I sat down to talk about why stories matter—and how to find that special community of like-minded beings who can't wait to support your work.

Join us, along with other inspirational creative experts, at the upcoming virtual event Inspired Connections Summit: How to Use the Power of Story to Build a Creative Community That Will Support and Inspire Your Most Authentic Work.

My video interview for inspired summit will air between August 2nd - August 12th, 2017.

My video interview for inspired summit will air between August 2nd - August 12th, 2017.

No matter what strange world you're adventuring through—art, writing, music, or something else entirely—there are magical creatures just like you waiting to be your companions on your journey. All you have to do is be willing to reach out and find them.

Join us for the Inspired Connections Summit (click the link), starting August 2. A community of inspired creatives is waiting to welcome you…and your stories.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Ghosts (Haunted Hat Drawing Part 3)

I've known quite a few people who have had paranormal experiences....like they go into an old building and they feel some presence....it's creepy and cold...they cannot shake the feeling of someone watching them.  Some of my friends have even said the paranormal presence or ghost has pushed them, shaken them and thrown them about....or if not them.....some object like a table thrown across the room.  I have not had any experiences like this.  So I really cannot tell you what you ought to know about ghosts....except to try not to cross their paths.      

But what if the ghosts are not in an old building....and instead....in an object you own? Like a hat?  In my drawing, Haunted Hat, you can see that the haunting is much more personal than a house. 

With the color, the ghosts really pop off the page.  I think it makes everything feel more creepy.  What do you think?  I'm glad this haunted drawing is finished.  If you like it, you may also enjoy my other artwork.  Click here to view more.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Ghosts (Haunted Hat Drawing Part 2)

I'm no expert on ghosts----just in case you were looking for answers from me.  But I do know that ghosts are everywhere and sometimes too near for you to notice until it's too late.  Many times, they're right under you nose.......

....Or even in your hat like in my Haunted Hat drawing. 

Haunted Hat Drawing-4.jpg

As you can see, I got the drawing finished.  Is it eerie?  Creepy?  Or somehow lovely?  I still need to color it.  I'll keep you posted on how I finish it with the colors.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Ghosts (Haunted Hat Drawing Part I)

If I actually knew what everyone ought to know about ghosts, I'd probably be a ghost hunter (that actually sounds like a fun job, huh?).  I cannot say I am, but as a Japanese woman, you ought to know that ghosts are part of my Japanese culture.  We love our ghost stories.  We know about hungry ghosts that can not be sated.  They want without ever being fulfilled.  They have unfinished business and they will wreak havoc on the living.

Haunted Hat Drawing-1.jpg

In this drawing, I've made a shell of a woman who is definitely being haunted by some hungry ghosts.  I call it, "Haunted Hat".  I just barely got started drawing it.  I'll keep showing you how it progresses in the weeks to come.  

Who Else Is Living In A Haunted House? Part 3

Where is an exorcist when you need him, right?  I wish it was as easy as a preacher praying over me to expel the ghosts haunting me or I'd even take the Ghost Busters (it might be more fun).  But I've been possessed because I still am hanging onto pain, regret and mistakes.  When I can accept the things that won't change (because they're long gone opportunities), I may be released from their haunting power over me.  That's my theory anyway.  Who has been able to get away from all those hungry ghosts?  How did you do it?  Please tell.   

Now, you can see all those little ghosts coming out of the house and surrounding it.  I think the ones coming out of the eyes are the creepiest.  They're like tears that refuse to dry and go away.  As you can see in the photo above, I was able to finish the ink drawing.

I also found time to give it some creepy color.  The girl is so ghostly and cold looking.  And the ghosts finally pop out from the white paper background.

This Haunted House Girl drawing is finally finished.  Thanks for following the work in progress.  I like the way it turned out, melancholy and sad.  What do you think?  If you liked seeing this drawing, you may also enjoy seeing more of my creepy, strange art.  Click on this link to see more. 

Who Else Is Living In A Haunted House? Part 2

Relationships not working, not taking the risk to do something that scared me, treating someone with less kindness than they deserved, not expressing how I felt to someone who needed to hear it-----these are some of the things that haunt me.  I know they will hang onto me like so many little ghosts, until I confront them.  I have to go through the fear, if I am to be released from their spooky echoes through my mind and soul.  Do you understand?  Have you been there too?  

That's why there are so many little ghosts in my Haunted House Girl drawing.  

I was able to make a little more progress this second week.  It is hard to find the time to get sketching done. Sometimes, I do it on my lunch break at work.  That makes for a great day.  

I'll keep posting the progress I make.  Next week, I'll show you what more I get done.  So far, so good.  What do you think?

Who Else Is Living In A Haunted House? Part I

I'm half Japanese, so I come from a culture that believes in ghosts and spirits.  They are all around you, restless and haunting the woods, old buildings and houses.  People who die are still with us in all the things that surround us.  I can't say that I've ever saw a ghost, but there are times when a place just doesn't feel right.  You can't say what it is.  There's just something creepy.  Who else believes in ghosts?  Who else knows what I mean?

That was the inspiration for this drawing in my sketchbook.  But it's more than ghosts around you.  I think there are ghosts living within each person.  They are filled with hungry ghosts from the past that still have unfinished business.  It's like living in a haunted house.  I know that I have those kinds of ghosts.  Who else feels haunted?

I got the light, sketchy, under drawing done and I'm starting to fill in the details of the drawing (as you can see in the photos above).  Next week, I'll post more of my work in progress on this Haunted House Girl drawing.

The Best Art Event in Portland Is The Strange & Magical "Monster Drawing Rally"

What should an art event have to be deemed The Best Art Event in Portland?  Well, it should:

  1. Sweep you away in all the excitement happening around you.
  2. Make you feel like you're in on a secret or something very rare and special.  
  3. Give you something unique that you didn't expect and that keeps you asking for more.  
The Monster Drawing Rally sign at the Portland Art Museum.

The Monster Drawing Rally sign at the Portland Art Museum.

The "Monster Drawing Rally" at the Portland Art Museum is that art event.  2017 is the 3rd time that the museum will put on this strange and magical event.  There are 100 artists participating who donate their time and talent to raise funds for the museum's children's art programs.  In 3 one-hour shifts, artists from Portland draw or paint for 1 hour, creating as many works of art as they can in that short time.  When the art is done, it's put up on a wall to behold and to be sold for only $35.00.

One row of the many artists creating at the Monster Drawing Rally at the Portland Art Museum.

One row of the many artists creating at the Monster Drawing Rally at the Portland Art Museum.

Right before your eyes, artists materialize beautiful, strange or funny art like a magician pulling fantastic creatures from his top hat.  With all the music pumping around you, so many different artists creating beautiful art each hour, and delicious food scents filling the air, you cannot help but be swept away in the non-stop fun and excitement.  Amazing sights, sounds, scents, tastes and touches thrill all 5 of your senses.  If you don't like the art move on to watch the next art being created.  If you weren't able to buy the art that you wanted, there's bound to be another artist creating another magical artwork for you.  As the artists form their creations, you're let in on the secret of how it's done.  You get to witness what's usually done behind the closed studio doors.  You have no idea what each artist will create.  It's a surprise.  Each artwork is unique and you just want the magic to keep going on and on.  Encore.  More please.  But it only lasts for 3 hours.  Hopefully, by the time the last artist stops drawing or painting, you've gotten your very own piece of strange magic from the "Monster Drawing Rally".

Melissa Kojima (me) drawing at the Monster Drawing Rally at the Portland Art Museum.

Melissa Kojima (me) drawing at the Monster Drawing Rally at the Portland Art Museum.

This will be my 2nd year to participate as one of the 100 artists donating my time and talent.  I cannot describe how thrilled I am to be a part of the Best Art Event in Portland.  It will be Friday, July 14th 6-9pm at the Portland Art Museum.  Would you want to come and have the time of your life?  Or do you need to wash your hair that night?  Come with dirty hair.  No one will care.

All the artwork I created in 1 hour at the Monster Drawing Rally sold.

All the artwork I created in 1 hour at the Monster Drawing Rally sold.

If You Love Strange Art and You're in Portland, You Won't Want to Miss This!

If you are one of those people whose heart skips a beat when see strange art with strange characters in strange lands and you're in Portland, Oregon this week, you won't want to miss the First Thursday Art Walk on June 1st, 2017 (5:30-10pm)!  Why?  Because I'm selling a bunch of my strange drawings for cheap there!  My Art Geeks Meetup group has a booth on the sidewalks at NW 8th Avenue between NW Davis and Everett.  You'll find a few the drawings below (+ many more) hanging there for way below their value (I mean cheap!).  Are you excited?  Do you hope you'll get there before it's all gone?  Yes, it's for only one night at this cheap price.  Get there quickly before there's nothing left. 

Who Else Likes Strange Stories & Strange Art?

THERE WAS ONCE A DAZZLING AND MAGICAL CREATURE who was unlike any other creature in the world.  She was unique and amazing.  But she felt awkward and strange because she had forgotten that she had magic.  

IT BECAME A HABIT TO HUNCH OVER as she sat, stood or walked around.  She hoped no one would look at her and notice how strange she was.  Having no friends, she felt lonely, but she didn't know how to fit in.   One day as she was bumbling along, hunched over, not paying attention to where she was going, she stumbled down a hill.

TUMBLING OVER AND OVER, DOWN A STEEP INCLINE, she shut her eyes.  Her fall was finally stopped by something hard against her side.  It knocked the wind out of her lungs.  Lying on the ground, catching her breath, she felt pain all over.  She opened her eyes to see where she had landed and to check for any cuts and bruises, but it was so dark she could not see her hand in front of her face.  

SHE STOOD UP, hoping her blindness was only a dizzy spell from the fall.  The darkness persisted.  Her heart jolted with fear.  She was lost, alone and blind.  How would she get back home?  What if there were monsters lurking in the darkness who could see that she was blind?  How would she escape them?  She didn't know.  She couldn't think.  But her impulse was to run to safety.  That meant light.  Where was some light?  

SHE CAUGHT A GLIMPSE of a glowing ember.  Where was it coming from?  Was it a fire in the distance?  No.  It seemed near.  Very near.  She held her hand up to gage its distance from her, then realized the glow was from her heart.  What was happening?  How was this possible? Her hand reflected the faint, orange light coming from her chest.  In this strange, dark land, her heart was a fire.  She was no longer blind. She gathered her courage and took a step forward.  Now, there was hope.   

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YOU ARE THIS DAZZLING & MAGICAL CREATURE who is unlike any other creature in the world.  When darkness surrounds you, it can be hard to remember that you have secret powers.  What if you could discover them and your magical creature?  Click on the link to be taken on a magical adventure where you uncover all the secrets of your magic and power.