Secret Chalk Drawings Around Downtown Portland: Part 4

If I continue to draw in Downtown Portland, Oregon, I have to accept that my secret chalk drawings could only last a short time and be power-washed away.  That kind of makes me sad. since they usually take me 2 1/2 - 3 hours to draw and they could last for weeks.  I know people enjoy them because they tell me.  

Topiary Magic Chalk Drawing.jpg

I drew this one, Little Topiary Giant, at my niece's and nephew's place, so they have  been taking care of it and it is only slowly fading away like the good summer weather.   If anyone would like to have a personal chalk drawing at their place that they will take care of, let me know.  I may want to visit you and draw.

Secret Chalk Drawings Around Downtown Portland: Part 3

I've been getting sick of having my sidewalk drawings power-washed away the next day when they could last for weeks.  They could be little secret chalk drawing treasures for everyone to discover.

This time, I asked a restaurant if I could draw on the sidewalk near their place.  They seemed happy to let me use their sidewalk.  But the next morning, it too was gone.  I guess I should have asked about the power washing.  

Bunny Entrance Chalk Drawing.jpg

I called this one, "Bunny Topiary Magical Entrance".  It felt like that moment when magic and mystery beckons to you, but you hesitate before deciding whether or not to go on an adventure.  

I'll keep seeking more chalk drawing adventures despite others wanting me to stop it.  Stay tuned for my next one.

Secret Chalk Drawings Around Downtown Portland: Part 2

Psst...shhhh.....here's another secret chalk drawing in Downtown Portland, Oregon.  I had fun listening to people's compliments and comments....like one passing person telling his dog not to attack the fake animal on the ground.  That cracked me up.  Lots of people told me it was beautiful.  That made me feel good.  This one is called, "Topiary Giraffe Swing".  

Chalk-Drawign-Topiary-Giraffe-WIP-MKojima.gif

Unfortunately, this one also got power-washed away the next day.  Below you can see what it looked like before and after.  A stain of it actually survived the spraying.

Giraffe Topiary Chalk Drawing-Before-After.jpg

Hold on for more chalk drawings to come.

Secret Chalk Drawings Around Downtown Portland: Part 1

It's summertime for a bit longer, so fortunately, I can still do some secret sidewalk chalk drawings  around downtown Portland, Oregon.  I doubt you got to see this one because it was power-washed away the next day.  But I keep doing it because, I love the interaction with my city and....well....I love drawing.  This one is called, "Flying Away on a Topiary Deer".  Stay tuned for more sidewalk chalk drawings.

Deer-Topiary-Chalk-Drawing-WIP-by-Melissa-Kojima.gif

5 Strange Things at the 2017 Monster Drawing Rally

I had a blast at the 2017 Monster Drawing Rally at the Portland Art Museum.  Maybe, it's because I sold my 2 drawings.  Perhaps, it's because I wore my cat ears and stripes.  Possibly, it's because I saw lots of strange things.  More than likely, it's all of them.  But I definitely have a strong attraction to all things strange.  Who else is attracted to strangeness?  Here are 5 strange things I saw at this fun art event where I donated my art and time to raise funds for the children's programs at the museum.

Me, Melissa Kojima, at the 2017 Monster Drawing Rally III at the Portland Art Museum.

Me, Melissa Kojima, at the 2017 Monster Drawing Rally III at the Portland Art Museum.

#1  Beaded Painted Artist who looked exactly like the art she was creating.  She was pretty strange and awesome.  Enough said.  

Beaded-Artist-Girl-at-2017-Monster-Drawing-Rally-III.jpg

#2 Carson Ellis with Headphones.  Who is she?  Well, she just won the Caldecott Medal for her children's book, "Du Iz Tak?" and her husband is the front man for the band "The Decemberists".  People said she was wearing them because she didn't want everyone to approach her and ask for her autograph.  I don't know.  But it was a good way to concentrate on just making some great art, even if it was a bit strange.

2017-Monster-Drawing-Rally-Carson-Ellis.jpg

#3 Sewing Machine Artist.  I didn't know you could bring a sewing machine to a live art event.  Who knew?  And why not?  Sure.  It keeps everything strange and interesting, right?

2017-Monster-Drawing-Rally-Sewing-Artist.jpg

#4 Astronaut Artist.  He really is out of this world.  At the very least, he is absolutely strange, right?!  His whole suit made noise and flashed lights.  It was captivating.

2017-Monster-Drawing-Rally-Astronaut-Artist.jpg

#5 My Two Strange Drawings.  I was nervous and tried to do my best in my 60 minutes of drawing.  Here are the strange results; a Haunted Hat Lady & a Secret Lives Cat Lady.  They both sold, so I'm proud that I could help the Portland Art Museum again for the second year in a row of participating.

2017-Monster-Drawing-Haunted-Drawings-MKojima.jpg

If you liked this, you might also like reading about the 2016 Monster Drawing Rally.  Click here.

WHO ELSE IS AFRAID TO BE SEEN CRYING? (GHOST TEARS GIRL DRAWING PART 3)

I don't want anyone to see me crying because I don't want them to think that I'm a wuss or that I can't take care of myself or that I'm stupid somehow.  What are your reasons for sucking up your tears?  Has someone made fun of you before when you let them fall?  

Ghost Tears Girl Drawing-WIP-6.jpg

I think my brothers and my father made me feel like I couldn't do that.  I so much wanted to be accepted by them and for them to think I was as good as them---you know---brave and adventurous.  So even as a little girl when I got hit in the head and my scalp started bleeding, I wouldn't show how much it hurt.  I stopped those tears like my life depended upon it.

That was when I was 6 years old.  To this day, I still have a hard time showing when I'm hurt or scared or showing my vulnerability.  What about you?  

I'm starting to learn that when I do let go and cry,  it's a great way to relieve my stress.  Moreover, it's a way to acknowledge that I'm alright not being perfect.  I accept myself with all my flaws and humanness even if no one else does.


My "Ghost Tears Girl" drawing is finished.  I am actually surprised how beautiful she turned out.  Thanks for taking this journey with me and following along the work in progress.  If you enjoyed this, take a look at more of my artwork here.

WHO ELSE IS AFRAID TO BE SEEN CRYING? (GHOST TEARS GIRL DRAWING PART 2)

Last week, I started this "Ghost Tears Girl" drawing and told you I was afraid to be seen crying. What about you?  How do you feel about being seen in this vulnerable state when you're as raw as a bloody steak?

 I know some people only will let their therapist see them.  Others just pretend they don't feel sad or get their feelings hurt.  

But when you shove it away or push it further down, it comes up and out some way.  Maybe, you'll start seeing ghosts wherever you look like my "Ghost Tears Girl" drawing.  

I'm not saying let someone see you cry, but maybe, there is someone who has compassion for you.....even if it's only yourself......usually, I can, at least, cry when I'm alone.


This drawing keeps getting better.  I'll post next week on how much progress I've made.   If you like this drawing, you might also like my other artwork.  Click here to see it

Who Else is Afraid To Be Seen Crying? (Ghost Tears Girl Drawing Part 1)

I was just chatting with a friend about this---being too afraid to let anyone see you cry.  He said, it's more acceptable for women to cry than men.  I agreed, but that still doesn't change the fact that I don't want anyone to see my tears.  I don't want them to see me in a moment when my emotions literally overflow out of me.  

Ghost Tears Girl Drawing-WIP-1.jpg

This new drawing, "Ghost Tears Girl" is about those tears you won't let fall.  They haunt you until you can let them go.  I know because I've carried a lot of tears inside of me, believing it's better to show a brave face even if I'm dying inside.

In the next few weeks, I'll be working on this haunted drawing.  Little by little, I'll get it just right.  I think it's off to a good start.  The girl's emotion is so powerful just as a sketch, but just wait.  It will get better and better as I add the ball point pen ink and finally the colored pencils.  I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, if  you get an urge to see more of my artwork, click here.

When Stories Are Hidden, Do They Die An Untimely Death?

Recently I heard about a little girl who liked to tell stories about a mysterious cookie jar.

The cookie jar was shaped like a big Victorian house. It had a turret, winding staircases, and far more balconies than was probably wise.

The house-shaped cookie jar lived in the little girl's kitchen. When her grandfather came to visit in the summers, she would tell him stories about how the house was filled with secret passageways that led to secret rooms where there were secret tea parties. How the windows always shone brightly even in the middle of the night. How you needed to know the secret password in order to be let inside.

After a while, as often happens, the little girl started to grow up. She still told stories now and then, but mostly she scribbled them in notebooks that she hid in boxes that never saw the light of day. She began to wonder if there wasn't something a little strange about loving stories so much.

A few years ago, the little girl (who isn't so little anymore) moved to a magical place where, much to her surprise, she found other people who loved stories as much as she did. They also had boxes of notebooks (or sketchbooks, or photographs, or magical business plans) hidden in their closets. They also cried at movies and read books late into the night.

The little girl realized then that there were so many stories that were hidden, not being shared with the world. Because people were afraid. Because they'd been told their stories didn't matter.

But stories do matter.

I recently sat down with that little girl, whose name is Katy, as part of the Inspired Connections Summit, a free virtual event all about the power of stories and how we can use them to find other magical creatures like ourselves.

Creatures with amazing, inspiring stories that need to be told.

Join us, along with other creative lovers of stories, starting August 2. You can sign up for free here: Inspired Connections Summit.

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.