Our Blog is moving to a new home!

Thank you to all who took the time to connect to our page.  We decided to migrate our blog onto our main website.  We will still offer the same weekly tips and ideas.  This was our temporary location for our blog until we reorganized our business model.  This had been an organic process and things have changed since this project began.  We have seen our ideas grow.  We started the site to share our work but we recently added services and a few new members to our team.  I hope you subscribe on our main site and continue to receive our updates.  We hope to offer more quality resources and posts for artists and writers.   We also plan to launch our own ebook publication called LittleLucyLovebugsBooks.  Stay tuned & Thank you again.

You can find us at mahieustudios.com.  Just click on our blog page! 

-Mahieu Studios Team

Dear Courting Panda – from Dear Little Lucy

Dear Courting Panda,

Thank you for writing to me with such a heartfelt story.  There are many other male mammals wondering the very same thing.  Take heart when I say studies show that courting the female panda may be the most difficult of all species.  In fact, trying to get Pandas to court is always under study.  It also sounds like your counterpart is giving you mixed signals and there is no sure way to tell if she is playing hard to get.  Remember, I am no expert at animal relationships but I would suggest continuing to court her the old fashioned way.  Woo her.  She kept the flower.  Place one there regularly and try not to watch her.  Get know what kind of bamboo she prefers.  Place a few near her favorite tree and see if she accepts them.  You can always resort to lines of poetry or finding out things she likes.  Sit near her and go about your business as usual.  Say “hello” to her even if it makes you uncomfortable, but give no hint to her that you were the one leaving the love notes or flowers.   Always be the polite gentleman.  Let her get used to your presence every day.  Try this for a few days and work your way up to introducing yourself.  She may be shy.  Continue wooing her but don’t say that it’s you.  Sit at enough distance from her and take your leave before her at the same time every day.  Never stalk her – that will definitely scare her off.   Have patience.  Try to have small talk after your introductions and listen.  Wait for her replies.  Try this for a while and then be gone one day or two.  Have one of the squirrels see if she looks for you.  Then, return as before but this time hand her the same flower left for her the very first day.  See how she reacts.  If she snubs you or doesn’t return then forget her.  She will only ever be your lunch buddy.  There are other pandas in the forest.  Write back to me and let me know how things went even if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped.  I’m sure the other pandas in the forest are waiting to hear how things went.  You may want to enclose an email for the other pandas if you are turned down.  I’m sure they will want to meet to the panda that went to all this trouble for one lunch date.

 

Sincerely,

Little Lucy

An online portfolio for writers

As an illustrator/artist I know about online portfolios that focus on visual representation but have you heard about online portfolios for writers? I was doing more research when I came across a site called writing.com with over a million writers that allows you to share your work online.  I also found inkspot.com which is associated with writing.com and offers the similar services.  This may be good for all those still lugging around our manuscripts.  I know I have a pile sitting at home.  This option may be great for those pressed for meeting time, or for those who have an editor that is too far away to make it to the local coffee shop.  Some of us may have trusted peers in different places around the country or world.   This is one more way to share your work with someone and keep your pieces on hand for easy review.  I know I’ve maxed out some of my online storage folders.  In addition to the portfolio this sites offer a contests, tools and resources for writers.  One advantage that I see with these websites is an immediate community of writers.  Lastly, this may be a good starting point for someone who doesn’t have their own blog.  If you aren’t comfortable in starting your own blog, then you can ask people within this community to review your posts or ideas before you hit the publish button.  Just remember, the best time to start is right now!  I’m waiting to hear about someone else that made it into the writer’s market.

~ Mahieu

If you have any other great resources, please let me know so I can reblog/reference them.   So thank you for all your likes and comments!

Dear Little Lucy – The Quiet Cricket

Dear Little Lucy,

I don’t know if you can help me but lately the music has gone quiet in my world.  I’m a cricket and I’m supposed to hum songs into the night.  Rain or shine I play my songs.  Lately, when I look up at the stars I can’t find my inspiration.  I thought a cat with knack for writing would be able to help me.  I used to find joy in playing my songs.  I used to play whether anyone was listening or not.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Am I going through a mid-cricket crisis?

Sincerely,

The Quiet Cricket

 

Dear Quiet Cricket,

I admit I haven’t met many crickets but I think I can help.  All creative people tend to have bursts of creativity followed by time for recovery.  I see it happen with the humans in our studio.  They make, make, make and then sleep for a few days.  I think our brains just need a rest once in a while.  If you feel lack of inspiration, then think back to why you started playing in the first place.  If you still get nothing, then watch old Disney movies.  I think there’s one about a cricket.  Take time to look around you and open your eyes.  Hop onto a new blade of grass or into another garden and just listen.  Enjoy the quiet.  Recovery and quiet can keep us from becoming mechanical robots.  Practicing over and over again mechanically is far from inspirational, just as writing without feeling can create a flat piece.  Both be done by a computer program.  Stop and listen to the sounds of nature.  They can be quieter than you.  Ask yourself what sounds a blade of grass makes or how the stars would sound if they talked to you.  Think of the notes they make.  They can be like poetry if you listen hard.  Remember, it’s okay to question yourself once in a while and take time to relax.  I know said something about a robot but if all else fails keep playing even it feels mechanical.  You’re bound to reach another high note again.  This is a normal process we all go through.

 

Sincerely,

Little Lucy

I need a vacation – a writer’s and artist retreat!

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I was just browsing online for information about artists and writers when I came across these beautiful landscapes in Ireland.  I don’t know who took them I immediately thought, “I need a vacation”.  Sometimes we get lost in our own studios and forget about the scenery around us.  Show deadlines and goals we set for ourselves can put pressure on our creative process.  As I try to create new pieces as an artist, I forget about the beautiful landscapes just around the corner.  It’s easy to get lost in our deadlines and bury ourselves in work but I think it’s time to take a look around and breathe.  I don’t know about you but it’s hard to keep my mind off the goals I set for myself.  Often, I get lost in my fictional world and characters that I find it hard to break away from them.  Then, when I do look up I find scenery like the above landscapes.  So, take a look around you and create a short story about what you see in your backyard or during your morning run.  Build the stories in your life as you would create a new or imaginary landscape.  Let it ink run off the page so that you are building your life the same way.  Then your life will be filled with inspiration instead of thoughts of escape.  (Sometimes, we just need a reminder).

For those still dreaming about getting away take a look a writer’s or artists retreat.  This way you can get the time away you need and still accomplish some work at the same time.   I know I’ll keep thinking about the pictures of Anam Cara, Ireland as I work into the night.  Where did the fairy godmother go now?  I’ll be dreaming of going to the Anam Cara writer’s and artist retreat at http://anamcararetreat.com.   Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  If Ireland doesn’t call to you, search online for the place that will give you the quiet you need.

-Mahieu

Summer Blue?

The end of summer is approaching and school season is about to begin.  I found myself having the summer blues after a few uneventful weekends.  Where does our focus go sometimes?  To get out dull city I decided to break out of my normal genre and attend a new show.  I attended a comic book festival in my downtown area.  Attending Autoptic was a refreshing experience.  Being around other artists and writers re-energized my mind.  I had a front row view of table displays and books. Many of the comic and cartoonists and created their own books.  They combine a traditional story telling with visual imagery.  The images and words help the reader free and feel the emotional content.  How can this help you as writer?  Draw out the scenes in your head and create a story board to keep your thoughts on track.  The storyline might flow better and the details of your written imagery may improve even if you have to draw stick figures, or cut out pictures from magazines.   A new method of outlining may get you out of the summer blues.  Seeing and meeting other people who aren’t afraid to put their work out there can lift the spirits too!  See you at the next show!   – MahieuImage

Ideas for Summer – the traveling shows!

Summer is a great time to take your pile of books or self-published works on tour.  There are several events going on around my home city of Minneapolis.  I’m sure there are plenty going on around your area.  I find some of the upcoming shows through my local newspapers and some indie org. sites.  It only takes a few minutes filling out applications or sending an email off to the site organizer to join.  I also share a table with other artists especially if I’m at a craft or art event.  You can use this opportunity to promote your illustrator and yourself.  I will tell you to have some kind of resume/portfolio information ready to submit if they ask.  Most events require bio information 1 paragraph about yourself, pictures of your work (book covers), a description of your book, and what you plan to do at the event.  Creating a resume for yourself as a writer in advance for book readings and events would save you time.  Also, let them know if you’ve had other events.  List them on your website.  Post your events on your website so people in the industry can find you.  There will be slow times in selling your own work, so use the down time wisely.

-Mahieu

Where will Adventures of Lucy and Bryan: King of Wild Island be next?  See our events page.

August 30th- Sept 1st

Meta Con 2013 at the Hyatt Regency

(Anime, comics, gaming, and more)

Downtown Minneapolis

See mahieustudios.com for links

Finding Inspiration

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      Summer is a great time to find inspiration.  Here in Minneapolis it’s time to pack up the notebook or laptop and head out for the day.  The sun doesn’t last too long up North, so go soak up the rays with your picnic basket.  If you’re experiencing writer’s block, sit down at a park or lake and start rambling all over those blank pages.  Let the words flow outside the lines. You might be surprised at what stories you can find staring at an ant hill that is carrying your bread crumbs into their underground tunnels.  Write a short story about ants and the missing corner of your sandwich.  Watch the bikers and runners pass by while you think of some new material.  Snap a few pictures for later.  Some of my best characters came from watching the nature around me.  Some of the people I know or strangers took on the personalities of animals.  Imagine a bunch of rabbits running past you on the path or an elephant on a bicycle while you finish off your lemonade.  Your story might be in the squirrel waiting behind the tree.  Sometimes a change of location can do your mind some good.  See you around the lakes of Minnesota!

 ~Mahieu