Happening Now

Hello! It has been a few months since I've done an update like this, so here are some things that I'm working on, enjoying, or thinking about right now on this first day of November.

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Carve Out Time for Art Pinkie Swear Challenge (#cotfapinkieswearchallenge)

This is a really fun 5 week challenge started by Marissa and Heather over at Carve Out Time For Art. The idea is to complete a project in 5 weeks using weekly check-ins on Instagram to create a sense of community and accountability for everyone. My plan is to make another zine. I absolutely loved making my first zine and was really happy with the finished product so I have wanted to make another one ever since. I think I can get it together to get the zine completed in the 5 weeks of the challenge (there are 4 weeks left now) as long as I put in a little bit of work consistently. Right now the plan is for the zine to be a compilation of sketches from my life right now, pretty much like my first zine, but with less feelings and more pencil work. And I think maybe it will be in color! I'm really excited about that right now.

Nonfiction November

I'm excited about reading nonfiction in November! Nonfiction November is a challenge started by two YouTubers, Olive of A Book Olive and Gemma of Non Fic Books and the challenge is exactly what it sounds like: to read more nonfiction books in the month of November. I read a little bit of nonfiction throughout the year, but for some reason I'm super hyped about this challenge. I just finished the fiction book I'm reading, so I'm super psyched to get started on a bunch of nonfiction reads. Right now I'm considering Hunger by Roxane Gay (who already wrote one of my favorite books of the year), Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister, My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul, Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed, and more. There are just so many to choose from! But I'll keep you updated in my next quarterly reading update post about how I get on with my nonfiction reading this month.

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Fall

The weather has been unseasonably warm throughout September and pretty much all of October, so it is just now starting to feel like fall here in Boston. I'm trying to enjoy wearing sweaters, the crisp, sunny days, seasonal foods, colorful foliage, and other fall positives before it becomes really cold and dark here. It also means that the holidays are fast approaching, which means that I am working on a shop update for all of your gift giving needs. Let me know if there is anything specific you want to see from me or fill out my contact form if you'd like to commission something special. 

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Journaling

I wrote a whole post about this not too long ago, but after accidentally leaving my written journal behind for most of the month, I'm so happy to have it back and have been using it tons. Inside, I do mostly writing with a little creative flair and I find that it really helps me to cut back on my anxiety and stress. Lately I'm loving writing in block letters, using a date stamp, and photocopying interesting things (old photos, tarot cards, artwork) and pasting them in.

Happening Now

Watching: Season 2 of Sense8. It is so so good - I'm already almost ready to rewatch.

haley aubuchon zine

Working On: Zines! I've mentioned these before and it's taking some time, but my first zine is slowly coming together. It is definitely harder than I thought to come up with a cohesive body of work that flows together in a book, but I'm excited about how it's coming along. It is going to be full of drawings, paintings, words, photos, and collage.  I've also been working on some exciting projects for my fave ladies over at Obvi, and I'll be sure to share them when they're done. 

Listening: Johnny Cash and old Panic at the Disco (specifically their first two albums, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd.)  Weird combination, I know, but that's what I'm into at the moment. 

haley aubuchon sketchbook

Returning To: Sketchbooking/art journaling. I've only been working in an art journal intermittently for the past few months, but I'm getting back into it now. I even have two on the go at the moment. It is taking some time to get back into the swing of using an art journal the way I used to, but it is always good for me. I'm hoping to generate lots of ideas, work through lots of feelings, and all that stuff.  

Reading: Graphic novels, Mary Oliver's poetry, and I'm just starting Becky Albertalli's new book, The Upside of Unrequited. I absolutely loved her first novel, Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (I wrote about it here) and I'm so excited to read it. You can keep up with what I'm reading every week in my Instagram stories.

Happening Now

It has been quite a while since I did a post like this, so I thought I would share a little roundup of what I've been up to lately, places that you can find me on the internet, and things that I'm loving these days. Here we go:

Website: You may notice some things are different around here. Recently, I gave this site a bit of a face lift and added some new pages.  I hope you like the new look and will enjoy clicking around! 

Activism:

Along with millions of other people, I attended a Woman's March last Saturday, January 21. Marching in LA was an incredible experience that I will never forget (check out these aerial photos of just how many people were marching in DC, Chicago,and LA). I wrote a little bit about it this week on Reclaim the Rhetoric, the feminist art project that I co-created. (Sidenote, I haven't mentioned Reclaim the Rhetoric very much on this blog, but please check it out if you have any interest in feminism, rhetoric, seeing more of my artwork, or any combination of those. I'm really proud of the work we're doing there.) 

As many other people are, I'm extremely motivated to continue to take political action after the march. If you feel the same way, Salon has a handy list of resources to help you resist and back progressive legislation. I would also add that the feminist movement needs to be an intersectional one, and showing up for other marginalized groups is an extremely important aspect of that, so I'm looking forward to increasing my support for Black Lives Matter, immigrants rights, LGBT rights, and more. Let's support each other.

Reading: As I've mentioned on Instagram, I am currently dealing with some back problems, which is a huge bummer, but has given me lots of time to read. I'm on track to have read more books this month than in any month of 2015, which is pretty cool. Here are a few of the things that I've been reading and enjoying:

- Shelter by Jung Yun - This book made me think more than any other book so far this month. It explores so many different themes, including growing up in a Korean-American family, dealing with abuse, forgiveness, and faith. This was definitely an eye-opener for me.

- Lumberjanes created by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen - These comics are so much fun! They follow a diverse group of girls at a summer camp where weird and mystical things keep happening. Wonderful female friendships. I highly recommend that you get all 5 published trades and binge-read them.

- The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon - Young Adult love stories are not typically my thing (but there are a few that I truly love), but I enjoyed this one and it was perfect for my mood at the time. What really grabbed me is the way this book was written - extremely short chapters that alternate between the two main characters' points of view, interspersed with short sections that tie into the story about science, history, or secondary characters. 

- I'm currently reading Long Division by Kiese Laymon. This book promises to be super weird and has already made me laugh out loud multiple times. So far, I'm loving it. 

Watching: Mozart in the Jungle. I wasn't very interested in this show because I'm definitely not a classical music buff, but when a friend showed it to me, I got hooked. The characters are ridiculous in the best way and I feel like it has excellent potential to become a great cheer-up show for me. If you have Amazon Prime I recommend you check it out. 

Thanks for checking out this post! And please let me know if there is anything you're doing or enjoying especially lately, I'd love to hear about it!

Happening Now

We are getting into January, but 2016 still feels fresh and new. I think it is going to be a good one. Here are a few things that I'm doing/loving/obsessing over right now. 

 An ideal Saturday

An ideal Saturday

Outlander

I am obsessed. I feel a weird obligation to tell the entire world about this book because of a long story that involves me receiving it as a gift and resenting it, carrying it on international travels and not reading it for many years. But I finally did and it was incredible. For a short plot synopsis: a nurse in 1945 is transported to 1743 through magic stones in the Scottish highlands. Danger, political intrigue, and romance ensue. I was worried that it would be too much of a romance novel for me (which is why I dismissed it all those years ago), but it definitely isn't and the book doesn't revolve around will they or won't they get together. I finally read the book because of how much I enjoyed the show (which you should also watch). The plot of the show and the plot of the first book are very similar, but I was super into it and on the edge of my seat, even though I knew what was going to happen, which I think says a lot about the writing. Reading Outlander reminded me to reading as a kid - I was completely immersed in the story. I highly recommend it (although this book may not be for everyone - there are aspects to the story that may be upsetting or triggering regarding torture/sexual assault, so please be aware if that is something of concern for you). I have requested the next book in the series from the library and the wait is killing me.

Sketchbook

After posting artwork to my Instagram account daily in 2015, I am keeping up the daily art habit, but I haven't been posting artwork to Instagram every day. The first day that I "missed" posting was a little bit scary and weird, but I am loving it right now! I am working on pieces more slowly and taking more time sketching, inking, then coloring than I would when I was trying to get something "finished" and ready for Instagram (not that everything I posted in 2015 was so beautiful and Insta-worthy). I'm happy to be making things just for fun that I'm not worried about sharing and to be working in a big sketchbook after working on a lot of 4x6 pieces of watercolor paper during my December Drawing Giveaway. Sharing drawings daily online did a ton of awesome things for me, so I definitely still recommend it - I think the lesson here is that switching things up is always inspiring and good for you.

 The kind of quality stuff you'll see on my Snapchat

The kind of quality stuff you'll see on my Snapchat

Snapchat

Even though I just said that I am enjoying a break from sharing my drawings on Instagram every day, I still feel the urge to share what I'm working on. I've been doing that on Snapchat lately. I don't worry about the photos looking as polished as I do on Instagram (clearly, I don't worry about Snapchat photos looking polished at all). I like sharing process shots that show how artwork is progressing as I work on it (again, working slowly in multi-step processes) and sharing other random things that I'm doing throughout the day. I also love to check out other people's stories! If you want to see inside the aforementioned sketchbook, connect with me on Snapchat @haleyca - I'd love to see what you get up to as well!

Small Routines

In keeping with my last post, I've made a bunch of small routine changes around here that are making me very happy! After using a gift card to buy a blender I've started making smoothies to take with me to work (even sneaking some green vegetables in there). I've also been doing some small things at nighttime, like listening to a calm playlist while I get ready for bed and reading before going to sleep instead of watching TV. I feel much calmer and more relaxed before bed and I haven't been waking up during the night as much since I made these tiny changes. As I've said a million times, small things make such a huge difference when done every day. 

What are you really into lately? Do you have any books that you're obsessed with? I can add them to my list for when I'm done with the Outlander series (7 books from now...)

Happening Now

It has been a little while, so I thought I would share what has been going on lately!

1. The Awesome Ladies Challenge Team - I am so excited to be a part of RUKristin's Awesome Ladies Project creative team!  I am a huge fan of Kristin's and I love her philosophy of feminist scrapbooking - that telling stories is a radical empowering act. The Awesome Ladies Project is a wonderful way for creative women to connect with and support each other Can you tell that I'm gushing a little? 

The Awesome Ladies project releases a new challenge every week and the members of the challenge team share our projects on Instagram every Friday. You can check out all of the challenge team's projects every week on Kristin's blog and play along with the challenges too. I am loving the push to make something new each week and am so inspired by trying to interpret each challenge in a new way.

Here are my first two projects:

The first challenge was all about entertainment, so I picked my two current entertainment obsessions and made a very simple 12x12 layout. Apparently I had a lot to say about these two things.

The second challenge was a recipe challenge - we had to include orange, two patterns, squares, and something sticky in our project. I'm not going to lie, I struggled with this one for a little while, but I am really happy with what I came up with.

2. Inktober - Inktober is exactly what it sounds like - a challenge to draw in ink for every day of October.  I have already been drawing every day in 2015, but I am trying to embrace drawing in just black ink every  day without pencil outlining first. It is definitely intimidating, but I am trying to push myself to try drawing things that aren't "safe" subjects that I feel confident drawing without a pencil outline first. It is also cool to go back to using mostly black as a color. I drew in only black pen outlines for the first month of my daily drawing project, but quickly got bored and started adding in other colors - even doing the same drawing in a red marker instead of a black pen makes a huge difference. You can follow along with my Inktober drawings for the rest of the month on Instagram.

Overall, I am happy with the direction that my drawings have taken this October - an Inktober sketch even became a "finished" drawing (ie, not something only in my sketchbook).

3. Fall - The weather has finally (finally) cooled down here in DC and it actually feels like fall. I am really not excited for the shorter days and even colder weather to come, but I am loving being able to walk around outside without sweating, lighting candles, and all of the fall fashion possibilities (layering, dark lips, boots oh my!). Things have also been getting pretty picturesque around here.

I hope your week is off to a great start! What is going on with you lately? Maybe we can make this a regular thing and keep talking about what is happening now.

Haley