Wild & Free

This is what it feels like to finish cancer treatment! I did it. I survived. I am humbled and ultimately a better person because of it. And, yes, it sucked. I am still a little angry about the whole thing, actually, but just a little bit, deep down where I hardly notice it anymore.

Now is where the fun part begins. I get to live again. I might not be base jumping any time soon, but I’ve started moving my body fast enough to feel my heart-beat again. This is a quality of life improvement that I am ready to fully embrace.

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Thank You

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for caring. On this Thanksgiving I have a lot to be grateful for. Mostly, I am thankful to be alive. I am thankful to have the ability to think about putting sweaters on wild animals. I am thankful to have the time to wonder, who was the first animal to be drawn with a sweater on. Was it Winnie the Pooh? Goofy? What is Goofy, anyway? These are the questions I am grateful to be able to ask on a Thanksgiving morning, because I am still here. I am still alive, and I am hopeful that with each new day I will put a little more of my fears and insecurities behind me.

To see more pictures of animals in sweaters, if this interests you, click here.

I am thankful that I have time to draw this penguin in a sweater. That I can put aside everything else and simply indulge myself in an idea and put pencil to paper and create it. I don’t know why I wanted to do it, but I did it, and you know what? It made me feel happy. Sometimes I get so consumed by the challenges of each day, the work that needs to be done, the goals that are still to be met, that I forget what the point of it all is anyway. Everyone might have a different reason for living, but, for me, today, it is to create a little “penguin-in-a-sweater” happiness.

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True As Blue

Deep in my heart I’ve been wanting to write a Children’s Picture Book about global climate change and our role as stewards of this beautiful planet we live on. I’ve been waiting for a story to come to me ever so patiently. Then, just yesterday it appeared! As I sat in my backyard and wrote in my journal next to my favorite tree, the words came through my hand and I don’t even really know how. I believe it may have been from a source outside of myself. It felt like an out of body experience. I love it when that happens!

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Reading and Writing

As a writer I find it embarrassing that I was never an avid reader as a kid. I was much more interested in going outside. It didn’t really matter what I was doing, as long as it was outside. Mostly, I wandered. I looked at things, smelled flowers, tried to talk to the birds, and when I felt really brave, I would lift up a rock and see what I might find hiding underneath. I didn’t really become a recreational reader until I graduated from college.

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HeART of Discovery!

I’m facilitating a collaborative mural project for the Discovery Children’s Museum! On Saturday, August 3rd from 10am – 1pm we will be in the Discovery Lab working on a visitor-created piece of collaborative art in celebration of Art Appreciation Month at the Discovery Children’s Museum here in Las Vegas. I’m so excited to be a part of it.

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Happy Little Trees

Started my day today watching an episode of Bob Ross and following some of his advice as I created my own version of “Happy Little Trees.” What an inspiration he was. Such a lovely person. He always says, “don’t copy me, make it your own. Make the place you want to go to.” I feel like I’ve been there all day, even while I’m roaming around in my urban desert home. I’m still there among those happy little trees. Magic. Thank you, Bob!

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May your day be filled with happy trees of any size.

Bonnie


Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books that celebrate diversity, creativity, and all the special qualities that make each of us unique.

©Bonnie Kelso and Creating Your ExperienceVitalize Your Creative Life is a workbook based on a series of classes I designed based on creating from the energetic space of your inner child. In this workbook, I encourage you to rediscover the creative kid inside of you by coloring, scribbling, and even drawing stick figures. This is a very approachable book for people who want to begin exploring their creative life in a playfully spiritual way. Read more…

For the joy of it!

trust

My illustrations are a reflection of my inner child. I can remember drawing my own characterizations of animals since I was in Kindergarten. When I was in the first grade I won a poster contest about listening. I drew animals with big ears. When the teacher announced to the entire class that I had won, I heard a classmate say, “We all know her Dad drew it.” I was horrified and heart broken. It’s true my Dad can draw, but he didn’t help me, not one bit. Already being fearfully shy, I didn’t know how to express my distress over the comment and began crying right there in front of everyone. Over the years I have realized how precious our creative lives are to us. I try to express this vulnerability as well as beauty in my art. My intention as an artist and writer is to encourage people to express themselves creatively and become more resilient to criticism, especially that dreadful inner-critic.

How are you using your creative life? Do you feel like you have one? I’d like to reassure you right now that you do. When was the last time you engaged in a creative project just for the joy of it? Sometimes I feel like we put so much pressure on ourselves to create something amazing that we never even start. It’s true there are a lot of amazing creations out there. The other side of this truth is that these things were created because a whole lot of other things (things that may not have been so great) were created first. So, take the pressure off yourself and create something for the pure joy of it. No expectations. Just joy.

Xoxo,

Bonnie


Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books that celebrate diversity, creativity, and all the special qualities that make each of us unique.

©Bonnie Kelso and Creating Your ExperienceVitalize Your Creative Life is a workbook based on a series of classes I designed based on creating from the energetic space of your inner child. In this workbook, I encourage you to rediscover the creative kid inside of you by coloring, scribbling, and even drawing stick figures. This is a very approachable book for people who want to begin exploring their creative life in a playfully spiritual way. Read more…

Making Paper Spiders

Spiders.jpgToday I want to share with you a video I made with my son, Donovan. I’m stretching my own comfort zone by sharing his video here, but since it’s only on my blog, and we’re all friends here, I guess it’s okay. Besides, he really, really wanted me to share this with other kids, so if you know a kid you can share it with, please do so.

As I’ve been writing my new children’s story about a mouse and composing my cast of desert animal characters, Donovan has been very interested and involved. It’s a great advantage to have an expert child so easily available to me when I write. I am constantly asking him what he thinks of a drawing or cluster of words. There are often days like today, when he wants to get involved even further, by sharing his own experiences and ideas. So, without further ado, I present to you, “Making Paper Spiders: (A Tutorial) By Donovan.”

 

May you embrace your own ideas with enthusiasm and a willingness to share them.

Bonnie


Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates children’s books that celebrate diversity, creativity, and all the special qualities that make each of us unique. Her book EVER OPEN is now available on Amazon in print and for kindle.

EverOpenCoverTiltDeep in the heart of the Everglades, 26 tiny eggs are beginning to hatch in a giant nest under a tall cypress tree. The fourth alligator to see the light of day is about to embark on a classic hero’s journey. Join Baby D as he explores his world through the innocence and wonder of a natural dreamer. Discover what makes him special while pondering what it might be that makes you special, too.

 

Igniting Artemis

Happy Thanksgiving!

I always feel that I have so much to be grateful for. I really do, even when things are not so awesome. Gratitude is what has kept me going over the years. It’s what keeps me connected to spirit and source.

I was recently gratitude-gifted with a beautiful smoky citrine generator crystal. Isn’t it just gorgeous? (note: buy crystals from nice people) This act of gratitude compelled me to start igniting my new character, Artemis. I’m getting amazing results already. So much inspiration is starting to pour in, it’s hard to keep up with it all.

So on this full moon Thanksgiving, I’ve set up a little altar by my workspace. I even created my own little 3D Artemis out of sculpey. She’s got her magician’s cloak on and we’re ready to make some serious children’s book magic. In addition to the altar, I’ve got a moon calendar starting tonight. So, this cycle will go from full moon to the winter solstice.

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