hello, spriggan!

art & curiosities by Leigh Ann Gagnon

I’m really proud of all I got done this year!

I filled the equivalent of three sketchbooks. I drew Spriggans, pretty girls, flowers, and painted abstract watercolors.

I designed my first wooden pin & keychain, and had foil printed postcards made for the first time.

I also came up with some new sticker, greeting card, and notepad designs, and updated the shop with fresh art on some old products like pocket mirrors, magnets, and tins.

I completely changed my Spriggan drawing process and finished thirteen illustrations for a calendar, and printed two versions (2023 & birthday).

Looking back on all of this is really important for reminding myself that I did actually create things this year. My kids turned 2 and 4; they’re home with me all day every day so art got squeezed into an ever-shifting series of small moments. Late nights sketching before bed; little abstracts painted alongside my kids; calendar artwork focused on with such intensity that I had a panic attack after it was complete, feeling like there was something wrong because I suddenly didn’t have anything to do.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until I got my sketchbooks down off the shelf yesterday and flipped through them that I realized how much I actually got done. I’m in a season where my primary focus is taking care of the kids and house. That feels really tough and unrewarding sometimes. Not so much unrewarding, I guess, as unceasing. My kids are turning into amazing little people and I’m grateful to be with them, but it is a lot. I’m an introvert and I struggle with being “on” and needed for nearly all my waking hours. Art is a reprieve and a chance to center myself. I feel better when I do it and worse of a person when I don’t. 

It can be so hard to be in a place like this. It feels like it’s going to be this way forever. But it really is a season; things will change, the demands on me and my time will change. Sometimes they’ll be more, sometimes less. Griffin will start kindergarten this September, and things will change again.

This has been a challenging month, I haven’t felt very inspired or creative so far. Looking back at my 2022 sketchbooks helped with that, and I’m more excited now for the year ahead.

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