Could you clench those cheeks together? // A(n unusual) letter to my old dog

Dear Tasha, could you clench those cheeks together? // A(n unusual) letter to my old dog // Blog post and illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Note: This post was originally published on my previous personal blog, Oh, Asti, on March 8, 2016. As that blog is no longer public and I (very sadly) had to say goodbye to my furry princess this past week, I decided I wanted to share it once again.

To me, it is fitting. Not only does it show that I’ve had my worries about Tasha’s health for a while, but it also highlights the fun, loving nature of our relationship (even if at times it involved some pleas for clean air). Being Tasha’s mom hasn’t been without its struggles over the years, but it was always worth and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Thursday’s post will be another dedicated to my dearly departed friend and then the blog should be back to its regular fun-filled content the following week. I thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. And for all you fur mommies out there – give your pet some extra loving from me today (even if it’s a cat, though I won’t like it as much). 🖤

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No creative produces perfect work all the time. Behold my cringe!

No creative produces perfect work every time. Behold my cringe! // Some cringe-worthy illustrations from my sketchbook // Blog post and illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

For the most part, I have shared every single piece of artwork I have created since I launched this blog in March. Whether it’s the silly little doodles I make for my life posts, the fan art I create to complement books, tv shows, and movies discussions in my stories posts, or the random illustrations I feature in my art posts – it’s pretty much all there and, generally speaking, I love and am proud of it all. That being said, every artist – whether illustrator or poet or author or photographer – has moments where the work they create causes cringe and there has been one set of illustrations I have hid from you all since I launched this blog because… yikes.

You see, when my blog launched in March, I got really excited about creating and sort of became obsessed with the desire to doodle all the time. I almost want to say in a way it became more about creating a certain quantity of illustrations for me rather than a certain quality because I knew my work would never be as good as anyone else’s and I just wanted to have a lot of it done so that I would never run out of things to share here. And that’s fine, this is my blog and I can do what I want. But the same thing happened as I mentioned in my thoughts on participating in an Instagram challenge: I realized I don’t want to create just for the sake of creating because my enjoyment wavers and the end results can sometimes be a bit scary.

So today, in the sake of transparency and to encourage any creatives out there that they are not alone in their bad days, I thought I would share a collection of illustrations that I originally refused to post on the blog because I disliked them so much.

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It’s not considered failing when you decide an Instagram challenge is no longer for you.

It's not considered failing when you decide an Instagram challenge is no longer for you // My thoughts after quitting the #doodletimewithkaroline Instagram challenge after just a week // Blog post and illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

If you’ve been involved in Instagram communities, you’ll know that there are usually multiple challenges running that you can participate in. For bookstagrammers there’s #grimdragon, for those with art journals there’s #ohjournaletc, for the art and lettering types there #dndchallenge – the list goes on and on.

These challenges are great for inspiring content and getting involved in communities, but they are what they claim to be: a challenge. And you know what I’ve decided? It’s not failing if you don’t finish these challenges. You can only post on certain days or give up after a week, it’s totally up to you. But as long as you gave it a go and took something away from the attempt, it’s not failing. You’re just succeeding in an unexpected way.

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