Monthly Archives: December 2014

Last day of the Kickstarter for Franks Adventures!

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

If you haven’t met him already, this is Frank. Earlier this year, he spent a week in the Catskills adventuring and exploring on his own. When he came home, he had lots of good stories, so I wrote them down for him and illustrated them.


Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art


Frank’s Adventures is a picture book about a little dog who realizes that sometimes it takes getting lost to find your place in the world. We have a Kickstarter going now and TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to support it!

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

The underlying message of the story is about finding your place in the world. Through the story of Frank’s adventures, the ideas of foster care and adoption (applicable to both dogs and children) are handled with a gentle sense of humor.

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

Directed primarily at children aged 4-7, it’s a fun read accompanied by beautiful images and a heartwarming message for kids and adults of all ages.
Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

I have the story written, although it’s still undergoing some last minute edits. More than half of the images are done and the rest are sketched out and ready to finish. Once that’s all done, I’ll tweak the color palette a bit and make sure everything looks consistent and polished.

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art


Because Kickstarter requires 100% backing in order to successfully fund a campaign and we only have one day left, what does that mean for the future of Frank’s Adventures?


We set up our budget in a scalable way, so production on Frank’s Adventures will still go forward. That means your campaign backing promise will be even more important than ever. After the Kickstarter ends on December 31st at midnight, we’ll migrate all of our campaign backing information over to Megafounder, which will will enable us to move forward with the same backer rewards, utilizing your existing campaign funding promises, on virtually the same timeframes as before!

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

The Timeline:

  • December 31 – Kickstarter ends!
  • January 2 – If Kickstarter is not fully funded, the current crowdfunding progress will be migrated to Megafounder (note that this will only push the Kickstarter timeline back a couple of weeks as shown below).
  • February 14 – All Frank’s Adventures artwork is completed.
  • February 27 – The book, stickers, magnets, and shipping supplies get ordered.
  • March 31 – The thank you cards are completed and all packages are shipped out!
  • April – Everyone excitedly receives their own copies of Frank’s Adventures in the mail!

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

This whole process has been an adventure for me, as well. It’s my first attempt at a Kickstarter and while I (so far) haven’t had full financial backing, it’s been very successful. We’ve raised over 60%! I had some tough moments second guessing myself and my work once the initial enthusiasm wore off and the backing dried out in the middle of the campaign. But, I persevered and redefined for myself what “a successful campaign” meant. Was it 100% backing? No, it was production of the book and we’d hit the tipping point to be able to produce the book with the existing funding! So, success!Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art

Thank you so much for your support, your patience and your interest! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Franks Adventures - Shawn Carney Art


Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp!

Ok, it’s on! I’m signed up for the Lilla Rogers Studio Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp starting in January and running through June.

I’m really hoping this helps me up my game. I’ve read a lot of positive things from people who’ve taken these MATS classes in the past and I’m super excited to take on the challenge.

MATS Assignment Bootcamp

I’ll be posting about the assignments and my progress (and fears and successes) as I go along. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the other amazing artists engaged in this same process, too!

5 Hot Winter Drinks To Keep You Warm

When winter settles in and the nights get chilly, there’s nothing that warms me up better than a hot beverage. Add a little nip of something boozy to it? Don’t mind if I do!  A thousand years ago, I used to bartend. I trained at TGI Fridays and yes, I knew how to flip bottles ala Tom Cruise in Cocktail. It was called “flair”, but mostly we called it “oh crap there’s a broken bottle of vodka in the ice again”. After that, I bartended at the Black Cat in Washington DC. Night and day, those two establishments, but my training served me well.

Shawn Carney Art - Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee makes me think of my mom. I’m not sure why. Maybe just because she’s the one that ingrained in me an appreciation for the better things to drink in life. Cheers, Mom! And, happy birthday. ♥Shawn Carney Art - Hot Buttered Rum

One drink I’ve never made before is a Hot Buttered Rum, so I was surprised to discover the batter is made with ice cream! Apparently you make a batch at the beginning of winter and it is supposed to last until the spring thaw. I don’t know whose time-frame that is, but unless I had the space equivalent to a commercial walk-in freezer, I doubt my freezer would hold enough to last all freaking winter. Yum!Shawn Carney Art - Hot Toddy

Nothing makes you feel better when you’re sick than a Hot Toddy. I’m not sure if there is any actual nutritional value or immunity boosting benefit to the drink, but really that isn’t the point. It’s about gut feel and visceral reactions. Hot, lemony, whiskey panacea? I’ll take three.

Shawn Carney Art - Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate is like a spicy sweet hug for your body. I bet it would be even better with some Himalayan Pink Salt sprinkled on top. Plus, any reason to combine chocolate, cream AND tequila seems Nobel worthy to me.
Shawn Carney Art - Mulled WineMulled Wine was a brilliant invention. Take wine. Yes, thank you. Delicious. Add bourbon. Yes, double thank you. More please.

Did I leave out your favorite hot beverage? Let me know in a comment!

Slowing Down and Stillness

I was pondering the nature of stillness while working on this four part koi illustration. The past few years there’s been this leaning in towards slowing down. Creating personal time apart from work and turning off mobile devices has become common corporate culture in many organizations. Slow food and slow eating has taken hold and people are actually paying attention to what they eat again. There is interaction with and interest in how food is sourced. Now slow blogging has started to take hold. People are mindfully considering content over capacity. Hopefully other media will pick up on this and maybe we’ll see a diminishment of the 24/7 news networks mongering fear and creating division amongst us…

Shawn Carney Art Stillness

Every day we are pulled in a million different directions. It all needs to be done yesterday and we are expected to multitask in almost everything we do. Even meditation, the ultimate form of slowing down, has been indoctrinated into the multitasking cult. Binaural beats can have some great results, but come on… meditation multitasking? Talk about an oxymoron.

Shawn Carney Art Be Not Afraid

My favorite ways to slow down mostly involve the outdoors and nature. Cycling is the most zen activity I can imagine. Everything is just flowing and I feel like a kid again. Running is also a great way to quiet my mind, although lately when I run my body is screaming so loudly that my quiet mind is lost. Swimming is a great way to slow down and be still inside. The water drowns out most noises and you’re enveloped in a very womblike state. Even if you’re not into physical activities, meditation is the perfect way to still the mind. You can do it almost anywhere, too. I’ve made it through many an international flight with screaming babies and drunk businessmen by putting on the noise-cancelling headphones and eyemask and pulling my hoodie over my head and just turning inwards.

Shawn Carney Art Slow Down

When we slow down, we become more aware. We become more responsible for our actions. We participate more deeply in our lives. We appreciate what we have instead of constantly yearning for the past or the future. Slowing down and embracing stillness is effectively the fountain of youth, a way of making this short life ours seem longer and more fulfilling. Put that way, why wouldn’t you try?

Shawn Carney Art Waves of Change


Be not afraid…

Shawn Carney Art Be Not Afraid

I remember being a kid, windswept hair and dirty fingernails, legs dangling as I balanced precariously on the highest branch of a tree and peeled sunburnt skin from my shoulders. I was living a life that was a little dangerous, a little vulnerable, letting fly that which no longer suited me.

The last year or so has felt similarly, peeling away the layers that I no longer need and holding close that which brings me balance. Leaving the corporate world and making a go selling art is one of the boldest moves I’ve ever made in my life. It feels a little dangerous, leaves me a little vulnerable, but it also suits me very well.

Every day now I take small steps forward, accepting and learning from my myriad mistakes, ignoring the self-doubt, reveling in the small wins. It’s fulfilling and joyous and I feel so blessed to be in this place in my life.

Zodiac Constellations

Shawn Carney Art - Constellation Cards - Etsy Today I worked on some constellations. They’ve been something I’ve played with in my paintings for the past couple of years. I love the bright colors in these and the mindful mantras make the cards really appealing. You can get them on my Etsy store here. I also created a print that includes the twelve zodiac constellations, too.



Jingle All the Way

I added a couple of new snowmen cards to the Etsy shop. It’s probably a bit too late for this holiday season, but maybe not… I plan to offer some post-season sales if anyone wants to stock up for next year!

ShawnCarneyArt-Holiday-Jingle all the way ShawnCarneyArt-Holiday-Jingle all the way ShawnCarneyArt-Holiday-Jingle all the way ShawnCarneyArt-Holiday-Jingle all the way ShawnCarneyArt-Holiday-Jingle all the way

I also decided to just bite the bullet with the Kickstarter marketing. I went with Kickstart My Ads because they’d been mentioned in a number of random blog posts when I was researching. I’m not sure how I feel about them yet considering the ad just went live today, but I’ll give a full review as we move through these next two weeks of the campaign. Also today, Kickstarter made Frank’s Adventures a Staff Pick! Hopefully that will get us higher in searches so we have more eyeballs. We’re 50% funded halfway through our campaign, so we need some help to get there. If you’re considering gifting Frank’s Adventures, send me a note after you contribute and I’ll create you a voucher for under the tree or menorah!