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  • AnonymousDo you have any tips on how to smile all nice like in your book selfie? Your face is like a bowl of sunshine, I want that
  • I wrote about this on my blog, actually- this ask made me laugh a little.

    Step 1: Have your life fall apart.

    Step 2: By the grace of God alone through the good will of your family and dear friends, get back on your feet over the course of two years. Pick yourself back up. Be picked back up. Realize that God loves you and isn’t going to give up on you even when you’re tempted to give up on yourself. Don’t give up on yourself, let prayer and scripture and friendship hold you together and stand you back up on your feet. Learn to work hard again.

    Step 3: 2 years later, hold something that reminds you that things can and do get better.

    Smile.

    Context is here: http://nicholaskole.blogspot.com/2014/04/everything-matters.html

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  • AnonymousOoooh I actually hadn't seen those, thanks :D (random comment but you remind me of Fandral from Thor hehe)
  • This. This may be the greatest day of my ever.

    I thought Fandral might be the broad beardy one, but he is the dashing swordy one! :D

    ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. 
    I know it’s the stache. But I’ll take it.

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  • AnonymousHow are you so gorgeous
  • I am not. Next question!

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  • preservationofrobotsWhat is Jellybots?
  • JELLYBOTS!

    Jellybots is my personal graphic novel project that I have been trying to write/pitch/illustrate in my spare time for…a long while now.
    It is the story of Sam, a lonely new kid at a strange new school where the curriculum is centered around…Jelly. Okay, not just Jelly- specifically a gelatinous dream-goo that only children seem to be able to control, that manifests in different shapes, colors and abilities depending on what you put into it. There is a secret world. There is a conspiracy of adults. Madness ensues. 

    I’ve designed a bunch of the characters, I have the beginnings of a script and outline. The first 30 pages are thumbnailed and- I’ve hit a bit of a wall. Confidence crisis. I-am-not-a-writersville, population: me.
    But there is nothing I would love more than to make it a reality and bring even more of my heart to my comics work. I’m still working on it…

    If you want to see the designs, they are here: http://nicholaskole.deviantart.com/gallery/30706243

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  • AnonymousWhats your view on religion? What do you believe?
  • I’m sorry I have never answered this question candidly around here before. Thanks for asking- I hope my answer won’t be cause for too much vitriol here on the internet, but real-talk now:

    I believe in Jesus, that he was the son of God and that he was resurrected on the third day after being crucified for crimes he did not commit. I believe Jesus was the single most important figure in human history, and that he showed us what it means to love. I believe that Jesus is Lord.
    I am a Christian- I have a hard time laying claim to any one particular denomination. 
    What’s with all the theological church-lingo? (I’m sorry- I’ll try to be less ‘churchy’ in the way I communicate- I also want to be clear and open)

    What does this have to do with art? concept art? comics? 


    To me: Everything. 
    I can’t separate the two things- because in my life I have been profoundly affected and changed by the story and presence of Jesus. And not just in me, but the people around me- my family, my friends, my community. I’ve seen actual lives changed and been deeply loved and encouraged.
    When I lost my job, my grandfather, a relationship and a childhood pet all in one fell swoop- the Church community and my family were there to pick me up in some pretty profound ways. It’s hard to bicker over the finer points of theology when someone loves you enough to feed you when you can’t feed yourself. Realizing that that sort of generosity comes, in their case, from a desire to follow & imitate Jesus was eye-opening.

    I have plenty to regret in my life, and a long road of improvement ahead- but my hope is rooted in my faith. I don’t believe I am called to judge or condemn anyone else- but I have to be honest about my own experiences and convictions. I don’t believe I am perfect- but I do believe that God loves us so much that he forgives our shortcomings and brokenness through Jesus (you know…that sin thing nobody wants to talk about). 

    I believe that there is hope and that it triumphs over darkness.
    I believe that there is love at the center of the universe, and that true love that chooses to sacrifice and give rather than to take for itself is the greatest power against darkness, hate, bitterness, rage, envy, and every other awful thing we do to eachother.
    I honestly believe that Jesus is the embodiment of that love, and that his victory is the literal victory of that love and hope in the world- that is why I am full of joy as Easter approaches! Love wins, and it is a time we get to celebrate that! 

    I think all stories we tell have their root and their power in the story that God is telling through the whole world, and that we get to be part of it. So I see every drawing and artistic effort I make as an attempt to celebrate and remind myself and others of how loving and good God is. I am convinced that Jesus is way more important than my art career.

    There’s some pretty amazing and inspiring stuff in the Bible that isn’t often talked about- many people are content to set Christians up as straw-men to be lambasted or ignored- I hope you won’t do the same here. I am just a person, and the same person whose art you’ve enjoyed. 

    I don’t want to fight you about it- I do want to make art that inspires you and hopefully speaks to you regardless of what you believe or where you are in your journey. I’m still a work in progress- I don’t have all the answers and I’m not an amazing theologian.

    But since you asked, this is what motivates and drives me, and I’ll not be able to keep that entirely under-wraps. I’m still working out my faith, in a lot of ways, and I think it’s a journey as much as any part of life is. But I am sure that I think Jesus is awesome and that he has everything to do with making art if you’re open to it:

    I’ve blogged more candidly about it here: http://nicholaskole.blogspot.com if that interests you. 
    http://nicholaskole.blogspot.com/2011/11/on-god-art-and-dragons.html
    http://nicholaskole.blogspot.com/2013/09/worth.html

    Much love,

    -n

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  • Anonymouswas that some kind of religious advice or praise to jesus or something?
  • Yes. Kind of. More the latter than the former

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Miyazaki on Mononoke, Accidentally on Jesus

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"There can never be a happy ending in the battle between humanity and ferocious gods. Yet, even amidst hatred and carnage, life is still worth living. It is possible for wonderful encounters and beautiful things to exist.

I will depict animosity, but that is in order to show the fact that there is something more precious.

I depict the bondage of a curse in order to show the joy of liberation.
-Hayao Miyazaki re: Princess Mononoke


As Easter Sunday approaches, I just began reading “Turning Point” by Hayao Miyazaki. I just almost got up and cheered.
What is more Easter than the story of God showing humanity love through, and despite, hatred and adversity? What is more Jesus than suffering a curse in order to demonstrate the truth of liberation and freedom?

And this is a man talking about a cartoon. 

Miyazaki concludes the intro with “This is the kind of film I want to make”

ME. FREAKING. TOO.
It’s inspiring to see someone else articulate the kind of hopes and aspirations that I am often afraid to have/articulate for my own work.
But I think we make things paltry when we excuse them: “Just a cartoon/Just a comic/Just a game”. We allow all manner of bigotry, hatefulness, violence, despair (and a laundry list of other profitable garbage) in when we downplay the significance of what we do. “Just a job” “Just a way to make ends meet” makes it easier to stomach “Just misogyny” and “Just abject hopelessness”

I blogged about some of this a week ago (just scroll to the bottom half): http://nicholaskole.blogspot.com/2014/04/everything-matters.html

But I was feeling inspired and impassioned and I wanted to share some of that with you.

"Just an" anything isn’t worth your time and effort. Let’s be more.

Jesus is more.

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