October 23, 2012

Aiming Low #noncon TOON swag.

Here's the TOON swag* I did while at the Aiming Low Non-Conference last week.

*What the heck is "toon swag"? It's when I live-draw people that inspire me. The drawing is a gift to them, and it fits neatly into their luggage.

When we arrived at Callaway Gardens, I met Jasmine Banks, blogger at Just Jasmine. She asked me how my room was, and I said it was fine, just a bit cold. So she arranged for blankets to be sent to our room. Sweet! She tilted her head and raised an eyebrow at me, and I had to draw her.

@Djazzo has the kind of curves that artists swoon to draw, she's so, so beautiful. She possesses an inner light that is a disarming mix of strength and vulnerability.

If you're ever lucky enough to meet her IRL, ask her respectfully about her amazing tattoo; I only managed to capture an impression of it here; the actual detail and execution of the work is world class and it's an integral part of her story.

One of the best things about the NonCon were the Roundtables, a concept brought forward by Anissa Mayhew, the unstoppable mojo behind the Aiming Low community. I could do Roundtables all weekend. Because of the format, you can learn, share and connect simultaneously. During the "Working as a Team" session, I was sitting across from Jana Anthoine. As an attendee, she shared this powerful bit of wisdom with us;

"You must be courageous to be part of a team."

I believe it does take courage to step forward and make a contribution as a team player, rather than simply following the leader. And there she was actually making a contribution by saying so. I just whipped out my iPad and started drawing her right there.

Jana's Thinking Place

I think @Jana0926 suspected I was up to something, but I always check with people before posting my drawings. Unless you're Martha Stewart. Or Katie Couric.

At one point during the conference, Faiqa Khan came up and said "Hey JC, when are you going to draw ME??" And I'm like, uh....I already have...?

I'm sad that I didn't get the chance to draw more people, but there was so much going on and I also wanted to soak up some Aiming Low love. But there was one person I was determined to nail down, and this was Julia Roberts.

As I drew her, Julia showed us pictures of her children, Gage and Quinnlin on her phone.

Julia is the arms that enfold, the heart that loves, the shoulder that supports, the eyes that know you. She's a mother to not one, but two kidney transplant children, and a leader in the parenting support community via her blog Kidneys and Eyes.

And it has to be said, @JuliaRoberts1, along with several others, is part of the very soul of Aiming Low.

The next NonCon is now the must attend conference at the top of my list. But meanwhile, I guess we'll have to be content with AimingLow.com on the Internets.