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Dream, Initiate and Invite

January 11, 2018

i have a dream art

Today, I did this art piece for an event that’s coming up for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

While drawing, I spent time reflecting on what it took for Dr. King to make the dream of his vision of America a reality.

He did more then just talk. He did more than just march. He did more than just preach.

He lived it! And he got others involved to live it out with him in front of others who needed to see that his dream could be a reality.

We often dream, but we seldom do! We often envision, but we seldom take the initiative.

We also tend to forget that the dream was not so simple as quoting the speech. Dr. King fought serious odds and circumstances. He would’ve been accused of playing the race card. He would’ve been called unnecessarily troublesome. He would’ve been met with criticism and skepticism much like today.

But, because He had a dream and vision that America was better than what he was seeing, he stepped up and did everything he could.

Also, his dream was bigger than what could be done to help himself. It was so big that it helped assist the change in the direction of America.

Dr. King and countless other civil rights leaders and workers dared to dream big and face adversity.

Imagine how much could change if we stood up with our dreams and dared to not only just dream, but take initiative, be brave and strong and get others to join in!


Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 10.37.37 AM

I’m going to do a few things a little different going into 2018. And right now, I’m already beginning the process.

For starters, I’m blogging daily more! HOORAY!!!! It’s about dog-gone time.

And then there’s the Bible study time for the mornings, which I might add, have been a challenge but a good, healthy challenge.

Then, there’s the desire to write all of these wild and crazy stories AND continue working on my webcomic, “By and By.”

Instead of just dropping all of these goals and hopes and wishes on myself in 2018, I’ve decided to take baby steps into the new year.

It is important to me to get my personal Bible study habits and my writing habits in sync and on the daily habitually in an effort to focus and survive and thrive.

After evaluating the way I do things now and considering the long list of things I hope to accomplish in in my personal and professional life, I realized now is the time to “do different.”

Traditional schedule books are just not working for me. They never have!

You know, those pre-approved, pre-lined, pre-drawn, pre-spaced, pre-and-post-dated calendar books that you buy with good intentions only to leave them collecting dust somewhere!?

Yeah, I’m done with those!

Instead, I’m heading for a new and exciting and creative direction that will move me to OWN my schedule book…”A Bullet Journal.”

I’ve been learning quite a bit about them through the YouTube star Jessica of “How To ADHD” and I think that they will be a good move for me considering the way I think and organize my time and overall life.

Not to mention that I’ll have the opportunity to draw and sketch details in my journal that I need to know for the daily grind, weekly plans and so much more.

Personalization of a schedule book or journal helps! And it might help you!

Also with the bullet journal plan comes the 2018 Life Goals for my wife and I. We’ve been thinking, planning and most importantly, praying, over everything that we are hoping to accomplish in the new year.


Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 3.15.05 PM

Lately, I’ve been watching, repetitively, a 20-year-old cartoon series that used to run on ABC Saturday Morning’s, “Nightmare Ned.”

Based off a video game, “Nightmare Ned” follows a bespectacled 10-year-old boy named Ned Needlemeyer whose nightmares are used to face his fears. Most times he comes out on top, but, other times his endings are not so good and he wakes up only to realize it was only a dream.

Finding this show was difficult, and I barely remember it being on the air. I was in middle school, 7th grade to be exact, when this show was on. I recall catching the intro and watching a clip or two. And no wonder, the show aired at 11am Central Time on our ABC affiliate here in Dallas. And usually around that time I was already out and about.

ned in a milk cow suit

The show is quite creative and brilliant in its own crazy way. After 20 years, the show still holds up.

I’ve also studied the art style and it has helped me grow my drawing skills. Hence, Ned in cow pajamas from the episode, “Abduction.” 

Ned is relatable, especially if you were the boy who grew up facing bullies, your own personal anxieties and parents who didn’t quite get where you were coming from in perspective.

Because of “Nightmare Ned,” I’m reminded why I write what I write and how my personal experiences from boyhood are able to properly translate. I’m also reminded of my time growing up, slipping in and out of constant daydreams and having an overactive imagination and even wild dreams and nightmares.

I am reminded how some things growing up were tough, but, how things were not always that way.

I’m reminded to be OKAY with the past and write for the future, the future of other Ned Needlemeyer’s and Kendall Lyons’ out there whose experiences growing up were a bit unorthodox.

I’ve found myself writing my characters in my comic strips and in my books in such a way that they are truly “kids!” They’ve become more real because I’ve been reminded of how important it is to get real but still be funny and creative at the same time.


Joe “Crazy 8’s” and I did these sketches during one of our meetings at a coffee shop! 

When I first started drawing I was by myself for the most part. I would post some of my work online and I would create with hopes that I would get some kind of input or advice or compliment.

Sure, at one point I was a member on DeviantArt and then later I connected with others on social media like Twitter and Facebook. It helped quite a bit.

But, I wanted even more!

Then, Instagram came in to the mix and I was fortunate to team up with other cartoonists…one in person and one from Canada.

walter bill and crazy 8

On Instagram, I often connect with Joe, the creator of “Crazy 8s” and Dave from Canada, the creator of the Instagram comic called “Kid and Mouse.” 

crazy 8s

Joe and I have constantly meet up to discuss our passion for comic strips, discussing and analyzing the works of people like Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and names that some might not know and independent artists.

I’ve learned a LOT from both Joe and Dave. We’ve done crossovers and collaborations together and they have shared their own tricks of the trade in comic strip creation. But, this couldn’t be if it wasn’t for the idea of connecting, networking and building a community.


Characters from my webcomic, “By and By,” Walter Ayo and Ace Fox meet Bill and Carl!

When times get rough and we get a little down, Joe, Dave and I often will connect via the web and chat and encourage one another! This is a HUGE investment!

Every bit of that moment and time matters!

Every artist needs a community in which to connect and learn from. It’s not recommended to go it alone in a field or area of interest no matter what it is you’re studying or practicing. You need others to come alongside you and help you. You need people in which to grow with and learn and share with.

I’m fortunate that Joe and Dave are a part of that with me! And, I’m grateful for the other great cartoonists that I’ve connected with both independent and syndicated. And I’m looking forward to connecting with many more artists.