A 2018 Liebster Award for Amdall Gallery

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As you can see from the title, this site was nominated for a Liebster Award, which is given to blogs by other bloggers. So, right from the top, thank you to Christine Mallaband-Brown for the nomination! Christine is a talented artist, so that’s really cool to be nominated by someone like her.

The Liebster Award – What is this Thing? gold-award

When I first came across these and tried to figure out what they were, I thought it might be some online version of a chain letter. Someone sends you one, then you send it to six more people, then they each send it to six more, and so on. In some respects, it is sort of like that. It’s actually more altruistic though, and helps people promote their sites through the broader blogging community. It seems like a great way to “pay it forward” to other blogs you’ve enjoyed, which is something I can really get behind. I’ve even dedicated posts to doing exactly that, but I think this award is a more interesting way to do it.

From what I’ve read, the award started in Germany in 2011. According to Google Translate, Liebster means “dearest” in German. I’m not sure how accurate that translation is, but at least it doesn’t mean “terrible website” or something. It’s supposed to be given to blogs with less than 1000 followers, with the intention of helping those sites grow their following. As I said above, it’s a nice way to spread the love to sites that aren’t huge.

How Does it Work?

Basically, here’s the rundown on how the Liebster Award works:

  • I’ll answer some questions about myself and the site, most of which were asked by the blogger who nominated me.
  • If you haven’t completely fallen asleep after my answers, then you can see the bloggers I’m nominating for the award.
  • And finally, I’ll list my question suggestions and the basic rules.

Questions Answered, Facts About Jon and Amdall Gallery

Like I said, most of these questions are from the blogger who nominated me for this Liebster Award. I think I answered all of the ones she asked, but I wanted to add a couple.

  • What is your site about? Posts on Amdall Gallery mostly consist of portraits I’ve done in pencil. I also sometimes share analysis on various topics, like some data crunching on sports salaries, commercial airline leg room, and others. That’s the main focus of the site, but I also have a forum for threads on topics like video games, recent news, and other random discussions.
  • What motivated you to start the site? I created it in 2011, and my first post was motivated by the Dallas Mavericks becoming NBA champions. I only made a couple nonsense posts, and dropped it pretty quickly. I started the site up again last August, because I thought it would be fun to share some of my data analysis. About a month later, for some reason I got an itch to draw again after about a decade of not doing it. And now here I am, still drawing!
  • Who’s your favorite artist? That’s a tough question. I enjoy a wide variety of art, but I have a special respect for artists who can achieve high levels of realism. In terms of “classical artists,” I’ve always liked Rembrandt. But there are many contemporary artists I’ve come across recently who I have a ton of respect for, and have become personal favorites. I’m a big fan of Hilda Rogers, the artist behind As Much Cake, Luisina Juliete, and many others. Probably too many to name them all.
  • If you could eat your favorite food every day for the rest if your life what would it be? Pizza. No doubt. And I could be perfectly happy with that, as long as I could mix up the pizza types and sauces; New York style one day, crispy crust another, then a Chicago Deep Dish, etc.
  • Which one of your posts make you feel happy? I’m not sure I could choose one specific post, but all the drawings I’ve done of my family make me happy. I’m sure that’s why I do so many of them. The kids get excited about them, especially my oldest.
  • Cats or dogs? Cats probably edge out the win, but I do like dogs too.
  • Sea cruise or sky dive? Sea cruise. I can’t imagine any situation that would involve me jumping out of a plane for recreation.
  • Have you ever read a book all the way through without stopping? I don’t think so. I do love reading though, and there have been some novels that were hard to put down. A few in that category: A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin, Horns by Joe Hill, the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher, Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo, and several of Neil Gaiman’s books. I remember sacrificing a ton of sleep on those, staying up late on work nights because I just couldn’t wait for more.
  • Science or Art (or both)? Nowadays I’d say both. For most of my adult life, science was king. My bachelors is in biology and my masters is in biomedical science, so I was immersed in that world for a while. And my professional life is all about data analysis, so that science-like realm continues to be prevalent. But over the last year, I’ve gotten back into drawing and enjoying artwork. I find it really fulfilling to be involved in both worlds.
  • What makes you laugh? My kids. I know it’s cliche’, but they legitimately crack me up all the time.
  • Poetry or prose? Prose. I feel kind of dumb admitting this, but most of the time I don’t understand poetry. It just doesn’t connect with me, unless it’s tied to music and becomes a song.
  • Do you believe in a deity? I believe there is probably a creating or organizing force in the universe. Something made the rules of existence, after all. But I don’t know that for sure. I always hope for greater meaning, but I can’t claim to have any special knowledge about the ultimate realities of the universe.
  • What is the best advice you’ve been given – on any subject? A lot of my favorite advice comes in the form of quotes I’ve picked up various places. If I read something valuable, or someone tells me something insightful, I try to save it as a note in Google Keep. Some of my favorites:

You inherit your parents’ trauma, but you will never fully understand it.”

– BoJack Horseman (I’m told it’s related to the show, but not actually from it).

Pray for rain all you like, but dig a well as you do it

– The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King.

“To pretend wisdom of the past from the safety of the present.”

– Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo.

And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mind to keep.”

– Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

My Nominees for a 2018 Liebster Award

Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me if these folks “officially” accept the award by writing a post. I’m just glad to link to them, hopefully they’ll gain a few new viewers for the cool stuff they do. Anyway, these bloggers are awesome, so I just wanted to share their sites.


  • Hilda Rogers – as I’ve already mentioned, she is one of my favorite artists. Hilda is equally skilled at people and scenery, which is very impressive to someone like me who couldn’t draw a landscape to save his life. She’s got some great artwork featured on the site, and the subject variety she tackles is amazing.
  • Adaptable Education – a great resource for educators. It’s a pretty new site, but they’ve got a ton of materials available already. I’m not a teacher, but it seems quite useful.
  • Alunaria’s Avenue – If you enjoy video games, this is a fun site. Alunaria features some really impressive screen captures from her adventures in Warcraft, and her posts are very entertaining.
  • Fashion Illustrations by Allison – As above, Allison is one of those artists I mentioned who’s site has become one of my favorites. I love coming across Allison’s posts in the WordPress Reader, because I know they’re going to feature artwork with such incredible realism and technical skill.
  • As Much Cake As You Want – This artist creates some of the most wonderfully creative, expressive pieces. Most of her artwork involves a scene or short story, and conveys emotion and thought so well. She has a totally unique style that I could recognize easily as hers, which I think can be difficult for artists to develop.

The Rules – If You’re Nominated, Here’s What People Usually Do

You’re supposed to repost the rules from whoever nominated you, but I’ll add some commentary too. From what I’ve seen on other sites, for a nominee to accept the award you are supposed to follow through with these basic things:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, including a link back to their site or the nomination post.
  • Answer questions about yourself and your site. I’m going to provide some here, as my nominator did…but hey, your website, your rules! If you want to answer other questions, I don’t see why you couldn’t do that. As I read somewhere else, there are no Liebster Award police roaming around, taking them away from violators. It seems to be pretty common that it’s supposed to be 10-11 questions.
  • Nominate a few fellow bloggers with less than 1000 followers who you think deserve a 2018 Liebster Award. Some say 3-5 nominees, others say 5-11. I say it’s nice to just select some you really like.
  • Create a new list of questions for your nominees. As I said, I think these are more just helpful suggestions to encourage them to talk about their site and what they write, post, and share.
  • Notify your nominees individually. The artist who nominated me just linked it in a comment on my site, which seems like a pretty effective way.

My Ideas for Nominee Questions

Just some ideas, if they help you get rolling talking about yourself and your site!

  • What is your site about?
  • What motivated you to start the site?
  • What is your favorite thing about your site?
  • Who are your favorite artists?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve heard (any topic)?
  • Which of your posts make you feel happy?
  • Which post are you most proud of?
  • Cats or dogs?
  • What’s your favorite book?
  • What’s the best memory you have while traveling?
  • What is one thing you don’t own that you’d like to one day?
  • Do you have a travel bucket list? If so, what are your top five locations?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment?

Wow…this entire post ended up being pretty huge! I wonder if anyone read the entire thing? Honestly, I almost didn’t (I hope that’s not too obvious from typos). Thanks again to Christine Malland-Brown for the nomination, this was quite a fun thing to do.


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  • Congratulations! πŸ™‚

  • Hey Jon, thank you again for the nomination πŸ™‚ Fun to see my site amongst artists! Very grateful I am.

    I like the idea with the questions, I cherish getting to know more about the person behind the blog πŸ™‚ And I can basically recommend questions to those I want to nominate, to find out more about them too, sneaky sneaky πŸ˜‰

    You crack me up, hah, “Terrible website”, nope, that’s not what t means. And I sit here imagining a Liebster Police right now. You should totally draw that. In the old Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles style you did a while ago πŸ˜€

    Anyway. I’m hibernating on and off during July and August, so my absence is only caused by that, and nothing else, i hope to be back at full speed soon, lots of catching up to do too πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

    • Absolutely! You are quite welcome. I was really glad to have the chance to participate in something like this, and glad to share some cool sites. I’ve enjoyed the wide variety of screen captures, adventure, and interesting scenes from your site. I hope this gets a couple new people over there to check it out!

      Ha ha, I’m glad you got a kick out of the translation, and those pesky Liebster Police. I’ve been waiting for them to bust into my house any minute and force me to delete it from my site.

      • I imagine that πŸ™‚ It sounds fun to participate in.

        Thanks a lot for saying. It is a passion of mine, so if someone else finds joy in visiting my site, it’s win win too πŸ™‚

        Hah yeah. I was not kidding, you should totally draw it! πŸ˜€ Uh, uh, and once the Liebster Police finds you, you run away, with the Benny Hill style-theme playing! Gosh, this heat is getting to my head, sorry!

      • That’s what it’s all about for a lot of us in the blogging realm I’ll bet! Writing about and sharing something you have a passion for. Even if my reach is pretty small, it’s still exciting when it seems a visitor has gained something. Based on the comments from posts on your site, I’m certain your community finds a lot of value there!

        Wow, that would actually be an interesting drawing. I struggle with drawing from imagination, so it would be an interesting test! “Liebster Police, everybody freeze and drop your awards!”

  • thank you for answering my questions…and adding more..very interesting, and thank you for the information about the award.

  • Congratulations on your award Jon. Well deserved.

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