Sunday, July 29, 2012

Opened An Etsy Shop - Finally!

Holy crap... cannot believe I am finally doing this after projecting to have a shop open back in October. You have to cultivate creativity I guess? Or I am just slow/scared/intimidated? In any case, the beginnings of my shop are in existence. Having a million things to list is kind of tedious, but I was surprised to make two sales within an hour of starting to list! Hopefully it's not just beginners luck hehe :)  I can't wait to get all of my stuff in there so that I can focus on starting the 100 or so new pieces that are bouncing around inside my head. Today I am so so so grateful to be an artist.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Do It Anyway.

There are about a million things running through my mind right now. Sometimes I get worried about writing things that will offend people in the future and burn down bridges in one fell swoop. Right now, I don't care. Truth be told, I am 100% miserable in my work situation. In fact, I have never disliked a job so much in my life, and that includes the brief stint of cleaning houses I did in college. Five days a week, I am surrounded by people who only seem to care about money, material things, bragging about who they hang out with, bragging about who they know, and talking about working out. My lord, I have never heard people talk about working out so much in my life.  These people judge other people, make fun of other people's families, make fun of complete strangers. It is honestly disgusting. Like I am getting tears in my eyes right now just thinking about how I do not want to be around this for five more minutes, let alone eight hours a day five days a week. 

I know what my dream is. I haven't shared it with that many people, because it seems like everyone I share it with just laughs at me and says, "Yeah right. Like that will happen." My dream is to make a living doing what I love, and that is making, sharing, selling art. I've never even been able to talk to my parents about this, because they are completely in the jobs-are-supposed-to-suck-and-you-are-supposed-to-hate-them-forever mindset. And I'm not. I'm not at all. So for the past year, I have turned to the internet, finding friendship with other creative people. Surrounding myself with creative souls who do what they love for a living. I love following the big-name people who have really made it work, on Flickr, Instagram, reading their blogs... Integrating their inspiration in my life in every possible way.

Today has been one of those days where things that normally get to me are getting to me insanely more than usual. Please excuse my language, but today I am just tired of listening to people kissing the asses of people who have money and "status." I use that term loosely, because the city they have "status" in is a small town in Ohio. Anyone outside of a 60 mile radius has never even heard of it. A few months ago, I signed up to get inspirational emails from Andrea Schroeder's Creative Magic Academy. The subject of today's email was "Do It Anyway." I almost felt like this was written just for me, for this moment right now. As I read it, I had to hide behind my computer screen as tears pricked my eyes. Andrea wrote about sitting on her favorite beach and knowing that her dreams are so so much stronger than her doubts and critics. She made the paper doll pictured above and actually carried it with her to the beach. Written on her, the words, "Do It Anyway."  

I don't even know why I'm getting so emotional about this. Like I've reached a turning point or something. All my life I've pretty much been "doing it anyway." I wanted to major in art in college: everyone said that was stupid. Did it anyway. I wanted to study in China: everyone said it was impossible. Did it anyway. Wanted to go to Europe for spring break my last year in college: everyone said I couldn't afford it. Did it anyway. I wanted to hang out, decompress, and be a bartender after college: everyone said that wasn't a "real job." Did it anyway, made a ton of money, had a ton of fun, met a ton of amazing people. 

Everyone said I should get a "real job," M-F, 9-5, benefits, office, stability. So I listened. And I have never been more unhappy. Why I listened I don't know. Maybe because learning the hard way sometimes makes you realize exactly what you are after. I feel like I am on the verge of the most important "Do It Anyway" of my life. I want to travel, I want to meet people, I want to make things, I want to be one of those inspirational people that just shines, you know? Life has so so so much to offer and I want to take it all and give it back 1000 times over. I almost want more people to tell me that I can't, so I can show them that they are wrong and that this is my dream and that I'm going to do it anyway.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You Cannot Take Anything Too Seriously.

This is maybe one of the most important things I have ever learned (the hard way haha). People get so wrapped up in expectations and they plan things out in their mind exactly the way they want them to go. Then when they don't go that way, it's like an emotional trainwreck. For the past few years, I have learned to let things flow. Of course you cannot help but imagine things going a certain way. Then if they take a different course, just know it is for a reason. Always take time to laugh, breathe, and experiment.

This has been especially important for me this past weekend while I am working my buns off to get a million things accomplished. I found a random bunch of beads that my kitten pulled off of some dream catchers I had hanging up. I needed a place to store them while I do not have time to re-attach at the moment, and I put them in an empty blush container. The way they looked reflecting in the mirror was randomly and surprisingly so beautiful. So, I decided to take a quick break from what I was working on. I placed a large mirror I snitched from the garbage (don't judge), put it in the sunlight, and spilled some more beads across it. After some tweaking in Lightroom, these happy and colorful photos were the result:

Take breaks and play! Not from just artwork, but from life in general! If everyone did this, could you imagine how much of a happier place the world would be? Let's lead by example :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finally Getting Things Done!

After feeling like I wasted last weekend and kind of beating myself up for it, I have been hard at work all day, just getting things done. I have three Etsy shops in the works and have reopened the first one... which is my kinda just-for-fun shop, so I can ease back into things. It's called PetalNets and consists of dream catcher with flower fairies attached to them. I made a whole bunch of these on a whim last year, put them into a shop and actually sold a couple, but then the shop fell to the wayside when I had a months-long period of total loss of creative drive. Now they are back, as kind of a fun side project for when the things I try to put on paper don't flow the way I want. Here are some pics (I still have 10 more to list!):

Back to the grind... I want to have my photography shop and my main shop, with all of my mixed media art, opened by the end of this weekend. It's go time.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Windows of Bergdorf Goodman: Amazing Visual Inspiration.

Just wanted to post some quick eye candy. I have been obsessed with these windows ever since finding a book called Dreams Through the Looking Glass at a discount bookstore. Ironically enough, I just noticed that that book is now selling for $99 new at Amazon. Interesting. Anyway, that book is my #1 source of visual inspiration (then my henna book, then my art nouveau book...) and I honestly look through it almost daily, never tiring of the amazing imagery. Pictures do not do justice to the amount of detail put into these astonishing displays. I actually think I may scan in some of my favorites when I get home to share later, because I couldn't find pictures online. Have a beautiful and creative Thursday :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekends: A Conundrum.

Weekends can be such a conundrum. I am like the majority of people in the way that my weekdays go like this:

7:30am - Wake up.
7:45am - Actually muster up enough  motivation to get out of bed and get ready for work.
8:30am - Begin my daily commute. Curse at traffic uncontrollably. Ponder why it takes years to complete certain road construction projects.
9:00am - Begin a long day of phone calls, spreadsheets, reports, and other mindless tasks.
5:00pm - Rush out the door with visible relief that I get to leave. Repeat morning traffic situation.
5:45pm - Arrive home, exhausted, frustrated, as afternoon traffic is TERRIBLE.

Then I usually go for a run, make some dinner, blah blah blah. Wash, rinse, repeat. This is how I spend ten hours a day, five days a week. Usually during this time I am daydreaming about what art endeavors I want to tackle in the upcoming weekend. Those two precious days are the only ones I have to myself, to do what I want to do, all day long.

Then the weekend arrives and sometimes all I want to do it laze around, unwind, read books, watch a TV show, talk on the phone. And it makes me feel so guilty, because it's like I'm not taking advantage of the days. But is that such a bad thing? After spending 50 hours of the last five days doing something that I honestly do not want to be doing, a little unwinding is normal right? I mean art never feels like work; it exhilarates me and makes me buzz and smile. Ugh, that guilt is just getting the best of me today, because I have been on the couch reading for oh the past three hours. If only every day was like a weekend...

Enough of that rambling. I did make it out to Franklin Park Conservatory yesterday to take some more summery pictures. Camera adventures are something I can't get enough of lately. Some delicious summery inspiration:

Can't believe tomorrow is Monday and back to the grind already. So many things to think about these days...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Old Friends and Reminiscing.

In the summer of 2005, I had the amazing and unique opportunity to study History of Art in China. When I applied for the program, everyone told me I would never get in. When I got in, everyone told me I would never be able to afford it. When the 15 of us who got in all received full ride scholarships, I could not have felt more blessed and fortunate.

Last night I was enjoying happy hour on the patio of a favorite Italian restaurant with my brothers when I received a text message from Jenny, the girl I roomed with throughout our China adventure. It said, "Are you in Columbus?" to which I responded, "YES! Are you?" Two hours later, she was at my door and we took an all-night journey down memory lane. Jenny is an acupuncturist and is just refreshing to be around; she is earthy and natural and full of positive energy. It is just her nature. After being surrounded by people who values are... different (trying to be polite) than mine at my job all day five days a week, spending the night with her was a huge breath of fresh air. Turns out she left her acupuncture practice in New York City because she wanted to get out of the madness and back to her roots. It was so much fun to sit and reminisce about our experience in that wonderful summer of 2005. I have been looking at pictures of that trip and here are some of my favs:

The Summer Palace outside of Beijing. Quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life.

A tea plantation nestled in the mountains that we spent a beautiful blue-skied day in. Saying it was breathtaking does not do it justice.

West Lake in Hangzhou, written about by poets and painted by artists. Just beautiful.

The landscapes there sometimes didn't even look real. So much beauty everywhere you turn. We visited some gardens that were like walking through a dream. I remember one guy in our group saying after a visit to one, "Damn, I need a cigarette after that garden."

People napped everywhere! For many, life revolves around their work and I can only imagine how exhausting the hours are. Exhausting enough that some don't mind passing out on a butcher block in the 100 degree heat.

These little girls were so giggly and cute. The children especially were fascinated with us, especially the blondes in our group, because we looked so different from them. It was interesting and I could write a book on the discrimination we were subjected to and how in my opinion that was such an important thing to experience.

I could go on forever. China changed my life. I cannot believe that I got to see Jenny last night and am quite jealous of the gypsy lifestyle she is leading right now: living out of her car, in tents and hotels, day to day, until she finds that place that she feels is right for her and not settling for anything less. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunset-Inspired Art Journal.

Usually when I go to the grocery store, I wander around with no list, no plan, no course of action. People probably think I'm nuts. Half the time I'm texting, checking various social media networks, the weather... I get so bored at the store. Tonight, after 30 minutes of aimless wandering, I exited to find one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen. Pictures do no justice. Sometimes (like tonight) I look around to see if other people are noticing, photographing, appreciating... and usually the answer is no no and no. It makes me sad but grateful at the same time that I can appreciate the beauty that most people don't see. Hopefully that does not sound cocky, as it's not meant to be! Anyway, I could not get the colors of that sunset out of my head and they made their way (unintentionally) into tonight's art journal pages. Is it really Monday already? Ugh.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Long Live Bohemian Summers

It has been insanely crazy super mega long since I have created a new piece of art, other than things in my art journal and photography. I feel like I was scared almost? Or I couldn't commit to one idea? Who knows. The creative flow can be fickle for me. This seemed like the perfect creation for this blistering summer day. It's mixed media on a 11" x 14" panel. Yay boho :)

Hiding From the Heat!

The kitties still enjoy the sun from inside the air conditioning...

I feel like I am snowed in or something. Except heated in. It's almost 104 degrees in Columbus and it's only 1pm. It's too hot to even go to the pool. I tried to take my art journal outside for a little photoshoot and only lasted two pictures, so I came inside and started shooting random things.

I still need to figure out if and how to fix the binding, which has completely come apart. It is duct taped on one side, but if I do that to the other side it will cover up the first page, which I don't want to do. Here are some more of my favorite things:

I love glitter and use it obsessively frequently.

My parents are high school sweethearts and I LOVE having old pictures of them... that blue dress is one of my mom's prom dresses!

I made a terrarium in an old gumball machine with some moss and things I collected from last weekend's little trip. I got it a little too wet which is why it's all fogged up, but I kind of like it that way.

Creepy storm clouds from earlier this week... I am afraid of thunderstorms (so lame, I know) but wish we would get one today to give us a break from this heat!

I am going to use this as a great excuse to hide inside and make some new art that I have been wanting to do for oh, four months or so now. I also have a coupon for a free large pizza from Papa John's, which is going to come in very handy. Hope everyone is finding fun ways to stay cool :)