A Head Start

Since we started this “conversion” a bit into the year already, I suggested we make some catch-me-up cards this weekend. Chel already has one up (see previous post) so she has five (5) to make to cover January* and catch her up to this week. I’m making six (6) this weekend, so I thought I’d post my sketches that I’m making the cards from.

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*Remember, we’re doing one card a week and this season’s theme is Unicorns. In fact, I’ll make a page with our prospective themes while I’m at it. And feel free to suggest fairy tale themes below! We will do a new theme every six months.

Death means change

Yes, a rosary AND tarot.*No, nothing is wrong, outside of the normal. I pulled the Death card this morning, which would have the untrained freaking out. It doesn’t mean death though, that is usually the Tower card aka cataclysmic, not-so-happy change. But the Death card is a motivator. It means change is coming…which is why I pulled it.

I got wind of a job lead in the UK yesterday and am applying for it today. I pull the cards when I’m led and one always, quite literally, jumps out at me. Writing for gaming was one of the reasons I took the Creative Writing MFA from Full Sail. The job is a script writing position, one of two, with a game developer. I glanced over it, a pipe dream, till I read that they valued talent over experience. I’m not sure if I am talented enough in that industry, but I’m a quick study and I’m giving it a shot. It’s all a leap of faith. Let’s hope they would allow me to work remotely, otherwise it’s beg to be relocated.

“You are entering a growing phase. Acknowledgement comes slowly. No one will offer a helping hand unless you beg for it. Don’t take no for an answer. Avoid self-pity.”

The idea of moving isn’t a new one. We’ve wanted out of Florida for a long time. My health cannot take the heat or the allergies (bugs mainly) and I miss having a change of seasons, especially this time of year. We have been eyeing three places; Western North Carolina, Colorado (Denver-ish), or Eugene, OR as I have family there. We would need to be relocated via an employer to be able to afford it, so I’ve been looking. If we had to stay in Florida, Jacksonville. My dream home, though, honestly: New York.

“Get rid of some old habits. Stop doing anything that doesn’t feel right for you.”

This has been a theme for a while. I cleared my plate at the end of 2011, already a year of big changes for us with claiming our home, our wedding, and a clearing out of anything that didn’t influence us in a positive way. I took 2012 to regroup, refocus, get my Masters and complete a graduate certificate. I’ve been writing on an almost daily (more-so lately) basis and long for a job where I can use my talents. I’m focusing on the things I love that can help enrich our lives – getting my book(s) finished and uploaded to CreateSpace, designing products for Etsy, and working with hand-lettering (10.00 off a class with link) as well as an ongoing book design gig. I’m also submitting work to a couple of publications and a Christmas greeting card contest.

So we’ll see if the job and a move are in the cards for us. It is all in God’s Hands as to where He wants us, so we’ll just keep praying with an open mind and be ready for the challenge if I’m called. Speaking of motivator, time to consolidate so more and attack my studio! Artsy supply grab bags on Etsy soon…
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The tools of the trade for a Christian-based pagan, I love this little deck. The artwork is fabulous, it reminds me of an old gypsy deck.

On Donating Work

Cancer Sell donationA few months ago I was involved with a project that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t the project itself, or the committee I was on, they were both fabulous. It was the reaction of the artists that were involved.

Charity Begins in the Heart

One of the best things about being an artist is knowing that my work can impact the world. It may only be in a small way, with just one person, but even just one drop of water can make a ripple across a lake. So when I see the opportunity to donate some of my work in support of a good cause, I typically jump at it.

What goes through my head in a situation like that is from an attitude of service. How can I help them? What kind of work will bring the greatest good?

What doesn’t go through my head is, “How much commission am I getting?”

A Fundraiser By Definition

When someone puts out an open call for submissions for a fundraiser, in my opinion, all of the money should go to the fundraiser. I don’t ask for money from it. That defeats the purpose to me. It is especially true if the fundraiser is for an organization that I belong to that supports my needs in some way. If I am not the one running it and it earns me money personally – it’s not a fundraiser, it’s a sale.

If I am offered commission, I tell them that I would like to donate it back into the fundraiser; that’s what fundraisers are for, raising funds. I don’t ask for more. I was appalled when I’d heard that the artists the call went out to had refused to be involved, in support of their own arts organization, because they weren’t getting enough commission and had asked for 50%.

I don’t get it and I am happy to say that I do not think like that.

Recycling for Art

The Economy Made Me Do It

If I, by current financial situation, cannot afford to create something because of a lack of supplies – i.e. canvas or watercolor paper – I usually don’t let that stop me. I’ll recycle cereal and food boxes into canvas, whatever it takes. There is always something I can use and art is, by its very nature, invention.

Professional artist or not, I cannot look at an opportunity to help someone and say no because I put too much work into a piece to not make money off of it. My brain doesn’t work like that. I’m an artist. Creating is, thankfully, not a finite thing.

If I run out of canvas, I use paper.
If I run out of paper, I recycle boxes.
If I have no more food boxes, I’ll recycle plastic bags into plarn and knit something.
I’ll draw, paint with nail polish, make dye from plants, whatever I can get my hands on.

But I will NEVER allow money to dictate my creativity. Never.

Money, or a lack thereof, controls everything else in my life. I’ll be damned if I am going to let it keep me from doing what I love.

Work Ethic

I think what it all comes down to is that I apparently have a different outlook on my art and being an artist. I love what I do. I don’t do it for money. If I get money out of it, WOOT. Bonus. If I can bring in enough money to help support my family, DOUBLE WOOT. But money doesn’t motivate my creativity. It just isn’t why I do it.

What about logos and other gigs that are paid work? That’s different. I do get paid for my time, when I’m lucky, but that is contract work and a whole different kind of animal.

Work that I make out of love, I do that to make people smile and maybe brighten a little corner of their world.

abandon_tagv1Create with Abandon

One of the things that I love to do, and am doing more of lately, is abandoning my art.

I joined a group recently on Facebook created by Michael DeMeng called Art Abandonment. The group’s members have been incredibly inspiring and I am proud to be a part of it. I have abandoned art out in the wild before, leaving inchies and art cards in random places or our favorite hang outs. This group has displayed a kind of compassion for others and a passion for their work, though, that I want to help nurture and am looking forward to being involved with.

And making art to give it away to the happiness of others is, in my opinion, by far the greatest payment in itself.

Getting with the program

My new sunshiney writing spot.
It’s been my goal for a long-time to blog more. Setting down ideas, sharing the projects of myself and others, making my writing more of a daily practice again. Life tends to sideswipe me, though, and I get distracted. Not hard when you are ADD and self-managing. It’s time to give it a try again, though.

The goal is to blog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; not only here but on Art for Cures, ArtfulLE, and Kraft Paper Muse. Why so many?

Different crowds, different subjects. 

Art for Cures has gone through the fire and back. Rebuilding slowly from the ashes, it’s going to take a while to recover from my previous mistakes. I know the group has great purpose and potential, though, so I am not yet ready to let it die while there is still interest. The local interest that we have gathered over the years will start meeting once a month at the local library. I am looking forward to an influx of new artists into the group, hoping it will rejuvenate our veteran members, and it give me a chance to be more hands on with everyone.

ArtfulLE is a more personal project for me. I wanted to focus solely on my wellness journey without bogging down my main blog. I had posted a few times, not thinking anyone was even reading it, then someone in New Zealand (!!) posted a comment thanking me and letting me know they had shared the post on Facebook. Next thing I knew, I had a following.

Kraft Paper Muse is a culmination of my loves of publishing, tech, and art. The hardest to keep up with by far, solo, the Muse has high and lofty dreams of what it wants to become when it grows up. Being able to see your work in print, even digitally, and offer that opportunity to others is a thrill to say the least. It requires a discipline that I am having to relearn, though, as well as some major ADD management.

Renmeleon, up until now, has been the catchall. A conglomeration of random tidbits and the odd afterthought or soapbox. My goals with this site are to bring it back to its originally intended purpose: My freelance work, sharing what I’ve learned over the years, what inspires me, and forming a jumping off point for all of my other projects. I’m very eclectic in my interests and hope to share that diversity here.

Overall

All-in-all, the purpose of all of this is to get me writing again on a daily basis, get me “arting” again, and get myself back on a schedule of management (not as easy). I’m using my Monday, Wednesday, Friday as my “public” writing days (blogging) and my Tuesdays and Thursdays for project days. As I did today, I spent the morning hand-writing my posts in a spiral bound notebook, 11 pages for today’s, then transcribed them in the evening after I’ve had the day to reflect on all of it.

We’ll see how long I can pull it off. /fingerscrossed See you in two days!