Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Things and Stuff

 Hi there. How are you? 

After pretty much ignoring my Etsy shop for the better part of this year, I decided to give it some attention. I've added a whole slew of new prints designed to fit perfectly in Ikea Ribba frames.  At just $9.99 with mat and hanger included, these frames give you a lot of bang for your buck and give a small image a lot of visual weight. I am partial to the white version of the Ribba frame, but they also come in black, aluminum, medium brown and black.

I've also got a new set of illustrated bird cards in the shop. I'm really proud of this bunch! Stay tuned for a 2015 bird calendar as well.

Hope you are enjoying your summer. Any fun adventures in the works? Do share.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keeping a Low Profile

Hi there. How are you?

You may have noticed, that I have been keeping a low profile on the interwebs lately. Until this past week, I've done very little posting on my Facebook fan page, Twitter, or Instagram.  I haven't posted here on my blog for well over a month now. It was time for me to step back from it all for a bit.

I'd like to believe that being active on social media leads to more sales. The truth is, it really doesn't. At least not right now. It just makes me feel good to get those likes, comments, replies and retweets. But those good feelings are not really what I'm after! Besides that, social media can be such a time suck! How many times have have I sat on the couch in front of the TV while mindlessly trolling my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds? Gross!

I find that I can waste the most amount of time on Facebook.......It's the nosy part of me that likes to know what's going on with everyone else. To make it easier to keep myself off Facebook, I deleted the app on my phone. I still do have the "Pages" and "Paper" app, but I do find that my time trolling Facebook has diminished greatly!

Instead of spending time online, I've been:
  • Spending time in my studio, making things and learning about selling wholesale. 
  • Spending more quality time with Matt and Jack. 
  • Enjoying the hell out of this beautiful summer.
  • Exercising every day. (More on that later.)

Now that I've got a little more time on my hands and some new exciting projects to spread the word about, I will be posting more regularly on social media. But I won't let it take over my time anymore!

How do you keep social media from sucking your time? Do tell.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

It Will Be OK: A Very Special and Very Personal Story

Hi there. How are you?

Today's blog is a very special one.  Jenipher Lyn, an artist friend of mine, has written a fabulous book for teens/young women. As part of Jenipher's book launch,  I was asked to write/doodle on the topic of depression. As you may or may not know, I have some experience on the topic.

I dealt with a bought of depression, that started in the summer of 2005 and lasted a whole year. I had trouble getting out of bed, trouble eating, and lost my desire to do just about anything but sit on the couch and cry. I thought it would pass. I'd get over it. But I didn't. I needed help. I couldn't fix it on my own. But I still didn't want to admit that.

I knew things were bad when my Dad came over unannounced one afternoon. My Dad is not the most talkative or emotional of men I know, so when he sat me down that day, I knew it was important.  My Dad proceeded to tell me about his own battle with depression. I had no idea that he battled the same demons I was.  I had always known that we had a family history of depression, but I had never known that Dad himself had dealt with it. This visit and this talk convinced me that it was time to seek some help.

The next day, I called my doctor, got hooked up with a counselor and started weekly therapy. Therapy helped, but it wasn't enough. I was still imbalanced, chemically imbalanced and all the therapy in the world wasn't going to change that.  I was prescribed an anti-depressant, but didn't fill the prescription right away. I didn't want to have to take a pill everyday to make myself feel better. There's such a social stigma to taking "happy pills."

After some encouragement from my parents I started taking a daily low-dose antidepressant. As time went on, things got better. I still had setbacks, depressed times, but overall I was feeling better. Feeling like myself. 

I caught some flack for taking antidepressants......A friend of mine couldn't believe I would think of taking them. They would change me. Make me crazy. It's quite the opposite my friends. Not being on antidepressants makes me crazy! After taking antidepresants for about a year, I tried to wean myself off (under a doctor's supervision of course.) After the pills had totally left my system, I was right back to where I started, in my black hole. I went right back on the antidepressants and haven't looked back. 

I am a better version of myself on antidepressants. I still have emotions. I still have low points, I still have high points. I'm just a heck of a lot more even and more able to enjoy life. I have been on antidepressants for close to 10 years now and will most likely be on them for life. And there is nothing wrong with that! 

I know that antidepressants don't work for everyone, but they work for me. If you are depressed and need help. REACH OUT! And take the meds if they help! If you are physically sick, you go to the doctor and might go home with a prescription. Why is a chemical imbalance any different?

Its OK to ask for help. Its OK to take medication. 

Thank you to Jenipher for asking me to be a part of this event. Ta-Ta for now!

“How Being Stubborn, Depressed and Unpopular SAVED My Life” offers an honest and encouraging view on topics such as depression and body image. The book explores the many issues that can start in childhood and follow us into adult life. This post is part of the DoodleDream* Blog Party.  Learn more — and join us! – by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gel Pen Love

Hi there. How are you? 
All I've wanted to do lately is draw with gel pens on dark paper. 
I love the smooth, milky way they flow. 
They lend themselves to these organic, abstracts beautifully. 

All of these pieces measure just 4"x 4" and are mounted onto cradled hardboard. 
Do get in touch if you're interested in purchasing. 
Happy Tuesday. Ta-Ta.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Win!

I entered a giveaway last week on Michele Maule's blog
She's an artist I very much admire. Lady Luck was with me, and I won this sweet print.

It arrived in the mail just the other day. Everything about this screams cute. 
Even the package Michele sent the print in was cute!

Not only did Michele send the print, but also included an adorable owl greeting card, and a personal note. 

If you haven't ever seen Michele's work, do pop over to her etsy shop. I adore basically everything she does, but am particularly taken by her vintage camera illustrations and her little houses.

 And her chairs......Of course I love her chairs!

I haven't made anything new in the studio this week, just lots of prep work for my first show of the year, which is less than a month away. Whoa....How did it get to be the middle of April already?

Ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bird is the Word

I've been all about the birds lately. It's really all I want to draw.

Maybe because it's spring and the so many birdies are back in town and visiting our feeders. 

I've made a new male Cardinal and have another one planned.  I'm thinking they'll go over big in St. Louis, where I have my first art fair of the year. As a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, I detest the St. Louis Cardinal baseball team,  but I'm happy to sell their fans Cardinal art!

I still can't believe I'm drawing birds. (Read more about my love-hate relationship with the feathered ones here.)  Now, I still don't want them anywhere near me.....I had a major flip out when there was one flying around in the garage last week. But, from the safety of my living room window, I appreciate their grace and beauty.

Have a good week friends. Hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods. Ta-Ta!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can Rejection Bring Growth?

Hi there. How are you?
I had quite a disappointment this weekend. I received the word that my applications to three different July art fairs were rejected. That means I've got a large hole in my summer schedule. I have to admit, I was upset. Rejection hurts.

Luckily, after just a little bit of pouting, I changed up my mindset.
My parents were in town this weekend and we brought them to this great high end gift store at a local winery.  Walking through the store seeing all of the pretty reminded me of one of my 2014 goals..... I want to build a wholesale business and have my goods at gift stores just like this.  I know my work would fit in well at this type of gift store and I have the means necessary to produce some very unique salable goods.

At my day job, we specialize in printing on fabric. I've been wanting to make pillows out of my bird illustrations for some time now,  and I can do that at work!  We also have a UV printer so that I could utilize to create nifty digital art prints of my work directly on cradled hardboard. I think these items would go over smashingly with retailers.

There is indeed a silver lining to this art fair rejection.  
I often complain about not having time to pursue my artistic goals.....Now I have it! This is a good thing! Having time this summer without shows will give me time to work on some other aspects of my business I've been wanting to tackle. I can get that new website up and running. I can work on product development and pursue wholesale accounts. Yes! Art fairs have been so hit or miss for me in the last few years. Having other avenues in which to distribute and sell my work is a good thing.

All of the snaps I've included here feature vegetable seedlings we have started in our window sill for our summer garden. All this new life is inspiring and seems apropos for this blog about my growing and changing business.

Stay tuned friends. I am excited for the future! Ta-Ta for now.