(f)unemployment < fun employment

So many changes have come in just the past two weeks. First, I found something of a part-time dream job. Over the past 4 years I have worked on and off as a childcare provider. It started with my 3 amazing nephews. I loved caring for them. They taught me so much about life, and I taught them the Batman theme, so we’re even. That spread to working part time watching a close friend of mine’s amazing toddler.  And now, another close friend has come out of nowhere and trusted me with her little guy. They’re all family to me, and, not to put too fine a point on it, but as someone who made a decision while I was still a teenager that I would never have my own kids, at least not biological ones, it’s almost a necessity. It’s a kind of fulfillment I’ve never experienced in any other job. I can’t even really call it a job.

I’m in a good place. What a load off my mind. I neglected F2F while all of these things were settling in, but things are rolling again. I’ve pared down the designs available on Society6 and I’m finding a design voice for the shop, right now focusing on simple kid friendly patterns, geometric patterns, and some spacy collages. I have some fine art prints coming soon as well! I can’t wait. On top of that,  I’ve  got a new round of needful things going up for sale in the Etsy shop. I should have an update on that very soon!

For now, here’s a guy modeling my new, snow day inspired pattern. Sex  sells, no?

guy in shower

Image

baby sleeping…

My new goal is a design a day, but I’ve already failed two days running. You see, I’ve been babysitting the sweetest little guy this week. He’s a doll. I finally got myself in gear to use his nap time for more than just catching up on Facebook today. I only planned to goof around and play with brushes in Illustrator, (I’m still feeling rusty,) but, before I knew it, I had ruined what was once a complete gorgeous stock image. HA.

I give you, Pointy Circles in SPAAAAAAAAACE!

stars(It does look rather good as a shower curtain…)

Image

patterns

I think I need to start off in a realistic, attainable place. Keep it simple for now. I have aspirations to make and sell original artwork in my Etsy store. I will do that. Society6 is more about pattern for me. And I need to go with what I know. People love the Sloth. It’s sold so many units completely on it’s own, with no feature spot from S6 and no advertising from me. People found it, liked it, and bought it over all the many hundreds of sloth designs available. I’m still so jazzed about that.

So I thought, why not do more designs based on the sloth pattern using different animals? Go with what works, right?

First up, foxy man.

new fox pink

It was at this point that I realized I did pink AGAIN, so blue foxy was added to offset my apparent pink obsession.

new fox blueWhat other animals shall I do? What’s trendy now? Maybe tomorrow I’ll put a bird on it.

Image

pink again?

Seems I’m on a kick. pillowsThe design updates have begun. Some of the old are gone, and more are on the chopping block. It’s amazing the things you can forget by not using Illustrator for 7 months or so,  but it’s starting to come flooding back to me. Now all I need is a mouse so that I can actually do something without losing my little mind. The laptop finger pad thing is only good for quick and dirties, but I’ve got some big ideas.

Image

finally!

A new design! This simple thing took way too long due to some seriously troublesome computer problems. I’m using Illustrator CS2 and, for some reason, it would not rasterize the artwork. It wold just say, nope, too big. I don’t think it’s a problem I’ve ever come across. It also would not export them in JPEG format, saying that the images were, again, too big. On top of all that frustrating nonsense, my computer crashed several times during my saving attempts. I finally had to PDF it and open it in Photoshop to convert it to a JPEG. So weird! I’m hoping a newer version of Illustrator will sort this.

Anyway, Pink Moon. Available on all the usual Society6 products, including the newly added shower curtain!

pink moon

By the way, this is a mixed media design. The stars and the moon are real space telescope images, very high quality. I expect they’ll print beautifully.

Image

new things

I’ve made some additions, check them out! Click on the picture to go directly to the item listing.

P1020468

Gorgeous Blue Crystalline Pottery – $50

P1020496

Rare Vintage Casio Men’s Calculator Watch CA-501, model 437 – $200

P1020478

Owl Pottery, Folk Art Figure, Hand Painted, Vintage, Signed Ken Edwards from Tonalá, Mexico – $22

I’m also trying out some new ways to make fast artwork. This is my first woodcut. It’s just a practice done on cheap, unsuitable wood with tools made for laminate carving, so it’s crazy sloppy, but I’m still pretty pleased with how well it came out. Not bad for a first try, right?

Wembley - crappy woodcut print and colored pencil.

motivator of the 3rd kind

This is going to be a tough post to write. I’m an extremely private person, even with my friends. It’s not that I internalize things. I face things. All damn day and especially at night, when all I want to do is sleep. I’m not afraid to be judged, either. I’ve known most of my friends since high school when I was an out of control mess. They’ve seen the worst and still love me, twenty years on. No, I think I’m private because I know myself, and I’ve never found dragging my problems out to be very useful. That’s just my way.

SO I have to wonder what the hell I’m doing with this blog idea, putting my business out into the world for all to see like this. I think a part of it is that I’m just so bored, even kind of disgusted, by some of these lifestyle blogs I’ve seen that are made by clearly unqualified people giving out advice on how to live. It seems so irresponsible. They’re the equivalent of a Photoshopped model to me, living a fantasy life inside their online persona, throwing out unrealistic standards for their hordes of followers to compare their lives to. It’s not bad that we try to show our best selves in social media. That’s natural. But these people, with their designer pets and their hubbies favorite recipes and their chevrons on goddamn everything … it turns me right off.

Go. Away.

Go. Away.

I know that I felt bad about myself at first, reading what these super-humans have to say about themselves. Why can’t I do all the things!? Just as I have looked in the mirror and wondered why I’m cursed with pores and a nose and thought I could never be like one of those Photoshopped things in the magazines. It’s not right for people to think about themselves in terms of how they compare to another person, but that’s how it goes. But when that other person isn’t real, that’s a problem.

You might have seen these people. Maybe not. I don’t mean to suggest that this is the majority.  There’s plenty of real out there. I’m simply stating my intent to be one of the real people. It goes to motive, I guess. This is why I feel like sharing what is almost certain to be another massive face-plant along my crooked path. It’s all going to be in this here section of the blog. If a reader happens to learn something from my honest account of said face-plant, great. But I won’t have any advice, and I’ll remind my (hypothetical) readers as often as possible that I don’t know what I’m doing. This is an experiment, not a how-to.

When I began writing this I thought I might have some confessional things to say in this first post for the Files. I don’t think I’m there yet. Maybe this has provided some more insight into what’s behind all this and what’s motivating my approach. Maybe I’ve only managed to make myself look like a bitter and cynical asshole. There’s truth in that. It’s not pretty, but it’s honest. I think that’s the whole point.

I made my own. Inspiring, no?

I made my own. Inspiring, no?