All the Self-Help Books…

I like to do research into things.  Sometimes the research is for a project.  Sometimes the research is prep for something I plan on doing.  Research and planning are ways I deal with the fear of doing something.

In my research I have read several “self-help” books.  “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, is one of them.  I have also just finished “Guerrilla Marketing for Artists” by Barney Davey.  I have read quite a few more, but these two are stuck with me right now.

Both these books, and most of the other self help books, have at least one piece of advice in common.  You have to do things you do not like.  You have to go out and meet people. You have to go new places.  You have to do things outside of your comfort zone.  However you want to put it, it is the same.  Do stuff you do not want to do.

I started my “do stuff I do not want to do” last year.  I went some place new by myself every month.  This may not seem like much to some, but I am a serious “home body.”  I do not like to leave my comfortable and familiar home.

This small change in my routine, created tons of new art ideas for me.  I filled three sketchbooks and created many illustrations that I would never have thought to create before.  I used mediums that I had not use.  I used old mediums in new (to me) ways.  It is exciting, how just going to a new park alone changed my mind.

I was afraid of doing it, but I did it anyway.  Thank you Susan Jeffers, for that lovely phrase.

This year I am going to try to do a few more things that I do not want to do.  Most of them involve talking to people.  Talking to people about my art.  Something I have down played most of my life.

HOWEVER if I want my art to become self sufficient I need to get people to buy it. The only way to do that is talk to people, about my art. So says Barney Davey.

Ms. Jeffers and Mr. Davey are both right.  If you want to reach your goals, see your plans succeed and do that thing you want to do, you have to put yourself out there.  Feel your fear, figure it out, get over it, and succeed!  No matter how much you do not want to do that thing that stops you.

May 2016 be the year you take those steps to make your dreams reality!


Colored inks on Yupo Synthetic Paper. Even did my own calligraphy on the words. My skills are expanding 🙂



Eye of the…



My drawing of Fred’s eye. I think it came out pretty good.

Not how the song or saying goes, but today’s drawing if of Fred’s eye.  I think it came out pretty nicely.  I even edited it Picasa to add some warmth to it.  I had to resize it in MS Picture Manager.  I have not been able to find that option in Picasa yet.  I know it is in there somewhere.

I actually spent time on this drawing. I had a good day and I used that happy energy to keep focused.  I started to lose focus the further away from the focal point I got.  I do not want to drink any caffeine to get the last bit out.  I have to get up in the morning to work.


Referance photo for “Eye of the Lizard.” Courtesy of Mr. Ben, Fred’s “owner.”

On a personal note, it was a pretty good day.  Poked a “bear,” I hope something comes from it (and not my limbs disappearing…) I had a

meeting with someone about an intern / volunteer thing.  Informal right now, but I hope that it will lead to better things.  I need to learn all I can about the Web Design / Development / Administration so I can move on in my career.  I really want this to work out (fingers crossed.)  I get to sit in on a training session next week. *Excited!*

I know this year is going to be better than last year.  I lost all my motivation and creativity got sucked away with it.  This year I have the creativity back and some “happy” so I am more motivated.  I wonder if it has anything to do with my good allergy meds… (that was random…)

Have a good evening!  One more day of Fred drawings.  I wonder what I will do tomorrow!



Today was the kind of day that made me realize that most of the things that make a day difficult is self induced.  I do it to myself.


Flying on wings unfettered, metaphorically speaking.

Today was the kind of day that made me want to throw off all my chains and be free, spread my wings and just fly away.  I am not sure if or when it will happen, but the thought is there.

Thankfully I have outlets that let me “be free.”  I can draw my thoughts, desires, feelings and dreams.  I can make my feelings into an image and share the feeling with others.

Images have this really neat ability to transcend language and race barriers.

I share my longing for freedom from my self imposed chains with everyone.


Giving it a Go: Planning Stages

Flying like the Moon, Acrylic on Canvas. I apologize for the terrible photo.

Flying like the Moon, Acrylic on Canvas.
I apologize for the terrible photo.
We all have things we strive for. Some of us want to reach for the Moon, others the Sun and still more, the Stars. I am happy with the Moon.

Sometime this past week or so I decided that I would try and sell my art, maybe even try making a living at it.

Like everything that can be considered a “big step” or “big deal,” I am going to do things in some kind of order.

1. Research / Planing

2. Small Gears first

3. Medium Gears / Balancing dreams

4. Go for Broke

I am going to do some research.  I need to find out the costs of getting scans and prints made.  Find out how to protect my art.  Do I need a business license or something of the sort and plan for any financial problems. Figure out how much time I can devote to this endeavor. I can do my own website and what not, woo.

I want to do some small things first.  I plan on starting online with prints, cards and the like.  I am not sure if I want to use Deviant Art’s store and print shop or if I should go with Etsy or Shopify and manage inventory myself.  Questions like this is why planning is important.

I want to go into this with a plan. Plans are good.

I want to start submitting stuff into contests or open art calls.  I think this kind of thing could be really fun (and very stressful.)  I know that I will need to start talking to more people (scary) and promoting myself more.

I really, really want to work my art into web development some how.  Web development is an art in itself.  I it is not something I want to give up on.  At this point I can see myself doing both and being good at it.

I am not sure yet if I want to paint/draw full time or do web dev full time.  They are both very interesting.

The goal, like so many others, is to quit my “day” job and do what I decide is the way I want to go.

Who knows what a year (or more) will bring.  I may fail and be working at a minimum wage job. I may be successful as a painter and share my vision with colors and brushes. I may get some better coding education and take off as a web developer who shares the world in code.

Who knows.

I kind of like the not knowing.

The planning and research that happens when you decide you would like to try something.  Figuring out potential pitfalls or successes.  It is interesting and fun… in a scary way.

Now that I have these thoughts out of my head, maybe I can sleep.


You Never Know…

Today I started watching the first episode of BBC America’s Sherlock. In the opening scene Dr. Watson is having a flashback to his time in the military.  Then he speaks with his psychiatrist about his inability to write anything in his blog because,  “Nothing ever happens to me.”

I have been thinking about the things that do happen to us, or lack of things to happen (depending on your lifestyle.)  I have been thinking about what our reaction to said lifestyle.  Some of us are happy with the level of activity and some are overwhelmed and even underwhelmed. Some long for the quite boring life of a “librarian” and others long for active life of a “rock star.”

boardwalkpathFor the most part I am happy with my relatively calm boring life.  I have been to many places, more that the average American or Canadian.  I have seen things that I never wanted to and many that I wish would stay with me forever.  I have been the one to set much of the events that I have been through in motion.  All me…

The fun thing with life is you never really know what an action will set into motion.  When I went to school I was thinking that I set some events into motion that would help aim my life to something fun, challenging and interesting.  I am rather disappointed that nothing interesting, challenging or fun came from it.  Almost like it was a dead end.

I have been pondering what my next action should be.  I am not “qualified” for any of the entry level positions available.  I have driven myself into frustration trying to learn more and find a job in the field.  I still want to do fun and creative things for the internet, but I have other interests that are calling for my time.

Do I give up on the degree and pursue other interests?  Do I focus on paying the bills and have “hobbies?”  Do I try to pursue my chosen career path?

So many options and so many forks in the paths that we all walk.  Then you never know what will happen when you take a path or set something into motion.

Be Brave, Adventurer.  Walk boldly wherever you choose to go.



Many people spend the two weeks before a new year either looking forward and planning the next year or looking back and tallying the hits and misses.  Many people do both hoping that they will learn from the failures and make the next year better.  I have already done that.  I spent one day on both.

While I am thinking about the past and the future it is not what my focus is.  My focus is today.  Today I made sure I got up in time to get the morning routine done, started the pea soup (slow cooker for the win.) and even was able to take out the recycling.  I made sure I had everything I would need for my after work meeting (which was just canceled.)  Now when I get home I can focus on the home things.  Today I need to make sure to clean up after the plumbers, spend time with the spouse, clean more, exercise and have some personal time, all before bed.  I really need to go to bed on time today, too.

I really think that during this time of year people forget about the “Today.”  These are still days.  They still count to whatever goals you have.  Discounting them is short changing yourself and will mess up your figures for the year.  Instead of distributing things across 365 days you end up distributing things across 351 or less, depending on when you start your Holiday Season.

Hypothetically I could have planned on doing 365 hours of self prompted education (learn to code or speak a new language, learn to knit, something new.)  If I dismiss the two weeks before a new year I have just increased the daily duration.  It is only by two and a half minutes (estimated,) but those minutes add up (to two weeks!) and soon you may find yourself back logged if you choose to skip out on them on a daily basis.

It is important to remember the past and learn from it, it is also just as important to plan for the future.  The thing that ties the two tenses together (past and future) is the present.  It is where we exist and where things happen.  It is what makes the past and where we take the steps that will bring us to the future.

Look at me, slinging around analogies in math and English!  I must be “on” today.

Have a great new year everyone.

Look behind, look ahead, but live in the present.


It Reminds Me…

Like many of us out there that have been working on a project for a while, I am constantly in danger of forgetting why I have chosen to do what I do.  This can happen to anyone who has been working on a project for a long time or spent a long time researching or learning about the project. As time move on we just forget why we were doing something and as time progresses we just keep going with the flow, instead of trying to find out why we are doing what we are doing.  Traditions, procedure and protocol, and laziness come out of forgetting.

During a trip to the library I picked up a book that I thought would be a decent read.  Something to help me help explain web development and user experience terminology to a client.  This book has turned out to be amazing.  It has reminded my why I chose to get into web design/development and has even expanded my thinking and gotten me out of the thought rut I was heading into.  I am marking this as a must read for web developers, designers, business owners who are going to be web exclusive and anyone in Public Affairs, Relations or general Marketing.  TheRBofWD_JohnWaters

The book is titled “The real business of web design” by John Waters.  It is not the most current web book out there, but it has all of the timeless basics that anyone who is going to be operating a web business or a web developer should know.  In just three days I devoured half the book and added a good dozen flags for things to remember.  Things like; ensuring your words are short, sweet and to the point, re-establishing the phases of development and project management, and all kinds of other stuff.

Every chapter I read has helped remind me of why I chose to get involved in web design.  Every word has either reinforced what I knew and has given pointers for finding out things that I did not know.  Every page brightens the vision I have for my future and allows me to look beyond the hard times ahead.

Books and Libraries are just plain amazing.