Blog| Mood Board

Recently, I’ve actually been using my Pinterest. I’ve never been a big fan of it. It always felt hard to navigate and find original sources and you get five thousand notifications, which I hate. But it’s gotten better and I’ve found a few uses for it.

One of those uses is using it as a digital mood board.

I’ve seen a few different artists use it as such and it’s a much better solution than what I had been doing (saving each picture to a folder on my computer). You can use it for inspiration, references, and a general atmosphere guide. I’ll pin something because I like the style, colors, pose, face, or just so I can see how to draw something I’m not familiar with. It’s actually a great resource and I wish I had started to use it sooner.

So I thought I would give you a peak at what mine currently looks like!

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Day 2 of my Inktober prompts is Owl and I needed a good reference of a barn owl since I’ve never drawn one before. I ended up using the one on the top right and modified it to hold a branch and then used the double triangle shape since I’ve been in love with geometric designs lately.

I’m also starting my own apothecary cabinet at home and it’s one of my prompts so I’ve been pinning different apothecary set ups as well.

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I’m big on mermaids and long, tentacle like floating hair so I pinned a bunch of those as well as some hair designs and things I might use for paintings later. I’ve been trying to get better at drawing hair so I like to pin things in the style I wish I could draw in. The 2nd from the left on the bottom was mostly color inspiration!

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I pinned some pattern inspirations here and flowers because I’m always trying to draw flowers better. Some cauldron’s and cloche designs for inspo for later prompts. That Batgirl on the bottom right is gorgeous and I ended up pinning it for inspiration for future Ladies Night flyers.

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I’m big on skulls, horns, and creepy hand poses and pinned a few references I found. I had the idea of having a girl covering her face with her hands and drawing eyes in her palms and making her whole body galaxy colored with white lineart, but haven’t gotten to that yet. I also want to draw some creepy witch/monster hands for Inktober and maybe do another animal skull.

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And a lot of these are Persephone and crystals inspired. I want to draw a neat pomegranate with flowers and skulls for one of my prompts. And I absolutely suck at drawing crystals so I pinned some for reference. I’m doing a Tarantula with crystals growing out of it later and need to get my crystal game in order. And then of course more flowers because I have a problem.

I’ve only been using my mood board for a month or so but it’s already helped a bunch when it comes to inspiration and coming up with new ideas. I have a seperate board for clothing inspiration and things like that and I think I’m going to start pinning them in my mood board instead. I use it mostly for art anyways and I’m fashion challenged for the most part.

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If you’d like to check our my art board you can see it here! I pin more stuff as I need to and with Inktober, it’s probably going to get a lot bigger.

Do you use Pinterest for your mood board or do you use something else and what do you put on it? Let me know and share yours in the comments!

-Sam <3

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Blog| October Goals

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And here we are. October. From here on out it’s a constant stream of art, movies, baking, costumes, and preparing for Disneyland. It’s our favorite time of the year but we definitely go overboard.

But first, let’s recap last month to see how I did and if I got my shit together in time for the chaos.


September Goals

Personal:

  • Get back into eating healthy and not surviving off coffee
  • Budget budget budget
  • Go see a doctor
  • Get at least a couple of the kittens adopted
  • Give yourself a break to rest

Work:

  • Figure out deadlines and work on one a week
  • Get back on schedule with blogging & #52selflies & 365 Project
  • Sketch anything and plan out Inktober
  • Start setting date for Ladies Night

Projects:

  • Halloween Instagram
  • Garage Sale

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This is the best I’ve done with my monthly goals ever, but it also makes since because I made them simple on purpose. We’ve definitely been eating out a lot this month and we need to get back into cooking and eating healthy, if only for our wallet’s sake. But I did budget even if I haven’t been great at sticking to it, I saw a doctor (and am finally feeling wonderful!), and Grey & Black are both going to Rony’s mom’s neighbor. We still have them for now, it’s mostly just finding a time to meet up with them or going down to New Mexico and dropping them off.

I did get my deadlines straightened, but didn’t stick to the once a week schedule. Some I dropped out of, some I used old work for. I’m back on track, but definitely have some work to do. And I had to drop the 365 Project & #52Selfies just because it didn’t feel right to pick it up after such a long time. It felt like cheating.

But Ladies Night is officially set for November 4th and we’re working on the flyer and I sketched out my Inktobers and made my own prompt list!

So 8.5/11! Yay!

Now….let’s look at October


October Goals

Personal:

  • Get Mae Mae fixed
  • BUDGET
  • Pack and plan for Disneyland
  • Keep the house clean
  • Relax and have fun

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Work:

  • Inktober
  • Work on Wonder Woman Piece
  • Plan out NaNoWriMo
  • Painting for November Gallery
  • Plan out paintings for December

Projects:

  • 31 Days of Halloween Movies
  • 31 Day Challenge for IG

There’s a lot of simple goals and there’s a lot of challenges. Literally and non metaphorically.

The personal stuff is overall easy. If I stay on top of everything, don’t slack, and have a plan then all of that should be easy. What happens is that when I get busy, everything falls apart in the house. If the house falls apart, it makes me not want to work. So I need to keep my shit together.

And Mae Mae needs to get fixed before she goes into heat again.

Inktober, the Halloween movies, and IG Challenge are going to be the most pressuring but I’m determined to get them all done and keep at them. I need to come up with something for the Wonder Woman gallery next month and the Star Comics gallery and just plan out December’s. So two paintings this month, Inktober, story plan layout, and idea sketching.

I wasn’t lying when I said October is my busiest month.

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As before, I’m linking up with Nicole from Writes Like a Girl blog! Be sure to check out her October Small Goals and all the other lovely linked up blogs!

I’ll see you on the other side

-Sam <3

Blog| Fall Equinox & Changes

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Fall Equinox has come and it’s officially the best time of the year!

I thrive in Fall weather. I always get too hot in the summer and freeze in the winter (Spring doesn’t exist in Texas), so Fall is the perfect middle ground for me. And by some miracle, we actually are experiencing Fall weather right on time! It’s rainy and chilly and I can wear sweaters without dying!

And with the Fall Equinox, comes a bit of introspection. It’s been a hard month. Getting Leon back felt like a tipping point. I was working on so many things and as soon as he disappeared, everything stopped. Once we got him back, I thought we could go back to how it was but things had changed. We’re always so busy that I felt it had been ages where I could just sit down for a weekend and breathe, watch a movie or play with the animals.

We’re constantly going from event to meeting to event all the time and being so busy, we were neglecting not just our house but also the animals. I wanted to be able to go and hang out with friends without it being an event I’m hosting and go to the movies and attend galleries because we want to, not because we have to.

We have less than a year left in Lubbock. This is our last holiday season and it’s always busy and flies by so fast. I love what I do, but I also need to realize that I need to take time for myself and live and appreciate everything before suddenly, it’s time to go.

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So what does that mean?

Well for starters, I unfortunately dropped 365 Project and #52Selfies. When Leon went missing, I stopped doing them and I don’t think it’d be right for me to just continue as if there isn’t almost a month’s gap. I’ll have to attempt them again January 1st.

I’m cutting down on some of the events I do and was planning. I’ve had to turn down a couple of galleries so far just because it wasn’t worth killing myself trying to get artwork done so fast to meet the deadlines. I want to enjoy my artwork and the process and the pressure isn’t always the best at making it a fun experience. That’s the opposite of what I want. It’s suppose to be a stress relief and that’s less likely if I’m being forced to do it.

I’m also cutting the blog down to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of Monday-Thursday. That’ll help me put out better content and get my shit together, honestly. I love my blog but I don’t want to just put out crap for the sake of something getting put out. Taking the photos takes a while and I’d love to have everything written out ahead of time.

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Processed with MOLDIV

October is almost here and it’s a huge month. I’m laying out my plan for Inktober and we’re attempting to do the 31 Movies in 31 Days challenge, on top of making plans for Disneyland, parties, traveling, animal costumes, and our Halloween Instagram. October kicks off the big holiday season for me and it doesn’t stop until March so I need to get prepared. I do not want it to become this overwhelming chaos where I need to drop stuff.

There’s also the kittens. Two have been adopted so far, but we’re taking care of them until they’re a little bigger and when we have time to take them to the new owners. We still have to find homes for Stripes and White and Mae Mae. We’ve been letting them roam the house every now and then and the kittens have turned into crazy little monsters, getting into everything and playing with whatever they can find. Plus they go through a tooooon of food and litter.

Unfortunately, we recently found out that Mae Mae has miscarried and will not be having anymore kittens. It happened this past week, her due date week, and it’s been a hard thing to process. We went from preparing to help her give birth to making sure she and the other kittens are okay. They said sometimes it just happens or she could have had a parasite or any number of things. Whatever it was, it was out of our hands.

It’s topped off a pretty crappy month and hit us hard. For now, we’re focusing on getting her well and taking care of the kittens we have. We’ll be getting her fixed and will be adopting her out as well. She’s a complete sweetheart and loves people and pets and attention. If we didn’t already have 5 animals, I would love to have kept her and one of the kittens. But they’ll be very good pets to someone.

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Things are going to get crazy soon and I don’t want a repeat of last year where I completely overwhelmed myself and knocked myself back into depression. I’m getting help from people and delegating and making plans. I’m not getting rid of galleries I am holding or our Fall Ladies Night, but I am stepping back a little.

Am I anxious about cutting things back? Definitely. I have this fear of irrelevancy that if I’m not out there all the time, everything I worked or will fall apart. That’s the control freak in me. But the thing is, is it worth it if I’m missing out on things myself? I can do what I can to better the community, but there’s always going to be work to do. There’s no point in killing myself and making myself unhappy.

I’m doing this for me.

The Autumn Equinox is about balance and self evaluation and rebirth. It’s the time to reclaim your power and put yourself back on track to being who you are meant to be. My favorite part of the Equinox has always been tied to mythology.

In some older versions of the story of how Persephone came to be Queen of the Underworld and in my favorite version, Persephone is not kidnapped but wanders into the Underworld herself, either out of adventure or to comfort the crying souls herself. She is adventurous and merciful, but confident. She chooses to be there and is not a pawn in a game. Her choices are her’s alone and the balance of 6 months in Spring and Winter is her choice. And so now we celebrate the Fall Equinox,  the time when night and day are equal and when Persephone descends back into the Underworld and reclaims her spot as Queen and reclaims her power.

I love Persephone and I love what she has come to symbolize. It’s my favorite story and I see her as a figure of confidence and growth and coming into yourself. And maybe it’s time I take a page out of her book and find a balance for myself and become my own Queen of the Underworld.

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-Sam <3

Blog| September Goals

This has honestly been the worst month in a long long time. Between being sick for two weeks, having a tooth pulled and being in a ton of pain, and then Leon going missing I just couldn’t get anything done or focus on anything. Nothing mattered while Leon was gone and so everything got put on hold.

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We’re slowly getting back into the rhythm of things and I’m hoping to try and give myself a fresh start but it may take a while. Crossing my fingers.


August Goals

Personal:

  • Restrict non-essential spending to $100 for the whole month- Nope
  • Pay attention to what I eat and allow myself only some treats- Definitely not. Hardly even ate while Leon was gone
  • Go to sleep by 11-1130- Between sleeping too much when I was sick to not sleeping at all while looking for Leon, nope.
  • Take the dogs on a walk once a week or take them somewhere- Hahahahaha, they’re never leaving the house again.
  • Take care of your dishes every day- Our house and the new car became Search Party HQ so it’s a mess. That’s a nope

Work:

  • Paint TWO things not for an event- Didn’t even get to do one
  • Finish Wonder Woman Read Through- Nope
  • Update Etsy shop and list items on Society6- Nope Nope
  • Try to nail down a location for the 24 hour lock in- Not even sure this is gonna happen now
  • Update resume and portfolio- Noooooope

Projects:

  • Art Coffee Night
  • Garage Sale- Had to be pushed back because I was too sick to do it

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Like I said, nothing got done. There’s a few orders from Etsy I have to get done, but August was a trash month and I’m glad it’s over.

I’m still not 100% but I’m getting there. The house is getting cleaned and the dogs are home and I’m still taking medicine. Let’s try to do better this month!


September Goals

Personal:

  • Get back into eating healthy and not surviving off coffee
  • Budget budget budget
  • Go see a doctor
  • Get at least a couple of the kittens adopted
  • Give yourself a break to rest

Work:

  • Figure out deadlines and work on one a week
  • Get back on schedule with blogging & #52selflies & 365 Project
  • Sketch anything and plan out Inktober
  • Start setting date for Ladies Night

Projects:

  • Halloween Instagram
  • Garage Sale

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October is also the beginning of our 5 month busy season so I want to get refreshed because all the crazy starts. On the plus side, Halloween decor season has started! Downside, I feel so behind on everything that I need to not overwhelm myself with work.

But this is a start.

What are your September goals?

I’m linking up with Nicole from Writes Like a Girl blog so be sure to check out her goals and everyone else that has linked up!

-Sam <3

365 Project| 36-47

Since I’ve been sick, I haven’t been up to uploading all my daily photos so here’s pretty much 2 weeks of photos in one post!


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36: We did photos early in the day with my sister and then ended up completely wiped out.

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37: I spent most of the day passed out and finally got hit with the full force of being sick.

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38: I went to work and then got sent home with a fever.

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39: I’ve been staring at the ceiling in our bedroom too much. I haven’t been able to stay awake long enough to do anything.

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40: Had to cancel my dentist appointment and reschedule. Finally went to work and then came home and passed out.

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41: Slowly getting my energy back. Cleaned up the house a tiny bit and watched Rony sketch for a bit. My to do list is piling up but haven’t been able to bring myself to do anything.

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42: It’s been raining all week and the pumpkins are growing like crazy. This poor little vine started encroaching into an anthill and we watched for like 20 minutes as they chewed through it and dragged the tiny piece around, trying to figure out where to put it.

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43: The Perseid Meteors were happening so we had an astrology party. Unfortunately the clouds moved in and we couldn’t see anything, so we came back to the house and did Tarot readings and hung out.

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44: I was feeling okay enough that we got to take Leon to Puppy Day at the pool and taught him to swim. He was timid but liked all the other puppies and it was a good experience. All of us passed out for the rest of the day.

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45: I left work early and got my tooth pulled. Marisa took me and dropped me off and I was out of it for the rest of the day. My face was swollen because they had a hard time getting to tooth out so my jaw and gums was bruised. Still kind of sick.

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46: Mae Mae, our friendly stray cat, has been hanging out a lot more. She’s pregnant and we’ve been talking about fostering her and her kittens. We put all the animals away and I let her walk around and hang out during the storm. She needs to go to the vet first before meeting any of the animals so after the rain, she went back outside (which she was fine with. She’d been meowing to go back outside).

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47: Rony’s mom gave us this tiny vine and it’s been growing like crazy, almost 2 inches a day. I got sent home sick because my eye swelled shut. All the medications I was taking dried them out and I ended up scratching one with the guck happening. At least my plants are doing well.


-Sam <3

Blog| The Comparison Game

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If you’re not aware, I’ve been sick for the past few days which would explain the lack of a blog yesterday. Our house is full of sick people and animals at the moment between Demo getting his arm amputated, Almond not feeling good, and me getting knocked out by a severe cold.

How do I spend my sick days?

Mostly by scrolling through Instagram and watching YouTube videos. Like most artists, I follow a ton of other artists as well. My YouTube is filled with speed paint videos, studio vlogs, and all sorts. On Facebook I see video features and articles about other local artists and projects and all of their art.

And then I started to feel bad about myself. I am surrounded by artists so it’s hard not to compare myself to them a bit. I see their amazing works and galleries and projects and my mind goes, “Why can’t I have any of that?”

Comparison is a double edged sword. Most artists do it in some way. They look up to other artists and take the styles and techniques they love and try to emulate them in some way. It can be healthy to do this. A lot of artists learn through emulation and there’s nothing wrong with that (as long as you’re not passing it of as your own and selling it.) We do it all the time, taking qualities we like and inheriting them.

Advice from Facebook:
“You do you. Every artist, regardless of medium, find fault in their own work, so having the balls to put it out there to the world is huge. You are not anyone else, and no one else is you. Be you, do you.”– Emily H

“I would say everyone’s art journey is different. Don’t compare your work or how you approach being artist to other artists. Your story will be unique to you. In addition to that, don’t look down on other artists if they don’t follow what you consider the proper way to go about being an artist.” -Kendra M

The problem gets to be when you do it too much. When it no longer is about growing yourself, but looking at your growth and diminishing it because it’s not as good as someone else’s. Comparison tends to lead to jealousy and envy. It’s a struggle not to do this. Humans are competitive and that permeates the art world, especially with the surge of social media. It’s a battle for followers and likes and shares.

That’s when comparison can become mostly a negative. It’s a fixation of “Why am I not selling pieces? Why can’t I get my own gallery? Why don’t people want to feature my work anywhere?” Artists put so much of themselves into their work that it gets personal when they see another artist they think had an easier time get more of a spotlight; it can lead to resentment and jealousy.

Advice from Facebook: 

“It’s normal to compare your efforts to the works of someone whose talents you admire. The trick is to compare without criticism.” -Billie A

” The world is full of different tastes so even though you might like and admire someone’s art, you shouldn’t push yourself to be too much like someone else because plenty of people will like YOUR stuff.” -Ana H 

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms. ~ Zen Shin” -Lisa M

We’re all not immune to it. I’ve been doing art seriously for 10+ years now. I’ve done small galleries and group shows and now help run one. I am not immune to it at all. I watch these videos of artists being able to work full time in their art studios and create all day while I have an office job and barely get the time and energy to work on my own pieces. You look at everything and wonder what you’re doing wrong.

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Here’s something not a lot of people know.

A year or so ago, my depression was on and off and I seriously considered giving up pursing art as a career and resigned myself to boring office jobs. I hadn’t sold anything after putting hours into my paintings and watched as my friends sold piece after piece and got commissions and invited to do cool events and workshops and everything while I was struggling. I thought there was no point. Everyone said they liked my work but it wasn’t showing.

I had spent years in the art community and had gotten no where and was tired of being passed up. I wasn’t in galleries, no one knew who I was. It was pointless.

Advice from Facebook: 

“Stop that shit!” -Todd G

” Let your light shine.” –Greg F

I love art. I need art to keep myself sane and balanced but comparing myself to everyone else had put me in this dark pit that I couldn’t get out of and I wanted to quit. I was so tired of fighting and climbing uphill. It took Rony to talk me out of it and keep going. Things got better. I stopped focusing so much on everyone else. I took the time and focused on what I wanted to do.

I do both original fine art and fan art, but not solely either or. It puts me in this weird category where since I don’t do constant fan art I don’t get the recognition for that but because I do fan art, I don’t get the recognition for my fine art. I’m in limbo. It was one of the reasons why I’ve been trying to make the Lubbock Artist Collective galleries so diverse. I want to allow room for both fan art and fine art you can be good at both.

The artists I follow online are in the same category as myself, but it’s hard locally. Lubbock is small and the art community is tight. Even surrounded by artists, I feel like an outsider.

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There are times where I still get bouts of jealousy and self-deprecation. It’s hard not to, but I’m working on it. Now when I see others succeed, I have to remind myself it doesn’t affect my own journey and I should be excited for them. I look at my Instagram feed and the Youtube videos and use these glimpses into other artists worlds to inspire me rather than put me down. I use it as motivation.

Seattle will have more opportunities. I’m growing my own opportunities here for now.

It’s not easy and it’s never going to be easy. Paintings don’t sell and pile up, you email galleries constantly looking for a place that will accept your art. Opportunities go by while you see your friends get more and more. It happens. But you have to keep going. The hard work pays off eventually.

Advice from Facebook: 

“I know art is cathartic for a lot, including me, but remember it’s fun and that it’s okay to just make stuff that isn’t great sometimes, so long as you enjoy it.” -David P

“We’re our biggest critics. Focus on your work and what you want to do. Don’t compare to others, because they’re on their own journey and see things through different eyes than you. We’re all human and have a tendency to be too hard on ourselves and think the next person is better. More often than not, that person you think is better, is probably thinking the same thing about someone else.” – Natasia M

So remember, no two people are alike. Each person grows differently. Some fast, some slow. It’s okay to look up to other people, but don’t diminish your own growth and put yourself down. Comparison can be good in small doses to motivate and inspire but you are one of a kind and can’t be anyone else. You’ll get there. Just keep going.

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What advice would you give someone? Have you struggled with comparing yourself?

-Sam <3

365 Project| 29-35

It’s been a busy week so let’s check out how I did. So far going strong.


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29: Between dog sitting, vet trips, cleaning, and Ladies Night, Saturday was chaotic. Afterwards we all got together to play games, eat pizza, celebrate making it through my Vegan challenge, and just hang out.

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30: We like to feed the dogs in their kennels since they’ll steal each others food and get mad and sometimes they throw fits and pout when we do it. Leon loves to tear apart his beds and fill his kennel with stuffing and Almond will toss everything out of hers.

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31: Our little cactus grew another head. We’re gonna use these neat skull cups we found and turn them into plants to give them more room.

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32: I went to the dentist to deal with a toothache and came out with two more prescriptions, one for an infection and the other being pain meds. The amount of medication I have to take a day is ridiculous.

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33: We finally got a new car and that meant saying goodbye to our baby red one. I’ve had it pretty much the entirety of mine and Rony’s relationship. The first thing he ever got me was this sticker from the farmer’s market back in his home town. We’re gonna try and get a replacement for the new car because I can’t say goodbye to that yet.

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34: The shop is picking up which means I’ve been getting orders together and trying to get them shipped out. There was a time when I would get 30 in a week and was drowning in orders to go out in the mail. Things are steadier and I’m okay with that.

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35: Friday was Demo’s big day. After 2 years we were finally getting his arm amputated. We got him packed up and corralled him into the crate and then dropped him off at the vet. His surgery went really good but they went ahead and kept him there overnight just to check on him. We officially have a 3 legged cat and hopefully he’ll be much better.


-Sam <3