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Archive for April, 2013

vintage inspired union jack flag j.c. spock

Since having taken that 2 month break from social media I was able to spend a lot of time creating and expanding.

I reopened my Green Earth Images shop on Etsy with a different feel this time; it features my mixed media photography, digital postcard collages and vintage-inspired images as that is more of where my heart is these days instead of just nature photography.

collage - GEI

I also opened my 6th, yes, 6th shop on Etsy (and hopefully my final one!).  It’s called Green Earth Destash and is pretty much my bargain center – where I sell supplies I no longer need or want and overstock/clearance items from my other 5 shops.  I have way too much inventory from things I wanted to try out that either didn’t work out, that no longer hold my interest or no longer fit with the themes of my current shops, so this is a way for me to get rid of things on the cheap (and people love bargains!).

I’ve also been creating like a fiend (more so in the last couple of weeks) and my style is changing.  Though I’ll always be fond of whimsical artwork, I can feel my style maturing a bit.  I haven’t created a girl in months (and to be honest, not sure how many I have left in me) and while I still like to create the occasional heart, cupcake or coffee, I have found myself drawn to more abstract work.

honey abstract j.c.spock

I’ve actually been taken to just “making my typical backgrounds” – that is layers of collage and paint and leaving it at that (of course making that my focal point means a lot more time and effort focused on those backgrounds).  But I’m incorporating even more vintage ephemera than before, including real pieces of vintage postcards, photos and receipts (something I’ve only done with copies before) and now it lends to a more authentic, vintage-esque look.

Vintage diptych

And I’m going BIG…size, that is.  Previously, my largest piece was a 16×20 but now I’m working on sizes like 24×36, 30×40 and even a 36×48 piece for our home.  I enjoy this new phase so much that I am having a hard time falling asleep at night because as soon as I close my eyes, I see different colors, formats and collages on canvas.  I can’t stop thinking about creating, so it’s an exciting time and I’m riding the wave while it’s here as I know I tend to have either insane amounts of inspiration or long creative blocks.

sunset fields j.c. spock

sailor's delight abstract jc spock

 And because I’m going big, I had to order an easel, something I’ve been working all these years without; it’s on its way and I’m seriously excited!

Here are some of the different pieces I’ve completed recently:

collage - inspirational abstracts

Inspirational abstracts

collage - coffee and cocoa

Whimsical coffees and cocoas

Vintage inspired butterfly art

Vintage inspired butterfly art

collage - flowers

More vintage inspired flowers

In addition to going big, I also went super small and cranked out about 50 new mini canvases, like these which include a mix of my newer abstracts along with my older whimsical style:

mini's collage

Yeah, about 100 new pieces in all (so many more I didn’t share!); as you can imagine, it will take me some time to get them all in my shop, so if you see something you like or want to learn more about a piece, give me a shout!

While I was gone I was also asked to write my story of art licensing and how it just didn’t work for me.  Since nearly a year has passed since that disappointing experience left me in such a funk for so long, I finally felt ready to open up and share why art licensing (and my agent) just weren’t a good fit for me.  You can read the blog post here at the well known art licensing blog, The Moon From My Attic.  Once it was published, I had a major moment of anxiety, thoughts that perhaps I shouldn’t have been so candid and that maybe it would seal my fate as an artist.  But the response was huge on the blog, on the blog’s facebook and I also received a ton of emails from artists thanking me for my honesty (since so many artists are afraid to tell the truth about their experiences out of fear of lost opportunities; I, on the other hand said “hell with it!”)

And wouldn’t you know with all that buzz, I got several inquiries from people wanting me to reconsider, including a consultant, an agent and a greeting card manufacturer.  I politely thanked but turned down the consultant and manufacturer but only after the agent insisted I give her a chance to explain her story and process.  Long story short, even though I was flattered and confused for the moment (was it my experience with my agent or was it truly art licensing that wasn’t a good fit?), my reasons for not wanting to license my art were validated all over again.  It wasn’t just about the agent, it was about the entire art licensing process and now I feel like I can truly put the whole art licensing thing behind me.  As I said in that blog post, it can be a great opportunity for some artists, but not the right move for everyone, and that. is. okay.

IA6

Walking away from another art licensing opportunity felt like being offered a promotion and saying, “nah, I’m good.”  It takes courage not to let your ego get in the way of well thought out decisions.  And now with a bit more wisdom and experience on my side, I consider every move, decision or opportunity by the way in which it affects my quality of life.  I’ve stopped chasing the dream to make it big, to make a lot of money or to become well-known because as an old boss used to say, “you are what you are at the cost of what you are not.”  Typically my life lessons have been after I’ve gone with my ego, took that promotion or opportunity (and money), then was miserable after seeing all that I had to give up (my personal priorities).  It felt really empowering this time to say no from the get go and know I was making the right decision for me.

Thing is, my currency is different now.  It’s quality time with loved ones, it’s life experiences as well as the simple moments in life, it’s flexibility in my schedule and life, it’s fulfilled relationships, it’s time outside in nature, it’s time for creating.  Simply put, it is quality of life.  Not money.  Not notoriety.  Not climbing a social ladder.  I’m returning back to my voluntary simplicity roots and life has expanded ten-fold.

It’s all about priorities and knowing which are yours (nothing wrong in being highly successful or rich if that it your top priority in life).  But when faced with an “opportunity” remember that with every pro is a con.  If that con means sacrificing your personal priorities in lieu of a bigger paycheck or a better title, take a moment to reconsider.  Choosing heart over ego wins every time.

daydream abstract

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Spring in the Rockies…

DSC_0506

Means “still snowing” (even I am getting spring fever at this point!!)

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inspirational abstract art

So a curious thing happened.  I wrote my last blog post a couple months ago, stating that I was done with blogging and signing off.  Moreover, instead of leaving my blog up for others to refer back to, I was going to take it off-line completely by setting it to private.  At the time, I was feeling burned out, overexposed and raw from a particular experience that led to a strong desire for anonymity and quietude.  I also felt a need to calm down my growing insecurity (it comes in waves) and I wanted to swear off all social media.  So I unplugged.

No blogging of my own.

No visiting other’s blogs.

No Twitter.

No Pinterest.

No Facebook (I deactivated both my personal and fan page).

I only spent time online to run my shops on Etsy and found that I had a good 2-3 extra hours a day freed up.  Yes, that’s a lot of extra time (but I’m willing to bet that if most of you pulled the plug on all social media, you’d be amazed at how much more time you’d have in a day!).

string of hearts

I called, emailed or sent cards to family and friends close to me (I found that most of my FB “friends” didn’t even notice I was gone, so why was I spending so much time focused on them before?).  I spent time soaking the beautiful Colorado sun (it may still be really cold but it’s sunny nearly every day here and the couch that basks in the late afternoon sun cures any winter blues).  I worked out for the first time in a looooong time (ow, sore!).  I watched a lot of movies with David.  I no longer spent the evenings with laptop in hand zoning out until bed wondering where all the time went.   I spent more time loving on my husband and pups.  I spent time creating from the heart and referred back to journals instead of looking online for inspiration.  I spent time quieting my anxious soul and stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing and what everyone thought of me as a person and artist.

No more obnoxious status updates.

No more drama.

No more comparing to other’s success.

No more head games or emotional tug-a-war.

inspirational abstract art

And you know what?  A beautiful thing happened…

I found peace.

I found happiness.

I found my center.

And the craziest, most unexpected thing of all?  I feel less lonely and isolated.  I no longer feel like the person on the outside looking in.  I’m not hearing about all the get-together’s I’m missing out on, all the social activities people are engaging in, all the personal connections that I don’t have in my life.  And in this regard, ignorance has been bliss.  My self-esteem has been restored and I just don’t feel bad about myself anymore (that folks, was worth it alone to leap off the social media cliff!).  I did what I set out to do for my New Year’s resolution (decluttering all areas of my life) and can’t remember the last time I felt so joyful.  I’ve decluttered my physical environment, decluttered my business and decluttered my personal life (which is why I’m still not on Facebook!).

 whimsical heart tree

But after my 2 month “sabbatical”, I’m finding a whisper tugging at my heart and that is blogging.  I miss writing and I miss sharing with you all.  I swore I wouldn’t allow myself to share my life in such a personal way again on a blog, which is a wide-open public forum.  But the reality is, I strive to have a candid, honest view on life.  One that is positive and upbeat but isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, one that shares highs and lows but always gets back up and chugging along.  A glass half-full approach, but also one that is realistic.  And sure, the candor (and being honest about disappointments in life) opens up my vulnerabilities to the world, but isn’t that also how we grow?

 vintage photo art

And so I will approach social media again (or at the very least, blogging) with baby steps.  Although I jumped all out in a flash, I’m not about to jump back in the same fashion.  I want to share and reconnect, but at a pace that is comfortable and doesn’t take away all the time (and perspective) that I’ve gained over the past few months.  If you’ve ever blogged regularly, you know it’s a big commitment, so I’m trying to listen to my heart more and do what feels right (which may mean a pace that is more like every other week rather than every other day).

Care to continue the journey with me?

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