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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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Letting Go Girl

I mentioned in my previous post that I felt I needed some time away from the internet (save for my work) to clear my head, my psyche and so I wouldn’t compare myself to the success of others.  But the other reason is because I tend to get over-inspired by ideas on the internet and it can be so overwhelming that I become paralyzed to start!

So when I announced to my husband that I was going on an internet diet for a month, he kindly replied, “Why don’t you try it for a week?”  Though I wanted to do something drastic, I knew he was right and reasonable.  A week was a good start and I could always extend it out.

And so for a week I stayed away from Facebook (my personal page), Twitter, Pinterest, and other’s blogs.  I tried to stay off the Etsy forums (where I spend about an hour each day) but I was unsuccessful because it really does contain nuggets of information for micro-businesses and I learn something new nearly every day (though it can also be a major time suck so needs to be managed).  The only other time spent on the internet was to run my shops, promote my goods and purchase supplies for my business.  Nothing social, nothing recreational, nothing to waste time on.

And the results???  Major productivity!

projects

I made it a point to be at my painting table by 7pm every night, if not earlier, and found that I was able to create a lot of new material.  It was refreshing.

Knowledge girl

I created new pieces, actualized old ideas and even finished up previous pieces like these square blocks that were once butterfly pieces I wasn’t crazy about that I painted/decoupaged over and made into new tea pieces:

PicMonkey Collage

I only painted Mon.-Thur. as Friday was a date night for us and this past weekend we started working on house projects, but even in those 4 days I accomplished quite a bit.  We are hoping to put our house on the market in the spring, so there is lots to be done on that front to get it move-in ready and turn-key for the next residents so I won’t be able to earmark as much time for continual creating.  But the change in schedule has freed up a lot more time for me and I’m hoping to stick with it so I can tackle my to-do list and find time each week to create.

And you know what, as addictive as it can be, I’m going to stay off my personal FB page (the drama on my newsfeed just annoys me, so I’m staying off), I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of blogs and when I need inspiration, I’ll just refer to all my journals/sketchbooks which has tons of ideas waiting to be sprouted.

And it helps me to stick to my new year’s theme of decluttering; just getting rid of a lot negative space, negative energy and negativity in my life and that’s always a good thing.

Deserving girl

Hope you take more time to take care of your needs, block out the negatives and spend more time on what you want to be doing (instead of wasting time on the time-sucks and energy-sucks of the world!).  Wishing you all a good week.

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It’s all good!

peonies

I received several sweet comments and warm emails after my last post and so appreciate it.  But sorry for creating drama where there really was none.  I was just going through the typical self-doubt that can creep into anyone’s life, but nothing major by any means.  I know I’m on the right path, I don’t question that anymore; I just sometimes get impatient!  I know that when I read someone’s success story I have to either remember that they’ve been at it much longer than I have or when it’s someone that has been doing it the same amount of time or less than I have, that they caught a lucky break and probably worked their tail off.  I just have to keep at it and not let anyone else’s story be a measure of success for me.

And I always have to remind myself that my initial goal was to work from home doing something I love and to be able to spend more time with my husband, my dogs and enjoying the simple pleasures in life.  And by that definition, I’m extremely successful.

web - sepia bike life is good

I am actually finding that another reason I need to stay off the internet because I’m over-inspired!  I see so many cool things that I end up with a million ideas and never sit down to do any of them (hello Pinterest!).  So I’m going to try to go on a internet fast for a week (save for what I need to do for my shops) and I’m hoping that it will force me to sit down each night and create new paintings and collages.

Inspired mountains - GreenEarthImages

And while digital artwork is fun to do and a great option when feeling creative but not wanting to dive into 3 or so hours of creating, I’m craving the tactile experience that only paper, paint and glue can offer.  So here’s hoping for new artwork in a week!

Thanks for the love all; you are awesome cheerleaders and this girl is grateful for you all! ♥

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Credit: Facebook via Jennifer Pasalakis

I just love this sentiment, especially as a small business owner myself!

And as an artist and small business owner who is grateful to her customers, blog readers and fans, I’m offering a 25% off sale from Thursday 11/22 to Monday 11/26 in my art shop and Goodies shop (which takes us through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday!) *not eligible on wholesale orders which are already discounted

This is my biggest sale in my Etsy shops to date so I hope you take advantage of this sale to get some Holiday (or personal) shopping done!

I’ve just added a bunch of original pieces of artwork, so here’s a chance to get 25% off for that one-of-a-kind piece you or a loved one may have been eying!

Or if you need to send Christmas cards, I’ve got you covered…

Need unique holiday trim for your gifts or cards?  Check!

And stocking stuffers?  Oh yeah, I’ve got plenty of those…

When checking out use the code HOLIDAY2012 to receive 25% off in my JCSpock shop and my GreenEarthGoodies shop

I’m so thankful for the love, support and encouragement I’ve received here, on Facebook and in my Etsy shop this past year.

Grateful today.  Grateful everyday.

Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving week! xo

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So recently I’ve added some new prints and originals of newer girls to my shop, including…

Unconditional girl

 

Messenger Girl

And a collection of cakes reusing backgrounds of other artwork that I decided not to sell…recycled art!

And coming soon, I have some holiday art that I’ll be adding, including these holiday cupcakes I made last year after the holidays (per a request from my then licensing agent) but were never added to my shop:

And ornaments…

And I also have some more snowmen like the one above but want to add some wording to them still.

It snowed the last two days, so I’m officially ready to wrap up Halloween and move onto the Holidays!  How ’bout you?

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Alright, I’ve been busy going through my house trying to go through every corner, basket and closet trying to find every last project that needs finishing and item that I could possibly place in my booth space while I still have it for the next 3 weeks.  Trouble is, with the thousands of dollars in merchandise I have there and even with the 20% off my entire booth, I’ve sold a whopping $20 in 4 days.  Worst week ever!  Perhaps it’s the universe confirming that I need to get the hell outta there!

Still I’ll try to clear out my house in the hopes of generating the most amount of sales by Oct. 31st and have the least amount of inventory to count come Dec. 31st!

I still have several dozen vintage/antique apothecary jars so I decided to decorate a bunch using bits and bobs of paper, ribbon, twine, vintage ephemera and metal embellishments to create these cute altered bottles:

I enjoyed making these so much and still have a lot of bottles left that I think I might try selling these in my shop as well.

I’ve listed some new and “newer older” work in my shop as well, including the last two of my Halloween girls for this year:

And an Autumn Girl that I sketched out last fall but finally incorporated into a painting this year!

And these older pieces featuring the French macaron (which I completed months ago but needed to add captions to and scan):

And here’s a new girl that I created last week…I have angels on the mind a lot lately…

And a re-do on an old piece:

Finally, I’ve updated my goodies shop with some seasonal items…like these eco-friendly gift tags:

And eco-friendly stickers:

I’ve been clearly keeping busy, but doing everything I can to make it work!  Thanks for checking out what I’m up to and passing it along :)

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Earlier this week, while pulling an all-nighter to make a bunch of Halloween and Christmas items for my booth, I received a disheartening email.  Notice from The Barn that I was being asked to vacate by the end of the month.  Right before the holidays kick into high gear.  Right when I’m on the cusp of making a good portion of my cash flow for the year.

I was pissed.  I was very angry.  Without going into details, I felt that this was very personal.  I’ve worked so hard, held on when sales in the whole place were dragging, just knowing that if I could hold out until the holidays, I’d finally get the pay-off I was waiting for.  And then to get yanked right before just as my sales have been tripling what they were in the summer.

My anger turned to sadness.  Utter disappointment.  One more thing that I’ve put on my “goals” list as an artist that went horribly wrong this year.  It just plain sucks.  I feel like I can’t get a foot hold on my career and everything I’m trying = failure.  I’m starting to question my decision-making skills.

It was painful returning back to the Barn today to put up “Moving Out” signs and to stock it with all the things I was working on this week (as well as projects that I’ve been working on for a while) so that I can get rid of inventory.  It was just an awful feeling being in the very place that wants me out, trying to keep it looking good until the very end and keeping a brave face all the while.

The inspirational artist and spiritual person that I am knows that there is a higher purpose…that the universe has a plan.  There is a reason for this and its just too fresh for me to understand.  But I know, that I have to get up once again, dust myself off and keep on moving forward.

And have faith that this closed door means another one will open.

Until then I will make it my new goal to release anger, sadness and disappointment and replace it with patience, forgiveness and grace.

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It’s been a while since I created a new girl…and several months since I’ve created a girl that was 16×20 in size.  As you know, I’m big on gratitude and with Thanksgiving not that far off, I wanted to create a piece that spoke to both.

Usually the imagery of Thanksgiving is a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables; but this girl I wanted to paint a cornucopia of hearts or love.  Give thanks for the love in your life and be sure to give it back as well.

I’ll be listing her in my shop for $175; you, my blog readers, get a sneak peek before I get the listing and additional photos in my shop, so if you’re interested in her before I list, let me know!

Now, if you like this girl, but want a more cost effective option, you can get a mounted print of this girl. (like the segue into my new topic? *wink*)

Here’s an example of an 11×14 mounted print I created

Mounted prints on wood give the look and feel of an original, but cost much less.  The print is literally mounted onto a cradled wood panel and is ready to hang.  Choose all black sides or patterned paper sides for a more quirky look.

You can choose from 4 sizes: (the following are for rectangular images)

11×14: $55

8×10: $32.50

5×7: $22.50

ACEO (2.5×3.5″): $7.50

To give you perspective on the different sizes…

These are the small ACEO mounted prints; they’re popular in the art world as their inexpensive price makes it easy to collect a bunch. These are the only ones that are full wood blocks and 3/4″ on the sides

With the exception of the ACEO blocks (as mentioned above), the mounted prints come on cradled wood meaning they are open on the backside for easy hanging.  The sides measure 7/8″

And for the square images in my shop…

I also carry mounted prints in square sizes

12×12: $50

8×8: $27.50

6×6: $22.50

4×4: $15

Click here to get to my mounted print sections in my art shop but note I’m still just beginning to add specific mounted prints, but you can choose any of the “Pick any image” options for any size and let me know the print you want mounted.

What my kitchen island looked like the other day when I cranked out a bunch to bring to the Barn (several have sold already, yay!)

Last night I prepped a bunch of backgrounds on canvas for some fall-themed pieces I’m working on, so stay tuned for some more new artwork!  Thanks for checking out what I’m up to!

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Hi everyone…I’m happy to be back and have my shop reopened!  Just wanted to let you know that I’ve added 3 new options in my shop…including:

I’ve had many requests to sell larger prints and when I got my new printer last December, I purchased a large format printer that would allow me to print up to 13×19 (however, that’s not a normal size and most people go with 11×14 as the next step after 8×10).  However, I can also do 9×12′s or 12×16′s for the same price.

Because I have so many girls now (more than 70 non-holiday themed girls), and my sticker packs are capped at 50 stickers, I’ve decided to split up into two different packs and offer two different whimsical girl sticker packs.

After searching high and low for a reasonably priced “lined” journal, I finally found one and am offering them in my shop now (and can be made to include any image in my shop that you want!).  I usually put the name of the piece of art below the image, but can customize to anything you want it to say – perfect holiday gift…).

These options are now available in my shop.  Later this week, I’ll be adding mounted wood blocks, like the ones below I made for a customer (from as small as 2.5″ x 3.5″ to as big as 11″ x 14″); these are a great way to get the feel/look/even the size of an original yet costs a lot less).

Okay, enough promoting for me, just wanted to keep you in the loop with the holiday season coming up.  Thanks for visiting my shop! :)

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I realized that I have “newer” work that I haven’t shared in entirety here just out of of sheer forgetfulness…

First, these are 4 girls that I created about 2 months ago…a little different from my usual style but I was trying out a new background technique…

And I also created a set of Halloween cupcakes a couple weeks back…

These originals are available in my shop now!  I can also make cards, prints, journals, magnets and bookmarks using any of these images with my “Pick Any” options in my shop as well.

While flying back and forth and having down time in between, I created lots of sketches…these among dozens of others:

I’m making it a goal to get these from sketches to full blown collaged paintings by working a little bit each night on these, so hopefully I’ll have new pieces posted soon.

I’m SO excited that it’s September and fall is around the corner, so I’ll leave you with a photo from a previous fall here in Colorado.

Have a great week!

 

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