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Posts Tagged ‘j.c.spock’

I am just wrapping up a project I did with a good friend of mine whom I met when we were grad students in the Higher Education Administration program at NYU.  Our program was heavily focused on students of color and students of minority status (i.e. disabilities, sexual orientation, religion or other identity).  Liza was a year ahead of me (our program was small and focused heavily on the 2nd years mentoring the 1st years) and when I graduated, I ended up taking over her place as Area Coordinator of theme housing at Wesleyan University as she was leaving the position for a teaching position at another school.  Diversity is near and dear to our hearts and she is now the Director of Intercultural Affairs at Stonehill College.  Liza was also the source of inspiration for creating Brave Girl and you can read her courageous story here from a post I wrote a couple years back (she is also the person that first put me in contact with FORCE – facing our risk of cancer empowered, the non-profit organization with whom I have a dedicated partnership with).

So Liza recently contacted me for a little project; she was looking for bookmarks to give out to her students along the themes of diversity and together we collaborated on the following pieces:

Practice Inclusion everyday

Our differences make us stronger

Good words to live by and practice daily.

If you haven’t done so, please check out Liza’a amazing story!  (I’m sure you’ve all heard about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a prophylactic surgery with her BRCA+ status; well Liza made the same difficult decision a few years back and FORCE is THE organization to help women become knowledgeable about their BRCA status and empowers women to make informed decisions and educate the larger community on this issue.  REALLY wish that all the media coverage about Angelina Jolie’s latest news would have included some props for FORCE!  They are a fantastic organization and deserve much more awareness.  You can check them out at http://facingourrisk.org

Thanks for allowing me to share with you all; if you are interested in prints or merchandise of the above images, they are available in my shop now.

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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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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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More clearing out! Here’s a deal!

DSC_1147

This is just one area of originals; I also have them hanging around my studio!

Because we are trying to declutter and pack up non-essentials for a future move and because I’ve been creating a lot more lately, I need to move out some of my inventory of originals!  So this weekend only, get 20% off original pieces of artwork in my shop using the coupon: Originals20

Go to my originals section of my shop HERE  (sale valid from now through Sunday 2/17)

You get a deal and I get to clear out some inventory; it’s a win-win situation!  Thanks for stopping by.

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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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Christmastime is here

Gosh, I’ve been gone a while!  After I got back from spending the week at my sister’s for Thanksgiving and into the first week back, I had over 50 orders to make/pack and get out the door, so I’ve been a bit tuckered out but happy to catch the wave of Holiday sales.  Things have started to slow down quite a bit so now I’m getting time to do some holiday decorating and even paint!

I’ll share some holiday decorating posts over the course of the week, but meanwhile, I’ll leave you with these two pieces inspired by Charlie Brown’s Christmas special, my favorite one of all for the holidays!

Silent Night

Don’t forget to check back on my holiday decorating posts including some linked tutorials on things like paper wreaths, ornament wreaths, vintage button garlands, etc.  See you soon!

DSC_0412

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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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I’ve found more items that I created, then sat off to the side until I either:

  • finished them up
  • reworked them
  • or just finished scanning/seaming together

First, a bunch of heart collections…

Click on image to see wording better

These I grabbed from words in a book that I brought together to form unique sayings…writing is a little on the small side, but still quirky I think…

These are vintage-inspired hearts I created to break out of my colorful heart mold.  I stuck to warm tones, beiges, tans, etc.

This is the “reworked” Pregnant Girl I did a little while ago…I just never liked the original and learned quickly that I need to work on my side profiles!!

These girls got finished up…

And this collage is an old one I did over a year ago, but felt like it was never quite ready to go so I reworked it a bit…

And finally a newer girl, Starlight Angel.  All these originals are available (soon to be listed in my shop) and of course I can create a card, journal, magnet, bookmark, mounted print out of any of these images using my pick any options.

I just scanned 20 more pieces today of mostly newer stuff (and I have 20 canvases prepped and ready for some seasonal/harvest-type stuff) so I’ll be sharing lots over the next couple weeks.  Please check back or see my shop for more :)

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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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