Society6 Update: Breathe

The thought crosses my mind: “I’ll quickly add one of my paintings to the Society6 shop!” Ah that delusional optimism called inspiration..

You see, it’s only a few of the available products that get easily added, the rest need editing and rethinking, particularly if one is trying to make a square painting fit a rectangle item. So here I am, almost 2 hours later, fiddling with how I’d like things to look.

Still, I’m grateful for that there is a service such as Society6. While I do the painting and promoting part of the work, they handle figuring out how to print durable tote bags and put paintings on mugs and shower curtains and what not. We exchange services, they get most of the profits, but I get to see my art on real things and customers get cool stuff that they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

The newest addition to my Society6 shop is the acrylic painting Breathe. You can find it as a sticker, a clock, a tote bag, pillow, travel mug.. It’s pretty cool, if you ask me. Art on stuff. Art doesn’t always have to be the hanging on the wall kind.

Is Snapchat still a thing?

What do you use your blog for? Some people blog about their day, some blog about their love of bees (I’d totally do that if I had bees in my life) and I’m.. trying to choose what to focus on in this blog. There needs to be a point, you know? I don’t want to fill up the internet with trash. I don’t want to waste your time. I have a few ideas about directions I could take this blog in, need to settle on some solution soon.

I don’t know about you, but I use my social media very differently depending on what platform I’m on. The blog is wonderfully free form and allows for more in depth posts. I know there’s people who microblog on Instagram but I can’t for the life of me figure out how they have the patience to write those long entries on the phone. Kudos to you peeps!

Twitter is my favourite hangout place. I use it to express my humour, post animated gifs, I get personal, I share content that might be useful and it’s where the #colour_collective posts their creative challenge entries every Friday. It’s where I feel most free to just be me.
Instagram is where I share my art-related day. There’s no room for personal pictures there, even if I might share personal thoughts in the post. It’s all about what I’ve been painting, tips and tricks, what it looks like to work as an artist and if something’s going up for sale.
Pinterest is my “wait, how am I supposed to use this for anything but fun again?” place. I’ve got all these personal boards where I’ve joyfully saved stuff I thought will be fun to look at or useful later. There’s inspiration boards and boards for a few of the novels I’m sometimes writing on. And there’s the board for my art and a board for other people’s art. My social media strategy for Pinterest is pretty non-existent at the moment but I love pinning, who doesn’t love pinning?

Snapchat is one of those places that tends to come up in discussions about social media when people talk about where we’re supposed to be, what we’re supposed to do. Snapchat and Facebook. If I get such an amazing work routine that I can add one more social media account to manage, I’ll do Facebook. I don’t particularly like the place but it’s where a lot of us are stuck, because let’s face it, it’s the easiest place to find coworkers and other important people in our life. It’s been a great place to let people know what I do and show people my work. Right now I just have a personal profile but unless Facebook goes down, I’ll probably set up a page there in the future. But Snapchat..? Is it still a thing? I need to ask my youngest sister, she’d know. Do you know? For a while people used some app where people could go live easily.. but now I haven’t heard its name in so long that I can’t recall it.

It would be pretty cool to try different platforms and social media sites, just for the fun of it. Alas, the situation right now is like having to do the dishes in order to have a clean plate for food. Gotta keep the other social media places updated and have time to make actual art and then, if I find a routine that makes everything run smoothly, and my dishes are clean so to speak, then it’s experimentation time!

“So when can I buy one?” ..well, there’s a few more steps..

It’s wonderful that there’s a few people that have approached me about getting a hold of some of the new paintings. I wish I could tell them the remaining process is quick. I’m working on the first few steps right now. Below is the first painting that will get the varnish treatment. The painting towards the back is already reserved for purchase. They accidentally match really well with my bag.

1 – With the challenge finished I’m estimating that about 1/3rd of the paintings are “finished”, the rest I want to tweak a bit still.

2 – Most of the finished paintings need to have their borders painted. Mix paint, carefully apply, let dry.

3 – Photos need to be taken of the paintings at this point, before the varnish makes the photos more difficult to take. Daylight needed.

4 – Then they need to be varnished. Acrylic paint is porous so left unvarnished there’s potential for small amount of dust to get stuck on the painting, dulling down the colours. Varnish makes it easier to clean in general too, if something would happen, such as a smoothie explosion that splashed everywhere.

5 – The varnish takes a few days to dry. Meanwhile a certificate of authenticity needs to be prepared, detailing what the painting is, and signed.

6 – And a wire needs installing at the back so it’s fully hangable.

7 – Postage stuff like bubble wrap, cardboard needs to be gathered.

And then it’s finally sellable.

The end of 30 paintings in 30 days – collage

Today it’s time to post a collage of all the paintings done during this 30 day challenge period. I put them in the order I made them rather than how they’d best look next to eachother.

Some of them I still haven’t taken a liking to and I’ll probably rework them later. Some of them are favourites that I’ll keep at home for a while.

My biggest takeaway from this challenge is that on the days that I don’t feel like painting it doesn’t pay off to force it. I just end up with a painting that I don’t love and even if others might like the painting it’s hard to sell something you don’t feel strongly enough for. That “something’s off” feeling isn’t about feeling lazy, it’s more like not being in tune with the right thing. As if you’re a faulty instrument. Sometimes that might correct itself as the eve goes on, sometimes you just keep on playing false notes. That’s how it works for me.

Each painting took about 2 hours to make, sometimes a bit more. More time will be needed for painting borders, applying varnish, adding a hanging mechanism. A few will take more time as I rework the scene to something I love more.

I was hoping to get some of that done today since it’s a Saturday but it turns out having nothing scheduled made all the things I feel come out and I’ve spent most of today in bed. I have places to be tomorrow so maybe Sunday will be a productive day.

Day 30: Creativity Forest

It’s the last day of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Tomorrow we’re all posting a collage of the paintings we’ve done. Then it’s time to go through them all, paint borders, fix minor things, add a hanging mechanism, add varnish, calculate price for some of them and distribute.

“Creativity Forest”, 8×8 inches 20×20 centimeter, acrylic painting.
Progress pics of the painting below.

It’s been a very full moon day. Somewhere in the sky is a big bright moon making people crazy.

Part of the day was lovely, loved talking about Instagram. Other parts of the day was the reason I took some time to literally scream out emotion. If I find out the little whispering people have been making issues I will shout into their faces this time, they’ve used up my patience. If they want to deal with me and have my respect they’d better talk, say what they want, because if they leave me guessing and acting weird then I stop caring about what they need, I have zero tolerance for that kind of drama. And I found out my favourite neighbour has moved, hence no more random monastery music or opportunity to overhear philosophy talk as they discuss outside on their balcony. And then I had my own version of Lucifer season 3 episode 7, except not quite so extreme. Truly, when you’ve hurled major abuses at me several times I’m done listening to what reasons might be behind them, I’m leaving. So that’s my day today. Maybe it’s the reason why the painting turned out darker in color than I had planned. Overall not a bad day but a frustrating one.

Day 29: Breathe

The night brought more nightmares but the day was wonderful.. and sad, because it’s like trying to catch running water, you can only have it in the moment for a while as you stand there. At some point there’s duties to attend to and homes to go to.

“Breathe”, 20×20 centimeter 8×8 inches, acrylic painting.

I was in the mood for progress pics today so I took a few, seen below. Although my mood was very green when I started, I started feeling the colour red a lot more towards the end, so the final version contains a lot more red than the start.

The week flew by, got mixed feelings about the weekend coming up. As always I wish for impossible things. Tomorrow’s the last painting of this series, we’ll see what that will be like.

Day 28: The Full Moon Effect

I’ve been having the strangest nightmares lately. Plus I had a start of a migraine in the morning (took painkiller, chased it off). Perhaps that’s some explanation for this painting.

“The Full Moon Effect”, 8×8 inches 20×20 centimeters, acrylic paint.

I’m pretty good at managing my thoughts when I’m awake. But when I go to sleep, it’s all wild west time. Dreamed of a great flood (emotion) that threatened my survival. Dreamed the one I wish for didn’t care, then I dreamed we kissed, then I was on a train and I couldn’t find my train ticket. There’s a lot I don’t know about my situation and when I’m awake I can handle that and I understand. And when I’m asleep.. well, hello scary metaphors and chaos. Oh well. Maybe I need to meditate more or something.

Day 27: The Most Hopeful Thought

Having issues getting a proper photo of this one. Going back and forth about if I’m actually done with it too, I’ll know better in the morning.

“The Most Hopeful Thought” – 20×20 centimeter 8×8 inches, acrylic paint.

To be honest, all my trees of hope are pretty small, saplings, they’ve been cut down a lot. Some days I can dream, though, and I can see the most beautiful of trees growing, strong and sturdy. Every life change towards the better raises questions like can I do this, am I good enough, but I do so try to ignore those thoughts and instead focus on the next step, the next practical thing, the next little small brave thing.

Just 3 more days left of this challenge. I do plan on keeping on painting regularly, just not every day, I’d swim in paintings before long.

Day 26: Joy

Sometimes things don’t turn out as expected. I loved today.

“Joy”, 20×20 centimeter 8×8 inches, acrylic paint.

I don’t want to say much, afraid I’ll jinx it or ruin something. But it was a good day. Surprising. Warm. Funny. And I don’t know, maybe I just get this one day. I’m still terribly sad inside, full of grief. But today I’m also happy. Feeling small and careful, when offered that hand I’ll take it and follow. If things seem stable and real, I’ll grow stronger.

Day 25: Effortless Fidelity

Saw the new Marvel movie the Black Panther today, I think it’s affected today’s landscape.

“Effortless Fidelity” in acrylic paint, 8×8 inches or 20×20 centimeter.

Below is how it started. Made a shape, decided on where the light would be and suddenly in my mind birds appeared, then a tree, a clearing.

I don’t want to over-explain things today. About the title, it’s a state of being when you feel right and both people are aligned and in love. And when you’re not, everything’s a lot harder.