(enter buzz words here)

”Go out and paint the stars.” – Van Gogh

Hello loves – I hope all is going well for you this day. The world is still a bit overwhelming, and it’s okay to not feel “okay.” Just know that if you are feeling overwhelmed, that it’s important to let someone know you are struggling.

As I dip my toes back into the waters of professional art, the amount of “let us help you promote our work” ads have increased 20 fold. That’s not an exaggeration – literally any time I log on to post updates/photos/etc., I have to wad through content creation folx showing me a highly produced 30 second “promotion” on getting millions of followers. If you happen to click the link, you know – just because their might be some good ideas there – you are literally perfume counter spritzed with jargon. From someone that spent part of their college education in journalism, ft. business management/advertising, I can see the writing on the wall. However, I’ve no idea what the words say, or if the wall even exists. It’s super weird to me, and I’m not sure how a camera lens, painting, or vintage paper would benefit from using hashtags such as: selfcare, authentic, cottagecore, hashtag (yes, this is an actual method of getting people to look at your context on social media), bestlife, spiritualaf.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk algorithms and shadow bans. No one is immune from these, and as much as none of us like them, complaining about them into the vacuum of the digital space time continuum won’t do much for you. Well, I mean it will make those who have turned on notifications see your post, comment, and maybe even share it with the words, “[insert social media platform, but usually Facebook] has done it again – my friend’s account is being taken out of the algorithms, so can you go to their account and show them some love?” In simple terms, you are the product of social media. Not trying to be a bummer, but it’s the truth. If Advertisers are looking to gather revenue, they ask to be placed in the timeline of folx that use a specific hashtag. How do I know this — well, I’ve placed ads on social media sites before. You can literally have your content pop up with specific hashtags. While I’m not a full expert on these things, what I do know is this – if your hashtags aren’t bringing in revenue through ads with those same hashtags, your content appears to be hidden.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty. Social media sites are free for a reason. I’m not going down conspiracy rabbit holes, but stating business facts. In short they are bigger versions of, “Hey, give me some of your free product, and I’ll promote you because I’m an influencer.” Just in case you missed it above, you are 100% the product on Social Media. Along with that, corporations and large businesses don’t have to pay research firms anymore – they just log on to their professional page and let the stats give them the data that the need. Then, they decided how much to spend on ads, work on some copy, and send it over to the bots for approval. From there, as you are looking at fuzzy cats, or wholesome memes, and an ad for rainbow cookies pops up with a “Love is Love” banner. For whatever reason you decide to click it, that makes no difference. Somewhere in technology land, your view registered somewhere.

Same as it ever was…

Now that I know this, and have really done some deep dives in researching the new face of marketing, I am no longer doing my work to please the Hashtag Deities. Honestly, I don’t think I ever was, but it feels good to declare it out loud on my blog, which is like social media lite, to all y’all.

So let’s get down to some fun stuff, shall we? Currently I’m working on about 10 projects at once. Only 10, you say – well, that’s down from 20, so I still have my distracted creative human credentials. Plus…y’all know that I’ll most likely pick up another 30 as the weekend goes along. I totally have serious “I can make that”-itis, and have dealt with it my whole life. Pretty sure my first words as a baby were, “Bet I can create something like that.”

Another brain wrinkle is whether or not I want to list items for sale on Etsy. Great Maude, it’s just easy there, and the traffic is much greater than other “sell your own things” sites. But in the same breath, it’s not very creative-types friendly. Also, you can post an original digital image/file, add all the proper watermarks, etc., then see the very same thing being listed from another seller. How did this happen you say – well, they copy/paste your image, remove all traces of you, put it into a program that will copy the image, make a few edits, and VOILA! they have free content to sell. Quite a few artist friends of mine have had that happen, and the powers that be don’t really do much about it. So…that’s why I’m mega on the fence about using Etsy. There is always the option of selling directly from my site, but – phew – y’all, I can only take this one woman show so far without rolling totally off the rails. 🙂

As much as I’d like to just sit here and ramble, the cats are peeking over my monitor, and the the dog keeps looking outside. Gonna hop off for today to put my feet on the ground, bow to the Sun, then clean my paintbrushes.

Sending all y’all tons of love and support.


That’s Me In The Corner

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Rumi

Hello, hello! How in the heck have you been? Are you doing okay during these COVID Times? Are you getting enough rest? This past year has been tough for many, and it’s okay to not be okay right now.

Right now it’s about 6 a.m. (EST), and I’m enjoying a hot cup of coffee as I ponder the events that have transpired since my last post. Of course I want to share it with all y’all, mostly because I think it is important that we share our stories with each other. However, I’m not sure how to condense it all down into an insightful post that will accurately explain where my life is right now. Heck, I’ve already hit the backspace key about eleventy billion times, as whatever comes from my fingers doesn’t really describe my experiences.

If hard pressed, I could kinda sum it up like this: I lost my “mojo,” found it hanging out in the strangest places, then spent a long time navel gazing. Like, y’all, things take as long as they take, but I was starting to wonder if the Universe decided to hand me every life lesson all at once. Nothing was “all bad,” nor was it a time of chaos. Truthfully, it was the most quiet my wee family and I have had since like, 2012. It was like every thought I’d put off decided to pay a visit like Marley’s ghosts in A Christmas Carol. None of them appeared to teach me a valuable lesson about being kind to my fellow sentient beings, but more like, “Remember when that happened, and you did that one thing,” or “This is how that idea would have worked if you had followed through.” It was a nice retrospective into the daily machinations of my over thinking noggin.

There were outside sources of mojo loss, too. At the end of last year my identity was stolen, and it’s taking quite a bit of time to get that straightened out. Talk about gathering a fierce inventory of everything you’ve done, everywhere you’ve been, and who the person that stole your information wants you to be. Doing that has been a TOTAL mind melt. All the representative and legal folx I’ve talked to will say, “That must be so intrusive and scary, to have that level of vulnerability because of this.” My reply usually goes something like this: “Well, it’s nice to see who I am not, so that I can understand who I am.”

As per always, I have also been dealing with the Corporate Western Medical Institution. Sadly it is in need of some serious work, and it will take a lot of dedicated people to fix it…that is, if it can even be repaired. The best thing might be to just toss it, then start over again. Profits should never, not ever, be put above people. It would be easy to lay the blame on a single entity, but the truth is that there’s this wacky trinity of medical, pharmaceutical, and insurance shenanigans that make getting good care difficult for those who make less that 7 million dollars a year.

Coming in fast after the above two paragraphs, is my relationship with Social Media. I’m not going to wax nostalgic on how I’ve been using the Internet since the time of dinosaurs – it’s a trope that’s been used far too many times by myself and others. What I will say is that I never imagined that such a wonderful tool would be used to foster division, spite, and FOMO. As we say for fun around these parts, “This isn’t your Dad’s Internet anymore, kiddies.” To remember that I am, in fact, a human, I took an extended time away from being online so much. Any time I felt the need to check my social media, I would write a USPS sent letter to a friend. If my mind was full of thoughts, I signed up for a swap of some kind, then spent time being creative.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to these days. It’s nothing spectacular, earthshaking, or influencer worthy – just a human person doing human person things.

Have a most wonderful day!
Much love,