latest design – keep loving, keep fighting

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for the last couple of months i’ve been focused on this design, which i sketched out by hand in the days after the pulse nightclub shooting in orlando back in june. in the week following that horrible event, i was using #keeplovingkeepfighting as a hashtag on social media, in solidarity with the victims, the orlando community and the greater lgbtq community. i drew the graphic as a visual representation of the hashtag, knowing as soon as i drew it that i wanted it to be a t-shirt design… which i originally hoped to print up to wear to our own gay pride parade here in new orleans.

well, that didn’t end up happening – it took me a lot longer than i expected to get the pen and ink design worked up properly and then a screen made so i could print t’s – and in the mean time, #altonsterling and then #philandocastille were shot and killed by police and i attended a rally first in new orleans that drew thousands to lee circle in support of #blacklivesmatter and then in baton rouge, la which turned into a super scary standoff with heavily militarized riot police. i wished again i’d had the shirt ready to wear by then, but instead i made signs to hold at both rallies that simply said “keep loving, keep fighting.”

i realized that this hashtag, this phrase, embodied the sentiment i most wanted to put out to the world in the wake of all the awfulness happening around us. and i realized that it was a sentiment that transcended many different social justice pursuits. because it is a reminder to both keep loving – ourselves and each other, taking care of ourselves and each other, with love always in our hearts – AND to keep fighting, keep persevering, keep struggling for our rights and for justice. it is a sentiment of inspiration, of hope, of strength, of resistance, of community, of love.

and so, finally, weeks later, i had made a screen and got some blank shirts and printed some up. i wasn’t even sure it was going to look right as a one-color t-shirt design, but as it turns out, i think it looks great. eye-catching. i’ve sold a few here and there via fb and word of mouth, and now the rest are up for sale in my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/artbymags. i have both red/black and grey/black versions. $20 + s/h… while supplies last. (limited supply so don’t sleep!)

i’m working on an order for stickers with this design right now, and intend to make some 12″ x 12″ paper prints using spray paint backgrounds, so stay tuned.

more stickers!

so the latest stickers i’ve made for my patreon $5+ supporters are in! they get some for free for their support of my art life, but you can get some too for just a few $$ by using the button below. (or if you are local to new orleans, contact me to arrange for an in-person sale.)

LESS INTERNET, MORE ART! is a slogan i’ve been using for years. i just randomly said it to myself one day when i was noticing how i get sucked into social media on my computer, so i made a stencil and used it to make signs on wood that i used to sell when i did the art markets around town. (one hangs in my bedroom still to this day.) i revisited the design recently when i was doing a brief facebook fast and decided it had to be my next sticker.

these are professionally printed by stickermule.com and are excellent for outdoor or indoor use. they measure 5″ x 2″ so they are a good display size, and the colors absolutely pop on these! mine is already on my car bumper!

use this handy paypal “buy now” button below to order yours now!

and don’t forget, the last night a brass band saved my life stickers are still available too!

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or if that doesn’t work for you, you can paypal me $ at: paypal.me/artbymags.

or you can squarecash me $ at: cash.me/$mags – (but if you use squarecash, make sure to send me your shipping address!)

here i go!

universesaysyes

so if you’ve been keeping up with me (read previous posts on this blog or this one) then you know i’ve been reawakened to my creative aspirations in 2016 and have been craving more time to focus on the making of things. after several months of trepidation, i launched a patreon campaign to get support to scale back my work schedule to give me a few more hours in the day to do this. the campaign has been a success so far but i haven’t reached the amount of $ i would need to cover cutting back a few walks a day to free up some time. but the urgency of it all hasn’t dissipated either, so i’ve been talking to my clients and, well, the universe somewhat intervened this past week by sending one of my set of clients on vacation, and…

i’m doing it. starting monday, my work schedule will end around 1:30 or 2pm most days, giving me the rest of the afternoon and into the evening (now that daylight saving time kicks in tonight) to create! i’m so excited but also super nervous about willingly letting go of $600-$700/month of pay. but i’m hoping i will get more productive in the creative arena and perhaps come up with some things that folks will want to buy. or that maybe more folks will want to sign on to my patreon campaign to get free rewards and support me at the same time.

either way, it’s time to hustle. so i will be doing all manner of peddling in the coming months. and hopefully i can make this work.

so yay to taking big risks, stepping out of your comfort zone, waking up and staying awake (or as the kids say, be woke/stay woke), being in the present, and following your dreams. here’s to working towards the life i want, doing what i think i’m meant to do. and here’s to the universe being with me every step of the way, saying yes, loudly, repeatedly, until i finally hear it.

yes!!

hello 2016.

i wrote this – spoke this, into my phone – while walking dogs this morning, across the timespan of 3 walks:
sometimes, when my mind is clear and wandering, i catch these glimpses. glimpses of another life. maybe it’s a parallel universe? maybe it’s the future?  it’s not a dream because i’m awake when it happens, though parts of it have been in dreams i’ve had over my lifetime. it’s like some window or door opens to another reality and i can see it so clearly. it’s this other life that i’m living where i’m firing on all cylinders, where my creativity is flowing, where i am vibrating on a higher level, where i’m making things and pursuing if not every, at least more, of the myriad ideas that bounce around in my head.
i am painting things. printing things. assembling things. i am making new stencils. i am doing murals. i am leaving my creations all around town for people to discover and take home if they want to. i am having pop up sales in random locations. i am having “shows” in nontraditional places, not in galleries. in bars, in coffee shops, at restaurants, at friends’ houses. i am hosting once a month parties/shows/salons at my own house, in the backyard.
i am writing all the time. writing blog posts, writing in journals, writing on paintings and furniture and walls. putting words together in ways that make sense and don’t make sense but regardless are out there and making other people think and feel and react.
i am playing music, other people’s music, djing… in my living room, for friends at my house and other places, bars, art openings, poetry readings. i am discovering new music that sets my spirit soaring and sharing mixes of this music with others. i am making podcasts about music and art and life and sharing those with the world.
i am taking pictures. with my phone, or with a nice camera. i am sharing photos on my instagram and my blog and in all the places i am sharing art. i am incorporating photos into my other art. i am publishing books of my photos to put on coffee tables and in libraries and to give to friends.
i am building an art empire. i am collaborating with other artists and writers and thinkers and djs and people who make music and art in all of its various forms. i am bringing them into my world and i am hanging out in and contributing to theirs.
i am outdoors breathing fresh air and soaking up sunshine, enjoying the beautiful place that i live in. i am exercising my body and feeling good. i am eating better but still enjoying the bounty of the city that i live in with all it’s amazing culinary delights. i don’t deny myself but i also am taking care of myself.
i am traveling to other places, some i’ve been to before but many i have not. i am endlessly inspired by my travels and do it as often as i can, to see art, to see people, to hear music, to be inspired. to learn. to grow.
i am vibrant and alive and enjoying the hell out of life and tapping into the energy of the universe and reflecting it back and spreading love and positivity and feeling good about it. feeling fulfilled and like i’m contributing to the betterment of the world. the world is a beautiful place full of love and light and i am so happy and grateful every day to be in it.
and through all of this, i am supported and loved and rewarded financially and taken care of. and sharing it all. because there is enough. there’s more than enough to go around for all of us. and i don’t worry about money because money is energy and i’ve learned how to tap into the energy of the universe.
yeah. for reals.
sometimes i catch glimpses of this life, this vision, and really feel it, taste it, hear it, see it.. like I am actually living it, like I could be living it. like i should be living it. like i can be living it. i’ve had some version of this vision my whole life. and many elements of this vision, this life, i have made happen.. on their own, one at a time. i’ve been a writer. i’ve been a dj. i’ve been an artist. i’ve been a crafter. i’ve produced events. but i’ve not managed to merge them all, or sustain them for long periods of time where i can really build upon what i’ve accomplished. these accomplishments have existed on their own and in their own space and time and then i’ve dropped them to pursue other things. i’ve been a serial unitasker.
maybe i have just been assembling all the pieces, all the skills, and waiting for the time to be right to pull them all together. maybe that time is now. these last few months, the vision, the glimpses, of this integrated creative life have been strong and recurring and have been pulling me in a direction of action and change. i’m tired of living a small little life where i don’t feel like i’m living up to my potential. i’m tired of feeling like everyone around me is a badass and somehow is clued into something i’m not, somehow has some kinda magic that i don’t in terms of making shit happen, realizing their dreams, helping other people, affecting change, making the world a better place and feeling fulfilled while doing it.
and the time is running out in my life to build all of this that i know i am capable of… while i am still young enough and physically and mentally sharp enough to do so. i’m not yet “old” but i’m no longer “young.”
is this my midlife crisis? maybe. i do feel at a crossroads. i’ve been feeling it for a while and have been wallowing in despair about what to do and how to do it. but i think the universe has been communicating with me in very clear ways over the past year, and the clouds have been lifting, the glimpses of this other life have been coming more into focus, little by little.
i don’t want to reach the end of my life, i don’t want to be on my deathbed, thinking about this other life, this parallel universe, this vision of the life i wanted to live, could have lived, should have lived, dreamed about in some way since i was a little girl and that was so close and within my grasp because i actually had all the skills i needed to make it happen… i don’t want to have that regret that i didn’t go for it, that i just didn’t take the chance, the risk, make the move, defy the inertia, and make it happen.
so the time is now. to take action. to start doing instead of just talking. to take risks. maybe even to fail. but at least to try. i have to at least try. and perhaps in trying, if not this particular vision of another life, but some other version that is not what i am living now, will make itself clear.
so here we go.
stay tuned.

and she’s back!

look what i did last weekend!!

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and the best part? i sold all three within a few hours of posting them up on facebook, twitter and/or instagram!

mind you, these were all half-finished projects staring me down in the shed for over a year. it didn’t take all that much to get them finished and ready for sale. but it is movement… out of the rut i’ve been in for the past little while. and so i am celebrating that hopefully i am getting my groove back.

all it took was 3 hours out at jazzfest last friday (thank you alice and jen for making that free ticket happen!), wandering around all the artists’ booths in congo, louisiana folk life, and contemporary areas, seeing all the amazing and beautiful artwork out there. and hearing some awesome music. and eating some yummy food. and hanging out with wonderful friends. and just celebrating and honoring my anniversary with new orleans – since it was jazzfest that basically convinced me that new orleans was the home i had always yearned for but never had before i stepped foot on its shifting, swampy soil. yep, my 24th anniversary with new orleans was this jazzfest (i really don’t count the years i was away due to katrina – my heart was still here) and well, it delivered quite a lovely anniversary present to me: i got a little creative spark back.

so stay tuned. hopefully lots more to come!