happy thanksgiving!

how did it get to be almost thanksgiving already?

i have no idea, but here we are. which also means, it’s almost black friday, small business saturday, cyber monday, and giving tuesday. i have not traditionally participated in any of the thanksgiving weekend consumer bonanzas, as either a buyer or a seller, and have only become aware of giving tuesday recently. i certainly advocate the latter – seriously, check out the link and please do give to local nonprofits and organizations that serve your community – but you won’t be seeing any crazy sales from me this weekend or throughout the holiday shopping rush.

why? a) because it takes a lot of time to administer these types of things online, and between my pet biz being busier than ever and going on a weeklong vacation the week AFTER thanksgiving, i simply don’t have time to deal with it. also, b) because i don’t have a ton of inventory and i desperately need to actually make money on what i do have, to make up for all the money i’ve spent making the things. i basically can’t afford to run a sale. and c) because i keep my prices low already, year-round. i don’t do that retail trick of bumping my prices up high and then lowering them only for sales. maybe that’s bad business and why i don’t really end up making much if any money off my art/design “hobby,” but i just can’t feel good about charging higher prices for things. i try to have a fair price that makes me some money but doesn’t gouge you, my supporters. so my shirts are still $20, while most retailers now charge between $22-$28. i prefer that my stuff is accessible to more folks at a reasonable price. so sorry, no black friday or cyber monday sales at artbymags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

all that being said, i have been in the throes of restocking my etsy shop so i actually have something to sell this holiday season. at the moment, i have a good amount of resist shirts (mens/unisex as well as women’s, most in black but a few in white) and keep loving keep fighting shirts (mens/unisex only right now). and i just finished printing a short run of sister resister shirts in both mens/unisex and women’s. there’s a few other odds and ends (still have some not gay as in happy shirts in red and grey) and ) and i’m fantasizing about reprinting some of my older designs at some point (like the rocket ship, old school turntable, and fleur de lis skull) but i’ll have to sell some of what i’ve got to afford to do that.

there’s still lots of stickers available for purchase for next to nothing (they make great stocking stuffers) and there’s a couple of paintings and hopefully some prints coming soon. maybe some yard signs if i have the time to make ’em.

and i’m still tossing around the possibility of doing a little backyard holiday sale, maybe december 9th or 10th? we’ll see how things are going and if i still have a fair amount of inventory by then. might have to be later, closer to christmas. but i do have lots of one-offs, new old stock, and oops shirts for the bargain bin, and i have a bunch of paintings and prints that are stacking up around here that could use a new home. so stay tuned. i’ll try my best to announce it on all social media ahead of time.

and lastly, i’ve been spending a lot of time pondering what to do with my patreon account. i’ve had it going now for 2 years and i’ve had a loyal group of about 15-20 folks who’ve been giving me $5 or $10 a month to help support my artistic pursuits, which has allowed me to have start-up funds for things like sticker runs and runs of tshirts, and has helped me buy equipment like my 4 color screen printing press and just last week a new wide format inkjet printer so i can print film transparencies. but i feel constantly guilty cuz i haven’t been so great at sending out rewards to my patrons, as my output has been low these past 6 months or so as i try to build up my screen printing capability by slowly outfitting my home studio with equipment and supplies, and as my pet biz has gotten busier. some days i feel so guilty i just want to delete it, be done with it, while apologizing profusely to my patrons and refunding some of their money. but instead, because so many of them have told me they don’t expect anything in return and are happy to be supporting me, and because it is really truly helpful financially and also motivational, i’m thinking maybe what i need to do is instead double down on my patreon – refresh it, retool it, rethink the rewards portion of it, and publicize the hell out of it to get more supporters. i’m not really sure which way i’ll end up deciding to go, but i can’t really do anything with it til after the holidays. but it’s on my mind and i’m trying to figure out how to keep using it to help further my creative endeavors while also offering some kind of value to those who support me.

i guess that’s it for now, from me. just wanted to make a little pre-holiday-madness update to let y’all know what’s going on with art by mags. happy thanksgiving everyone!

beware the pussy!

ok, first things first.

i’m not very good at updating this site. if you want more timely news about what i’m making, probably best to tune in to my fb biz page or my instagram. or if you really wanna know about my creative process, you can support me over at patreon and get all kinds of behind the scenes info and even get cool stuff like stickers and original art mailed to you from time to time.

but now that i’m here… lemme tell you about my newest design!

beware the pussy!

this came to me after seeing a neighbor’s “don’t tread on me” NRA flag flying – i felt like i needed to counter with a warning of my own. and with all the talk about pussies grabbing back and voting and doing all kinds of things to ivanka’s dad since that videotape surfaced of him exalting sexual assault, this seemed an appropriate mantra. (also, i have two fat indoor cats who wouldn’t hurt a fly and i thought it would be funny to have a feline beware sign on my gate. so it serves a dual purpose!)

i hand painted the original on a repurposed plastic political yard sign, but then later sketched it out in pencil, inked it over, and digitized it so it could be turned into assorted merch.

and voila! you can now buy womens as well as mens/unisex t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, and stickers with this design on it, here via teespring.

i can’t wait to get my own! especially the coffee mug!!

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.

sale!

i decided to test out etsy’s new(ish) coupon codes features yesterday. the coupon is good for 20% off everything in my store through friday. some people have rent parties at the end/beginning of the month – i’m having a rent sale! (though, actually, the rent is covered, so now i’m working on the entergy bill! january was a sssslllooowwwww month, y’all!)

use the code: 20OFFSALE til midday friday, at which point i need to pack everything up for the freret market the next day. yes, i decided to go ahead and do it. thankfully, it looks like it will be sunny, though kinda cold. i’ll be wearing my long johns, for sure. i will hopefully have lots of new stuff (if it doesn’t all get bought up in the sale!). lots of funky handmade gifties for your valentine, and maybe even a few things to decorate for carnival. see you there!

new work…

so i’ve been busy over here in the outdoor studio (otherwise known as my backyard), despite the rollercoaster weather. a few weeks back, i decided i wanted to start doing more stencil portraits, of pop culture icons, local (s)heroes, and yes, even pets. i know it’s crowded field – artists doing paintings of people’s pets – but i frankly don’t know anyone at least in new orleans who is doing stencil spray paint/urban folk-pop art style stuff. so i figured i’d give it a shot.

the above piece is my first attempt at doing a cat. my cat, specifically. sticker is his name, but my friend nita calls him mr. toes because he’s one of those hemingway cats (polydactyl) with extra toes all over the place. he has big mitten feet, and he’s a tubby, not very coordinated, princessy feline with a lot of character. i love him dearly. it was challenging trying to get a good one-color stencil that captures his unique look, but i think i pulled it off. after shooting about a hundred photos of him, i found one that worked well as a stencil, even though it didn’t include his funny feet.

about a year ago on one of my daily walks around the neighborhood, i salvaged four small weathered cabinet doors from a rotting set of cabinets on the curb out for the trash. i just really liked their look, and they’ve been sitting in my shed ever since, waiting for just the right project to come along. so when i did the first portrait in the series – frida kahlo (yes, i know she’s overplayed, but i’ve been a fan of hers since the early 80s and looking back through books of her work actually did help get me out of my funk, so i thought she deserved to be the first portrait i tried in this new style) – after testing it out on a scrap piece of plywood, i just jumped right in on one of these cabinet doors and started to play. i think it turned out pretty cool:

i love how using the cabinet doors makes it look like a readymade, already-framed piece of art. and gives it that folk-art feel. i had originally envisioned making mixed media pieces, putting various paper items as a background that would then be painted over such that parts of the print peeked out of the paint blasts… but i just spontaneously started making this one and decided i didn’t want to wait for all that mod podge to dry (usually takes overnight) so i just went with layering paint and design motifs. and this is what i ended up with.

i also did another rachel maddow piece, because, well, i’m obsessed. clearly. those of you who’ve been following me for a while know that i did a bunch of rachel maddow pieces a year or two ago that were really labor-intense 7-layered stencils. while it was a really good challenge and fun to do, once the stencils started deteriorating, i quickly realized i didn’t really want to keep recutting 7 different layers of facial features over and over again. i was able to make about 4 small canvases and a handful of prints on paper with them, but decided that was it for that particular incarnation of rachel maddow in stencil form. so this time, i chose a different picture to work from that was easy to turn into a one-layer stencil. whew.

so that’s 3 out of the 4 cabinet doors. not sure what i will do with the 4th, though i’m considering doing my other cat, the mighty hunter, stencil. but after playing around with the photos i took of him recently, i’m realizing it’s going to be much harder to do. as an all-black cat, it’s hard to create a one-layer stencil that isn’t just a silhouette – that actually gives him some dimension and features. but i’m going to keep playing with it. he’s already jealous of sticker because he has the extra-toes thing going on – i don’t want to slight him, you know? i love him just as much!

so yeah. that’s what i’ve been up to. i’ve also been making a bunch of love signs and posting up more stuff on my etsy site – valentine’s is coming up soon. but i’m hoping this new direction with the stencil portraits ends up being something i can market and turn into some steady income soon.

let me know what you think.