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.

army of lovers shirts available again…

ok, the shirts are available again for the next 10 days – just in time for christmas!! order here: http://teespring.com/armyofloverscannotfail2

also, kids’ sizes are available finally!! http://teespring.com/armyofloverscannotfail_kids

and lastly, let me remind you that i still have plenty of army of lovers stickers left – see last post for the details on ordering.

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army of lovers, part 2

first of all, i just want to offer my humblest of thanks to everyone who supported me with orders earlier this summer as i was fundraising to get myself on vacation and off to michfest. between the brass band saved my life and army of lovers tshirt campaigns on teespring and my online yard sale of old art/craft stock hanging around the house, i made enough $$ to cover my rent and bills for august so that i was able to absorb the loss of income while i was gone for 3 weeks to the woods. i had such a lovely time at what was probably my mellowest michfest ever – and i really needed that. so thank you, every one of you.

i have returned from fest refreshed and rejuvenated, though still broke. thankfully i have 2 work weeks left in the month to hustle up $$ for rent and bills for september, and the dog walking and pet sitting bookings are coming in, so i should be ok. but i am going to try to continue to do the side-hustle with the creative endeavors just in case, and also because it feels really good to be doing creative things again.

so the first thing i want to offer is that after i designed the “army of lovers” tshirt, i had the brilliant idea to get high-quality stickers made with the same slogan, with the intention of selling them at fest for $1 each. unfortunately, they didn’t get printed on time and though they did manage to find their way to me while i was in the woods, it was a little late in my time there and i just didn’t have much of an opportunity to sell them. i printed 250 of them and have probably only sold about 30 at the most so far – not even enough to break even on the cost of the printing.

army of lovers stickers

therefore, i am going to offer them here. the stickers are 4 inches by 2 inches, slightly wider than a standard business card, silkscreen printed with UV coating and therefore suitable for car bumpers, motorcycles, scooters, bikes, skateboards, helmets or any other outdoor use. (i personally put one on my nalgene water bottle i take with me everywhere.)

since i have to mail them to you, which will cost me the envelope and a stamp (and paypal fees for electronic payment), i’m going to do 1 sticker for $2, 3 stickers for $5, and 6 for $10. (if you want more than that, just email me.) when you hit the “buy now” paypal button below, just input the dollar amount that corresponds to how many stickers you want. it should be that simple. make sure your paypal address that comes to me with your payment is your correct shipping address.

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and that’s it! (alternately, if you have a paypal account, you can just sign in and “send money” to me at mags at artbymags dot com in whatever denomination corresponds to however many stickers you want.)

stay tuned as i will be running the tshirt campaign again soon with perhaps a few changes in style/color offerings for those who missed it the first time around.

an army of lovers cannot fail!


basic tee
women's teev-neck unisexwomen's v-necktank tophoodie

so this just happened. (click any picture and it will take you to the order page.)

i’ve been wanting to make a shirt with this phrase for many years but just never got around to it. this year, i finally have both the time and the motivation – i’m broke and i really want to go to fest! so here it is.

i’ve posted several pics of the different types of shirts that are available, just so you know there’s a wide variety. and a few styles even go up to 3XL in size. the color of the shirts will vary slightly from brand to brand and style to style, but generally they will all be a light grey/silver colored shirt, with black and red type in a distressed stencil style font. the shirts will be silkscreened professionally and i think will look better than anything i could print up at home.

as for the backstory… the concept of “an army of lovers” is attributable to plato in ancient greek times. the phrase “an army of lovers cannot fail” was adopted by activists in the early gay and women’s liberation movements and used widely, and rita mae brown popularized “an army of lovers shall not fail” in her poem “sappho’s reply” in the early 1970s. it’s something that has often been said in workerville amongst my family/tribe of womyn at the michigan womyn’s music festival and so, what with the whole summer of love feeling of fest these days i figured it was time for this shirt to appear.

i almost put a women’s symbol (with or without a fist) into the design but ended up deciding i’d rather leave it more universal, since it was a battlecry for the early queer and women’s movements, therefore hopefully making its appeal more widespread.

i humbly thank everyone for their support ahead of time. for the past several years since i started the pet business i haven’t really been creating art or designing anything, and i’ve really missed it. so i set an intention a few months back that i wanted more free time in my schedule so that i could get back to doing more creative stuff.. and lo and behold, several of my pet clients moved on and freed up some time in my schedule. so i’ve been working hard to get back into the creative swing of things… and designing tshirts is one of those things!! so i appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and feedback and support – more than you’ll ever know.

ok.order away here: http://teespring.com/armyofloverscannotfail

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!

artbymags on tv!

i know i’m technically on hiatus right now and haven’t been writing here, but as i was just enjoying the latest episode of one of my favorite new tv sitcoms this fall, 2 broke girls, i FINALLY saw my stencil painting that their set designer bought from me on etsy! i guess the camera angles just hadn’t gone in that direction yet in the set apartment on the previous two episodes, but it’s right there, hanging on wall in the living room:

 see it? smack in the middle of this screen shot. it’s a small painting, and it wasn’t much money and i don’t even like the painting – it and its companion piece which i still have were just silly little stencil things i sprayed on thrift store canvases one afternoon when i was thinking about my relationship with money. i had absolutely zero luck selling them at markets for almost a year! i almost don’t even like claiming that it’s mine… except that it’s kinda exciting to see something you made on the set of a new hit tv show that’s on every week!

this is what the painting looks like:

see? not really indicative of my usual work. kinda sloppy. though i guess it does have a little street art feel to it, which is probably why they liked it for this set. it does kinda look like the kinda crap you can buy on the streets of new york for $20!

if you watch the show (which you can do online from its homepage), you know their apartment is totally thrift store funky. it must have been a really fun job for the set designers to come up with, and there’s clearly a lot more etsy art on the walls beyond mine. but, hey, it’s still cool.

and this makes my second film/tv “credit” where something i made has appeared on screen. those who’ve known me for a while will remember that my popular “evildoer” stencil t-shirt appeared in the indie film “flakes” starring zooey deschanel many years back.

i guess i do keep getting signs from the universe that i am not done creating and selling my creations… but i’m still not really feeling it right now. but who knows. maybe i’ll get a rare burst of inspiration sometime soon. we’ll see.