Daydreams Diary: Journey

Well, I’m not dead.

(Sorry, my dark sense of humor is showing itself.)

August is behind us, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Life is something I certainly don’t take for granted. When you lose a lot of people before their time, it has a way of making you appreciate waking up each day.

We went through a significant loss while I was away. This event is not something I could just glaze over, no matter how private a person I may be. Doctors discovered around the second week of last month that I had an ectopic pregnancy. What was then explained to me soon after devastated us as a family. There was no way I could go forth with a healthy pregnancy, and my life was in danger.

I had two options. Both of which seemed terrifying to me at the time. Surgery or a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate. We’d already been in the hospital 13 hours with no food or water. My body was extremely weak and my mind was beyond stressed. I was told surgery was extremely risky because they could open me up and find nothing, since I was only 2 weeks along. There was a considerable risk of me bleeding out. The chemo agent didn’t seem much better as it was explained to me because it is very toxic to your system. I had no other options. I have a (then 8, now 9) year old son I have to think about that very much needs me.

We chose door number two—the methotrexate therapy. The first night was hell. I was shaking uncontrollably from fever chills and I was in pain. My entire body was weak while my mind was a complete fog. Things got better as the days went on, but as my condition improved, a sort of guilt and grief seeped into me at the same time.

I’m still going through it. Though some parts of this story have gotten a little brighter. I no longer need chemo treatments. My hormones are stabilizing and starting to taper off where they need to be. My body is still healing. There’s still some pain, and I still have to go back weekly for blood testing until I’m considered fully “back to normal.” There is so much more to this story. The rest is all I’ve got in me for now, though. I’m mostly anxious to get back to work.

We named her.

Somehow we both know it was a girl. It’s the kind of knowing the women in my family that I’ve spoken about here before possess. “Seeing” as we call it.

Her name is Journey.

I’ll save the meaning behind that for some other time. Though, if you’d like some clues, take a look at this past review, or even better play that game. It’s a beautiful experience you won’t regret, I promise. And you know I’m big on promises.

(Journey screenshots property of ThatGameCompany and Sony Computer Entertainment)

Cheers to 6 Years

It has been six whole years today since CardCastles first opened its virtual doors.
We started off from humble beginnings. This place has come a very long way after completing an equally extensive journey. We have shared so many memories with you as a family through my artwork and journals, and that spawned off into even more beautiful things. We have enjoyed this trek amongst the stars in the sky with you, so much so it gave birth to new worlds and a parent company. Snapping Turtle was born out of love. New ventures it seeks as it now takes over the clouds and we transition through the full merge.

So much more planned for the rest of this year. & For however long we keep this going.

As, always it has been a fantastic ride with you.

Keep dreaming. 😉

•6 Years of CardCastles•

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Perfection Culture

white-flowers-pattern.pngLately I’ve seen a decent number of stuffy posts all over the internet by professionals (& Non-professionals. And professionals that shouldn’t be professionals, and non-professionals that think they’re professionals…)

all passing on advice to never show anything but your absolute best work. They go on to insist that no one is going to take you seriously, blah-blah, blah.

Yeah, about that…

I’ve come to learn in my almost 4 years doing this [selling art, rebuilding a company] professionally, that people respect me for sometimes showing my flaws as an artist,

at times even blatantly pointing them out~>Sleepy Sundays: Meditation (From CardCastles Archives, Year: 2014)

In an attempt to help other artists with mistakes we all make sometimes.

—and you still keep coming back.

No one turns away from my site and says, “Oh my goodness, she’s so unprofessional! Did you see that shading mistake she made on that one?” For every mistake, I learn, make adjustments, and the rest of my work becomes better for it. I take things down. I put them back up. Sometimes being an artist is about making improvements.

People actually rather often say “Your have such a unique style! Your work is so detailed! This is gorgeous.”

They can tell I take my time and have learned from years of experience.

Those years included making plenty of mistakes.

There’s a growth there that you can see and a passion I have for my work that you all seem to know off the bat.

I guess what I’m trying to relay is:

It’s not all always about being perfect all the time. I get it about putting your best foot forward and all. But it’s okay to make mistakes too, ya know?

I mean, what are we all doing this for?

(—If not to have fun, learn, grow and pick some things up along the way.)

The same can be translated into writing and many other art forms.

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Perfection is an Illusion

There is no such thing as true 100% perfection. Even the best of things have flaws. In our modern-day society one can admit our culture has become a bit obsessed with the idea of perfection. Plastic surgery, who’s eyebrows are or aren’t “on fleek” (barf) whose contour be slayin’ ” (cringe), whose girlfriend looks better than yours, all of it supposedly determined for us by some post or meme or magazine.

Don’t get me started with the subject of “reality television.” Some other time friends.

It’s all so incredibly fake, and put out there by people desperately seeking attention or validation, or followers, some fill to their void…

Whatever the case is, there is no such thing as true 100% perfection.

Maybe if we accept that first, we can fix our society’s increasingly narcissistic ways.

 

Gifts That Keep On Giving

Happy Holidays!

It’s rare we are afforded the pleasure in life to be able to do exactly what we want and be paid for it. Back earlier in the year I was faced with a decision. Golden Gift

Go on with the company I was working for and be paid little to nothing while my rights were basically given away and other third parties sell my work for their own personal use

-OR-

Take a stand and go out on my own, with an uncertain direction, future, or purpose.


I chose the latter—and boy am I glad I did.

The course was foggy. Doubt and fear threatened to take all I had strived years for. Through all of this there was a force backing my every move. It was a powerful force I was new to, but welcomed anyway.

That force was made of up friends, new and old, that supported me through the entire year.

You sent words of encouragement. You gave advice and pushed positivity. You motivated me. 

Connections I had made over the past three years doing this blogging thing started to show their strength. Friends in high places passed my name around to their friends. Before you knew it, I had requests for my services pouring in like a busy restaurant taking orders.

All of it kind of shocked and overwhelmed me.

I spent the first day simply trying to process it all.

Then from some long-forgotten inner place, I lit a creative fire under myself. Blue Flame

Some of you here have even requested my services. You love the artsy world I create. Nothing can describe what a gift you have given me.

Yes, I have stayed up long nights.

Yes, I’ve had to juggle this with many other endeavors.

Yes, my plate is full.

But ask me if I regret anything,

  
and I’ll surely tell you no.

 

Paint On the Walls

Kiss the Sun

Kiss the Sun A friend called me up this morning to request my services. She wanted a piece for her living room area that overlooks and leads out to her garden. It’s hard doing the printing legwork myself, and not having a third party involved, but I have to say – working for yourself is freedom incarnate.

Who knew?

This is the digital sketch. I’m undecided on whether to go the expensive print + transfer to canvas option or simply use this as a guide and go back to one of my old loves – painting. I’ve showed it to a few people and they love it already. This marks my first sale completely on my own.

Whatever the future holds for my artwork, I want to thank all of you for always supporting me. I’ve still got a lot of categories and features to add before I become a business again, but that doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is, when I’m good and ready, I know you’ll be there. That thought makes me smile.

An art teacher I had the pleasure of being schooled by back in elementary school once told me, “When you’re feeling crazy, throw some paint on the walls!” What she meant was: When you’re feeling scattered in that artsy mess of a brain of yours, let it all out. Let go of any insecurity and just let your hands tell the story. She’s fantastic person and one of my many inspirations to this day. This one’s for you Miss Phyllis.

Visit my new gallery @

Snapping Turtle Publishing.