I know it’s not over yet. In fact, with the new year rolling in, it’s only just beginning.
I’m aware all of this may sound oh-so-very cliché. I’m not blind to the notion that some people out there are sick to death of hearing me preach the power of positive thought. (Those people can stuff it, by the way.) In spite of all that, I want you to keep going with me, through whatever trials you may be facing as well. We can’t give up and we can’t give in. BELIEVE in yourself. It’s a point I have to make. It’s important.
We’re all just getting started. 😉
Have a beautiful Sunday, my loves.
& Have a very happy New Year!
Fun facts: This artwork was inspired by elements of science fiction and recent talks buzzing around about alien life. It’s been a little while since something in the “surreal” genre was posted here at CardCastles. This Sunday changes that.
Fall has been hesitant to arrive this year on my part of the globe. We’ve seen a few hints of it. However, the temperature refuses to dip. The result has been some very disgruntled tourists that enjoy traveling to the NY/NJ/PA area this time of year. As you could imagine, no cool weather means no gorgeous colorful leaves everywhere. They are trying so hard to turn, but they haven’t quite reached “peak color”—a term the local meteorologists describe in their weather reports.
My own life is going through a similar bumpy transition. I’ve got things all lined up and so much is looking promising, but some of the toxic negativity I’ve been constantly flushing from my life these past few months simply refuses to die.
This design was made with those thoughts in mind. We’ll just have to see what these next few months brings, won’t we?
Are you going through a transition? Is it fall where you are? Have you seen some pretty colors this season? Do tell. You know I love a good coffee chat!
Have a blushingly beautiful Sunday!
Fun Fact: The leaves in this piece were created using a custom brush made out of the leaves from this photo. They were the inspiration behind the title.
Though, it’s hard to express all of the emotion and feelings that were running through me in just 150 characters.
I remember first hearing a few days back that The Champ was in critical condition. This had me thinking back to those times as a child where my grandfather and I would sit in front of the TV in sheer amazement over old footage of Ali’s greatness in the ring. My grandfather loved boxing, and Ali was a hero of his. That love of not only the sport, but the man himself, got passed down to me.
He was a graceful giant, who danced around that ring like as he so beautifully said—a butterfly, in his iconic quote:
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
The world is outpouring with love and support for this man and his family—as it should be. I only hope his messages of loving one another resonate with all of us. That way maybe we can change the condition of the current state of our world. I’ve seen a beautiful thing today with people of every race, color, and creed coming together to mourn the loss of such a great and powerful human being.
Then one of my biggest influences passed away, and my life took a turn to carry on old paths and forgotten dreams…
These are the moments that made, (and almost broke, but ultimately…well, you’ll see) CardCastles in 2015.
CardCastles 2015 Highlights
We started off small and quietly. I shared about fears in Ashes over at Stories That Must Not Die, and reposted it here since the story tied in to some past thoughts shared.
There was a l o v e theme.
Then, I was blindsided by change. The future of CardCastlesInTheSky hung in the balance. A former large part and driving force of my site used to be the gallery. By clicking on the gallery you used to be taken to my Twenty20 Store where my designs could be purchased in many forms. Just shy of three years I decided to part ways with this company due to a shift in ideals.
That new variation of an old design brought some more attention to my artwork than ever before. It started to shock me, really. It brought in a lot of art lovers and new followers and readers to the site. By the end of the month, we even had some celebrity readers and fans in the music industry.
I felt like I was in some strange dream.
We spread acceptance.
My dear friend and Stories family member Matticus shared an important discussion topic over at Stories and we shared it here as well. You can read that post here~> in the end, it’s just an opinion
There was a photo journal of a trip to NY and you all loved it. Those were among some of the most popular posts that month.
Soon after the stats jumped even more.
This was only mirrored in other posts throughout the months. We shared more at Stories and I passed it on here. Now it was just a matter of waiting for our friend to return home and join the rest of her friends.
New readers poured in all finding me through common interests. I started to make detailed reports combining the Statistics here with the CardCastles Twitter and Google Analytics. The results gave me insight on what people came here for and how to plan for the future of things here.
Then some hurtles started to show themselves, and it was almost like something could be felt in the air.
We had lost somebody dear to us, and for a while, it all didn’t make sense.
Friends along with the Stories team mourned this loss and gathered together.
We wore blue to stand with our friend in some form. I wrote about my own experience the day of the funeral in Sleepy Sundays: Old Friend. The piece remains one of the most complemented renderings this year.
I lent my artwork over to Stories so Matticus could vent his feelings of grief. He was the mouthpiece for the rest of us that only echoed his feelings.
Then something happened through that grief.
A family was solidified. A community rallied around that family, and they slowly lifted us up.
The request for this piece set into motion the beginning of self-employment. My first steps out on my own as an artist, free from any former companies. You can read the story behind that here. ~>Paint On the Walls
From that point I was fully and officially out on my own with this art business. This freelance thing has been uphill (and stressful, but mostly uphill) ever since.
I started getting more interest and emails asking about features and guests, so we set plans in motion for July.
Myself and guests shared horror-inspired works in honor of film legend, Wes Craven.
New York Comic Con
I took a trip to see friends and ended up with one of the greatest experiences of a lifetime. This group of buddies that have become some strange family, all knew each other for close to five years. There’s a few crazy stories how we all got to know one another and they all involve gaming, of which we are avid fans.
The stars must have aligned because the one year I was able to go, the developers of one of our favorite games were hosting a panel.
The entire time blew my mind. Warframe liked our tweets about it too!
October was liberating and therapeutic any many ways. 31 Nightmares brought in so many new people I’m planning on resurrecting it next year. Here’s how crazy it went with numbers:
October yielded 11.7 thousand impressions. I’d say we left quite a mark!
Out of nowhere I started getting requests for my services. Book illustration, logo design, book covers, animation, intro videos, website design, you name it. I was so excited and overwhelmed by it all I may have said yes to too many things.
This was all, however, a blessing in disguise. It’s teaching me to plan better & manage anxiety.
I got to joke around with one of the stars of one of my favorite shows.