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Real Life

Making Time

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Okay, so I have been working. But I found out that trying to balance family and my work is harder than I originally thought. I’m still trying to balance everything and all my commitments. I also decided to get more proactive about finding freelance gigs. I’m starting to get recommendations, I should have done this at the beginning but I wasn’t in a position to do it.

It was one of the reasons that I got on fiverr in the first place (and no I still not getting any paying gigs which is freaking typical).  However, the recommendations thing was such a good idea and I might get some nice paying referrals out of it as well. I just need a foot in the door and that can do nothing but help.

I also decided to turn my fannish follies facebook group into a general fangroup so I can post discounts and connect more with all of my peeps  And since I’m addicted to blogging I have decided to start another blog about Cartoons and animated shows and movies.

It’s call Toonzies, and I will post a link to it once I have it up and running.  I’m also working on revamping ‘Dress Them Up’ as well.

Always Hustling

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And I’m back! I took an unexpected week off because I decided that I didn’t have to suffer for my art.  And got off my duff and decided to work for a living. I’m not making a lot or anything, but it’s something and that means more to me than I can say.

As for the art, I took a break from the original stuff and did some art for my fanfiction stories that I’m currently writing. I’m also have decided to reboot ‘Dress Them Up‘. I loved that blog, but it got too much of time and I had to put it to aside. Now, I have a new game plan for it and I have a feeling that it’s going to be financial fruitful than my other blogs.  For me, WTFTMI is more of a passion than a money maker, but DTU combines both.

As for the art, I am way behind and a fanfiction art prompt, and I’m going to dive back into making premade book covers. I actually joined a few more facebook groups that will allow me to do some more some promotion on the art front.

So basically, I have been busy, busy, busy.  I tried to do some freelance writing, but honestly, I just find it way too stressful and I’m already stressed. I love blogging, but I love blogging on my own terms. So I’m working on making my blogs more profitable because a sister is broke. You don’t want to see how low my bank account. So I am out hustling basically.

Anyway, I’m off to finish some much-needed work.

Bills, Bills, Bills!

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So another Monday has gone, another week that I’m broke. It really sucks, and I have decided to do something about it. I’m not asking for much, just enough money to cover my bills and my living expenses, and as much as I love it Art is not paying the bills. I was thinking of opening a paetron account for my other blogs.

Anyway, my life has been crazy, but I want to do more stuff and for me to do that I have to get a job. However, I have five kids and childcare is not cheap or easy.  So I will be looking at crowdsourcing jobs such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and such things.

Anywhoo, I have decided to branch out in my art niche to include book covers, cd covers, movie covers, and social media headers.  So in the following weeks, I’m going to be working to add these to my portfolio. I’m also going to be doing some research into marketing towards those people in that particular marketing niche.  So I will be doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff.

Also, I’m just really worried about money, because I want to be more independent and it just seems like an uphill battle a lot of the times. And I don’t have a huge following and me just it’s so much work and I know I’m whining, but this my blog so I can whine. But I will do more work to make more money, just sometimes a sister has to whine okay?

It’s just this constant juggling that I have to do is so exhausting.  Anyway, I think I’m done whining, for now, I’m off to do some actual work.

research vision board

Putting It All Together

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Easter is done! Yay! As someone who has five kids, every holiday is super hectic. And yesterday was no exception. For the first time in ever, I didn’t even attempt to open my laptop. I was just swept up in the preparations for the Holiday. My mom decided to dress everyone in yellow, except for me because to be honest I always end up looking like a bumblebee in yellow. And I was out dress to impress my relatives.

Which in the end, I didn’t do at all.  I always feel when I’m visiting my relatives I have to put the fierce queer black woman who I am away and put on the affable ‘normal’ face that they expect me to wear. Then add to the fact that I’m hella socially awkward and yeah it’s stressful situation all around.

To add to complications, my mother was really sick, but she put a brave face and went an easter party that my Aunt S was holding. It was threatening to rain all day, but lucky for us it didn’t rain.  The kids and I lasted about two hours and we went home.

 

So that was my Easter experience, as for the art. Well, as I said in the last post I have been struggling on how to take my art career to the next level. I have decided to do some research on art promotion and social media branding. I think I’m going to rebrand everything in the end, but I’m going to wait until I finish the research. I think my one big thing I’m lacking is that I’m not engaging enough with my followers. I’m socially awkward and I just not good at that, but I’m going to have to suck it up and do it.

I’ m always afraid that I’m going to say the wrong thing and then it will blow up in my face. However, I do realize that business is not without risk. I’m actually got Kindle Unlimited and I got a lot of books on Art Marketing and Social Media Marketing.  I’m actually going to post my book list soon.

 

Read Al The Books

Me right now. Art by Allie Brosh

I also have been wondering if I should branch out. My end goal is to make beautiful book covers for writers. I want to do that for a living. However, I realized this year that I’m pigeon-holing myself with just doing that.  I think I should start offering freebies and also custom social media icons, and banners as well.

I just need to get my name out there more, and it just seems I have so much to do and so little time. I am actually forcing myself to do ‘Todoist’ so I can be more productive and keep track of the things I have to do. I just I need to do things more efficiently. So this is my spring cleaning of my business and brand.

I’m going to research all I can and try to implement them to the best my ability. Hopefully, everything will turn out for me in the end. 🙂 That’s all I have to say for today, but please be sure to check back here on Friday for another post by yours truly.

A Man In At A Maze with a Question

The Next Step

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So sorry guys, I totally forgot to set down and do my usual Monday post. I was just so exhausted with the lack of sleep and I just forgot. I didn’t even do any art yesterday (I did the Majikku on Sunday). and  I  guess I just needed a break.  So right now, I’m just concentrating on taking the next step of my career and I totally need to sit down and do some more research.

I think the harder part is that I’m trying to find time to balance everything that I had to do. Like yesterday, I did a YouTube video and honestly,  I have no time to edit it. I’m honestly considering not posting it at all because I rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

I actually going to try to go into the stock images business once I’m successful at the art. There is a real lack of diversity when it comes to stock photos. It’s all white, skinny people and I want to sort of fill that lack. However, I won’t be doing that until I’m successful at the art and I have the time.

I have also been wondering if I should go back to do more covers. I have been doing fanfiction covers, but I have basically stopped doing covers since January I think. As for art prints marketing, I have no idea where, to begin with that. Who, exactly in the market for digital art? Who’s buying it? I have no idea where to even start my research with that.

There is just so much to learn, and not so much time to do everything I need to do. I am also considering going to art school as a way to open doors for in my career, but honestly, I do have 50k to just go to school.  And I have a defaulted student loan, so there is no help there. Then add, the kids and it just looks impossible. I might just have to wait until I have some income to try to go to art school. *sigh*

There are so many options, and I think the right thing is to stay on course. As for blogging. especially here has made it better for me. I like helping people, and I like help other photo manipulators have an easier road than I currently have. To me, it really feels that I have been like I have been stumbling in the dark.

There really hasn’t been a lot of support for artists like me, because maybe it’s such a new medium. Honestly, if I ever start making big money I’m going to invest in maybe a photo manipulator forum of some sort.

Anyway, as for my ‘real life’, the family is gearing up for Easter. I actually got a new haircut to prepare for the occasion and my stepdad has been slaving away getting the front yard in tip-top shape. We are also preparing for upcoming summer and making plans.  We always say we have these millions of plans but we end up broke and at home for the rest of the summer. So I’m praying that it won’t happen to us this year.

Well, I think that’s all for this week guys. I’m off to batten down the hatches because a huge storm has just rolled in. *sigh*. I hope you guys have a wonderful week and stay tuned for my post on Friday.

 

Sick and Tired

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So yeah, I’m sick…again. Seriously, kids are a blessing and all that, but no one ever tells you that they are little germ containers. Every time one kid comes home with some sickness, it spreads through the house like wildfire. So not only that I’m sick, I have all the kids sick with me.

And of course, this comes down at the worst time possible, because of a nice fan of my work PMed me and asked me nicely to do some cover art for their fan fiction, and I had all of these awesome plans for it. Then I got sick, but I am determined to get all of my work done this week and complete all of my commitments despite being sick.

I just really can’t afford to take another month off

To further discuss my art, I have basically been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to sell my art and I have decided to actually do some research for a change. To make it as a working artist, you have to have some business savvy. So I have bought some books and it has given some idea where to start. I am also researching to more effectively market my art on social media. I will be totally posting a book rec list later on, so stay tuned for that!

I had to take a break last week because I was putting out mediocre work and I was not happy about. So my mother who is a traditional artist (in her minimal free time) told me I should take some time off. So I did, and I came back to do a bit of art that was actually back to my usual standard.

I think my problem was that I was trying to do art every day like I was art factory and not living breathing person who needs to have limits. So I will restrict doing art from every day down to two or three times a week. and doing a fanart once a week. I think that can work for me and the quality of work I want to put out. Because for me, the quality outranks quantity every time.

Now, I’m can barely concentrate and I’m about to fall asleep at my laptop, so I will be bringing this post to a close now.  I see you guys on Friday for a new post.

juggling

The Juggling Act

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Another week has gone by, and I’m surprised at all the pieces I have put out. And I think that is the problem here. I’m working double duty with both the blog and the art and the constant juggling between those two jobs and the most important job of help managing my family.

Seriously, if I didn’t buffer and schedule everything ahead of time I would not be getting as much done as I seem to do now. I just learned how to plan, schedule, and hope that everything turns out well. My schedule is weird too, I work long hours.  I get up, clean the house, take care of the kids, and then squeeze a few hours of blogging.

Then, I wait until everybody goes to bed and I work on the art. This is exactly why I’m writing this blog post so very late. The truth is that I am constantly juggling, but it’s the price I pay for blogging and not fully concentrating on my art. Honestly, I used to think that blogging wasn’t necessary, but these two years of blogging has taught me that blogging is as necessary to me as the art.

Blogging keeps me from burning out on the art, for the most part, it keeps me fresh and sharp. I also came dangerously close to burnout this week but I did about seven or eight pieces this week, which is insane. I usually try to keep it to three or four pieces a week, but I couldn’t stop creating.

I had to finally force myself to take a break on Sunday, and just let myself rest up for the day.

I also have been getting out of my comfort zone a bit and reaching out to other Artists, mostly on Facebook and Deviantart. I joined a few groups on Facebook, and I have been leaving more comments on Art that I like. I think I already made my first Artist friend and we exchanged ideas on doing photo manipulated portraits. It was fun, because being an artist for me is mostly a solitary thing and since I’m housebound I don’t get out much.

 

 

I don’t know if I can promote my art logically with the local art scene either because I’m worried about the bias that the art community has against photo manipulators like me. I honestly think that they would laugh me out of any art group I try to participate in.

Unfortunately, I think if I don’t break out of my comfort zone I will never succeed. So I have to gather my courage and jump—and for someone who is neurotic worrier that is harder said than done. As for my real life, I got some shocking news from my sister and the possibility of taking a 6th child.

My mother, my stepdad, and I had a family meaning and decided to say no.  The five kids we have now are a handful both emotionally and physically and we just can’t collectively handle it. Also, my parents are constantly traveling these days and my art is just starting to get noticed and we both deserve to be happy and to live our lives. It might be selfish, but sometimes you have to be selfish.

I think that is enough for today. I will be back Friday with a new post and I hope to see you guys then!

Spoke Too Soon

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So another week of me laying in bed due to the fucking flu has passed. I’m sick, this time with added swollen lymph nodes. So I basically sound awful and like I’m talking with my nose closed. Although, that is not all that far from the truth because my nose stuffed up.  Again, my month has been HELL. And I hate more than anything is to be idle and stuck in bed  I’m always busy, I always got some project going on and basically, this sickness has cut me off from doing all of my projects.

And don’t me get started on my lack of activism this week. I haven’t been able to look my laptop until now. Seriously, you know shit has hit the fan in my house when I haven’t touched my laptop for more than the necessary hours to sleep. Some may say that I’m addicted to the internet, and you wouldn’t be wrong.  For more proof, just check out my reaction to having no wifi. It was not a pretty sight, that’s all I’m saying dudes.

As for my art, I decided that as much as I have improved over the last yea, I have sort forgot about the basics. Like everybody and their mama is like ‘Gigi digital painting is where it’s at.’ And I can draw a little bit, but to be honest I have almost no interest into traditional line art. Well, I love look traditional line art ( I do love a museum) but for me where I shine is in photo manipulation. Eventually, I might go ahead and learn photography since that is an adjacent field for me to get to. But digital painting and drawing period I have no interest in.  I do realize that I need to start paying attention to the rules and the sort of physics of traditional painting because as a photo manipulator I tend use the same rules in my own branch art.

So I am going back to basics on that. I have also had a lack of inspiration when it came the original photo manipulations and I actually have gotten lot of inspiration from famous traditional line artists. Those pairings especially has made realize that there is no limit on what I can do. For me, my personal style is drawing or panting like photo manipulations and I’m also very minimalist when comes to textures and brushes. Which is kind of strange since when I first started out, I leaned heavily on those things. And I also like to tell story with every piece that I made. It’s the writer in me, I think that sort bleeds into art.

Everything in every piece must have meaning and everything overall should tell story. Which as much as that mind-set has helped as an artist, it has also contributed to my recent slump. I’m going to have to learn how to not let my personal style inhibit or stifle me as an artist.

Anyway, I think that’s enough art talk for a little while and I will be back with new post next week. I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend (better than mind anyway) and I will see you guys later.

I’m Alive!

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I have been sick for a week and believe me I am more than happy to be functional and back to work. This week I’m really behind on the blogging, so I will be doing my damnest to catch up.  As for my real life, my family is recovering for a harsh strand of the flu. Everyone was sick and it was not pretty. My little boy had to stay home from school for three days and I barely got out of bed last week.

This month has been hell. I did not have happy Valentine’s day.  And then the babies we were going to foster until my other sister got out of prison both ended up dying due to complications. It’s just really sad all around, and I feel a bit guilty because I was not really looking forward to fostering them. I have five children, and I’m just barely managing to assemble some type of career outside of that and I was angry at my sister.

But I never wanted those babies dead, I just wanted their mother to raise them.   I wanted to grow up healthy and happy with their mom. It’s just all very heartbreaking.  But my sister has managed to deal with the grief of losing her children admirally and with more grace than I know I would be  exhibiting right now.  I’m so proud of my sister who didn’t let her grief over her childern backslide her into downward spiral and is trying to make a better life for herself.

Valentine’s day was my mom and my stepdad’s twenth anniversary and it was very much a low key affair.  Honestly, I’m awe that anyone can be with someone that long, I personally can’t see myself being with someone for that many years.

As for my career, well you guys see the new theme? It’s all nice and professional and a complete upgrade from the free wordpress theme I was using.  I decided to transfer my art back to my main site because it was too many sites to manage in the end and this felt simpler.  I’m back to making art, and studying to try to expand my skills by learning Adobe Indesign.  In the end I want to sort end up opening my own web shop here of my art and promote my name as an artist.  So I will be doing that more consistently over the next year or so.

I’m also writing again, and hopefully I can hone my skills into something that I can eventually publish my own book one day. I found this awesome writer’s group and they have been so encouraging and they have answered all my questions.  I also found some damn good beta readers who has whipped my writing into shape. I will diffidently keep you guys updated on that as I progress with it.

Anyway, that is everything for now. I see you guys later!

 

 

Hot Mess

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So yet another personal post guys! Seriously, I can’t believe it’s Monday again. Where does the time freaking go? I’m busy, busy, busy doing stuff or my main blog, doing art, and promoting all of my endeavors. Honestly, I wish I had more time in the day. Like I don’t mind the blogging, I don’t mind the art, but the promoting drives me crazy. There are a million articles to read, six social media stuff I have to post to, and I have been slipping with keeping up with my five twitter accounts.

I know I need to be more organzied, but I’m so freaking lazy I can’t even tell you. I just do everything off the cuff, and try to keep lists and pray that everything works. As for my home life, everything is cool, and going on as usual. My parents are gearing up for their 20th wedding anniversary and my mom has admitted that she was shocked that got this far.

And for me, honestly, love is like rock bottom on my list. I honestly don’t see myself falling in love ever again, and honestly,  the thought of spending decades with someone else is a bit scary. I personally just want to start making enough money to feed myself and buy the tiny house of dreams. People think I’m crazy that I have no interest in anybody right now, but again my sexuality is so weird that just summing up myself as queer is the only way I can do describe it.

I’m a homoromantic homoerotic gray-asexual, that shit right there is in two words a MOUTH FULL.  Like I’m sexually attracted to women, but I have no interest in like having real sex with other women or anybody else for that matter. If I fall in love with anyone, it would be probably a woman, but to be honest I don’t want to be with anyone right now or possibly ever.  And how in the fucking hell did I get on the fucking subject of my sexual/romantic life? Who the hell knows people?!!

I sort of long for the good old days when I thought sexuality was basically down to STRAIGHT and GAY. Ignorance is bliss folks. And my parents think: Oh, we don’t want you to die alone, and be a cat lady. Who is going to take care of you in your old age? How about the five kids I quasi-adopted? Or how about my friends, or how about I just take care of myself?

I’m concentrating on my career because for the first time in my life I know what I want to do with the rest of it. I love being an artist, and I love blogging. I want to make a career out of both.  So I’m working to do just that. And if I work hard, I will do that, but it’s a long road to success, especially if you are starting with zero experience in anything other than house making and kid wrangling.

I’ also afraid of success, and that is holding me back, folks. Like I know I should be promoting myself more, but there is a part of me that is afraid that I’m just going to screw up and not meet everyone’s expectations.  But I’m going to put my big girl panties on and be a freaking adult.

Anyway, this blog post is such a mess. I apologize if you managed to make your way through it. I got to get going. I have dishes to clean, and fic to read.  TaTa For Now!

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