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Putting It All Together

By | Art, Real Life | No Comments

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.

juggling

The Juggling Act

By | Art, Real Life | No Comments

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!

I’m Alive!

By | Real Life | No Comments

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!

 

 

Open Doors and Milestones

By | Blog, Real Life | No Comments

So yeah, I have been just reblogging political posts, but I thought it was high time for me to give you guys an update. I have been working, and by working I mean I have been working on my blog. My blog has gotten a lot more popular and I really have been concentrating on getting an ENGAGED audience and gradually monetizing my blog WTF The Mortal Instruments?!

I had to put Dress Them Up on hiatus, I have a feeling that blog is going to be big one day, but I’m putting all of my efforts into WTFTMI. Honestly, I can’t believe that it’s almost a year since this started that blog and I’m so happy how much this past year blogging as changed me as a person.

I was so afraid of stepping on any toes, I was so afraid to use my voice in the beginning days and now It has been worth every challenge I had to face and there endless ways for this blog to grow over time.

I’m also back to doing Graphic Design, no pure professional designs but I have been doing a lot of  fandom stuff because not only do I love to do it but because it’s a way to get my name out there.  I mean, my first clients were people from Fandom and I really hope that trend runs true. I think I’m going to do more fandom events as well and start networking and getting better at it.

The one thing that my year blogging at WTFTMI and finishing City of Ashes gave me the confidence to get back to writing. I have been writing by Dragon Natural Speaking, but it turns out it’s hard to dictate anything with kids. So I’m back to my old method of writing and using Text to Speech programs to proofread, which is annoying, but I had to do that with Dragon anyway.

I think I’m going to work my way into publishing my own book as well. But right now I’m taking it day by day, and I’m not going to rush it at all.  I’m just going to learn everything I can in the meanwhile.

Personally, I’m still waiting for my sister’s baby to come home. The babies came early and one of the babies, unfortunately, died in the womb. So now, we are waiting for all the red tape and stuff to finish before he comes home. We thought he would be home this week, but we still had some bureaucratic bullshit to deal with.

Also this week, the younger of my Irish Twins had a birthday yesterday and it was a low key thing. Niyah turned two years old yesterday. She was very excited about the cake and the ice cream and I can’t believe that they are both two years old. It’s more than a little alarming that they growing up so damn fast. A part of me wants to keep them little forever and another part of me wants them to hurry up and go to school so I can have eight blissful hours of quiet.

Anyway, I’m off to finish some much-needed projects and I will give you another update soon.

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