A short bit of creative advice

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After a few years of being a professional writer/artist, I have come to a sad yet seemingly true conclusion – in order to be a success in any creative field, you have to adopt somewhat of a f***-it attitude. In other words, you have to stop caring so much what people think. Yes, some people will hate your work no matter how great it is…but on the up side, some people will love your work even when it sucks. Hopefully in the end it evens out.

If you dare to create work dealing with important subjects, you are bound to eventually come under attack from people who disagree with you. Many times it won’t be your work they dislike but your point of view…unfortunately most people are unable to be objective about anything relating to subjects they are passionate about. Learn to shrug your shoulders at the oddities of human nature and let it go.

Remember that in the end it is yourself you must please as an artist. There is nothing wrong with making money from your creations or even becoming popular, but always make sure to stay true to yourself. Make what you love. Make a contribution that only you could make.

My blog is growing! 2014 in review

Check out these cool facts about my blog stats! I had about 13,000 views in 2014 from 123 countries! Wow! Thanks to all who read and support this blog of mine! I hope you continue to enjoy it!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

All the world’s a stage and we are merely players

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Today I’ve been thinking about relationships and reminiscing about not only current relationships, but all the ones I can remember in my 32 years. As I considered the bonds between myself and a myriad of other sentient beings, I began to see my life as some kind of play or movie. Of course, I thought of myself as the central character (since I can only live in my mind) but I also decided which other people would be main characters right now (my husband, mom and cats were the first to come to mind). After that, I looked at supporting characters, which right now would be extended family, church friends, people I talk to frequently on Facebook and colleagues of the art/writing/autism community. Lastly, I thought of the minor characters or even “extras” – those people who aren’t a regular part of my life and may not even know my name but can still affect my mood and spirit by how they choose to treat me in the moments we share.

As I was busy drawing these influential connections in my mind, I found the list growing and growing. People who were once a big part of my life but now aren’t or those people who I have never met in person but either inspired or horrified me by the things they did or said. I thought of how certain musicians, authors and historical figures have had a huge impact on my thoughts, beliefs and values. As I kept thinking, I almost felt like the idea was getting too big for my head to hold. The sheer number of lives that have touched mine is amazing. I know I have impacted many of them as well – both for good and bad (but hopefully more good than bad). I even thought about how many people I may have greatly influenced without even realizing it. Since there are many people who may never know how much they meant to my life journey, I’m sure that I have probably been the same to others without knowing it.

So here I would like to take a moment to say thank you to EVERYONE who has had a part in my life. You have helped make me who I am and as imperfect as I still am, I like the person I’m growing into. I miss many of you who I don’t see or speak to regularly anymore. Never think I quit loving or caring about you. Some of you have filled me with hope in moments of despair and I thank you, even though you may never know what you meant to me and I may not even consciously remember who said and did what. Some of you I hope to grow to know better, because I feel that there is something in my soul that recognizes something in yours. Some I have walked away from intentionally, but that doesn’t mean our relationship wasn’t important to me, just that for one reason or another I needed to grow elsewhere for a while. In the end, I like to think that even over distance and time, our memories and souls keep us connected.

International art, new books and killer warts

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New literary anthology featuring some of my poetry and art.

This is just a short blog post about some exciting things going on in my life recently, mostly good, but some rough spots too.

First off, I am happy to say that I am definitely an international artist now! My artwork has been bought by art lovers and collectors in the US, Canada, Australia, France, England, Wales and Switzerland. My art has been exhibited in at least a couple countries outside of the US as well! In the future, I would love to add some Asian, African or South American countries to that list! I want to thank all those who have been purchasing my art lately. The extra income has been great, but even more importantly, it makes me happy to know that my art has touched the lives of others.

Next, I am pleased to announce that two of my drawings and three of my poems were featured in the recently released literary anthology, “Not Dead Yet: An Anthology of Survivor Poetry“. As you can probably tell from the title, this collection features artists and authors who have dealt with great suffering in one form or another and have lived to tell about it. I was proud to be a part of this project, since it celebrates strength, resilience and hope.

I have finished writing my new book, “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds” and plan on releasing it soon! This book features prose and poetry about subjects like spirituality, philosophy and psychology. It is a personal book, but the wide-ranging subject matter also makes it universal.

On the health front (which is usually the downfall in life for me), I have had an extremely painful battle with plantar warts recently. The last time I had these issues I was 12 and had surgery to remove them, so I was hopeful it would never come back, and yet, here it is. It has gotten to the point this week that I had to bust out my grandfather’s old walker to help me move around the house. It is a little bit funny to be a woman in her 30’s using a walker to get around, but it is kind of sad and foreboding as well. I can’t help but think of the future and wonder how many times I will have to use it again. Last night I fell in the bathroom just trying to get out of the bath tub. Laying there on the ground with a nasty bruise growing on my hip, I thought about how lucky I am to still have strong bones that don’t shatter or break easily. It makes me thankful, but sad for those who aren’t as fortunate.

Those magical little moments that make life worthwhile

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For the last few days, my husband and I have been out of town, attempting to squeeze in a little vacation before summer ends. We didn’t go too far away from home, just enough to see some new sights and break up the monotony of our normal routine. While away, I bought a new book entitled “My One Line A Day”. The book is similar to a journal or diary but is set up a little differently. Each day for the next three years, I am supposed to write one line about my day in the appointed spaces in the book, leaving an interesting record to keep and reflect on after the three years are over. Honestly, I’m not sure if I will remember to write every single day, but I figured since I only had to write one line every day, that I could hopefully handle that.

I am currently on my third day writing in the book and I have noticed something interesting. First of all, it can be hard to sum up an entire day in one or two sentences! For this reason, I have decided to focus on the “highlight” or “happiest” thing I remember from each day. Interestingly, I have found that the highlights I remember are not the big things. What made me happiest the last few days wasn’t the tourist attractions, the big events or acquiring new “stuff”. Instead, I wrote about spotting a snapping turtle in a tiny runoff from a nearby creek and feeding sparrows bits of my bagel at an outdoor café. I haven’t written my line for today yet, but again I think it will probably be one of the smaller things, such as seeing my cats again after being away for several days or the delicious decadence of enjoying a chocolate covered strawberry.

I am definitely interested to see how this little project keeps going over time. It is amazing when you truly pause to think about what made you happiest on a particular day. I would encourage everyone to try something similar and see what you come up with. You may be surprised to find out what brings you the most joy and what doesn’t seem to matter that much at all by the end of the day. If you want to get one of these books for yourself to chronicle your next three years, you may be able to pick one up at your local bookstore or you can order one from Amazon or another online retailer.

My Brand New Video Diary/Blog

Right now due to an injury with my right shoulder/arm/back/neck area I can’t type, write or even draw too much. So I figured this would be a good time to start the YouTube video diary/blog I’ve been thinking about making. I am attaching the link to the first video where I basically just introduced myself and the subjects I will likely feature on the video blog series:

New ebook release! “Through the Eyes of a Child: An Aspie’s Art Journal”

One of the many pictures featured in my art journal. Find out how this painting and many other pictures were inspired!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to take a few minutes today to tell you all about my newest Kindle ebook release! This ebook is entitled “Through the Eyes of a Child: An Aspie’s Art Journal” and is available from Amazon for only $.99!

In case you are wondering, “why an art journal”? It is because:

A) I love art! I love to create art, I love to share my art and I love to get feedback on my art. I also love to inspire others to create their own art and celebrate the amazing power of human creativity.

B) I wanted to share my own creative process and the way my “Aspie” brain works. Many times having Asperger’s is thought of as a negative thing, like there is something really wrong with us. However, I think having Asperger’s definitely has some upsides, including our different way of looking at things and the way we manage to keep that innocent, naïve spirit that most people lose once they reach adulthood. Sometimes others see this innocence as childishness, but I prefer to think of it as child-likeness. With the heart of a child, we retain the natural creativity, joy, independence, optimism and kindness that is missing in so much of the world today. The world needs us Aspies!

So, if you get the chance to check out my little ebook, I hope you will. Hopefully, it will entertain you with some colorful artwork, but more importantly, I hope it will inspire you to let your own inner child come out and play.