A Few Random Life Thoughts/Happenings

staging-258631_1280

  • The grief from losing my kitty is starting to ease a little bit. Still a big loss, but I’m trying to focus on the future and how to bring more good things into my life right now because it feels like I could really use some good things.
  • Tonight I’m attending a poetry class at the library. The idea of the class is to use everyday castoff materials (like old ads, receipts, junk mail, etc.) as inspiration to create poetry. Thought it sounded fun and I could use the social connections right now.
  • I’m seriously thinking about auditioning for a part in a local theatre production soon. It makes me nervous as I haven’t done anything like that since school, but I feel I need to grow and add a little excitement to my life. I don’t even want a big role or anything, I just want to be a part of something fun and creative.
  • Just a thought, but I noticed something recently I wanted to share. It seems to me that when people share their darker thoughts and feelings straight out in essay form, prose, or spoken word, they are often sort of subtly shamed and told to cheer up in one way or another, which I find interesting, because when those same dark thoughts/feelings are shared in artistic forms like poetry/art, I’ve never seen people react in the same way by telling them to simply focus on the positive or cheer up. It makes me think that our darker thoughts and feelings are only really acceptable to many when slightly masked in some sort of art form. Why is that?

PlannerGirl2020 – Planning It All Out

82136421_463295661013028_7069990067317506048_n

I’ve never really been one to do the whole planner thing, but I see how much fun others seem to be having doing it on Instagram and their blogs, so I decided to give it a try. Yesterday I bought a simple but cute planner and a planner sticker kit, because I figured the cute stickers would make me more likely to “stick to it” – pun intended.

I have already set up the Jan-March months and am going to keep track of my goals I set for my art, writing, and blog this year. Here are the goals I set:

  • Create at least 2 artworks larger than ACEO cards each month (I love doing ACEO art, but want to do larger artworks as well)
  • Submit poetry to a contest or publication at least once a month (to help with this I ordered the 2020 Poet’s Market guide)
  • Promote at least 2 Instagram posts a week
  • Post on my blog every other day (pretty much keeping my current schedule)
  • Make $1,000+ selling art in 2020 (this was my goal last year too and I think I may have met it or come close, but I didn’t keep track of it well)

I like being able to set goals I can actually control like most of the ones above, rather than abstract numbers of followers/subscribers that I have no control over, although I do set a new goal for Instagram and blog followers each year just for fun.

For 2020, I am aiming for 2,000 followers on my blog and 5,000 followers on IG. Of course, I would LOVE to sail past both of those goals!!!

3 New ACEO Artworks – Fiery Forest, Cat Lantern, Abstract

It has been a little bit since I did an art post, so here are three of my favorite ACEO size artist trading card artworks I’ve made fairly recently. The first is a fiery forest oil pastel:

IMG_0052

Next, we have this cute mixed media cat lantern:

IMG_0050

And lastly, here is another oil pastel, an abstract expressionistic painting that just speaks to me on some level.

IMG_0082

I hope you liked these! Please let me know which is your favorite and why! If you want to check out the art I currently have for sale, visit my Ebay store!

Poetry – Freakish Hybrids

DSC08963

Call us freakish hybrids
or tolerably ugly plebeians,
but it does not define us.

We are a kind of chaos
prepared for a carnival
in the olde grand style.

May it become the height
of supreme folly –
or the ridicule
of the whole world,
our lives play on
as the planet
turns and turns
and changes and changes.

(Original Art & Poetry by Maranda Russell)

New Picture Book Published! “Wildly Beautiful: Playful Art & Poetry for Kids”

51tLT62mTpL

I am excited to announce that my new picture book, “Wildly Beautiful: Playful Art & Poetry for Kids”, is now available for sale on Amazon! This is the first full-length picture book that I have both illustrated and written, so I’m pretty proud of it!

The idea was born when I realized that I had quite a bit of kid-friendly art collages and decided I should write some fun poetry to go along with them and make it into a children’s book. The book very much has an indie, creative feel to it, and I’m proud of that. It encourages kids to try their own hand at creating art and poetry as well. The poems included cover a broad range of subjects – from the silly and humorous to more thoughtful and inspirational ideas.

I have been lucky enough to get a couple reviews already. One Amazon customer was kind enough to leave this 5 star review:

“The author gives a sense of magic to the ordinary with beautiful pictures and clever words to enchant young ones to set their own creativity free.”

And Ashley from Mental Health @ Home here on WordPress also reviewed the book here.

If you want to check out the book, it is available in paperback for $9.99 or on Kindle for $2.99. I hope you will check it out!

Drawing My Mood

Feeling like this little guy today. Things still not going well with my sick kitty. Feeling sad and overwhelmed. Wishing it wasn’t the holidays when I have family/social responsibilities pressing down on me too. On the plus side, I have been selling a lot of my art and books, but hard to feel too celebratory. Your kind comments and care have helped though. Please know that.

IMG_0039

Frustrations of Self-Publishing – New Book On the Way!

laptop-3087585_1280

I spent hours yesterday and will likely spend more time today trying to format my new book for publishing on Amazon. The new book is a combination of some of my more colorful, playful artworks and poetry bits for kids. I used the art itself to inspire the poetry. I think the book will turn out great once I finally get the kinks worked out with the formatting.

One thing I really wish Amazon would do is to make it easier to format books using Word, especially if you use quite a few images in the book. For some reason, Amazon can not recognize when you split up content on different pages in Word, at least not when images are mixed in. It is pretty frustrating sometimes.

Once I get the book done, can proof the hard copy, and get it up for sale, I’ll definitely be sharing it with you all. I hope you will like it!