About Me

I've decided to take part in another Instagram/ creative challenge for the month of November. This one is a wood burning challenge hosted by @woodburncorner with #burntnovember  The tasks are every other day, so already pretty relaxed compared to the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge from September. I have already come to terms with the fact that I might not complete them all. I have not even uploaded all of my work from the 30 in 30challenge to my website, I have a few commissions that are pretty urgent, & Christmas is coming up. One solution is to kill a few birds with one stone & word burn some of the Christmas presents this year. Most of the people I gift to are not on Instagram, so it works out.  

Day 1 is titled "About Me." I knew immediately what I wanted to do. It was simple, quick, & is the easiest way to show me, my logo. Back to back jj. June Jewell. I love my name. I got made fun of plenty for it growing up. There was a short period in middle school I wanted people to call me Katie, but other than that, I have always loved my name. 

jj-pyro

Who am I though? 

Now that I'm married & have a son, I feel like I push myself to the back burner constantly. I don't really feel myself or think about myself much at all until my husband comes home from work. On the whole, I'm ok with it, but sometimes, I just want to lock myself in a room for a weekend & paint. I haven't shopped for clothing for me in the 16 months since his birth...minus a couple shirts from the thrift store. I don't shower like I used to, which is fine. I've really decided that I was quite wasteful with water. I forget to brush my hair after showering & it sometimes becomes a tangled mess. I have to push myself to eat meals & drink water. I don't sleep much anymore. My husband & I don't have s much time together. I feel like these are normal mom things. I know I'm not alone in this, but it's still hard.   

I have been asked "how are you?" like 600 times in the past two years since I've become pregnant & had Calvin. I don't know if I've answered honestly once. Sometimes I'll say "tired," but mostly I'm "fine." That's a loaded word. Sometimes it means "ugh, things could be better" & sometimes it's just such an automatic response. I feel like "how are you?" is very rarely sincere these days & I only really answer sincerely when I feel it's being asked by someone that's genuinely curious. A cashier will ask, but not answer when I ask in response. A neighbor will ask while passing on the sidewalk, but keep walking before I've opened my mouth. 

Each day parts of me lose a little bit of faith in humanity, while other parts know how truly great humans can be. Raising a child has always been difficult, but I feel like now, with all of this knowledge (& "alternative facts") out there, it can be so dang stressful to get through one decision. I need an outlet for these emotions & painting soothes me like nothing else. 

My son is my world. He is the smartest, sweetest child I could've asked for & I am so blessed that I can stay home with him. Someone asked me recently to describe my day in as few words as possible. "Day mom, night artist." I need this time when he's asleep to be me, to turn off the mom in me. I usually have a laundry list of things that I'd like to do during this time & am bummed when I just want to paint or am too tired to get much of anything done.

I've painted my whole adult life, sometimes once a week or month, sometimes I would go months without putting brush to canvas. This year, I have not feel right if I have not been painting or being creative in some way every single day. I'm trying to figure out a way to dive deeper into my subconscious, I guess, to paint what I cannot say, which means exploring different types of works.

I don't get around to the administrative portion of my practice nearly as much as I would like to. There are always pieces to upload, prints to order, portfolio stuff, marketing, emails to send, the newsletter, updating facebook or instagram, blogging, etc. I figure, I'll catch up when I don't feel the need to be as creative or if I hit a block.

Trying to make everything in your feed look unified & cohesive is exhausting & I've given up. My art is what comes out. It's not very focused, it doesn't all look alike. I have cute & colorful animals right alongside random & messy abstracts. I use whatever colors my hands gravitate towards, I don't have a set pallette. Not a lot of thought goes into my work. It's all very intuitive. I spend too much time in my head during the day. My art is where my head goes to shut off for a bit.  

Well, enough of this rambling. I really should get some sleep, so I can try to make sense of life again tomorrow. 

Much Love,

jj

Me, Too.

me-too

Me, too. Where do I start?

It all started last night when I saw this post on Facebook

If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too." as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

The first time I saw it, I considered posting, but hesitated. Why?

I then saw it again 3 times before I decided to post. Between posting & falling asleep, another 6 friends had posted & by morning at least 20 friends (my mom included), had posted.

This is not ok. This should not be normal. This is not normal. You know it's all around you. Sexual assault & harassment are happening all the time, right alongside racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, disability discrimination, transphobia, ageism, sizeism, etc. 

I was not raped, but have had things happen that I am able to move on from, even some that I know I've suppressed, times when all I can remember is a dark cloud looming.

For me, this is in the past. Not to say that I am immune from it happening again, but that this is not currently something that I deal with. So many other human beings, girls, boys, women, men, transgender folks struggle with this on a daily basis.  I say humans first, because that’s what we are even though I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, I am a person & do not deserve to be treated as “less than.” 

My experiences started out with your typical cat calling & slow driver. I don't remember how old I was the first time, but I couldn't have been more than 12. When men followed me, as a pedestrian or slowly in their vehicles, which happened a lot throughout my life, I would tense up. There's not much you can do. Scream? Run? Pray? 

"Where are you off to? Need a ride?" 

"Uh, no thank you. " 

Luckily, that was always enough. They would either speed off, I would lose them by going into a space space, or they would lose interest.  Sometimes I would write down a license plate, sometimes I would go back home, sometimes go into a fast food restroom to rinse my face or have a good cry. I had men try to follow me home & I had to hang out a grocery store until I felt safe, but never speaking up. 

I may have told a security guard a time or two, but my concerns were always met with "you can hang out here for a bit" which is basically the equivalent to a shrug. 

I don't know what it exactly that makes you feel ashamed of being the victim of harassment. Maybe I thought that no one would believe me? Maybe I thought I was the only one? Maybe I thought that I had done something, had I dressed too provocatively? Was I walking a certain way? Should I not be where I am? What about me said “talk to me”?

Nothing. It was not about me, but took me years to figure that out.  

Watching my friends around me blossom was difficult, I was small-chested & made to feel inferior about it. I was told by a boy in middle school that no one would marry me unless I “growed boobies.” It’s laughable now, but really hurt then. It hurt when the world around me showed women as these curvy beings, the girls around me were buying& filling in bras, & all I had for the longest time was protruding nipples. 

The internet was a whole other world. It is so much easier to harass people that you cannot see. Strangers asking to see pictures of you nude, asking where you live, how old are you, what are you wearing, etc. They didn’t care that I was a minor, they wouldn’t have cared if I was ugly or had no boobs. They were just there, chatting away, jerking off over the slightest thing.  

I had just moved to CA from MN & was just trying to make new friends my age, but instead was having conversations with much older men that lied about being teenage girls so that they could meet up for a smoothie. I only know this because it happened twice! Once I was with another friend of mine & we were able to flee & another time I had a bad sense of things when I showed up & turned around. 

By 15, many of my friends were bragging about having sex. I was a "prude" & ok with that. 

In 10th grade, I wrote a poem in a school journal about being raped. I wasn’t raped, but felt like I knew how easy it was to be raped & no one would know or care. My English teacher, a woman, never commented, but did sign her initials next to the entry letting me know that she had either read it, or at least had checked that it was done. 

At 16, I had my first boyfriend. He was very sweet at first. Then, maybe 2 weeks in, he became a sex crazed, hormonal nightmare. He was always pressing me to do more than I felt comfortable & blamed me for his blue balls. I knew, though, that wasn’t right. I didn’t need that. I dumped him. He made sure to let me know a few days later that some other girl had "given it up" & was a much better kisser. Whatever. 

So many boys were pressuring to have sex or to do any sort of sexual act. 

Friendliness was very often mistaken for flirting. Smiling & laughing were basically seen as open invitations. Unwanted advances, kisses forced on closed lips, a groping or two pushed away. 

I can't tell you how many times I said "no." , "NO!" , or "Stop!" No, I wasn't asking for it. I was scared out of my mind. 

It seemed like everyone at school knew I was a virgin. I wasn't bothered by that, but it made me think of all of the girls that weren’t, they just went along with it all. Sure, some were in love & a few later got married, but mostly it was teenage lust, oozing. I wasn’t immune & was interested in it all myself, but I felt like things had to be “just right.”

Male friends that would, out of the kindness of their own hearts, offer a ride, always seemed to want something in return at the end. "Nope, but thanks for the ride." 

It seemed like anyone that did anything nice for you would have this unspoken agreement with you that you were supposed to give something in return & I became very defensive, stating my intentions before anything happened. 

"We're just friends. I'm not interested. "

"Whoa, conceded."

" You're jumping to conclusions."

" I don't even like you like that." 

"I heard you were a virgin."

There was something in the eyes, though, that said otherwise. 

Boys & men would become defensive when you turned them down, too.

"Fine, you're ugly anyway."

"Heh, whatever. You don't even have boobs." 

"You've got a bigger mustache than I do."

"I can do better than you." 

"I like my women with a little more meat on their bones anyway."

This was always funny to me. Oh, you don't want me now that I've turned you down? What if I were suddenly interested? Would you apologize & take me back? Oh, please? I want you so bad. 

I used to take public transportation a lot from 17-22. Having someone rub themselves into your hip or try to graze behind you was not unusual & I usually just rolled my eyes. Men would offer up seats next to them, I would decline. One time I sat on the bus, felt a tug of my hair & felt it pulled & heard it being sniffed. I grabbed my bag, & got off the bus. It was not my stop, but I knew where I was. 

"Muey buenita!" "Mamcita!" "Look at those legs" "Woo Wee!" "Wanna come home with me?"

These are supposed to be compliments, I'm sure, but made me feel so uncomfortable & insulted. I wondered if that ever worked. 

Many of my relationships started out as friendships & blossomed into more. Strangely enough, I had difficulties trusting men.

If I had any restoration in the male sex, it was because of my stepdad. I saw how he treated my mom & I knew that I, too, deserved to be respected & loved like that. I don’t remember talking to my mom about any of this. I don’t really think I spoke to anyone. Things happened, I might have a cry, but then I’d try to forget. Not normal. She was as safe of a space as I could’ve had & still didn’t talk about it. I think that is typical, though. Girls & women just grin & bear it, like it’s supposed to happen. It’s not. 

Most of the things mentioned & so much more happened between the ages of 15-22. I lived in Burbank & Los Angeles. The funny thing is that I always look back at my time there so fondly. I think about the good things. I think about the friends that I had that protected me from so much, but not the fact that they also put me in uncomfortable situations in which these things happened. 

I think about going to FIDM, but not the times that I quickly scurried away from from a predatory male for the 2 blocks from the metro to where the security guards at the school were within sight. 

I think about the art scene, but not the times where I had to take 2 boxes of my paintings on a bus only to have my ass smacked by a man while exiting the bus. 

I think about the beach, but not the lewd comments received while walking down the boardwalk in my bikini. 

I think about the 4 years I spent doing extra work, but not of the comments made by fellow extras or a p.a. or a craft service guy, or whoever the heck that guy was. 

I think about the amazing house I lived in with a multitude of roommates, but not the one time that one got drunk & forced his tongue down my throat. 

Overall, my views of California are good ones. I felt scared at times, but because nothing "major" had happened, I felt lucky. The sex was always consensual, I was not physically injured, I never got an STD. I got away unscathed. 

Oh, but one other thing I hated about LA, & I feel as though this should be considered as sexual abuse of another kind, is the non-exclusivity of relationships, the serial dating, stringing girls along with no intention of being faithful. Having come from the Midwest at 14 & having an idea of what healthy relationships looked like, this always boggled my mind. No one wanted to be with me more than just sexually.

Of all of the things that happened to me, this was by far, what hurt me the most. I had two (what I would consider) boyfriends in my early 20s. One for 9 months, another on & off for 2 years. Neither one of them wanted to use titles. I was not their “girlfriend” & they were not my boyfriend...to them. I had considered both of them to be boyfriends, not really talking about the whole logistics of the relationship. We had "the talk" about being exclusive much too late in the relationship. 

Both relationships I did not suspect a thing. We spent pretty much all non-working hours together, I hung out with both of their friends, they never got texts or phone calls while with me, but to them, I wasn't enough. They "cared" about me, but I wasn't enough. 

With the nine month guy, we were laying in bed when he brought up his girlfriend. Wait. What? What the actual fuck? What a lovely way to tell me that you've started to date someone else & more seriously, even though that is all I've wanted from you was that stupid title. 

With the two year guy, he was never really vocal about his affections, but that was ok with me. We had a good thing going & cared about each other. After a year, I assumed that he would at least refer to me as his girlfriend. Wrong. Nope, I wasn't going to meet his parents & in fact they didn't even know I existed. We broke up. He missed me, apologized, insisted things would change, etc., but after a year of him having good days & bad, I broke up with him. He tried to get me back, but ultimately I knew I had to be strong. 

I knew I deserved better, someone that would be proud to call me his. 

I moved back to Virginia & shortly after moving here, I met my husband. We started as friends but before I had really even considered it, he was calling himself my boyfriend. He couldn't imagine not having that with me & that was all I needed. It was so easy to be loved by him & to love him back. We've been together 9 years & I have always felt respected & loved by him. 

Society doesn’t help women feel safe about coming forward, because women do come forward & nothing happens. Their voice isn’t heard, so it is quieted. Certain things are just so ingrained into our world, that they feel normal, but shouldn’t. Someone in your life needs to tell you what is acceptable vs. what is complete bullshit. 

One time, I visited my dad in Virginia while I was living in LA. I was maybe 21 & was wearing blue eye shadow. My dad picked me up from the airport & the first thing he said was “Wow, blue eye shadow? I didn’t know I raised a whore.” I was furious & we didn’t talk for the car ride from the airport to my grandparent’s house. I was so used to his comments that I debated in the ride whether I should actually be mad. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn blue eye shadow? No, fuck that.  There were so many things that man has said in my life that I fear have only made me more comfortable with abuse. 

He is an alcoholic. He has said inappropriate things about me or my friends that he often forgets that he’s said & sometimes even later repeats. He recently owned up to his asshole behavior, stating that it amuses him, so that’s where he stands. I guess that’s where they all stand. It amuses them, so they continue until someone tells them it’s not ok. Most continue beyond that, until it no longer amuses them. 

It is all a power trip. These men feel as though they are owed something. I have been verbally harassed by mainly white, black, & hispanic men. I'm sure most of them were in relationships, had kids, respectable jobs, etc. None of that stopped them from doing what they did. Nothing in their mind said, "Hey, wait a sec. This isn't right." The straight up audacity it takes to yell something at someone or to touch someone without not only their consent, but knowledge it's going to happen is beyond me. I cannot fathom being so brazen, so unapologetic about such harmful behavior. 

I defended this "me, too." movement today when a woman claimed she was going to start a #notme movement to run right along side, because at "60+" she has not been assaulted or "seriously harassed" & she called #metoo the "women as a victim" movement.  These are the same peope spouting "all lives matter" to me. These are the people that think only about what is happening to them, right now. If it doesn't affect me, it doesn't matter & it's a freaking plague. 

I am proud of who I am today. I could never condone sexual abuse of any kind, but what happened to me is part of my history & who I am. The thing is, though, womenwill become who they are meant to be without that shit, too. If it weren't for that shit happening, I wouldn't be who I am, but someone else just as great. I carry my stories & voice my past, to help others find theirs.  

I feel I have to be conscious of so much more now that I am a mom. I want to be open about my experiences, so that my children will have empathy for those around them. This world needs more kind-heartedness, more straight up love. This world does not need more rape. 

art

Day 18/30 of 30 in 30

Today (technically yeserday as it's passed midnight) is day 18 of the passion color joy 30 paintings in 30 days art challenge. I've started 71 pieces since Sept. 1! Whoa. 

Of those 71,  20 are finished. Many others are close. 

The first night I think I started 12 paintings & I think most of those were scrapped (though definitely not thrown away, I will come back to them. I hate throwing art away/wasting) I've been so super inspired & have spent basically every spare moment I can get my grubby little hands on painting like a wild woman. I started doing these watercolor with acrylic background paintings that I had never done.

I have painted on a wide variety of sizes of canvas & paper. I had originally cut out 20 pieces of paper, prepped 30 canvases & was going to focus on working on just those with a strict color pallet. That did not happen. I started the month only really painting an hour each night, but some days was able to get as many as 3-4 hours, which I hope to make a more regular thing. I didn't have one moment where I was like, dang what am I going to paint tonight?

I just sat down & painted & I am honestly so proud of myself. I tried out some new color combinations I wouldn't have ordinarily chosen, some forms I wasn't quite sure if I liked, but I stuck with it. I obviously have some pieces that need some tweaking, but even to say that I've done 20 pieces in 18 days is such an accomplishment for me. Honestly there's only 1 or 2 pieces that I really truly enjoy & want to hang up. &(!) they're both pink, which I would not have expected myself to like. I'm a big time green & blue with a subtle yellow, orange, maybe pink kind of girl. 

This challenge only further proves that I have to make sure to carve out time for art. I've spent many of the nights listening to the Jealous Curator podcast from the beginning while painting. It's so inspirational, there's so much great advice. 

One of my favorite bits was "make piles of crap. " Not everything is going to be mind blowing, I've come to terms that my work is very experimental & that a lot of my work is going to be more of a lesson on how to get to where I want to be. Actually, it's more of a lesson on letting go of where I want to be & just going where the inspiration takes me. 

Let art happen.  

If on August 31st, you would've asked me what I wanted to do with these 30 days & shown me this collection of work that I've done in the past 18 days, I don't know that I would've believed you. Some of this work is so not the typical work that I would do, but I'm still pleased with it. 

I have a trip coming up in a few days to NM to see my mom with my 15 month old son. I hope I'll be able to get some painting done there, but since I don't get back until Oct. 4th, this might just be all I have to show for this month. I'm ok with that. It's more than I can say I've done in one month in probably years. 

I will definitely be pushing myself more in the future. 

surface design, art

Fabric Line

gamma-quilt

june jewell

fabric designer?

Hello all!

In my many years of creating art, I have done things that I occasionally forget about. I sometimes even forget to mention that I'm an artist at all these days now that MOM is so much a part of my identity. As much as I absolutely adore being a mother, I am feeling more & more of a pull to my art as Cal grows older. 

When I was very heavily into vector artwork, I started to submit my designs to Spoonflower & Zazzle as a (very) passive bit of income. I get notifications that I've sold a yard or two or a postcard once every couple of months. It's such a nice surprise. Aww, yay! They like it. 

I wish sometimes that I had more of a drive to create something with the fabric, to start really sewing bags, shirts, dresses, whatever. Goodness knows my wardrobe could use a little color! So much black & gray...ugh. But I can never seem to find something that I like that isn't an arm & a leg for this SAHM wardrobe budget.

Anyway!  I am not especially talented behind a sewing machine. I've made a few bags & pillow cases, but nothing that I was just so proud of that it drove me to work harder & get better. My mama, however, is a crafty sewist. She makes quilts, stuffed animals, & her dolls (which I posted about a little while back). She made Calvin this quilt for my baby shower with pieces of my fabric designs. I see it all of the time & think, I wonder how many of my friends & family even know about this aspect of my practice... 

My Cali Boo cuddling under his Gamma's quilt. 

My Cali Boo cuddling under his Gamma's quilt. 

robin-quilt2
Robin
skunk-quilt-patch
deer-quilt-patch
bunny-quilt-patch

In order to post a fabric design for sale on Spoonflower, you have to buy at least a swatch of the fabric to test the colors. So I have over a hundred swatches sitting in a box. Wth am I supposed to do with them? I had planned on shopping them around to different upholstery & interior design shops. I contacted a few with no response I don't know maybe 6 years ago & kind of put it in the back of my mind. This quilt is now such a reminder that I need to not only try to market this avenue, but also get back into designing for it, because even if it's not especially profitable, it is such a good feeling when someone buys a yard to make a dress or a pillowcase because they just love squirrels & had to have it.   

The possibilities are endless with fabric. I want to do DIY dolls, pet portraits, custom prints, turn some of my more recent abstract works into fabric. 

So much fun stuff to think about creating, so little time to actually do it. 

Much love,

jj 

art

30 in 30

For some reason, this month, I've decided to take part of Passion Color Joy's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Earlier this week, we took a trip to the beach & later in the month, I'm taking Cali to NM solo, so this should be interesting. The first night I went crazy. I must've started 10. 

Today is day 9 & my brain is absolute mush. I have tapped into some new methods I will be continuing with in the future, but I have not started 9 paintings, or even 30, but have at least started somewhere around 40 paintings, most smaller pieces, some on canvas, some on paper. All of them are abstracts. I had started with the intent on doing a limited color scheme & wanting to do a certain amount of each size, & a certain amount paper vs. canvas. Well, that went out the window fast. It doesn't look as cohesive as I'd like, but I've already learned a lot about my process. It needs improvement. I'm too easily distracted, too impulsive. Who knows? It may pay off in the end. 

I only have from around 10:10 PM - about 11 to work on my art each night. Some nights I work on watercolors in bed, but mainly that's my window. Nick had time off this last week, so I was able to focus on it a little more & tomorrow's Sunday, so I hope to get a little more in then, too.

So? Where am I? Do I have 9 finished pieces? Honestly? I don't know if I even have 1 that I'm completely satisfied with. I have quite a few that are finished...as in I'm not touching them anymore. Ok, there are a few that I like, but not really my usual taste. They're growing on me.

I will post the complete 30 when I return from NM in early Oct., but until then, you can see them on my instagram, www.instagram.com/junejewell 

This one reminds me of Matisse's The Dance.

This one reminds me of Matisse's The Dance.

This is watercolor & acrylic. Not the best picture as it's a much bigger photo, but this is what I had on my phone, so we'll go with it. 

This is watercolor & acrylic. Not the best picture as it's a much bigger photo, but this is what I had on my phone, so we'll go with it. 

24-48 Hours

From 12:01AM this morning, I'm assuming is how long I have to wait for my domain name to shut down with my previous server. There's this strange bit of anxiety surrounding the possibility that it may potentially get scooped up between that time & me attempting to link it to my squarespace account. Right now, it says that the name is taken, but the site is officially down, so now I just wait & keep trying. 

I grew up thinking I had such an original name. June Jewell. I was told how unique it was over & over again, but in the age of google, I now know that not only am I not the only June Jewell, but I'm not even the only June Jewell in the state of Virginia & that there are at least 2 others! :O

Still, I couldn't imagine having had a different name. It's such a natural thing for me to answer. Even now that I've legally had my married name for 2+ years, I will always be June Jewell in my heart & June Jewell in my art. I will continue to sign with my back to back j's.

 

 

Small Business Overwhelm

There are entirely too many details surrounding getting a business started. The past few weeks, I've listened to podcast, watched webinars, browsed blogs. Essentially each one had at least one detail I had not yet really considered.

Newsletter? No, those are kind of spammy. But! You can use them in this way & it will really help keep track of your fans. Oh, ok. Sign me up for one of those...now I just have to design it. / Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC / Which shipping method is right for me? Should I get a digital scale?/  On Instagram, do I put things in the stories yet or should I wait until I get more followers to utilize this feature. Tracking followers with excel, tracking expenses, tracking sales, tracking tracking

The list of details continues throughout the day, but mostly has been keeping me up at night. Oh, there's that thing I wanted to get. Light on. Write it down. Light off. Go to sleep already...Oh! But!

Not to mention the fact that I've got Calvin to watch & think about all day. There's such a little amount of time in the day for all of this & I wonder what I'll do if this actually takes off. One step at a time.  

I had a few people look over the site with helpful feedback. I changed a few things. & then a few more things. I added things here & there. I'm glad I gave myself time to get this started before just mindlessly throwing it up. Well, I didn't so much give myself time as I didn't know that I had to wait my current domain name subscription out before I could swap it out. I was going to just cut that old one off there & then & switch over, but this way I have until the 22nd to get my affairs (at least a little more) in order. 

There will always something that should be or could be done, but, at some point, you have to release. I have to put the computer down, look over at my sleeping babe, soak it in, take a deep breath, & find rest myself. <3

Be Love With Me Dolls & Guest House Kitchen

In about a month & a half, I will be visiting my mama in New Mexico! I'm excited, but slightly anxious about flying alone with Calvin. It'll all work out, I know. I am bummed about leaving Nick behind, but I think he's  got the shorter stick staying home in an empty house. :( 

I have not seen my mama since last October, which is hard for us as we are close. What I'm most excited about is the bonding between Cali & his Gamma, meeting his grandpa Bill & great-grandma LaVonne, hot springs, my mom's freshly baked breads & pastries, our business brainstorming sessions. I've been having so many possibility-dream like thoughts lately. Last time I was there we were thinking up Not So Typical Baby. I had screen prints & my mom made I think 20 bibs in 2 days. It was a crazy whirlwind of creativity. There's no one here I've really found to be creative with. 

One of my mama's beautiful, handmade dolls. 

One of my mama's beautiful, handmade dolls. 

Anyway, I'm also quite excited to help my mama out with her social media presence. She makes these gorgeous handmade dolls. Here's a link to her Etsy shop if you're interested. She also last year opened up a cottage kitchen in her guest house & has been selling baked yummy goodies at her local farmer's market. She knows most people that frequent the market & sells out most weekends, but I think a facebook group would only help boost sales. I think helping her to market herself will push me to do better marketing my own work.  

I thought I would try to take tonight's entry off of the fact that I have not yet completed this site. I feel so close, but should give myself credit as I only have so much time to work on it each day. 

 

It seems...

the more I do to the website, the more I want to add. I want to get better about editing down my work, but instead I keep adding layers & can't figure out when to stop. Sometimes I go too far & regret it. At least with this, I can always go back & delete something if I don't like it. Paintings don't quite work like that. I know I keep saying this, but we're getting close!

I was way off...

I keep finding new things to add. It's still coming along nicely. I only have 8 days to upgrade from the trial version, so it will definitely done before then! More paintings to list & more content to organize. But first, sleep! <3

Likely Tomorrow

I'm excited to get this up & running. It looks way better than my current site & has a shop, which I'm extremely thrilled about. Bye bye Etsy! I did a lot of the branding stuff tonight, banners, logo, sale signage, etc. on Nick's computer as I do not have Illustrator or Photoshop on my computer anymore since my old laptop died. 

I still want to list a few more paintings & possibly some prints for sale & have to work out the billing, canceling my other host & transferring my domain name. My domain was about to expire anyway, so this may be more or less complicated, I'm not sure. Anyway, I've got a little more work to do before bed. Goodnight, WWW! <3

Almost There

I'm getting closer each day. Tonight I uploaded about 12 paintings into the shop as well as found some old paintings on my external hard drive to add to my archives. I am thinking I would like to create a page for previously designed logos & invites. I have done a number of both, but will have to do some searching on my external hard drive & possibly even get someone to unload all of my old hard drive from my craptastic mactop, which won't even turn on. 

Last night Nick came up to bed at 1AM & asked what I was doing. "Working on my website. This is the only time I'm able to do this." It's now 12:35AM. Today was a long day. Maybe I ought to hit the hay a little earlier tonight. This doesn't have to go up tomorrow. 

All Day Long

I kept thinking about tonight, about what I was going to do, what piece of this whole puzzle I was going to work on. I got a few pictures of pieces I want to sell today, but nothing fancy, no staged, beautifully styled photos. They're just simple photos & it lead me to want to set up an area in my home where I can take the beautifully staged photos, a place with good lighting. My house is surrounded by trees, so any window is only good for a few set hours & then darkness falls. It makes me miss Photoshop. Honestly I hate color correcting, though. I feel like you're not ever going to know the true colors until it's in your hands, right in front of you & even then what you see may be different from the person next to you. 

Ok, back to posting paintings so I can think about launching this thing. :)

Switching Website Hosts

As I lay here in bed with my 13 month old at my side, I am excited about the future. I love my life. I am able to stay home to my sweet baby boy, I have an adoring husband, I paint when I am able. & now, I am taking this next step toward selling more work. I've sold a piece here & there in the past, but mostly my paintings are gifts & for the enjoyment of us & guests of our home. Right now, my art is all over the walls, piled in my studio (our dining room), & buried away in a storage unit the next town over. Soon, however, I will open my shop to the world wide web. Who knows what that means for us? I do know that it will mean trying to take more pictures of my work while my babe clings to my feet, signing for milk & tugging at my shirt. That already happens often & is the reason I have not done this sooner.

I thought that becoming a stay-at-home mom meant that there would be so much time to paint while he napped & at night when he was asleep, but he often nurses to sleep for naps & wakes if I move from him. At night we co-sleep, which I love, but does not allow for much work. Mostly I just listen to podcasts, doodle, or search my Instagram feed. Soon, though, I hope to be posting more work, contemplating fun titles for my works, looking for inspiration for future paintings, planning out commissions, etc. I hope that I can become better at time management & can get this small business off the ground running. 

I have so many hopes for the future. I've always wanted to write & illustrate a children's book, teach more classes, maybe even start a gallery. For now I shall focus on one thing at a time. Getting this site together the way I want it, listing photos, reformatting text from my old site, etc. Actually, right now I have to focus on getting some sleep. This has waited a long while, it can certainly wait another day or two. 

Much love,

jj