More recently, I find myself frequently taking moments for gratitude. I'm grateful for small lessons, educated and thoughtful conversations, an abundance of adventurous/creative/powerful people in my life, the love I give and receive. I'm grateful for having the things I need when I need them, being able to choose what I spend my time/money/energy on, having freedoms that I know others don't. It's a privilege to be able choose how I explore the world and through what lens. Mine is through that of creation, artistry and expression.

To me, being an artist goes beyond making things with my hands or body. It's about thinking, feeling, reflecting, adapting, engaging, interacting, expressing, problem solving, collaborating, learning. It's about having those conversations, embracing those people, seizing opportunities, enjoying processes, breaking down walls, making ideas a reality. Being an artist is more than an activity, a degree or even a lifestyle. It's who I am to my core.

I've had branding for my WiRealm jewelry business for a while now. This is something I'm very proud of and continue to market and live daily. In the last 2 years, I started installing chalkboard art at coffee shops and restaurants. From there, I was asked to develop logo & branding and collaborative installations for things other than personal use. It is amazing to be able to create things that are seen by so many people while learning new skills and having a flexible schedule. This month I committed to being an artist in a simple way - I now have business cards for me as an artist. This direction is less surreal now.


Who was a rebel growing up? I can remember many occasions where my rebellious spirit has gotten the best of me and even those around me. I don't see this stubbornness (nor many personality traits/habits) to be either good or bad, rather just part of who we are. No matter how large or small, it is an incredible feeling to choose your own discipline rather than follow what someone else tells us to do. The tricky part is to balance and target those energies and intuitions toward a direction that is actually productive.

Folks, welcome to a lovely stage of my journey of adulting! As I've personally been shifting into taking responsibility for my own path and decisions, I have been (and will continue) learning about writing contracts, buying and selling a car, finding an full time job, saving money, growing a successful business (WiRealm), defining success, learning what freelancing means (graphic arts), networking with purpose, and even choosing relationships more carefully. It's easy to be afraid of failure, afraid of success, or just the unknown. It's time to zen out, really focus my energies, and be intentional about the things I do, say, and produce. I don't know what things will look like yet, but I know good things are coming. As I do scary adult things(!), I've spent a lot of time reflecting, writing, doing the things I love, and connecting with my support system. Below are some ideas I've found as themes. Who doesn't like inspirational words?

  • Make a choice. What ever challenge you have in life, know that nothing will improve when you're standing still. Even if you don't know which decision is right or wrong - MAKE ONE! You'll see VERY soon whether you made a good one or not, but you have to start somewhere.
  • Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. Sometimes I forget that I have people around me who are smart and have experienced a lot. Whether opposite or similar experiences, you can either learn new things or feel comforted knowing you're not alone. I've been quite a sponge these last few months, opening my mind to all the things I've avoided and never thought I had to deal with.
  • Change for the better of yourself. It's easy to feel guilt for something you do or don't do or ashamed for something you are or aren't, particularly in family and relationships. Listen to what people say as guidance, but true and good change will only occur when YOU want to change, not on someone else's will. Otherwise, it is bound to result in misguidance, confusion, and resentment. Just because you respect someone doesn't mean they are right ALL of the time.
  • Make quiet time for yourself. I have a habit of saying yes to extra work shifts are offered to me, all desperate volunteer requests, coffee dates with buddies even if they are all in the same week. However, I have never felt more accomplished, energized and calm right after I have had a FULL day or two off to do all the little tasks that have been piling up and ignored. Say yes to yourself first, then everyone else. You can't give your best self to anyone or anything if you don't have any of yourself left.

I hope some of these can relate to your life in some way!

Oh, Social Media...

I'm all about the alleged social media today...

Through the 3rd annual Grown Ups Art Camp at the Del Ray Artisans gallery, I helped host a group discussion called Social Media Basics. My colleague, who is such a wealth of energy and information, put together a packet with exercises and information. I learned a lot and came away with lots to think about. 

We think about the types of things people used to share with each other. Often times, misery loves company, and it is easy to share a bad experience by ranting or posting a bad review about it. Someone made a great point that, in a way, social media has brought back the positive aspect of sharing. Nowadays, we want to share things that not only appeal to emotions, but things that make us feel good. People share things that make us think and things that show our support toward someone or something. People WANT to help and promote each other more than ever. 

It's crazy to think that people make a living off the language, patterns and strategies of people connecting to each other. It's so normal, but also predictable and more powerful than we realize. As an artist using social media, it is important to know who my target audience and clientele is in order to appropriately create, display, share, collaborate, and ultimately market, successfully. Growing up, I was not generally one to follow trends or do things just because everyone else was. However, I'm thankful that I have accepted and begun to embrace things like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, (and perhaps soon, Twitter) to be able to market my art and my business in a direction that commerce and culture are growing in.A couple questions came up and I want to record them:

  • Is there a purpose of using a social media platform even if you have few/no followers? (such as blogging, or accounts you've opened but don't use)
  • How does one get more followers? (I feel like this could be an extensive answer and vary greatly)
  • What are you using social media for? To connect to others? To sell/promote something? To get 'famous'? 
  • How do you know you're marketing something 'correctly'?
  • Where did QR codes go?