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The Art of Asking: Part 1

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I do not care if you love Amanda Palmer or hate Amanda Palmer. I am reading her book, The Art of Asking, for the second time and have only a few pages left. Reading it stirred up my own personal narrator. It inspired me to start writing again, in books, in journals, on postcards and in letters, on here. I’ve been writing non-stop and reflecting on my own life. This isn’t just a book about crowdfunding, it’s about relationships, it’s about life, it’s a bit like a zine, but in book form.

I’m not sure where to begin on what I’ve learned so far from this book, but one of the common themes is about the give and take between people, between artists and patrons, between lovers, between friends, in life. Sometimes it’s really hard to take the gift someone gives you.

I realized that I have started being very open about asking for help after I quit my day job last year. I made a post on Facebook when bill money was tight, and really just opened myself up, no fucks given as to what others might think of the post. Hoping someone would reply:
I’m in a tight spot right now, I know I’m not the only one, I’m not asking for handouts, but I could really use a few sales. If you need something, want something, let me know.

I do custom work. I bake, cook, sew, paint, draw, photograph, dance, write, I can read tarot cards, pendulums and rune stones, I plan and host events, I model, I have designed cosplay costumes and dresses, I make jewelry, mineral eye shadows, bronzer, bath and body products, I’m a good proof reader and editor, I’m good at selling and working booths, I make greeting cards, zines, collages, inspirational posters. If it’s not listed ask anyway, I may have left it out.

I was contacted by a local comic writer to start doing work on their limited edition covers. His wife came by to give me a demo and drop off the comics and supplies to decorate the comic covers with. While I helped her bring items in from the back of her car, I mentioned being a little embarrassed to be asking on Facebook for work, and she stopped and looked right at me and said “How is the Universe supposed to know what you need if you don’t ask for it?”

Asking is opening yourself up, and trusting that someone will reply with the answer you’re looking for. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. For me, I’m a big giver, so asking was a little backwards for me, but it gets easier with time.

Just this month I had been invited by a friend to The Vagina Monologues. I had never been, and had been increasingly finding myself within circles of women who talked about how great the experience was for them. I posted on Facebook:

Okay guys, I want to go to the Vagina Monologues event this coming Valentines Day. It is $25 for a ticket. I am offering haikus, photographs, zines or sketches for donation towards a ticket. Just send your request, mailing address and donation via PayPal to gothcupcake@gmail.com

One of my friends, his Father is on Facebook and we are friends (he makes amazing tie dye everything, you should check him out, he goes by Splash), I saw the notification pop up that he had sent me money towards a ticket. I shot him a message to thank him and asked if he’d like a haiku or some art and he replied, I’m paraphrasing, “It’s not a sale kiddo, it’s a gift.” I felt like that was solidifying the point of Amanda’s book, being able to accept the gift. Being able to “take the donuts” every now and then. Another friend sent the full amount of the ticket and told me to have a good time. Sometimes, people just want to give, they don’t want to take the flower.

If you haven’t read The Art of Asking I probably seem as if I’m speaking in riddles. I have lots more to say about this book, but I’ll save it for another entry. For now, I’ll leave you with those little nuggets of wisdom and how asking and receiving has been for me lately. I am learning to accept the donuts when they are offered to me and giving back whenever I can! ❤

Have you read The Art of Asking? Have you found it helpful? Have you learned to take the donuts? Comment with your stories below!

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Analog 365 Project Day 109

Scott and I are geeks and we collect all manner of toys and things from our childhood. Scott has a few of his Spawn action figures on display on one of the bookshelves in our home. The first exposure was taken with flash (and pale violet flash gel) of his Spawn action figure of a character named Overt Kill. The second exposure was taken with flash (and pale violet flash gel) of his Spawn action figure.

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Analog 365 Project Day 109

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Things I Love Thursday!

♥ Getting permission from one of my favorite bands to use one of their songs in my upcoming project video♥ Thursdays off from the day job ♥ Talking to my Mom on the phone ♥ The Sandman Comic Series ♥ Enter Sandman by Metallica ♥ Floaty pens (the kind with water inside) ♥ Successfully using the pinhole function on my Diana F+ for my 365 project ♥ Instant Film ♥ Dreams ♥ My new haircut (thank you Zoe!!) ♥ Receiving compliments on the aforementioned haircut ♥ Dark purple nail polish ♥ catching up with old friends ♥ Sleeping in ♥ Cozy PJs ♥ Being inspired to draw ♥ Plans with friends ♥ Learning to use Scott’s digital camera ♥

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Things I Love Thursday!

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Analog 365 Project Day 38

Wednesday my coworker, John gifted me with a couple things he found while cleaning his house and he thought I would put them to good use. The first item was a blank cassette still in it’s shrink wrap and waiting to become a mix tape!

The second item was a little plush of Death from the Sandman series. I had conveniently just finished reading Shadow of The Wind and needed some new material and thusly decided to embark on the Sandman graphic novels. Here is the Death with the first Sandman graphic novel.

Thanks again John!

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Analog 365 Project Day 38

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Convention Reflections

It always amazes me that no matter how much planning and prepping and psyching myself up for a con that I do, I always end up having a million things to get done at the last minute (and fighting for time to get them done between the day job to boot!) the days before the con. This most recent convention was no different. I got maybe 4 hours of sleep the night before the first day of the con, and the same the night before the second day of the con. Yesterday, I got in the door from the convention and went straight to bed for ten hours before waking up to do it all over again for the final day of the con.

One thing that amazes me is how much I am able to get done under the time constraints, but also how creative I can be with working with what I have on hand to accomplish all of my ideas and goals. I have gotten more into an organizing rhythm with this last con and it has been the smoothest out of my past convention experiences. I have a drive that I always wish I could match year round with my shop and projects. If I could work that hard all the time on things consistently I wouldn’t have to worry about a day job any longer. Of course, ideally, I would be working hard, but also balancing that out with enough sleep.

One of the artists at the booth behind us was from San Francisco, she does conventions full time. She travels the country working conventions and vacationing for a week in that locale after the convention. This sounded like the perfect life to me! Doing my art and traveling…which has been something I’ve already mentioned a few times as being a common theme in the direction I would like to take my dreams and business.

I did find a way to link photography/lomography into my booth this year by setting up a “Mustache Photo Booth” where for a small fee, attendees and/or their friends would pose for photos wearing mustaches and received an instant photo to take home as their silly souvenir from the convention. The sales of the photo booth photos helped pay for the film and I was surprised at how well they sold, or even if I didn’t sell, the sign was silly enough to attract people to my booth to see what a girl who offers mustache photos is all about.

Remembering that it is possible to find a balance between my talents and my needs/wants/dreams has been helping me stay focused–and determined–on reaching my goals.

I also made prints of one of my original paintings to sell at the convention. I waited until the last day to sell them and I didn’t really advertise them that well, but it is a step in the right direction for me and my art. I would like to have more artwork/prints available for sale when I do conventions to have a nice mix of items for the market. Having items that are not gender specific and fit onto that neutral ground is good as well. This was the first year that I had so many males stopping by my booth and (more importantly) purchasing from my booth. It was due to having those great in between items that are both versatile and useful as well as genre-specific (read: geeky).

Still learning as I go, but after falling into a little bit of a rut I thought I’d hop back on here and give an update on the kicking the day job manifesto!

Next, to work more on my image…

Stay Spooky,

Gothcupcake

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I Want To Quit My Day Job

Probably not the smartest thing to post on the internet where a coworker could possibly see it and bring it to work, but I’m feeling bold. I want to quit my day job. Every Sunday (or in this case of the holiday, Monday) before the start of the work week I devise a plan to find a way to make money, better my business, or find a better job so that I can quit my day job. Every. Week. I don’t like the stressed out cranky bitch I become as the weekend dwindles away and I’m faced with the bare facts that I will be waking up at 4 a.m. for the rest of the week to sit in a cubicle for 8 hours and do it all again until the next weekend. ENOUGH. I’m done, I quit… 

What is holding me back? Why, as so eloquently put by the author of the Life Without Pants blog, fear is holding me back. Fear that I will not be able to pay my bills whilst pursuing my dream of being my own boss and making a living off of my art, my creativity, my skills and my own two hands. Fear. Money. My two biggest hurdles at the moment. 

I’m a little embarrassed to say it but I’ve been doing a lot of research, reading a lot of self-help sites and blogs and doing a lot of things in order to build up my confidence and get my goals and dreams and plans in order, my business in order for that big ballsy day when I put in my 2 weeks. I honestly don’t even think it’s the job itself–I don’t desire to go work anywhere else–I don’t like being on someone else’s time and terms. I don’t like putting all of my time and energy into someone else’s business. It was why I wanted to leave my last job (amongst other things), but namely because I didn’t want to excel at something my heart wasn’t in. I also really can’t stand living for the weekend. You miss out on SO MUCH life living for the weekend, wishing the days to go by. That is not a way to live, I don’t want to wish my life away for 8 days out of the month. 

I also want to spend Christmas with my family this year. This year would mark the fifth Christmas without my family. I get more depressed about it every year. Sobbing and inconsolably depressed. Money is a big part of that, it costs a nice round chunk of change to fly across the country round trip during the most traveled time of year to visit my family, but the other big part of that is asking permission. I have to ask permission from my employment whether or not I am allowed to see my family. They always say no. Fuck that. If I want to go home and visit my family, I will. My parents are getting older and I am getting older and every year I fear that something will happen and I’ll have missed spending time with my family for a job I couldn’t care about at all if not for the paycheck it provides. 

I take what I can from my job, I am grateful to have a job, however I am not being enriched, or fulfilled. I am not helping others, I am not growing as a person by being at my job. 

I want to be able to visit my family for holidays, birthdays. I know it’s not possible to fly round trip across country on a whim all the time, but to be able to go see my family when *I* want to, not when someone else allows me to, would be fantastic. 

I want to work with my heroes. I want to work with those that inspire me, to learn from them, to explore, create and imagine and reach the heights of my abilities while creating with those who inspire me. Phoenix Comic Con was incredibly inspiring this weekend because I spent it in a room FULL of creative artists, writers, crafters–who all are following their dreams, their passions or who have built them into the amazing empires we see today. People who started from the ground up or who are working hard right now building those dreams. I want that to be me. I want my empire, I want my name in the stars, I want to achieve and bring others on the journey with me. 

Now just to get the balls to do it.

Wish Me Luck!

Gothcupcake

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