Inspired by My Time Spent in the Desert Highlands
Hello far-away friend!
I have been away, visiting my hometown for two months, and it's been SO filled with inspiration and fulfillment!!
I came back to where I grew up to attend a 10-year Class Reunion and a wedding in the family. I decided to fully throw myself into the visit and stay for two whole months! I'm staying in an extra bedroom, finding odd-jobs, and even volunteering.
One lady has been paying me to re-organize and re-decorate her office. That's been so fun! I am the type of person who reorganizes things to get rid of pent-up energy or when I'm sorting things out mentally. I need something to do with my hands! And I do love to decorate, so getting paid to do these things was kind of a dream.
I also wanted to do some community work while I was visiting. I come from a small town with very few resources, and I wanted to lend a hand any way that I could to help provide a better future for this area. So I've been busy hosting weekly bike rides, talking to community members about getting bike paths, urging city officials to care for the local parks, and more!
Next week, I'm hosting a crafting event at our local library. We'll be making felt patches :)
I made all of these and gave them away to raise awareness / support for the bike path initiative and the general promotion of recreational activities, since mostly, we only know industrial farming and factory work living.
We live in SUCH a beautiful natural area, that I feel like it's really a shame that most people don't get to fully enjoy it. We drive everywhere. We do not have bike paths or parks or places to rent bikes, boats, or anything. We don't have stores where we can buy skateboards or roller skates or sporting equipment. You have to find them used, drive long distances, etc. We have to put up with unkempt roads, heavy industrial traffic. In order to enjoy the outdoors, you have to own special equipment and afford a lot of fuel, since we also don't have public transportation. You have to have a lot of money! I want to help make a change, and a better future.
My little informational booth at a Parking Lot Party hosted by a local business.
Besides all this, I'm inspired to draw and study the plant life around me.
I'm always inspired by nature, but lately I'm looking more into specific types of plants, and getting to know the ones that are native in my area; how they look and what their names are.
As I continue my activism, I can recommend the names of specific plants to the city government and ask them to plant a few of them in the spring. Either that, or I'll go around myself throwing seeds out of the car window and hoping for rain.
I am going back to Holland soon, but I visit these mountains often and I expect to be back next Spring.
We were taught here in Farmland, USA to kill all bugs and critters. That's how I was raised. It's much different from my new home in Holland, where we have little bug hotels in the garden. Here, they spray chemicals over the ground-- often-- to kill all kinds of things. I hate it.
It was in all doing and dealing with all of this that I created something else. Something that I'm beyond excited about...
The plain notebooks that I decorated with embroidery stitches last year (these notebooks) got an upgrade.
I am turning them into Field Diaries!!!
Soon, as you wander through the trees and grasses, you can bring your Field Diary, take notes, make sketches... be fully present, observing and recording the wild and beautiful displays Earth puts on for us.
Whether you're an experienced artist or not!
Just making minute observations of your surroundings can help you have a more wonderful life, because you're taking time to stop and smell the roses!
I have been so full of energy and so inspired. Between my city work and my time spent in nature, my heart has been full, my mind has been busy, and my body buzzing with creative energy.
The ONLY problem in times like these, is making money.
A lot of the work I've been busy with has been volunteer.
And as far as my art goes, that doesn't really sell unless I package it into a product and put it on my shop / website. (Lots of back-end work) And then, I still have to market it! I just don't have enough time, as you can imagine!
I am going to get a virtual assistant to help with some of the admin tasks that drive me crazy, but I'm not making any money with my store, so it's hard to be able to pay her enough and afford to keep it going! It's difficult to maintain my store, website, email, pay for extra help.. juggle it all while it's not paying for itself!
That's why I decided to switch gears...
I set up a Patreon Creator's Account!
Patreon is a website specifically made to help creators keep doing what they do best, creating! You can subscribe to an artist and support them monthly, and the artist gets to choose what that subscription earns you in terms of merchandise, freebies, or perks.
I have a tier for $5 where you get a postcard or a happy mail every month.
One where you get vintage paper notions every month for $7.50
(I upcycle old books, magazines, comic books, and the like).
And another, $15 tier, where you receive greeting cards every month for all occasions.
(includes at least 3 cards; let me know if you have special celebrations coming up and I'll send cards accordingly! Survey upon sign-up to see what kind of celebrations you normally have throughout the year).
This is very new! But I'm already thinking it's going to be way better for me.
It will allow me the creative space to just focus on making the things.
My subscribers / supporters will get loads of freebies and little pieces of art-- I have plenty!!!-- Meanwhile, I can keep making art, without the emotional / mental wrestling of trying to sell each one-of-a-kind piece, and forcing myself to do all the back-end work each. time. Exhausting!
So I am really excited about this new direction, and really satisfied with how I've been spending my time lately.
I hope things are well where you are!
I hope you were able to travel and enjoy the past few months of good weather, and I hope you're prepared for some cozy fall / winter months ahead. (Are these seasons correct for where you are? If not, then how is it?)
Do you enjoy the cold months, and the time spent indoors? Or not? Does it affect your mental health? How do you deal with it?
Please send me a letter or a postcard, or an email! To say hello, tell me about what you've been up to, what you're planning, or anything else you want to talk about.
P.S. Thank you for spending your time reading this, and for caring about this one artist in the world <3 Your support of the arts helps to make the world a brighter, funner, more diverse, and interesting place and THIS GIRL IS THANKFUL FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!!