Hellooo to anyone reading this in the ether! I say that because I've practically abandoned my blog last year so I'm not expecting an audience ಥ‿ಥ I haven't made a single post since the winter of 2021!! So much has happened creatively since then and I feel I owe anyone interested in my journey a look into my creative process. Especially before hopping into blogging again (one post a month).
The first half of 2022 was an amazing time! I felt that I had emulated the pictures on my mood board. Surrounded by packages on top of packages full of something I created. January still had orders trailing from Christmas and I didn't get a week off all month! I was shipping every single Monday.
I didn't even see February coming honestly, but it was the best month for me in 2022!!
SPIRITUALLY, MENTALLY, and FINANCIALLY when it comes to my art. ₍₍ (ง ˙ω˙)ว ⁾⁾
My HEARTLE22 design was liked amongst all genders / ages and sold out fast on clothing/stickers/etc. This line sold more than my Halloween line in 2021! This line was massive for me. So massive I was forced to get my first art storage unit! I'll talk more about that later, but doing the photoshoot for this launch was a full circle moment for me.
I had debilitating anxiety the year prior where I physically couldn't function after 4pm. My generalized anxiety was so bad I couldn't go to places I'd frequent without feeling unprovoked dread. For reasons I won't say here, I had formed a mental block that was in turn giving me physical symptoms.
Fear is a motherfucker, huh? (￣、￣ )
The beginning of my anxiety breakthrough was this shoot downtown. I fought through all of my unnecessary, often illogical, fears and just went for it. I used all the tools I accumulated in my bed during the very painful shadow work and trusted myself. Did I die? No. Did I puke? Maybe lol.
I used to go to downtown Jacksonville all the time and blend in amongst the crowd no problem. When I was a teenager I used to have my own booths at downtown events. I had to remind myself of what I was capable of and how petty what I was tripping over was. I don't want to be the same person I was, but I'll be damned if I lose good traits along the way.
Last spring was trippy! I l was stilll selling some HEARTLE22 hoodies, but I launched the 420 line along with the Magic Mushroom design. I had tons of fun doing the indoor photoshoot. It was the first time since November of the previous year that I got to do set design. I'm talking from TOP to BOTTOM! I loved the outcome (ꈍᴗꈍ) Remember the storage unit? Yeah well this was around the time I started stocking it up. Tons of organizational tools and shelves for canvases, blank clothing, and other supplies. I may do a tour of the unit soon because I'm thinking of moving a floor down. The elevators are nice but I'm impatient lol.
Around this time I also began designing my 2022-2023 calendar. I teamed up with a small printing company in Georgia who worked with me on creating a pretty cool calendar! They were very professional and sent them to me just in time for my planned launch. They let me choose every: image, header, text, font, dates, holidays, etc. After my vacation in May I released them (-‿◦☀)
The summer was very bittersweet.
I sold more calendars than expected in the first month. I was so happy that I had ordered as many as I had and that people were THIS interested! Things were going well... then at the end of July someone close passed away. I could barely eat let alone create. I was suddenly needed by so many people. I don't know what came over me one day, but I needed something to take my mind off of the negative, and I started the portrait. I was told that this is considered positive grieving? I don't know. It was the only thing that felt right in the moment. I completed the piece in under a month, just in time for the service. Later on I ordered small canvas copies for close family members and gifted it to them for Christmas.
I usually get seasonal depression, but this fall/winter was a different type of sadness. I was still selling calendars this season, but I was also still grieving. I tried buying a little canvas and make intricate puzzles (it'd take me days to make). This lasted one week. I tried painting cactus pots again, that lasted less. I had to accept I wasn't in the place to create things for consumption. I started sketching and doodling for myself again, random shit, whenever I feel like it.
I didn't put pressure on myself to launch anything or put new pieces in the shop. Just focus on getting better and shipping calendars when they come. I went back to my tool kit. Getting back in touch with nature and going outside when I could. Voice recording and journaling. Getting new ideas and influences. Accepting friendly olive branches. Appreciating the support I've gotten online and the people who are still here to see me and my art journey.
After a month in the new year I can officially say that I'm ready to release my artwork to the public again. I'm still grieving, and healing takes time, but I do have the yearning to share again. Artists' make the best pieces when they have multilayered emotional situations going on, right? (ง'̀-'́)ง
Be prepared to see me everywhere again!!