29 March 2013

Life of Art SitRep #164 Swing Low

A slow week to be sure. Stress lead to poor sleep lead to fatigue lead to sickness. Back to fatigue today and not quite up to par. Bleh.

Besides posting products to the usual promotional blogs, I shot 34 photographs, updated my 2013 LOA summary, and watched days 1 and 2 of Building Your Brand with Porter Gale and this week's Q&A session with Sue Bryce on creative LIVE.

Here's to next week.

Two years ago on TTaT: Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

23 March 2013


Marvels11. Marvels by Kurt Busiek

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you're a fan of the Marvel comic universe, you should read this book. You'll recognize most of the characters if you've seen The Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Avengers, and Spiderman movies.

The story is told from a photojournalist's perspective starting in the late 1930s and continuing a few decades. It conveys a feel of what it would be like if superheroes really existed, and even if we'd consider them such.

The painted art is beautiful and you can get a glimpse of how it was done at the back of the book.

Do not read the commentaries between issues if you want to remain spoiler-free. Stan Lee's foreword didn't spoil anything that I can recall. The commentaries are worth reading once you've completely finished the story.

I didn't regularly read comics growing up, but every now and again, I would get to pick one out. I fondly recall The Submariner so it was nice to see him again, gorgeous as ever. ;)

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #111 Evolution

22 March 2013

Life of Art SitRep #163 Blue Abstract

This week, I went with what I knew was Yes. I edited a photograph I took of fountain water and added it to my store.

Let me know what you think of Blue Abstract:
Blue Abstract Print
Blue Abstract Print by RocklawnArts
Browse more Blue Posters at Zazzle

I also Rocklawn Arts blogged Blue Abstract.

Shot 49 photographs.

Consolidated my water photos into one category with subcategories.

How was your week?

A year ago on TTaT: Dance Dare: a brilliant idea in action

15 March 2013

Life of Art SitRep #162 Black, White, Red

It was a winter wonderland one day and then 50 degrees and sunny the next. I got out and shot for the former. It'd been a while.

Often I am too much the perfectionist. When I know I can't achieve a certain level of quality, certain things don't feel worth doing.

That "level of quality," it's solvable. Has been for a long time, but I refuse to choose, to make a commitment I might regret a month from now, or the month after that, or even 6 months or a year later. I could make a different choice later, but I don't feel like I'll be able to justify it. I don't want to have to.

Just more perfectionism.

I looked through some photographs I took last summer, weeding and ranking, trying to choose. I should just begin with the one I know is a Yes. What follows will follow.

When I saw that Creative LIVE was doing 28 Days with Sue Bryce, I knew it would be too much to watch in its entirety but that it would be cool. I lamented that I have zero desire to start a contemporary portrait/glamour studio because she's going to show how it's done. I caught part of the second day though when she was talking about the fears people have that hold them back and how to overcome them.

Sue's talk in a nutshell: the blocks we have/feel are not really fight or flight fear. It's not feeling good enough due to one or a combination of the following:
•Obsession with the possibility of Failure
•Small Thinking - Negative Voice
•Self Hate
•Victim Mentality
Her mental script runs in a sing-song voice with a Kiwi accent to say, "Yeah, I had a bit of trauma over there. I've got a bit of self hate, but I'm working on it."

In essence, Yeah, that sucked, but that's not how it is now, and I'm not going to let that stop me.

Recognize your self hate for what it is and tell it to shut up.

UPDATED: Now you can watch her talk for FREE on Youtube. Thanks, Sue & Creative LIVE!

My only push back to her talk (which would fall into her victim mentality category) is, "But what if what you've been through is not done? Is not going to be done?" It just makes it harder to visualize it as past and metaphorically "over there."

Do you struggle with perfectionism or feelings of unworthiness? How do you overcome it?


I added my new Black, White, Red Diamond Pattern to my shop:
Black, White, Red Diamond Pattern Clock
Black, White, Red Diamond Pattern Clock by RocklawnArts
Look at Black Wall Clocks online at Zazzle.com

Picked up some useful tips from YouTube Marketing with James Wedmore.

A year ago on TTaT: The hoops there are many

13 March 2013

The Veronica Mars Movie and How You Can Help Make it Happen!

Do you miss Veronica Mars? I sure do.

Now's our chance to get a Veronica Mars movie. For reals! Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell are on board.

Visit The Veronica Mars Movie Project Kickstarter page and donate what you can! If they meet their funding goal, the movie will shoot this summer and get released next year. You can donate as little as a dollar.

Their Kickstarter has 30 days to go and is already nearing half their funding goal. We can do it!

UPDATE: They got totally funded in UNDER 11 HOURS! And today the total just keeps going higher, like $930,000 OVER their goal. Amazing.

Misguided Studios, take this as your cue to stop hanging so fiercely onto properties you refuse to make.

A year ago on TTaT: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

09 March 2013

Before and After: How to Design Cool Stuff

Before and After: How to Design Cool Stuff9.0Before and After: How to Design Cool Stuff by John McWade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An easy-to-follow book that covers design principles, techniques, and then a slew of practical step-by-step examples: business cards, brochures, text logos, DVD cases, newsletters, websites, presentations, et cetera.

I didn't necessarily like all of his designs, but I understood his choices because he explains them well. There was plenty that I did find useful.

The book uses loads of images to illustrate his points and also has several templates to help you recreate some of the more complicated projects.

A handy reference.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #109 Sucked in

08 March 2013

Life of Art SitRep #161 Tertiary and Quaternary

This week, I...

Created a Green and White Diamond Pattern and added it to my store. I also added a White and Red Diamond Pattern design that I'd made previously.
White and Red Diamond Pattern
White and Red Diamond Pattern by RocklawnArts
Look at White Casemate Cases online at Zazzle.com

Rocklawn Arts blogged both designs. Green and White Diamond Pattern post is up and White and Red Diamond Pattern post will go up next week.

Watched a few more classes during Photoshop Week on Creative Live. I tapped out on the final day when the content was geared to Lightroom users.

Did monthly backups to my tertiary and quaternary external drives. (Yes, I had to google the sequence to see that "quaternary" is next.) Have you backed up lately? I missed this level of backup at the end of January.

Decided I should delete double breaks at the end of my product descriptions starting with White and Red Diamonds. The extra space is unneeded. Oy vey! That's a lot of descriptions to revise. Fortunately I've held off my revisions for a bit as Zazzle is reworking their tagging rules. Zig, pause, Zag!

How was your week?

A year ago on TTaT: Batwoman: Elegy

06 March 2013

Happy Ending

So, after my fruitless* adventure the other day, I went out to dinner at the mall the next night.

I didn't take my car, so I didn't use any more gasoline to get there and back. After dinner, I walked over to Target which had what I wanted for about two bucks less than the drugstore. If I could've used the drugstore coupon (assuming they'd had what I wanted in quantities to which the coupon would apply), I only would've saved 8 cents.

And since I would've gone for a walk in the mall after dinner anyway, going to Target wasn't a waste of my time.

I feel redeemed!

*Though Red Vines might most closely fall into the fruit food group of the main four, they weren't my objective the other day.

A year ago on TTaT: Like a Ninja

05 March 2013

Two Takeaways

$3 off 2.

It's a good deal for what I need. Since it's a drugstore coupon, it narrows the field.

I drove to three different branches (not that far apart) only to discover:
A) They don't carry the size I want in a quantity that I could use with their coupon. There isn't even a space on the shelf where it might've been.

B) I do not value my time enough. I could've forgone the coupon at the first store and just bought what I needed in a larger quantity and been done with it. The extra I would've spent would've been less than the cost of the gasoline I expended.

Instead I found myself thinking, Maybe the next branch of the store will have it, I don't need it right now, Maybe there will be a regular coupon for it next Sunday, and ultimately, I bet I could get it for less at Target or Walmart... assuming they have the right size.
At the third drugstore, I was tempted by Red Vines. The 1.5 pound bag was the best deal, but I really didn't want that much since I would eat it all if I had it. I didn't even want the 1 pound bag. They were having a sale on their "movie candy," so I picked up a small box of Red Vines and walked to the counter.

There was no one there, so I looked around and waited a minute. And then another.

I don't really need this. I looked at the box of candy on the counter and considered leaving it there and walking out for a split second. Instead of being inconsiderate, I picked it up and headed back towards where I'd gotten it. Just then, a woman appeared from a side door and said, "Are you all set?"

I turned around to face her and said, "Yeah." I walked back to the counter and fished my rewards card out.

(When I got home, I noticed that even though the box was on sale, the bags were still a *much* better deal. Ah well.)

I drove home the back way in case the ponies and goats were out. The ponies were, as was the blonde labrador who lives further down the road. The chocolate and black labs must've been inside or out of view.

I pondered how little I value my time and started concocting what if doomsday scenarios to beat myself up more. What if during my grand excursion one of my tires blew out on, for example, this out of the way back road?

I could call AAA, but where would I have them tow my car? How much would it cost to fix? Somehow as I was driving just changing the tire didn't seem like an option. My imagination continued...

Sears? They sell tires. But that's in the opposite direction and I just. want. to go. home.

It got a little stressful because I had another ten minutes or so to drive. I tried to keep it cool.

At least I got some Red Vines.

Next time, I'll know to ignore their store coupons for that item.

And, hey, I got a story out of it.

3 years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #4

04 March 2013

Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection

Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection8. Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been reading a lot of Wonder Woman stories, so Batgirl is a change of pace. I enjoy Gail Simone's writing whenever I come upon it, and I like how Batgirl's humanness comes across. The danger and risks are palpable.

A year ago on TTaT: The Guild

01 March 2013

Life of Art SitRep #160 Photoshop Week

So I've been watching an insane amount of Creative LIVE this week.

I started last Friday with Smart PR for Artists, Entrepreneurs and Small Business with Ryan Holiday. Not as useful as I'd hoped since it followed his book closely. Great if you want PR from shock value, controversy, and notoriety; less so if you don't want to tip bloggers about yourself via fake email addresses. It's how to game the system certainly and had a few things to mull over.

Much more useful and enjoyable is Photoshop Week which is still going on. 13 instructors, 40+ classes over 6 days. I'm always surprised by how much more there is to learn about Photoshop. I shouldn't be, but I am. If you go to the course page link, you can download the "Showguide" PDF which has some tips from all the instructors for free. (You might need to enroll, also free, but you'll only be able to do that through Saturday, the last day of the event.)

I made some new diamonds designs, but have only added the White and Green Diamond Pattern to Rocklawn Arts so far.

Also Rocklawn Arts blogged Red and White Diamond Pattern and White and Green Diamond Pattern.

Did you learn anything cool this week?

3 years ago on TTaT: Rocco and the Robot Unicorn