30 January 2015

Life of Art SitRep #260 Down For The Count

Hey, it just occurred to me that "down for the count" comes from boxing or wrestling or another sport where when someone is knocked to the ground, the referee starts counting to determine if it's a knockout or worth some number of points. That's grade A thinking for me this week.

On the upside, I took a few days entirely off. On the downside, they were spent with my curtains drawn, unshowered, barely eating if at all (after my body rejected everything I'd eaten), and in bed. Couldn't even sit up without feeling more sick for two days.

Feeling better gradually. Showering again, opening my curtains, even started wearing pants again yesterday instead of pajamas. Very easily wiped out though and still leery of most food, so not much to show on the artistic front this week.

However! I am so stoked that Zazzle is now offering fabrics. It was on my radar as something I wanted to create this year, and I may still branch out to another fabric-centric print-on-demand, but this let's me get it in the works sooner at my existing shop, Rocklawn Arts.

Read up on the fabric offerings, watched the Zazzle Chat on Fabrics, played around with the new design tool a bit and created my first foray into fabric:

Been mulling over the best way to display fabrics in my shop. Nearly all products are grouped by design, but in this case I see the benefit of putting the fabrics together in one category. From there I might subdivide by color... not quite sure yet. I'll try to see what makes sense for the designs I add without being too many clicks for the consumer or overly cumbersome for me. Any suggestions?

The challenge is that a product can only exist in one place in the store, there's no ability to cross-reference.

Aside from the mulling and a bit of the usual twitter promotion I do, that's all I managed this week.

I am bummed to be so far out of my routine but am not pushing my luck. Hopefully I'll feel perkier as the new week progresses.

Stay warm and healthy!

(Links to my store or products on Zazzle are affiliate links to help me earn more so that I can continue creating photographs and designs. The links do not change the items' price.)

Two years ago on TTaT: 5. Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Blood

23 January 2015

Life of Art SitRep #259 Groundwork

Photoshop's been a bit wonky this week. It finally confessed at one point that it couldn't merge my visible layers because it didn't have enough RAM. The geometric patterns I've been working on are getting more involved, but I dig 'em!

Finished 3 and started two evolutions inspired by the former.

Tried doing some computer tablet painting of a scanned hand drawn design but it looked worse than my mouse painting attempt. Need to do it by hand. It had been on the docket today but I was helping hold down the fort for someone who's ill. Doing my best to be helpful while giving a wide berth.

I drew another little pattern idea sketch. Did you know I tend to accumulate these on small scraps of paper? I have several little designs drawn on a torn piece of envelope. Yesterday I was thinking I really need a better system for this, use one of the little notebooks or moleskines I have, for example. But when I had an idea today, it went on that scrap of envelope on my desk.

They are always so easy at that stage, no logistical issues yet, no problem solving to do in Photoshop, no precision, no guidelines. Scaling them up is the challenge, giving the lines weight, adding colors.

Just drew a variation of that idea, it's what I had in mind actually, to mirror it but thinking ahead, it may be easier to accomplish building its mirrored image in from the beginning. Thank you, writing, for making my brain think of that. That one's more of a strategic sketch.

Soon, me hearties, soon. By the end of the month I'll share something new.

Also did some housekeeping in the shop, revising titles/tags/categories on older products. Have more of that to do.

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Table Runners at Rocklawn Arts!

How was your week?

3 years ago on TTaT: Post Office Etiquette

20 January 2015

5. The Art of Asking

The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help5. The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this and you'll face your feelings about asking, receiving, art, art's value, artists, and Imposter Syndrome. Though Palmer's musings on asking come in large part from her experiences as a busker and musician trying to make a living, a lot of it's universal.

It's also a book of relationships, with intimate details of her life with husband, Neil Gaiman, and her best friend, Anthony.

My feelings about asking are complicated. I've had some unexpected yes'es and several soul crushing no's. The worst no's were for intangible things, like support or distraction. They were unspoken no's; people just never responded. Did I not offer them enough in exchange? I'd tried but perhaps didn't accept they they didn't want my support and time and attention. Or in one case for a person who did want my support, wasn't ready to accept that they only wanted a one-way street to them.

Amanda writes, "If you love people enough, they'll give you everything," a quote from her friend Anthony if I remember correctly. That hasn't been my experience, but I think the takeaway is that I haven't found/cultivated the right crowd to ask. Too bad I'm an introvert.

A year ago on TTaT: Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane Archives, Volume 1

17 January 2015


In the ambition to be better, stronger, more..., it's surprisingly easy to ignore all the progress you've made thus far.

Here's to acknowledging your progress as something worthy even if you're not at the end goal yet. To recognizing steps you're taking that didn't even register as steps when you started them, that are, nonetheless, worthwhile contributions to the journey.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #206 Coat racks, Cases, and Clipboards, oh my!

16 January 2015

Life of Art SitRep #258 Table Runners

The first new product of the new year: Table Runners.

I finished adding select designs to them.
Blue and White Chevrons Short Table Runner
Blue and White Chevrons Short Table Runner by RocklawnArts
View Table decoration Table Runners online at zazzle
Red and White Zigzag Table Runner Short Table Runner
Red and White Zigzag Table Runner Short Table Runner by RocklawnArts
Shop for Decoration Table Runners online at Zazzle.com

Check out the rest of the Table Runners collection.

Worked on a couple of designs and patterns, finished two patterns.

Reorganized store categories and changed some folder images.

Made headway with my photographic archive.

Updated links and LOA files.

Finished reading Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design: Techniques, Tutorials, and Inspiration by Laurie Wisbrun.

(Links to my store or products on Zazzle are affiliate links to help me earn more so that I can continue creating photographs and designs. The links do not change the items' price.)

3 years ago on TTaT: Be Cool now with Bonus Tangents!

15 January 2015

Books 3 and 4

Birds of Prey, Vol. 6: The Battle Within3. Birds of Prey, Vol. 6: The Battle Within by Gail Simone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a word: meaty. So much story packed in, so many reveals. Another epic chapter of Birds of Prey by Gail Simone.

Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design4. Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design by Laurie Wisbrun

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful book has lots of useful information about pattern types and repeat design tutorials that can apply to fabric or other mediums. There's also a lot of info about fabric in particular, tutorials on dyeing, fabric printing, many interviews with fabric designers regarding their processes and business approaches, and some insight on trade shows.

This book seems like a great starting point. Wisbrun includes a substantial list of other books and resources that look like they delve further into various specifics of textiles, licensing, and more. I will be checking more of those out, but it'd be nice to own a copy of this one.

Two years ago on TTaT: 2. American Ruins

09 January 2015

Life of Art SitRep #257 Fiddly Bits

This was a week of odds and ends, more odds I suppose and fewer ends, so it may not look like much but the gears in my brain are clicking through variations and possibilities.

Shot 83 photographs, still lifes.

Finished editing my handpainted curvy pattern. Still some processing to go before I'm ready to share it.

Worked on waves scan and pattern. Decisions to be made on that one.

Made first Photoshop pass at another pattern I'd sketched out. Will likely evolve into two versions.

Made some new Photoshop actions and deleted a bunch that I've never used.

Backed up PS actions and presets.

Made monthly backups.

Updated the copyright years on my blogs, ttat and RA.

Finished reading Popular Photography Nov. 2014 issue.

Have you backed up lately? Updated your website's copyright notices?

A year ago on TTaT: The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines

03 January 2015

1. Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning1. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating this book on a like/dislike scale isn't really suitable. It's original English title was From Death-Camp to Existentialism if that gives you an idea. I'm giving it 4 stars as a mark that it's worth reading.

The first part includes anecdotes from the author's time in concentration camps during World War 2. Whatever you may be struggling with will likely seem insignificant in comparison.

Frankl offers observations and reflections of concentration camp life using his training and experience in psychiatry.

The second part further explains his pyschiatric methodology called logotherapy, an approach based on finding meaning in your life, instead of an approach which (roughly) blames everything on what happened to you as a child.

The second part's a bit dry at times and kept making me think, what if he could see us now with all our devices and disconnection? I'm not entirely convinced by his approach but it's definitely worth considering.

Well worth reading.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #204 Chugging along into the new year

02 January 2015

Life of Art SitRep #256 New Year

Well, this isn't so much what I've done in the new year. Mostly this is what I did in the last week of last year.

Shot 82 photographs.

Drew a couple new patterns, yes, actually drew them. Even painted one. Also drew some roughs for some other ideas. Trying a new process to mix things up and learning from my mistakes. Need better cutting tools/methodology, precision matters! Photoshop to the rescue though. A few years ago I wouldn't have been able to make these fixes, or it would've taken ages longer.

Noticed stamps and the large greeting card were missing for my latest photo addition so I created those:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Storm Clouds Breaking photograph.

Updated online sales file, end of month and year. Made new LOA files for new year.

Wrote 2014 end of year post from LOA file.

How's your year so far?

(Links to my store or products on Zazzle are affiliate links to help me earn more so that I can continue creating photographs and designs. The links do not change the items' price.)

7 years ago on TTaT: No more hibernating

01 January 2015

Life of Art 2014: the year in review

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is fantastic for you!

For the past 255 Fridays, I've been tracking my efforts to create a life of art for myself. Here's a look at what I accomplished in 2014.

•I created 29 new photographs and designs for my Rocklawn Arts shop, mostly patterns.

•Added 8364 products to Rocklawn Arts.
White Diamonds on GreenNavy Diamonds on WhiteWhite Diamonds on NavyLavender Diamonds on White

White Diamonds on LavenderLavender and White ChevronsLight Blue Lattice on WhiteOrange Diamonds on White

Orange Lattice on WhitePurple Lattice on WhitePurple Diamonds on WhiteLight Blue Diamonds on Black

Black Diamonds on Light BlueLight Blue And Black ChevronsLight Blue And Black MeanderFaded White Stripe on Black

Faux Brushed Metal with GrooveAbstract Blue PolygonsAbstract Teal PolygonsVintage Curved Colonnade

Checkered Purple and WhiteRoyal Purple and White RectanglesAbstract Purple PolygonsDisco Ball Ornaments

Snow FallingMaple Tree Outlined In SnowVintage Metal Lawn Chair Full Of SnowHeavenly Blue Morning Glory Close-Up

Storm Clouds Breaking

I added 45 new product types to my store:
Wood USB Flash Drives, Swivel USB Flash Drives

Uncommon Clearly™ Deflector iPhone 6 Plus Cases, Incipio Feather® Shine iPhone 6 Plus Cases, Wood iPhone 6 Plus Cases

Slim iPhone 6 Cases, Wood iPhone 6 Cases, Shell iPhone 6 Cases, Tough iPhone 6 Cases

iPhone 5/5S Battery Cases

Wood Samsung Galaxy S5 Cases, Samsung Galaxy S5 Cases

iPhone 6 Wallet Cases, iPhone 5/5S Smartphone Pouches, Samsung Galaxy S5 Pouches, Samsung Galaxy S4 Pouches

DODOcase iPad Mini Cases, Case-Mate iPad Mini Retina Cases

Coat Racks, Serving Trays, Tablecloths, Wood Coasters

Clipboards, Business Card Holders, Classic Playing Cards, Fleece Blankets

Acrylic Heart Shaped Ornaments, Acrylic Oval Ornaments, Acrylic Round Ornaments, Acrylic Star Shaped Ornaments

Nail Art, Bandanas, Wood Canvases

Porcelain Plates, Wine Gift Boxes, Reusable Bags, Paper Plates

Rings, Guitar Picks

Stone Coasters, Stone Magnets

Wallets, Pieladium Speakers

Ribbons, Tissue Paper

•Went to a couple museums and art/craft shows.

•Watched some Creative Live workshops.

How was your year?

(Links to my store or products on Zazzle are affiliate links to help me earn more so that I can continue creating photographs and designs. The links do not change the items' price.)

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art 2013: the year in review