Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail?

Hello!

About a few weeks ago I bought a planner. I loved having a desk calendar at my last job. It was pretty much the only way to ensure I would get stuff done. But now my desk space is at a premium, between my computer, the stacks of reference materials, tax paperwork that needs to be filed, and drawing supplies, I decided to shake things up and get a notebook planner.

I love staying organized, as best as I can. Even if it doesn’t necessarily help me get things done, I like the visual reminders and progress statuses for my ever-growing to-do list.

…and yet I’ve already stopped using it. Fail.

I’ve seen on those other blogs — you know, the ones where they have their life together (or at least certainly seem to) — I keep hearing about Bullet Journaling. And I have/had no idea what they are talking about. Is that just a fancy millennial word for a to-do list? C’mon now.

Today, with nothing on my calendar (I think), I decided to see what they have been actually talking about. I found this article on BuzzFeed, “WTF is a Bullet Journal and Why Should You Start One?” And now I’m SUPER intrigued. It looks like a specific (but also customizable?) format for organizing a to-do list, calendar, and journal/diary into one notebook system. Everything in one place? I dunno… too good to be true, right?

But since this is like almost the opposite of one of those lifestyle blogs, I turn to you, dear reader. What systems do you use to keep organized? Do you Bullet Journal? Or are you as intrigued as I am?

-Belinda

P.S. – Since publishing this, I noticed one of my favorite blogs, Bad Yogi, wrote about Bullet Journaling too! For another take on what it is, check it out here.

Artist in a Coffeeshop

Hello!

I’ve been lacking inspiration lately. It’s hard to find something new to inspire you when you sit at work or in your home office day after day after day…as I have been known to do. I’d been reading Steal Like an Artist and it suggested to shake things up and get outside. So naturally, I assumed it meant go get coffee.

I had a plan. I packed my sketchbook and planner in my purse, scouted the busy times on Google maps for a couple places, and was determined to pick one and spend an afternoon listening to singer-songwriter mixes, enjoying some fresh air, and feeling inspired (and let’s be honest, very cool). Naturally, I would be so overwhelmed by the new perspective and caffeine-boost that I was sure I’d be unstoppable!

(I mean, why else do I see people working in Starbucks all the time?? It must be the place to get stuff done.)

Yeah, so it turns out I’m not that person.

I should say, I have anxiety that is usually pretty manageable (it’s kind of my “normal,” I’m like the Hulk of anxiousness). But working in public, or just being in public for too long is not my cup of tea… or coffee. Honestly, I didn’t even try this time. I walked in, got my beverage, and returned to the safety of my home. It wasn’t even that busy inside, it just mostly wasn’t for me.

Which makes for a striking contradiction to my latest project in progress: Go & See.

It’s a play on the more common phrase “wait and see.” If you don’t know how something might turn out, just be passive and wait. (Not to say that there is anything wrong for patience, in it’s time.) But sometimes, it’s better to get sh*t done, and experience stuff…


…but in the meantime, I’ll be drinking coffee on my couch.

-Belinda

Same Site, New Look!

Hello!

When I decided to create the website for Summer Child Designs I used my fairly serious customer service business voice. I thought that was what I needed, since I was trying to start a business after all. So I wanted to keep it sleek and professional, albeit still kind of “business casual.” And I was really proud of it. Look at me, doing stuff for real and serious! But every time I was ready to sit and write and update the blog, I struggled to think of anything worthwhile to say, especially lately. Everything seemed counter to the look and feel of this site I had worked so hard to create (well, only kind of hard, but still).

As it turns out, I’m not an abstract business entity. I’m not perfect. It’s just me. And I’m a messy, goofy artist. It’s time to start acting like one!

I mean, what was I thinking — business casual?? I know some people love the idea of wearing a suit everyday, but not me. I love my baggy, hole-y jeans that should probably have been thrown away ages ago. That and my flannel. Oh man, flannel is the best…I’m lucky it’s “on-trend” or whatever. I’d wear it anyway, but now it looks like I tried. 😉

So, anyway, if you haven’t already noticed the site has a new look!

I’m much happier with this one. It’s kind of “crafty” which is almost too far the other direction, but I think this lands a lot closer to “if I was a website what would I be” than it was before. I think it’s comfy, like workin’ in pajamas. Plus, you can now easily access the latest posts, sign up for email notifications (if you haven’t already), and it includes convenient links to the Facebook page and Society6 shop… all from the home page! (I do like being somewhat organized, after all).

I hope you like it!

-Belinda

P.S. – If you are using a mobile device to view this, admittedly it may not look much different at all. Sorry, I’m an illustrator not a web-wizard!

Better Late than Never

Hello!

I realize that I have “somehow” lost track of time. It’s been about two weeks since I’ve had anything to say. And I’m not a big fan of rambling, if I can help it (and when I’m writing, I can…usually). It’s been a weird and busy two weeks — the kind where you know you’ve been moving around and doing stuff, but you aren’t really sure you’ve accomplished anything all the same. That’s where I’ve been.

And I know it’s a Monday, not a Friday, when I usually try to write. I’m so painfully aware it’s Monday. The ice storm that wasn’t has melted(?) and left everything just cold and dreary. My car wouldn’t start this morning and I had to call out of work today. So, I decided in the meantime I could pretend for one day that this job is my day job, and see how that feels. (Spoiler alert: I love it.)

I think the hardest part in a creative business like this is being creative. Originally I would have suspected it was the business side, but mostly that’s just been tedious. Being creative on the other hand is a challenge. I have no problem coming up with ideas and being inspired by my surroundings, but turning them into something tangible takes time and I’m having to learn how to be patient with the process.

On the flip side, I’ve been learning a lot about design and art from other artists and designers and I think in a way that can mess up your head where creativity is concerned. Sometimes it seems to affect the style of your work, but also the way you present it. In the pattern class that I so fully adored, everything was presented in the context of creating a “collection” of work. Not a portfolio, a collection — everything had to go together and fit a theme, because that makes sense in the context of patterns and fabrics, etc. But I think I was going overboard because I felt like everything had to be sorted and organized and presented in these easily digestible and cohesive collections. I’m learning that’s not really my style…because I think my personal style is so much more important to reflecting who I am and what I am trying to do.

Also, and this was equally if not more important, it was giving me an excuse to procrastinate. I was making the work, but wouldn’t finish it because “it didn’t go with anything.” So what? …My desk currently has a stack of linocuts to run so I can finally open my Etsy shop too, and again I was determined that it wasn’t ready until I had hit some magic number of pieces ready to go. Good grief. That’s got to end or I’ll never get started!

I realize now that I’m starting to ramble a bit… I guess what I’m trying to say is that being here today, I’ve decided officially to shake things up. I’m done sitting on my work forever, letting fear and the need for stuff to “make sense” keep me from sharing it. As of this morning, I have published two more pieces on Society6 that are now available as art prints! And as I continue to design stuff, I will continue to share it with you!

grapevine201250-prints
Grapevine
stemless-bouquet-prints
Stemless Bouquet

I’m sure I’ve got much more to learn about the business of art, and the work of being creative. Thank you for being patient with me and supporting me along the way!

-Belinda

 

Cheers!

happy-new-year

Hello!

Today is New Year’s Eve…Eve!
I’m pretty excited, as this is one of my favorite holidays. I’m generally fearful of the “unknown” (which is like, everything), but not on New Year’s Eve/Day. I love the promise of hope that it brings and the possibilities.

Plus, resolutions are the best! I know I can’t control the coming year and all that it will bring. But I can set intentions and focus on certain priorities (and turn it into a list! Yay!). This year may have been… tumultuous… but personally, I had a great year as far as resolutions go. I started doing yoga…again and again and again. But I keep at it. That’s something… I also joined a gym (and occasionally go when my friend makes me!). And I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world from reading more, studying languages, and through meditation.

Last but certainly not least, I had intended to open an Etsy shop before the end of the year. I wish I could say I had achieved this one, I really do. However, I am still mighty pleased with how this goal has turned out, even if it didn’t happen the way that I expected. Okay, so I didn’t get my store up and running yet. But I did start a business! (I did NOT see that coming!) And the Etsy shop will happen soon! I’ve come a long way from just doodling Disney characters after work, if I do say so myself. So, these are all mini-victories that I will be able to celebrate with a glass of bubbly champagne tomorrow night.

Resolutions are great, because they aren’t promises that we can try anything and will succeed. But they are the hope that we can try anything.

And that is worth celebrating.

-Belinda

‘Tis the Season

Hello!

“May your days be merry and bright!”

I’ve been listening to A LOT of Christmas music this week. It’s always fun to listen to the songs we know by heart, in genres that we may not make time to listen to otherwise. I love the jazz, and soul, instrumentals and crooners of my Christmas music. It’s heartwarming and cozy. Although this year, singing along with the songs during my commute, it truly dawned on me that the lyrics never change. When else would you listen to the same song in 20-different versions? I can’t think of any other time that makes sense…Oh well, I still enjoy it. And I may not hit the high notes like Mariah or Whitney but that doesn’t stop me from trying when no one else can hear it! (I can only imagine how silly I look from across the street!)

awnings-palette

Have a wonderful weekend!

-Belinda

Wi-Fi Printable!

Hello!

This week I decided to make a little printable to share! In preparation for the holidays, I figured there has to be a better way to share WiFi with any visitors and guests than just reciting gibberish. Even booting up my laptop at my parents’ house today to make this post I had trouble getting on their internet promptly because I kept getting the info wrong. Pinterest had some solid suggestions, particularly to display or frame a little sign with the Network ID and password. So, challenge accepted & I made my own!

wifi-password-card-01

And here’s a second version (that still makes me giggle):

wifi-password-card-2-01

To use these for your home– right click on the image and select “save as” to save a copy to print however you like…or you can right click and select “open in a new tab” to save a copy from there, or print from your browser. We’re going to display ours like a postcard on the fridge!

-Belinda

 

The Thing About Art…

You didn’t ask me what I think about art. But I’m going to tell you anyway.

Disclaimer: these are just my minimally researched thoughts. Not right or wrong, just how I prefer to view it…

I think art is determined by experience. There is good experience and bad experience in art, and I’m sure I could improvise a list of criteria but I’m not a big fan of lists (in philosophy. In life, who doesn’t love a good list?!). For now, I’ll give examples. A grandparent views their grand-kids’ art as a good experience — good art. To a random person, it may not be as rewarding of an experience to see some random kid’s finger painting. Bad art. A song you loved before because of the experiences in listening to it is great music/art. That song during a negative experience is less likely to remain considered good music/art. I personally never understood abstract art until after high school. Seeing it in the pages of a textbook was not the right context. It wasn’t a rewarding experience at all, and frankly was reminiscent of the finger paint. But I wasn’t Pollock’s Nanna, so no thanks… But then I saw one of his pieces at a museum and was struck by how mesmerizing it was at full size, and in that context. It was such a positive experience, so memorable and inspiring that I now consider Pollock to be one of my favorites. It’s definitely art. Anything can be art. It’s all based on the experience. (Further, I don’t consider my practice sketches to be art. So I suspect there is an element of intention involved or cognizance of the experience? Like, a fun road trip isn’t necessarily performance art. But a breathtaking hike in nature, certainly could be art.)

I don’t want to provide a list of criteria for these experiences. Again, I don’t like lists. This conception of art would be like the moral particularism of aesthetics (in plain-er English, like one theory of moral philosophy, it may not be a list of criteria that determines whether something is right or wrong (or in this case, art or not), but rather it’s the particulars of a situation that can affect the decision, but it’s different particulars each time and they may not always have the same polarization (for example: lying is wrong, sometimes. (White lies, or bluffing, etc.)). So basically, what may make something a good or bad experience, or good or bad art, really depends largely on the particulars of the experience… in this case, that also includes who is involved. (Moral philosophy, for the record, doesn’t generally distinguish between the people involved in a moral act. It’s not usually relevant since they are looking for universal things to be true/good/right.)

So if I haven’t lost you in my rambling shower-thought of an exposition, I’d love to hear what you think! What do you think makes something art? Do you think it’s just a matter of an artist saying something is art? Or does it require a critic/professional evaluation? Or some aesthetic component — beauty in composition, colors, etc?

Do tell!

-Belinda

P.S. – If you enjoy this topic, I super-recommend Methods & Theories of Art History by Anne D’Alleva. It’s tangentially related, and explores these and other questions. It’s really approachable too and better presented than anything I could write!

One Small Step

Hello!

Oh happy day!! I was sitting on the couch with my laptop (like, just minutes ago) thinking “shoot, I don’t have anything to write about this week. Maybe I should start talking about philosophy…yikes…” when my husband got home and brought in the mail. And in it, I received my Retail Sales License!! YAY! I never thought I’d be so happy to get mail from my state’s Department of Revenue, but I’m so excited I actually did a happy dance in the living room. I’m one step closer to opening the Etsy shop! I can’t wait!

Society6 is great for my digital illustrations, to be sure, and I love their product selections. And let’s be honest, I am not equipped to make cell phone covers or pillow cases myself, but I’m glad to offer them with my designs. But I’m also excited to soon have a legitimate format for my handmade pieces too!

I guess in theory I could have started the shop already and then worried about the legality of it… but on this area, I believe I have moral obligation to– oh, never mind.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

-Belinda

Thanks Giving

Hello!

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! I have so much to be grateful for this year. Not to say that this year has been a breeze or hasn’t had it’s ups and downs. But I’m still thankful to be where I am right now, and have a wonderful community of family and friends. A large part of my gratitude is in being able to start Summer Child Designs. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a dream realized. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support and encouragement. It has not gone unnoticed!

Also, I realize this is the last week of the month of November. I was truly hoping to have my ducks in a row to open my Etsy shop this week, but alas, we’re on hold. My business license and tax stuffs are still a work in progress. Nothing bad, just a lot of snail mail and holiday hours to contend with… That said, in this limbo period, I’m definitely spending my time on creating new designs so the store (when it finally opens) is full of goodies! I can’t wait!

Thanks to all!

-Belinda