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New Beginnings

Handling a brand new deck is strange. It looks different, it feels different, it *sounds* different. The edges feel different.. a little sharper, almost too new. The “woosh” sound is different as I shuffle them with my hands. I know that essentially it’s the same deck. It was made with the same love as before. But this feels so different to me.

I spent a lot of time working through these images to make them as awesome as possible.. “Animism 2.0” is just a little bit brighter, just a little bit warmer and though in reality, it’s just a very subtle change, it still feels like a brand new tarot. To me, it really is a brand new tarot.

It’s kind of funny, because while I’ve been working on improving this deck, I haven’t actually been using my own in a long time. Sometimes things happen and I find myself far away from using tarot. I didn’t feel like I was in the right mindset to come back to it. But now with this, this kind of new deck, I knew I wanted to start again. It’s like a new beginning.

I shuffled, and drew, and the Five of Wands is my very first card from my ‘new’ tarot. And while it was completely unexpected, it feels like it came when I needed it most. Talk about internal struggles. The tension, the fiery red, the feeling of urgency, it says a lot, and it forces you to think about what the next step needs to be. It’s a good wake-up call.

I’m as humble as they come, but damn it all, I love my ‘new’ deck. It’s back, and it’s beautiful, and I am in love.

The Animism Tarot is back and is now available @ Rainbowofcrazy.com.

Oh, Hi WordPress!

Yes, yes, I can’t deny it. I’ve missed you, little blog. We’ll be separated for a while but we always seem to meet again.

This summer has been kind to me. I more recently was able to add The Animism Tarot to my Etsy shop and have since received some really uplifting feedback. It’s been just over a year now since this deck was born, and I swear it still boggles my mind that I actually managed to finish it. I’ve spent the year getting to know it more (yes, even though I made it, I still feel like I’m learning about it) and I’ve spent time pondering what I wanted to work on next. I’ve had a possible new tarot deck brewing in my mind for the longest time, but it’s taking a great amount of time and effort (and some frustration) trying to refine the ideas more and I’ve been struggling with its execution and style. And here I thought my first tarot deck was challenging.. but this.. this new deck is a whole new challenge! I really hope I’ll be able to get through these obstacles and hammer out some more concrete details because my fingers are just itching to start painting.

I’ve also been in a bit of a creative rut lately; so I feel like this blockage has been affecting my ability to tackle this new tarot challenge as well as creating something new for my little Etsy shop. Where do I go from here? What should I create next? Should I take a break instead? Maybe step away until inspiration hits?

But no, I just can’t do that. I have a single piece of paper with some text on it that sits above my desk so I’ll see it often, and lately I find that I’m reading it more than ever because I need a good reminder. These are the words:

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”  – Chuck Close

So I need to keep creating, even if there are invisible monsters trying to stop me from making something awesome like a brand new tarot deck or some awesome new art. Today I created a simple little angel to boost my creating spirits.. and when I was done, I noticed she brought a little smile to my face. Now I may have to make more of them.. maybe they’ll help fight the invisible monsters so I can start creating some awesome things again.

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Rest In Peace, Pets

I’ve been able to paint lovely memorial necklaces over the past little while.

There’s something very bittersweet about being able to paint a beloved pet that someone has lost..

It’s like you get to help keep their memory alive.

Rest in peace, beautiful creatures.

Go Small or Go Home!

My little painted rabbit was one of the first stone pendants I made.

It was small and simple, and actually, I still keep it with me, in memory of my little rabbit Lucy.

I started to paint little cats and little dogs, and they soon took over the skies as little angels.

Now I’m offering custom painted pet pendants.

I can’t wait to create more!

Even the grumpy ones.

500 Etsy Sales. Cheers~

From a post I wrote on Etsy today:

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I reached 500 sales a little while ago, and I felt like I should probably post about it, but I didn’t really know what to write about. I remember when I reached 100 sales and wrote this lengthy post with advice and such. And then at 300, I wrote a lengthy post about how I honestly had NO idea what the heck I was doing, really! So I have no idea what to write at 500, and now I’m just focusing on the next 100, or even the next 500.

I’ve learned a great deal from these forums, and everything you could possibly hope to learn, all that information is at your fingertips with a simple search here. I kind of know what to do and where to go from here – sort of, but at the same time I still have no real clue what I’m doing, haha. My real goal is to make this dream a full time job, and I hope to reach that point some day.

Should I throw in some tips for newer sellers? I guess I could add a few things that usually cross my mind when I look at sellers looking for advice.

– Add more listings. Keep adding them. You can never really have enough. I never feel like I have enough. I’ll probably have enough when (if) I sell enough to make a living off of this shop. When you’re too busy putting together orders to add a new product, then you might just have enough in your shop. Until then, keep adding.
– Your pictures are most likely too dark. Lots of natural light is your friend. Picture editing software is also your friend. Macro setting is also your friend. Nice clean backgrounds are also your friend. Also, please don’t take pictures of your items lying on the floor. I can tell when they’re lying on the floor, and I don’t really want them now.
– SEO. So important. So, so so important. Did I mention that it’s very important? The titles, the description, the tags. Seriously. Those tags. Important. Fix them.
– Here. The seller’s handbook. So awesome: www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/the-seller-handbook-archive/
– Policies. Add them.
– Respond to inquiries as soon as possible. Be considerate. Be polite. Be nice. People appreciate it, even if they don’t end up buying. I remember when I worked in the food industry, one of the important things I took away from it was that even if the customer goes away not liking your product, they can at least say that they had excellent customer service. Make those customers happy.
– Sometimes when things are slow, the best thing to do is step away from the computer. I usually joke that I would only get a sale when I’m not at home. But in reality, I’m not really joking at all. That usually happens! Like today I stepped out for a little bit and came home to a sale. It works. Those sale fairies are cruel like that. So take a break. Step outside. Get a little bit of sun. But not too much. It’s freaking hot out there. Oh okay, don’t go out; just at least go downstairs for a snack. I wouldn’t go outside if I had the choice either.
– Blogging is a good thing. That could be just a few sentences on tumblr, or twitter, or full, fleshed out blog posts on blogspot or wordpress. Even if you don’t know what to write, and this is coming from a person that is terrible at writing, it’s worth the effort. It’s crazy the kind of connections you can create from just putting a few thoughts out there. Go out into the blogging world. Find blogs that interest you. Respond to them. Share the love.
– Pay close attention to any requests. That can bring a world of inspiration or even lead to a whole new product line that you never even thought of before. Try new things. Don’t turn requests down unless you absolutely have to. Opportunity is everywhere.
– I think everyone should draw, even if it’s a few random scribbles. A few blank pages and a pencil or pen is all you need. You don’t necessarily need any artistic talent. A few scribbles or a few random words and it can all suddenly lead to a whole new idea or a whole new product. It happens!
– Be a little weird. It keeps things interesting.

I wanted to write more, but I’ve had two glasses of wine, and am now feeling the effects of those two glasses of wine. So I’ll just stop here. I could probably think of more advice. But yeah. Two glasses. It’s weird. I could have beer after beer after beer or hard liquor and feel nothing. But wine? Wine instantly gets your groove on, if ya know what I mean. Oh yeah, here’s one more advice:

– When it doubt, drink wine.*

 

* only if you’re of age, people.

Beware The Scorpion: The Tower Tarot

A few months ago, I did a tarot reading regarding someone that had an impact on my life, and the Tower tarot was the first card that appeared in the reading. It was definitely an eyebrow raising, perplexing kind of reading. It was a touch hopeful but still felt gloomy and sad overall.

Yesterday, now with the Animism Tarot in hand (oh gosh, my glee. I seriously do feel like a mother hen watching over her little chicks. Did this blog post just get a little weird? Oops.) I suddenly thought of this person again, and did a somewhat similar reading. I shuffled the cards and the first card I drew? The Tower. Again. That kind of knocked me back a little! I think the second reading left me with more questions rather than answers (I still have so, so much to learn) but I think this situation in general won’t bring about much clarity. Still, it was a little unsettling to see the same tarot again, giving me the feeling that things haven’t changed much since the first reading.

Fortunately the Tower wasn’t a very difficult tarot to design. I definitely wanted an image that was dark and gloomy, keeping the same vibe as the classic card as well as the awesome lightning imagery. I used a tree as a tower – but of course, the true tower here is the scorpion itself. The choice of using a scorpion was fitting to me. Different from the usual furry or swimming creatures, I wanted this scorpion to raise all the red flags when it gets drawn. I want it to essentially shout out, be careful, and tread carefully, because this will not be a pleasant encounter!

Painting this tarot was fun – mostly. Painting a scorpion itself isn’t the most fun thing to do! But I had dark red and purple in the sky, mixed with this black, black scorpion speckled with blue.  A dark scorpion seemed much more fitting than a light coloured one. It might be a little bit harder to see, but you’ll know if you’ve pissed it off!

Success and the Gorilla: the King of Pentacles

Last little tweaks on the Ace of Swords, Queen of Swords, and Five of Pentacles

I’ve been working on nonstop file editing over the last long while. Editing and re-editing (and re-re-editing) an entire tarot card deck was definitely no picnic. But I can safely say that all of the painting for this deck is done, and for now I can enjoy the fact that in terms of this deck, all I can really do is sit back and wait, maybe even relax and daydream about having it in my hands – which, fingers crossed, should be happening very very soon!

Which brings me to the King of Pentacles. Perhaps it’s good timing to write about him after finally being able to say that the artwork for my deck is complete. The silverback gorilla was a pretty easy choice; I wanted my king to be solid and strong: a very grounded looking, caring creature. For me, this is a king of many successes, and I wanted that to show in an image that was as uncluttered as possible. He’s simply a very proud, happy and successful king, able to take time now to enjoy life, sit on his throne, breathe in that sweet air, and watch over his kingdom.

The Leatherback Sea Turtle: Dream with the Queen of Cups

I don’t dream much. Well, I guess that’s probably not true; I’m sure I’m probably dreaming all the time. But I usually wake up not remembering if I dreamed at all. So when I actually remembered a dream recently, I was excited to try a tarot reading to help give me a little insight about it.  The first card I happened to draw in this reading was the Queen of Cups. She feels like a very fitting tarot to draw when it comes to dreams, and it was good timing because the Queen of Cups was the next tarot that I wanted to write about.

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There’s something rather majestic about this tarot and I wanted the grandest of all the turtles to represent this queen: the leatherback sea turtle. She’s the largest turtle in the world, yet I can still sense her exuding this gentle grace. I think this is one very intuitive queen. She glows with this quiet strength, and she’s very wise but she’s not one to brag.  Cups are quite the emotional cards and I love how fluid she seems to be. She’s not rigid and can go with the flow. This is definitely a queen I can feel a connection with.

Painting all of her little details wasn’t easy, but maybe all of her little bumps and  scales represent all of the stories she has to tell. I’d love to hear them all! The jellyfish also became my symbolic cup. Perhaps it’s a little warning that though this queen may seem gentle, she can also have quite the temper. I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.

And as for my reading? Though I was not alone in my dream, I got the sense that it was more about me than anyone else. It’s still a bit of a mystery for me though. I hope to look back on my notes and see things a little more clearly as I continue to learn more about tarot myself.

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The Octopus and the Eight of Swords

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This might not be a card I would want to draw! At first glance, the Eight of Swords seems like a sad tarot. Our prisoner is alone and trapped, held down by forces that it can’t seem to control. This tarot was a little challenge to paint, but I think every arm and every tentacle was worth it. (Phew!) I like the strong reds because your eyes get drawn to it and it comes off as a warning at the same time. Watch yourself; you’re in dangerous waters and you might not be able to escape.

Thankfully this tarot is not as negative as it may seem. I chose the octopus for this tarot, and a resourceful, incredibly intelligent creature like this can definitely find a way to escape. There is a way out; you just need to find that exit.

A Few Of My Favourite Things #4: Tweet Tweet~

April 8 is Draw a Picture of a Bird Day!

……. yeah, I had no idea that existed either.

But here’s to our feathery friends on Etsy!

I love all the coffee love! By lulunjay


Beautiful bluebird watercolour work by BlueOtterArt

Bye bye winter! Summer Girl by subarashii

The Music Tree is so cute! By chaldea

Owl love ❤ By BaBeArt

“Cage” is stunning! By kmwatkins

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