June turned a MOMENT into a MOVEMENT. What will July hold? I've been thinking about what role I play in the moment, immediately, and in the movement, over the long term. Trying to process what is going on in the world by seeing it all as an invitation - a sort of INSPIRATION INVITATION. An invitation to rethink how I've done things in the past and figure out ways to do them better moving forward.
What if we spent as much time working on who we are on the INSIDE as we do on what we look like on the OUTSIDE? If we valued the size of our hearts over the size of our pants? I loved @lizzobeeating’s video she posted about how health isn’t just about what you look like on the outside - health is also about what happens on the INSIDE. She also adds that a lot of us need to do a cleanse of our insides 😂🙊. Which is SO TRUE. How many toxic beliefs and thoughts do we carry inside of us? We’ll do a juice cleanse til we’re on the verge of passing out to be skinny but what are we really willing to do to cleanse ourselves of our prejudices? Our racism? Our bigotry? Our insecurities? Our egocentric lifestyles? Our self-destructive thoughts?
Lizzo’s weight isn’t what makes her revolutionary - it’s that girls and women everywhere can see someone in a successful, powerful position that looks like them, just as they are. We don’t need to change, to shrink ourselves, to take up less space to be accepted or to do what makes us happy. We can play the flute, sing on stage, rap, exercise, right now, in our current bodies, whatever the size, shape, color, or ability. We don’t need to wait for x to start living TODAY.
So many of us spend so much time trying to make ourselves smaller in order to feel worthy of living, putting life on hold until we achieve this, often unrealistic, goal. Literally torturing ourselves, starving ourselves, over exercising, taking pills, to look a certain way on the outside with no regard to the cost of these actions on us on the inside. Society sells us products to meet a beauty standard they created, praying on our insecurities, so that we feel like we must continue to buy their products, focusing on our outer appearance instead of nurturing our whole body, inside and out. Because you can't sell a product to make your insides beautiful. Hard to sell the latest shape wear, diet fad, exercise trend, to people who know their worth doesn’t stem from the number on a scale but it just exists because they exist. Period.
I posted about this on my Instagram and was honestly kind of surprised by the engagement. Apparently, there are many of you who: 1) can relate to this issue and have experienced it yourselves and 2) that were surprised that this kind of thing goes on ALL THE FREAKIN TIME with creatives so I thought it was worth sharing here as well.
I may be smiling in this illustration but here’s a look at what is actually going on when you ask me to create something for you assuming that I will happily do so without you paying me. I thought I would try to explain why it is not appropriate, (and even if unintentional) hurtful, and degrading to ask an artist for their work by making a vague promise of “exposure” instead of payment. There’s a great video by an artist named Jazza (check it out here) where he used these exploitative “offers” posed to creatives everyday in other venues, such as at a restaurant or buying a TV, and how they clearly do not fly.
Don’t get me wrong - true collaborations can be awesome & mutually beneficial for both parties, as they should be.
We live in a time where influencer is a job title. People work really hard to gather a following and work with brands. Generally my experience with influencers goes something like this - the relationships are formed over time, because the influencer is genuinely a supporter of my work, maybe they have reposted an illustration I’ve made & tagged me to share my work with their audience, or bought something from my shop & loved it so much they posted about it or reached out, etc.
Once we’ve developed some rapport, they may DM me about purchasing a print or custom piece for ex. If I think that my art would resonate with their following I may offer to discount my services or do them on the house in exchange for them advertising my work on their platform and not charging me whatever their usual rate is for a sponsored post - ie we are both offering something of value to exchange. The point being that I may chose not to charge a potential client because of the mutually beneficial relationship we develop but that is up to me.
This is very different than those who contact creatives under the guise of offering a “collaboration” but really are just interested in getting free products/do not offer anything of value in return for them. Or “offer” to post a pic on Instagram - that’s not going to put food on my table (also, my paying customers do this all the time b/c they value me & my work and are excited to share it). When this is your “offer” you imply that our work is worthless because it is not worth you actually paying $ for it (buuuuuut you like it enough that you would still like to have it). These are the people that say they “love” my work, are “huge fans” but they haven’t in fact ever done anything to support my art/my ability to continue to create beautiful things to put into the world.
So if you are interested in working with me and value my work, pay real money for it or show the value you will provide in exchange for my work. Just like any other profession. I hope that by spending the time to explain this it will cause you to rethink asking this of other creatives and artists in the future to spare them the insult & hurt. If you appreciate the beauty we bring to the world, support us by purchasing our art, comment on our posts, ask if you can share a photo of our work w/credit to spread the word but please please don’t insult us by asking for our labors of love for free. I hope that you too are treated respectfully and compensated fairly for your time and effort in whatever your job or profession is. That is all us creatives are asking for as well.
June was a long a$$ year…
Even though I created these calendars last year, when corona was just a beer and masks were reserved for medical professionals and robbers, the inspirational messages just seem to have this uncanny accuracy each month. One of this months inspirational quotes comes from Marie Forleo that “everything is figureoutable” and I can’t think of a more appropriate time for such a reminder. We might not have all the answers today (and sometimes, in a world of stay at home orders it can feel like we don’t have any answers at all) but this mantra reminds us that every problem is unanswerable or impossible until - maybe not until the thousandth try - someone figures it out. We aren’t given a book with all of life’s questions and answers in it. But what we do know is that things that people once thought would be impossible, like a mini computer that fits in the palm of your hand, are now possible. We might not have all the answers YET but that doesn’t mean we won’t get to them or learn a whole lot as we try to figure them out. Wether you’re interested in philosophizing about making impossible things possible, or are just trying to keep track of when you gave the dog her flea medication, July’s free printable calendar is now available for download HERE.
July 1, 2020
STORYTELLERS OF OUR TIME
"Expression through art is important especially during times like these because artists are the storytellers of our time," - Inglewood native and spoken word artist Brooke Jean. Thank you for your report on the importance of art at this time @abc7ashleym . This statement by Brooke particularly spoke to me - what a beautiful and important roll to play.
So many people are sharing useful and educational information right now regarding Black Lives Matter. I've pasted some of the information here but to see the rest of the graphics and information relating to her murder and what you can do to demand justice for Breonna I recommend following Mengaw. There aren't really words to describe how it feels to know that this illustration I created in Breonna's memory has been used to help spread her story, get out the message that HER LIFE MATTERED, and to seek justice for her murder. So many people absolutely failed to do their jobs that day and the consequences of their failures lead to this young woman’s murder. I can't change what happened but it does feel empowering to know that my work is in some small way contributing to sharing her story and creating the change we so desperately need to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again. I sincerely hope if we continue to share her story and say her name it will lead to holding those involved accountable.
WE ARE THE TIDE
Sometimes I draw to process things. Sometimes I write. I wrote this the day before learning about the murders of two black transgender women within 24 hours - Dominique Rem’mie Fells and Riah Milton.
Maybe we were just stalling instead of starting.
Living in our dreams instead of living our dreams.
Fighting with each other instead of for each other.
Willfully turning a blind eye and plugging our ears.
But when a grown man cried for his mama, all the mothers responded.
We couldn’t unhear his desperate plea for air.
We could no longer cover our eyes because they wept.
Our tears flooded the streets as we took them back, swept up by an ocean of clenched fists pounding against the pavement.
Would we sink or would we swim?
The shackles of discrimination, and even of privilege, weighing at our feet, holding us down for so long, had revealed themselves to all of us.
The wave crashed over us it exposing what we had always known but had buried so far down.
That he was our family and we failed him.
His body would be buried but not even a golden casket could contain the lessons his death had revealed.
Flames devoured cities drying our tears.
Strangers cleaned the streets and became neighbors.
Neighbors boarded up buildings becoming family.
No longer individuals tumbling in the tide - We became the tide.
Art painted the streets telling his story so we would never forget.
And finally, we lived life in color for the first time.
THE JOYS OF (STEP) MOTHERHOOD
I’ve been talking to my step daughter about Black Lives Matter and showing her the art I’ve been making to raise money for the cause. I asked her if she wanted to make something too so she could help me raise money to donate and she created the illustration in the second pic which just makes my heart so happy. So now when you go to bit.ly/treateachotherlikefamily you can download her illustration as well when you donate. I hope it helps teach her that it is all of our responsibility to actively fight for justice, to stand up for what we believe in and to stand up for other people when they aren’t being treated fairly. I want her to know that she has a roll to play and her actions matter. And although her illustration made me feel warm and fuzzy, it is a stark contrast to the actual experience of people of color in America. I am posting this after listening to Mwende Katwiwa read her poem "The Joys of Motherhood," in a ted talk. I have read the poem before and it is 80 degrees outside but it still makes the hairs on my arms stand and a shiver climb through my body. I won't try to summarize the haunting eloquence of her experiences - click here watch her Ted talk.
Love isn’t a commodity that can be distributed by people in power.
It’s not not something to be regulated like the testing of new drugs or distributed to those we deem worthy like a golden medal. It can’t be hoarded - trying to deny or prevent someone else’s love doesn’t mean more love for you. You can’t buy it or create it by following nana’s recipe. You can’t demand it from someone. And, like an unruly root you didn’t see popping out of the sidewalk that you trip on, you can’t control who you fall for. We can try to hide it or not act on it, but, like a stubborn stain, it can’t be removed. Like the wind, you may not see it but you can feel it. It can uproot you like hurricane leaving you in pieces or gently blow the wind in your sails, pushing you toward your destination. It’s a force of nature, to be celebrated and revered, not not something to be controlled or used as a weapon to cause pain or incite fear.
June 12, 2020
George deserves better. George’s sons deserve better. George’s daughter deserves better. Our family deserves better.
Wondering how to talk to your children about race and racism? Today I listened to an interview of Heather Greenwood Davis on the subject (for the ABC news interview click here and for her National Geographic article click here). It’s such an important ongoing conversation for us to have with our kids - and I recommend watching the interview and reading the article - but here were some of the takeaways I got from it.
IT'S NOT ABOUT BEING COLOR BLIND
The point isn’t to ignore color because it’s part of who we are - the point is to not to attach a value judgement to the color that we see.
SOMETHING CAN BE RACIST EVEN IF YOU DON'T INTEND FOR IT TO BE RACIST
It’s not about your intent behind what you said – it’s about the effect on the listener. If he or she is offended by it then, even if you didn’t mean to be racist, it may have been racist.
What do you do if your child goes to someone’s house that maybe shares different values than you do? I loved the idea Heather shared about setting up a family values/mission statement early on. This way, if your kid goes to school or hears something that contradicts your family values they will come home to you and talk about it.
I am devoted to continue to share resources, share the words, art and contributions of POC, sign petitions and make donations. 100% of the donations received for these printables will be donated to BLACK LIVES MATTER. To download the printables and make your donation click HERE
Here are some other great places to make donations and get involved:
IF YOU WANT PEACE, WORK FOR JUSTICE
~ Pope Paul Vi
I think peace is like love - it’s something you have to consciously work at and nurture. We have treated our partners of color like shit, walked all over you, abused you, degraded you, and not treated you with the respect, dignity and love you deserve. We plugged our ears to your concerns, to your cries. We refused to acknowledge the benefits we received as recipients of white privilege while we simultaneously accepted their gifts with open arms. We miserably failed to show you that you matter or to correct our behavior.
To masquerade as non-racists, we said we didn’t see color, only adding insult to injury, treating you as though you are invisible. We became complacent in having just a system instead of creating the justice system we boasted about to our neighboring nations. We are the criminals - we killed your brothers, your sons and your fathers when we treated you like suspects first and citizens second.
If we want peace it is our responsibility to atone for our failings. To not just say we’ll do better but to actually do better. It will take a lot of work and time and commitment and love to make these changes, to show you that we can change, we are changing, and to rebuild what we have broken. I see you and I love you.
WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS
I am not better than you, you are not better than me. We are all better than this.
Click HERE to download these free printables. I have made these available for free but PLEASE if you are able to contribute $5.00 or more please click the donate button below and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to BLACK LIVES MATTER. Because IT IS TIME TO PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS - IT IS TIME FOR ACTION. Being silent is being complicit.
I like to tell Adam that I am the chief meteorologist on channel 7, I’m
actually not (🤫
don’t tell him) so I don’t know if this is actually true in nature. But in life, I have seen people that have
barley survived the darkest times and others that have truly come alive after
going through their hardest times.
During this unsettling time I just want to remind you that YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS. The rainbow is a beautiful, powerful, reminder that there’s an end to the storm and that the future is bright. If you want to see a rainbow, REMEMBER TO LOOK UP!
CLASS OF 2020
I feel for you class of 2020 and I am so sorry that you aren't able to honor your graduation in the ways we traditionally mark this special occasion. For those of you who won't be walking for graduation due to the corona virus, YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS DO DESERVE TO BE CELEBRATED! It has been such an honor to help you mark this exciting moment with your custom illustration orders. I wanted everyone to have a more affordable option as well so I created THIS customizable print for you to get the graduate in your life. CELEBRATING may look different but it has not been canceled! 👩🎓 💕
These are my hopes for the graduating class of 2020:
I hope you find the strength to allow the current situation refine your life instead of define it. I hope you are driven by a cause instead of applause. I hope you build bridges instead of walls. I hope you build resilience when you fall. I hope instead of being a background character in your life you learn that, sometimes, it is standing apart from the crowd that reveals your character. I hope you find pride in your progression instead of obsessing over perfection. I hope you make mistakes but don’t let mistakes make you. I hope when met with a problem, you open the door to possibilities. I hope once you get your foot in the door you use it to hold it open for others to follow. I hope you’re able to make a living by what you get but I hope you learn that you make a life by what you give.
Hurt people hurt people. Start a new chain reaction with Kindness Spray.
Be the one that starts a wave of kindness by liberally spraying 3 to 4 seconds until desired area is covered with a gentle mist of kindness. Allow to air dry and watch the ripple effect on those around you. 💦
Use often on others and on yourself.
This idea was originally inspired by something @codyrigsby (is he anyone else’s fav instructor 🙋🏼♀️🚲) said in my peloton class the other day about “spray[ing] Lysol on that negative energy.” But as I thought about it more, we can’t control other peoples’ negative energy - we can only control how we respond to it. So I’m just going to try to soak that shit in kindness 💕
LEAVE FOOTPRINTS OF LOVE AND KINDNESS WHEREVER YOU GO 🐾
Even if the only footprints you’re leaving are from the bedroom to the kitchen. There are so many kind things you can do from the safety of your own home. So here are some things that left footprints on my pink fluffy heart this month.
At the beginning of the month I posted in my stories that @patch had featured me in an article called “the most caring person I know.” (shout out to my mom that nominated me 😂). Jill not only saw the post but she actually reposted it in her stories. It may seem like a little thing but by doing that extra step it showed me that she really sees me and it felt really nice 😊. So thank you for your support and kindness Jill! 🥰
If you want to read the article it is the definition of short and sweet and you can read it here.
My friend and fellow artist, Mari, of @marirdesign sent me the sweetest little care package including this "art makes you happy shirt" and her book Charming and Pretty. I swear I read the whole thing within two days. The illustrations are beautiful and it has great advice on everything from decorating rooms to hosting a party.
Get her book here - it's on sale now for $25!
Last week my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Kimber, of @kimbersansonedesign, helped me bring some cheer to my mom. My mom is an avid junker and is really missing the rush that comes from finding a treasure in other peoples' trash. I had a few ideas of sayings and with her help we finally decided on this one "Looking for treasures" to put on this cute custom book stack 📚. I hope, even though her treasure hunting is on pause for the moment, when she sees the stack of books she remembers the treasures she has found along the way and looks forward to the treasures just waiting for her to find them in the future.
Customize a your own book set here to add a little cheer to your home.
Molly frolicking in the grass at the doggy park probably makes me more happy than anything else. I mean look how happy and fluffy and adorable she is?!?
Not only did my friend stand send me an awesome handmade postcard this week, but after reading my post about "if you want peace, work for justice" he wrote me a text saying this:
"You make me so happy when you use your voice. It’s nice to see a reminder that Catholicism and anti racism can co exist. You run a business and I appreciate you incorporating morality into your brand. Thank you speaking up and adding color to the world around :)"
For maybe once in my life I was left speechless (it was brief). Running your own business is hard. Because many people don't understand what goes into it, they skirt around asking about it or mentioning it. Having someone close to you just acknowledge that something you created resonated with them, it costs NOTHING but truly means the world. What can you do this week to be like Stan?
Okay I have like three plants you can eat and I think I am a farmer but it has truly been so rewarding to plant things and see them come to life! I start off every morning taking Molly out to potty and inspecting my farm to see how my little plant friends are doing and what changes have happened over night. I don't know wtf I am doing but I just watch videos on youtube when I have questions. Since I don't know anything about gardening everything that happens seems perhaps even more miraculous. We have some cucumber growing and I have no idea what part of the plant the cucumbers will come out of but I observe them with wonder everyday.
DON'T COUNT THE DAYS - MAKE THE DAYS COUNT
Times are tough but it sure helps to have little things to look forward to and moments to help mark the passage of time. And why not have have some encouraging words along the way?
Click HERE to download the June Calendar Printable for FREEZIES! Yup, it's free, it's my gift to you, my way of thanking you for being here. Because I AM SO THANKFUL YOU ARE HERE.
We're STILL in this together!
Love from the farm,
May 28, 2020
The most powerful medicine we have is LOVE.And the vehicle by which it’s delivered is RELATIONSHIPS
GOD DOESN'T CALL THE EQUIPPED - HE EQUIPS THE CALLED
We really put our hearts into this collaboration so I just wanted to give a little background on the meaning behind it. Jessica wrote a whole post about her experience being pregnant during covid-19 that you can read here.
The quote "God doesn't call the equipped - He equips the called," hugs around the mom to be because we wanted you (the moms receiving this art) to know that, even if the other parent/your bff/your mom, can't physically be in the room with you when you deliver, and you don't feel ready, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We all are being asked to take on assignments right now that we may feel inadequate to tackle on our own. But when called to act, god will give you what you need, when you need it, to get through it. It’s okay to be scared, to not feel prepared, & to recognize our weaknesses/shortcomings. This vulnerability makes us human and open to letting god work through us.
When Jessica was describing her idea for this I saw the mom in a flower crown in my head. When I started drawing it I felt compelled to draw a butterfly resting on her crown. This was strange for me because I’m actually, embarrassingly, afraid of butterflies (like shriek and dodge around them for dear life 🙊😂). But I just went with the feeling that it should be there. After, I (bravely) looked up some of the meaning and symbolism of butterflies discovering that in many cultures, butterflies are powerful representations of life, endurance, change and hope, which just felt more than serendipitous.
We wanted to unite and bring some reassurance to any anxious mom's of any faith so the print is available with or with out the quotation. 💕 We also wanted a way to thank the health professionals who will help you get through this unusual time, so each print comes with a "Masks are the new Capes" card to give to your nurses/ doctors on your big day.
You can customize one for yourself or for a new mama in your life here.
YOUR THOUGHTS ARE YOUR SEEDS - YOU CAN GROW FLOWERS OR WEEDS
In other news, I'm getting really into gardening while staying safe at home. I told Adam to please refer to me as farmer Katie now that I am (attempting) to grow tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, & butternut squash in our yard. I also insist that we call the part where we planted herbs “Adam’s Garden of Eatin’ ” 😳. It is such a rewarding feeling to see these little guys sprouting (even if we can't remember what we put there). Here are some pics of our DIY planters and the potting bench I built out of scrap wood 🔨
MASKS ARE (STILL) THE NEW CAPES
It is so beautiful to see how some people and companies are turning obstacles into opportunities right now - not just for themselves but in the service of others. For example people printing 3D masks for health professionals in their garages, restaurants, forced to close, making food for those in need, nurses in San Francisco raising money to send meals to hospitals in NY etc. Unfortunately, I can’t offer a solution to the big problems we’re facing. But I do believe in the 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 of the collective impact of the little things we can do. The difference between stepping up 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 to 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 in our own way. And that might look different for each of us. For some, it will be keeping your kids alive so your spouse can work from home, taking care of an elderly family member, or helping deliver food.
If you’d like to help but are unsure where to start I’d love your help with the hospital worker thank you notes project ie #MASKSARETHENEWCAPES . I could really use the help writing them and sending them to the nurses, doctors, and health professionals seriously working their butts off right now for us. If you’re interested in being a part of it please message me! 🙏🏻. Also, please know that this message is in no way meant to make anyone feel bad for not being able to help others right now. Having the opportunity to lend a hand at this time is a 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙚 not available to all of us right now. If you are flat out and don’t have the capacity or capability to give more - that’s okay too! Taking care of yourself is important & that might be your roll right now. #wereinthistogether
Also, I'd like to thank Moo for donating 100 more of my cards so I can keep sending them around the country!
Thank you all so much for posting on social media and sharing your Ladie Katie thank you cards with me! It's been a really moving experience to connect with you health professionals. I am in awe of the work you are doing and continue to do. Art is my love language so this is just my way of saying I love you, I appreciate you and I see you. THANK YOU.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
It might feel like we're in a time warp right now, but to help you remember the little things (like watering the flowers) or the big things (meeting an important deadline), I've made the May calendar available for free download here.
THE HERO IN YOUR STORY IS YOU 💪🏻
Just a reminder that YOU are the hero in your story. You choose the narrative. Sometimes something as simple as the words you use to describe something can change the way you feel about it. Instead of being stuck inside you are staying safe inside. Not allowed to go to the beach? Make your own - I built a cabana in my yard using a shower curtain and zip ties 😂. Write your own story. Be your own hero. 💕
May 3, 2020
I'M ON A PODCAST - AND IT'S NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE
The reason I know about this wonderful scholarship is because I had the honor of being interviewed by the founder of the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship, Mari Robeson, for her Podcast, Love Lou Lou Creative. The podcast episode goes live today, Wednesday, April 8th. Click HERE to listen. Find out what we discussed and learn more about other incredible artists that she has interviewed, by visiting her blog HERE.
It is so uplifting and encouraging to hear the stories of all of these different creatives – how their art, their process, their style may all differ but, at the end of the day, we all just have these stories we feel compelled to share with the world. And even if we don’t know what we’re doing a lot of the time (which seems to be a unifying theme), we continue to tell them, however we can, wherever we can, which is pretty beautiful.
YOUR POWER DOESN'T COME FROM YOUR CAPE OR YOUR MASK
So how are you holding up? Sheltering in place can be lonely! Need to connect with someone? It is easy to get lost in the endless news cycle and in a sea of fear and anxiety. If you feel like you're drowning in despair, I've found these little projects like the free art in the driveway, the coloring book, and the thank you notes, are really helping me stay motivated and positive (or at least not paralyzed by anxiety). What's something small that you can do for someone else? Maybe leave a note outside a neighbors house, order something on amazon to be delivered to a friend, get extra milk for a friend when you go the market etc. The other day my friend Lauren left me a bottle of wine for our weekly happy hour facetime sesh. I didn't get to actually see her leave it but it just felt really nice to know that she had dropped it off for me. When we are alone in our homes to stay safe, these little acts can help us still feel connected. Need help brainstorming ideas? You can always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can't control the craziness around us, but we can control how we react to it. I know a lot of us are struggling with feeling powerless right now. You feel powerless that you can't stop the spread of the virus. Powerless that you can't stop people from leaving their homes and not following social distancing. These examples though, assume that power is something external and relative to other people and circumstances. Power, however, isn't dependent on what is going on around you - it is about whats going on within you. I'll leave you with this quote from Brooke Castillo, the host of the Life Coach School Podcast. "Force is trying to control other people and the world. Power is creating yourself In your own world."
Hope you all are staying safe and (at least semi) sane.
April 8, 2020
I am so thankful in fact that I have sneakily been planning an AMAZING GIVEAWAY with some of my other favorite small business owners to spread some kindness and bring a little light during such a dark time. We think even with social distancing in place, there is always room for kindness! So we are giving away a diamond necklace from @mlowejewelry, a set of custom stamped books from @kimbersansonedesign and a custom family portrait by me! Check out my Instagram to enter before the giveaway closes Friday, March 27th at 6pm.
DIRECTIONS: FIND SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOUR HEART HAPPY, TAKE IT, & ENJOY!
In other news, I have been so moved and thankful for the selfless service of so many people at this scary time. The cashiers at the grocery stores, the nurses and doctors, the pharmacist, etc risking their own health and safety to care for the rest of us. I’ve been racking my brain about how or what I could contribute in my own way in response to the global pandemic. I was packing up orders last night and had a lightbulb moment. The way I celebrate those I love is to make them art. The way I thank people is to make them art. My love language is art. So if I want to send love out into the world during these uncertain times, what better way than through my art? So I took one of Molly’s puppy gates, some old curtain rods, fishing line, tape, a stack of prints from my inventory, some large paper and markers (or as Adam would call them, “texters”) and made a little impromptu art display, seen here.
This is probably creepy for me to admit, but we have a security camera in our driveway so I got an alert on my phone when someone stopped to look at or take a piece of art. It felt very “What Would You Do?” to hear people stop on their walks, read the sign and chose a piece that spoke to them. It got particularly windy this afternoon and one print had blown away. I saw a nice man go pick it up and re tape it to my art display contraption and help his wife chose a piece to bring home. If we’re going to be stuck inside for who knows how long we might as well have nice things to look at that make us smile.
Bye March. It’s been real. Let’s not do it again. Hopefully April brings recovery with its showers. I created these calendars so many months ago for my planners, at a time when Corona was just a mediocre beer, I shook hands regularly, and I thought zoom was short for zumba. Things have changed a lot since then, but the words and sentiment behind them ring truer than ever. March’s calendar started with “take a deep breath.” The date of the 13th reads “so a random act of kindness, and today, the 26th reads, “show yourself compassion.” It’s a bit eerie. I’m not saying I’m the next Miss Cleo or anything, but when I was writing the planner, the words I wrote weren’t empty or random. They were intentional. I obviously never would have expected any of this to happen, the world basically shutting down, but it feels reassuring in a way to know that these words still carry meaning now, maybe even more than I could have even imagined. If you want a little extra backup going into the next month (who doesn’t?) the April calendar printable is now available HERE. As usual, it’s free – just an expression of my love to you for joining me on this journey
There is so much bad and scary stuff going on right now. Yes, we need to take measures to protect ourselves but people are getting a little carried away with that - hoarding things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, making it impossible for others to get these essentials that they need. It is a good reminder that even with “social distancing” in place THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR KINDNESS! I have come to think that KINDNESS IS ALSO CONTAGIOUS, and, hopefully after reading this post, you will want to pass it on.
After spending an afternoon in my
little garden pulling weeds, I was really in awe of their relentless determination
to grow. The more I pulled out the weeds
outside, the more I felt like we were kindred spirits which I expressed through
this flower illustration and words below.
YOU ARE A WEED. A big, beautiful, resilient weed.
People won’t always appreciate how hard you worked to get here. They won’t UNDERSTAND YOUR PURPOSE. While they may flatter those around you, even dote on them, they won’t nurture you and give you the attention or resources you need to thrive. But YOU WILL SURVIVE. Sometimes people might intentionally knock you down and try to keep you down. They may burry you and your accomplishments under cement to preserve their sense of what is beautiful, what is worthy, what belongs. And momentarily, it might work. You will get down. You will wonder why the hell you are fighting so hard to be somewhere where you don’t feel wanted or appreciated. You will sit in that for a breath. You will feel it.
Then you will pick yourself back up and remind yourself that you are a weed! You are RESILIENT. You will keep at it. And little by little, crack by crack, you will do what no one but you believed possible - YOU WILL BREAK THROUGH all the barriers they placed in your way and re-emerge even stronger. And - whether others can see your purpose, your value, your potential, or not - you will know that YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE.
Although technically strangers, a woman contacted me because of my work and my words. She bravely told me her story of heartbreak and how she could relate to feeling like a weed. We continued our discussion and she told me that after three days of crying my words helped put things in perspective for her. There is so much going on right now, people are vulnerable, and people are scared. Many of us are in distress right now and, if there’s any chance it could help bring some solace at this time of chaos to anyone else, I thought I’d share what I said. To protect her privacy I will call her “Jill'* (*Please note that I asked Jill if I may share our conversation before writing this post).
Oh Jill - I am so so sorry that happened to you and I’m so sorry that you are going through such heartbreak! I want you to know that just because these horrible things happened to you doesn’t mean you did something wrong or there’s something wrong with you. It means they weren’t right for you - but that doesn’t say anything about WHO YOU ARE. It’s hard to remember when you feel so sad but I promise the feeling of heartbreak won’t last forever.
Sorry to bring plants up again (honestly, I am actually more of an admirer than a gardener) but the reason I was in the garden earlier was because I was repotting my orchid. My friend had gotten me this big, beautiful, orchid when I moved and I’ve been trying to take care of it - putting it where there’s lots of light, watering it once a week, etc. But yesterday the last flower fell off. I was wondering “what gives” - I have had orchids before that did fine with this set up in the past so, naturally, I googled it.
I found a youtube video and it turns out that, after you buy an orchid at the store, you’re supposed to take them out of plastic pot inside the pretty pot and separate their roots, take the stuff out from in between the roots and repot them in a bigger pot. Apparently, it’s so that roots have room to grow, can properly aerate and have access to light. The lady who made the video said that if you take the orchid out of the store-bought pot and the “in between the root stuff” is all wet then your roots are probably rotting. She was right – mine were mushy and brown. If the roots are coming through the bottom of the original container, she said, then your pots too small. Yup, mine was doing that too. Finally, she said to cut off the whole stem so that a flower will grow again.
I bring this up because sometimes you can do all the “right” things (trying to water my plant, giving it light, etc.) but things don’t work out or aren’t thriving. REPOT yourself. You’ve gotten used to the pot you are in so it will hurt and be uncomfortable to (unwillingly) be removed at first. But that pot was too small for you (it was limited by his past experiences preventing him from moving on)! Take some time to brush out the stuff in between the roots ( the remnants from the last relationship). Give yourself room to breathe and feel the sunshine. Find a bigger pot with room for you to grow. NURTURE YOURSELF with what makes you happy and what you need to thrive. And someday, in the future, you may decide you’ve grown so much taking care of yourself and your needs that you need a new pot again - maybe one so big that there’s even room for someone else to grow in it with you.
Anyway, I’m sorry you’re going through such a hard time. Try to do things every day that make you feel better. I promise you’ll be busting through the cement again in no time!
YOUR WORDS WILL GO MORE PLACES THAN YOU’LL EVER GO 🗺
Things felt like they had come full circle when, the next day, I was listening to This American Life. While interviewing a pastor, he said “... I know the power of the word, and how the word can spread, and how people can take what they hear here, and it goes places. Your words will go to places that you will never go.” And it spoke to me because this is how I feel about my art. The woman I discussed above in is Nebraska. I’ve never been there but I mailed her a print of the illustration to remind her that, like the resilient weeds, she will get through this difficult time. My work is out-traveling me, which I think is pretty amazing.
I know right now we are in fear of how quickly things can spread, especially when they are terrifying and dangerous things like corona virus. But amazing things can also spread – KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, COMPASSION, CREATIVITY, the list goes on. So, if you are still looking for that one person who will change your life, TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR. You have more reach than you even know. You can connect with and impact people in places you’ve never been. And if that’s not powerful I don’t know what is!
In an effort to help SPREAD KINDNESS, I am offering a download of this print for FREE. It is available in three options with different hair and skin tones. All I ask in return is that YOU DO SOMETHING KIND FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Just click HERE to get yours now.
UPDATE: Jill received her flower artwork over the weekend. If you don’t believe that what you do can really make a difference for the better, I encourage you to read the note she sent me to thank me for the art below:
“Katie!!! It came! It’s here! And I absolutely LOVE it. There are not enough words to describe the amount of love and strength I felt when opening your mail. I mean it. I felt this stirring in my soul…”I can get through this.” I didn’t feel alone. Someone cared. Truly cared. You gave me strength, Katie…And oh the story – I cannot wait to tell anyone and everyone who sees and asks about it. God truly blessed you with an incredible talent. But he also gave you the biggest heart as well. To bring strength to me in a time of true heartbreak and pain, is something I hope you know, I appreciate more than words can say…”
I created this new abstract piece for my art studio called ROUGH PATCH.
I smeared the thick acrylic across the paper like peanut butter on bread. It’s imperfect, rugged, uneven, chunky. There are distinct sections but also little hints of residue in each from the sections above and below, some with small gaps in between, some that overlap, some where the paint just spread itself too thin and there’s only a ghost of pigment. And for some reason when all of these imperfections are added together they create something beautiful (at least I find it beautiful 🤷🏼♀️). It reminds me that we can go through different seasons and rough patches in our lives - maybe part of you wishes you could redo them or fix them. But those moments aren’t in isolation. They are part of something bigger. And when you take a step back and see all of those gooey, sometimes messy, imperfect moments together they can still lead to something unexpectedly beautiful 💕.
After posting a pic of this new work I got so many messages from you about wanting it as your phone wallpaper and i LOVE that idea. I've just been messaging it to you all individually up until now (and it has been so awesome to connect with each of you). Now you can download this beauty HERE for free. i've loved seeing the screen shots you've sent me of your new wallpaper - I've even made it into the background on my phone too ;). Enjoy! xoxo
Your March Calendar is ready for you - are you ready for it? Click HERE to have it magically appear in your inbox. I love this months inspirational message, "LIFE IS TOUGH BUT SO ARE YOU." Who doesn't need a reminder like that every once and a while?
There are so many quotes out there about how an essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail. I can’t say I agree - I think, for most of us anyway, it’s about being afraid BUT DOING IT ANYWAY. It’s about persistently exploring the curiosity while the shackles of fear try to constrain you, hold you down, and whisper their lies to you. That is why CREATIVES ARE BRAVE and that's what makes them TOUGH. They share the same fears as everyone else - that they aren’t good enough, that they don’t deserve it, that other people won’t like what they share, etc., but despite (and maybe in spite) of that fear they CHOSE TO SHARE THEIR GIFTS WITH THE WORLD ANYWAY. So here’s your reminder that it’s okay to be afraid but it’s your choice to let that fear dictate your life and hold you back. Choose to challenge it. Choose to grind away at those shackles until all that’s left is dust. The residue of fear may still be there but it won’t have the same power over you - BECAUSE YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN YOU KNOW.
YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM ISN’T SUPPORTING YOU AND WHAT YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM CAN DO TO
Whether you are a lawyer pursuing your art (sounds vaguely familiar), work in healthcare and want to start your own fashion blog, a mama fixing up skin care concoctions in the dead of night, a barista with dreams of running for congress, it can be so hurtful when the people you love most aren't supportive of your dreams. This post is for you!
You know I’m a big fan of podcasts. Anything involving murder, being an entrepreneur, being a creative, etc is my jam. So one podcast that I’m obsessed with right now is Trent Shelton’s Straight Up. Episode 8 about the reasons why your support system isn’t supporting you spoke right to my heart. It felt like it was just me and Trent with a can and string telephone whispering* our deepest secrets in the night (*and by whispering I mean trying to speak quietly when you’re really excited about something so you actually aren’t whispering at all). If anyone else watches Locke and Key on Netflix, it’s like he had the head key and explored the inside of my mind and heart.
This is a topic that I both want to share, because I think it could really help other creatives that may not feel as supported as they would like to be by friends and family, but, I also feel a bit awkward discussing it and worry about how it may come across to others. Even though I may fear other people’s reactions, it’s also a subject that has continuously weighed so heavily on me as I pursue my art and if there is anyone else out there who feels that way too, I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you are the friend or family member of someone pursuing their passion there are also things you can do to support the dreamer in your life (did I mention they are also SIMPLE AND FREE). Trent breaks this down into four reason but I am condensing them into three"ish".
YOU CAN’T EXPECT THEM TO BE YOU
It feels really crappy when you don’t feel supported by those you love. Trent reminded me that “you have to stop expecting YOU from other people.” Just because you think, if the tables were turned, you would be supportive of that family member pursuing her dream, doesn’t mean that you can EXPECT other people to react in the same way that you would. It’s shitty but you can’t control other people’s reactions. It may help to remember that although you WANT their approval with all your heart, you DON’T NEED it. Yup. YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE ELSES SUPPORT OR APPROVAL TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. It would be nice. It would feel warm and fuzzy. But you don’t NEED it.
The reason(s) they appear to not believe in you, may actually have more to do with them. Maybe they have failed before and so now they assume that following your dreams leads to failure because that is all they know. Their lack of support may have to do with their experiences and how they view the world as opposed to being any kind of reflection on your capabilities.
SMALL MINDSETS CAN’T COMPREHEND BIG VISIONS
You also may want to consider WHO you are bringing your dreams or ideas to. I love the example Trent gives of not going to a plumber to fix your roof. They might be the best plumber in the whole damn world, but that doesn’t mean they know the first thing about fixing a roof. You are excited about your new business idea or the possibility of living your dream so you want to tell those you love about it. But if you’re bringing a big dream to a person that always stays in her lane or never takes risks, do you really think they are going to tell you to “go for it!”? The thought of doing the unknown is probably unfamiliar and uncomfortable for her to even think about. Again, it has no merit on the content of the idea or dream.
And here’s where my favorite nugget of wisdom comes in: “Small mindsets can’t comprehend big visions or big dreams.” Sit with that for a minute. Trent gives this great example of something he does when public speaking sometimes. He’ll have someone come up on stage with him and close their eyes. He’ll take out a dollar bill and holds it right in front of the person’s face and tells them to open their eyes. He asks them to tell him what’s in front of their face but it’s so close that they can’t even tell that its money. They can’t see it. He then repeats but takes a step back, until they can clearly read the dollar amount. He uses this example to show that sometimes people who are the closest to you actually can’t see your greatness. They are so used to it. Maybe they’ve seen you everyday of your life so they “normalize your gifts and talents.” BUT just because you’re too close for them to SEE YOUR VALUE doesn’t mean that YOUR GIFTS AREN’T VALUABLE. And whether those closest to you appreciate your worth or not it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share your gifts with the world.
2. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR SUPPORT MEANS
YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS
The second reason you may not feel supported by your friends and family is because they don’t realize how much their support means to you. They might think for example, all these other people liked your post, or buy your artwork, or signed up for your blog, so whether THEY do those things or not makes no difference. As a creative, let me tell you – YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS. Your support might mean the difference between someone pursuing their dreams or throwing in the towel. That one encouraging comment can keep someone going when they feel like giving up and, as a creative, we have many moments of wanting to give up.
Creatives put their hearts out there for the world. It can feel so vulnerable. When I share something like this on instagram, for example, or in a blog post, it would feel really good to know that one of my friends or family members read it. Even if it is not personal, when you put your heart on the line in an arena, such as social media, where you know your friends and family hang out, and they don't acknowledge that they see it, IT CAN HURT. We should share because it is part of our purpose, not because we want acknowledgement or praise. But no one likes to be left hanging. Just know that the message you send, your "like", your repost, etc, can make us feel less alone, more connected and is an opportunity for us to grow closer.
LOVE DON’T COST A THING
I think many people may assume by “support” I mean monetarily. Of course, yes if you have a friend that makes wonderful art that you would like to put in your home, please go buy it! But even if you, as a friend or family member wouldn’t be interested in whatever it is that person has to offer, for example buying something that your friend makes and sells, you can still SUPPORT that person. Have you forgotten what Jenny from the block said? Love don’t cost a thing. Telling a creative something along the lines of “I see how hard you are working,” or “I see the progress you have made,” etc, DOESN’T COST A THING and just feeling seen can make a world of difference to the person. At the end of the day though, although we’d love the people we love to support us, whether they chose and/or are able to show us that support has more to do with them and how they feel about themselves then it does with you and your work.
3. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
ARE THEY SHOWING THEIR SUPPORT IN THEIR OWN WAY?
Two more things to consider regarding this topic are (1) the possibility that those you love may be supporting you in their own way and (2) There are people that think that their way is the only way.
Regarding number one, it might help you to take a step back and ask yourself if maybe a loved one is actually trying to be supportive it just may not be in a way that makes you feel supported. It’s kind of like the book the Five Love Languages. They may be showing you support in a way that would make them feel supported that might not necessarily be in the way you would like to be shown support. For example, did your parents help support you during college monetarily? That may be the way they know how to show you that they support you. Some people are more limited in expressing their emotions or saying encouraging things (maybe because they didn’t experience those kinds of affirmations themselves growing up). Just because they don’t say that they are proud of what you are doing or say positive things about it doesn’t mean they aren’t showing any support at all. I encourage you to look beyond what you expect or what you would like to see them do and ask yourself what is it that they may already doing to hint to you, in their own way, that they care.
DO THEY LIVE IN A BOX THEY BUILT AND IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO BUILD A BOX
Finally, there are some people that see only one way to be successful. If you aren’t following their carefully crafted and perfected route to it then you’re a lost cause. They can’t see beyond what has already been done to see what could be. They invented the box and are so busy building it, and directing others to do the same in the same way, that they can’t see that they have boxed themselves in and actually created blinders to the other possibilities.
Trent did a segue here to talk to parents in this situation. He says something along the lines of your dream might not be your kids dream. Parents sometimes shoot down their kids dreams because it is not the dream that they had for them. BUT – and here’s the real zinger - just because they aren’t doing what YOU want them to do doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing what they were BORN TO DO.
THEY LITERALLY CAN’T SEE YOUR VISION
In summary, it really sucks when you want to share something that you are so pumped up about with a loved one and they show zero interest or you are even met with opposition. The lucky thing however is that whether they believe in your dreams or not has NO bearing whatsoever on whether you can make your dreams come true. We live in a “see it to believe it” kind of world and if you are the kind of person that believes in so much more than what that one sense has to offer, people are literally not going to see your vision. I’ll leave you with this other little wisdom nugget by Trent –“don’t let the lack of belief that other people have in you kill the belief you have in yourself.”
Feb 19, 2020
♥ FOLLOW YOUR ARROW WHEREVER IT POINTS ♥
This week a legend was lost. My heart aches for the family's touched by this weeks tragedy. As I was drawing this illustration of Kobe holding his daughter, Gigi's, hand the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, "Follow your arrow wherever it points" by Kacey Musgrave's played in my head:
Say what you feel (say what you feel)
Love who you love (love who you love)
'Cause you just get so many trips 'round the sun
Yeah, you only
Only live once
We don’t know if our lives will be short or if our lives will be long but the long and short of it is love those you love before it’s too late and they are gone. Rest in Peace Kobe and Gigi 💔
So where’s your arrow pointing?
SECURE YOUR MASK BEFORE HELPING OTHERS
"In the event of emergency, please secure your own self-love before loving others …” ✈️
We’ve all heard the safety message about putting on your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
If you ignore the warning about putting on your oxygen mask on first and instead try to help another person you may loose the ability to recognize faces and shapes, and eventually pass out. It isn’t selfish to put on your own mask first - if you are unconscious you won’t be able to help anyone.
When you first learn to love yourself, you will be better able to love others. If you don’t learn how to put on your self-love mask first, you may become exhausted from loving others. You may loose yourself in their wants and needs to the point of not even recognizing yourself. When we practice self-love and taking care of ourselves we are actually better equipped to help ourselves and others.
So instead of feeling selfish taking care of your own needs, I say celebrate it! Especially with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, instead of the sappy romantic love themed cards, why not opt for this print to remind you to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST. ❤️
LIVE YOUR DREAM
Last night I updated my little blurb on etsy about my shop (I swear there's a reason I'm telling you this just stick with me for a minute 😂). This is what I wrote:
“I dream my painting and then I paint my dream” ~ Vincent Van Gogh 🎨 💫
Ladie Katie is my DREAM. She is confident, kind, and creative. She lifts you up when you’re feeling down on yourself, she comforts you when you are in doubt and she’ll celebrate your victories with you as if they were her own, because she knows that a strong woman stands up for herself but a stronger woman stands up for everyone else too.
In my art, I created this new support system for myself to help me rediscover my strength and value. As last year ended, I came to realize that Ladie Katie is ME. She is not super human - she is the me I painted into existence. It is a journey but I am learning to ROOT FOR MYSELF again. And I WANT TO ROOT FOR YOU TOO. When you see one of my illustrations that looks just like your fluffy child, makes you chuckle out loud, reminds you of your best friend or inspires you to push yourself, that is me CHEERING YOU ON. I want to remind you to be YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN. But in the meantime, until you get the hang of it, I’ll be here, pom poms and all, rooting for you.
You can either dream your life or you can LIVE YOUR DREAM and I’m choosing the latter. Who’s coming with me?
Today, I was listening to Brook Castillo’s The Life Coach School Podcast. She was discussing power - what it is, where it comes from and who has it. She talked about how our power doesn’t come from outside of us but it comes from within in us. “Force,” she says, “is trying to control other people and the world. Power is creating yourself in your own world.”
Woah. Mind Blown. Check. It was such a moment of deja vu. I remembered trying to describe this sentiment to my husband once like this, “I haven’t felt supported or appreciated from the people around me so I’ve created by own support system in my illustrations that say all the things I wish those around me would say.” Please believe me, I am not bringing this up to make anyone feel bad or criticize them. They may not have known I was needing this kind of support. They may have had their own things going on that I’m not aware of. At the end of the day though, I realized that it wasn’t really about them at all. It was about me and what I was going to do.
I could have tried to “force” the people in my life to do the things I was craving, for example, to get them to acknowledge how hard I work so I wouldn’t feel like they were ignoring it. This would be me trying to control the world and the people in it, which let’s face it, is exhausting and probably is not going to lead to the results I’m looking for. Meaning, that if I try to get someone to compliment me, I’m probably not going to feel better. Even if they do hear me out and give me a compliment, I’m going to feel like they are only saying it because I basically told them to.
Brooke reiterates that we can’t decide what is happening to us but we get to decide how we respond. Similarly, I was craving some positive reinforcement. I didn’t feel like I was getting what I needed from others at the time, so I CREATED MY OWN WORLD. I built my own army of positive reinforcers that said encouraging, supportive and celebratory things to me. And you know what? The more they supported me, the better I felt. The better I felt the more I was able to give that support to others who may be struggling too.
The further Brooke dove in, the more I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I actually had to rewind it to hear it again. It was as if we had the same idea at the same time and had discussed it the night prior. I bring this up, not because I think Brooke stole my idea or that I stole her idea, but because it reminded me of this concept that really resonated for me from the book, BIG MAGIC, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Side note: If you are a creative person YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. Actually, just if you are a person, in general, you should read the book! I bring it up because 1) I freakin LOOOOOVE it, and 2) she discusses “ideas” as if they are these cute little living things that float around the world basically looking for someone to birth them. I envision them kind of as fluffy dandelion petals blowing around looking for a place to land. Or in her, more eloquent words:
Ideas are floating about in the ethers looking for someone to bring them into creation and are driven by a single impulse, to be made manifest. Ideas spend an eternity swirling around us looking for willing and available human partners, and if you’re oblivious to it it’s message it will move on to someone else.
So, after hearing Brooke describe the same sentiment I had the night before, I feel like this is an idea that NEEDS TO GET OUT THERE. LIKE RIGHT NOW. Maybe I am but one of many messengers but I was available, I got the message and I want to help bring it into the world however I can. The message being that there are loads of things that will happen around you that you cannot control. But THE GREATEST POWER YOU HAVE DOES NOT COME FROM WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND YOU - IT COMES FROM WITHIN YOU. Brooke summarizes it nicely, saying something along the lines of, “just because we can’t control the things around us doesn’t mean we are powerless. We can control the way we think, the way we respond, and the way we act.”
So what will you do to feel powerful?
I'M JUST TRYING MY BEST TO BE THE PERSON MY DOG THINKS I AM 🐶💕
Nothing can beat the feeling of coming home to @mollythemaltishit. As I walk from the driveway I can see her fluffy little face sitting on the stairs in front the window. just. waiting. for. me. (or if it’s nighttime and the curtains are closed, sticking her sweet little head through them 😂👀). Then I open the door and she does her happy dance (picture something in between a tap dance and skater jumps) while making this little chirping noise (eee eee eeee eee) until I follow her to the couch for a proper snuggle.
Can you imagine if WE GREETED THE PEOPLE ON OUR LIVES like that? Okay maybe minus the dance moves, the chirping, and the belly rubs, but with the same ENTHUSIASM and EXCITEMENT! Wouldn’t the world be a happier place? Something to think about next time your roommate, your spouse, a friend, etc gets home - TRY ACTUALLY GREETING THEM, actually i.e. putting DOWN THE PHONE, GETTING OFF YOUR BUTT, giving them a GREAT BIG HUG and VOCALIZING how HAPPY YOU ARE TO SEE THEM.
It might feel strange at first because we are in the habit of being in our own “zones” (I’ve there 💁🏼♀️), not looking up to acknowledge someone until we’ve hit send on that email (or finished that last brushstroke), and sometimes that may be necessary so you can get through your to do list. But sometimes those things can actually wait and prioritizing welcoming a person may be just what that person needs that day!
Adam was away on business and his flight was delayed so he wasn’t getting in until after I was going to be in bed. So I made a bunch of large notes and placed them on every stair going upstairs to the bedroom that made a message when read together. He said after a long trip home that the notes made him feel so welcome and happy to be home 😊 (side note: I ended up waking up anyway because molly heard him come in and did her traditional greeting dance 💃🏼 😂).
This is my long-winded way of saying — WELCOME HOME! I’M SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE! You can't see me but I am doing a tap dance and chirping. Seriously. And to prove how glad I am to see you here I'd like to give you this FREE Printable to remind you that YOU GOT THIS!
SOMETHING HAPPENED FOR ME
I was horrified when a client emailed me saying that she had tried going to my blog and that it didn't work. Turns out the credit card that was on file had expired. They had emailed me about it but with all of chaos of Holiday orders I hadn't even noticed! So typical.
Usually, this sort of situation would cause me severe upper lip sweat and calling my husband in a panic. But it's a new year so I tried a different approach. I've heard that there are two ways of thinking: (1) something happened to me or (2) something happened for me. I could freak out that my blogs dead and gone but I figure that wouldn't really help anything so I'm choosing to believe that this happened for me. It is an opportunity for a fresh start - and what better timing for a fresh start than at the start of a new decade? So RIP to my old blog, Art Like a Ladie.
WHAT 2019 TAUGHT ME TO UNLEARN
Last year I had to UNLEARN a lot of things. I had to unlearn the LIMITING BELIEFS I had grown up with - to only do things that make money right away as opposed to having the confidence to BELIEVE IN MYSELF (and my dreams) and know that I am worth investing in. I have chosen a different path, moving away from my fear based / survival mode decisions and leaning into INSPIRED decisions.
In my illustrations, I created a new support system for myself - a team of people that lifted me up when I was feeling low. That encouraged me, that rooted for me and that just saw me for who I am (not who they wanted me to be). They celebrated my accomplishments and hard work. They helped me rediscover my strength and value. And, as last year came to a close, I realized that this “inspirational team” I created was actually ME.
It is a journey but I am learning to ROOT FOR MYSELF again. That my value doesn’t come from what others opinions are about what I do - or do not do. That, even if no one understood my work or valued my art, I would still make it because it is WHAT SETS MY HEART ON FIRE. Unlike what had been so ingrained by those around me, my art doesn’t get its value from whether someone buys it or not. Nor does it come from what my family thinks of it. That freedom allowed me to create what was in my HEART instead of what I thought would sell. And, ironically, that is what seemed to resonate with you too! And for that I am so THANKFUL. Because I want you to have an “inspirational team” too - and, until you too realize that YOU are that team, I will happily be here in the interim, rooting for you. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE 🥳
Cheers to a year of health and happiness, peace and purpose,