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Out Like A Lion...

Personal Life...

March was kind of a mixed bag for me... like they say, "It comes in like a lamb, and goes out like a Lion." My family and I are still adjusting to the loss of my Mom in January. As a family, we're just trying to hold on to the good memories, laugh as much as possible, and remember all of the happy times. I still have some days where the emotions get to me, but I'm processing them as best as I can. I'm not sure you ever fully heal from losing a loved one, but I'm trying to be productive and figure out where I go from here.

Even though March seemed to fly by it was filled with love and making new memories. Family that I haven't seen in decades came to visit and that was wonderful. And of course it ended with Easter on the 31st. My Mom was always the one who planned the Easter dinner menu and had family members volunteer to cook the different dishes, kind of like a pot luck. And this year that job fell on me - everyone kind of looks to me to take over some of my mom's duties I guess. So, I made the menu and reached out to the family and come Easter day everything worked out and was delicious. Though my mom's absence was absolutely felt, we shared memories, made new ones, and felt that she was there in spirit. Which is always comforting, in my opinion.

my home town, view of the city on an overcast day
The view of my home town from when my family visited


My Work and Other Things...

March was also the time that I decided to re-vamp my entire website. If you have ever visited my site in the past, it may have looked a little different. I get bored of some designs or color choices and I have to update it. 😆 But right now I feel that the design is very clean looking and more in line with what I want going forward. I don't plan on changing it for quite a while. But while doing all of that I was thinking about what direction, creatively, I want to take in the future. And with that I have fully decided to start moving away from Patreon and other social media over the next few months.

As I mentioned before, I want to bring everything in-house on my own website where I'm not fighting with algorithms or worried about being shadow-banned because I support or disagree with one thing or another. Basically... getting back to basics before social media took over so much of our lives. I just feel that, as a society, we've gotten away from ourselves and true communication. Anymore, it just seems like a lot of ads and noise when I go onto social media these days. I might check in on Facebook or Instagram for a few minutes a day, but other than that I'm not really on there much. I just find it lacking in real connection... like it's being forced. "Here, use this new feature and we'll show your posts to only a small portion of your followers" - or whatever new thing they are pushing. I've had enough. I still keep up with the people I love and care about on social media, but I don't post much anymore, and I don't browse it like I used to.

So what am I using when staring into my phone to distract myself? Well... I'm on Pinterest a lot more. It's more solitary, in my opinion. And being an introvert, I find that comforting. I only post and interact if I want to, not because the app says I have to. I've also been browsing TikTok more and more. It feels more real. Sure, there's drama, ads, and other nonsense on TikTok, but it doesn't give me the same icky feeling as the 'Meta' apps do. I used to love Instagram, until Meta took it over. It was better when it was just Instagram and not trying to be TikTok or Snapchat. But whatever. Things change and evolve, I get it. I'm not opposed to change, I just wish they didn't make it so difficult to get any kind of reach with the people that actually follow your accounts. But I digress... :sigh:

So... what does this mean going forward for my art?

I will be doing bi-weekly blog posts and a monthly newsletter. I'll still be posting occasionally on Insta and Facebook, but I am going to be putting the majority of my focus here on my website through my blog and newsletter. Not all of the blog posts and newsletters may contain art, depending on what I'm working on and if I'm allowed to post or not. But, either way I figure that it's a way to get around algorithms and reach the people who want to keep up with my art, be informed of discounts, sales, events and more. Moving to something more real, at least that's how it feels in my mind and heart at the moment. I like the idea of cutting out the middle-man and it's just me and those who enjoy what I create and release into the world. It's more personal, and that's something we're lacking... being personal.

As for the content of my art, well, that's going to be changing a bit too. I've got a few commissions that I'm working on, but after that I'm not going to take anymore for a while. I have several projects that I've been wanting to work on, and not all of them involve illustration - at least not Pinups or Portraits. It's more Graphic Design. I'm not sure if many people know, but I used to work in a graphics design position creating business cards and other stationery products for a local company. That was almost 2 decades ago now, but I enjoyed it. I was toying with the idea of offering more digital products as well. I'll post more about that as I go along - I don't want to give everything away just yet, and this post has gone on long enough, I feel.

But if you're so inclined, please feel free to subscribe to my blog, or sign up for my newsletter. I look forward to sharing my little corner of the world with you.



the mill mountain star of roanoke virginia
The Star of my home town

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