Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm In Love

OMG I saw these this morning and fell head over heels in love. I have never owned a pair of "flats" but they are all the rage, so I am finally jumping on board. These are so cute and so awesome that I can not wait to wear them. I love my heels and so does my boyfriend, but I also like to be able to walk all day and these are sooooo cute. Okay maybe a little splurge on the old credit card, but hey why did God invent credit cards if he didn't want us to use them?

And It Continues-This One Paid $.50 (cents) Per Drawing!

And it continues.. what is wrong with people? 

"54 simple illustrations needed.
Small files for web use only, either 300 x 300px square or 460 x 300px rectangle.Will provide font, sample finished product and detailed instruction sheet.
Paying $0.50 per .JPG "

yeah that's 50 cents!! I saw another one yesterday from New York area that is paying $4 per hour, isn't that illegal in this country, guess not..

I don't understand, a couple days ago I was approached to do someone's book. I gave him a fair price, meaning I quotes less than a day's wage per page and he replied back with insults saying he knows for a fact that illustrators get $5 per page, yes 5 bucks.. he is insane. What is worse is that he wanted fully rendered like hand painted work that would take more than a day. 

This happens all the time. I don't understand why the value of an artist isn't valued anymore. 

Look we can draw and you can't so pay us a fair wage!! I don't know too many illustrators that gouge people for money. most of us just want to survive at a livable wage. Less than $1 per hour is NOT livable-not in this country. 

If you look at the Graphic Artist Guilds handbook you can see what we are supposed to be paid. I have been illustrating kid's books for 7 years now and I can say that I never seen anywhere close to 10,000+ for a book, which yeah, if you want us to spend the time and do a great job is about right. Not $200 per book, or $5 per page. It's beyond ridiculous and yet it keeps happening. 

UGH! ARTISTS stop taking these jobs!!! Would a mechanic work for $5 a day? Would a doctor? Would a teacher? The lady who you see at the check out lane? Airport baggage claim? NO!!! They wouldn't. Artists need to stand together and stop being treated like this. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Giving Gratitude for My Last Job-Silver Linings

While I really don't agree with saying anything negative about a work experience or anyone online-except for satirical posts and or total ranting in general-like why do people still text and drive??? ARRRGH But I digress.

Last Sept I was hired as an illustrator at a job that I LOVED. I was excited every single day to go into this job. I got new assignments daily and got to draw Disney characters-which from my background at Disney animation was a definite bonus; as well I got to draw tons of stuff that I had never done. I did about 30-50 new illustrations a week-yup a week-it was awesome. There was one problem, someone there didn't like me and made my life a living hell, but instead of giving up and quitting, I stuck it out and showed up every day. I was called names, insulted, threatened, talked about, etc.. pretty much every day for 8.5 months. The people who brought me, (well convinced this other person to hire me), in have apologized for the "bad situation" I was in for almost a year-and at low pay-I have to add that because being there did cost me a.....LOT...of money as I was making less than I made at the Cheesecake Factory in 1994 and less than when I started at Disney in 1996...just because some people have the idea that it's okay to take abuse if you are making good money. I was not, but I LOVED the job. Despite this person's horrible behavior I LOVED the job. I still tear up when I think that I am not there anymore. It has taken me about 3 months to get past the anger and hurt I have for what this person did, but never ever have I regretted going there. Here is what I am grateful for:

1) Now I am 100% digital-YIPPEE!!! I have been working on computers for years-but after 300+ illustrations I am really a full fledged digital illustrator and I get constant work doing children's books and other illustration projects. I have been doing kids books for years, but not like this, so that is a HUGE plus and I am grateful.

2) I am also grateful for all the new skills I have now, I went from beginning to expert in Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketchbook Pro-I love Sketchbook Pro-any and all artists should get it and it's less than $60-hurry before they realize what a great product they have and up the price!

3) I met many great people and have so many new friends from there. That is priceless.

4) This is the best part. I met the love of my life there. When I met him, I thought, "This place is too small, I can't date him, no way." But the universe had different plans for us and we fell head over heels in love and now I have this amazing man in my life that until this year I didn't even believe love like this existed. I thought true love was something Walt Disney made up to sell movies, but wow I have it now.

So while there were some hard days at this job, I have NO REGRETS, and never have. I am sorry that this person didn't like me and didn't want me there, even though I was a model employee. I was never late, not even by a minute, I never called in sick, I did above and beyond what was expected of me, I had a smile on my face every day and was always grateful for the opportunity. I leave with nothing by gratitude to this person who made my life hell, because he was also the one who hired me. I should have known things weren't going to be smooth on my first day when he said, "I didn't want you here, you have no talent, you can't draw and I don't think you can do this, but my staff feels otherwise." and maybe somewhere inside I did know, but the universe had other plans that I will always be grateful for. My life has changed for the better in so many ways that I can't even begin to describe, so I say to this man,  "Thank you for giving me the best gifts anyone could have ever given me. With gratitude always. I believe that everything happens for a reason and while I am sorry that you didn't like me or my work, I am grateful that I was there."

I write this blog today because so many of my friends are going through something bad right now, maybe a bad job, stress at home, work, life, illness and I really believe that after everything bad that happens something good will follow, or there is always a silver lining. I know that it's hard to see sometimes, especially when emotions are high, but really the worst times in my life have always turned out to be the best. Even after this experience, I look at it as one of the most positive things that could have ever happened to me and I am grateful for everything that it taught me, and gave me.

I'm just sayin'

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Yeah Right, It's Not Happening-Global Warming

A couple months ago I sat on a plane next to a man who was trying to convince me that global warming was not happening. I asked him about the polar bears dying because the ice is melting, he said it wasn't happening. I asked him about how come the San Fernando Valley used to be over 100 degrees every day from May to Oct and now we only see those super highs a couple times in July and August? He said that it never should have been that hot. I asked him how about the east coast seeing temps in the 100s all summer and when I was little the hot days were 80 at the most? He just kept saying that it wasn't happening. Well this man also tried to convince me that Sarah Palin was smart-now that should have been my first clue.

It is happening, period and this article above is really scary!

I understand the right wants everyone to believe that the left is crazy, but facts are facts and if you think it's not happening, just pay attention to the weather, it's been a bit crazy the last few years, or ask any polar bear.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's A Fine Life!

"If you don't mind having to go without things, it's a fine life!" This is a lyric from a song in the musical OLIVER! based of course on the Dickens novel, Oliver Twist. But hey more and more lately it seems to by the story of my life, and you know what? It's fine. I am absolutely happy 99.9% of the time. Sometimes when the bills are higher than the money that month-yeah well I am human, I'll freak out, but for the most part being an artist (and writer) is a pretty good life.
We aren't all starving kids on the streets picking pockets for money and such.. like so many people seem to perceive. I mean when I am working on a film, then everyone is like, "wow your life is so awesome" and also they love how much money we all make in the film industry, then when we are between jobs, or on "hiatus" as they love to say in Los Angeles, these same people are the first to say, "Time to get a real job". You know what, being an artist is a real job. Although not for everyone, but it is a real job and it's fun, hard, depressing, exciting, wonderful, terrifying, amazing, etc... all wrapped up into one. We get knocked down and we get back up. We create, we see the world differently, hence why we are artists, writers, poets, musicians and the rewards are great. So yeah right now I am having a shortage on work, but I have a great apartment, lots of warm clothes, food in my belly and I actually can pay my bills-I am living in the now. I am not focused on the past-where the money was rolling in because I was full time at a studio with union benefits, and I am not worried about the future because today is pretty good and that's fine with me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Smack in the Face!!

Yesterday I threw a pity party in my name because I am not working full time.. ....well boo effing wooo, seriously. I am healthy, loved by my family, friends, doggie and boyfriend. My life is actually great, but I don't have a lot of money coming in steady.
Today I learned that a colleague of mine from Disney has cancer, stage three! FUCK! Seriously. This guy is super healthy and is a nice one too-of course it always happens to the nice ones. And then I read that another friend has a friend whose son was killed on a motorcycle this weekend. Nothing is worse than losing a child. Then I heard about a girl in OC, 18 or 19 year old, gorgeous girl, who caught some nasty ass thing and has had ALL her limbs cut off... seriously?
Next time I am having a pity party I will remember, that life is short and I am very very very lucky.
Count your blessings people and remember there is always someone sadder than you.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Results Good and Random Monday Thoughts

So I got a call from my doctor-no I do not have a thyroid issue-and no I do not have cancer-so yippee!! Nothing is wrong with me-maybe I am just getting old....eeek! Never I say never! Honestly it is what it is, and I couldn't be happier.
I started a new meditation today for 21 days with Deepok Chopra-well not with him directly, but on his site and it's pretty awesome so I am ready for things to change in my life. I am no longer going to focus on bad things or people.
I have given too much power to people who have made my life miserable and I am not 100% sure of why except that I have this need for everyone to like me and accept me. That is not realistic, but that's how I am built. I bend over backwards to please people who are never going to like me.
For example, my last boss-he hated me from the day he hired me, he bashed my work for 9 months, and threatened me, slandered me and basically made my life a living hell, and I allowed it because I was desperate for the job. This all said, I came in every day with a smile on my face and treated him with respect-the way I wanted to be treated, that never happened from him, but I still have my integrity. I felt sorry for him and kept believing it would change, it didn't, and I felt a sigh of relief that I can't explain when he said, "this is the end of the road for you here."
I did love that job despite all that drama, and everyone else there, so it was okay and I did 100% every single day, no matter what this person said to me. When he let me go, he yelled at me for about 10 minutes telling me that I was a horrible person and he hated me since the day he hired me and I had no talent. I think I actually laughed a little because it was so ridiculous. Since then I have gotten phone calls, emails and text messages continuing to tell me how horrible I am...well come on it's been three months, let it go.
I was letting this person get to me, even though I don't work there anymore-and that has to stop. Who cares if one person doesn't like me? That job was great and I made great friends, gained invaluable skills, met the love of my life there-so that is what I am taking from it now in my quest to be happy instead of sad, worried, fearful and full of anxiety-because frankly I just can't do it anymore. Life is too short and I am ready for the next great adventure and today with the start of great news about my health-I am ready for what's next!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thyroid Issue? Nah! Italian food.

Got a blood test for my thyroid this morning-honestly you know what my thyroid issue is? My love for Italian food! MMMMM I am down 11 lbs since Friday just from juicing and dropping all those things near and dear to my heart-risotto, parmesan cheese, pasta, breads, butter...etc.