Friday, August 29, 2014

Why You Should All Read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Okay anyone who went to highschool or who lives in the real world, read Thirteen Reasons Why-I am planning to blog about this book on both my blogs-But I will say this, unless you were homeschooled, this is the shit that goes on in high school and sadly even as adults. Not everyone commits suicide, but what people do and say does impact others period. I honestly believe this book should be required reading in the 9th grade (maybe 10th) starting now. I'll post the blog links when I get to them, I am being more thoughtful about them than my usual ramblings because of the subject matter-so it's just a question of time.

And I know this book is a few years old, I didn't read it for a lot of reasons, mostly because when I read the title I said to my friend in the bookstore "shit this is about a girl who kills herself, I think I need to wait"....so I waited. I kept picking it up at Barnes and Noble and carrying it around and then ultimately putting it back. It's haunting and beautiful and sad and truthful in every way. Go read it.


http://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Reasons-Why-Jay-Asher/dp/159514188X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409328351&sr=1-1&keywords=thirteen+reasons+why


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Mork and Why Suicide is the Worst Day of Your Life




Okay so the saddest news went around the globe yesterday and we all learned that our beloved Robin Williams took his own life. It's beyond tragic, but the first thing that popped into my head wasn't anything nasty like, "suicide is selfish" or "why would he do that, he had everything?" Just some of the posts I have seen on social media in the last day. The first thing that popped into my head was, "this is so sad, I wish he could have found a way to make the pain stop." I also know that the "funny" people are often the saddest. Humor is a way of coping with all the shit that happens in life. I have a motto, that which does not kill me, makes me funnier, and while that is meant humorous, it's really the truth.

Some of you know and I have been so worried about sharing this information, but now I figure screw it, if it helps one person than it's worth any ridicule I may get. I drove to San Francisco in 2009 twice to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Two times I made that decision. I simply could NOT take one more second of the pain I was in. Here is something that is important for people to know, I do NOT suffer from depression or bipolar disorder. Yes I am an artist and a writer and I could easily have either, but I don't and yes I have seen doctors, especially when I was suicidal after my mother's death in 2004. I thought, I am not normal because the pain gets worse every day not better-there must be something clinically wrong with me. There wasn't, I was just in pain.

The fact that I don't have a mental disorder is probably 100% of the reason that I was able to walk away from the rail and say, "okay this pain I am sucks, but I don't want to die, plus that really looks like it will hurt." Humor again, my go to is always humor.

It wasn't just about losing my mom, although that ripped my heart out and the pain is something that I can't truly describe-even though I am a writer-that's how bad it was. It was like losing a child. I felt like a part of me died with her.

Before mom died, my step brother was killed in a car jacking in Phoenix while I was living and working in Sydney, I felt like if I was in the States it wouldn't have happened, which is wrong, but it's how I felt. My brother and I were really close all through high school and college so his death was the beginning of what I now call the "LOSS DECADE" of my life.

Then Sept 11th happened and I lost friends, then mom got cancer, then grandma died, then mom died and as if all this wasn't hard enough-traditional animation crashed and I lost my career.

Someone on FB was posting about Robin Williams' death and saying that money is never a reason to kill yourself. Well to this person I say, that is so wrong. I don't know what issues with money Mr. Williams had, but I do know for a fact that when you go from having money and a career to being worried every single day about money and paying bills and for me being homeless, it does take it's toll. It's about so much more than money, it's about feeling like a failure. It's about feeling like you aren't worth anything in society, it's about self doubt and feeling like you are the only one who isn't making it work. Even if none of that is true it's how it feels. For me, not having money coming in for 8 years up to when I decided to jump was enough to make me feel like I was failing at every turn. The stress of always wondering if I could afford to eat and pay my rent was debilitating. No matter how many jobs I applied for and tests I took for jobs, nothing was working for me, so yeah MONEY was a huge part of my decision to jump.

So where was I? Oh yeah after mom died in 2004, I went to Denmark for a year, I needed the work and it was a great escape from reality, but what was so bad about that decision is that I didn't deal with her death at all. Nothing in Denmark reminded me of my mother and so it was new. "I am fine" became something I said all the time when people asked me how I was doing about mom. When I came back to the US in 2005 I was lucky enough to have a job in AZ. Arizona! UGH that is where mom lived so all the pain from her death came right back, but at least I was working.

Then that job went bust and I moved to middle America for another job that went bust after just 5 months-these places went out of business or had layoffs, I wasn't getting let go, the jobs were ending.  I moved back to Los Angeles still pretending everything was fine and then the 4 weeks I was working at Disney ended and I was back to fear, worry, stress etc. Then the phone call came.
"Your father is brain dead and we need you or your sister to come pull the plug" Yes that is what I heard. I feel into a deep despair. "OMG I HAVE NO PARENTS LEFT!" and I am in my 30s.

Well my sister decided not to pull the plug and this started a 6 year nightmare of my dad in a home with the mental capacity of a toddler to maybe first grader at best. A lot of the time he didn't know who I was when I called, but he did come out of the coma he was in and was not brain dead. But it was beyond hard to call my own father and he didn't know who I was, I had lost him. I was grieving-AGAIN.

So by the time 2008 rolled around, my depression was so bad that I could hardly function. I was worried all the time about money and I missed my parents so much that it hurt constantly. I had no one to talk to about it as grief counselling is wicked expensive, so started to make a plan for a way out. In 2009 I made the decision to go to San Francisco and jump. My mom and I had talked about her walking across the bridge if she made it out of her cancer, so I would walk across the bridge and then jump.

I knew it was selfish, I didn't care. YOU DON'T CARE when you are in that place. You only care about stopping your pain. Ever have a really bad day? I mean REALLY bad? Like your significant other cheats on you? Your kid dies, your parent dies, you lose your job? Anything like that? And it's ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT or TALK ABOUT? You are being selfish because you need to be in that moment, now imagine that magnified about 100 times and that is how one feels when they are committing suicide.

I knew that people would be sad, I knew that I would be missed, I knew what it would do to my remaining family, I didn't care. None of that mattered because the grief and pain I was feeling compounded by the constant fear of being homeless and feeling like a failure was more than I could take. Luckily for me when I got to the bridge and looked over the side something inside of me stopped me and even though I went back a second time-because of course I felt like a failure for not even being able to kill myself right-the same thing happened and I stopped and chose life.

Again, I do not have a mental illness so that choice was an easy one, but for someone dealing with all this crap and suffering from depression? Forget it, that leap is saving them from the hell they are in. It always bewilders me when people say "suicide is so selfish". Of course it is, it is the worst day of your life if you want to die. Now add a mental illness like being bi-polar or depression and then you don't have the skills or reasoning to not take your own life.

Mr. Williams was a great actor, comedian and from what I have heard person, but he was struggling with something bigger than any of us can see-well most of you who haven't been there. I hope that in his death people will really start thinking about the way they judge others in a more compassionate way and also really understand suicide for what it is, a way out.

Here is a great article that I want to share in case anyone here is thinking about taking their own life.
http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Day of July

Omg it's the last day of July! Things are getting really busy for me and I am very excited about all of them.

The first thing happening starting tomorrow is the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles, which is SOLD OUT!


If you don't know, the SCBWI is the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I do both, professionally. I have illustrated about 18 books now and written a few picture books for a mobile app company I worked for in 2012/2013 called FarFaria. I am currently pitching my early chapter book series entitled Uli Driscoll in Trouble, and will have a dummy at the conference attached to my portfolio.


I am currently taking a revision workshop to finally get Ryuan - my then YA, now MG series into better shape. After a few rejections I took a closer look. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/reviseyournovelinamonth

At the conference I am splitting my time between writing workshops and illustrator workshops, I am also in the portfolio showcase-and even though I do this for a living-I am still nervous about, but thankfully 19 years of acting and acting training, no one will see that in me on Saturday night.




I am meeting tons of my friends from various writing courses I have been in this year and also of course all my SCBWI CenCal and Los Angeles friends. I am very excited about this.


Secondly is Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. I met and discovered Lilla Rogers http://lillarogers.com/ last year and then it became my mission to take her courses and learn how to make more art that sells. I have been in bootcamp since Feb and then took MATS A in the spring and now the GTS.

I have been really grateful that most of what I have made in the classes has been selling, either in prints, licensing or in my shops on products. As well I have been getting contacted a lot more about other projects based on work I have done for the classes. It's been really an amazing journey. So on August 5th, I will start this talent search, which is going to be very fun, hard, exciting and most of all rewarding. I am showing some work from the Feb bootcamp assignment here. Oddly enough none of these were the final pieces and all of these designs have been selling, so it's worth it.



In addition to the two things I mentioned above, the third thing I am doing is the Make It In Design Summer School Beginner track. I chose only one track because I knew I had these other things coming up. It just started so I haven't done anything yet, the assignment is due on the 7th! But since I am gone this weekend, probably I will start it today and finish when I get back from the conference. http://makeitindesign.com/

On August 9th I am taking an all day workshop on concept with Jill and Martha also through a Path to Publishing http://apathtopublishing.com/concept-workshop/
This is for my series, Ryuan.

So besides rewriting a novel, pitching a series, taking drawing courses, being in a contest, I am also working and looking for more work, but I am EXCITED!

This is what being a working artist is all about!! Learning, growing, applying, getting hired, getting rejected, being rich, being poor and everything inbetween!

I hope you are all as busy with exciting things as I am, life is too short to just watch it go by.






Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's Support Each Other As Artists

So I am writing this post not to hurt anyone's feelings or come off as negative, but lately I have really been bugged by the way some of my "friends" have spoken to me about my work. I am not sure if it's jealousy behind it, or just ignorance for having any manners, but I have heard things like this.

"What you do isn't real art, it's cartoons"
"I do support you, I just don't like cartoons"
"You aren't really an artist, you scribble cartoons"
"I didn't know you could draw, I thought you played around with cartoons"

And this could go on forever. Oddly enough these statements are not coming from "fine artists" (which is a whole nother kettle of fish) but from people who also work in ANIMATION! I am not kidding.
Another friend of mine went on and on about how stupid she thinks kids books are and who would pay for that?

So I am writing this today to ask each and every one of you to support each other instead of make stupid insensitive comments like these people have. To be honest and fair I don't love everything my friends do, but I would NEVER in a million years cut them down.

I believe as creatives we need to support each other and lift each other up. Maybe that is just how I was raised.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

15 Life Rules from Amy Poehler!

I stumbled across this article this morning and I thought it was awesome so I am sharing with all of you. Great advice. For the full article click the link, otherwise just enjoy Amy's words of wisdom!
1.  “Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb. And the earlier you start in your life, the better.”
2. “No one looks stupid when they’re having fun.”
3. “Continue to share your heart with people even if it’s been broken.”
4. “Rooting for other people’s failure does get in the way of your success.”
5. “You can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, and spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own.”
6. “Taking risks and making choices is what makes life so exciting.”
7. “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it…doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—that is what life is.”
8. “I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled.”
9. “Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don’t know about. Limit your always and your nevers.”
10. “The earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be.”
11. “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
12. “Sometimes painful things teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know.”
13. “It’s just about honoring the fact that, yeah, I should be writing, producing, directing. I should be believing that the world is mine to have.”
14. “When you do talk about yourself or to yourself and you have that tape running in your head about yourself, try to picture you are talking to your own daughter or your younger sister, because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she is beautiful and you wouldn’t be lying, because she is. And so are you.”
15. “You deserve love and you’ll get it.”

Monday, June 30, 2014

Make Today Beautiful!


Just thought I would give this blog some art love!!! Happy Monday~ 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally! Funding for Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Barrier Approved!!

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/27/health/golden-gate-suicide-barrier/

This is great news. The thing is, there is no way to guarantee someone won't take their life, but making it harder is a step in the right direction. For those of you following me for many years know that I was one of those people just 5 years ago. The pain of losing my brother, my mother and my father was in a home at the time not always knowing who I was and I was not working full time. It seemed like no matter what I tried to do, nothing changed and it was hard and I was in pain 24/7. So I drove up to jump NOT because I wanted to die, because I wanted the pain to stop. I also do not have a mental illness, but after 9 years of this sorrow and devastation that kept coming, I couldn't take it anymore. I stood on the bridge for 45 minutes crying and only one person stopped to talk to me, she asked for a photo. That said I didn't feel like people didn't care about me. I knew that I was leaving behind friends and family who would be devastated, but I didn't care. I was having my most selfish day. The pain exceeded what would happen to anyone else. I am not being cold, just being honest. Unless you have lost your family and your career and have been where I was you can NOT understand, so please don't judge me.
I was lucky that I looked over the side and thought that I wanted to live no matter how much pain I was in. I actually went up twice, but the second time I felt the urge to live even more. Someone or something was guiding me to not do this. Most people in that state of mind are not so lucky.
Later in 2009 I wrote a book that I called Slanted Houses about a girl who drives up from L.A. to jump, I made it a romantic comedy. I haven't sold it yet. I tried, but it was hard and I wanted to move past what happened. But I was up there on the bridge in Nov, and I saw a girl right before she jumped. I asked her if she was okay and she lied. I walked away slowly because she had grabbed the cable when I spoke to her. Before I walked about I asked her point blank if she was going to jump, she said no. I called 911 and they got there too late. I didn't see her go over because I looked away. That became my reason for the book. I am now rewriting it as a YA novel under the new title Four Seconds.
The thing is the barrier is a great thing to happen. Why they didn't just extend the fence is beyond me,but this is very good news~ I did this painting in 2013 I called it Souls At Night because I image that the lost souls are still on the bridge.

If you know someone in trouble or you yourself are please get help http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sorry Been Busy!

Hey everyone!! So I haven't blogged in almost a month. Why? You ask. Well because I was finishing my EARLY CHAPTER BOOK, yes I illustrated it and wrote it. I had a couple requests to submit directly to editors, so I wanted to get the dummy finished. A dummy is a sample that artist/illustrators do to show the book to prospective agents, editors and art directors. While some may do a rough book dummy, I did mine in full color. I am happy to make revisions, but I am super happy with how it turned out! Here are some photos, and actually some of the text has already changed since I made the watermarked images below. :)

Wish  me luck!! I have worked really hard on this series and I am hoping to sell it to a major this year.





Sunday, June 1, 2014

5 Years Ago, I Chose Life


It was five years ago today that I was standing on top of the Golden Gate Bridge looking down the 220 feet to the cold Bay below about to jump. I don't have a mental illness and I wasn't taking drugs of any kind, I was simply in search of a way out-the pain of losing my mother, my brother, my father being in a home not always knowing who I was AND my animation career stalling was too much for me. I couldn't take one more second of that pain. I thought about this for about a year before I decided to do it. It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. That day, I was having was the worst day of my life. Was it selfish? You bet your ass it was, I just said I was having the worst day of my life. I had it all planned out, I had letters to my loved ones in zip lock bags. I had left my dog with my roommate in Los Angeles with instructions on what to do, "just in case something happened to me" and I was set. 
That was it, I was done. I couldn't take one more second of the pain that had consumed me for five years after losing my mother. I think when my brother was killed in Phoenix in a car jacking in 2000 and I was in Australia, that is when the trauma really started, but then mom got cancer in 2001 right after Sept 11th and things kept going from bad to worse. I was out of work for almost two years-and I felt like a loser. Finally in 2003 I started working again and early 2004 I was offered a great job in Denmark, things were looking up. Then mom got worse and fast. She died in March. I had one day to put everything I own into a storage unit when my sister called me and said "we took her off life support, get your ass out here" and I drove to Tucson crying, having no idea what I was going to see. I couldn't believe it was real. Mom, dying? No way, not my mom. 
So she died and one week later I moved across the ocean to Denmark to start a new job. I didn't know anyone, well I knew one other person from a job I had been on in Italy two years earlier, but she was it. I was so depressed that things felt like they were in slow motion all the time. I got through the year, then moved back home for another job, this time in Arizona. This is where mom had lived and it killed me. I hated being in that state. 
Finally in 2006 I moved back to L.A. Animation was up and down, I got work, I didn't have work, I was either broke or close to broke all the time. The stress was terrible and I still had the pain of losing mom just two years earlier fresh in my heart. One day in Sept my father had a massive heart attack and I got a call saying he was brain dead and come pull the plug. For one reason or another my sister, who had power of attorney, decided not to, so he lived in a home. He couldn't talk etc. 
In 2008, he sort of could talk, but sometimes didn't know who I was. So here I was, broke, with no money, nothing was working out, still sad about mom, dad didn't know who I was and was in a home. I couldn't go see him so that was it. I couldn't take it. 
I planned for 5 months on when and how I would do it. I decided the Golden Gate Bridge, because mom and I had planned on walking across it if she lived. She was afraid of heights so that was our plan. So my plan was to walk it, then jump. I stood over that rail for 45 minutes crying and NOT ONE PERSON asked if I was okay. This was May 31, 2009. A tourist asked if I could take her photo. I was crying, on the Golden Gate Bridge, and no one cared. I tried to use one of those blue phones, it was dead. So that was that. But here is what saved me that day. It's scary up there when the wind blows. It's way up there. I looked over and thought. "This is really going to hurt and I'll probably survive the fall, drown or get eaten by a shark, anything is better than this." and I walked off went to the Warming Hut, got a hot chocolate and drove back to Los Angeles. 
No one in my life knew how sad I was because I hid it well and now I can look back and think of May 31st as the day I lived and started my life over. Do I miss my mom? Sure! I miss my brother, my mom, and my dad who passed away in June of 2012. But I don't want to die, I never wanted to die and I knew people would miss me, I just wanted the pain to stop. 
Now I support the Bridge Rail Foundation on getting a barrier up, because most people won't walk away. Most people can't. I was lucky. I am lucky. I am not sure what stopped me really that day. For the first time in my life I was afraid of heights-maybe mom was there, who knows, but I am so grateful that I didn't take that final leap. 
http://www.bridgerail.org/

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What Would I Do If I Were 22?

If I were 22 again, #IfIWere22 I would... well, let's see there are so many things that I would do, not sure that I have regrets per say as I do love my life, but I would do some things differently.
The first, I would take even MORE CHANCES. I wouldn't be so afraid of failure. I wouldn't care so much about what others thinks of me. I would spend more time with my parents.
These are all things that I did when I was 22. I took chances, sure, like moving to Los Angeles with $70 in my pocket to pursue acting, then that next summer moving across the country to New York to finish my degree in acting-and of course pursue acting more. The truth is I never took the big risks. I was never uncomfortable in my life. I was always living in a safe place and always had work-I was a waitress, a nanny, a bartender, a stand up comedian, and those all kept me SAFE. If I was 22 now, I wouldn't play it so safe like I did. I had many friends in acting who were living 4 people to a room and auditioning all the time. I never did that because I was afraid of that lifestyle, being a failure and what if I never made it? That was my big fear and not paying my debts on time. How silly. I should have auditioned every single day.
I wouldn't worry so much about money and debts. I know this will make me unpopular with the general population on here as far as giving advice, but you know, you don't get to take money with you. College is expensive in this country, so I wouldn't worry about it-go the best school that you can is the advice I would give. That said, if you don't have the funds and can't get the funds together---then don't go until you can. Get out and experience life.
I would stop worrying about being old. OMG I can't believe that when I was 22, I felt old. I'd like to smack my younger self as two decades have passed now and I feel young now, but didn't then. I also wouldn't focus on what society says I should be doing at whatever age. I was so worried about what I was supposed to be doing and having college debt, that I wasn't focusing on what I should have been.
I would live for MYSELF instead of trying to please everyone else. I have learned over the years that not everyone is going to like me and that is okay.
If I had extra money, I would save it. If I didn't, I wouldn't worry about it so much. I worried all the time about money in my 20s. What a waste of my energy.
I wouldn't worry so much about stuff that I can't control.
I would spend more time with my parents. They are both gone now and I miss them every day. I wish I could change that. I would visit them more and cherish them if I could.
Am I where I thought I would be? Hrm? No because at 22, I was determined to be a full time actress, but I am HAPPY and that is worth more than anything. I can always do acting again. There is nothing that says you can't work as an actress after a certain age no matter what the industry says.
The advice I would give is this. Always be TRUE to yourself and YOUR DREAMS. Don't do anything to please someone else, even your parents. This is especially true for anyone who wants to be a create person and have a create career. Working as an artist in any field is much harder than normal 9-5 jobs, that is a fact, but if it is who you are, then you must follow those dreams.
Advice to artists of any kind out therePractice, practice, practice and submit, submit, submit, audition, audition, audition. If you are in a creative field so whatever it is you do over and over and over and over. Don't let rejection get you down-it's just part of the industry-ignore it and move in. Follow your PASSION, work hard at it and never, ever treat anyone badly. Don't be competitive, and always be gracious. Give more than you receive. Don't ever give up!! Especially over money-money is not a measure of success-even if it feels like it is. It isn't. It's not real.
Be FEARLESS

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Stolen Art Work Debacle Continues

Stolen Art Work Debacle Continues

Hey everyone so I am not writing this to be negative but rather to share info that could help other artists in the future. Recently I was made aware that a drawing I had done in April of 2013 was taken from a blog post and used without my permission for a logo.
MY DRAWING from April 2013

The way she took it for the logo and banner.


I contacted the person who runs this charity, he took it down, then told me the graphic design company did it, but kept saying he wanted to use it without paying for it. I offered for him to buy it at a super discounted rate, but he didn't want to pay me a dime-kept playing the "charity" cards.

 I have asked the graphic design company for payment and they have not complied at this time. Against the advice of a lawyer, I offered to do another DRAWING of a Westie for the person who is running this charity.

FOR FREE. yes for FREE. I offered to help him out since he was in a bad situation.
Well then a couple weeks went by and he told me this past weekend that another Westie illustrator had contacted him and wanted to do his FB banner and new logo drawing for FREE and if I didn't do it right away then he would use her. Turns out that was a lie. Not only did he contact her, he was going to PAY HER!! 

So really? Then why not just pay me for use of the image that was taken? I told him if he did that then I would drop the whole thing and let him have right of use for that FB banner, but he didn't want to pay-well not me.
That said I felt bad for him, so I spent an entire day away from my work and work for others to do a brand new logo/banner for him, based on his specifications. 


He told me to use the photo, but I couldn't do it the exact same way the graphic designer had done it because even though she stole my work I was not going to steal hers so I changed it slightly.
Well he hated it. His friends hated it. He made sure that I knew that he felt that it wasn't professional like the other one-yup the one that had my stolen artwork. He was beyond rude, about a FREE drawing. I would have happy changed tiny things about it, but he was so awful about it. I still offered-why? Because I am too nice-I know I am working on that. 

So I told the other artist that she could go ahead and do his logo because he didn't like mine and he told me she had offered to do his for free---well that's when I found out that he LIED about that just to get me to do FREE work. He offered to pay her several times. So.. I told him that I wanted to be paid for use of my work and then he sent me several nasty emails and is now lying about me to others. 

So the moral of the story is don't ever work for FREE because people will never treat you with respect. It's really sad because I wanted to help him out. I have no problem if he wanted some tweaks to the design, but sending nasty emails saying him and all his friends think it wasn't professional all while courting another artist that he was going to pay really is douchey-there is no other way to say it. I still love this new design. I liked the old one too-just she didn't have permission to use my image. Had they just paid me for it, this would all not be a problem. I mean he supposedly LOVED my original work, but not enough to pay for it.
Lesson learned I suppose. 

One Last Payment for B School

Donate to Help Me Pay For School

Hi everyone so I have been going to B School with Marie Forleo and I love it, it's amazing. In fact next year when I am richer or richer I plan on giving away a scholarship to artists who want to go but can't afford it. So to make that happen I need to stay in and continue learning. I need some help covering the last month of tuition so I created a sale on my limited edition prints to do just that. You can go to my Pinterest page and see them.

You can see the artwork that I am selling to raise funds for B School tuition here on Pinterest too http://www.pinterest.com/stephnewyork/help-me-pay-off-b-school-thank-you/ thank you for sharing and supporting-this is the last payment. Yay!\

Or you can go right to my website http://www.stepholivieri.com/#!prints/c1qno

Thank you for the support of my art and my school. Giving gratitude to all of you! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cheat night!

Tonight will be my first meal out on the diet-it's my cheat night ---so I am having one glass of red wine, grilled veggie skewers and a tiny bit of parm fries---total calories will be under 600.....
:) wish me luck!! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Minus 40 lbs Day One

So I decided that I need to lose 40lbs. I would be soooo happy if I reach that, I would be happy for 30 and satisfied with 20. I have never been a waif-even when I was 108 lbs, I was never skinny. I am not built like that, but over the years I have gained weight.. with age or whatever. So much that when I saw one of my old art teachers at the CTNXpo in Burbank two years ago he said, "wow you are a bit heavier now". I said, "Hey I used to be anorexic back then." He said, "yeah but at least you were thin." I kinda laughed it off, but then I have been more sleepy than normal and I don't feel as fit.
I am still in an 8.. but to be fair 15 years ago I would have died to be in an 8 instead of a 4 or 6.. so I am bigger. I want to run the Boston marathon, I have my entire life. I can't run fast enough at this weight to do that. So I am going to lose.
To be fair I am at the top of my height/weight range, and to be 20-40 lbs lighter, then I will be at the bottom of it. That is where I am happy.
My boyfriend loves me the way I am-always complimenting my curves, but I look in the mirror and am like, "who is this chubby girl?"
I made excuses all year "I gained weight after my cervical cancer surgery" which is true.. but that is no reason to keep it on. I don't have cervical cancer, and all I do have now is extra weight.. so it's coming off. Today is day one!
I will be posting about it because it helps to be accountable. I am excited. Weight loss, getting healthy again-here I come!

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Okay If You Aren't Perfect

My personal belief is that if someone is having a hard time and they have the courage enough to express that, one should always be accepting, encouraging and uplifting to that person. Positive action instead of negative.  I love that so many people have messaged me in the last couple of months saying that I have inspired them in some way, my drawings or my messages of support etc. It really means more than I can say. 


I recently joined a right brainer business group with the idea of working in an uplifting positive group. I was very active in the FB group and I posted a lot of inspirational and positive posts. I also posted what everyone in these type of classes or B School calls "wins" that is when you have a success. It could be anything from new subscribers to getting a new job. 

Well I also have been out of work for a couple of months-well not out of work, but things have been slow, so money has been tight. That is a fact. I am not being negative or coming from a place of scarcity, it is what it is. I don't dwell on it, I don't repeat it as a mantra-in fact I do a lot of great money mantras and I am convinced this is why things always work out.

Two weeks ago I ran out of money. Completely, 100% empty so I commented in this group about it, but I followed with "the life of an artiste and things always get better and this is why I am here". Well last week someone saw that comment and decided to call me out and post about me in a very humiliating way. She had it all wrong. I am not a negative person, in fact people had messaged me saying I inspired them because even though things were tough financially, I joined this business group and I was taking action to change that. (People always say that to me.)
The truth is that I had a couple of bad days and I was honest about it with a SAFE group-or what I thought was a safe group of artists in a business type class to learn. I shared because I was told it was okay to be honest. I guess I was wrong. I love getting feedback, but an unsolicited post that was damaging to me and my business? No that isn't cool and it's not feedback. 

*WTF? Did all my positive posts go missing?

So anyhow, I asked her to remove it, she did we talked it's all cool. I didn't want anyone in the group to think that I am negative and also I have been inspiring people in that group so I was worried that it might bring them down. Well the person who runs this class and this FB group has since told me that I was ruining the group. That I am not allowed to move further in the program am basically no longer welcome. I was planning my whole fall around this next program. I was excited about taking action, but I guess since I admitted that I am skint from time to time, I am not welcomed anymore. It's a real shame. I am also no longer in the FB group I mentioned above.

*I paid to be in this group* I just have to point this out.

I asked her about it and she just said she doesn't want my scarcity and negativity bringing the whole group down. Another wtf moment? All over the FB page people are always saying how I make them smile and inspire them. 

Is it negative to admit when you need help?

NO.

Is it negative to state your situation and then say that it's okay because it will work out? 

NO.

This whole thing upsets me and I just want to say to anyone like me who may feel like things are bad right now.

1) You need support so please don't be afraid to talk about it.
2) Things always get better 
and 3) Find a group that allows you to be you.. not a phoney always happy version of yourself. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Artwork Stolen!

Update on this-there is no real update. The girl running this company is lying and not resolving it-paying for right of us of this image. It's a shame, but looks like I will be going to suit on it. I share her company with you not to hurt her, but because this kind of business practice needs to stop and I want people to be aware of what she is doing. The halo wasn't even hers either. In any case, it will probably be awhile before there is resolve.
This is the graphic design company who stole my drawing and passed it off as theirs.http://www.captiv8solutions.com.au/


If you read my other blog you know about this. Last week I found out that an image of mine was being used in a logo. Turns out a graphic design company




in Australia stole my image from a blog post I did last year April 17, 2013 and passed it off as her own work. I contacted her this past weekend and at first she admitted they were similar, then denied it and finally lied and said she used a third party. She is not paying me, or hasn't yet for right of use of my drawing. I am sharing this will you so this kind of thing stops.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Update April 7th!

Hey everyone, so I have been in B School and MATS and Children's Book Academy and going through Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map and today I signed up for one more thing-Right Brained Business.
I know I am a bit crazy, but my life needs to change and I am the only one who can do it.

I have a new newsletter I'd love for you to sign up.. actually I have two. Please swing by my website
www.stepholivieri.com to sign up now!

I will be more active in about 4 weeks, when most of these classes are finished. Have a super day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Life Sucks, Sometimes You Just Need to Dance


So as you know, I am in B School (online business school) , and while it's amazing, I am a little overwhelmed. I am also in a Make Art That Sells course, and the same and I am also in a children's writing course. AHHHH how will I do it all? The there is life, ah life that thing we all have, and this week has been a hard one for many reasons, you want to see how I handle it? Click the video and also you should try it yourself! Hehe Have a great one. 

video


Oh and if you want to sign up for my fun newsletter with FREE doodles and FREE smiles here you go

Friday, March 21, 2014

Update on B School

Hey everyone, sorry I have been so busy that I haven't been posting and I don't have a video today, but I have this drawing I did yesterday, it expresses how I am feeling about B School and everything related.

It is scary. It's scary to add optins and have newsletters going out, it's scary to promote myself, it's scary because I am out of cash, but I know it will be worth it.
I have already learned so much that I can't tell you. I think about the last 5 years and 5 years ago, I was in the same financial boat I am in now, sure I work all the time. I am rarely out of work, but I have to look constantly and it never seems to be enough and I live a modest life-trust me. I am going to B school to change that, thing is I can't afford it, so if you would like to donate to help me, I would love that. Here is my campaign

https://fundly.com/send-me-to-b-school



I am lucky that I have been getting a lot of illustration work as traditional animation winds down, but I still need to fix my financial situation. As much as I work, it's not ever enough, I just barely get by every month. So that is why B School with Marie Forleo. If you'd like to support me I'd love you forever. I am happy to offer a print for $50 or more in donations and custom illustration for $100 or more. Here is the link again.

Thank you so much for reading and have a super day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

B School, MATS, Children's Academy!

Hey everyone so I wanted to write a short blog about why I have been gone a week!!
First of all, YAY B SCHOOL. This is already changing me and we are on day 3. It is really amazing, no wonder Marie is making millions selling her course that she has really perfected in my opinion. It is time consuming.

I am also in MATS with Lilla Rogers,  http://lillarogers.com/make-art-that-sells/

I am in both bootcamp and the full course A which starts on March 31st.

and

I am finishing a course in writing children's picture books, http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/writing-childrens-picture-books.html

so I am busy!

I feel like all of the things I am doing are working towards my goal of doing what I love and being financially independent-it's not easy but it is great!

I am still selling prints and raising money for b school if you'd like to donate, please let me know and or use the fundly link below.

https://fundly.com/send-me-to-b-school


Sorry for the short blog, but I have to get back to learning, creating and having fun!!

Cheers.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

And Finally I am Doing Something Right B School

video


So here is the written part. I am not sure about the whole video thing, but I am very comfortable in front of a camera, in fact I kinda love being in front of cameras.

My mom used to sing the song "You're So Vain" to me.. yeah when I was a LITTLE KID, but I was always like, "and your point is what exactly?" LOL I wanted to be an actress, so it fit.

Anyhow, I digress, as usual. Here I am less than a week from the start of B School excited, scared, worried, thrilled, inspired etc.. I am learning so much already about how I have been doing things wrong.

I am taking this week to chill out. Last month I had a client who did this to me... and I know that I am a writer, but I could not make this stuff up.

She hired me, I let her pay less than 50% because she was older and I felt bad in our first meeting she told me how broke she was, I felt bad. This was a huge mistake, than she started blowing up my phone 24/7. I had to send her emails telling her to stop and make a time because I was busy with school. Then when we did talk it was all about how I didn't love her and she was afraid to call me, she was wasting my time, undeserving.. like a needy girlfriend, it was bad and GUILT all the time. Things got worse from there and I almost quit the job-but I am a professional and I didn't because I gave her my word and we had a contract so for a month I took the weekly guilt calls, crying, then she got mean. She started telling me how basically everyone is better than me and that all her clients were telling her how books cost like $250 etc etc.. I could write a novel about this, you get the point. And I gave her a flat rate that was about $5000 less than it should be. I learned my lesson. Last night and then again today was the end of it. I had to say no and stop the insanity at midnight when she was requesting I change something again-that was beyond contract-that she had already approved.

I believe that once I have my illustration business going better and making more income from my stores etc.. than I will have more freedom to say no to clients like this. I am sooo mentally drained by her behavior for all of Feb. that I just need to play a bit.

Thank you for watching and reading and THANK YOU MARIE FORLEO you are changing my life and MOLLY HAHN of Buddha Doodles! Have a great day folks.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday March3rd-MORE ON B SCHOOL I LOVE IT

video
Hi everyone, so I posted another video, are you getting sick of these yet? LOL So here is the thing. I LOVE B School, totally worth the money-that I don't have YET..I am waiting to hear if I got one of two Shopify scholarships, meanwhile I am still raising funds via Fundly and I have almost enough for the first month's payment. I am also selling prints etc... and my birthday is in two days.. so happy to take birthday donations as well.
I have had a hard Feb dealing with this one client. She is older, quite a bit and I thought that we were going to have a great relationship well, she is talking to her friends and their friends and clients etc. and they have no idea about children's book illustration so now I am going through the trying to get my money, even though we had a contract-to which she is now in breach. I haven't delivered the final files and won't until the check is here and cashed, but it's just a pain.
I believe that when I start selling more art via online and maybe someday open my own stop or studio, ala Lisa Frank and take over the world...muha ha ha .. *insert maniacal laugh* then I won't have to worry when clients are difficult. It's a shame that some people have to act like this, but it is what it is---that has become my favorite thing to say lately, but it is.
Anyhow, hope you enjoy this short video!! See my early blogs for how to donate and thanks for all the support!

Friday, February 28, 2014

I did It! B SCHOOL!! Yay!


Hey everyone, so I did it, I made the leap and joined B School,I am soooo excited. B SCHOOL MARIO FORLEO

Last week I was in bed with my iPad reading FB when suddenly it jumped to 2007 and maybe it was the universe trying to tell me something or the ghost that lives with us, but something made that happen. What did I see?

That NOTHING has changed in 7 years! I am still looking for work, skipping meals, looking for work, starting a job, looking for work...ARRGH!! So I have to change something. I mean, what is missing?

MARKETING! MARKETING! MARKETING! That is what I am lacking. I have no idea how to market myself, my products, my skills and or my art.. so I am skipping rent and going to B School. Don't worry I won't be homeless luckily I have someone in my life who I live with who is paying the rent so I can make this happen, B School will give me the tools I need to change my life and get out of this cycle. 

I love what I do and I am grateful, but I do need a change in the way I am getting by.

I am also taking art classes with Lilla Rogers- Make Art That Sells and a picture book writing course with the Children's Academy-and I joined the CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATORS .com website.. so I am spending money to make money for the first time in my life.

If you want to help me pay for B School, and or for my 45th birthday next week that would be awesome, but you don't have to of course. I do have a fundraiser up   https://fundly.com/send-me-to-b-school

I am also selling prints and taking birthday money instead of presents, Starbucks etc.. you can paypal me at stephanie@stepholivieri.com for prints and or just a birthday dollar or whatever you want.