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Showing posts from 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" I waited. I kept picking it up at Barnes and Noble and carrying it around and then ultimately putting it back. It's haun…

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 Go…

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.

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 thi…

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 in…

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…

Make Today Beautiful!

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

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

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 fr…

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.

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 …

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 au…

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…

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 thank you for sharing and supporting-this is the last payment. Yay!\

Or you can go right to my website!prints/c1qno

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

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!!

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 b…

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 …

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.

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 pa…

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 to sign up now!

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

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. 

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


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

I am lucky that I have been getting a lot of illustration work as traditional animation winds down, but I sti…

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,

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


I am finishing a course in writing children's picture books,

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.

Sorry for the short blog, but I have to get back t…

And Finally I am Doing Something Right B School

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…


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 vi…

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…

More on B School for Me

Hey everyone, so in addition to the video----omg I am wearing my hat and sweatshirt--and making videos. LOL. I hope you also find the humor in that. :) I am soooo not L.A. yet-after twenty years.
Anyhow, so look I have been posting everywhere about B School and why I want to go and why I need to go. I also think that many of my artist/creative friends should go too, but I am happy to be one of the firsts and report back-from Paris, Italy, or Hawaii--you get the point-on how it changed my life---okay really if I just pay off the IRS the money I owe, that would be great and knowing that I can pay my bills every month.
I also promised I would post the link to Molly Hann's great Buddha Doodle page. Molly is amazing, if you don't follow her, you should, she has a Buddha Doodle FB page as well. Thanks for reading, watching, not judging and being awesome.
If you want to donate to my tuition, great, Paypal any amount. I mean that, anything to stephanie@stepholivie…

Why I Need B School with Marie Forleo CHANGING MY LIFE

Hey everyone, so I made a video see above.. in all my glorious after yoga before Beachbody or gym or whatever I do later-which could be simply walking with Wrigley glory. Meaning in Hollywood terms, not a stitch of make up!

So what is B School and what on earth am I thinking spending the money when I have $8 dollars---yes EIGHT dollars, I have 8 dollars in my bank right now and about 3 bucks in quarters for laundry. LOL.. I laugh, the life of an artiste!! I am living like Jack Dawson, from Titanic---it's sooo much fun.. but you know I would like to have some stability in my life.

 I am not looking to get rich here, rich wouldn't be awful...but you know, I just want to take my life to the next level and I am planning on doing just that.

Seriously, I need to stop saying the following things:
1) I can't afford to.....(whatever) I am sooo sick of hearing me say that I can't go to this conference or take this class or tak a weekend off because I don't have the money. A…