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.