Thursday, March 10, 2011


Okay, I've hit a block. I am still quite motivated, mind you (and thank you), just that I've gotten to a place where I don't know what's next.

You see I've undertaken the rather large task of reworking and renewing my various web endeavours whilst integrating what exists with even more web endeavours. Wait, did I say 'large'? Because really I meant hugely ginormously gargantuan holy fuck what am I doing GIGANTIC.

Ha. This particular project has had me cross-eyed ever since I decided well gosh I really probably ought to do something of the sort, which dates about to CafePress's move to cut shopkeepers' commission in the marketplace back in what 2009 now? So yeah, a while ago.

Lately I've been diddling away at the edges of it, and, while I am certainly getting stuff done that needs to get done, it's come to me that I'm not, really, going to get too far on the details without understanding the whole. And that's where I just sit and blink, or, on bad days, when my head suddenly tilts to the side, smoke comes out my ear, and I hear myself say Norman—coordinate!

I mean I know in general, I guess. I know I want my gallery website to remain more or less the same as far as its function goes; I know I want the Obscure Goddess Online Directory to still do its thing; and I know I want my CafePress shop to continue (well, probably. I still don't trust the bastards there as far as I can throw them). And mostly I just want to add a couple other kinds of shops, from other companies, you know, the whole eggs in multiple baskets thing since they each have their strengths. Also probably it would be a good idea one of these days to offer a decent selection of proper prints, ya think? So I have all these ideas.

But I'm strangely stuck. I can't even seem to get a coherent outline in general terms down, never mind breaking it down into more detail. And thinking about it, I think there are some other issues here, bigger things than just the technical html/CSS/javascript sort of things. There are some fundamental tensions to this that I'm not sure how to resolve.

First is that this work of mine is primarily religious, and I have mixed feelings at best about selling it in the first place. Oh, I know, Paganism doesn't necessarily have all that celebration of poverty and focus on the spiritual at the expense of the material stuff; still, it's in the air around us just because of the general culture and I have to deal with it somehow. There is a seriousness to it that I must respect. And yes, I understand both that irreverence is in itself holy, and that further I am myself entitled to prosperity; also, that whatever the subject, I made the damned art and it is mine. Still I don't know how to come to terms with it; so far I've just been sort of studiously ignoring it, which can only last so long. In fact I'd say my time for ignoring it is definitely up.

Also, and this probably outs me as a cynical old misanthrope, but I don't do this to be of service. I'm not sure, actually, I believe in that at all. That people find my art useful and helpful is wonderful, and gives me great joy; however it is a side effect, not a conscious intention. I can only make my art for myself, ultimately. I simply don't have the personality to put 'service' on my to-do list. The world is an awful needy place, and I am only just learning how to attend to my own needs right now.

Which leads into the second tension: public versus private. My art has my name on it, my full name, which, though it is not my birth name and certainly sounds ridiculous enough to be some crackpot pseudonym, is really my real name now. That, right there, I have found, automatically mutes me to some extent. For example on Tetanus Burger, that (anti-)hoarding blog of mine, I only go by my first name; and though if you really poke around I imagine you could find your way back to here and my real name, still, I feel so much freer there, with the result I think, that I am more honest, open, and well, funnier. I mean of course there is a different focus there and I'm sure that helps, since a lot of it is just grousing and venting; still, it's different. Probably, also, I don't care so much; it's mostly just a bit of fun, if you can call Work like that fun, anyway. But this, my art, with my real name on it, I do care about. Very much so.

Part of it is that I am very introverted, and when I say very I mean for the past several years I have consistently pinned out at 98-100% introverted tendencies on any of the various Myers-Briggs tests out there (ISFP, too, by the way). So I'm uneasy being out as an artist in the first place. But add into it that my name is in some ways a brand, because that's how it works when you're an artist, and, well, that just squicks me right the fuck out.

So I don't know what to do, or how quite to get through or around this block about these things. Though I thought writing about it here would be a start. I am open to advice, accounts of similar experience, ideas, opinions, things I could focus on, that sort of thing; even a reading I could do or something along more Witchy lines, like perhaps, duh, a reading with the very cards/artwork I'm wondering about selling, hmmm.

Anyway thank you all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mandala for Late Winter

Looking through some photos I took last week of the first sign of the snowdrops, I was inspired to make this photo mandala:

I am always drawn to the eight or four sided ones for some reason. Grounding and stability, perhaps.

The outer ring of blue is last year's leaves, through which the buds are poking. We usually see them earlier, but last week was the first time the snow cover had melted enough. But once that was gone, things filled in fast. The snowdrops are out now, and the snow crocus are starting up.

Spring is coming, isn't it.