Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogging Your Way Boot Camp - My Mood Board

I am really behind on my homework for Blogging Your Way Bootcamp! Thanks to Hurricane Sandy my husband is home helping with the kids so I was able to carve some time out for homework - a mood board! Our assignment was to create a mood board for what we would like our blog to look like or what we currently love about our blog.

You are probably noticing the colors are not my blog colors which are currently aqua and grey. I didn't get hung up on the design aspect of my blog when creating the board as much as content and what inspires me to blog. Is there a right or wrong here? I don't know. I am taking the course to streamline my blog and make it more cohesive and uniform. To give it focus. Still pondering - should my blog be about my journey as an artist or should it focus on what inspires me or projects I work on that I may want to share?? This much is true and RIGHT. I LOVE design. I LOVE surface design - which encompasses illustration both digital and traditional. I LOVE to inspire others. I LOVE Jane Austen and books in general. I used to dream about designing book covers, believe it or not. I also LOVE crafts. So I guess I just LOVE anything art/craft related.

My hope is that by the end of this course I can once and for all decide. To re-make the blog or not to re-make the blog? So I ask my readers this question: What do YOU love about my blog? What posts do you feel most drawn to read? What would you like to see more of on the blog?

Would love to hear from you in comments! =)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2013 - My Memoir

A while back you may have heard me mention my participation in this year's Sketchbook Project by Art House Co-op. I've been busy working on it every chance that I get and posting to Instagram using the #sketchbookproject2013 hashtag. These are the first high resolution photos I have taken of my progress. So far I have completed the cover and 14 pages. At the time I took these photos and edited them I wasn't done with pages 12-14 so they aren't included in this post but you can see the sneak peeks on Instagram. My theme as you can tell by my cover is My Memoir. 


I wasn't sure where to go with this at first, but then I put pen to paper and it just flowed. It's actually really therapeutic to put things down on paper that have hurt or damaged me in some way. Our lives aren't always perfect or filled with light. We all have dark times, mountains to scale, challenges to face.
These hardships are what make us who we are, what shape our souls. We can choose to wallow in self-pity or guilt and anger about things that have happened in our lives or we can move on, forgive and forget and see these things as blessings in disguise. Everything we go through is meant to teach us a lesson or prepare us for the future and challenges ahead.

I have to say that I am (or was) a little hesitant to share these things. But I don't think that is what I meant to be doing with this. I think I am meant to write about things that maybe have happened to other women I know. Maybe someone else had a similar childhood trauma or experience and they feel comforted by my art and words, safe in the knowledge that they are not alone. Ever.

One of my favorite quotes is 'The creative child is the child who survived'. That couldn't be more true for me. If it hadn't been for my creativity, for art I probably would have not been able to cope with everything I had to cope with as a kid. It was my way out of reality. Everything in my world was colorful and beautiful and perfect when I was creating. I remember being in 4th grade and bringing someone else's sketchbook to show and tell and when I was asked if I had drawn all the cartoons in it and said yes. I lied. Not to be mean or malicious. But because I was so certain that I was going to be an artist that I may as well say 'yes, this work is mine' because one day I would surpass what was in that book. True story. I remember my mother secretly hoping I would give up the fantasy of being an artist because she wanted me to make a good living. 

Thank God for my faith and hope. Thank God for never leaving my side and never ceasing to whisper in my ear 'You can be anything you want to be if you believe it'. Thank God for listening to my prayers and answering them. He was my rock during my childhood. He never left my side. I know this because at the darkest times in my life when things could have gone horribly wrong I felt peaceful and assured that everything would turn out ok. And it always did! My father found Al Anon when I was in middle school and has been clean ever since and my mother found love and was blessed with two more children; my younger brothers. I cared for them as if they were my own. And they brought me Joy.

I was also very lucky to have a loving, albeit imperfect, dysfunctional family. I have so much more to say, so many more pages to fill and share with you. I'm so blessed and grateful to share this with all of you. I hope each and every one of you take something from this. And if there is anything that speaks to your soul I would love to hear from you. We are all in this life together. =)

Peace and love to you all. xxoo

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sharing Responsibly and Protecting Yourself as an Artist

On September 10th I happened to be on Facebook and notice a very familiar print was being shared by Huffington Post Women from their Facebook Page. At first I was very excited when I noticed it was mine - in shock, really. Not so much when I realized that HuffPost had gotten the image from a Tumblr account called A Place For Art. No where was their any mention of the artist, where you could find the original or a link to where it originated from. Luckily, I signed it in Illustrator. But who the heck is e caldwell? Well, I know it's me but the world doesn't. I certainly am not the only e caldwell in the world. So I did what any other Latina, raised by a single mother who grew up in the Bronx would do. I opened my mouth and blasted them for sharing something that does not have the proper credit/link.

Photo courtesy of Society6 - Print alone available on Etsy
Luckily, they were very apologetic and asked if the image was mine, how I made it and then asked me to post the link. Which I did. I thought that was very nice of them, but it didn't solve the problem. The link I posted was in the comments and the image was shared 95 times on Facebook without the proper link to the original artist. When I dove into Tumblr and realized that A Place For Art had reblogged it from another Tumblr who reblogged it from someone else on Tumblr. This image had been blogged all over Tumblr in the THOUSANDS. Sadly,  Not ONE of these blogs included a credit/link to the artist and even more upsetting was that they have no way to contact them via their blog. You can't even comment! That, of course, is because of all the art stealing they do. They wouldn't want tons of hate mail (which you know they would get).

NONE of these artists are credited - Rachael Taylor is included here 

This situation got me thinking about copyright, sharing responsibly, and linking with love. Non-artists love to find art and be inspired by it and post it to their tumblr's/instagram/facebook, etc without so much as a thought about where it came from, who made it, and how much it is. We artists don't work for free. Yes, we LOVE sharing our work with an audience. But it's so that we can inspire and make a name and a LIVING for ourselves. People don't buy our art, we don't make money. We don't make money, we can't make art. It's a vicious cycle. It REALLY ticks me off that blogs like this exist. It wouldn't be so bad if they linked with love! But nooooooo. That would take too much time from stealing art and pawning it off on their blog as their art.

Ice Cream pendant - from my etsy shop
So now I sign EVERYTHING and I am now adding a banner in the photos with my logo and information. I can't stop people from copying my work onto their blogs, but I CAN put my stamp ALL OVER my art. I suggest all my fellow artist's do the same! Protect yourself and your art!

Have any if you had a problem like this? Tell me about it in comments - would love to hear!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blogging Your Way with Decor8

As most of you know I had a baby in January this year and my posts have been few and far between for some time now. I have struggled with a) finding the time/motivation to blog and b) finding things to blog about. I jumped into blogging blindly thinking I would just learn as I go. Which is fine. But that lack of focus has left me feeling less and less inspired to blog. So I decided to do something about it!

I am proud to announce that I am currently enrolled with Decor8 Blog's E-Course - Blogging Your Way with Holly Becker. I am a bit behind because time is still an issue but I am at least very motivated and excited (finally!) about blogging. If you have never taken the e-course before I HIGHLY suggest it. So much invaluable information. Not to mention the amazing guest teachers we have - Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely (I love her!) and Jeanette Lunde, editor-in-chief of By Fryd. I'm really hoping upon completion of the e-course that I will be able to get my blog to where I want it to be. I'm so glad you are all on this journey with me. Are you as eager to see the unfolding of this transformation as I am? =)