So... I have been in the mood to paint something snarly.
And something realistic.
And I did this sketch. It was going to be a snarly tiger and there were going to be clockwork bits in it's ruff, and gears in it's eyes, and it was going to be added to my steampunk portfolio.
And then I started working on it. And it didn't want any of that nonsense. It just wanted to be a tiger dammit.  So here is what came of it.


Original is 9"x12" watercolor and ink and for sale, as always I've got prints/magnets/mugs/stickers/THINGS
So the 21st was my roommates birthday. And he has a party on the Solstice to celebrate the both his birthday and the longest night of the year.  It was my first time to attend this gloriousness but I am so glad I was around for it. It was a glorious celebration of friendship, camaraderie, and geekery, and was just an incredible amount of fun.  There were a plethora of candles, of friendship, of mugs (that I designed), of geekery, and of a genuinely wonderful and heartfelt good time.

This will be my first year not to have Christmas with my family and TBH it is kind of a relief.  I decided to leave the decision of whether or not I went to TX up to the weather, and rather thankfully two nights ago we got about a foot of snow on the ground and most of the roads leaving to TX are covered in ice.  So rather than a 16 hour drive followed by stress and trying to see family and friends in a very short a stressful time, followed by another stressful 16 hour drive back, I will have a lazy morning. With a lazy afternoon to follow. And the only things I am required to do will be to feed myself.  I may even take a day off from art (probably not, but maybe).  And just be lazy.  My only definite plan for the morrow is to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. And to be honest, that is enough of a plan to make me happy.

So what I want to do here is just say thank you.
Thank you all for your support.
Thank you for your friendship.
And I hope you all have a chance to have beautiful and relaxing holidays, to spend however you see fit. 

Cheers to all, and happy 2012.
Answered the question of 'where have you travelled' the other day and thought it might be an interesting blog post...

Ooooh goodness thats a long question. I love to freaking travel. Love
love LOVE to travel. And have done a decent amount. Road tripped last
year from Dallas to Chicago, then over to Pittsburgh, then to Philly,
Jersey, New York, Jersey, Philly and back to Texas :P Drove from Texas
to Oklahoma numerous times. And Back and forth to CO. Year before road
tripped to Pittsburgh and Ohio...

But places I really enjoyed traveling to/went out of my way to get to...

Internationally

Scotland - been twice now and abso-freaking-lutely adore that country.
Beautiful with fantastic people, great pubs, and brilliant environment
for art. Yeah it rains a lot, but the atmospheric perspective is
stunning, the grass is ridiculously eye blazingly green, and I just love
it. Isle of Sky was my favorite place when we were there, we'd stay at
the pub until 2 or 3 and it would still be evening light... just
beautiful and surreally serene...

Italy - Also love. I mean this is the artists dream... I went to Turin
(or Torino as we americans say) and it is considered 'ugly' and
'industrial' and there is art on every corner. The food there is the
best I've had in my life, and the people entertain me. The old men are
kind of leches (you can't smile at people if you are female, or you're
telling them you are loose) and the old ladies go out to walk their dogs
in fur coats because everyone there is very concerned with appearances,
and I love to people watch.

England - Fantastic, but I prefer the north. I have the best memory of
being in York while the bells were being practiced at a local cathedral
eating scones and having a proper English tea. Bathe was also beautiful
and picturesque, but everything I love about England is enhanced in
Scotland. London was nice but if I'm going to be in a big city give me
Turin.

Cancun - Almost doesn't count as international - It's really a suburb of
america, total tourist trap. But I can't deny the appeal of the
beautiful beaches. I adore snorkeling and I love enjoying watching the
waves crash. The water is so mesmerizing. Also took a horseback ride
among the Mangroves (AWESOME) and would love to explore the jungle there
more.

Nationally (is that right? it's not internationally?) In order of favorite place
CO- Totally wins. I'm living where I've been wanting to live since we
left this place when I was a kid. The mountains feel like home, and I
love to hike. The sky constantly astounds me with it's beauty and the
people here are fantastic.

HI - Close second *grinz* I love to snorkle :) I like sun and sand and
the place is full of fantastic art galleries and beautiful vistas.
Don't think I could live there for more than a couple years because I
love SEASONS but it was really pretty to visit.

OR - This state and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it. I think
it hates me. First time I went there it was a trip with an ex up the
coast and we camped 3 days, stayed in a hotel 1, camped 3 days, stayed
in a hotel 1... and I was miserably sick the whole time. It was
beautiful but I felt like absolute crap. But man the light up there was
fantastic, the campsites were beautiful and free, the coast is
gorgeous... The moment we left the state I felt better. Next trip was
for a job interview and was a couple hours in from the coast, I felt
fine until we took a trip to the coast, then I felt like absolute crap
for the next couple days. I think it doesn't like me.

NJ - So I have family in Ocean City and Asbury Park. I have incredibly
fond memories of going to the boardwalk every evening after dinner when
visiting family and I adore fresh seafood, so Omnomnomnomnom.

PA - family here to. In and around Philly, which is a city which for
all it's problems I love. So many good museums, and so much to DO lots
of parks and stuff, and I have barely gotten to take advantage of that.

NY- Only been to NY proper, gone twice to go spend a day in the city,
shop, go to the Met, and go to shows. Been freaking fantastic for that.
But don't know that I'd want to live there... Felt safe though? Safer
than Downtown Dallas at least...

IL - Chicago really. Which is an awesome city! Such great public
transit, tons of fantastic parks, bars, restaurants, just always
something happening. I love this city. It is however the worst place to
drive EVER. I despise driving in Chicago, just take the public transit,
its fantastic. Oh and drink and dessert on top of the Hancock Tower?
WIN!

LA- New Orleans - Lots of fun but so much touristy. Best places I went
were a bar slightly off the beaten path for really amazing oysters, and a
fantastic bartender, right up on the water, and the botanical gardens,
which were stunning. The strip is fun though, but I'm not big on the
the drinking and hanging out with drunks scene... just not my thing. And
Mardi Gras is all year there.

AR - Freaking beautiful. Some really sweet climbing and backpacking.
Plan on going again this year if I can swing it. Horseshoe Canyon ranch
is stunning and has some really kick ass walls.

OK - Ozarks are lovely... not much else to commend itself.

TX - Ugly state is ugly. But Austin is fun, there are a few great
places I know, because I lived there so long. But I really have no
desire to go back there. The nice thing about Texas is that land is
cheap, so we had horses. But if I wanted to be outdoorsy I had to drive
for 4 hours.

I've been to San Jose for the con, but didn't leave the hotel much (busy crayon is busy)
And this is why you never see my sphinxes smile. Because then the
perception filter breaks and you see behind the mask your mind made.

Art and Character © Laura Garabedian
So I haven't done an MFF post con report... or a Thanksgiving report or any of that... and maybe I will later but I'm a grumpy artist right now and feel the need to vent my cranky displeasure out at the world.

So for some reason for the past two weeks, it has been pointed out, repeatedly, that I'm not normal. So I'm gonna rant to the interwebs because it gives two damns right?

Now I'm okay with the fact that I don't fit society's ideals of being a normal human, much less being a normal woman.  And generally I don't give it a second thought, but the fact that my good friends have felt the need to bring it up so often in the past couple weeks has my feathers all rumpled up.  It is like I'm a raven and all my friends are cardinals and for some reason in the past few weeks they have felt like telling me so. "Hey, you're different." "Hey you don't think like we do." "Hey we love you but you're weird. I mean you are all big, and black, and your beak isn't proportioned the way that ours is and, and, and..."  And they aren't being mean about it... but they are not being subtle about it either.  I'm just tired and frustrated that suddenly the fact that my ideas about life, which I have never hidden or made any sort of secret of are an object of fascination. That suddenly I am recognized as a bit of an enigma, as someone you come to when you want a bizarre viewpoint. 

Now I am the least freaking subtle person I know.  I tell people straight out when I'm thinking of things. I don't sugar coat. I don't creep around subjects.  My friends tease me and say that I'm 'Sneaky' because I am the exact opposite of that.  You want to know what I'm thinking or think about a certain subject? Just freaking ask, because I will tell you.  And I just don't CARE if you don't agree with me, I mean I respect your viewpoint, but the fact that we think differently? I know that and revel in it... I don't feel the need to constantly tell my friends how different they are from me, because, really what does that accomplish. Yep, we are different. Yep, I'm in the minority.  I'm a fucking artist, who sells art to the fantasy and furry crowd. I work conventions. I climb. I hike. I have a fascination with masked sphinxes.  I don't give 2 damns about marriage, and am politically fucking ambivalent.  I just don't fucking care that I'm different.  You can stop pointing it out now okay? Thanks...

ehmm.... rant over now.
*sigh* and if I'm going to be perfectly honest, I LIKE the idea that I am different. I like who I am. I feel no need to change, but the constant finger pointing has got me almost feeling guilty about me. Which is incredibly stupid. I like me.  Dammit stop pointing fingers because I'm different. I like who I am.

Here have a sphinx.  Because really, who else has a fascination for these bizarre critters?

So in honor of a) support your local business Saturday (which is apparently the Saturday after black Friday) and b) my thankfulness for you guys in general, I am going to do 15% off of all orders taken Saturday through Wednesday (I know some of you may be out of town, so hope you can grab this).

If you want anything custom I cannot at this point guarantee it will be done by Christmas unless you are okay with me having complete artistic freedom (i.e. no sketch approval, just this is my character and idea, GO) or unless you live in the Denver area and we can meet. This is because I know the post office breaks under the pressure I don't feel safe saying you can definitely get it past ooooh the 12th... and unless it is tiny I don't know that I can get it done by the 12th *grinz* My schedule for this week is pretty tight with the things I have promised by Christmas.

If you want product: prints/mugs/stickers/magnets/cards (well the cards I have in stock) I am happy to give you 15% off your order. I have all of the product listed above except for the cards available of all of my designs and if you are interested in cards I have them of 10 different designs. (ask me which ones)

So sale prices for product are below

Giclee Prints 8x10 - normally $17 - now $14.45
Giclee Prints 5x7 - normally $7 now $5.95
Magnets - normally $4 now $3.40
Mugs - normally $20 now $17
Stickers - normally $2 now $1.7
Cards - normally $2 now $1.7

Ask me about commission prices, there are a lot of variables depending on your character etc etc

To get in on this E-MAIL ME!!!! Art@LauraGarabedian.com with what you are interested in.

Thanks all for your support

So whatever else has been going on recently, I saw The Lion King musical today.  And just... Wow.  Total visual overload. As much of a mask whore as I am and as much as I love fantastic lighting, and as fascinating as I find puppetry, I just feel like my brain is overstimulated with amazingness.  I was super lucky to be offered a trade for tickets and dinner for art and just... wow.  I have been hoping to see that show for ages, and am still just vibrating with exitement and happiness. And really stoked to incorporate some of the wild colors and patterns into my art and now the urge to make masks has been amped up even more.  I also got some great ideas for the masks of my masked sphinxes and how to make the soft bodied dolls I've been thinking of... (thinking hair tufts and maybe cane pieces... still mulling things over).  So yeah.  So incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go see this amazing show and so jazzed and energized from the experience. 

In other news, I leave on Friday to go to Chicago for MFF. Yes, MFF isn't until the weekend after, life/planetickets/friends schedules are funny, so I will be up there for 10 days. I hope to get a lot of work done while I am up there, and am excited about attending the con.  While my fantastically awesome roommate will be watching my puppy, for which I am eternally grateful.  When I get back I will immediately pick up my puppy and drive her up to fort collins so a fantastically awesome friend  (have I mentioned how grateful I am to have these friends? No? Really? Because they kick some serious ass) can watch her over thanksgiving because my father, my brother, and his girlfriend will have flown in shortly before me and I will meet them out in Boulder for two days in boulder and then two days in Vail.  I haven't been to Vail since I was a kid and I haven't seen The fam or Catherine in a couple months (really long for me in regards to my brother, as we are pretty close). And am SO excited to be able to spend some quality time with them.

So if I'm a bit slow to reply there is your reason, though I should be able to check mail and update etc at least once a day while in Chicago.  Just may not be uploading *sad* 

Cheers!
So I acquired these tiny little ornaments/frames for a discount and think they would make perfect Christmas Gifts for people.  I will paint a tiny little original to fit in it of your characters portrait in one of these wee little frames.  I have ovular (both vertical and horizontal), rectangular (both vertical and horizontal) and square frames and they are between 2" and 1" on all sides (so the ovals are approximately 1.5x1 and the rectangles about 1.5x1 and the square about 1.25x1.25 ) Now I don't have a ton of these little guys, they were a discount store find.  Please keep in mind these are WEE. As in the image you see on your screen is probably a bit larger than life (depending on your screen resolution etc).

But here is the deal, it will be $35 including shipping for a tiny piece of original watercolor art in a tiny little gold frame with a little gold chain hanger (such as shown in the photos). 

IN ORDER TO GET A SLOT
Please e-mail me with your references/desire to have a slot and if you REALLY specific frame shape
I will get back to you to confirm whether or not you got in (and if the frame shape you request is still availabe) and request a paypal payment for $30
My TOS are here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1g7TvwjZ3rN0qGiJKbSI6qDwtOXc2YX5KBrW4Irw2SsM/edit


So I know it's silly. I know some people would like to be my size (relatively I guess).  I know I am not unattractive. And yet some days I stare in the mirror and just feel like crap.  Like nothing is right. And most of this probably stems from the fact that I am incredibly out of shape. The fact that my pants size hasn't changed to much during all of these health problems is a tribute to my diet/good metabolism/decent amount of walking.  But really. I was in the best shape of my life before these stupid injuries and I am just now able to get to work out again (Very VERY carefully as per my doctors orders). And I feel like crap. And I feel like I must look like crap because of it.

I got all dolled up for this Halloween party I just came back from and was feeling pretty good about myself and one stupid freaking offhand comment from a guy that I barely even heard just sent me tumbling back down the rabbit hole. I doubt myself, I doubt that I will ever get back in shape, and I doubt that I will ever go on a date with someone I find attractive again.  It is ridiculous. I am completely aware of this. I know that I am not some hideous person that no one can love, and yet it gets to me.  And when I am feeling particularly vulnerable it just hits hard.  Depression is one of those struggles that often seems to hit just when you are feeling your best. When you are on top of the world and having a great time and suddenly it side-swipes you and you have no idea where it came from and how to claw your way out of the stringy greasy pit of self doubt and loathing that it tossed you in. 

I have been absolutely loving being in Colorado. Sincerely, totally loving it.  I have made fantastic friends here, and have strengthened my previous friendships. I love getting to go hiking, I adore the crispness of the weather. I REALLY love hanging out with other artists. But dammit I wish I could have left the depression and body issues back in Texas.
So my health has been crummy. Yep, we've talked about this. I have been doing better about keeping my diet more on track (less carbs/sugars) and trying to be good about taking my pills but you know what helps the most?

Two things.
1) Getting OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE. Which is one of the main reasons I moved... I hardly did it in Texas as for most of the year it was too bloody hot. And this week I was kind of bad about it because I felt really pressured to finish some commissions. But you know what? On the days I did get out and walk around... with a friend, with my puppy, just AROUND. I felt a lot better. And that translated through to the morning. I slept better, and I didn't wake up feeling like I was coming out of an anxiety attack.

2) Being with friends. Getting a chance to hang out with my buddy Wolf-Nymph noticeably lowered my stress level too. I.e. yesterday, when I did both things, I slept infinitely better than I have in quite a while, and didn't wake up with chest pains.

It's funny what happens when you listen to your doctor and your body. And it is kind of proving to me that I did the right thing coming here. I am MUCH more inclined to get outside here, and go and DO things. Not to mention Colorado is full of artsy friends. I love being creative with other people, it makes the process so much more enjoyable and fluid.

In other news, still looking for a permanent place to be, and staring at the list of THINGS TO DO. Which is too damn long.
I decided to sit down and make a proper list and damn. I mean, just damn. I have an awful lot of stuff on the burner, but really not enough of it is paid work >< Which is just kind of painful. But still. I hope to finish up the playing cards in the next three weeks (hoping to finish early, we'll see if it happens - my commissions always take first priority). I have a lot of personal projects I need to work on and a ton of internet/businessy stuff to finish *blagh*. The only bit of being a small business I don't care for is the actual BUSINESS side of it, but whatever.

Next convention is OklaCon, so prepping some steampunky goodness right now *grinz*
I've gathered all lot more of it since living with Todd. I think it's one of those I knew he wasn't going anywhere for a while so my normal nature of 'can I/would I want to move this?' got disregarded. Not to say I don't normally gather things, but I also normally purge once a year or so.

Now I am purging a couple years of crap. I'm trying to condense my life back into the boxes it once fit in. It will never go completely back in, I mean, I have an 'office' now to deal with. But it can get a lot smaller.

Had to go back to the doctor today. Want to know whats fun? When the doctor does a series of tests and gives you a funny look and walks off. Then comes back and says, well, I just want to check something... And flips to the page of his medical book on 'Digitalis'. Now if you pay any attention to crime scene shows, or if you are just a plant nerd like me, you know this is used to treat heart conditions and is pretty potent stuff (and that it comes from foxglove). Then he goes... "Ooooh thats why" He said the tests were coming up that I needed it but not to treat a heart condition necessarily but that it would help break up the anxiety block or something that I am having that is causing my heart to be stupid. Weird. Medicine is weird, and bodies are weird, and life is just strange. So I took digitalis today! It was a one shot thing that apparently is supposed to shock my system back to normal or something.. I didn't pay enough attention, I was also busy with all these other tests he was running.

I hope this takes care of it all, I'm tired of paying for doctors visits. I mean, he is a nice guy and all but dammit, I need that money.

In other news, the house is about half packed up. And that half is everything but the studio. Bathroom minus necessities is packed, most of the kitchen is packed, most of the bedroom is good. And the studio... well the studio looks like a bomb exploded, a thief stole most of my books, and is otherwise... unpacked. *sigh* hopefully we can rectify this monday, when a good friend is coming over to sigh over me and help things get in boxes.


Hope everyone else is doing well and guess what? MOUNTAINS! MOUNTAINS IN BARELY OVER A WEEK! WOOHOO!
So I have only done one other Anime convention and it is A-Kon. This is north americas longest running anime convention and one of the largest. 18,000 people attended last year if the numbers on Wikipedia are to be believed. It is HUGE. It is CRAZY. and it is EXHAUSTING. And it doesn't do spectacularly for me. I mean it does well enough. It justifies its costs since it is a local con, but I probably won't drive down for it from CO next year.

Now Anime-Fest. This is a whole different bag of cats. Or barrel of carp. Or something. It is another long running con, but not nearly as long running or as large as A-Kon. And the attendance is much lower. It is held in a different hotel and there are significantly less artists/dealers. But man, this con is awesome. It is a little strange as it is a four day con. And I noticed that sales kind of have a slow but steady growth to Sunday and then Monday people rush in the morning and then wander. But I loved this convention. There was enough room for people to wander and not feel crowded, no one came over saying they were bored (a problem at smaller cons) and it wasn't that intense crush of A-Kon. And financially it did pretty well for me. But the thing that really got me was that the art show did well for me! This is incredibly rare (for me). I sold one original and two prints, one of which went to auction, so I was just incredibly pleased. I also had more traffic FROM people who saw me in the art show, and the staff were just lovely as well. The only problem I had with the con was ACTUALLY GETTING REG'd. I had given up on the con a few months ago because I couldn't get in touch with anyone about reg. Finally at A-Kon they had a reg booth so I got in there. Strange. Hopefully I can get back in again next year though, as I quite enjoyed this con and it would be worth my drive to head down again next year. A huge thank you to everyone who came by and said hi, new friends and old, and to the staff at Anime-Fest, you were awesome.

In other news.

I saw FrightNight last week with a friend. Super fun campy horror flick. I loved it. Of course I adore David Tennant so there is a bit of a bias, but even without him it was a FUN horror flick that didn't take itself to seriously.

Last night I got to have an awesome post-con dinner with another friend of mine, (Vanessa) she smoked a brisket. A delicious, delicious brisket, and then had grilled nectarines, and a FANTASTIC indian pudding dish that her dad made for dessert. Getting a chance to hang out with her was such a joy. We ended the night watching Despicable Me, which I love, and she hadn't seen. It was kind of a perfect relaxing way to end a con weekend. It is always great to see this lady and I will miss her terribly when I leave.

I AM TAKING TODAY OFF! I have a hard time taking days off. The whole working from home thing means my work is always in front of me. And even if I say I will take a day off it rarely ever happens. I realize that there is work to do and just start doing it. But Vanessa heard me saying that and mentioned that she had a half day today. So she is going to steal me away after her work so I don't work too much today. I mean, I say I'm taking today off but I've already started doing some finances and... well, it's hard to take days off when you know that there is STUFF to DO! Not only is she going to steal me away, but steal me away and LET ME RIDE HER HORSE! So excited, I have ridden him before and he is AMAZING. Just a beautifully moving out, sweet, Arabian. I love him. But yeah, I'll start back up tomorrow. I told myself I needed a day off as I haven't had one since I got back from Colorado a few weeks ago. And I don't know that I had a true day off since the first DAY I was in Colorado. So, well, yeah.

Plans are proceeding apace for my move to Colorado at the end of the month. Living situations are being sorted and considered duly, and I am generally so excited to move up there. Packing has been put on hiatus as I had a con last weekend and the weekend before, but shall continue this week, and I have the gala event at the end of the month to prep for.

Hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend!
Okay so I know a lot of people get nervous sneezing on the road.

I have always had to be cautious sneezing because a few times I sneezed to one side and promptly threw out my back or neck. (Hasn't happened in the recent past due to the fact that apparently food allergies were screwing with me)

Now I'm even nervous about sneezing normally because of my stupid rib. No really body. This is dumb. Ligament supplements are helping my joints tighten up, but not enough yet.
http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Inkling.aspx

In other news. ArmadilloCon pretty well tanked. Boo. So much for that helping my finances in any sort of a way. Boo.
Follow up to the craziness in NJ.

Apparently now that my rib has been dislocated once, it is hyper-sensitive to being dislocated again.
Add to that the fact that the initial dislocation was caused by my heart.
We now have a rib that will dislocate if I get to anxious.
Causing heart and upper chest pain as my muscles and cartilege are stretched where they don't need to be.

Now factor in the following statements.
I am in a weird living situation for the next month (living in same house as ex and packing)
I have a con for the next two weekends
I have a gala event at the end of the month
I have personal stress from another situation I just can't get into right now
I have unexpected car expenses to deal with and finances are already tight
I have to move by the end of September

And realize that when my heart rate accelerates I am more likely to freaking dislocate a rib.

We have now made a very sore and grumpy Laura. Who spent all last night wondering if she was having heart problems and had to go back to the doctor today to confirm that no, she is just dislocating her rib again.

Who can't even calm herself with cookies and tea. Because her favorite tea has caffeine and the doctor put her on a strict no sugar of any type diet. Be it bread or potatoes or rice or cookies.

Boo.

Green tea and ... ummmm... I guess fruits and veggies... it is. And shiny new anti-anxiety medicine. Which is too damn expensive.
*grumbles*
It is interesting looking back on life. On how our emotions and reactions evolve.
What follows is really an introspection on why I don't trust many people and how my reactions have involved. It is an incredibly self-driven post and I don't expect many people to get it or want to read it but I felt like writing it down



Lots of introspection on why I am how I am below (I tried to LJ cut but apparently am a failwhale)


When I was younger I was slow to trust ANYONE. I was the geeky child who read a whole lot, loved to learn, and did all sorts of things that 'popular' kids didn't do. I caught frogs, I had insect collections, I was in 4-H, I dressed how I wanted and I got made fun of. I got made fun of a LOT. So I didn't trust anyone. If they approached me I assumed it was to tease me, to mock me, or (rarely) to get answers for class homework.  Needless to say I had very few friends.


When I finally started to make friends I made a few poor choices. A girl who initially was a lot like me (interests, geekiness etc) then became involved with a local gang.  Last I heard she was in Juvi for drugs, but that was back in Junior High.  Then picked up with another crowd who were really friendly... until they weren't. I should have seen the signs, and boy I see them now if anyone so much as hints at it.  It was one of those if you disagreed with the alpha female she would destroy everything you held dear. And she did. She took everything from me, and it wasn't hard for her to do.  She actually told me afterwords that "She wouldn't have done it. Except that I made it so easy." Those words stuck with me. I know it is mere childhood problems but they were incredibly formative in my views of the world. I learned that I couldn't trust people. That those close to me would betray me. That they would use me to their own ends if they could.  And I learned from my mother that if you cry, if you get upset, no one will respect you.  She taught me that you hold it all in and you deal. You become cold. And most of all you NEVER let anyone see you cry.


So college rolls around and I don't trust anyone. I am nice to people. I am polite, but I don't make friends. Not really.  Until I started climbing.  Climbing for me has been a revolution. You HAVE to trust people. Not only just trust them. But trust them with your life.  It was so strange to me. To suddenly have these friends who I was forced to trust.  It did me a world of good.  And it helps immensely that there are very few climbers (in general) who are not cool, chill, people who are bluntly honest.  They exist sure, but compared to a slice of the rest of the world, the percentage is much fewer. 


Between my experiences climbing and gaining friends whose families encouraged open, honest, dialogue between themselves and between friends I began to grow. I trusted more people. I talked to more people. I started to make friends. Unfortunately it took me until far after college to really get to where I could do open and honest dialogue. I think this is why it took me a long time to start blogging. To want to really work on my writing, on my graphic novel, on maybe doing a webcomic. Art is art. It is open to interpretation, and especially if you are doing commission work the interpretation should be someonme elses. But the idea of putting my words on a page. That is far to much like dialogue. That is like talking to another person. And telling someone else when life goes all to hell. My mother had taught me that it was unacceptable. As much as I do love my mom, the damage she did to me, and to my relationships by telling me those things. By a few choice comments she could say, has been irreperable.  I may have lost someone I care incredibly deeply about forever.  I finally came clean to him recently, told him why I ran away instead of talking to him. It was because I didn't know better. I had done it to other people before but I had never been so cruel as to just leave before. And I never got over it, and I'm not sure that he did either.  I did my best to apologize, to explain how INCREDIBLY sorry I am about it. How I will never forgive myself, but how could I expect him to understand. It took me years to untangle my life and be able to put it on a page. Years to be able to tell a friends something is wrong rather than excuse myself pre-emptively from a gathering and just go home and cry.  I was taught never to let anyone see me cry. So I didn't. 


It's been years now. I'm still bad about letting people know how much I hurt, or when I think something is wrong. But I'm getting better. I don't suspect my friends are going to turn on me anymore, but I am less forgiving than I would like. To myself, and to others. I have trouble forgiving people when they betray my trust, but I have never forgiven myself for some of my past betrayals. It is something I will have to work on for much longer I think.


It is interesting that I have also been trusting my instincts much more.  If I immediately feel good about someone, I am much more likely to look at them. I used to be far more analytical, I would take into account what I knew about them, how other people referred to them, I would ignore my gut feelings as that is just emotion. And I was taught that emotion was flawed, and really could not be trusted.  I've found that listening to my gut when I meet people has been a much more effective way of analyzing relationships.  I still get fooled, don't get me wrong, but it seems to happen less often.



So again, with my personal growth and trying to learn from my past, I will really make a better effort to write here. It is dialogue with a community. It is that thing I always most feared.  I realized that in the past I have used this only to make big announcements, for good or for ill, when I thought people should know about what was going on so they could gauge my workload/art accordingly. But really, it will be nice to write. To dialogue, or perhaps to monologue, to this audience.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I LOVE RMFC.  This is one of my favorite conventions.  There are a lot of fantastic local artists, the convention is big enough to have a nice crowd but small enough that I don't feel claustrophobic if I walk around, and the staff is just lovely.  I will definitely be returning.

So my trip has gone like this (so far).
Left Dallas at 4 in the morning on Wednesday. And promptly got lost.  They had shut down a major highway (and the frontage road) for quite a ways and the detour route was NOT well marked.  So I wandered lost in Dallas for an hour or so before I found my way back to the road.  Then I drove for 15 hours or so.  Blagh.  The first 8 hours are the worst. Getting out of Texas.  It is infinite flatlands and brown brown brown this year because of the drought.   Once I get to New Mexico I start to get hopeful though, the sparseness of the grasslands combined with the slowly gathering plateaus gives me a taste of topography, so when I hit Raton pass and MOUNTAINS I am just so pleased.
I was lucky to stay with the lovely Wolf-Nymph and her boyfriend for the duration of my trip here in Colorado and they welcomed me with open arms and delicious chicken wings *Omnomnomnom* I feel like I may have crashed super early that night. I was tired.
The next day we met a herd? flock? crowd? of artists at the zoo including Wolf-Nymph, Sidian, Keet, Wintersoul, Kinket, Teagen, Jay, Crimson, Ralley, Rukis, and perhaps more people whose names I am leaving out because I am still a bit sleepy and recovering from con. Here we oohed and aahed over the tigers who were being cute and crazy and amazing (I took a metric ton of pictures). And saw other such lovelies as polar bears being regal, porcupines making music with their quills, snakes that looked enameled and CAPYBARAS SWIMMING! Agh! The Cute! It Burns!
During the weekend of the con I didn't actually end up going to any homework  at the con but went home and worked alongside Wolf-Nymph as we did our homework as we each had a pretty heavy workload *GOOD*.  And I finished out the Con with SUSHI with other artists, which was lovely barring the slow service. I got a chance to talk to Dark Natasha and Diane more than I had previously as well as Idess.  Rooth herded us crazy artist together to get there, and I got a chance to chill with him and have delicious delicious coconut hazelnut iced coffee at Starbucks beforehand (thanks Rooth!)  
Things I learned from the con : 
RMFC likes their otters! I met quite a few and they were all lovely, Skip and Skipp you were awesome! And I hope to do work for you again in the future
Tribal gryphon stickers do well here - which makes me incredibly happy, I like my tribal gryphon
I need to get my prices for graphite badges where they need to be. So all of you who got one here, you got the last discount prices, I had never raised them as no one was buying them but DAMN you guys liked them and they have been way underpriced for the amount of time/work that goes into them. So be happy you got them here.
Just re-iterating the staff and congoers as a whole are SO friendly. I love this con for its chill happiness.

It was a pleasure meeting people I've only talked to online, and seeing old friends and commissioners, and meeting new people.  I would name names, but I am sure I would leave people out and would feel bad.  But thanks for the origami dove YOU and I am looking foward to working with you on a sketchbook cover YOU other than that, if I met you and talked to you it was a PLEASURE and I hope to see you again soon.  I got a chance to do an awesome commission of a fox with beer that was a blast to do, and have two large commissions on my plate now that I am MOST sincerely looking forward to, so thank you so much for those pieces guys!  I think my true love will always be doing large paintings for people.

Now it is Tuesday, and I spent yesterday baking fudge and doing homework with Wolf-Nymph and Wintersoul and today will catch up with an old friend and then camp for a day or two before I head home.  I just want to say THANK YOU again to everyone who made this con amazing.  Oh, and before I forget. I am moving to Colorado and the end of September and am SO excited!
Travel plans. I leave tomorrow morning at O'Dark'Hundred (i.e. 3:30am) for RMFC in CO. Wheeeeee... Looking forward to the con though! I can't wait! I should be in CO for around a week

And as for future cons/travel plans. I am doing ArmadilloCon in Austin the last weekend of this month, AnimeFest in Dallas the first weekend of Next month. And have a fancy schmancy invite only gala on the 23rd of September. Please be aware that these are my LAST CONS IN TEXAS UNTIL FURRY FIESTA! and I may not be doing much more in Texas.

After a lot of back and forthing and trying to make things work, my boyfriend and I are splitting up. I am currently trying to figure out if I'm going to move to CO, which I adore. Or to NJ where I know I have free rent and family in the area. I am weighing out my support bases/how likely I think it is that I could get a part time job fairly soon in Denver, and the social politics that come with the free rent in NJ... So bear with me, my life is pretty hectic right now. In any case, the latest I would move would be end of September, and the earliest would be beginning of September. I am still figuring out logisitics and needing to get stuff packed up. We've lived together for 3 years so figuring out whose stuff was initially whose kind of sucks...

In any case, thats my life update, and hopefully I'll see you all at these next cons... Gonna post old art to ebay when I get back with cheap minimum bids. I can't move it all.

Best,
Laura
So it has become tradition.  In Greek/Armenian terms, we did it twice, now it will happen forevermore.  That when I come up to see my (adopted) family in New Jersey my 'sisters' and I take a trip to the city. It is just us three, and MUST involve a show and a trip to canal street.  Other optional events are as follows: going to the Met, attempting to go to the Met and realizing it is in fact a Monday and thus all museum activities are off limits, riding the subway, getting lost on the subway, eating steamed chinese buns, going to the south wharf, taking pictures of random architectures (because I am a geek like that), visiting central park, wearing shwanky new dresses with sneakers to the aforementioned show, getting lost in the city, and generally making fools of ourselves.

This year was just plain awesome.  We drove into the city from Jersey, which took about 2 hours (traffic, blagh) then wandered around canal street for a bit, as one of the sisters is a fashionista who need some new clothes/bags/etc.  We forced each other into ridiculous outfits, and I was convinced to buy a slinky yet punkish black asymetrical number, which I have no idea where I'll where it to, perhaps a con, though I will be overdressed... Having fulfilled her shopping wishes (most of them at least, that girl could have gone all day) we got out of the smothering heat and miasma of gross which is City air for a quick pop into a chinese restaurant.  Scooted on over to the Met and did a rather quick tour (only 2 or 2.5 hours) as my back and ankles started bothering me, the back I am used to, ankles were weird though, I'm blaming it on sheer amount of walking on concrete in the past week. Had a quick dinner and then saw WarHorse.

Oh Dear GOD WarHorse.  If you EVER have a chance to see this show do it. Spend the money (it's not cheap) and DO IT. We had the cheapest seats we could find in the very back of the theater and it was AMAZING. Mind bogglingly, beautifully, tragically, compellingly AMAZING.  The puppetry is something that could make you cry and makes you truly believe in the LIFE in these animals and the story is heartbreaking.  All three of us teared up at various points during the show.  
I could talk about that show for pages and pages, going on about the beautiful movement, about the sounds of breath, about the motion of the falling horses going down in battle, and the stunning visuals as life departs the puppets, but really, just go see it.  If you want a TASTE and it is a mere taste, see the Ted Talks on the Handspring Puppet Company which is the company in charge of the puppetry. You can view it Here and you really should. And if you are EVER in a city where it is playing you should splurge and see it.  I was EXTREMELY lucky in that this ticket was gifted to me and it is one of the best gifts I have ever received. The moments and inspiration I gained from that show was priceless.

So I'll stop fangirling now and mention that HEY I am going to be at Rocky Mountain FurCon in a couple weeks and you should come see me. I'll be sitting next to Dark Natasha, so while you are wandering away from her table basking in the glow of her glorious art say hello to me :)

First post in ages it seems. But just figured I'd give everyone a heads up on whats up in life.
I have been doing tons of art. I'm actually quite pleased with my progress on commissions, on playing cards and got a few other things in queue.
I have finished all of my AC orders and shipped them out. Finished a private commission which was fun to do and still can't post it.  I am all caught up on playing cards (got behind for the first time since starting the project what with the two weeks of driving). And am trying to push ahead to have a buffer before I drive back to Texas.  The drive back to Texas will be sometime at the end of the month - I am flying a holding pattern while waiting for a friend to get back to me. For I am trying to catch up with her to hang out one evening in DC.  Currently it looks like my drive to TX will begin in Jersey, quick stop in Philly, down to DC, down to NC, and then across to Dallas. We'll see if it really does this.
I will be entering the werewolf contest again this year. I have a preliminary sketch that I am pretty excited about, I may post over on tumblr or something for you guys to check out/comment on.  I am also planning out a large gryphon pictures which I am REALLY excited about and plan on really pushing myself on.  The one BIG regret of this trip is that I didn't bring my laptop, only my netbook. Which is tiny. And a bit slow. And doesn't have PS. So updating is such a pain, which is why I haven't been doing it much.
This trip HAS been full of such glory as ZOOS (2) and AVIARYS (1 and then the ones in the zoos). So I am super excited to see my pics on my Super Shiney machine when I get home vs this tiny little nonsense screen.
Plans for the rest of the trip include a trip into the City (i.e. NY) to go to the Met, Canal St., and go see WARHORSE!!!!!! *SQUEE* I am SO excited to see warhorse.  So much amazing puppetry man. AMAZING puppetry.  I will try and finish up my 'Understanding Comics' book I have been reading. Start on the panelling for SkulKlan (I promised I'd start paneling soon and here I go). And start reading my book on tarot so in a year or so I can start THAT project.  I am also working on a great commission right now of a fox playing poker, so will be busy with that as well.  I am just starting color studies and transfer to final size image.  Expect a lot of uploading of art when I get back to Texas and have PS to fix these photos. I feel bad posting art that hasn't been properly adjusted to look good.

So yeah, this journal has been totally stream of consciousness. Which means its a mess. Mad props if you made it this far. 

May 2016

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