Good Monday afternoon friends!

Hello again art lovers! I hope you’re all well on this Monday afternoon. What has everyone been up to? I know it’s afternoon but grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea & let’s chat!

I’ve been pretty busy these last two weeks in the art studio. Along with spending a lot of time in the studio, I have also been spending a good bit of time outside in my yard maintaining my gardens. I love Springtime so much. The warmer weather is just perfect for spending more time outside. The gardens are all waking up with fresh flowers & greenery so it makes it really hard for me to stay inside. There have actually been a few days over the past couple of weeks where I hauled my current art projects & art supplies outdoors. I just couldn’t seem to get much done in the studio since my attention kept creeping outside of the windows to daydream of the flowers & sunshine. Despite the Springtime distraction though, I have still been able to push through & meet my daily goals to be creative.

I am currently working on a new custom ukulele for UKC, inc. The theme for this one is “soccer”. It’s turning out really well so far & as usual I’m having a ton of fun creating it. I can’t show it to the public just yet but I will be filming the creation process to make a short video to share with everyone as soon as I have permission to do so. I am also waiting to get permission to share the photos for the UKC’s 10,000th custom ukulele that I designed for them back in April. That is a really special uke that went to their 10,000th ukulele recipient & I was so honored to be the one that they chose to create it. Designing & creating these designs have been so fulfilling & so much fun for me. I promise will share these two ukuleles with you as soon as I can!

As usual I am also trucking along diligently on my Art O Mat mini paintings. As I mentioned in my last blog I recently sent in 3 new prototypes for the Art O Mat headquarters to review. Hopefully they will be approved & I can get the green light soon to start on these 3 new series. If approved, I will then be working on 4 different themes for my artwork to be distributed in their art vending machines. I will have art that consists of Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Mandala, and Atomic styles. I am really excited to expand on the styles I will be doing for Art O Mat so hopefully I will hear from them soon. I’ll let you know what they say!

Yesterday I took a day off from working in the studio, since it was Mother’s Day, to spend time with my daughter and grandchildren. It was a much needed break (even the most passionate artist needs a break from time to time don’t you agree?) and I enjoyed a fabulous day of sunshine, much laughter, a bunch of hugs, good food & amazing company with my children. It was just an overall amazing Mother’s Day. So much, that I woke up this morning with a smile big on my face.

I’ve still been practicing & working hard to refine my illustration skills. I try to create a small 6″x8″ illustration at least once a day, from start to finish. Some days, if they are good days, I’ll get two of these done. My goal is to improve my skills but also get faster in creating these illustrations. I tend to over focus on unnecessary details when illustrating, even if they don’t add anything to the finished piece & as a result it takes me longer than it should to finish my illustrations. Some days are good & I must admit some days the end results go directly into the garbage when I’m done. The “not-so-good days” are when I have to remember that even though things didn’t work out as planned, they were still productive days. The result may not be what I would consider to be an acceptable finished piece to show my hard work for the day, but I DO have one more day of practice under my belt & it was a day of learning….even if it was a day of learning what I did wrong & what not to do again! So I’ll keep on keeping on and try again the next day.

Every day I say to myself this quote from Julia Cameron, “In order to do something well we must first be willing to do it badly.” This couldn’t be more true. How else are we going to get good at what we strive to do if we don’t start at the beginning? I mean, it’s always a grand feeling when we do something for the first time & we find that we may be pretty good at it…..but that’s not the reality for everything we set out to do. Even if we ARE good at it, rarely is anyone ever exceptional the very first time we set out to do something. I’ve been illustrating for over two decades, but there was a time in the midst of those years that I got discouraged & didn’t stick with practicing & learning. As a result, my skills stalled. I only got so good, which I feel was “decent” at best. There was a lot I failed to learn because I let myself get discouraged or distracted. So now I’ve decided to learn. I’ve decided to practice. I’ve decided to not give up so I can do the things I want to do well & illustration is one of these things.

Do you have anything that you want to get better at? Has your unwillingness to do things poorly in the beginning stopped you from practicing & learning so you could eventually do that thing you wanted to do well? Where did that unwillingness come from? Did it stem from a lack of confidence maybe? Or were you just being a little lazy & not willing to admit it? Or was it neither & you just got complacent or too comfortable where you were at in achieving your goal? (I think for me it was a mixture of laziness & comfort.) I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments about Julia Cameron’s quote & if it’s helped you or if you think it could help you move forward to get better at what you want to do well.

Well, it looks like today’s blog was a little all over the place, lol, but that’s what I’ve been up to these past two weeks….sometimes that’s my life….a little all over the place, haha!

It was nice chatting with you all again today! I look forward to our next chat! See you soon! – Gemini Pearl

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