As one of the very first mixed media artists to join the Patreon family, I had to come up with everything on my own. There was nothing available to use as an example and no one to pattern myself after. Because of that, I have definitely been winging it while at the same time trying to settle in to a routine that is not only doable but also allows me to make enough money to pay rent and have a bit extra to buy food and pay bills. I’ve always lived very simply and my own needs are small. When I first started this, I had visions of making, at the very least, $1000 a month from single-dollar pledges, with the higher pledge categories affording me at least a couple more thousand so that I could live comfortably (i.e. have some food in my pantry) while doing and sharing what I love with like-minded people. When I started out as a mixed media artist on YouTube more than a decade ago, my goal was to help women heal and empower themselves through art - something I had gotten quite good at myself. That has always been the main focus of everything I’ve done since that time.
Unfortunately, The Gypsy Boho A-go-go Show, my platform for providing social commentary every month while introducing some of my art, never brought in more than 100 dollars a month, and usually around $75. I poured my heart and soul into it because of my passion for helping others, and I believed strongly that so many people who have been through similar experiences as my own could benefit from me sharing what I’d been through. Despite that, it didn’t come close to the $500 a month in $1 pledges that I needed to be able to continue to make it. It literally took me several days’ worth of 14-hour days from concept to edited video each month. Since it obviously wasn’t paying for itself, I experimented with broadening the appeal by doing weekly planner videos. Sadly, that, too didn’t garner enough interest, even though I was now producing four non-art videos per month instead of just the one, all for just $1.
Rather than raise the price of the lowest pledge group, I decided that it was time to cut my losses and do away with the $1 category completely. I had been spending an incredible amount of time and energy that was taking me away from my art videos (my bread and butter, so to speak) and burning the candle at both ends for very little return. My health was starting to suffer from lack of sleep as well.
I am extremely grateful to all of my $1 patrons, especially those of you who have been with me from the beginning, and really wish that there had been enough interest to allow me to keep that level going long into the future. I do plan to continue to work in my planner, but when I share what I do, it will be on my personal blog and/or Facebook page and not on Patreon. I’ll use the extra time gained from no longer filming and editing non-art videos, to putting more time and energy into my monthly Patreon art workshops.
From March 1, 2016 onward, the $1-pledge category will no longer be available. The monthly categories will consist of $10-pledge patrons (Lovely Dreamers), $20-pledge patrons (Creative Wildflowers), $25-pledge patrons (Gypsy Warriors) and $250-pledge patrons (Fairy Godparents). In addition, if you missed a particular month’s workshop but would still like to take it, the older workshops will eventually all be available through my Etsy shop, although the cost will be somewhat higher than if the course was purchased while available on Patreon.
I didn't make a video last weekend because I got sick, really run down from painting three days straight. I was getting up at 6 am and not resting until 10 pm, living on coffee.Once I feel great I go back to my old ways. And when the mania runs out I get sick.
I am sorry I can't make planner videos every week, but I can make a blog post. Here is my layout for next week.
I like the horizontal planner layout very much, but not for To-Do lists or Time-Management. Which is funny because a planner's job is to keep me on time and doing things that need to be done. I think vertical is a more intuitive design and follows the course of our day like we are used to, from top to bottom. An hour at a time page would be helpful too. That said, I like the horizontal layout for documenting my days. There is real room to write there, which I did little of this week. This week was all about the Amy painting, and I put a little version of her printed on sticker paper so I can keep track of what I made that week.
I have been eating well and I am out of bed before 11 am. I did zero stretching. I think I bent over once to pick up a sponge to wash dishes with.
A new month and a new theme: LOVE SONG.
February is the month of love and a great time for us to direct it at ourselves. For the next four weeks let's concentrate on our internal dialog.
Quick! Write down what you think about yourself. All the odd bits and crappy parts especially.
Analyze what you wrote. Are you excessively hard on yourself? The way to tell is imagine you are saying these things to a small child. Would the child's feelings be hurt? Your subconscious is a mini version of you. It is your emotional stuff. Whatever you say she/he is going to believe. If what you are saying is not nurturing and loving, you have work to do.
WHAT are the words you wish someone said to you? Write them down. It doesn't matter if they are corny, that is just your hard-ass self not feeling loved. Pour it on thick. Think of a cuddly little baby panda bear, that's you.
(Placeholder for last photo)
For the first week of love song, what I want to hear is
I DO THE WORK I LOVE
MY FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL
I printed out my loving art affirmations onto sticker paper and put them on the borders of each day.
My decorations are a bit overboard so after this week I am going to do less. Writing out the weekdays helps me because that small black type is so small but, I'm going to give that up. Not a lot of real estate in the horizontal for unnecessary decor. I know the days of the week even if I can't see them. They don't need to be that big. For special events like my art walk day, yes I can go big, but for regular days I want more space to write. The little boxes on the right can stay affirmations but I need to not put so many stickers on the writing lines.
The painting I am filming for Patreon will be based on the one below. It is based around the idea of mother and child but is me and my inner little girl. I will be teaching how to draw from a photograph and how to incorporate oil pastels into your portraits. If you want to take my painting class this month at the Gypsy Warrior level, it is only $25.00 and you get everything. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you an invoice.
This is how I am setting up the next week. Any white spaces will be all used up by next Sunday.
In the note section I am putting my two goals. - eat real dinners and get up before noon. Maybe bend over once or twice. (I'm a realist.)
In the center of the week I have a coil clipped bookmark thing with paper taped to it for my growing errand list.
At the end of each month I go over the prompts and write about how well I worked them into my life. January's prompts were about created nooks and spaces in my home I wanted to spend quiet time in, and doing things to make the beginning of my day more beautiful/pleasant. My main writing will be in a separate writing journal where I can write as much as I want, then take the highlights from that and put them here. The questions I will answer are:
How did I create space in my home I can spend quiet time in? What did I add, and where? How will I use this space?
Is there anything else I want/need for my space? How will this improve the area?
How often did I have a Morning Beautiful?
What gets in the way of making my mornings more wonderful?
What do I need/want to add to my mornings to make them more beautiful and peaceful?
If your Rose Gold is coming off, this is what the EC people say to do:
In Maggie news, she has her own FB page: https://www.facebook.com/maggieraindropflower/
Jay has been my long time student and dear friend. Here is her response to this month's Paint,Plan & Chronicle theme - Room of My Own:
Last year was my first foray into the world of the ‘word of the year,’ and I chose the word Peace to be my focus. It wasn't enough to just choose the word and hope for the best though. For me, the idea of peace was too abstract, and so I journaled like crazy to find supporting words that would lead me to more concrete ideas about how to become a more peaceful person. I got there through many hours of art journaling and writing about forgiveness and letting go, and changing the way I speak to myself.
Once I reached this place of letting go I was left with a sense of ‘but what now?’ The things that had been driving me to constantly prove myself to others for many years were gone and I was adrift. I needed something positive to replace what was no longer.
It was during a conversation with Suzi about ritual and what that might mean to me that I discovered my word for 2016 - Intention. I really don’t want to meander through the coming year and find that at the end of it I’m still in the same place I was at the start of it.
My first step was to journal to find out what I wanted more of in my day. Those things are connection (to the people I love, my art practice, self), improved health, spirituality, a cohesive body of art work (in my own style) and running through all of those things my theme of intention.
I’m working it out as I go along, finding out what works and what doesn’t. The sacred space and morning ritual I’ve created for myself is just the beginning of something I hope will become a constant throughout my whole day.
I’ve carved out a quiet, tidy corner of my chaotic art space with a couch, throw rug, cushions (and one for the floor) and created an altar with a number of items that have sentimental significance to me, and others that are symbols of my emerging spiritual practice.
I start my morning by making a cup of tea, and then kneel at my altar space where I light a candle or incense. I then anoint my temples, wrists, the nape of my neck and palms with an essential oil blend, put my palms to my cheeks and take three deep grounding breaths, imagining my root chakra anchoring itself into the ground. I practice ‘four-square/box breathing’ for a minute or two until I feel completely relaxed, then shuffle either my tarot or oracle cards and draw one for the day. From here, I meditate on the card’s meaning and set my intention for the day.
I have my poetry/word gathering notebook on the altar in case I wish to record anything that comes up during meditation time. This is also the book I use to journal for Paint, Plan and Chronicle whilst sitting on my comfy couch a little later in the morning. I then move to my planning station (another coffee table), record the oracle card in my planner and go about the rest of my day, beginning with a short yoga practice. I’m still inconsistent with this and so it’ll be the next deliberate habit that I focus on over the coming weeks. No doubt I’ll also continue to tweak the decor of the physical space as I go along, making it reflective of my personality and a welcoming place that I want to spend time in as I create my intentions throughout the year.
I’m at the beginning of this new ritualistic practice and I’m looking forward to growing it into something uniquely mine, and allowing it to spill over into the rest of my life, infusing my art and my relationships as well.