Mandala Doodle Round-Down

To everything there is a cycle

One of the things I’ve observed about myself over the years is that I go through cycles with just about everything – try something new, get really excited about it, do it a lot, and then drift away again (usually because I’m trying something new).

Sometimes (ok, ok, often) it’s because I hit a plateau … I reach the end of New Thing Energy and discover that my skills just aren’t as good as I want to achieve what I want with the thing or my tools aren’t good enough or something else on the to-do list is on fire and needs to be dealt with.

Occasionally, it’s because something has cycled back around to being inspiring and I’m shifting over to being excited about that and doing it instead.

So long and thanks for all the symmetry

In this particular case, where I’ve drifted away from doing doodle mandalas, it’s a confluence of a few things:

  • I was frustrated with the limitations of the tool I was using (it really was very limited)
  • I had found a better tool for mandalas generally (Illustrator), but it wasn’t good for doodles
  • I started picking up on doing Tree Sketches again
  • The tool I was using got an update that made it even more awkward to use
  • It started to be more work to come up with cool mandala doodles than “relaxing finger wiggling”
  • I started picking up on doing text-based designs again

So, the practical upshot here is that I didn’t get around to putting up any mandala doodles on Twitter in May, won’t in June either, and so the Mandala Doodle Roundups have come to their end (for now).  Maybe they’ll come back around later.

Posted in About the Me | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tiny Coffee Bean Believes In You

What it says on the tin

One of the things in the animated header image of this blog as I type this currently is “snowclone factory”.  As much as I’ve been doing trees and mandalas for quite a while now, text-based designs still loom large in my sales reports and they’re still a thing I get the sudden inspiration for.

Like Always Be Creating, this was the product of two things floating around in the back of my head and doing a little mashup: the highly popular Little Tato (aka “tiny potato believes in you”) imagememe and, well, coffee.  Because Caffeinate ALL The Things! And because what gets me actually up and moving these days is coffee, not potatoes.

Which is to say, the tiny coffee bean believes in you.

blue background, tiny coffee bean and text "I am a atiny coffee bean and I believe in you. Together we can do the thing.

Tiny Coffee Bean Believes In YOU

This is available on an assortment of products (tshirts! journals! mugs! stickers!) over on RedBubble.

I am also releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC-BY-NC), meaning you are more than welcome to click through on the image to the full size one and share the hell out of it (with attribution, but not sell it).  My website address is on the image for attribution already, to make it easy. :)

Posted in I Made An Art, Products | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mandala Doodle Roundup, May edition

Monday. Mandala. Monkeys.

It is entirely possible that this will be the last of the Mandala Doodle Roundups – the app I’ve been using to doodle these has gotten a whole lot more difficult to use (aka “we want money for the features you’re now used to” and “default save is to our website”), and so I may let that drop off when I run out of doodles.  Fair warning.

On to the doodles!

April 4:

A black radially symmetric design on a white background

April 11:

A black radially symmetric design on a white background

April 18:

A black radially symmetric design on a white background

April 25:

A black radially symmetric design on a white background

Posted in I Made An Art | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Team Don’t Wanna

Meanwhile, on social media

A couple months ago, a friend (who will remain nameless and link-less unless they wish otherwise) posted about being really unmotivated, but needing to Do The Thing anyway.  Somewhere in the conversation, someone (me, I think) commented this:

#TeamDontWanna

Note: The apostrophe is intentionally missing because it breaks up the hashtag

In a later, separate conversation, someone objected to this hashtag, on the grounds that it was negative and whiny.  That not being really what it’s all about, since the companion and implied hashtag is #GonnaDoItAnyway I had this idea to make an image-meme-thingy.

In which I make typographers cry

Because I hate myself and typographers, I thought “hey, let’s spice this up this list of stuff the ‘speaker’ is going to do anyway by using a lot of fonts!”  Because if you do it a lot, it looks intentional and interesting, yes/yes?

So, here it is in all its glory:

Black text on white background with yellow stars, text begins "#TeamDon'tWanna ... but today I'm ..."

This is available on an assortment of products (tshirts! posters! mugs!) over on RedBubble.  If you want this on Zazzle, leave a comment below.

I am also releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (CC-BY-NC), meaning you are more than welcome to click through on the image to the full size one and share the hell out of it (with attribution, but not sell it).  My website address is on the image for attribution already, to make it easy. :)

 

Posted in Spontaneous Bloggery | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Brief Peek Behind the Curtain

Fair Warning

Note that this is going to be an awkwardly personal post.  If you just read this blog for trees and mandalas and photography, wait for the next one.

Selection Bias Is Hell

First, there was this, on Twitter:

UrsulaV: I tell ya, redesigning one’s personal website is about as close as you can get to reinventing yourself in this day and age.

UrsulaV: Am I primarily an author? An artist? A photographer of photogenic coonhounds? I HAVE THE POWER TO DECIDE

and my response after a lot of wrangling to fit in 140 characters:

9thcircledesign: re @UrsulaV on website redesign as self-reinvention: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. This is why mine is still terrible; “I am legion” is not a niche.

Reader, she ‘liked’ that tweet.

Second, the fine folks at First Five Things (disclaimer, they are friends as well) made a long post on the topic of “you don’t need a niche (in the sense of a marketing demographic that you’re trying to reach), you need to discover and set out who you are, and the people who want that are your demographic”.  Hopefully, they’ll correct me if I’m mangling the summary too badly, but in the meantime it’s worth a read.

Third, when I was in the middle of me trying to write this post, I took a break to look at the social medias and Tina McCarty, an artist friend of mine, had linked to an article entitled Be The Artist You Are. Short.  Read it.

Which Is to Say, I Like Waffles

Surely the connecting theme here is obvious, but it’s a blog so I will belabor the point … after I take a break to look at cat memes because this is hard to write.

I am again busily waffling about how to define this Who I Am Especially In Terms Of My Production (which is currently Art, but what kind of art is varying still and before that it was flash fiction and before that it was management and before that it was being tech support and before that it was being a computer programmer and …).

If I want to be really objective about it, I’d say that I’m clearly still in the early part of my development as an artist and really I should be focusing on learning the skills and techniques and that it’s ok to try all sorts of different arts and see where my art goes in the long run.  You know, the whole thing about mastery being the result of the ten thousand things hours.

Which would be great if I were in my early 20s and in college still and all that.  Or if I had a day job and came home to a quiet house and could just quit watching so much TV and take up painting instead (this is a joke, I rarely watch TV).  Or if I were retired and so had all the time to do whatever I wanted.

Instead, I’m a stay-at-home parent to a toddler who will not leave me alone and whose presence utterly short-circuits my ability to focus and drains my energy. I can’t get writing or programming or art done except when said toddler is asleep and I’ve managed to recharge even a little and the other responsibilities I have aren’t on fire.

Instead, I find myself in the position of not needing to make my art pay the rent or buy the food, but to buy the time to do the art. To learn the art.  To find the me I want to share with the world.

No Pithy Conclusion

I find myself deeply sympathetic with the concept of “find your people by being you” instead of finding them by a carefully crafted demographic intended to min-max your profits.

I find myself unable to agree that “I am this one thing … until next week when I will be totally this other thing” is a way to “be you” that’s going to survive in the marketplace of things people buy.

I find myself unable to put in enough, consistent time to manage multiple authentic identities to separate out such diverse ways to “be you” in a way that I can buy the time to do the art to get better and maybe develop a coherent style and focus of art.

Ultimately, I know something needs to change, but no idea what or how.  Ideas welcome.

Posted in About the Me, Spontaneous Bloggery | Tagged | Comments Off on A Brief Peek Behind the Curtain

Mandala Doodle Roundup, April edition

Happy April!

Just in time for spring, a collection of mandala doodles from March.

Just as a reminder, you can follow me on Twitter @9thcircledesign to get these in your feed every Monday Morning, without waiting for these roundup posts.  Also, ongoing updates about my struggles with Adobe Illustrator, art I’m working on, and, well, retweets of other people’s stuff because that’s what Twitter is for.

#MandalaMonday

March 7:
White geometric design with radial symmetry on black background
March 14:
Radially symmetric geometric design in shades of blue on a black background
March 21:
Radially symetric geometric design in shades of red and pink on black background
March 28:

Tune in next month to see the ones from April!Radially symmetric geometric design in orange on a black background

Stay tuned for next month, when I round up doodles with a different theme.

Posted in I Made An Art | Tagged | Comments Off on Mandala Doodle Roundup, April edition