Category Archives: Life As Art

What’s happening in Darlene’s life.

What is so Special About The Story of Jasmine?

     The Story of Jasmine is truly unique and remarkable—not only from the standpoint of the story being told but from other key aspects as well. I thought I would help my supporters understand why every installment is unique and remarkable.
     It’s not supposed to happen like this…
    … to freshly present a finished installment to readers at the same time the story is being conceived is unheard of. But here we are.
The Writing
     Books usually go into production after the ideas have already been conceived and written down, sculpted and rewritten, then edited and proofread. The amount of text is known. When planning a publication, designs are based upon knowing beforehand the sizes of all the elements needed to be in the layout.
     The Story of Jasmine is in perpetual idea form. I can truly say I only have a vague notion of where the story is going. And I don’t know how the story ends. I am trusting that the creative process will take me where I need to go and everything will get resolved in a spectacularly satisfying way.
     The way I process information is a factor in my creativity. Not only am I a visual thinker, but a spatial thinker as well. I see things in terms of their orientation in space (and time). When I’m writing, I often get a visual of how the story appears on the page.
     I record ideas as they freshly occur to me and reason out the in-between stuff. I’m often surprised at what is gets revealed in the narrative that had never occurred to me when piecing known elements together. To update the newest information in my head is to integrate it.
While I’m in a more linear mode, I ponder why newly revealed details would be important and how they might affect the other characters. All I really have to do is pose the question to myself and I’ll (eventually) receive an answer. However, the story usually comes when I’m engaged in a physical activity, such as housework.
     Maybe I’m sweeping the floor when a part of the drama unfolds before my eyes. I’ll continue my activity until the “clip” is finished. As a visual thinker I “see” the characters in motion. Then I’ll go over the scene in my head, again and again—while still sweeping—so I understand it from each character’s perspective.
****I’ve read research that suggests that doing something physical while trying to learn something reinforces the ability to remember. It might be why when talking with a friend while on a walk, I would be able to reconstruct our entire conversation later when taking the same route. The memory is tied to different features, such as walking over peculiar cracks in the sidewalk or pausing in front of a tree. I’m apt to agree with the study.  But I digress… ********
     Each published installment is a single scene that represents a complete thought. I decide whose viewpoint would most effectively advance the story for the reader. I only begin writing in earnest when phrases start coming in.
Design
     Writing might take a couple of hours or three days. But as soon as I am finished, I transfer the raw text electronically and import it into Photoshop. First, I see how much text there is to work with. If there is little text, the illustrations become larger, vice-versa.
     This is the point where I edit the text. Appreciating the text in the context of the page is where I begin to assess the design. The text becomes units or blocks that have spatial relationships to other blocks. Visually, some blocks need to be filled when the lines are too short. I solve these visual problems by adding or losing words. It’s a matter of choosing different words to convey the same meaning. If I want to increase the size of an illustration, I may toss out a paragraph.
     This more organic method flies in the face of conventional graphics design where an established grid dictates the size and relationships of the units. For aesthetic considerations, I rely upon my eye and my artistic sensibilities to make the page a joy to behold because I’ve internalized the rules and understand how to break them.
The Jasmine Font
     A large part of my page aesthetic is due to the font. I designed my Jasmine font based upon the calligraphy I used in 1980 in some installments of The Story of Jasmine published in The Dragon magazine.
     The text font is the italic version of the Jasmine font. This is another departure from convention. Italics is seldom used for large blocks of text because italics is too hard to read: it is usually reserved for captions instead. Roman (upright) and Regular (medium weight) versions of fonts are normally used for blocks of text.
     When I first used my font, I was still renovating the original panels and wanted to replicate their size and look. The Jasmine italics font is the same size as the calligraphy was on the original panels—large—so readability is not an issue.
Illustration
     Then I decide what needs to be illustrated. Often, within an illustration’s progress, I may change the text to better describe the action, which may increase or decrease the size of the art.
     Often, no illustration decision is necessary. I simply re-create what I saw in my mind’s eye when my creative muse showed me a clip. I admit, I often receive material enough for several pages. So it’s a matter of being discerning. If I wish to feature a certain scene, I manipulate the text to accommodate an illustration, balancing the elements of the narrative between three panels or more.
     I chose to make the characters ultra-realistic looking. I wanted to f—k with the notion of reality impinging upon fantasy … a story documentary in page form. The realness of the characters feeds the realness of the tale. This very story just might be happening out there, somewhere, in another reality…
Publishing
     From conception to finished layout and art, the process takes about a month. With Patreon’s monthly deadline, I feel honor-bound to my patrons to produce at least one installment each month. During the month, I weave together many different creative disciplines. But whatever I do, the result is fresh and in-the-moment.
     Where actually does the story come from? Is it my imagination or am I tapping into some other realm where all this is actually taking place? Do other writers wonder the same things too? Can’t it be both?
     Well, I cannot worry about how relevant a story is about a girl growing into her power even though I sometimes wonder if people are sick of medievally-inspired fantasies about kingdoms at war with evil. It doesn’t matter. This tale is being told whether or not our world is ready for it.
All I know is that my Patreon fans are witnessing a creative process that integrates several disciplines on an on-going basis.

One Idea for Older Siblings to Connect

Last Friday, my older sister, Diana, challenged me to draw from memory the layout of the house we grew up in. She wants to compare our recollections. I believe she is writing an account of her life. Recreating a blueprint from memory was an interesting exercise. There are rooms whose details I remember quite well but others I’m totally vague on.

When she saw my version, she provided more specific details. As I concentrated on the spaces, I started to remember things that happened in them.

I shared one of my stories with my sister and she insisted that I write down my memories of childhood. Then came the idea that we all recreate the layout of the house we grew up in as we remember it. Then I suggested we all write down our recollections. Perhaps this will be a powerful means to make a solid family connection.

My family is separated in different states. The house we grew up in together unites us in deep ways. My sister plans to offer this idea to the rest of my brothers and sister soon.

In the meanwhile, I believe this idea has many merits for others to consider implementing.

As a means to connect with your family during this epidemic, I challenge you, as my sister challenged me, to recreate the floor plan of the place y’all grew up in. Compare notes and swap memories and be respectful. Who knows where that may lead?

It’s an idea.

Calling Forth a New Humanity

Much of the unconscious world is collapsing under its own weight.

Many forms of commerce are hitting full stop. Ships are idle. Planes are empty. Even automobiles are parked without riders.

As old establishments fail, this is making room for new institutions and ways of living that are more fruitful and productive.

There will be some rebuilding of the old norm but, in many cases, new organizations will offer something fresh, something new, something conscious.

Those of us on the conscious journey have been calling forth a new humanity and a new earth.

Could it be that we’ve found our moment in the midst of so much challenge and hardship?

Perhaps.

How about you? What are you being called to at this time?

Those on the conscious journey are in touch with their soul’s calling. The calling is often tangible and persistent.

What are things you can do full-time or part-time to contribute to an awakened world?

We are in a season of sequestering. This is a perfect time to feel deeply into our personal calling.

We will only create a new humanity and a new earth if we each decide to play a role. A small percentage of the population can’t possibly shoulder this load. No leader on high is going to take us there.

Conversations with God says our invitation in life is to announce and declare, express and fulfill, become and experience Who You Really Are.

Could it be that we are at such a moment?

It depends…

It depends on the decision you are making right now. Our individual decisions are a microcosm of what we are deciding collectively.

We are stretched but we are stretched in a good way.

So as we talk about rebuilding…

Let’s rebuild consciously and let’s create flourishing on every level: in our own lives, in our homes, in our communities, and in the world.

We can do this. So, let’s do this now and let’s do this together!

In service to your conscious evolution, Darlene

Check out my Quantum Transformational Art Store

 

Sacred Art for the New Year

Happy New Year’s Week!

 The start of a New Year always holds such great promise …  being a completely blank slate — there are 366 days (leap year) to bring your dreams to life. Simply following through on your promises means becoming the best version of yourself. I have a great way to help you do this.

My contribution to 2020 is to live up to my full potential as a visionary artist who makes spiritual energy tangible.

I’m glad I realized I don’t need to keep my spiritual life assets and my artistic life separated in my head or in practice. (Although they’ve always worked together), I am honoring my gift by recognizing what a waste it would be if I don’t offer the fullness of who I am to those who can benefit!

Through my art, I offer to younot only my heartbut the strength of who I am. Let the best version of me allow you to see and embody the best version of you. 

That’s what I do. I shamelessly declare it.

Through my visionary art, I can help you remember who you are at a soul level. By using the images and symbols surrounding your higher self, I create an image of the best version of you. The resulting image is not something you strive for. It’s who you are already! Sometimes, when life gets in the way and you accept limiting definitions of yourself, you tend to forget your true essence.

The art is there as a reminder. You are greater than you know. It’s time for you to expand into your bigger role. As surely as it is time for me to expand in mine. I’m calling my art “sacred” as a way to differentiate it from the usual creative process.

When does art become sacred? Is it when the artist creates it with love and reverence? …or when the energy radiating from the art can be felt? …or when the colors, symbology, and geometry reinforce the potency of its meaning? …or when the intent of the artist is sacred? It’s all of them.

I’ve decided to devote my abilities to create Power Art for people on a path of personal and spiritual transformation. Folks involved with self-improvement seem to be the most open to the idea that art can also be a powerful means to connect in deeper ways to oneself.

My desire is to create life-affirming, uplifting and renewing art which draws its power from the archetypes and symbols being depicted. But the full energy remains passive until it is called forth. Then it acts like a portal into the energy of your soul’s power. You can tap into this undepletable energy anytime and give yourself a psychic energy boost.

If you are interested in having me create art of personal significance for you that resonates with your psyche, let me know of your interest. Add yourself to my new mailing list where I intend to share deeper insights about how art and spirituality meet.

TO SUBSCRIBE

When I finally get things set up (the logistics of taking payments without risk to the customer) and working, I will let you know.

Explaining the Importance of Positive Feedback

It happened again last night. I shared an artistic idea that was just in it’s beginning stages, still delicate and budding. I was hoping for a grand “go for it!” kind of response—something juicy and supportive that would inspire me to dive deeper into the project.

Well, that backfired. Instead, I received a critique of what was wrong with the idea. Instantly, my energy deflated. Now, it will take a concerted effort for me to muster enough “oomph” to just get to the headspace I was in before I opened my big mouth.

I recognize it as my fault. I broke my own first cardinal rule to NEVER reveal or talk about a project before it is completed. It’s far too likely to get the result I just mentioned. Do people think artists are unaware of our own artistic challenges? When an uninvited critic takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process, it seldom results in the artist becoming more inspired.

The second thing I’m wondering is why, oh why, do people feel the need to be critical when an artist freshly shares their work. We usually want kudos for our artistic effort, at least initially (btw–I’m not referring to gallery shows where this behavior is expected).

Also, in the case of delivering commissioned art, some business people must be under the impression that it is unprofessional to tell an artist you really like the result. Are they afraid the artist will charge more if compliments are freely given? I’m reminded of something my mother always said, “If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” To receive no response to delivered artwork is also very disheartening for a sensitive artist. What they are not saying can be construed as the receiver’s disappointment

Well, last night, I was ornery enough to stop the conversation long enough to inquire of my friend if there was anything he liked about my share. He seemed puzzled until I explained that I only heard negative things … were there not also positive things to balance out the negative? There was, but the positive stuff didn’t seem to require mentioning. What? Then he became embarrassed that I called him out and he back-petalled, trying to defend his reaction.

Anyway… I want people to realize the etiquette: unless specifically asked to provide an artistic critique, keep your mouth shut. However well-meaning, it is just as rude to give unsolicited criticism as it is to give unsolicited advice. When artists are ready, they will ask for honest feedback, but until then, assume they want some feel-good energy for their efforts. Often, for me, this energy is just as important as money.

Yes, I recognize my true motive in sharing was to receive emotional and energetic support so I could continue my artistic exploration with a renewed sense of vigor. But even a simple request like this can also backfire. In the past, when I expressed wanting to receive only positive feedback about some artwork I had in progress, my husband would often say, “What? You don’t want me to be honest?”

Sigh. That disempowering response always stopped me in my tracks, leaving in its wake many unfinished artistic starts, abandoned as unworthy.

Today, I’m strong enough to have responded with, “No. I only want you to be supportive. My work is in a delicate (or difficult) stage at the moment and I really need some positive energy to get through this. Are you willing to kindly do me this favor?”

It’s all about the energy.

The Power of Play

The Power of Play

The benefits of play are so far-reaching. In childhood, play allows us to learn how to be creative, helps to nurture critical thinking, personality development and creates adaptive neural pathways.

In our stress-inducing lives, play for adults is absolutely essential. Play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, as well as boost creativity. According to recent studies, play improves memory and stimulates the growth of the cerebral cortex by triggering the release of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells.

According to psychiatrist Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, in Carmel Valley, CA, “Play is a basic human need—as essential to our well-being as sleep. So when we are low on play, our minds and bodies notice… Play deprivation can reveal itself in certain patterns of behavior: we might feel cranky, rigid, feel stuck in a rut or feel victimized by life. To benefit most from the rejuvenating benefits of play, we need to incorporate it into our everyday lives.”

A lot of research backs up the theory that play is therapeutic. At work, play speeds up learning, enhances productivity, and increases job satisfaction; at home, playing together enhances bonding and communication.

Above is an excerpt from something in the works I’m writing.

 

Dancing The Enneagram

I’m very excited to announce our PlayBook,* Dancing the Enneagram, by Kate Finlayson and yours truly is now being printed for a June 1st launch.

Last August (2018), I was at my friend, Kate Finlayson’s “Dancing The Enneagram’s” PlayShop in Charlotte. The experience with Kate’s effervescent energy was inspiring. I was so stunned and impressed with its power, on my drive back home, a vision to have her material developed in written form appeared to me.

That night, I furiously wrote. Within a short time, I created an outline for her book. I telephoned Kate and relayed to her my excitement. She asked me to present her with a sample chapter, which I did in short order. It seemed to me the book REALLY wanted to be birthed. And here it is: nine months later our baby is born.

The premise for “Dancing the Enneagram” is unique and ground-breaking. Kate, who is Nia-trained and certified, moves through each of the nine personality types. Her idea is to add a somatic component to an intellectual process, grounding one’s knowing into embodiment. Kate’s work is powerful and integrative.

Originally, I intended to present only Kate’s material, but an idea popped into my head to include the component of “coloring” into the mix because each of the nine personality types is also associated with a color. I’ve been working for a couple of years creating coloring books with positive images of maidens in their power to inspire “girls of all ages.” It seemed only natural to include what I know about coloring as a further means of integration, especially for those who have not experienced Kate’s energy in person.

I’m at my first “Dancing The Enneagram” PlayShop, August 2018.

Thus, in “Dancing The Enneagram,” I present the symbology of color, explain the difference between Light (RGB) and Pigment-based (CYMK) color models, and also offer a “Conscious Coloring” technique.

So the nine full-page illustrations I created for our PlayBook can be colored in or enjoyed as is. I’m also really happy to use one of my own font designs in the PlayBook. The design of the book exemplifies Beauty as is one of my best efforts.  It’s epic!

Dancing The Enneagram

*PlayBook and Playshop are Kate’s preferred terms over Workbook and Workshop. Learning shouldn’t be work.

Energy is the Key to Internet Marketing

The ability to succeed at INTERNET MARKETING is about energy, the type of energy you put into your life. When you put zero energy into something you’ll get zero results. If you put focused and pleasant energy into your projects, they cannot help but reflect this state of being. I conclude, that in everything you do, you need to be very conscious about energy and how you are using it.

It’s all about energy …

Pessimistic people are always pessimistic. Have you ever known a pessimistic person to suddenly decide to have an optimistic viewpoint for once? Their outlook on life is reflected in their pattern of behavior. Like a broken record, they retell the same stories, over and over again. They define themselves through the lens of failure: “It’s other people’s fault … well, if it hadn’t been for their betrayal, everything would be different today…” It’s not true, but that is what they tell themselves. Perhaps, it is to make them feel better about a situation they are applying zero energy to change.

The viewpoint of “oh woe is me…” has a particular energy signature, as do they all. This type of energy signature dissipates, or cancels out the energy of benevolent abundance. This is also true for the energy of depression, which is always depleting and feeds on itself. Woe-is-me, depressing moody people have a way of sucking the life’s energy from all around them. Nobody wants to be around needy people too often because its all so exhausting. When people are moody or depressed, they are high maintenance and need to be constantly fed.

Getting back to the subject …

The exhilarating and uplifting feeling of joy, of being in the moment, happy and one with the universe is an expansive energy. This energy is magnanimous. It is inclusive. Joy is the state of being required for manifestation.

This concept can best be understood through energy. It makes sense that a massive, outwardly flowing energy would be conducive to touching many people, connecting them in untold ways. This is opposite an inward-turning, small, “please don’t notice me,” black-hole type of energy.

Me? My bane is in just being lazy and unmotivated. I didn’t really want to do what was necessary for success. So I found ways to do everything, but… Occasionally, I’d take a day or two out from the month and update my web-site or blog and do other social things. I admit, my attempts to get myself out there were so half-heartedly introverted.

When I finally understood how energy works, I awoke to what I must do to be successful.

That’s why people with great passions do so well on the internet. Their enormous energy is infectious and they inspire true change. Anthony Morrison is one such person. The energy surrounding his passion to de-mystify Internet Marketing for students is simply astounding!  That’s only one of the reasons I decided to partner with him, but it’s a good one.

I finally declared I am worth the energy it takes to succeed!

At least I know now why I cannot manage alone, by myself. What I don’t have in “oomph” or the confident energy of know-how Anthony makes up. The Partner with Anthony program is my chosen tool for change. It can be yours too. Anthony’s upbeat messages alone are worth the $7.00 investment. 

Check out Anthony’s inspiring Lectures!

Changing Relationship to Money

What I learned recently is that, in order to succeed, I needed to totally change the way I relate to money as an artist.
I bought into the “poor artist” concept, where money is tainted and to accumulate money and wealth is to become tainted yourself. Poor artists indulging this paradigm judge people who are wealthy harshly — as being morally corrupt, greedy, egoistic, self-indulgent ass-holes. Many of them are, it’s true, but not all of them. There are also poor people with those traits.
Psychologically, we would “tell ourselves” we want success, but at the same time, would always sabotage our chances of success if deep down, we thought it would corrupt us, or automatically lead us down a perilous moral path.
I came upon this idea a while back when I realized, I looked down on wealthy people. I have since reframed things. There is nothing wrong with accumulating green survival tickets, especially if having these would enhance my art (as time would no longer be divided between art and finding a means to pay the bills).
I don’t think I had a devils chance of succeeding when I harbored virtuous (untainted) prejudice. It’s like I had to give myself permission to succeed. And I did. To prove it, I can believe the following statements:
There is nothing wrong with having wealth. As one of the wealthy, I will have the means to address wrongs. Time will open up because the tasks I was not good at and so did myself because I didn’t have the means–like accounting and taxes–would be delegated to those with expertise in those areas.
Then, I could better focus on things that I love and are important to me. It is thus, I give myself permission to not only succeed, but to lavishly exceed all expectations.

Darlene Marketing (?!)

I’m an artist. When I was younger and more adventurous, it was exciting to be dancing on the lip of poverty. The uncertainty of being able to stay alive by making ends meet was like a game; literally, it was “The Game of Life.” Now that I’m getting older, I realize I have to change. I no longer have the same resiliency and health I once enjoyed.

So I’ve been thinking. Being a “poor” artist does not have to be an automatic given. About 2 years ago, I realized that I sorely needed to supplement my meager income. Although it’s exciting to be teetering on the knife’s edge, I’m now longing for some stability. I wonder if you can relate?

So, instead of finding a soul-crushing part-time job (which would take me away from my art studio), I decided to invest my time in marketing myself on the internet, but it’s hard for an introvert like me. It means I have to reach out to people and be engaging.

Why doesn’t my art speak for itself unaided by my persistence in getting my name out there?

It’s a new game.

I created an art store to show off my wares. I call it my “Quantum Transformational Art Store,” and I invite you to take a look.

THANX for your interest, Darlene 

PS – I hope to see you with me on the sunny side of success.