Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: Kickstarter
Showing posts with label Kickstarter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kickstarter. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Days 39-42

Hello folks,

My weekend was filled with taking care of my poor sick husband...who had food poisoning or some other nasty illness.  I'm still not quite sure he's over it, but he's doing better at least.

Otherwise my Kickstarter is over, and as predicted in my last post didn't make its goal.  I'm ok with that, though it means a lot of hard work from me for the coming months.  I'll be keeping tabs on job openings, making art, and finding various ways to earn extra money on the side.  I've really already been doing these things, but will have a little more time to do them now.

On the side of good news I got my application for Penland School of Crafts in the mail today.  I'm so nervous about it, and hoping it will arrive in time even with all the snow and ice the weathermen are promising here.  I'm glad to have it off, and will be checking the tracking number at least twice a say until it makes it to their doorstep.

Bryan and I worked on our budget today, which is continuing to look good.  We have a long way to go before we can feel relaxed, but we're getting there, slowly but surely.  I look forward to having emergency money saved up and debts paid off, and we're closer to that each day.  In the next few weeks I'll do our taxes and hopefully we'll get a refund we can put towards our debt.  For some reason I really like doing my taxes.  I'm not sure if it's because I like the feeling of knowing they're completed or simply enjoy the process.  I think it might mean I'm a bit crazy either way.  haha

In book, news I read an article shared by a friend of mine via Facebook on Alternate History Novels.  I've loved this kind of book and idea for a while now, and have added many of the books from this list to my "To Read" section of  (If you're wondering, my "To Read" section is enormous...I'm always seeing great looking new books.  I can only hope to get around to them all.)  Right now I'm working on 1632 (Ring of Fire), which I got for free as a Kindle book.  I'm betting it's still free, and you can read it on most platforms with the free Kindle book app (computers, tablets, smartphones).  It's been interesting, and Bryan and I also decided to give Darwinia, The Aquiliad, and The Peshawar Lancers a try.  We got the physical books for those though.  While I like reading though Kindle it'll never be the same as having a book in hand.  I've also been working my way through the graphic novel series Y The Last Man, having finished number 6 out of 10 volumes.

Beyond all of that I've been continuing work on art pieces and should have at least one if not more completed pieces to show everyone in my next entry here.

Until next time.

Love, Lydia

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Days 37-38

Hi guys,

So, There's just one day left to my Kickstarter, and I think I can let you all in on one of the new projects I was talking about.  Really this is the biggest one that I've been working on this week.

I'm applying to take a summer course at Penland School of Craft.  I've been creating my scholarship/studio assistantship/workstudy application the past few days.  Today I completely revamped my resume, and have been calling in the folks I will use as references.  It's an exciting process, and I don't mind the work.  It feels good to be doing some solid work towards a goal.  I didn't know if the Kickstarter would work out, but this is something that I can handle.  I know I can get it done and sent, even on a tight schedule.  The application is due Monday the 17th, and if all goes well I'll have sent off everything on Tuesday the 11th.  Penland is here in North Carolina, but up in the mountains so it may need the time it will take to get there.  I'm applying to two different classes, one is a photography based course that would involve darkroom work, learning new techniques and ways of working that I think would go quite nicely with my collage work.  Some of which should be out of darkroom techniques that I can use existing negatives, photos, and digital files for.  The second class is a collage class that would survey a variety of techniques within the scope of collage, plus encaustics, and monotype printmaking.  (Monotypes are a printmaking process that creates a one time only printed impression or uses a base that will print fairly or even very differently each time it's used.)

I like the idea of both the classes, and honestly can't decide between the two.  The photography one has a possible assistantship, but no possibility of full scholarships.  The other could yield a full scholarship, but has no assistantship available.  Then both could have workstudy or partial scholarships, though that would mean I'd need to pay some portion as well.

So, it's exhilarating to see things come together, as taking a class at Penland is something I've had in mind for several years now.  Ever since one of my friends went and came back raving about how great it was I've been itching to go myself.  While she's not able to make it this year, I'm still happy to try for it on my own.  It'll be a fantastic way to meet some new people and shake things up with my own work.  A kick in the pants is just what I need!  haha

Other than all that I spent my evening with my husband and my brother in law, having dinner together and watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  While writing a letter of intent for Penland too of course.  It felt like college all over again...not that I mind!  I've also been working on the "Bianca" piece too, but at the moment I'm not rushing it with the Penland app unfinished.  I was still able to enjoy the ceremony, and I always love seeing each country's Olympiads carrying in their flags.  The nods to great Russian artists throughout the production were great to see as well.  I just hope we've seen the last of the failures to finish preparations in time so that all will run smoothly for the games.  I always look forward to watching them, and this year I've got lots of willing family members to get together and watch with.  I think my biggest problem is wanting to see all the events and only having so much time for viewing.  As a kid I loved the figure skating routines, but I grew to love pretty much all the winter sports as the years went by.  Do you all have favorite events or do you like all of them equally?

Until next time!

Love, Lydia

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Days 32-36

Hello dear readers,

Over the past few days I've been hard at work promoting my Kickstarter -  Any help spreading the word and getting pledges in would be fantastic!  Things are close to the end, but haven't progressed too far.  However, as I said in an earlier post I'm not giving up hope on accomplishing my goal of creating at least one piece per week.  It will just be a harder later in the year if I end up getting another job to go with it.

In any case I've got lots of works in progress, the character portrait, which is to be titled "Bianca" is progressing nicely.  And I'm also working on a couple of other projects, but I'm keeping them under wraps at the moment.  Once I get done with the Kickstarter I'll probably be able to mention more.  I feel like I'm being very secretive this past week, and I'm kind of sorry, but most of it is just having a lot to do, and being more of a private person in general.  I do have things to share with you all, they just don't always flow out of me steadily.  Also, sometimes my life is a bit boring.  I keep busy making stuff, and do housewife stuff.  (All the while planning crazy trips to new places and scheming to make things happen which may or may not ever pan out)  At least I dream big!

So, going on to the next topic.   I was thinking earlier today and wondering what music people favor when they're working on creative projects.  I'd love to hear from you all about particular songs or albums that you've found helpful or inspiring.  I'm always looking for more new music and have found that lately I'm listening to a lot of the same thing.  I have a lot of music, but am looking for some new perspective too.  So please hit me with your best shots!  As for me, lately I've found Fleet Foxes album Helplessness Blues to be pretty inspiring and I'm starting to get into the latest Avett Brothers album as well.  They're rather similar in feel, so they don't cover all the moods I need music for while working, but are good for many occasions.

Beyond my creative work I've also been working on health plans and such to keep up with my goals there.  I've been keeping track of my food intake and monitoring it to see how it compares to what my ideals are....and was surprised to find I'm not quite as great at estimating everything I'm doing.  Some days I'm great, but other days I don't realize at all!  So I'll be keeping up with tracking things for a while longer until I see more permanent changes in my habits and choices.  I'm trying to keep things vague here because I don't like talking about numbers, it gets to being very specific to an individual person and I don't want to make anyone's ideas any worse than our society is already making them.  I'm also keeping up with exercises, between dance games on the Wii, yoga, walking, and doing a challenge focused on squats.  The biggest thing I'm looking for is getting more energy and feeling better.  Over the past couple years I've had a very noticeable dip in my energy levels, which is partially due to some thyroid issues, but something I want to overcome if possible.

Sorry I'm all talk and no pictures this time, but I want to hear back from you all.  Let me know what you think, I want to get some conversation going!

Love, Lydia

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Days 28-31

Hey folks,

Well, this has been a crazy week!  We got about 3 inches of snow Tuesday night (that's crisis level for North Carolina) and Bryan stayed home from work Wednesday.  It was nice to have him at home though it definitely shook up my usual weekly schedule.  I've been working in fits and spurts as I can find the time all this week.  Thursday night, when Bryan got home from work, we ended up spending half the evening visiting our urgent care doctor and finding out that Bryan has Shingles.  He's has a rash most of this week that was bugging him and that explains why.  So we got meds and such and will hope it goes away fast; I hate seeing him uncomfortable.

Though Thursday did bring that craziness it also brought one of the loveliest sunsets I've seen in a while.  I managed to get a half decent camera phone shot for you all here:
As for Friday, I worked on a new piece and straightened up my desk.  In starting the new piece I found an unfinished watercolor that I'd forgotten about.  It's the one propped up on my desk here:
It still needs a good bit of work, but so far it's pretty solid.  It's from a still life of tiny shells I had set up back in July when we went to Myrtle Beach.  The other things in from the shell painting are various other works in progress, though it's not all of them.  I will confess that I love starting new pieces, but sometimes it's harder for me to finish them all.  It's definitely compounded by the fact that I enjoy having a variety of pieces to work on at any one time.  However, things are definitely moving along well despite any distractions from my personal life.  And I found some little plastic cups to put my pastels in, solving the organizational problem I mentioned last time.

My new painting will be a mix of watercolor with some inks and pastel.  Here's a shot with only a little color added:
It's a more figurative form of portrait that's based off a character I've created for a game.  She's a lady thief and an albino, who's convinced yellow is her lucky color.  In terms of style I've taken some inspiration from playing card designs as well as Manuscript illustrations.  I've worked a good bit with more Irish styled pieces, though this is drawing from more general medieval examples.  I still have a bit to design in the border as well, though I've got some ideas for it already.  I've been enjoying the style of work and may make several more to I get a good series going.  It's definitely the kind of piece I wouldn't mind doing commissions in!

Beyond all that the deadline for my Kickstarter is nearing.  I could use all the help I can get!  Either way 52 pieces will be made, I just like thinking I have the support so I won't be as stressed while making them.  And the idea of making 365 pieces will be sad to let go of.  If you can spread the word I'd appreciate it!  -

See you all Monday!

Love, Lydia

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 24

Welcome to my blog,

So today I've been thinking about goals.  I happened to read a post by a guy named Mike Hyatt who owns a publishing house and blogs about writing, among other things.  The post he wrote is about mistakes people make when setting goals.  You can read the article here.  It's got me thinking about some of my big goals for this year and I thought I'd share them with you all.

Most of you who read this already know about my Kickstarter and the goals that go with it.  If I meet the low goal I'll be able to create a piece of art every week this year and end up with 52 pieces.  The larger goal is making a piece every day and ending up with a full 365 pieces.  The more I work on these goals, sending out messages via Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and the like the more determined I am to at least get the 52 pieces made, whether or not I have the funding.  If I have to I'll make paintings on whatever scraps of paper I have left if I can't afford to buy more supplies.  I've at least got the watercolor paint to make it through a year of that, though collages and other art forms wouldn't have the same luck.  And so far I'm right on track with that, having finished 3 pieces at just over 3 weeks in.  I've got another 8 pieces in progress and ideas for lots more written down.  I think half my trouble comes from finding what to get started on first!

I have some other goals too though.  Some more personal ones like finding a good church to go to here in Raleigh.  Sometimes I feel like that's hard because Bryan and I grew up in really different styles of churches, though our personal beliefs are really similar.  I'm not going to go into the spiritual parts of it all, because this isn't the place for that.  However, I really look forward to finding a place with good community because I miss having friends here.  I have lots of family that so far has filled in very well, but I know I need to have friends outside of relatives.  I think of all of this as things that will feed my emotional stability and improve my mental health.

I also want to get my art established better here in the Raleigh area, and I would really love to participate in a couple of shows my the end of the year.  I've also thought about showing my work in other areas too, and would like to be able to that.  And I would like to join some artist associations so I can get to know other artists. network, and just get in the loop about things.  All of that is a little more dependent on money, which brings me to the next big goal.

Working on tackling our finances.  I've got student loans, we had our car get totaled a couple months back and had a huge rise in car insurance simply for living somewhere there's a risk of being rear-ended, plus the costs of a "new" car.  However, it's taught me how to be a couponer, and we're now masters of making and sticking to budgets.  We also eat out a lot less than we used to.  Recently I switched to an Obamacare plan, in my case it cut my insurance costs in half compared to my husband's employee insurance!  Next month things will start looking up as we've finally caught up to all the things that were setting us back so much the past few months.  We're buying a fantastic photograph from Matthew Alexander, a fellow CCAD alum as a way of celebrating making this goal!

For mental stimulation I've vowed to read at least one new book each month, which if you know me isn't a huge goal.  I was the 10 year old kid who read over 100 books one summer, because a kind library patron saw that the summer reading program wasn't enough challenge for me.  She asked me to make it to 50 instead, and then gave me a gift card for a local bookstore.  I kept going and hit 100 books before school started that fall.  However, I read a lot less when I was at CCAD, and making art in high gear cuts down on my reading time.  Since it's also some of my best mental fuel I'm making a point of keeping it around!

Lastly I've also been making more effort than ever to be healthy.  Simply getting in more fruit and veggies and less junk, eating more organic and local, and putting more exercise into my daily routine.  I'd been doing dance workouts about twice a week for most of the last year, but now I'm also adding in yoga 1-2 times a week, some weight training, walking, plus other routines too.  And last year I gave up keeping soda in the house, so these days I drink a lot more water.

So, all this is what's going on in the background each day, and what keeps me going.  Sometimes I feel like it's not a big enough deal to talk about on here, but really, all the little details are important to my story.  I'm guessing you all feel the same way about your lives, some of those details are what make us feel ourselves.  Hopefully you all have made it through all this, and I hope even more that it's been interesting, showing you more about who I am.  Until Monday.

Love, Lydia

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Days 19-21

Hi everyone,

The past couple of days have been more restful between a family birthday Sunday and a board game get together Monday.  I'm always glad for the chance to play some board games and yesterday was no exception.  I ended up teaching "De Vulgari Eloquentia" to a group who'd never played it before.  It's a game based on the late medieval period culture of merchants and the end of the game someone will even become pope!  It's a fun game, through the instructions are horribly written, we didn't expect too much from it since it came from a bargain bin.  You can read more about it and see some pictures -

We also played Dominion which is one of my husband's favorites.  It's a card based game where you're building a deck over the course of the game and trying to collect the right kind of cards so that you gain the most points at the end of the game.  However you can use different cards each time you play the game making it mean or friendly depending on your mood.  And there's more info on that -

Today has been filled with lots of little bits of progress and getting back in to the swing of things.  I've worked on two pieces today plus some other odd jobs I've had.  Also I saw that my hometown newspaper, The Roanoke Times, has published a piece on their website about my Kickstarter.  You can find that - HERE

So, all that's exciting, and I'm up to 3 pledges on Kickstarter now, with emails being sent out every day to people who've shown interest in my work previously via Etsy.  I'm getting in lots of writing practice, though I don't mind it too much these days.  And just in case you haven't seen the link yet here is my Kickstarter!

Hopefully no ones minds my departures from strictly writing about art to talk about board games for a bit.  I expect to be adding some of my interests and experiences along the way, and these are some great examples of that.  Other than all that this evening I've been distracted by the snow we've been getting.  Finally!  Sadly we're not even getting a full inch....I wish it was much more though.  This is the first snow we've had this winter that's actually stuck and it always gets me excited like a kid to see it.  If there's any left on the ground after my breakfast tomorrow I might take some photographs to work on some new pieces from.  For now though I need to get some rest so I can get up early enough to hope to see that snow!  Goodnight everyone.

Love, Lydia

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Days 16-18 Special Weekend Edition

Hi folks,

The past few days have kept me busy as Bryan and I decided to move some furniture in our living room....which turned into moving nearly all the furniture and reorganizing our book collection, plus moving a larger chair out of storage into our living room, and taking down our Christmas decorations.  Once everything is looking nice I'll put up a few pictures.  However, Thursday night I fell into bed after moving more things than I'd intended and Friday continued the trend.

Today we've been running errands and getting things done.  But this morning I photographed my latest completed painting.
While working small is fun I think on Tuesday (tomorrow and the Monday holiday I'll be busy) I'll be focus on some larger scale pieces.  This smaller scale piece in particular was more challenging for texture of the canvas alone.  It's got the Shiva casein paints as the base colors, Neocolor II wax pastels for many of the more detailed areas, plus some touches of white acrylic.  I think once I get through all the mini canvases I'll be switching to some other small format backing.  I just wish there were more small sized art boards and out there with cradled backs.  The smallest I've found is 4"x4" from Dick Blick Art Supplies, but I'd try just about anything I could find at this point.  Also, I decided to go look on Blick's site and saw these lovely panels which I would love to work on.

I've tried unfinished wood, but with the first hint of watercolor there's warping and bleeding if you aren't very very cautious.  There are just so many interesting supplies I'd love to try!

In other news, I've had my first pledge on Kickstarter!  Only 3 weeks left to the campaign.  So if you readers are interested check it out.  I appreciate any traffic I can get even if it's simply word of mouth.  Check it out

Well, I'll be back on Tuesday, but until then I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Love, Lydia

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 10

Hi everyone,

Today I've been starting to write my press releases for newspapers.  That's a whole new adventure!  I'm not as excited by it as making art, but I'll get it all fixed up and hopefully get a bit of publicity if all goes well.  I'm hoping to send our releases to The Roanoke Times, Raleigh's News & Observer, and the Columbus Dispatch.  If anyone has suggestions to other outlets online or in print I'm all ears.

At the moment I'm looking forward to the weekend.  I've had a busy week between a lot of family events and getting the Kickstarter ready and going.  Saturday I'm going to focus on writing the press releases and working in my studio.  I think Sunday Bryan and I might go on an afternoon hike, maybe one of the lakes nearby or perhaps Umstead State Park.  In any case it'll be really nice to wind down a bit.  Sunday will definitely be our day of rest.

Until Monday,
Love, Lydia

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 9 - THE BIG DAY!

Hey guys!

Today is the big day.  I know I always post later at night rather than early in the day, but today it's for good reason.  The Kickstarter has launched!  So if you want a piece of art or a variety of other cool rewards now is the time!  Please check it out and spread the word.  It means a ton to me, and will mean the difference between continuing to pursue my career in art or finding a boring part time job to simply pay the bills.

Wooo hoooo!  I can't wait to get started on some of the personalized and big pieces.  I've been working on smaller ones since I have freedom to make what I want with them to a greater extent, but a tiny canvas only allows so much.  Thanks in advance you guys!  I'm so excited to share my journey with you this year!

Love, love love, Lydia

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 8

Hiya everyone,

I've spent today fighting to keep a cold away...sadly I just got rid of one a week ago!  But I've been getting pieces ready to go up on my Etsy store (actually had a couple without photos when I started looking) and writing descriptions for each one.  Though it's late tonight I've added a few pieces - Brauronia, Plain, and Vesuvius.  Anyone who's a big Sufjan Stevens fan will appreciate that last piece!

I also go an email today approving my Kickstarter!  So I will be putting that up during the day on January 9th if all goes well.

I'm poked around with a few pieces in progress today.  One I think may carry the title of This is the Dino-Apocolypse...I'm a bit excited to get it finished.

Well, that's all for now!
Love, Lydia

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 7


So today I completed the video, and have officially submitted my Kickstarter campaign.  I should hear back in about 48-72 hours according to their site.  Then I can perform any final tweaks to my page and open things to the public.  In the meantime, I would love to hear what you all think so here's a sneak preview to my page (Link no longer here).

Please let me know what you think about just how reasonable the rewards are, if you think things need adjusting, or if you have any great ideas that would go well.  Because the project itself is simple I could take some very creative avenues of making things work if I'd like.  For now I've kept the options fairly simple, but with a variety that I hope will gain people's interest.

And don't be surprised if you come back Friday and the link here is gone.  I will take it down then since I will have a link to the real page very soon after that if all goes well.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Love, Lydia

Day 6


So, I've been getting the hang of iMovie to make my video for Kickstarter.  For the most part it's easy enough.  I haven't bothered with any tutorials, but have been figuring it out as I go.  Of course I'm using an older version from 2009 or so because that's how old my computer is, but I don't mind.  I'm probably a little too perfectionistic about everything, but I think it will be worth it in the end.  You all will have to tell me!  Here's a behind the scenes screenshot.

I've been putting most of my energy into making the video today, but beyond that I noticed a handful of pieces that will be featured in the video aren't up in my Etsy shop yet.  So tomorrow I will be fixing that and you all will have some new pieces of art to check out, though they won't count towards my big total for the year.

I've also taken time to tweak my Kickstarter a bit, adding a couple more rewards.  I'm getting more excited by the day to share everything with you all!

Until tomorrow.
Love, Lydia

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 3

Hi ya'll,

It's a short update!  Today I've been working on my video for the Kickstarter project.  I've got most of it recorded and just need to do editing now.  And I've got Amazon to approve that I'm me for the payments account required for Kickstarter.  Once I get the video done I'll be submitting the Kickstarter proposal and crossing my fingers that it gets approved.

I've been reigniting my Twitter accounts, my older one and the new @Lydiasdesigns one.  If anyone tweets and hasn't followed me, please feel free.  I'd love to connect with you all!

I'm going to go work on some patternwork on one of the newly painted casein canvases.  Then I'll be adding in other collage elements tomorrow.  I'll also be working on a pair of pieces for the Healing Ceilings program.  They connect artists with health care by creating ceiling tiles for cancer treatment centers.  Many cancer treatments involve lengthy amounts of time staring at the ceiling, and the artist who founded the program want to bring interest and hope to the time spent during treatments.  You can find out more at

Until tomorrow!
Love, Lydia

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 1

Hello everyone!

Today's the first of January and the first day of my Art For All Year project.  The goal of the project is to create at least one new work of art each week.  I have a Kickstarter set to go once all the financial information is confirmed.  (They have to make sure I'm me!)  And if this Kickstarter reaches its higher goal I would even be able to make a piece of art for every day of the year.

I'm really excited about this because I love creating new pieces, but lately have had trouble doing so because I feel split between ensuring we have the money needed to pay bills and making the art I love.

So, a bit about me for those of you hearing about me for the first time, or just hearing more in general:

I am originally from Roanoke, Virginia
I  discovered my love of art in the photo labs at Virginia Western Community College
I was part of the class of 2010 at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio earning a BFA in Fine Arts and a minor in Art History
I worked for LEGO during my time in Ohio
I briefly attended Hollins University as a graduate student where I learned Latin and started making collages
I worked two fabulous summers at Camp Winnebago in Maine, teaching photography
In 2012 I got married and moved to Raleigh, NC where I've been creating my art ever since.

While 2013 was a fantastic year for my personal life I seemed to have taken a step back from my art.  2014 is a year where I am aiming to change this.  Beyond simply creating art I want to make connections and break into the local art scene.  I'd love to show my art in other cities and parts of the world too, and hope to fund the entries to 6-24 shows this year.

Tune in tomorrow for an update on my first piece of the year.  Thanks for reading!

Love, Lydia