l'hermit

l'hermit

Thursday, June 6, 2019

May 2019: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong

is creating accessible art & media
The facts of life:

  • Patreon soft launch
  • The Adventures of FibroShark
  • coloring pages for fun and prophet
  • Live Painting with Rachel
  • the intersection @art&disability
Honestly, my roll-out approximation schedule took falling behind into account. That's with the Patreon launched in the middle of April with very little fanfare: I expected everything to go wahoonie-shaped.

💙💙R

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Huh... that's weird... {Hatchfund Update}

this was going to be the cover. I already know
I can do better
The most important thing you need to know from this post is that even tho I dropped the ball on this project, I still have the ball, and what it becomes will be even better than it ever could have been without me failing in this endeavor. Everything has changed since I initially came up with the idea for FibroShark Hungry, and the project has never left my plate.

I was ready to start updating my project page again and... everything's gone. Hatchfund is now "powered by FundRazor" and I couldn't sign in with my account. Searching for the project page yields nothing, & going back thru my links from the project's fund-raising emails runs me into 404 errors. It's gone. From 4 years ago (when it was funded). Even the "help" link goes to a page-not-found. I guess the last 3 years really have been as long as they've felt.

Luckily I do have records for who backed the project and I will be getting in contact with everyone I can reach in order to fulfill my end, because I do actually take this very seriously. But since the Hatchfund Dashboard had everything in it, I have to track people down via Facebook. Fun times. Some of you wanted to be anonymous and I had to rely on my silly memory! (I did actually take notes somewhere, I just have to go back and dig them all up to double check.)

See, I was almost done with the whole thing when I put it on hold. A lot of things happened and I needed the time to make changes, take care of my health, lose my mind once or twice, and actually develop the style that would carry forward the message I wanted to send. Once I got finished with what I thought I was making I realized it wasn't good enough. It wasn't what I truly wanted to make, it wasn't what I promised you, and it wasn't going to do anything beyond a single run of vanity publishing. I had to mature in order to tackle this project in a way it deserved, but I also had to learn how to manage being sick so I had something to teach.

That failure was depressing, and I won't say that I didn't try to hide from it for a while. I told people who asked that I was still working on it, which was true, and when my health took a downturn it was suddenly fine with me that it was stuck in "development hell". One of the things I learned from being a capitalist was that sometimes you have to sit with your desires and acknowledge you need to learn more before you can move forward in a truthful manner. Fortunately, I know personally just about everyone who donated to the Hatchfund and most of the are up to date on what's been going on with my health.

But because I was making progress with all of my health issues, (and because I also don't care about hiding anymore), I have been able to start working on FibroShark Hungry again, and I will be following-thru with my promises to my backers. Since I no longer have a way to update my backers, I'll have a special project tier on Patreon and I'm figuring out how to make a database that ONLY my Hatchfund backers will get a link to for early access to interactive stuff, and exclusive access to what I learned from this career defining failure; Including a PDF of the file that has been languishing in my hardrive.

honestly, it was going to be a mediocre
"idiot's guide to blah blah blah".
We deserve better.
Everyone fails. This isn't the first time I have been unable to produce what I promised when I promised to do it, either. Art happens on its own timeline, and I never give up on a project, even if it takes a while for me to come back to it. Thank you all for your patience and forbearance on this matter, I will be in touch with everyone I can reach to offer the digital materials when they're ready.

So, while I feel a small amount of shame for this taking so long to come thru, it's propelling me forward into my next venture during which I will have a much shorter calendar for content delivery.

Watch this space...

❤❤R

Monday, April 1, 2019

Spring 2019 News: "I don't know how back I am, but I'm trying"

You are in the maze. The maze will cover the following subjects:
from the Marvel series Legion,
which posits metal illness as a super power
  • Being in a maze
  • artist and shaman are different, but related, professions
  • studio transformation
  • a slight attempt to be serious
  • Creativity Project 
  • Many Plates Method TM
  • a version of Empire, but where everyone is a cartoon shark
  • the only way to win a fight is by not fighting and making art instead


❤❤R



Sunday, January 14, 2018

News: Oh my gods, 2017 was a nightmare

Greetings!

I realize it's been nearly a year since my last entry: both because it says so on the login page for my blog platform and because my typing isn't as graceful as it used to be. (I grew claws during 2017 because that's what you do to avoid hurting your hands, I guess.)

In that time, some things have changed. I want to tell you everything, but I also want to provide my collectors with a full story that I just don't have yet. A lot of things have been going on with my health and we don't have answers at this time. I don't think I'm in any greater-than-average peril, but where I am is not healthy.

FibroShaark Hungry has entered a new research phase that consists of data collection and being able to read a book in about 2 months. There's also a whole lot of waiting involved in the process at this point. I'm sorry that it keeps me from producing even a little content.

In 2017 I did complete three paintings in the Water is Life series. I plan on finishing the remaining pieces this year, but again illness, waiting games, doctor appointments, and the side-effects of the meds that can dampen my pain long enough to get anything done; all kinda add up. Being sick is a full time gig.

Keep an eye on my insta. I'll post what I can when I can.

❤❤R

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

News Spring 2017

Spring News!

  • I made it thru winter!
  • New "assistant"
  • Water Is Life series and the neverending battle to make white people take care of the damn planet
  • Pain...ting: a little update about my health situation

I want to give excuse like "my life is a mess right now", but the bottom line is, I'm sick, I can't update that much, but I'm never giving up on trying to make the world better with art. See below the cut for more...

❤❤R

Sunday, January 29, 2017

2016 was not a loss

"Renewal" anchor piece of the new
series "Water Is Life"
It's been a long time since I've posted anything and I know you wondering why. The last 6 months of 2016 were a bit of a whirlwind, and I'll give you some insight as to why...

In April, when a few hundred Lakota Sioux began their protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, my ears perked up and I began paying attention. While not able to go to Standing Rock, I stood with my brothers and sisters there and sent my prayers and love to them. Months later, when things had settled at home, but begun to become more dangerous at Standing Rock I picked up my paint brush and began to work.

The result has been a series called Water Is Life. It has two pieces currently and will expand to 7 pieces that will address issues facing Water Protectors all over the world, including the Black Snake of oil pipelines, lead poisoning that occurs on Native American reservations (as well as in Flint MI), the effects of global warming on the Arctic Sea Ice, and the frailty of diverse life in our acidifying oceans.

I've always been an activist, always stood with my people (the Native Americans as well as the Jewish ones), and since my medium is watercolor, and defense of the sacred is one of my life-themes, creating a series of work aimed at protecting our most essential global resource was a natural place for my work to go.

While I was beginning this journey, I had to conclude another: coming to terms with my disability. Yes, it took me 6 months to create two paintings. That's because having a chronic illness is a full-time-and-then-some job. I invested a lot of time and effort into devising systems to help me be more productive with my limited abilities, and using a heavily modified version of the Bullet Journal system I've begun to find my way in what is my new normal. I also applied for Social Security benefits that I may or may not ever receive.

The process of creating my new disabled normal had also allowed me to see new avenues of creativity for the FibroShark Hungry book (which I promise is still in progress, but there have been some set backs -- not the least of which is the ironic one where the reason this is needed is also the reason it's taking so godsdamn long to complete). New material is being forged, painted, and written, and with some luck, a little more health, and some effective time-management I will be able to deliver copies of the book into your hands by the end of 2017.

Unfortunately, during this time my family also experienced great loss. My service dog/office assistant/best friend/fur baby died in late October and I am only now coming to grips with how deeply this affected me. Life without Stewart has been more difficult that I can explain in this space, so I'm really only hoping that I can express enough to win a bit more of your patience.

It's taken me the better part of a month to write all of this, (partly because I'm embarrassed that I haven't updated in so long), so I'll wrap it up while I'm on a roll. I love you all and appreciate your support, kindness, and everything that you do to make the world a better place. In the coming months, you can expect more updates from me (I have systems now! Huzzah!), because I'm not going anywhere.

❤❤Rachel

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meanwhile, 3 months later...

"Many symptoms of mental illness are
difficult to recognize from the
outside..."
"Others can't be seen from the inside
because they're too overwhelming."
My health issues have been becoming more difficult to ignore or hide. It's become impossible to pretend that I can function like a normal human -- that I can function like I used to. It's been 3 years since my health took a major downturn, and while a lot of amazing things have come about because of me being forced to alter the course of my life, it still sucks.

In the last year, I have begun to look into applying for disability. I am disabled. Day after day I wish that I had the energy, the wellness to leave the house and do something "productive", and in the last six months, I've been trying to work part time delivering food and whatnot. Not once in that time have I been able to work enough to pay all of my bills. Sometimes I get closer, but mostly, I get halfway there and call it good enough because I am not physically capable of more.

This. Is. Devastating. There have been times in my life when I have worked less, or made less money because I was goofing off, but this isn't the same. I'm not enjoying life, I'm writhing in pain, asleep, or stoned out of my mind because there's one  thing that does anything to touch my pain. I haven't even really been making art because when I do have energy I'm hustling to make enough money to pay my student loans, credit cards, and phone bill, and when I don't have energy I'm feeling sorry for myself because I don't have enough energy. I'm depressed. I retracted back into my shell, abandoned many cherished social circles, and have drifted away from several important people. I lose track of housework and actual work.

As a result, art projects have been postponed. FibroShark Hungry has been in post-production limbo for months. I'm not making excuses here. I know I wanted to have the book finished and in your wonderful hands by now, but ironically the reason this book is needed is also the reason it's been delayed. This is affecting my already-fragile ego and I continue to try to avoid the project (or even talking about it!) because I'm so ashamed at my inability to finish it on time.

So check it out: I'm sorry this is taking longer to complete than I originally planned. I'm sorry you haven't gotten your rewards yet. No one has hassled me about it, but I know you're waiting and you want your books, plushies, tshirts, and other artwork. I haven't forgotten, and most importantly I haven't given up.

I'm starting to feel like I'm coming back out of my shell, partly because it's essential to analyzing my current circumstances and finding viable solutions. Some NRE is helping me move about more freely in my own head, and I'm no longer actively putting off contacting a lawyer to get started on disability filings.

The other thing I'm no longer actively putting off is re-scanning the original FSH artwork. I've put it in my planner, so that means it'll get done. I've also written this update, which is kind of a big deal. I know that those following my career and supporting it want to know what's going on, and my history of transparency with my health issues means I can just be frank with you: I've been very depressed. I've felt useless, lazy, unworthy, and impossible. I've felt like giving up and just not making art anymore.

But I still have ideas. I still want and need to make art. And I look to my life for fuel and fodder. So, I'm going to make weekly FibroShark cartoons. They'll be posted here and on FibroShark's facebook page. They will address real issues in the lives of spoonies. Some might even be funny.

This week, I offer the above: two observations about the ways one can become trapped inside one's own brain. Sometimes you're trapped because no one can see that you need help; sometimes you're trapped cuz you don't know you need help. These are not mutually exclusive, and they both suck. But I think we all go thru either and both at various times in our battles with mental illness. You're not alone.

Anyway, it's a new day, and I'm feeling marginally adequate...

❤❤R