What is Lynn Even WORKING on???

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The purpose of this post is twofold: give an update on my life/career/personal cosmic flow journey, and make all the other aimless, slightly frantic Just Starting Outers feel a little less alone in the world...

On that second point, seriously, if you've lived with this ever-present urge to do something "big" or fulfilling, but have also been granted the traits of impatience and over-thinking, join the club; it has been really harshing my mellow.

A vivid illustration of the phrase.

A vivid illustration of the phrase.

Something I'm learning to overcome is this misguided belief that EVERY entrepreneur has opportunities exuberantly thrown at them the minute they decide to work for themselves. For example, when I was merely entertaining the idea of starting an art business, I bought an online class from a couple of business-owners/bloggers that I've always admired. This class was supposed to guide you from the ground up and be very relatable, so one of the owners began the very first session with the story of how she got started in her business. I was REALLY looking forward to hearing something about how broke she was or working a corporate job she didn't love - ya know, something that I could relate with and get excited about my own future. Instead, she gave a brief narrative about how she was teaching a seminar in Italy and decided to start this business in a similar field.

(Cue emoji with straight line for mouth)

Hey! That is HER story, and it sounds awesome! I still love her and aspire to be as accomplished as she is, but that little bit was a tad discouraging. She already had a big following, and was obviously enough of an influencer to teach seminars in Italy, so how did she get to THAT point?? Could we trace her career journey back to her stationery card line in preschool? 

Anyway, I do not personally have that influence yet. I have about 278 Instagram followers (not that I'm counting...), a handful of email subscribers, and a bitty little studio in the spare bedroom of our tiny house. I need to remember that Future Lynn (Hi!) will be reading this someday and will think about how far she's come and be so glad she kept going.

It may be bitty, but there's loads of love. And by love I mean cat fur. And plants.

It may be bitty, but there's loads of love. And by love I mean cat fur. And plants.

Now here's an event update! As some of you may know, I worked at a manufacturing company as the graphic designer for almost four years. I absolutely loved my boss and coworkers, but the work itself was either uninspiring (for me, personally) or nonexistent, which got to me in subtle, gradual ways and began leaking into my personal business practices (like getting easily distracted and unmotivated). Despite the fact that it paid well and, for all intents and purposes, was a good job, I knew I couldn't sustain this and that, if I did stay on, I would become complacent, and any artist out there will probably agree that complacency is the enemy of creativity. 

One day I saw a local coffee shop that I frequent - and actually hung a few of my paintings in - was hiring, so I filled out the online application and got hired! I quit my graphic design job and I officially start next week as a part-time barista. 

I've never EVER worked a job like this before. I've either been a student or a graphic designer in my short life, and I am honestly intimidated by how different this is going to be, but equally excited to work in a high-energy environment that I hope will get me all jazzed for life again! 

As for this art business that I have (which you know about if you are here on this website reading this blog), I've been a little AWOL with marketing and social media lately. This is mostly because I also do local freelance graphic design and am finding it challenging to balance those projects with painting and maintaining this site. I know that's an excuse and I vow to get better at it! Just...ugh.

On that note, however, stay tuned for some exciting new paintings and whatever else comes out during this transition phase! As always, thank you SO much for your encouraging words and little hoo-rahs. You guys rock my world. 

PS- have you seen the new backpack that's available in the shop?? It is SO cute (if you'd so kindly indulge me to toot my own horn for a sec). Check it out! 

Décor & Home

Bedroom Paint Makeover!

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When I was in New York City a few months ago, my aunt and I asked a gangly, bespectacled older man named Ron for directions. What was expected to be a quick conversation and send-off quickly transitioned into a very detailed and impromptu tour of Greenwich Village, commentated with New York accent-laced reports such as "That bar over there has awful service; my friend went there and they barely talked to him" and "If a person dressed like a monk comes at you on this corner, walk away. It's a scam" and "Don't hold your purse like that! What, are ya carryin' solid gold in it? Just relax!"

We were strung along with Ron for about forty-five minutes. Whenever we thought our personal little tour was wrapping up, he'd exclaim, "Okay. TWO THINGS," then proceed onto another indefinite tangent expounding on those two things (for the record, it was never just two things...). He's one of my fondest memories of that trip.

The only reason I recounted that is because I'm starting this post with two things (this is for you, Ron):

  1. Hating how a room looks is a great first step toward progress.
  2. It's really important to not hate how a room looks.

Enter: our bedroom.

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In my defense, the border along the top of the wall was already there and I had no intention of keeping it in my life (you can see a pathetically half-hearted attempt at peeling it off in the upper right corner). But yeah, it was impossible to get a decent looking before shot of this room because THREE THINGS: dark beige, forest green, and dark wood blinds.

I've mentioned before how the bedroom has always been a last-resort for me; I mean, I don't really hang out in it, and it's usually dark anyway when I am in it. Overall feeling? Meh. I pictured Robert DeNiro saying that, if it makes any difference in the connotation.

Then I refurbished this dresserand the contrast between how that thing made me feel and the room I stuck it in made something click: I hated being in the bedroom. Like, you can TELL just by that picture, can't you?? Stuff is just dumped willy-nilly and I'm now feeling a creeping shame in making this public. At least the bed is made...

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Disclaimer: this is not a how-to. I was thinking of showing my process of scraping that border off, but it's tedious and there were too many pictures of my fingers. This is more of a "Look what paint and a little effort can do!"

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Since I put this room off for so long, I'd pretty much developed my personal style into its current plateau by the time I went at it. I knew with utmost confidence that I wanted the walls, trim, and ceiling straight-up WHITE.

Fun factoid: scraping off the border revealed that the walls and ceiling were all painted with the exact same dark beige shade. It kind of felt like being in an enormous cardboard box.

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You wanna know what happened when I painted everything white? The room was (significantly) brighter and already a quite a bit happier, so I started updating other details. I actually felt like investing in this room! For example, I'd never noticed that it gets the most sunlight in our house, so I packed it with plants. We bought that amazing orange chair at an antique market, I moved that bulky wooden desk into my studio, I replaced the blasé comforter with my grandma's cheerful mid-century quilt, and the piles of junk are much less frequent. As a bonus, that bright green dresser (also my grandma's) is so much more of a statement now that it's not languishing in a murky brown corner.

The other day, I went in there just to read and hang out. I have never done that. It's my favorite room now. I legitimately stand in the doorway on sunny days and gaze at it like normal people might look at the Grand Canyon.

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It even encouraged me to paint more so I could fill it with my personality (there's something about brown walls that makes all my colorful paintings look a little washed out). It's a veritable snowball of creativity.

Is there a room in your living space that you were totally indifferent to until you read this? Maybe just a coat of paint is all it needs to start the transformation into your favorite spot! Try it out! I doubt you'll regret it, but if you do, blame Ron.

Art

Paint (and Style) Matters

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This is a cheerleader post - the type of post that says, "You can do it!" and does toe-touches. Metaphorically. If you're feeling stuck in a style funk or that you're not that great at painting/crafting/cheese-making/etc... Have heart! Here is a stellar example of my own style and material evolution.

I did that about three years ago. It was shortly after graduating college with an animation (not fine art) degree; I was experimenting and had to "make myself" paint. This piece was totally fine at the time! I'm not harping on Past Lynn for painting this because it's a process (Love you, PL. Never change).

I dug it out of the studio closet the other day and thought, How would I paint this exact same thing now? So of course I painted over it.

How fun was this??? I recommend this type of project to anyone. Here's what I learned:

  • THE TYPE OF PAINT YOU USE MATTERS. The before painting was composed of those cheap little craft paint tubes you get from Kmart, with a splurge of gold leaf paint, which I left alone in the after painting. I've since come around to the fact that high quality paint leads to really polished art and super cool color palettes I'd never achieve otherwise.
  • IMPROVEMENT CAN BE REALLY IMPERCEPTIBLE. I kinda already knew that in theory (see this post), but applying it directly and literally really drove that home. That's only three years of progress!

Actually, that's it! This was a quick cheer (much like my own cheerleading career, which is to say, it was brief and only done in private)...

 

As always, prints are available!