The more updates I do to this site…

The more jacked up it becomes. I did an update & now the reaction buttons are no longer working. Aargh, so frustrating. This WP theme is completely falling apart and I can’t seem to find a newer, frequently updated theme that suits me – they’re all bland & boring; of course I’d rather just build my own but I’m not quite there yet with my programming skillz.

Anyhoooo, what have I been thinking about these days? Grownup stuff mostly – finances, renting vs homeownership in Los Angeles, finances, how to make more money basically without killing myself. I’m thinking of putting ads here or on my other site, to see how much revenue it will bring in. You’d think I would know how to create more money for myself (being a hybrid marketer & all), but I don’t…I still have a long way to go & a lot to learn.

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I had to revisit this book again…

Because I need to be reminded that my own ideas are not even my own; they were probably someone else’s ideas that I subconsciously absorbed and inevitably…stole.

I need to stop getting mad about shit & just do what I want to do. Create without worrying “am I copying someone” or be quick to criticize people & claim “they are copying me”…

I keep reliving the same thing over & over again…with the same freakin outcome.

It’s getting old and it’s time to stop.

I am acknowledging my feelings of hatred, resentment, criticism; but I refuse to hang on to them.

Copycats

I wonder what my copycat(s) will do…

once I take this website down once & for all. Where will you go to be “inspired”, or to claim originality?

Where will you go to steal your next idea? While it’s true that everybody takes & everybody borrows, we are all mirrors blah blah blah it bothers me still…as much as I want to just let it go – unfortunately I am still stuck in this human body so yes, I get angry and resentful from time to time.

I want to be off the grid sometimes, or rather – just off the internet. I want to be a ghost.

It may seem like I’m constantly obssessing about copycats on my blog but if you can’t shake the feeling, then what does that say? It makes me want to be even more private, show less of my work online & become more of a recluse.

I really want to get over myself. I’ve been trying to for some time. But it’s also a very thin line between inspiration & plagiarism.

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Today is the best day…

You get to leave the past behind, and create your future with your present thoughts.

I can’t sleep so I will create my gratitude/affirmation list for the day:

I am alive. I am breathing. I am seeing, I am talking, I am walking & I can hear you loud & clear.

I am abundant and I am prosperous. Whatever I desire comes to me continuously & unexpectedly. I receive abundance in many different ways. I am thankful for the money that I have and enjoy it to the fullest. I am open to receiving more.

I am healthy and I am strong.

I am creative and full of ideas. My creativity manifests in many different ways.

I am thankful for every person & thing in my life.

I love myself and I love and accept you as you are.

I work hard and deserve the best.

I am learning something new everyday. I am having fun. I will not limit myself.

The cosmic kitty approves.

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Synchronicities & believing in magic

It’s 4:30am and I can’t sleep. I figured this was a good time to be thankful & post about my good fortune. And after all the complaining I’ve done on this blog, it’s time to turn it around.

People might see me now and think I’m weird and believe in kooky stuff – but hey if it works I say why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose in trying something different. And so that’s what I did, I bought a money candle that I thought would help me in getting exactly what I want – more money. And it worked.

Here’s the thing about me – I’m quiet and tend to not speak up for myself, especially if I think I’m in a good situation & asking for more just makes me seem ungrateful. Not to say I allow myself to be used & abused, but I’m patient and can wait.

Anyway, I could just chock it up to another random experience but I knew it wasn’t random; I’ve learned to meditate & visualize what I want so I knew that by focusing my will, I was making things happen.

Of course I still had my doubts, as any human would. But I also believed & wished for it just as much. It certainly didn’t happen in a matter of days, more like months. But time flies when you’re older…

So thank you universe, I am content. My mind can rest for a bit now. now I just have to help my other half get a job, and that’s been a real struggle.

Save the Savages

The first time I used “Save the Savages” was when I needed a title for this painting. This is the Santo Niño (aka Holy Child, aka Baby Jesus) and he (it) is a popular religious icon in the Philippines. Growing up as a kid, this figure was present in the house – I didn’t even have any concept of God & religion yet, but I sure do remember this statue watching my every move. I couldn’t even tell if Santo Niño was a boy or a girl – as it looks androgynous to me & still does to this day.

It wasn’t until my late teens/early 20’s that I really started paying attention to our history – that the Philippines was colonized by Spain. That Filipinos had an indigenous history prior to that. That these icons were put in place to put us in place. That those who didn’t believe in Jesus Christ were basically savages, is what I got out of it.

Thus, the title of this painting from 2007 (which sold, surprisingly) and my current internet alias / website name.

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Bookmarked – Stop Negotiating Designer Fees

http://www.aiga.org/stop-negotiating-designer-fees/

A proposed solution

I realize I’m preaching to the choir here. What else can we do to change this system and social standards that seem to be rapidly diminishing the value of our skills?

In my opinion, it starts with educating yourself on the business side of things and being confident in your skills. Unfortunately, having artistic talents will only get you so far financially. In order to truly succeed you need to arm yourself with the ability to protect yourself against those who want to exploit your skills.

It sounds cheesy, but it starts with knowing and believing in yourself and that you’re worth the rates you charge. Insecurities cause us to be more flexible on these rates, but there’s no good reason why seasoned professionals should bend their rates to those of a recent design graduate. There is talent and years of process, wisdom, and expertise that goes into your rate. If a client only has a budget for student rates, then that’s where they should go for their design work, just like I shouldn’t show up at a fancy restaurant for dinner if I only have enough for fast food.

Stuff…

I know a few blog posts ago I mentioned wanting to transition to Front End Web Development eventually; well that hasn’t really happened and I still have half my foot in print & half in web design. I was recently asked to do some simple video editing/light motion graphics work and I realized that I enjoy doing that too. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. So basically I need to stop putting myself in a box & just learn whatever the hell I like. I was thinking that if I finally just focus on ONE THING, and be really good at it that I could finally say I know how to do this 100% and possibly even demand more money for my skills. But that was never the case for me – I’ll always have my hand in something whether it’s print, web design, marketing/seo, video editing, motion graphics, logo design, production (aka grunt work) and so on. I guess I’ll always be a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to design.
And to add to the list of things I still want to learn & be good at: Cinema 4D & After Effects.
As for the physical stuff – whether to take boxing or Krav Maga, I’m still undecided. Mostly because of money. It’s always about the money.
California living is getting more expensive, I’ve been wondering about other places to live.

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Reflecting on 2014

I’m about to ramble so here goes:

I wanted to post this before the year ended, but I’ve been busy with work & the holidays and all. 2014 was a good year, very different from 2013 – steady busy but very mellow at the same time and it flew by pretty fast. It gave me more time to think about things rather than just act on it. Lots of time by myself so I was able to write in my journal consistently. I learned to meditate more. Was more conscious of my decisions, was more present than ever. And just because I haven’t painted graffiti or created any art doesn’t mean my creativity has come to a standstill; rather it manifested in other ways – mostly at work and when I create hand drawn stuff for friends & family. I was never really an art hustler and I don’t care about being famous. Kudos to people who can do that. I really like web design & marketing, that’s where the bulk of my creativity has gone. Not too many people know that I’ve been working in the Adult Entertainment industry for the last 4-5 years now, I feel comfortable working in this industry. I feel like I can be myself, I never have to put up a front for anyone or be less of myself. And even though it’s adult-oriented, I know my work makes an impact on people because someone just recently ripped off my work. Not once, but TWICE. The saying holds true: if your work is good, someone’s bound to copy it. I still aim to become a full stack Web Developer eventually. I have even considered (for a very brief moment) getting a degree in Computer Programming but my math skills were never strong and I just don’t have that kind of money. I don’t know what 2015 is going to bring; all I know is I want to be physically and mentally strong. I want to be smart & savvy with my finances, I would also like more money. The handful of friends that I have continue to inspire me.

Some other random noteables: I adopted a cat (even though I’m very allergic), I am making it work by taking allergy pills. And I got the tattoo that I really wanted.

Suicide is painless…

Can’t sleep so here I am just rambling, spewing verbal vomit. Been thinking about suicide & death again; and the older I get the more I understand why someone would do it. I’m not contemplating it by the way, I’m just typing/thinking out loud. My life is easy compared to most and yet there is still a lingering despair that creeps in from time to time. It’s not quite a state of depression, but maybe a short version of it. I try to be conscious of my own thoughts but sometimes I drift into hopelessness; like what else is there? And why am I still alive? The death of my mom affects me still (out of nowhere sometimes), and there are days when I don’t want to live. But I know everyone experiences this to a certain degree so I don’t feel as bad. Because of my own awareness, I make myself snap out of it & remind myself that I have it good. That I am healthy, that I am loved. That there is a purpose for my existence even if I don’t see it. That I have to keep going somehow.

Our worst enemy is our own mind.

I wonder if I had a different lifestyle – stayed busy constantly, filled my life up with activities, maybe even had a kid…would I feel any different? Or would I just be burying my despair even deeper, by actually hiding it?

Very sporadic postings

Remember when blogging was more of a personal thing? Now that major brands big & small have caught on, it doesn’t seem as personal. Now people blog to promote something – so they can stay relevant, rank on Google & promote their business or product – rather than blogging just to express anything personal or creative.

I kinda miss those personal blogs. As soon as we got older & more experienced, we close up because we’re too aware of what people might think – that we might offend someone or sound lame when we’re writing out our thoughts…

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Wired chick

Always on, always connected. I painted this girl when our TV was broken; the back cover was taken off and the tv’s motherboard was exposed.

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I’m back on Instagram…sorta.

In typical fashion, I deleted my first account because I’m slowly morphing into an antisocial creature most of the time and can’t handle too many people electronically & in real life. But I am back and will attempt to stay and post regular drawings & paintings. I hope this will get my art game back up. Also, I need to stay off the computer more often after work because my eyes have gotten blurry and I was experiencing double vision for a minute. It made me feel like an old person & I’m not quite there yet. So…

Save the Savages on Instagram

Dear Universe,

I don’t want to do print anymore. I’ve discovered in the last 6 months that I enjoy working on web stuff more than I do print. So I only want to do internet work from here on out – specifically web design work involving HTML / CSS, WordPress then Javascript & PHP eventually. I am SO bored with print, where as internet (though it can get frustrating real quick) gives me more of a challenge. I still have A LOT to learn, and I’m always learning but I can’t learn it and use what I learned consistently if I’m still stuck doing print. Bleh. I can’t stress enough how quickly I start to feel bored when I have to do print – it is the bane of my work life. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful to be working and doing the kind of work that I am naturally good at, but I am already thinking about my next move.

The mind never rests until it gets what it wants. It is always thinking, always looking forward to the next thing. It is never satisfied. Existence is suffering.

Sincerely,
me

Done with school…for now.

It’s been a while since I’ve written in here. I just completed 10 weeks of Front End Web Development class; I really learned a lot and I’m happy that I can use this for work-related stuff – which I’m already doing. There were times when I wanted to drop it, I didn’t want to drive to Santa Monica, blah blah blah, excuses excuses but I stuck it out. It also helps that my instructor was very helpful and encouraging. Even though I am naturally quiet and don’t ask a lot of questions, I really appreciated the whole learning experience and it was inspiring to see everyone’s final project.

I hope to keep the learning spark going. It’s quite easy to get demotivated and to slip back into laziness. This post is a reminder to not get lazy!

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Red+Green

Quick watercolor painting, festive colors for the Christmas holiday. I hope to fill up this website again with more of my drawings & paintings. Shermgrafik.com will be 10 years old in 2014! The website and myself have evolved / changed so much since 2004. I never imagined myself as someone who would eventually grasp Web Design & Development, let alone know how to code. Technology changes rapidly and I’m still finding myself learning something new every day.

I haven’t been drawing or sketching…

and I’m kinda mad at myself for not doing so. I keep putting it off, like it’s this huge undertaking that I have to do…but I know it doesn’t have to be. I hope to start making it a regular habit again, and not be so harsh on myself if I’m not creating anything cool or worthy of a social media post. Just allowing my mind to wander on paper.