My Life in Paper and Piles

I somehow always find myself in a situation of coming and going. I have for a long while. My room and workspace is in a constant state of disarray, with the somewhat hopeful thought it will be alright: this constant back and forth is only temporary. The result of this is my life is made up of all of these piles. Piles of due dates, piles of laundry, piles of receipts, piles of jewelry (I’m not so good at maintaining organization with these little pieces at all – does not at all mean I don’t want more) piles of unwatched dvr television episodes and not nearly the last of the piles, but most notably — piles of paper.FullSizeRenderIf you know me at all, these piles make me incredibly cranky. For this reason, I am very glad to have recently had the time to organize some of these many piles. (Few things make me happier than organization)

My pile of paper. Recently, I felt I had been drawing much less and stalling out. Then I came across this. This mountain that when everything is put together contains 19 sketchbooks of varying sizes and about 1000 sheets (I didn’t actually count the sheets I’m making an educated guestimate based off of the reams I’ve gone thru) of paper. Admittedly, not all of them contain the greatest of pencil scratches or the most dutifully steady ink lines. But they all have something.

I didn’t spend time scrutinizing every piece, I don’t ever have that much free time, but I did take a moment to breeze through some of them. Doing so allowed me to see that this enemy pile I’ve been glancing at with a scowl for the last few weeks, is my life.  Yep, that’s right. My life laid out in paper: filled with memories, accomplishments, a random bill or receipt here or there, time, beauty, and sometimes terrible moments I would rather crumple up and throw out, but I don’t.  A lot of what I am is in that pile and I’ve been letting it sit there, neglected and mostly hated.

Now, not all the piles in my life are of such importance, but they probably do deserve a bit more positive attention than I have been giving them. This is going to be part of the plan going into 2015 — more attention to and maintenance of me and my piles.

Holidays. Abraham Lincoln. Stubborness.

holidayblogimage

“Yesss signed and numbered! A retirement investment”

That’s right. For anyone who did not understand why there was a little #/100 on the bottom of their card: it is there to pretty much seal up the deal that you have a limited edition card from me.  While I will not go as far as to say it is yet worthy of a retirement investment ::fingerscrossed:: perhaps one day it will be. I’m sure I could fast track it by hacking off an ear and spiraling out of my mind — but this is the holiday season, so lets stay with the positive thought that over the years I will be putting in my continued amount of hard work to insure that anything I have ever created holds some monetary weight in addition to its sentimental value.

“I just received ur beautiful card with its beautifully written words that hit at the best of time when I need it!”

I will be the first to admit (and please everyone lets not jump in agreement at once) that while I keep an active presence on social media, I am a terrible, no good, very bad, person when it comes to one-to-one correspondence with those I care about. And so, one of the ways I attempt to make it up to you all is through this small postmarked token. It is one of my highlights to sit and personalize each one with words always floating in my head regarding everyone of you. Not so fun is writing my return address, over and over and over again, but I think it looks better than a printed label and also, perhaps this way I can assure I will never lose my way home.

“I’m so happy you are living your dream. You have worked hard for it.”

Heartfelt words such as these, which I have received in mass over the last week in response to my mailing, mean far more than any physical gifts I may receive (not to say I don’t like those too — love em!).

On my Facebook profile, in the quotes section – which is not so prominently displayed with the layout nowadays – I have for years had the following:

“I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” -Abraham Lincoln

The older I get, the truer I feel those words are, and the truer I hope to make them. A big lot of my time is spent working and creating, creating and working. If I did not have the people behind me supporting what I make when I do bring it out into the world, I would be standing places alone, with a much smaller voice and an even smaller presence. There is the likelihood that I on my own would be too pigheadedly stubborn to ever quit, but the idea doesn’t enter this head much — because far too many people are watching and hoping the best for me, and I am not in the habit of letting people down.

Thank you.

SamSketches: A 2015 Calendar

Now Available

It was last year around this time, that I came up with a Christmas gift idea for my older sister, Sylvia.  After a fun filled evening (as usual) with her in which we joked about how horrible she is with remembering dates, I decided to create for her a personalized calendar to supply her with many of the important dates she would need to remember.  I also filled each month with my art, which she has always been a supporter (and perhaps slightly bias fan) of.

It wasn’t until I started showing a few people the gift, that I realized there were others who would appreciate the opportunity to have a calendar as well.  I had a few more printed and debuted the 2014 calendar at some of the fairs and festivals I was glad to be a part of earlier this year.

I was not prepared for it to be one of the items I sold out of so quickly.

This time I decided I would be better prepared :)

And I am happy to say that 2014 has continued to be a year full of surprises, as the 2015 calendar is not yet off the presses and my preorders have already piled up.

I look forward to the first shipment arriving and sending off these little beauties to their new homes!

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 8.55.28 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 8.55.55 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 8.56.04 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 8.56.11 AM Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 8.56.46 AM

With all that said anyone interested in a calendar it is available in my store, you may click the appropriate above link or visit here — also feel free to email me info@samsketches.com, text me if you have the number, Facebook me, or stop me in person when you see me.

Hung Up.

2014 continues to be the year of new experiences and checkpoints reached.  I am going to be sad in a few months when it comes to a close, but excited for all the possibilities that 2015 will have in store for me.

 

VarnishingMost recently, I sent out an application via email with some jpegs attached and waited for a response to gain acceptance into what would be my first venture into hanging my art up on a wall (that was not my own) and have it proudly displayed for stranger upon stranger to view.  If selected, my work would hang for just over a month, my name, photo, and bio, displayed alongside it for these strangers to learn a little bit more about me.   After a period of time had passed, I began thinking I didn’t make the cut. Especially once I learned that only 10 – 15 artists were being selected for this exhibit. Perhaps it was self doubt, or me just being plain o’l antsy, but I decided it wasn’t happening and that was alright (as an artist you get used to silent rejection on basically a daily basis).
Well, to my surprise an email response came the next day. The first sentence made me feel like I was being set up for a gracious let down, “Thank you for your recent submission…” the expected thank you for submitting your work statement — and then bam — “I am delighted to inform you that your work has been chosen to become part of this exhibition.”  !!!! Yes.

 

Frames were then quickly ordered, and very cost effectively acquired via Jerrysartarama.com .  I tracked/stalked their delivery via online tracking (I love technology sometimes, I really truly do). The day they arrived I opened the giant box and began to frame my own paintings for the very first time in my life.  This was a wondrous and beautiful endeavor, never before had I seen my work in such a polished and finished state.  If you paint and have never framed a work of your own, I implore you — go out and do it. Framing

 

Then this past Thursday, I rode out to Garden City’s Roosevelt Field Mall to where the exhibit is set to take place — the Bloomingdale’s Furniture Gallery. There among other artists I was led through the different rooms (this place is a giant maze if you haven’t been there before) and given a few options on rooms to hang my work, as well as to hang it as I chose.  Once  I had made a selection — above a bed — I was given nails, hooks, and told I was free to hang.

 

Left there alone, I thought, “Does that mean I can just climb on the bed?”
::looks around, shrugs, removes shoes, climbs on bed, starts hammering::

 

Half an hour later they were up. Thank goodness I happened to be carrying a hammer in my purse and had decent matching socks on my feet!

 

For more information on the show you can Visit Bloomingdale’s Event Page Here

 

 

2014 BLOOMINGDALE’S AND LONG ISLAND ARTS ALLIANCE ART EXHIBIT
September 10, 2014 – October 26, 2014

Hanging ArtBloomingdale’s, Long Island Arts Alliance and the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are pleased to present a collaborative art exhibition during September’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, a prelude to the celebration of Arts Alive LI – October Arts Month!

Latin Americans come from over 20 countries and have a wide array of customs and rich and varied histories. That’s why celebrating Latino culture is a bit like eating tapas: you get to try a little sampling of everything. This exhibit is designed to celebrate Long Island’s rich Hispanic artistic heritage by presenting a sampling of works by artists of Hispanic descent specializing in several different artistic styles.

 

Available. Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Oh, just my latest book now available in paperback via Amazon, and available as an ebook at the iBookstore via iTunes — no biggie.

You should really click the images and visit the pages… purely just a suggestion of course.  [do. it.]

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.29.45 PM

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.30.04 PM

The book is done, the book is done! …. and now we sit and wait.

ImageMy latest project is complete — Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book. As you can imagine it contains, illustrations and alliterations. Twenty-six of them exactly. During the process of creating the alliteration I had to substitute commonly used adjectives (and other word types, but mostly adjectives) with adjectives not used as much in the everyday for the sake of having all the sound and letter requirements for an “alliteration” correct. It didn’t take me long to realize that in addition to the illustrations and alliterations, a glossary would be necessary. And so, the end of the book contains a glossary that lists and defines every single word used to build the alliterations, which describe the illustrations.  …. I wonder how many times I can use the words “illustration” and “alliteration” in this paragraph, admittedly my fingers stumble over them on the key board each time, perhaps when I’m done I will be a pro at typing the words ….  

But now that it’s done. I have to wait.

Wait for the proof to be delivered — I’ve been checking the status of its creation multiple times a day, and crossing my fingers each time that it’ll say “shipped” and not “fulfilling.”

Wait for the iBookstore to either accept or reject it for distribution as an eBook. 

Wait for it to be accepted or rejected (pending how the proof looks) by BN.com and Amazon.com for paperback distribution.

I’m not very good at waiting, you should know. In fact, just typing about it is making me even more antsy.

I want to see it all up and complete already!! ::sigh:: I guess I’ll just have to keep sitting here and waiting.  >.<

(I’ll let you know when the waiting part is over!)

 

The Green Notebook needs an #upgrade.

As much as I am a part of and an appreciator of the digital world, as much as I am one of those people with my smartphone constantly at my side, a monitor from a computer never too far from where I am; there’s something about that glow that cannot possibly give me the same satisfaction as taking pen to paper. 

Image

AND even though I am a big fan of the Evernote App (you should download it right now by the way) I still do not find myself being able to completely hash out my thoughts unless they have been written with an actual pen putting real ink onto a lined notebook page.   With that, I believe it may be time to finally retire my green notebook and find myself a new note keeper.  

For the last few years I have filled this one with thumbnail sketches, accounting notes, business schemes, research, passwords, and notably my attempts at listing all of the states the good ‘ol U. S. of A. contains.**  But tonight I feel I may have filled it, maybe I should move on to a new color even? Get some new sticky tabs to super organize-pimp the new one out. (I am a nerd when it comes to organizing, something that may not always be notable when looking at my desk, but I am).

And how may you ask have I filled it up? I know you have read this far because you are dying to know the answer… ::drum roll::

Well, I finally decided to take my love of organizing out into the world of my publishing achievements. That is to say I have created my presence on the internet as an author/illustrator —

I am now a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Become listed on GoodReads as an author/illustrator — if you are on here be my friend! Haha, I don’t have many yet. 

And lastly, started up my Author Central account on Amazon to wrangle up all my available titles (even the ones I didn’t write but simply illustrated) This last one is a little bit ahead of the game, because the distribution for my own book hasn’t gone through on here yet. All in good time…. and now I’ll be ready. 

So yes, all of this entered info, passwords, note taking on the items has now filled my notebook. And now it’s time for a new one, where I will undoubtedly manage to scheme up more goals to accomplish and start knocking them out one by one. 

**it sounds easy, try to sit down and do it though — these attempts are generally all brought upon by Season 7 Episode 8 of Friends The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs, in which Ross tries to do the same and can’t.