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making wishes – the origins of our superstitions

superstitious kitsch print

I did another little print design to go along with my bad and good luck prints I debuted in this post.

This one, based on the superstitions behind wishing, took me longer to develop. There aren’t as many obvious symbols to illustrate a wish so I did have to take to google to find, or remind myself, of some. I can’t believe I didn’t remember wishing wells or fountains on my own! The wishing fountains I remember the most, were in the mall…which is kinda disappointing. I don’t recall there being any signage expressing where the accumulated pennies may go, but I could be wrong. I mostly remember the sparkle of copper against blue tile through the water. I remember wanting to reach into it and touch the pennies but never doing it because they weren’t mine. They belonged to the wishers. Little bribes to some unknown power.

As for the other symbols, I actually had never thought about the act of blowing out candles to ‘make a wish’. Maybe because I’m no longer a child? When was the last time I blew out candles? I have no idea. But I liked remembering this and realizing how it was another example of childhood rituals. I tried to find out how the tradition started. This article does a good job of summing the possibilities up. If you know of any other theories please leave me a comment!

I haven’t wished on many stars. So many of them are hidden by light pollution. Which is a funny idea. Something hidden by light rather than revealed. Light can blind or expose. Living in the city again, I do miss the dark mountain skies outside of Asheville, NC.

The ’11:11′ one reminds me of being a teenager. I remember late nights and being told to make a wish when a digital clock reached it. I imagine this superstition probably didn’t come around until we had digital clocks, since it seems to be about the symmetry of the numbers. — Wait! I’m wrong! Here’s a wikipedia page about it. We have numerology to thank for it.

If you remember any other ways to wish please explain them to me. I’d love to hear about them. Take a moment and think about it. You might realize you have a ritual you do automatically, out of habit or tradition. Or maybe you have one you made up rather than inherited.

Also, I have put this work for sale in both my Redbubble and Society6 shops.

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satellites – prints for sale

Waxing and Waning
Waxing and Waning

I’m not sure if anyone who visits my site remembers my more illustrative work. I haven’t! I might even do a throw back post of them to laugh at myself and share. I’ve been compelled lately to revisit it and spruce it up to flesh out some ideas. It pushed me to add work to my RedBubble shop and to figure out Society6 as well. So now that means I have my work in 2 print-on-demand shops, Society6 and RedBubble. I’m excited to be able to offer my designs on some new products, including shower curtains and a variety of sizes of pouches. Let me know what you think. And if you see something you like, but would like a different color or some other small change, please feel free to write me. I’m happy to see what I can do.
The Moth and the Moon
The Moth and the Moon

Sometimes I worry that working in my more cartoony style will negatively affect my fine art studies, but I’ve come to realize many other artists dabble in more than one creative realm. Plus, anything that gets me going, whether it be painting or doodling in photoshop, is a good thing for me. Motivation is something to be cultivated. I can’t afford to ignore it when it gives me a shove. Motivation has always been an issue for me.

Another reason I feel iffy about playing in different art worlds is that nowadays, people are so branded. Branding seems to equal success. It makes it easier to find your audience, or them to find you. And I can’t pretend that I don’t want to make a living from my art. I do. So issues that negatively affect me being able to do that give me pause. I’m getting ahead of myself.

society6 storefront

This has also given me a renewed interest in stationery design. I think I’d like to dip my toes in it to see what happens. I’ve been looking up local to Philadelphia stationary shops/design agencies to see what’s out there. I think I’d really enjoy doing production side work for one.

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the hustle & daily painting

Someone not so recently asked me how I am making things work, or ends meet, while in art school. Actually it wasn’t too recently. More like a year ago(sorry Kai!). Also the paintings are part of my daily painting practice. Have some Christmas pickles!

The short answer is that I’m not, or maybe barely, but I have figured out some weird ways to make money while being able to focus most of my attention on my school work. Also, to be crystal clear, I have been receiving help from my family, and am incredibly grateful for it.


There are the obvious ones you already know about, my RedBubble shop, and I’m about to try to figure out Society6 and perhaps Zazzle. They haven’t brought in a ton of money for me, but aside from the initial setup, and updating them periodically, they are a source of passive income. I don’t have to fiddle with them much. That’s a major plus.

I also just submitted a grant proposal to help me purchase a wide format printer. With one I’d be able to make prints and cards of my work and then participate in local little art fairs and shops. I’m crossing my fingers! It would be such a boon to get funding!

I’ve been entering art supply contests, mostly through Blick and Jerry’s Artarama and occasionally have won a gift card. Nothing to turn my nose up at. Anything that pays for my school supplies is of massive help.

I pretty much submit to any kind of free contest possible that has to do with art supplies or scholarships. There aren’t many out there, so I try to google regularly.

I have some other weird ways to bring in a bit of cash. They are the types of things that you initially think are ripoffs, but they work, as long as you feed them some time and remember them. One is Swagbucks, and yes that is absolutely a referral link. If you do decide to check it out and sign up after clicking through my link, I’ll get a bit of cash. It’s a survey/free trial type of site. When I had time I’d occasionally do some of the surveys, but I mostly earn money by letting the videos and such play on my computer. The same goes for Inboxdollars, i-Say, MySurvey, Mintvine and many more. The ones I’ve mentioned here I know are legit and the least spammy, but I suggest you always create another email account when signing up for these sites.


I also use some grocery shopping rebate apps. I shop the way always do, so I am not looking at the rebates and seeing what I’d get cash back on and then just getting that whether I really wanted it or not. I’m shopping as I’d normally shop, keeping the rebates in mind of course, and then slowly accumulate cash back. I don’t get a huge amount, but it’s nice to pick up 5 – 20 dollars here and there. I specifically use Ibotta, Savingstar, Shopkick(a bit different, you scan things for gift cards) and Receipt Hog(you just take pics of your shopping receipts with the app). All of these I cash out either using my Paypal account or in gift cards, sometimes right into my Amazon account. The Amazon ones are the most useful, because I can get much of my school supplies that way as well.

Speaking of Amazon, you may have noticed I have an Amazon link on my page now. It’s a bit of an experiment. It’s a referral link. I plan on keeping it always art related, but if you are shopping on Amazon for anything really, and go through my link, I’ll get a little kick back. Nothing huge, but I’m in scrounge mode. I’ve been blogging more and plan to continue so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try the Amazon affiliate program.

A few other things: I used to pose for drawing groups, but now that I’m in school that isn’t practical. I want to concentrate on my own artwork rather than be the subject of it. I do occasionally do transcription through an online site, and while I’ve improved at it, I’m not so fast and accurate that I can bring much in with it. I will probably give it a go again soon, but it was definitely not one of my favorite ways to make money. I have been selling my smaller paintings lately, which isn’t only great because of money, it also feels wonderful. Encouragement is just as valuable as cash.

Hmmm, what else? I feel a bit silly talking about these things. I feel like on the internet we’re all supposed to pretend things are shiny, filtered and easy. Or the flip side to that, blown out of proportion and dramatic. This is a kind of middling post. This is life. Some of it is a struggle. I’ve discovered some ways to adapt.