Category Archives: news

{News to Share} Featured in Good to Know Zine #11

good to know zine puchaseWhat jobs have you taken on while you manage your art/illustration career? Are you holding multiple jobs to make ends meet, or are you a full time artist?

A while back, I answered this question, sharing my ideas about being an artist who holds down multiple jobs on the awesome illustration blog Pikaland. You can find my thoughts, along with those of dozens of other artists and illustrators, in the #11 issue of Good to Know Zine, available for purchase here.

Of course, a lot has changed since I last answered that question. I’m no longer employed at the administrative job I mentioned, and my daytime job now actually has even less to do with art and design than the job I had at the time. Wrong direction, right? Well, you could say that, except for the fact that since last September, I’ve also been working a second job that I LOVE.

And when I say LOVE (!!!!), I say it with the kind of passion and enthusiasm that I can’t convey through type. It’s the kind of job that I sit down in my car when I go home with a big grin on my face, not just because I enjoyed what I was doing, but because I feel like I’m good at it. I’m actually using the skills I’ve worked really hard to master, and that feels fantastic. A couple of nights and weekends a week, I instruct painting classes at a BYOB painting studio. People show up with friends and a bottle of wine, and I lead them though the process of painting a pre-selected image in acrylics. It’s fun, it’s relaxed, I meet all kinds of people, the studio is gorgeous (if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen it), and I enjoy it immensely. Not only that, I’ve had the chance to meet and work with some other amazingly talented artists, which is a huge inspiration.

I just wanted to add this, because for years I’ve held the opinion that you can’t truly feel successful unless you’re doing nothing but your art, full-time, 100% of the time. Of course, I’d still love to be a completely self-employed artist, but my opinion of success is changing. I’m happy now. I get to help people create things, more people are buying and seeing my work, and for the first time in a long time, I’ve been able to carve out a lot more “me time” at home to read and paint (I’ve actually devoured four books in four weekends, but more about that soon). I’m starting to define success differently, less as a destination and more as the process of moving in the right direction.

If things are improving, building, growing, and are the situation overall looks better than it did this time last year, that to me feels like success.

 

Holiday Sale in My Shop!

megdowntherabbithole etsy shop holiday sale annoucementThanksgiving is coming, and we all know what that means (hellooooo pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes!). Whether you’re stuffed full of leftovers and lounging around the house in your pajamas (this is the camp I usually fall into), or trying to keep warm and playing with your smartphone waiting for the stores to open, if you have a minute head on over to my shop for the holiday sale.  From Black Friday, to Small Business Saturday, all the way through Cyber Monday (That’s November 23rd-26th for the rest of you), all prints in my Etsy shop will be Buy One Get One Free!*

** Free item must be of equal or lesser value. Just let me know which print you want free in the message to seller comments when you make your purchase. Shipping charges will be based on the larger print.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

**UPDATE*** Something went a little wacky with my posting, and this didn’t go up when it was supposed to. Because of this, I’ll be honoring this promo an extra two days – until the end of day Wednesday, November 28th.

Indie Gift Box {August participant}

I’ve you’re a regular reader, you might have noticed a new button in the right-hand side bar that says “Indie Gift Box”.  You might have even wondered what it’s all about.  Never fear…I’m here to explain.

Indie Gift Box is a new company started by Erin of Eef, etc. which is dedicated to promoting independent artists and small businesses! Each month, they curate great items from independent artists and small businesses, then organize them into themed boxes that you can purchase. The goal is to help you discover new artists and companies, and to help those artists and companies grow their businesses. In August, I’ll be one of the Indie Gift Box contributors!

Check back in the next few weeks for details, and for the release date of the August boxes!

New Items in the Shop {iphone and ipod covers for sale}

It’s been a while since I added any new products to my Etsy and Redbubble shops, so I spent the majority of my day Thursday turning some of my designs into iPhone and iPod cases. I thought I was over my iPhone envy when Instagram finally came out on Android, but I still feel that twinge of jealousy every so often when I think about how many cool customized cases are available for iPhones vs Android phones. I have a Galaxy S, and although I love the functionality of my phone, I have yet to find any cool options for customizing it.  At least, not any options that don’t cost an arm and a leg. (Dramatic sigh). Oh well.

For those of you who ARE iPhone/iPod touch owners*, head on over to my Redbubble shop to check out the designs pictured above, plus a few others. If you own neither (like me…still have my regular ol’ black iPod Classic) but you like the designs, feel free to look around anyway. Most of my work is available as posters, framed prints, canvas prints, and photo prints as well.

* Cases are available for the following models:

  • iPhone 4S & 4 Deflector one-piece case.
  • iPhone 4S & 4 Capsule two-piece case.
  • iPhone 3GS & 3G Capsule two-piece case.
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation Capsule two-piece case.
screen shot of new site design

Heyyyyyyyy good looking {site re-branding!}

Notice anything different?

After a couple of weeks playing around with the layout in Photoshop, I finally have my new design up! As much as I liked my old design, it was feeling a little stale. I wanted something new, fresh, and crisp. Since so much of the artwork I post is colorful, I wanted something relatively simple, that didn’t compete with the art for attention. On the other hand, I still wanted something that was fun, my style, and spoke to the kind of work I do. Right now I love this design. I was a little worried that it was going to take forever to actually implement it in WordPress, but my CSS skills must have improved over the last year, because I made the changes in about 15 minutes without any kind of disasters, tears, or swearing (I feel like I deserve a gold star, or at least a cookie).

old header design

screen shot of new site design

Here’s what’s new and exciting:

  • New header design…reminiscent of the old header, but simpler and cleaner
  • New social media links, including a link to follow me on Instagram!
  • An actual photo of me! I’m known for not liking to get my picture taken and really disliking most pictures of myself, so we’ll see how long this actually stays up for.
  • I replaced the fancy rollover buttons in the sidebar with some simple gray category buttons. I couldn’t believe I got rid of them after all the effort it took to figure them out, but after looking at them all the time they were feeling too big and clunky, and the novelty had worn off
  • New font in my sidebar widgets and new link colors (hellooooo turquoise, I love you!)
  • I got rid of the Alice in Wonderland quote on the footer, and replaced it with my Twitter feed, category links, and recent posts
  • Changed the background

screen shot of my design process

Nothing too crazy, but it feels good to give the site a little makeover. I hope you like it too!

One Hundred!

100 posts graphic

I just happened to notice this afternoon that I was at 99 posts, so why not celebrate my 100th? I somehow managed to miss my site’s first birthday back in January (you know how busy life gets), so I thought this mini-milestone was worth noting!

prints for sale and a giveway {my etsy shop is open!}

Well, it took two entire days of being chained to the computer cropping photos and writing product descriptions, but I finally got my Etsy shop up and running last weekend! I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I use so many bright colors in my work, and it’s fun to see the splashes of color on the page when you look at my prints next to one another.

In celebration of my shop finally being open, I’m doing a giveaway of any $35 print in my shop. Head on over to Tenpenny Splendid for details, and also for a coupon code that you can use on any order.

Have a great Monday! (Disclaimer: I’m usually nowhere near this cheerful on a Monday morning, but we’re having freakishly warm weather around this parts and I’m loving it! I know I’m supposed to be anti-global warming, and I’m sure I’ll change my tune if Lake Michigan overflows and drowns us all ….but for now, this is nice.)

**Like the fancy-shmancy animated GIF I made? Head on over to Pugly Pixel for the tutorial I used to create it.

Don’t break our internet {important info on SOPA and PIPA}

I like megandowntherabbithole to revolve around art and design, not to be a soapbox for my personal political views. However, there’s an important issue out there that should matter to you no matter where on the political spectrum you fall.

Did you notice something yesterday? Wikipedia was blacked out. Popular sites like WordPress, Mozilla, Reddit, icanhascheezburger, Pinterest and most impressively Google were either fully or partially blacked out and had links to contact your local representatives and demand they vote NO on SOPA/PIPA. Maybe you saw the many posts and shares on Facebook and Twitter of people who had already signed a petition, urging you to do the same. Even some small independent bloggers had their sites blacked out for the day in protest (this one included). But what is everyone so up in arms about?

SOPA and PIPA are two pieces of legislation making their way through Congress that you should educate yourself on. Backed mostly by the entertainment industry, these bills would give the American government the right to shut down any site accused of hosting, or even linking to, sites than infringe on copyrighted content. Do you have a blog? Well, if someone commented on your blog and included a link to copyrighted content, your site could be immediately shut down, and you would face heavy fines. Faced with the burden of policing their own content, many sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and more would have to shut down. Sites like Google would be banned from listing offending sites, or face penalties themselves. While the entertainment industry and the bill’s supporters claim that these fears are overblown, most internet companies and people who actually understand how the internet operates know that we’d be opening Pandora’s box for censorship, giving the government the freedom to shut down any site they want without due process, placing the burden and cost of proving your innocence on YOU.

I’m not condoning piracy at all. As an artist and designer, the last thing I want is for my work to get stolen. BUT giving just a few people the power to police the entire internet is terrifying and a little too 1984 for my liking. In ten years do we want to be looking back and reminiscing “remember how cool the internet USED to be?”

You DO have a voice. Over 4.5 MILLION people signed Google’s petition yesterday. Several of SOPA’s supporters in Congress have already backed down because of the backlash. If you enjoy a free, open, and unsensored internet as we know it, please contact your local representative and let them know you’re against these bills.

Watch this video

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Sign a petition here

Click here for companies you can contact that support SOPA/PIPA

Click here for companies who participated in yesterday internet blackout

l could have driven to Canada {and a bit of shop news}

odometer rolls over to 100,000 milesMy car just hit 100,000 miles. It’s one of those lame little milestones in life that I get all excited about, then it’s anti-climactic 30 seconds later. Truthfully, I’m surprised it made it this far without blowing up, crumbling into dust, or dissolving into a pile of goo. So there’s that. Go car.

I had plans to work on some watercolors, and my Etsy shop this weekend, but life got in the way. The alternator on my bf’s car died on Thursday night, so I spend a lot of time (and mileage) getting him to work over the last few days. Since Thursday morning, when my odometer rolled over, I’ve gone 658 miles (moderately interesting fact of the day: that’s more than enough miles to drive from Chicago to Toronto!). I can’t complain too much though, because his coworkers helped us out a lot. One of the guys went way out of his way to drive him home in a snowstorm the night it broke, and another guy did the repair in the parking lot once the temperature actually got warm enough to do so. Help like that is priceless. Plus, when I drive him to work that’s a little bit of extra time together than we don’t normally get on the weekends.

Back to my Etsy shop…I already sell on RedBubble, but I decided I should sell on Etsy as well. They have such a large audience that I’m really missing out if I don’t have a presence there, and it’s a great way for people to discover my stuff that would never find it otherwise. I have some really cool ideas for translating some of my work into jewelry, and Etsy will be a great for that. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for my shop Grand Opening announcement, as well as some discounts!