10 Steps to Help Deal With a Global Pandemic

Real talk – I feel I have failed myself during this global pandemic.

I know there are three million people saturating your feed with news about self-isolation, quarantine, and the evil COVID-19. I’m not writing this for you. I’m writing this for me because I’ve learned some things about myself during this time that deserve to be documented. For historical purposes.

If you’re just stepping into my blog, do NOT think that this is the normal me. I practice wellness, positive energy and calm vibes all day! That’s why I failed! I let a global pandemic destroy the positive energy shield I built.

Here are ten steps to help deal with a global pandemic.

10 Steps to Help Deal with a Global Pandemic

The day that my husband walked into my office and said, COVID-19 has made it’s way to the USA, I thought of all the various horror movies I had seen about viruses. I even thought of zombies. So, that was my first thought. Don’t worry it gets better.

I did the unspeakable. I let the fear in.

It was small at first. It was a tiny fear that grew every minute…fear that we might have to change. Now we all know how everyone feels about change, however, this wasn’t a change that was drastic. It was much like a virus that was slowly going to infect my life.

The fear grew to panic attack levels. My body was in more pain then ever before. It was time for a change.

It was time to go back to the basics.

Step 1: I tuned out

The first thing I did was turn off the news and request that my friends and family do not talk to me about it unless it was good news. I knew what I had to do, I didn’t need to see the train wreck happen. I had to tell my husband several times to please stop telling me all the bad things that were happening and that if he wanted to inform me on something other than me having to stay home and stay healthy, it would need to have a positive side.

Step 2: I talked it out

The second thing I did was lean on my support system. I called my sister, my Mom, my Dad, my friends, I even talked through things with my dog. I text them more than I ever have – not all about this – just stuff. I text them about my day, just checking in. I am very grateful to have a lot of people that love me and now is the time that makes me realize how very important that is. Call everyone you know and tell them you love them.

work outside to help mental stress

Step 3: I went outside

The third thing I did was increase my outside time. I went out in the middle of the most pollinated season and just took it like a champ. I walked more, I bought a new hammock and rocked more, I worked outside more – whatever I could do outside, I did it. Never underestimate the power of nature. I began to appreciate the air and the breeze every walk I had.

Step 4: I found a new happy

The fourth thing I did was try to find alternate ways to be happy. I got out the games, puzzles, books, cards and crafts. I rearranged furniture, threw out old stuff, organized closets. It was starting to feel good to purge. Ivy and I came up with fun things to do. The puzzle has been the single best thing I have done for myself. It literally makes you focus your brain on just that – I highly recommend it.

COVID19 Meme - toilet paper

Step 5: I surrounded myself with happy

The fifth thing I did was surround myself with happy things. I only watched funny movies and shows, I only listened to joyful music. I only sent funny things to my friends and family. I shut out any negative energy from all sources on a massive level. Ivy helped with this one. We tried to make each other laugh. This worked pretty well.

Step 6: I let my emotions out

The sixth thing I did was run through the course of my emotions and accept that they were happening. I lost jobs, I saw people getting sick, I saw people dying…it was a vast array of different emotions that were changing by the minute. We are a family of three and the rollercoaster of emotions from all three of us were intense. I decided to accept that they would be there, let them come and let them go. Whether that be anger, tears, happiness or sadness. I let them in, let them be and then let them go.

Step 7: I refocused my energy

The seventh thing I did was realize that my energy at work was fuzzy, distorted and wrong. I realized that my role had shifted and I had to learn new ways to cope. I am in sales and marketing and my world was online, in the media, all day long. That was not healthy for me! I refocused, did deep dives online when I needed to and found new ways to focus my energy. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do this pandemic.

CBCInked Instagram
The family decided to dress up for dinner, it makes a difference. Try it!

Step 8: I learned to laugh about it

The eighth thing I did was really learn to make fun of it all. It’s not always easy, but the internet makes some really interesting stuff when it wants to. The memes, gifs and jokes that are coming out of this global pandemic are literally insane! Plus, Tiger King came out and that was the best thing Netflix has ever done.

Tiger King

Step 9: I changed my habits

The ninth thing I did was change habits that were excessive, destructive or wasteful. I learned that I was using way too much toilet paper before all of this, that’s for sure! I changed habits of taking care of my body, my family and my house. I increased my use of CBD to alter the negative affects on my body. I was training my step-daughter to be a healthier person all while we were slighting ourselves on these habits. Fear causes you to re-evaluate your habits.

Step 10: I rested

The tenth thing I did was have a mini-meltdown about the state of our world and learned I need rest. I listened to my body and just shut down. I took baths, read books and slept late. After all, there isn’t much that needs to be done! If you aren’t working on your habits, health or daily wellness at this point, what are you even doing?

CBCInked Wrap Up: Fail, Learn, Move on

I totally bombed this whole pandemic thing in the beginning. Did anyone else?

I look back at myself a month ago when all of this started and I’m ashamed I wasn’t stronger. I have been training for this my whole life! I live in chronic pain, I can do THIS!

Thank you to all of you who have helped me through this time. I pray that you are happy, healthy and going to make it through this. Stay safe, stay home.

Just know, if you are freaking out – you are not alone.

I hope these ten steps to help you deal with a global pandemic have…well, helped! Whatever this is.

XO

CBCInked

Marketing in a Box EBook
Download the Marketing in a Box ebook for free training templates and resources to grow your brand.

5 Quick Tips to Deal with Mental Strain (COVID-19)

We all know the state of the world today. COVID-19 has taken over.

How is everyone dealing out there? Do you have the overwhelming sense of dread, fear and worry that has been spreading even faster than the virus itself? I am here to tell you that you’re not alone. As strong as we all think we are, when things on a global level hit you, you aren’t really ever sure how you will deal with it mentally.

It’s important now more than ever to have a healthy mindset along with keeping your physical strength. During this trying time, we need to go back to our roots when it comes to mental health awareness.

That’s why I compiled these quick tips to help you deal with mental strain (on a global level).

keep a calm mind during covid19

Calm the Panic Storm

If you’re like me, you panicked at the beginning of all this Coronavirus noise. My mind automatically went right to the worst. I worried about me, my family, my friends, my business, and how this would impact my future. We all went down that road, if even for a moment.

Here are a few ways to calm the panic storm when it feels like it could consume you.

  • Worry only about the things you can control. Instead of worrying about what could happen, think about the tasks at hand and the present moment only.
  • Practice gratitude. When you have one negative thought or worry, think three things you’re grateful for immediately after.
  • Leave the panic spot. When you feel panic, stop what you’re doing and leave the area you’re in. Reset the brain.
  • Focus on the breath. This is a tricky one because breathing and meditation are hard when you’re in panic mode. If you can, focus on the breath for a few minutes and count if that helps. The Calm app can help this.
  • Affirm, affirm, AFFIRM. Affirmations will always help to turn the negative emotions around even if you feel they aren’t working in the moment. Keep saying them out load to yourself and eventually your mind will believe it to be true.

When I first heard about the COVID-19 chaos, I thought I could handle it. I thought I would not be affected and that my warrior shield was up. Then it slowly began to eat at me and I realized I needed to work twice as hard to stay positive. As soon as I was aware of this, I went back to the drawing board and started again like I was a brand new student.

activities for COVID19

Entertain Old School Ways

There is nothing quite like the old school mentality of handling things.

When we were little and the power went out, we would get the old school toys, books, puzzles and games out. There is something so familiar and nostalgic about this that will take you right out of panic mode and help you to reconnect on a level that brings peace.

Pull your family members or support system together to dig through the closets and bring out the old things that made you happy.

Here are a few ways you can beat the panic by entertaining the old school way:

  • Board games – A family favorite! Some of the ones we love are Scrabble, Scattegories, Pictionary, Chess and Word of Mouth. If you don’t have these available, they most likely are available online!
  • Playing cards – Who doesn’t love playing cards? There are so many fun games and digital options as well. We love Hearts, Spades, Slap and of course, War. It beats sitting around worrying.
  • Puzzles – If you have a big table available, it’s time to bust out the puzzles! Growing up, my Mom always had puzzles going and we would get sucked into the joy of puzzle making. It also encourages witty banter and chatter as you are focused on something else and it takes the pressure off of talking. Great for teenagers.
  • Crafting – This can take many shapes! If you have old clothes to rip up and sew, that could be fun. Creating poster board magic, science type activities or just plain old yarn – just craft it up! See what you can create just by getting supplies out.
  • Drawing – One of my favorite choices! You always have pen and paper when all else fails. You can even have drawing challenges where one person starts a drawing and passes it around to each other to finish.
  • Trivia – If you need to go online for this, there are a ton of trivia apps, websites and downloadables you can get that are around all different types of trivia. Make it challenging for your family!
  • Word Games – when all else fails, make up some fun word games! My family came up with this fun game called the “Alpha List Game” where you choose a topic and go down the list of the alphabet having to name something in alpha order. (I.E. Movies: Anaconda, Bluestreak, Catch me if you Can…. etc.) You had to do this as fast as you can or you were out! Pass it along to your family, see if they like it.

Digitally Detox

After you have all the appropriate information needed to survive… take a digital break.

When you’re consumed with social media, news and opinions online it can truly take over your mind. I’ve learned this the hard way because my job is all around digital marketing and social media. I am in it every day, all day along with promoting my own artwork – it can be exhausting at times!

Here are a few ways you can do a small digital detox during this time:

  • Turn down the notifications on your devices. If you get notified of every single thing all day long, it’s time to turn that noise down so you can focus on other things. Only have the notifications you need for work or family life be interruptive to your day.
  • Time block away from technology. If you can choose to do other things that don’t require technology for big chunks of the day, that’s encouraged.
  • Close the negative tabs and open the positive ones. At times it will be appropriate to stop following the news and start following more positive avenues. Again, make sure it is when you feel safe, if it is feeding your fear – turn it off.
  • Turn down the news and turn up the music! When you can, turn off the news and turn up the tunes. Music will lift up the mood and still allow a bit of technology in to satisfy your digital needs. Dancing optional.

I know it’s important to stay informed. It is also important to not let it consume you. Make sure you have a healthy balance of both here.

Positive outlook during COVID19

Turn the Conversation Around

You are the only one who is responsible for your own attitude. You can choose to be a part of the problem or part of the solution – as the saying goes, right?

You may need to ask yourself, are you the person who is calling, texting and posting about all the negative aspects of this global pandemic? Keeping our reactions, emotions and conversation in check is your number one priority when helping to stop spread the panic.

These quick tips on turning the negative spread of conversation around can help:

  • Catch yourself when you head to the dark side. If you feel yourself slipping into negative speak, you need to catch yourself and stop it – that is not someone else’s job.
  • Listen with the intent to help, not harm. If someone is being negative, listen with an understand and open mind. Your reaction can be infectious, so be sure to offer helpful words, not harmful ones.
  • Offer words of wisdom, not opinion. Your opinions matter, however, if they are purely negative – it may be better to keep them to yourself. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.
  • Only state facts, not bias. If you are responding to negative speak, offer words that will have a positive impact, not your opinion filled with falsities.

Get Outside in your Own Little World

We know that social distancing is a very real thing. It’s our civic duty to help stop the spread of COVID-19. That does not mean you can’t go outside in your little area of the world, away from masses of people.

Going outside is always an avenue to spark a healthy life. It has widely known that getting outdoors helps you to build your immune system, deal with mental stress and encourage a healthy body.

These unique ways of getting outside may help:

  • Take walks – Walking is my main form of exercise as I have chronic pain and a ton of injuries. Walking for at least 15-20 minutes a day can literally help you turn around your mental state – just steer clear of fields of masses of people for now.
  • Backyard shenanigans – If you have a backyard or the ability to get to a small field, park or trail, do it. If you can get out and toss a ball around or get some movement that outside, go for it!
  • Nature trivia – This one can be fun if you have little kids! Go outside and try to name all the leaves, bugs or nature-like things you can. Start a trivia with your family to learn new things outside.
  • Sit and soak in the sun – If you can’t walk around or you don’t have a backyard to play in, that’s okay! If you can get out and simply be in the sunshine, that still helps you. I have a hammock that I enjoy sitting in to just soak in the sun and get some Vitamin D.

CBCInked Wrap Up: Thriving over Surviving

I hope this article has helped open your eyes to a few ways to thrive through this trying time. I am affected by this way more than I thought I would be, which is why I hope to help those out there dealing with this in a similar way.

Remember – it all starts with your mind!

If you can try your best to stay mentally healthy, your physical health hopefully will follow. Stay positive friends!

Reach out to me with ways you’ve personally dealt with the time and what’s worked for you.

XO

CBCInked

Marketing in a box ebook by CBCInked
Interested in learning more about marketing? Download my free ebook with free marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency. 
Get your CBCInked discount at NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oils.

Stepmom Life: What I’ve learned, loved and bombed ?

I’ve been a stepmom for years. My stepdaughter has been in my life for 12 years, and over 5 of those have been with the official “stepmom” title. What does that even mean? It means we’ve both learned A LOT.

Being a stepparent is extremely different than being a biological parent in so many ways, I can’t even tell you. I will try to describe the world of being a part of a family that isn’t yours, being a parent to a daughter that isn’t yours and feeling the feels that aren’t yours.

Alas, here we are! I’m going to compile the various ways I have learned, loved and completely bombed at being a stepmom.

What I’ve learned

This whole blog post could be about what I’ve truly learned as a stepmom, to be honest. We’re going to hit the big ones, the home runs that every stepparent needs to know in order to have a fruitful relationship with their step kid.

I’ve learned that you need to clearly define the line between friend and authority. Often with being a stepparent, that line gets muddled because you aren’t mom or dad. If you have the chance to be in the child’s life early on, you are the lucky one. Take that time to build a definitive line between a friend and an authoritarian.

It’s quite tricky because the child will most likely view you as both. There are times when you are cool, kickin’ it as friends (as you should) and then there are the times when you have to be a disciplinarian (not my favorite).

The way that I figured out how to define this line is to provide a balance between fun things and not so fun things. Ask about their life but don’t pry. If they don’t want to share, that’s cool! If they break the rules, it’s not time to be friend-zoned though – the authority figure takes precedence over friendship at that time. Friends can’t help guide and teach, you have to separate it out and be ready to flip between the two within minutes.

I’ve also learned (and this is a big one, Moms!) that it’s not about me. In your stepkid’s world, it’s about THEM. You need to know that if words cut like knives, or feelings get hurt – it’s because they aren’t thinking like your older, wiser brain. They’re thinking about their own little world and can’t quite see beyond even that hour of the day. Don’t take offense if they say something off the cuff that doesn’t make any sense or is hurtful. 99.99% of the time, it’s not about you.

As a stepmom, the biggest thing I’ve learned is – it’s not about me! Being there for THEM is the most important. #lifelessons #stepmomforlife by @CBCInked

What I’ve loved

As you may have guessed, I willingly got into my relationship with my husband in the early years, knowing that he had a child from a previous marriage. I was lucky enough to meet Ivy when she was 2 years old, which gave us a lot of time to build a solid foundation. And we needed it!

I have loved a lot of things about being a stepmom, some of which have surprised me! My husband and I were on the non-plan plan when it came to having children and mostly chose not to, due to the fact that he already had one! I’ve loved that I have had the chance to be a role model for a “daughter” even though I didn’t have her on my own.

I love that I have a girl in the house to commiserate with! This one is pure old-fashioned girly girl fun, however, you forget how important that is when you live with a man 100% of the time. Ivy has turned into a sweet and funny teenager that brings a lot to the conversation whenever she’s around. She sees the world through a very positive lens (I’d like to think that she got that from me) and she laughs easily. Thank GOD she has a sense of humor!

I love that I’m “forced” to be a better person because I know she’s observing my behavior. I changed soooo many habits when I became a full time stepmom, because they were immature, irresponsible and would not have been good role model material. She, even though she doesn’t really know it, has made me a better person, simply because she is learning from me.

Last one. I am a natural born teacher (thanks, Mom!) I absolutely LOVE teaching Ivy things. We have this awesome white board in her room where she gets to earn things for positive behavior. Ivy has come so far because we are able to communicate through this board with good and bad reinforcement – and it satisfies my teacherly instinct to help her to be a better person. I think it’s working.

What I’ve bombed

As you probably have already read, I’m not perfect. Is any parent, really?

I have bombed it so hard core sometimes as a stepparent that I wake up the next day like WHAT HAPPENED and who was that person?? So, just know that you aren’t alone out there in your failures, parents.

The biggest bomb that comes to mind is my anger at outside forces interfering with our relationship. Ivy and I have been through a few really big life changes and it was hard to keep my emotions in check! We all felt the strain and pull of things happening outside of our family circle, and often times I would crumble! I wanted to be this strong, wonder-woman type of figure for Ivy all the time and there were days where I just failed hard.

I also have high expectations. I know the background from which Ivy comes from and I took it upon myself to help “fix” or “change” that behavior into something positive. With that comes this constant checklist of ways that she can improve and it may have come across as “you have to be perfect” when that was not my intention at all. I only want to shield or guard her from the evils of the past and future as any parent would. I had to remember to weave in positivity and gratitude into the mix – it isn’t always about the negative!

Lastly, I made it about me. I often would feel like the “outsider” in my husband and daughter’s relationship no matter how much they included me. It’s natural to feel like the third wheel when you are the only non-blood relative in the house! I focused my attention on my feelings instead of theirs and I learned from that.

With each of these bombings, I learned so much and hopefully have corrected my behavior so she doesn’t resent me when she’s older. Fingers crossed!

family card

CBCInked Wrap Up: Stepmom for Life

If you’re a stepparent and reading this, good luck! I didn’t chose this life, it chose me. It is what you make it.

You are going to love some moments, cry others and sometimes hate everything! That’s okay. At the end of the day, you have someone who is looking up to you, learning from you and loving you – and that makes you a better person.

Make sure you treat your relationship right! Be there for them, no matter what it is. Be present, be accountable and above all else BE COOl. Don’t be “cringy”, as Ivy would say. 😉

There is a place for all stepparents everywhere. Find yours and own it.

XO

CBCInked

Marketing in a box ebook by CBCInked

Top Instagram Artists to Follow (2020)

Where do you find inspiration? I find it on Instagram!

I realized that I had a choice to follow people, brands and companies that inspire me. My feed consists of positive energy, artists, encouragement, good vibe quotes and probably some celebrities. Shout out to Matthew McConaughey, you are just crushing it.

The sheer talent on Instagram alone is epic.

Follow the hashtag #art and include this in your Instagram feed, trust me. You will see some magical art daily! Disrupting the day with creativity is a great way to stay inspired. That’s why I compiled this list of top Instagram artists to follow ASAP.

Instagram hashtag art

Add these artists to your #Instagram feed right now. ? You will be so happy you did. #CBCInked

Top Instagram Artists to Follow in 2020

These artists listed have motived me personally to be more creative and step outside of my own head. They are all extremely talented in their own unique way.

Following these artists will brighten your day, spark hope in your creative side and encourage mental strength.

Here are my picks of Instagram artists to follow in 2020.

@artistjeremybrown

Jeremy Brown

Jeremy Brown

Owner / Artist The Art of Jeremy Brown

Founder of Love is Art

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Design

Resident Badass AKA Love Affiliate

Jeremy Brown art

@artofalvin

Alvin Chong

Alvin Chong

Artist / Owner Art of Alvin

Tattoo Artist at Studio.artofalvin

Inking, Drawing, Tattoo Design, Abstract

Inking Warrior AKA Polarized Artiste

Alvin Chong artwork

@artoflei

Franklin Lei

Franklin Lei

Vis Dev Artist / Illustrator ArtofLei

Traditional Painter at Franklin Lei

Visual Developer, Illustrator, Digital Design

Professional Commute Sketcher AKA Gamist

Franklin Lei instagram art

@art_taurua

Pascale Taurua

Pascale Taurua

Owner / Artist Taurua – Pascale

Fashion Designer at Taurua Boutik

Abstract, Fashion Design, Painting

High Heel Capturer AKA Rockstar Painter

Pascale Taurua artwork

@cbcinked

CBCInked Instagram

Caylin White

Owner / Artist CBCInked

Creator of Artfirmations

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Drawing

Positive Energy Person AKA Affirmation Queen


@charmaineolivia

Charmaine Olivia

Charmaine Olivia

Artist / Owner of Charmaine Olivia Shop

Instagram Influencer

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Watercolor

Rainbow Goddess Warrior AKA Color Curator

Charmaine Olivia  artwork

@chrisguestartist

Chris Guest

Chris Guest

Owner / Artist of Chris Guest Print Store

Art Workshop Instructor / Painter / Reseller

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Design

The UK Van Goghist AKA Ultimate Portraitist

Chris Guest artwork

@cw_creatyv

Curtis Wallace

Curtis Wallace

Founder of The Be Wear

Art Instructor at the Be Creative Studio

Abstract, Painting, Design, Fashion

Yogi King Muser AKA Expert Entertainer

The Be Wear

@ericcanete

Eric Canete

Eric Canete

Artist at Essential Sequential

Illustrator / Concept Artist

Concept Art, Illustration, Drawing, Design

Comic Extraordinaire AKA Shadow Master

Eric Canete instagram art

@glenn_arthur_art

Glenn Arthur

Glenn Arthur

Owner / Artist of Glenn Arthur Art

Visual Artist / Gallery Art Connoisseur

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Visual Art

Art Nouveau Enthusiast AKA Life Admirer

Glenn Arthur instagram art

@giangalang

Gian Galang

Gian Galang

Owner / Artist at GianGalang

Artist / Illustrator / Painter

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Design

The Bruce Lee of Art AKA Painter of All

Instagram artist

@gregmike

Greg Mike Instagram




Greg Mike

Artist Designer at GregMike.com

Founder / Creative Director of The ABV Gallery

Creative Direction, Muralist, Painting, Design

Incubator of Artists AKA Splasher of Streets

Instagram artist Greg Mike

@jessillustrator

Jessica Durant

Jessica Durrant

Owner / Artist of Jessica Durant Illustration

Fashion Illustrator / Workshop Artist

Abstract, Drawing, Painting, Fashion Design

Lifestyle Illustrator AKA Canvas Beautician

Instagram artist Jessica Durrant

@kelogsloops

kelogsloops

Hieu

Owner / Artist Kelogsloops

Digital Artist / Watercolor Expert

Digital, Watercolor, Painting, Design

Dream Chaser AKA Art Time Suspender

Instagram artist

@megryanflani

Meg Ryan Flanigan

Meg Ryan Flanigan

Owner / Artist Meg Ryan Flanigan

Illustration / Digital Art Master

Digital, Illustration, Drawing, Design

Your Favorite Artistic Bartender AKA Fire Fox

Art Instagram

@mevansatl92

Matthew Evans Art Instagram

Matthew Evans

Owner / Artist Matthew Evans Art

Muralist, Illustrator, Design for Hire

Abstract, Mixed Media, Painting, Design

Friendly Neighborhood ATLien AKA Rapperartist

Art Instagram

@pneillv

Art Instagram

Peter Neill

Artist at Art Station

3D Character Artist / 3D Illustrator

Animation, Illustration, Painting, 3D Design

Artist of the Future AKA 3rd Dimension Coolist

Peter Neill Art Instagram

@rashelle_stetman

Owner / Artist RashelleStetman.com

Rashelle Stetman

Owner / Artist RashelleStetman.com

Fine Art / Designer at Blackbook Gallery

Abstract, Tattoo Design, Painting, Fine Art

Artistic Adventurer AKA Full Time Freelancer

Owner / Artist RashelleStetman.com

@xsullo

Owner / Artist xsullo

Nick Sullo

Owner / Artist xsullo

Pop Surrealist / Digital Artist

Abstract, Digital Art, Illustration, Design

Cybernetic Picasso AKA DigiPunk

Owner / Artist xsullo

CBCInked Wrap Up: Instagram Artists FTW

I hope these artists inspire you!

Better yet, I hope you fill your social media news feeds with positive, motivating and empowering people. The world is a crazy place, please choose the path of good.

If we are going to allow tech to be a part of our creativity, at least be inspired by the greats around you.

If you would like to be added to this list of Instagram artists to follow, please send me a message! I love following new art.

Catch you on Instagram, friends!

XO

CBCInked

Digital Art Revolution: Procreate Review 2.0

So my husband bought me Procreate for the iPad, along with an Apple Pencil.

Yes, he’s a great husband that’s very supportive of my art habit. He’s also a creative person in the technical world. He’s a UX/UI Lead Interactive Designer to be exact, so that’s pretty techy.

He introduced the word of digital art to me and I have such mixed feelings about it, I thought I would ask other artists in the world how they feel about it!

Here I am going to review my thoughts on digital art vs real life media, review Procreate and it’s tools and try to figure out if my art is headed in a new direction.

custom art and design

To Procreate or not to Procreate

That is the question.

For over twenty years, I’ve drawn, painted and colored with real utensils. I’ve gotten my hands messy, my shirts ruined and spots on the carpet with real materials. In college, my hands were black with charcoal and I almost always had paint on my face. It felt good. Like I had made something meaningful and those remnants were the aftermath of an epiphany.

Now, here we are. 2020.

There are digital artists making paintings in minutes with no paint at all. There are artists who never pick up a pencil and can undo a stroke at the click of a button. Does that feel like cheating? To me, it does. However….

Once I learned the ins and outs of the technical side of Procreate, it allowed a new side of my inner artist to emerge. Hear me out.

Without the need to purchase supplies, the unpredictability of the inks and the worry of making a stroke that would impair the piece…it works. The tools allow you to create work that is still in your style, still holds your essence – it’s just not in the studio. Needless to say, I still felt like I was cheating the art world somehow.

Here are a few pieces I made in Procreate… let me know what you think! (Sorry Disney, don’t get mad.)

Procreate Review

Procreate is an insane art tool! If you are an artist and haven’t tried it, you must.

To quote right from their website,

Procreate comes with an entire library of brushes with everything from pencils, inks, charcoals, to artistic brushes that lay beautiful painterly textures. Each brush can be customized with the Brush Studio or you can download thousands of brushes to suit any style you can imagine. If that wasn’t enough, you can even make your very own custom brushes.

When you first open the app, it’s mega overwhelming. Then you start to break down the tools one by one.

My husband (the tech master) taught me about the layers and the importance of working in different ones. That would be my first piece of advice.

Study the different brushes available and see what strokes suit you best. Play with the textures and backgrounds you can create with different angles of the pen. (The Apple Pencil is a must when you are creating!)

What I found was that when I learned every click meant something that could 100% manipulated, the true creativity came out. I learned I could use it as a light box, I could use it as a sketch tool, I could use it as a painting or a watercolor. And I never had to get my hands dirty.

Digital Art Revolution: CBCInked 2.0

Once I opened my mind to the fact that it wasn’t cheating, it was just using new tools – I realized that if you don’t evolve you die (as an artist). Evolution of your artistic ability may just be in the tools you use.

You never want to be comfortable doing the same thing, in the same style for the rest of your artistic career, right? #CBCInked

That is not to say that I won’t pick up a pen or a brush. I will get in the studio and make more messes with my art – I always will. But I am open to new beginnings, new styles and a new artistic revolution that may better me and my career.

Are you?

XO

CBCInked

Not sure if Procreate is your thing? No worries! I use Canva for simple design. Who doesn’t love Canva?? As an agency owner, I could NOT live with out them. Sign up to Canva with this link below and we’ll both get rewards!

If you ever need to create a graphic, poster, invitation, logo, presentation or anything that looks good – give Canva a go. It’s free!
    Get 60,000 templates. Here’s your discount link

3 Ways to Embrace Change for Positive Growth

What do you think of when you hear change is coming?

Does it strike a little fear in your heart? Be honest, it does. Even just the word “change” has a feeling of dread because it means that things will be different. Your gut reaction is to say, no thanks, I’m good.

Welp, life doesn’t care if you’re good! Change will come whether you’re ready for it or not. It’s time to embrace change and master the art of letting go. Clear as mud, right?

Let’s find out how we can learn to let change happen in a positive way and how we can plan for the future to grow.

the art of letting go

How to embrace change for growth

Again, change is going to happen. It’s inevitable.

What does change mean to you? Does it mean that you have to be different, that your life will go off course or that you will have to learn to adapt? And are those bad things?

Let’s look at it like this. Say things NEVER changed. You would be in the same position, doing the same things that you always do and there would be no room for growth. Now that is something to be scared of!

Here is how I’m trying to embrace change naturally in my life:

  • Control my reaction to it
  • Look at all sides of it
  • Plan for it

Seems easy enough. Let’s unpack that a bit.

Control your reactions to change

Controlling my reaction to change means that when the news hits (and it may hit hard) that I don’t freak out.

It’s completely normal for people to lose it when they hear change is coming, however, it really helps nothing. So I try to stifle my inner worry-wart and just try to remain calm when any news hits me. I know I can do this because I have built up my warrior shield to battle negativity and am armed to handle bad things that come my way.

How do I physically do this? Breathe. Sit with the information. Be still. Don’t scream. Ha! Anything I can do to keep calm is key to controlling my reaction to change. If the change is something little, you still need to control those little reactions just as much.

Look at all sides of change

Much like an argument or a debate, there are many different sides to change.

When you first get hit with any news, your brain may naturally go right to the dark side. (Insert Star Wars quote here.) Or maybe it’s just me? If it’s me, then I still need work to do. If you tend to think negatively about change, try your best to turn that ship around.

Often, there are changes being made that ultimately benefit you! You have to seek them out of course, because at first it will just grind at your nerves simply because it is foreign to you.

Being open to change is great, but you will need to find all avenues of this change to truly have it benefit you in the long run. Just look at all sides, weigh your options, even write them down!

There’s an app for that! Here are a few apps that will help you plan for change by the Balance Small Business.

Planning for Change

Planning for change can either be extremely daunting for you or it can be exciting.

Don’t forget, your life is a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of situation! Planning for change can be a very fun and exciting time, if you let it in.

We’ve talked about how to control your reaction to change along with how to look at all sides of it. Now comes the wild part. You get to plan your life around this change – in a positive way! Mentally you should be thinking of the ways you are going to rearrange your life so that it fits this new change into it in a positive way.

If you go about your day trying to work this change into your life with anger, resentment or worry – it will not fit into your life naturally. Not to mention what happens to your body when anger takes over. This article really opened my eyes about How Anger Affects the Brain and Body. Yeesh!

Every action step you take to make this new change a part of your life needs to have a positive spin on it. The attitude you take when you’re planning the changes makes more of a difference than the the action itself.

Take these two examples of how a “planning for change” scenario could play out:

“I will have to change three appointments in my calendar. Ugh, I need to call that person to cancel that… I have to rearrange my entire day for this! I don’t even know if I’ll have time.”

or

“It took some time, but I moved things around and now I am open to this new opportunity! I am so grateful that everyone was so understanding. I know that this schedule change is going to allow me the time I need to get everything done.”

Which one sounds better but is extremely hard to do? It’s all in the mindset.

Even if you don’t know if it will work out, you need to believe that it will. Those that ask for failure, usually get it.

Keep a positive mindset when you’re embracing change and it shouldn’t be an uphill battle for you. If it seems like a battle, adjust your attitude towards it and see if that opens new doors. Sometimes we’re just in our own way. #waystoembracechange #CBCInked

I absolutely love this comment from Psych Central from the article 5 Effortless Ways to Embrace Change – they say to “feel yourself grow“. That’s the key! Try to control your emotions, prepare for the good and feel yourself growing into the positive change. Boom!

CBCInked Wrap Up: Embrace change and it embraces you

I wish I could say that I embrace change 100% of the time. That would be a lie.

I am working on this just the same as you are! We are all a WIP and it really takes effort to create new habits and squash the negative mindset. My wish for you is that you will simply be prepared. Just be ready for what comes your way – good or bad.

The bottom line is that if you embrace change, it could embrace you. Have faith that changes are for the good and good things will come. One can only hope!

If you’re struggling with your mental health or staying positive, I’ve got your back. Been there! That’s why I created Artfirmations. Please take some time to read through each one and even say them out loud. I hope they help you in more ways than one.

You got this!

XO

CBCInked

Image credit: unsplash.com, cbcinked.com/art

An Attitude of Gratitude for 2020

I’ve realized something.

Being a wife, a stepmom and a human being…gratitude goes a very long way. When you reach a level in your life where you have to stop fighting the fight, it really helps to switch your mental wellbeing to an attitude of gratitude.

Do you ever find yourself caught in the middle of minor battles with yourself and others and you think, why? This is such a waste of my energy. Yeah, me too.

Here’s what I have learned about how to take on an attitude of gratitude and how I train my mind to think with gratefulness daily.

The Daily Grind of Gratitude

Being grateful doesn’t come naturally unless you are an angel, saint or a magical wizard. Which you might be. I am not.

Having an attitude of gratitude comes from realizing that you need to train your mind to think in a positive way! You need to take a beat and realize all that you have to be thankful for. When you’re in the middle of life stuff, this can be challenging.

Here is how I keep gratitude in my life on the daily:

  • Before my feet hit the ground in the morning, I say thank you. Thank you for another day.
  • Before I fall asleep at night, I say thank you. Thank you for another day.
  • When something good comes my way, I say thank you. Thank you for this opportunity.
  • When something bad comes my way, I say thank you. Thanks for the lesson, I’ve learned from it.
  • When I have something I can’t understand, I say thank you. Thanks for the challenge, I will solve this.

Having an attitude of gratitude is a mindset.

You can turn every single one of those items on that list into a negative reaction. You can start your day wrong and end your day angrily. You can get upset about bad things coming your way…it’s all about how you frame it in your mind.

Gratitude is a choice.

Follow CBCInked on Instagram for more gratitude posts

Have Gratitude for Yourself

Do not forget to thank yourself!

If you thank your husband for doing things around the house and even the waiter for bringing your food, don’t forget to thank yourself for the good things YOU do.

This is a big one that falls by the wayside. Raise your hand if you don’t take enough time on yourself? I see you out there, raising those hands. It’s a natural thing, to put others above yourself. Again, this is a mindset.

  • When you do something little that needs to be done (and you really don’t want to do it), thank yourself!
  • When you do something big that took you a long time to do, thank yourself! In fact, celebrate it a little.
  • When you overcome something mentally that you have been struggling with, thank yourself.
  • When you know you have a challenge ahead, thank yourself for the resources you have to solve it.
  • When you have a moment of time to yourself, thank your body for carrying you through this life.

It may sound silly, but try saying out loud! Try saying it to yourself in the mirror or even with family at dinner. If you are raising a family, how nice is it to show gratitude to your children?

Let’s raise our children to have a little gratefulness for the things that they do.

How to Transform Attitude to Gratitude

You will not always be able to take the gratitude path, let’s face it. You are not perfect. I am definitely not perfect!

There will be times when you will be forced to put a little spice on it! Your emotions will take over and you will react with attitude, not gratitude. That’s okay!

Here’s the best way you can manage the attitude and transform it to gratitude:

  • Be aware that you are reacting with attitude. Simply note that your emotions are high.
  • Be mindful that you can control the attitude and transform it because you have power over these emotions.
  • Justify your emotions by going over each step, tracing how you got to this point. Is your attitude warranted?
  • Breathe. Taking a few deep breaths before you react with attitude can change the outcome dramatically.
  • Find ways to incorporate gratitude into the situation even if you don’t want to. Insert gratitude where it normally would not be.
  • Thank yourself for being so calm, cool and collected about it. Take notes for the future!

Remember finding an attitude of gratitude is a WIP! In fact, YOU are a WIP. (Read – you are a work in progress). #attitudeofgratitude #CBCInked

CBCInked Wrap Up: Go Gratitude Go!

Just in case you needed to hear this today, thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, to cheer me on and support my art. Thank you for being an amazing human and liking this post!

Thank you for being a supportive audience and sharing this.

It feels SO good to thank someone, have you noticed? Go out there and thank someone today, no matter how big or small the task. You want to go big? Thank a STRANGER!

Gratitude goes a long way, my friends.

I am grateful for you!

Keep going.

XO

CBCInked

Image credit: Unsplash.com

10 Rules of Remote Work (+ Pros and Cons)

Ahh yes, working remotely. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working remotely for many years now.

I once told my husband that I’ll never go back to working in an office. Do you know why? It’s not that I don’t like people or that I’m some sort of recluse….I promise.

The truth is, working remotely has been the backbone to building a successful artistic career, balancing a family and promoting my wellbeing. It’s a very sturdy backbone.

Today we review the pros and cons of working remotely and the rules you need to be successful from my perspective. I think I’ve nailed it, so this should be interesting.

remote work

Working Remotely Pros

Let’s get one thing straight. Working remotely is not for people who are lazy, unorganized or poor at time management.

If you think working at home is about lounging on the couch, eating Cheetos and watching Netflix, you are mistaken. I have never worked harder in my life than when I began working remotely. You will be busy. You will be very busy.

This insane infographic from Work Remote has unbelievable stats about remote work in 2020. Over 54% of people feel it made them more productive to work from home. I’m definitely one of those people.

That being said, working remotely has a lot of pros! Here are a few reasons why you should consider working remotely:

  • Ability to take care of your body and mind.
  • Ability to take care of your family (and pets).
  • Ability to work more hours because there is no commute.
  • Ability to eat food out of your own refrigerator and cook on your own stove.
  • Ability to wear comfortable clothing (yes, you have to put pants on).
  • Ability to balance life events, schedule small tasks and handle chores.
  • Ability to be in your own creative space to work.

I am 100% positive that there are more here, but these are the most important to me. These pros of working remotely allow you to work better, more efficient and have a good attitude while you do it.

It’s amazing what a little comfort will do for the soul.

woman looking at a view

Working Remotely Cons

Wait a minute, what? There are downsides to working remotely?

The answer to that is yes, if you let it. There can be cons to working remotely if you’re doing it ineffectively. It can be a path to a very different life if you don’t follow the remote work “rules”, which we will cover.

Here are the cons of working remotely:

  • Ability to lose touch with the outside world (IRL).
  • Ability to feel isolated.
  • Ability to feel lazy.
  • Ability to slack on your physical well being.
  • Ability to fear public places and travel.
  • Ability to get inside your own head and create anxiety.

Notice here how all of these “cons” of working remotely are choices? You can choose to become these things or you can choose not to. Working remotely is a balance between what you need to get done and how you are going to do that successfully.

However, that’s why there are rules put in place so you can overcome these things. Keep reading.

Remote Work Rules

Yes, there are rules! This isn’t like Fight Club – we CAN talk about it.

Working remotely is not a free-for-all chance to do whatever you want. There are rules to abide so that you are successful.

Rule #1: Get up early and move your body. Do not roll over and get on the computer right away. You don’t have an excuse, there is no commute. 😉 William Vanderbloemen of Forbes writes about how these successful start their day, take some notes.

Rule #2: Eat breakfast and take care of your body first, before work begins. Drink water, eat some good, clean food…drink your coffee (or tea if you prefer). Make sure you are fully nurtured before you flex your brain muscle all day.

Rule #3: Get cleaned up. Whether this means showering, putting real clothes on, putting your makeup on or brushing your hair for you, you need to do these things. Even if you don’t have any calls that day with the outside world, you need to feel worth for your emotional wellness. Sometimes that means putting mascara and pants on. Trust me.

Rule #4: Keep a tight schedule. Your calendar should be organized, full and colorful – that last one is optional, for all you creatives. Stick to that schedule for the most part and don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself. Here are some apps to help with health and wellness during the work day.

Rule #5: Take small breaks and stand up often. When you work remotely, you tend to get so into it that time slips by. You need to keep track of your time! Every hour or hour and a half, be sure to get up, stretch, stand up, play with your dog, do cartwheels, make a snowman, whatever your thing is. Just move for a few minutes.

Rule #6: Stay organized and be clean about it. If you’re a slob at your home office, that’s a reflection of your work ethic. You need to organize your work life just like you have to do with your home life. Keep your workspace tidy so your work reflects that. You can be messy in your closet if you really need to.

Rule #7: Balance your work life with your personal life. At work, you are dedicated to doing your job and at home you are dedicated to yourself and your family. So when your work is at your home, you need to balance both without failing to do either job. That means you need to separate out your time spent on work and your time needed for life stuff. Be mindful that you are being paid to do a job and you need to respect those parameters.

Rule #8: Communicate clearly, often and with purpose. When you work remotely, you’ll need to be in touch with your team (across the world) consistently. It’s not a “micro management” thing or a “checks and balances” thing, it’s a respect thing. Pop into your chats, emails or calls and let them know what you’re working on, what you are up to and how much you love them, often.

Rule #9: Keep the distractions to a minimum. Yes, you can watch, listen or view something while you work. Playing music or podcasts can be incredibly inspiring and motivating to your work flow! Just be sure not to tune in too deeply to something else that distracts you from your work. That goes for the 300,000 notifications that go off daily too! Keep that noise to a dull roar, please.

Rule #10: Know when to turn it off. The biggest thing that I had to remember when I began working remotely is how to turn it off at the end of the day. I often would be working way beyond the eight hour day because it is hard to shut it down. Keep your eye on the clock and unplug when you need to. Give the blue light a rest.

Optional Rule: Get a furry co-worker! Getting a dog was the best decision I have ever made. Sophie has made me healthy, enjoy my breaks and she provides much needed camaraderie during my daily work grind. I couldn’t do this life without my pup!

Sophie Love White
This is my favorite co-worker Sophie Love White

CBCInked Wrap Up: Remote for Life

I will work remotely for life. Or at least try!

I’ve known people that are not suited for remote work and I respect that! I know there are certain industries that are simply impossible to have a home office. I feel very fortunate that I have had the chance to work in an industry where I can make a difference from the comfort of my own home.

When you choose to work remotely your life will change, drastically. It will be a wake up call for you either in a positive or negative way. Another choose your own adventure situation! #workremotely

I am very careful that when I’m in the art studio that I am mindful of time and I get my work done first. I think it’s important to know when and where to get things done when you are working at home.

If you follow the rules of remote work, you will thrive! It’s that easy, people.

Tell me your remote work stories, how you got there and what you do to be successful! I want to know so I can add it to my arsenal.

If you need me, I will be at my desk. At my house. Because I work remotely, remember?

XO

CBCInked

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@marcosrivas

How to Battle Negative Vibes Like a Warrior

Not to be a negative Nancy, but bad vibes are all around you.

It’s like the dust you see floating around in the air when the sun hits it just right, you know? It’s always there but you can only see it if you look really hard.

As you probably know, my motto is positive vibes only. That doesn’t mean I beam positive vibes out every single day and negative things don’t affect me. I have just honed in the power of shielding negative vibes from harming my chi. It’s not always easy.

You are lucky enough to learn from years of me trying to figure out how to overcome negative vibes.

Here are some ways that I have learned to effectively overcome negative vibes (because they are undoubtedly going to happen):

  • Build your warrior shield
  • Pick your battles
  • Sharpen your positivity sword
  • Choose your reactions
  • Learn for future battles

How to Overcome Negative Vibes

You are going to get knocked down, let’s face it.

No matter how happy you are, no matter how hard you work to be successful, you will eventually fall flat. Understanding that factor would have been nice about 20 years ago, for me. Alas, here we are.

If someone had just said, Cay – your life is not always going to be butterflies and roses, I probably would have started to prepare warding off bad vibes earlier on in my life. But I was raised in a positive environment, had wonderful parents that loved me and had a pretty normal upbringing. Pretty much like most kids out there. We are going to talk about how to deal with negativity when you were never prepared to handle it.

Here is how to overcome negative vibes like a warrior. Suit up.

Build your Warrior Shield

You would never go into battle without your shield and sword, right?

Same goes for battling negativity. If you’re in the middle of an extremely negative time and you’re without your shield, you are going to suffer. Tremendously.

By ‘building up your warrior shield’ I mean you have to create an arsenal that can fight these vibes before the battle begins. Warriors dedicate hours to sharpening their swords and strengthening their shields, it’s the same concept.

Here are three questions you need to ask yourself when building up resistance to negativity:

  1. What am I doing daily to strengthen my mental and physical well-being?
  2. What am I doing mentally to combat negative thoughts?
  3. What am I doing physically to build up positive vibes?

The answers to these questions will bring you to your task list! What do I need to do take care of these things? BOOM.

Here’s what I did in response to each question asked:

  1. What am I doing daily to strengthen my mental and physical well-being? I meditate, I positively affirm, I breathe slowly, I practice yoga (sometimes), I foam roll, I go outside, I create some form of physical activity, I smile, I eat clean, I chug water, I take vitamins, I see my Chiropractor (not daily! LOL), I hug my family, I play with my dog, I take time off screens, I create art, I write, I read, I swing on my hammock, I text my friends and fam, I learn new things….I could go on. I will stop here.
  2. What am I doing mentally to combat negative thoughts? I practice positive self-talk, I check my complaints, I read and listen to positive influencers, I force myself to think in an attitude of gratitude, I calm my brain when it’s racing (CBD helps that), I take moments of silence when I feel mad, I leave the room when I feel bad vibes, I go outside when I feel frustrated, I watch what I eat when negativity crawls in. I also have been known to have a drink or two but that’s fiiiiiine.
  3. What am I doing physically to build up positive vibes? I walk my dog, I ellipticalize (is that a word?), I drink a ton of water and tea, I eat organically, I eat BREAKFAST, I do core floor exercises and stretching, I have a sit/stand desk, I get massages, I take vitamins, I move. You get it.

Your task list of building up your warrior shield should be all the things you know you can handle. Start slowly. It should also be an eye opener to what you may NOT be doing for your wellbeing.

Are you self-sabotaging your battle? Probably. I know I did.

Pick your Battles

This is still a WIP for me.

Pick your battles wisely. You’ve heard the phrase before but what does it mean to you?

Does it mean that you need to accept your flaws and others? Does it mean that you can’t get mad at traffic? Does it mean you should stifle your anger if someone makes you angry?

The types of battles that you’ll need to pick is on you. However, I have one thing to ask you.

Out of all the battles, big and small from years past, do you remember them clearly? Do you remember what you were worrying about even a few months ago?

Probably bits and pieces come back to you – I was worried about money, I was fighting with my spouse, I was in a custody battle. Those are pretty big. But what do you remember fearing or worrying about the small things? Not really!

News flash! That’s because THEY DON’T MATTER! So as you go about getting upset, frustrated or angry at something – ask yourself one simple question. Am I going to remember this next year? If not, move on.

Sharpen your Positivity Sword

Remember that badass shield you just built? It’s time to train with it.

Sharpening your positivity sword means you need to stop the negative power that’s being thrown at you on a daily basis. This is easier said than done.

Believe it or not, you’ve probably already had 10 negative things happen to you, today. To fight off negative vibes, you’ll need triple the positive vibes, whatever that means for you. Shields and swords ready! #positivevibesonly

Say you get hit with bad news right when you wake up. How do you combat that when you haven’t even gotten out of bed? You go back to your arsenal. What positivity do you have stored up that could fight the need to get angry or upset?

Oh wait, you’re a warrior now. So you have patience, breathe, create positive self-talk, think about the ability to process slowly and assuredly because you practiced this daily when things were going well. Right? Your shield is ready.

Harnessing your power simply means tapping the resources of positivity when they are needed most. The key is to not drain your wellness arsenal. Be sure to keep replenishing when it gets low! I recommend you include art therapy in there too if you can, it definitely helps.

Battle the negative vibes and move on. Then it’s right back to building back up again. Don’t drain yourself and wait for the next negative vibe to take you out.

Warriors don’t stop training after a battle!

Choose your Reactions

Notice how I said CHOOSE here.

Choosing your reactions is not exactly easy. Reactions are called that because you are re-acting to something that’s happening to you. You may jump to – “it’s not MY fault, or it was THEM that started it“…oh the irony.

To choose one’s reactions simply means that you have to stop before the reaction even happens, to assess if it’s the right one. A warrior would never just battle without knowing the basics in training.

Take what you learned in harnessing your power and test it in a negative vibe situation.

POP QUIZ: You have harnessed all the positive vibes and you’re feeling strong. A bad vibe comes your way – ZING! How do you react?

  • A) yell
  • B) cry
  • C) rage
  • D) breathe
  • E) eat chocolate

The correct answer is D) breathe. It just takes a minute but it may save you from so many bad decisions based on negative vibes that you might write me a letter thanking me someday. If you said E) eat chocolate, that can be after you celebrate your wins.

Choosing to react in a certain way will drastically alter the outcome of that negative situation. Choose to remain calm when you can – not always easy – but take a beat. Breathe for a minute and let your brain process.

Also, my amazing friend Dr. Sarah Porray and I play this fun game called – the “Glad Game”. When she or I are having a bad day or battling negative vibes, we will play this little game. We have to say three things we are glad about right then. It changes the mentality of anger to gratefulness within seconds. It doesn’t always last, but it puts your anger in check for a minute taking you out of that negative loop.

We are also huge geeks.

Learn for Future Battles

When a warrior gets home from battle they probably do two things. Thank God they’re alive and review what worked in order to win. Okay, they also probably drink mead too.

Let’s focus on the review what worked part here. Mead can come later.

When you go through a negative experience (big or small) you need to learn what worked for you to get through it. Maybe you stumbled, fell flat on your face and were a hot mess for a week and you say, welp, I’m never doing that again. Maybe you breathed through it, took your time with those raw emotions, consulted with your support system and took a walk to sort through the feels and you say, welp, I’m basically a warrior now.

Choose your own adventure! But whatever you do, learn from it. Take notes, write it down, whatever it takes – just learn from it for the future. #battlenegativeemotions

Negative vibes are only what you allow them to be.

Fight the good battle, warriors! You got this. Let me know your negative battle success stories. How did you overcome it? What did you do to fight the good fight? I would love to hear your story.

XO

CBCInked

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@soulgazephotography

Squashing the Starving Artist Mentality

One of the biggest challenges I have as an artist, digital marketer and content writer is finding my worth and putting a price on my value.

What’s the right price for valuable work?

Over the years I’ve gained my experience, I believe. Let’s take a look at the journey that is CBCInked and you can tell me if you feel that I am a ninja of sorts.

Here are the basics of my experience in an easily digestible list:

  • My mom and dad are both writers and artists, so I have been drawing and writing since I was 5. Soooo…that’s over 30 years of art and content right there. Sheeyit, I am old.
  • I graduated in 2004 with honors – Bachelor of Fine Arts at Eastern Michigan. So I got my schoolings.
  • I taught youth and adults art for 9 years in various classes and culture camps.
  • I began marketing and selling when I was 22, so 16 years of field sales, cold calls, flyer making, door to door knocking, content writing, schmoozing and SEO growth. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
  • I’m certified in Email Marketing, Sales, Content Marketing and Social Media with HubSpot.
  • I’ve written hundreds of blogs, e-newsletters, monthly e-blasts, press releases, website copy – you name it, I have probably written it.
  • I launched CBCInked in 2001, so I am basically an entrepreneur – I can never spell that word right. I’ve created thousands of works of art and sold hundreds. Starving artist and whatnot.
  • I am certified in WordPress101 and SEO101 and have expertise in over 100 SaaS tools that have helped me get to where I am today. (Thanks, Buffer!)
  • Adding this because it’s a feat in and of itself – I am a wife, dog mom and step mother, along with being a homeowner, car owner and business owner. And I pay my taxes.

So, what do we think? How many hours does that make up to become an expert in my field? Would you say over 10,000?

If so, how do you put a price on that when someone says – “hey can I get a piece of your art“? Or hey, “can you write my blog for me“?

It’s the hardest question I’ve come across since beginning my entire artistic journey.

What are you (and your art) worth?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Usually we see flaws, imperfections and most of the time aging lines that weren’t there before. But today, we are going to look in the mirror and see worth. We are going to clap ourselves on the back and say “good work” YOU for being amazing, learning all those skills and being the best you that you can be.

When you are a freelancer, contractor or an artist, there are ways you can showcase your worth so that people don’t shy away at your price or cost of service.

Let’s find out the ways you can showcase your worth, shall we?

  • Show your worth by creating a killer website
  • Share your worth on your social networks, a lot
  • Collaborate with other artists, friends and companies that will lift you up
  • Be transparent about your cost and show your value up front

Keep in mind that there are tons of resources and communities that will host your art. I started out years ago on RedBubble and have sold little pieces here and there! It’s really about getting involved in communities that are like-minded and RedBubble really does do it all.

Start here…

Full disclosure, I’m in with RedBubble because I love them! If you click on any of my affiliate links, I will get a commission. But that’s not what I’m in it for – I really do love and respect what RedBubble is doing and I’m so happy to be connected with them.

How do you value yourself?

Putting value on your work is a tricky balance between what you know your worth should be and what you know someone will pay.

One thing I’ve learned is that you aren’t the one that is going to dictate what level of your career you are at. Most likely a company, boss or someone in a leadership role will. Which is backwards and nonsensical but this is the way the world works.

If you have been working at a career for 16 years, does that mean you earn your title? What if you work for yourself? Does that mean you can title yourself as “Expert”? I’m not sure about you, but when I see 20 year olds on LinkedIn with the profile title CEO, Owner, I think you don’t know anything about that yet! Sorry, not sorry.

I applied for a senior level position a while ago that I know I was qualified for. I was sure I would get the role, and even had four interviews. Ultimately, I didn’t get the role and I was crushed. They made me feel that I wasn’t senior level yet and I doubted myself. It took the better part of the quarter to build myself back up again because I was so sure I was qualified.

When it comes to value, the rule for me now is, never doubt myself.

I am qualified. I am enough.

How do you put a price on your value?

We are down to the question of the hour. How do you put a price on all of this amazing, fantastic value you bring to the world?

Obviously you want to do the basic mathematical equation to find the profit. Thinking about things like cost of supplies, time spent on labor, and getting a net profit out of it.

Labor costs + Supplies + Profit = Value

Except don’t forget about your worth! Factor that into the equation because the actual creation to conception is the real labor. Your worth is your motivation, your drive, your creative spirit and your patience to make it all happen.

This Instagram post by Jessica Durrant (one of my fave artists) really nails the artistic dream. Let’s squash the starving artist mentality. Also follow her, she’s magic.

For more inspiration on Instagram, check out these influencers that are crushing it at life.

CBCInk’s Conclusion: Squash the Starving Artist Mentality

So…don’t undervalue yourself. Don’t underestimate yourself, know you are worthy. Your shit is most likely AMAZING and you doubt it everyday. Trust me, I know.

You are an artist. At whatever you do.

After all, there is nothing quite like finishing a piece of artwork, am I right?

Bottom line – my advice is add a little on the top for yourself because you deserve it. Don’t ever underestimate your worth or value and always, celebrate your earnings. Every penny.

custom art

Carry on, artistic friends.

XO

CBCInked

P.S. I did a thing. Check out my little novella on Amazon – Sliced Time. It’s a WIP but it’s all mine. Kindle and Paperback editions available. I would LOVE to know what you think!