Today, remembering kindreds who have taken the rainbow journey to spirit. Enjoy your new wings, beautiful souls.
Stay close to your heart.
Meg x o
Today, remembering kindreds who have taken the rainbow journey to spirit. Enjoy your new wings, beautiful souls.
Stay close to your heart.
Meg x o
Hello dear bold souls, Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to the magnificent human known as Michelle Nickolaisen, who I’m proud and happy to know “from the internets!” Settle down comfortably and enjoy this Q&A with Michelle :)
I don’t think you missed anything! (Actually, upon reflection, I did realize I’m dipping my toe into game designing/writing, mostly TTRPGs but I have an idea/outline for a text-based choose your own adventure game that would be a phone app…) For the most part, my interests support me in different ways — I do enjoy nonfiction writing, but I mostly do it for my day job, which supports me financially, so that I can work on my creative projects, which don’t make much money, but are extremely fulfilling. It can be hard to juggle them all, but for the most part I really enjoy having so many projects going and tend to get ideas for one project when working on another, so they feed each other.
I’m not sure how I learned to be so organized, honestly – a lot of it is that if I’m not super organized, then everything is a mess. Sometimes my systems get a little complicated (or involve some duplication of work, like my giant dry-erase calendar and my Google Calendar), but without the systems, nothing gets done and I just sort of wander aimlessly throughout my day, so I started to get and stay organized at a fairly early age out of necessity. (It probably helps that I started freelancing around age 20.) For me, something being aesthetically pleasing is part of the function of it — if it’s nice to use, it makes me more likely to use it. If it’s ugly, I’ll put off using it or forget it exists, honestly!
I try to be active on a lot of fronts, including voting and helping other people vote, donating money to smaller nonprofits and to crowdfunding campaigns for marginalized people, etc. I also created a directory of LGBTQ+ friendly gyms called Safe to Train, which I’d like to expand more on when I have time. When it comes to specific causes, there are a lot, but racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights and equality, and reproductive/healthcare rights are pretty far up there for me…but even just listing that, I think of mental health advocacy, climate change, income inequality…they’re all linked so it’s really hard to pull out just one or two and say “this is it, this is where I’m putting my focus!” Maybe if I did, the day-to-day might feel a little less overwhelming, but I try to be as aware as I can about all fronts without just sinking into existential dread.
I try to remember that it’s about the long-term, not just the short term. It doesn’t do anyone (least of all the cause, or me) any good to burn myself out. It’s hard to remember that when every day seems to bring something new and nightmarish in the news cycle, but we’ve got to be in this for the long haul if we want to effect any long term change.
For activists I admire, I’m not sure if they count (I’m not sure what “defines” an activist, you know?), but I love Ijeoma Olou, Anthony Oliveira, Tunde Olaniran, and probably several more people I’ll think of later, who are all creators who are politically active.
Yes! So I still do weights sometimes, and I cycle both for fun and to get around, but my two main loves are martial arts and bouldering. I started climbing regularly last September, so I’ve been climbing regularly for almost a year now. I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in August of 2015 and I currently train a mix of that and Krav Maga, so it’s been just over three years since I started training martial arts. Both of them are great in that they feel very practical — although I hope I never have to use my climbing skills in real life, it’s good to know that I can do that, and it “feels” more real than lifting weights does. They also both combine thinking and physicality, in that you have to think about your fighting or climbing strategy as you’re doing it. And they’re also great for forcing me into focus and into almost a meditative state; you can’t be thinking about a million things when you’re sparring or on the wall, because that’s how you get beat up or fall!
For a long time I struggled to maintain any kind of physical activity because I was often bored by it, but doing these two things has been great for me because they keep me engaged in my fitness routine and give me an outlet. Since I started training regularly, my anxiety and depression have been much easier to manage.
The evolution has been really interesting, honestly! So when I first started freelancing, I did freelance writing, but got quickly burned out on it, as I was working largely through content mills and wasn’t sure how to progress past that point. There wasn’t a lot of information at that time on how to progress past “doing as much content mill writing as I can to pay the bills” and into “having an actual freelance career,” at least not that I could find. So once I got burned out, I started doing freelance project management, because my good friend Shenee Howard pointed out to me that not everyone has that as a skill. My plan was to use the project management and productivity coaching type services to basically subsidize the writing. After a while, after the memory of the burnout I’d had before faded some, I realized that I could just…do freelance writing, and get paid better for it, now that I had a pretty solid portfolio of clips from years of writing about productivity and project management.
From there it’s been a pretty direct path to present day, where, as of late August, I’m the full-time content marketing manager at Rebilly. There have always been side projects, and in between the side projects and the twists and turns my “day job” career has taken, there is really no way that I could have predicted how everything would turn out. I think I’d have the broad strokes (writing-related, of course), but that’s about it.
Aside from giving me the freedom and means to support the political causes I talked about, my career also gives me a lot of autonomy and flexibility, which has always been really important to me. Being able to tackle things in the order that I think makes sense, or go work out in the middle of the day, is really important for my personal productivity, so that flexibility is important to me. For the creative projects, I think it’s important to make art from your POV [point of view] — I can’t think of a more elegant way to put it than that, but it’s just important to me that I do that and help others do the same.
I think my favorite is either Willow or Giles. I think there’s a line to be walked there when it comes to creators doing bad things — this is something I’ve thought a lot about both with Joss Whedon and JK Rowling as of late. I think it’s distasteful to say that you can ever separate the creator 110% from the art — especially when the creator has done really, really heinous things (looking at you, Polanski and Allen) — but at the same time, I think it’s possible to say “This piece of media wasn’t perfect, and neither is the person who made it, but at the time it meant a lot to me and it will always hold a special place in my heart, even though now I’m open to critiquing it.”
Michelle Nickolaisen is a writer, podcaster, & creator based in Austin, TX. When not creating something, Michelle can be found listening to podcasts, watching Netflix, or doodling.
Thanks for joining us today, Michelle… it’s really fun and inspiring hearing what you’ve been up to. Bold souls: I hope you’ll go check out Michelle’s online stuff and keep her in mind if you need anything she offers…
Meg x o
Wow, 50 Live Bold Lists – how exciting! This is seriously a testament to keeping at it one blog post at a time!
For this one, I tried to figure out why when I create ‘people pictures’ I steer towards the medium of lino printing.
All the lino prints shown here appear in my 2019 Bold Art Calendar (Bold Women theme)?
I’ve had a heckuva week… I’ll tell you about it once the dust has settled, but for now, from the midst of the dust, I say: “Acknowledge and appreciate your everyday, dear kindred spirit!”
Meg x o
PS2 If you want to hear from me beyond (yet including) blog posts like this, sign up for my mailing list using the little ‘form’ in the sidebar or below – you also immediately get fun free gifts and a code for 10% off 2019 calendars!
PS3 I’d be grateful if you’d show my blog to your bold women friends – if you think they’d like this kind of thing, of course! Thank you!
Hello Lovely Face and welcome to my 522nd blog post! [That seems a big number! We got here one blog post at a time!]
After a couple of months working on calendars-calendars-calendars, I’m amazed any pictures got created at all towards the *100 Pictures Project*! They did though. Lots of them are cat pictures :) And here they are…
I drew this while listening to an interview with Sleep Diplomat Matt Walker. It’s an apt self-description – he’s calm, persuasive, highly educated and absorbing about how beneficial sleep is to us. [By the way, 7-9 hours sleep is ideal.]
After listening to his interesting things-which-ya-kinda-know-but-pick-up-more-strongly-in-the-rehearing-as-an-adult, I now count it as an even bigger win to start each day having had enough magical sleep time.
This drawing is currently not in my online shop, however if you’d like to see it as a colouring page or tshirt, message me and I’ll see what I can do.
Dion’s person has seen this now [see below left the photo from our presentation meeting last Friday] so, like a final ‘reality’ TV reveal, I can show you the Custom Cat portrait I’ve been working on. What a smart and delightful person and cat! On Sunday Dr K emailed me to lock in painting Dion’s sister.
For those of you playing at home, I’m now booked for the rest of the year for Custom Cat portraits. The next spot secured will be first on the wait list for 2019.
This gorgeous Blue Russian cat’s owner [ok, we know very well we’re not owners!] was a big part of the community in the SA Cat Show world, and a kind, generous person.
I dearly wanted a black cat with stars for a tshirt image, after Mr Inky came into our home. So I made one! Click the picture above to see this design on everything but the kitchen sink. Haha, I can’t keep up with magnificent Red Bubble. Seriously, even if I blink my
one eyes [one] at a time, they still have yet another product to print your art on! I love it – love art on All The Things! These black cats with stars look groovy on items from bedcovers, phones and leggings to a plentitude of styles and colours of tshirts!
Why in gourd’s beautiful planet are there so many hilarious name possibilities for the title of this one? Oh my Gourd! , Gourds. Gifts. etc etc. Click the picture below to see the gourd picture in the *100 Picture Project* section of my shop. Oh, my Gourd! was offered by Ms T on Facebook. If you have another gourd phrase to make us laugh, chime in below in the comments section :) See the Making Of pictures here on my instagram.
Remember when I painted the Turkish tabby? Rita, a professional cat breeder and photographer on Facebook [<<< check her work out, she’s good, isn’t she?] posted a pic of this fluffy sweetie, her Turkish Angora cat. This past fortnight I got a chance to try painting it. There are hardly any drawn pen lines on this one, mostly brush drawing. Very softy, right? Like the cat itself.
I feel lucky and happy to be adding to the cat iconography of our time. Click this to read about an amazing collection of cat images and objects, the book Caticon, in an article by Purrington Post. Welcome, if Purrington Post is where you clicked through from :) Hi, cat lovin’ friend!
Have a great week with lots of cat cuddles and other love and peace in your days!
Love Meg x o
PS Talking about things that add up over time with repeated small efforts [which we were at the top], our contribution to TPRF humanitarian aid is slowly edging even further above $5000. That sounds a lot, and it’s done a lot of good for others. [It also feels like a more positive way to move in life than watching the news and getting depressed!]
PS 2 Click this if you want to see my Cat Art board – my e-version of Caticon! – on Pinterest!
To see things that inspire me with floaty persons such as picture number 33, check out my Dreamy Souls pinterest board – a lot of it is Marc Chagall … he’s such a legend!
Click either of the pictures above to see them in my gallery shop … maybe even make one your own!
Canvas paintings are often quite robust … artwork on paper needs great framing and particular care to last well. If that makes you a bit cautious, go ahead and download my free printable new art collectors guide to framing, How Do I Frame my Lino Print? for new Art Collectors tips.
Do you have a massive crush on artwork on paper, too? What do you love about it?
Love Meg x o :)
PS Print of the Month for July is *Bottle with Bottlebrush* which you can see me painting in the afternoon sun, in the picture above. Click this to check Bottlebrush out as Print of the Month (July 2018). First come first served: click this to invest in the one of a kind Watercolour!
PS2 Perhaps you’d enjoy my Pinterest board about collecting art, particularly artworks on Paper.
Do you want to drink more water – keep up your hydration through Winter – but struggle to fit in those sweet clear drops amongst the busy-ness of your day? Perhaps these personally tested tips will help…
[Note that I’m not a medical professional or health coach (if you need one of those, contact Yaisa) just a human with a body – lucky! – following the best recommendations I can find, who’s set up a few handy habits that may be of some use/inspiration. Hope so.]
As I wrote this, I realised I’m in a privileged position: I have a water tank, a roof, a working pump and a series of filters – the trickiest part is keeping up good habit-izing of my intake. I’m privileged even when I assume you also have several different sized drinking vessels to choose from! [If not, op/thrift shops are a potential source, if you’re lucky enough to have such a source nearby and a few dollars for a new glass, cup or jar.] How ridiculously lucky I am to take these human necessities for granted!
I’m guessing if you have a computer and internet access to read this with you might also be lucky enough to have clean water to drink.
We support TPRF to bring nutrition and hydration to persons who need it, and I’m amazed by all the wonderful ripple effects. Check out a wonderful set of new videos in their World of Difference appeal, ‘specially the one about the Food for People program that we support: Sustenance and Sustainability (or watch below, tech permitting).
Do tell. And let us know how you go!
Have a hydrated and joyful week, bold soul!
Love Meg x o
PS Want a unique, keeper gift for an engagement or wedding?
Or, maybe you’re setting up your own home?
Or, perhaps re-jigging it to be more You? Check out my fab giclee print collection and the Print of the Month here.
PS2 The 2019 calendars are coming soon, in 4 themes … I’ve just sent them to printers for proofs! #excited Join my mailing list for 10% off – yes, we’re doing that again this year! Keep an eye on my social media – instagram and facebook for first sneak peeks once I have them in hand.
If you can see the picture, you may’ve guessed… love in the shape of a cat has come into our family – a rescue cat as black as ink with salt sprinkled on him.
Here is some (prophetic perhaps?) black-cat-in-garden art I made some time ago …
I’m gonna say “yes”. I think we chose each other that evening.
And, that I’m proud of myself and Tangerine Man (husband) for intermittently, slowly – over a period of months! – having a drawn out conversation after Captain Whitepaws left via the rainbow elevator.
We didn’t want to quickly.get another.pet and try to stop feeling sadness from losing two old man orange cats in two years. Also, we were soon to move house, and we didn’t want to put that chaos upon a new kitty!
We’d gone via “…yes, again, sometime,” through “…soon…” and “We’ll know when it’s right”.
And now it is.
Mr. Inky’s coat is like velvet at night – your eyes disappear into him like a void! His eyes, blink blink back at you from his silhouette.
We’re knowing each other better every day, getting settled in together beautifully and it’s still very new.
I love that Mr. Inky slows my/our life down to a sit-on-lap-and-purr pace. Purring is such a universal sound/vibration that represents (and brings) quality of life.
We hope to have many loving years of keeping each other company.
Talk soon, bold soul!
Love Meg x o :)
PS2 Click this to see my Cat Art! There’ll be even more black cats in there moving forwards :D
Less shouty and more sweetie – that’ll be more effective, right?
In between making pictures for my 100 Pictures Project, I’ve been trying to make time to read, potter in the kitchen and keep fit jogging or walking. Here are a few of the big ideas that I’ve come across these past couple of weeks. Maybe a couple will intrigue you, too.
The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman – I’ve no doubt that understanding the concept/s in this book could save a relationship! Have you read it? Does it ring true for you?
The Last Safe Investment – Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg. This is interesting to me … they don’t seem like they’re saying anything too different to other get-your-shiz-together-make-money books… and I can’t in retrospect pinpoint quite why, but by the end my brain was working differently.
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy I’ve started this and it’s engaging and well written but I’m a little scared to continue reading, ‘cos it feels like a very personalised-to-the-characters doom is looming. I’m conflicted! Perhaps not the book to immerse myself in immediately before settling down to sleep…?
RetroSuburbia by David Holmgren. One of the co-creators of Permaculture has written a comprehensive, updated guide to retrofitting the suburbs (as the place where the bulk of us live and can make a difference). I go to bed with hope after reading the Aussie Street parable/model.
Todd Sampson on Osher Gunsberg podcast. Before listening to this, I was ambivalent about Todd’s new Body Hack series (coming up on Australian TV) but now I’m intrigued to watch it. Looking forward to hearing Todd interview Osher too!
Em Rusciano on Wil Anderson’s podcast Wilosophy I feel like she’s one of us, though possibly even a little extra fabulous :)
If you’re in any way near Willunga on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, Airlie from Willunga Podiatry is who you want looking after your foot health.
Yaisa (remember we ran that Vision Board workshop together last year?)’s friend, Siobhan (I assume a kindred spirit we haven’t met yet) is fighting breast cancer. Later this year Yaisa is shaving her hair in solidarity and while she’s at it, for fundraising. << Click that link to help Yaisa raise money, so at least Siobhan doesn’t have that to worry while she’s going through treatment. If you aren’t able to contribute right now, could you share the GoFundMe link around?
Shawna from Sacred Centre is raising-money-for-charity to get on a reality TV show to raise money for charity! She’ll be so great :) Adelaide friends: if you can’t get to the fund-raising Ocean’s 8 movie screening this Friday at Noarlunga, bid on the auction or add to the GoFundMe, would you pass the info on to a friend? It would be so great to help Shawna sell out the whole cinema! [Ha, just watched Ocean’s 11 last night on free TV and can’t wait to see the female cast kick arse and outsmart everybody!] This one is time sensitive, so if you’ve only time for one task, booking a ticket or sharing this would be the one. Thank you in advance! Mwah!
There’s a bit of behind the scenes catching up to do to make sure my website, eNews, and list of addresses are compliant with the European Privacy laws. Need some extra mental bandwidth – and time – to get my head around it all right now though!
Stay tuned for wonderful news, in a sweet blog post coming soon…
Have a wonderful week!
Meg x o
PS Click the photo at top to see all four colour schemes of my recent Welcome Cat lino print, and make one your own if you like bright, affordable, fresh cat artworks on paper – for your home or sweet sweet gifts!
PS2 Did you know
my our 10% contributions to a cause (TPRF) efforts quietly surpassed $5,000 just a few weeks ago? Woot – go us! Thank you!
PS3 If you like reading my blog posts and would love them in your inbox each month, subscribe to my eNews and get not only the blog posts, but also monthly art love eNews direct from my studio and all the bold happy freebies.
PS4 This is, in essence, an un-numbered listicle. Which is ok.
How’s your May so far, dearheart? I’m kind of up to date with my 100 Pictures Project, kind of scrambling to keep the scanning, sizing, recording, showing of my art up with the actual *making* of the art! This blog post will remedy that in part. Crikey! So much behind the scenes-ing!
Click the images below, bold soul, to check out the full picture and story in my gallery shop, if you want to learn more or own one freshly created. Here are the pictures from…
21 Molly (Black Labrador). I’ve been practising observing, drawing and painting dogs. This time I continued my dogs-on-white-paper experiment I started with Sunny last month. Click the picture to view &/or purchase in my gallery shop.
22 Pierre is a friend’s cat. She has 4 beautiful cats (and several alpacas – how cool is that?) so stay tuned, there may be more in this series-within-a-series! Click the picture if you want the only other remaining print!
23 and 24 are are pen drawings done A4 sized, in visual diaries. There were several pages of other drawings on the black paper… I got kind of obsessed with the white gel ink lines and carried on and on. Let me know if you like the idea of the garden drawing as a t-shirt design… The black pen drawings on the right are intended to be a set of bookmarks. Stay tuned on that!
25 and 26 Almond Blossom Cat and Feathers in Pink Glass. While looking forward towards the Almond Blossom Festival at Willunga this coming August, this little blossom covered critter piped up and wanted to visit. The feathers in pink glass were calling to me too, from the shelves of my studio. As with Molly above, I kept up my recent, curiosity/practise of leaving the surrounds unpainted. Believe it or not, it takes quite a strong will!
Click the picture above or below to check out the whole 100 Pictures Project page, or click the text links (purple text where your mouse turns into a hand) for the specific pictures.
27 and 28 Heading Home and Three Sunflowers. Click the image to go see the 100 Pictures Project in my gallery shop, and read about the green sheen chicken. Three Sunflowers is sold, but you can give it a good look while you’re in the 100 Pictures Project section, too.
29 and 30 Cup and Saucer with Blossom and Sol Energy. Click the picture to check out the Still Life, completed. The joyful-person-in-the-sun lino print run isn’t completely painted yet, but you’ll find it on the 100 Pictures Project page, potentially awaiting guidance from you on the colour of the pants!
31 and 32 Ocean Spirit and Laughter Negotiation Kindness. Mama Ocean’s print run is almost painted. You can see 4 of the 5 skin tones, including ocean green… the top right one is the most finished. The hand lettering is a fervent 3 word wish for a share house: “Laughter. Negotiation. Kindness.”
See them all – maybe even get one for yourself! – at the 100 Pictures Project in my online gallery shop. In fact if you go there, you’ll might see more finished than were as of the writing of this blog post!
If you’re playing along at home, this is how my chart is progressing compared to the first day I drew up the boxes:
Visible progress right? I was feeling regretful that I was all Behind the Scenes and no New Art this past week or so, but the progress chart is cheering me up now!
I appreciate you. Mwah! Have a lovely week!
Love Meg x o
PS Print of the Month for May is *Thea (Rainbow Goddess)* a rainbow kitty radiant with love and light. The full collection of limited edition prints is available here. The giclee prints fit into standard A3 frames, and are fabulous reproductions of my art – the colours and accuracy of the prints are superb!