Although I try and do this periodically throughout the year, December is a good time to think back on all you have accomplished and done this year. 2017 was a super transitional year from me. I went from a place in life where I wasn’t super happy and eventually moving out on my own. I started being more intentional with my gratitude and goals. I feel completely different now! I am now living in my own apartment in Mt. Vernon (a neighborhood in Baltimore, MD) with my cat, Odin, and have been doing more of what I want…and best of all, I have my creative mojo back. I am feeling more like myself I have in a long time. I am super excited for 2018 and have many more projects that I can’t wait to work on and share with all of you.
In 2017 I found a bunch of new things that I have loved, and would love to share them with you. Below is a list of new books, gear, and artists I have learned about and loved. Bloggers that I am super into as well as make up and e-courses that have helped me. Here we go…
Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4/4- These lights are amazinnngggg. I am a big advocate that you can take great photos with what you have by being crafty, but at a certain point, I wanted to have good light, consistently, every time. These suckers are super fast, so I can catch you moving from pose to pose without missing anything. These were my major purchase this year.
Seamless paper backdrops– I know, hilarious that I am just now getting these. I am so excited to have something that won’t wrinkle like the cloth backdrops. They are HUGE and I’m excited to start using them.
Looking forward: I am looking to upgrade my backdrop stand and invest a lot in throwing events and new props to use. Keep a look out for all my upcoming themed sets that are going to rock and get your creative juices flowing.
Level Up- This is a course that taught me about Todoist (thank you!!!) and has tips about productivity and being a in control of your day. It is also super pretty and obviously was made by someone with a graphic design background and I like pretty things.
Uncustomary’s Body Positivity E-course– I have been many e-courses on self love in general, but have seen very little in the realm of body positivity as its own thing. This course is amazing and treats body positivity as an aspect of self love that needs its own course. Self love is a journey and Mary’s courses always go above and beyond. Plus, it’s only $22 and you get so much!
Gala Darling’s Radical Rituals: Abundance- This course is a wonderful way to help change your mindset about money and success. You can have the life that you want and it starts with realizing it and actively taking steps towards it. The course is an email with a video and/or advice every day for two weeks that will help you transform your ideas about money and help instill confidence in yourself.
Looking forward: Looking look into Your First 1k and am on the look out for some more amazing courses to dig into.
You’re a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero– Seriously. Read it. At first I thought it was too full of “woo” but it is so very right. You don’t have to be that starving artist! All rich people aren’t dicks. You can have wealth and you should not have to feel bad about it. Give money when you can and don’t apologize for living your life that is fulfilling. This book is really good for giving yourself the confidence that you can build the life you want. It inspired me to take more risks and get back into doing my photography as a business again.
Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon– This has to be one of my favorite books of the year. It’s super short but is super substantial in terms of content. This book has a list of main points such as: Share something small every day and open up your cabinet of curiosities. It encourages you to show the world your art and talk about your art and be genuine and support other artists. Its a world I want to live in and how I strive to practice my own art.
Looking forward: I am currently reading Flavor by Bob Holmes, which is about the science of flavor and taste and what makes food delicious. I am looking forward to reading David Lynch’s book, Radical Self Love by Gala Darling, and Minimalism by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
Uncustomary- Yes, I know I work for her. However, I would still read and follow her even if I did not. She is a wonderful dose of creativity and positivity. I find that just she wants to make every one’s day better in any way she can, amazing and I am so excited she has the energy! The things she does for her community and her support group are amazing. I would highly suggest you get on the Uncustomary Babes group on Facebook.
Gala Darling– I am usually late to everything, but that is okay. I had heard of her before but never checked her out. A friend of mine told me about her and I was drawn to her more after I had read some of her more witchy things and Radical Rituals. I love following her on Instagram as well as her stories are fun and she seems so genuine and unapologetically her.
The Middle Finger Project- I think I have a thing for bad ass women. Ash is wonderful. Ash is also not everyone’s cup of tea. I am stretching a bit to say I discovered her this year, but I have rediscovered her. She is one of the women that reminded me that my personal brand is me and just because I’m not the traditional girly girl or super commercial and corporate to have people like my art. Ash is foul mouthed and loud and completely herself. *gushes*
Artwork by Cristen Michelle
Poison Apple Printshop– An amazing artist that makes beautiful work, from t-shirts to alter cloths. I seriously want everything in her shop. Help!
Cristen Michelle- She is a super talented painter and multi media artist based in Baltimore.
Stephan Parker– Chalk artist based in Baltimore. I got to document some of his work this year and the detail is impressive.
Other Random Favorites:
Local shops: Sugar (amazing sex shop that I actually enjoy going to. They put on workshops and have great products), So botanical (apothecary), Crystals Candles and Cauldrons (Witch shop in Hampden that has amazing staff, products, prices, and a store cat named Zombie).
Online shops: Witch Baby Soaps ( I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent here. The BEST bath bombs and body oils.) , Soliloquy Jewelry (Beautiful jewelry and adorable alter kits), Jeffree Star Cosmetics (those liquid lipsticks though…) and, of course, KillStar Clothing Co (I seriously have a problem and don’t care.)
Youtubers- It’s Black Friday (I love watching her videos and she is a super sweet woman that is one of the most authentic youtubers. She does style videos but also makes me feel so welcomed into the scene, and I don’t even know her personally), Monami Frost (an adorable vegan model and fashion designer that has a vegan family. She talks about make up and made an amazing cookbook that everything I have made in it has been SO GOOD. Not one bad thing. Seriously.)
Do you have favorites that I did not list here?
I am always interested in learning more and seeing more art. Have a book or a blog? I’d love to read it! Let’s share small businesses and help everyone out.