Work

Holy Cow, Time Flies!

Well, I guess it has been awhile since the last blog post…since August of 2014? Oops!

What have I been up to since then? Mostly working on projects, some of my own, several for design and content writing clients; traveled a bit, but not enough; met and greeted Josh Groban a couple more times (pictures for another day); helped plan and put on a 20-year high school reunion (WTF?!?!?)…so, taking time to write about life has sort of been a non-priority. I thought it might be a good idea to just quickly post here so 2015 doesn’t feel too left out, so a longer post will have to wait!

As for those things that made me realize my life needed redirection, and in following my own calling, I realize some things are just best left in the past. As time passes, people and situations that have caused unhappiness and unbearable stress aren’t worth worrying about anymore. People and environments sometimes change for the better, others don’t, and as it turns out, our being present or absent has little or nothing to do with it. Sometimes to walk away and keep one’s distance is the best, healthiest thing you can do for your own sake. If people don’t like what you do or how you do things, why worry; put those feelings into something more worthwhile, always. Honestly, if nothing’s going to change in the here and now, and you realize separating yourself from those unhappy/unpleasant places is what you need to finally land where you belong, whether it’s leaving a “dead-end” job, breaking off a toxic relationship, or overcoming a persistent roadblock in life (or all of the above), push forward with no regrets and don’t look back – let the messes you can’t fix fall onto someone else’s lap, focus on your dreams and goals, and keep looking up. Enough said there.

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“Keep Looking Up” – Watercolor painting by Jill M. Sheehan, available as a print and in other formats on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle.

Things to Come in 2016:

  • Taking on more design and writing projects for clients;
  • Finally getting my JillthePill Design site launched beyond a “landing page” state;
  • More personal artwork projects; you’ll find several designs are currently available as high-quality art prints, stationery and personalizable housewares on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle. (<–Shameless plugs)
  • Working on developing more handmade pieces – some previous work is available on Etsy, but I’ll be adding new designs as I hone my artsy-fartsy skills!

And beyond that, I just have to see where things go, because holy cow, time flies.

Stay tuned – have a happy, healthy 2016 and beyond! Carpe diem! 😀

Preparing to Launch.

Hello! Consider this my August/September post, because I’ve been a busy bee as of late!

While I have been working on various projects for others this year, I have also been slowly tinkering away at getting my own “brand,” if you will, up and running as well. Just a few more details left to finish – the fun, business-side of things: loading up the online shop, writing up product descriptions and going over shop policies, making sure everything works properly, etc.. Yes, this means finally, for those who have been wondering when it’d happen, I have actual products in my hands, and just in time for those who might want to buy a few things as holiday gifts. You only have a few months left! 😉

It always feels good to be productive working for others, but it’s definitely another challenge altogether when it’s your own brand identity, that’s for sure. I am such a stickler for quality when it comes to my own work, though I am learning to go with the flow and not worry too much about perfection, focusing more on the art and craft of making each creation my own. I hope this will reflect in the works I will be selling – I’ve taken advantage of working outside on beautiful sunny days, and toiled into the wee hours over the past several months, and I feel like I have works of art people will really like. The hardest critic to please, as always, is the inner critic of the artist themselves, so you know if I’m content with my work, that’s saying something. I have learned and grown creatively, not just emotionally, and I am eager to share the fruits of my labor. Here’s a little sneak peek at a couple sticky note designs that will be available at launch (click the image to embiggen):

Sticky note design preview.

Tell someone to “stick it” with these notes! 🙂

My illustrative style is more on the cutesy side, although I am capable of doing sophisticated designs if people are interested. Being a smartass-at-heart, I can’t help being a little sarcastic and having fun with these initial designs, something you will definitely see regularly in my “Zom-Bee” creations. So, hang in there, it’s almost ready (I really mean it this time!), and if you have ideas of things you’d like to see, leave a comment here or drop me a note. 😀 You can “like” the page on Facebook, and comment there, too.

I’ve plugged it before, but in case you didn’t know, the design site can be found on JillthePill Design – that’s where you’ll be able to find a portfolio of my work, hire me to work on your own projects (I specialize in print design, but I can do more than that, just ask), and buy my creations as well. It’s not 100% ready, so just drop your E-mail into the form on the landing page there, and you’ll be notified when it launches – if you need incentive, I’ll be rewarding early adopters with a discount code!

Thanks for tuning in; things are getting exciting here! -Jill 🙂

P.S. – Here is a shameless plug for one of my client projects – my mom is also about to launch her fine jewelry design shop and site, VerLen & Sydney. It’s still in landing page phase as well, but you can sign up for updates, and “like” her page on Facebook, too. Thanks! 🙂

Time Marches On.

Wow, June has come to an end already. Half the year gone POOF? What is with that? Seriously, time…just slips away, no matter where you are or what you do. Let this serve as a reminder that life and time is short, so make the most of it! 🙂

So many things as usual on the mind, recently lost a beloved furry friend (R.I.P., Mr. Biddles), but I am finding, as time marches on, that things that were giving me worries and regrets earlier this year are no longer important enough to fret over, or rather, have faded into the past where they belong. Feelings of anxiety, emptiness, anger, frustration, sadness, all that is no longer hounding me, or very rarely these days. The time I have had to focus on finding myself in my element again has been good medicine, and surely a few of those who have been following along don’t want to hear that, but perhaps the problem isn’t really me, in that case. 😉 Finding what is going to make my life the best it can be (while the show is just me) is the main task for my life. While I am here to support and care for those in need (ALWAYS), and even those who don’t need it at this time, we have to look out for ourselves first and foremost; if you lose yourself in trying too hard to please everyone else, avoiding making waves to a point you become a pushover, blankly going through the motions, getting back to YOU can be a difficult journey. But honestly, I need not go on about that, because I have found peace in the process of moving ahead, and that is giving me motivation to tackle the things I had pushed aside for a long time. Don’t like that? Too bad; nobody’s making you read this anyway, and my give-a-damn’s busted. 😛

The coming months will be busier yet; over the past months, I’ve been working gradually toward making art my (eventual) full-time life; it takes time to get everything just right, with projects and client work on all sides, but it will be worthwhile for those who have been waiting ever-so-patiently to get things launched and up for sale in my design business. If you haven’t hopped over there yet, check out my business site at JillthePill Design (currently a landing page), and track the progress, answer polls and “like” the page over at Facebook; it’s nearly launch time, but before I unwrap the site, I’m working on getting physical goods made and assembled, while also helping my mom get her stuff going, too. (If you like one-of-a-kind, fine jewelry pieces, her stuff will be right up your alley!) My aim is to avoid any bumps in the road upon opening the virtual shop doors, so fingers crossed that works out!

Spring? Plants? I hate them. I made my zom-bees months before Grumpy Cat became a thing, but if the shoe fits, Tardar would hate these, too.

This is a Zom-BEE™. Don’t you want to own one of these “happy” fellas? I think you do…

Other than that, nothing of terrible importance to report at this time; once things have officially launched, I intend to get back into tackling those personal projects that have languished for far too long…yes, that means you guys, Mathnet fans. In fact, Mental_Floss recently posted an article that pays homage to the show, and we have dropped the ball a bit with keeping things updated. Enjoy things as they are now, and know that they will be revamped one of these days…we (the fans) really want to inspire enough confidence in the folks at Sesame Workshop so maybe they’ll finally bring Square One TV back – the youth of today could certainly use it!

Okay, that’s it for this month, since it’s essentially over now. Enjoy the summer (or winter, depending where you are), and I’ll be here to yap at nobody in particular (probably just myself at this point) at some point in July. Take care! 😀

Month One, Complete.

Well, how quickly the time flies, the end of January already? That means my first month in this new adventure of being self-employed is wrapping up. 2012 ended with feelings of guilt and a bit of anxiety, 2013 starting with the next phase of sorts: emptiness. The first couple of weeks I felt so empty, that vessel-full of frustration and futility suddenly giving way to a new, fresh slate. It was weird…I just felt nothing for a time, it’s like a mourning process, I guess: guilt, anxiety, emptiness, and now acceptance and the slow adjustment of my new life. I don’t regret it, though, because I am seeing life has put me where I need to be when I need to be, and I’m keeping busy with projects. Motivation comes in waves, inspiration pops up at rather interesting times, and coffee has become a dear friend, which leads to burning a lot of midnight oil these days. I do need to work on that, trying to keep a normal person’s sleeping schedule. I’ve had to kick my ass a bit, tell myself to “snap out of it” and get into this new groove, but as the weeks have passed, it’s getting easier.

The Guilt of Walking Away.

I have absolutely no regrets about moving forward in my life (see the last couple of posts or so), but I still have this guilt, as if I should feel bad about leaving a job I’ve been at for over a decade. As if it were always going to be the job I had with no intention of trying new things or following my heart or something. How silly is that? Yet, it’s still like this divorce of sorts, but more a liberation than a divorce…it’s divorcing a life I have known and admittedly not always found to be ideal or positive or life-affirming. That isn’t to say I regret the entire experience, rather it has helped me over time realize just what I need and want from my life.

Everyone goes through these things, I guess I just let my feelings get too much in the way, read too much into what people will do or say or watch me walk away with ill will and a “good riddance,” from their lips. I have done nothing to warrant such things, and nobody actually has (at this point), but still, it’s like you’re letting people down just for wanting something different than them in life, and you feel like you have to apologize for leaving or qualify your decision with a long explanation. Some people will always try to spin it to make you look bad or tell people you’re crazy or your feelings are invalid, or maybe they simply don’t believe/want to believe in you, etc.; sadly, I know of a few and to say their behavior disappoints me isn’t enough. (And not worth my energy, frankly.)

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