Struggling to Find Time to Post

I’m struggling to find the time to post here as I’ve started 2023 with projects galore on top of dealing with lingering family obligations and sick kiddos. I’ve come close to two big flare ups already in January from running myself ragged but managed to listen to my body and, albeit begrudgingly, gave myself the rest I’ve needed to not go into a full blown fibro flare, and I’ve managed to start exercising more and gaining some strength to get me through this period. But we’ve also suffered some tragedies locally in the community this month which has pulled on me too.

I am finding small moments to create and chip away at my personal creative goals, but it’s never at the pace I want or the length of time I want. I remind myself that this period of life is fleeting, and I want to relish each age my children are at, but I also have this bubbling creative need deep within. And yet also this urge for deeply connecting with people in reality. There is this tugging in multiple directions that has been present my whole life, but I feel like one good thing about the pandemic was it forced a slow down. Now that things are picking back up, I am feeling the tug more strongly than ever. It’s a good thing, because it means I’m about to come out of a cocoon and expand myself once again as a creative and as a human being (hopefully), but these moments of inner tension are tough to navigate.

Anyway, I’ve got creative work to share, I’m planning to share, just need to carve out the time to share it. I have one contract ending mid-February which will free up 20 hours for week for me to focus on independent work and self-promotion, and I hope to make the most of that.

I hope this first month of 2023 is going well for all of you and that you are finding time to create and nourish yourselves.

New Year Reflection

Every year around this time, I try to do a little reflection on the previous year and look forward to the next. This past year, my goal was to focus on finding the ease in situations, to learn to let go of burdens that aren’t necessarily mine to carry. To find more peace. And I made significant strides toward finding that, I think. I still needed to do some significant healing from losing my dad last year, which I did. I’ve learned to recognize the warnings of a flare up and let myself rest when I need to, as regards to my fibro symptoms, and I’ve found some supplements that help with a lot of the daily aches and pains. I’ve spent some great time with my family. And I’m able to identify issues as they come up and have managed to process a lot of past hurts.

Creatively, I didn’t produce as much as I wanted to. I’ve felt tired a lot. Still pulled in too many directions. And since I’ve been giving myself permission to rest when I’ve felt the need to, sometimes I’ve become trapped by the inaction and hooked to passive Internet trawling, which is something I’ve become very mindful of and is a habit I’m working to break. But I’ve felt the need to numb myself during a large part of my healing process, and now that I’m feeling better, that numbness has got to go so I can feel the creative flow again. But not for the sake of producing to stick to my internal schedule, but more because I have so much I want to create, and feel the urge to create, that I need to let it bubble out of me. So that’s what I will do.

I’ve managed to successfully produce income through freelancing, which gives me the flexibility much of the time to be with the kids more, but it also means it feels like I’m always on the go. So worthwhile, and I’m really hoping to grow my income even more this coming year while still maintaining my health and peace of mind. We shall see how that goes!

But my main goal for 2023, the main personal goal, is to strengthen and deepen the relationships with those I care about. I’ve already told my husband this is the year of Reunions for us, and I intend to hug all the people I haven’t gotten to hug in years. And also try to build friendships in our local community more. There is such a disconnect and feeling of isolation in so many people, and the only way to get over that is to be open to creating connections.

May all of you have a Happy New Year, and may you get what you need to survive and thrive in the coming months.

RedBubble Shop Now Open!

I’ve begun uploading my art to RedBubble, and some of the products are super cute, like the rose sticker below! Link here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/KatMicari/shop?anchor=profile&asc=u I will be adding to this as I get time, as an experiment to see if I can make some more passive income in the coming year, and I may be tweaking which pieces I have available via Fine Art America too in the coming year. I will keep you all posted!

Holiday Sales!

Today is the final day to order from my shop Originals by Katharine Tracy to get in time for Christmas. But the sales both there and at Fine Art America are going until the end of December. I’m also working on some new art and opening up a Redbubble shop soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Kat Micari

I made my first print sale over at Fine Art America earlier this week, which reminded me that I have it set up, so here is a coupon code for 20% off for the holidays, good til 12/31! Use code AGULKT. It’s amazing how inspirational a single sale can be for an artist, and I’ve already been working on more art this week so it’s a good motivation to keep on going. https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kat-micari I’m in the process of setting up a Redbubble shop as well, and I will post links to that eventually. This is the piece I sold a print of.

I also have a sale going at my clothing and accessory shop. Use code JOLLY2022 for 20% there. Custom orders may not ship in time for the holidays, but I have a slew of Samples and Ready Made items ready to go. https://www.originalsbykatharinetracy.com/store/Samples-and-Ready-Made-c78177941

Happy holidays!

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Our Lives as Story Part 1 – The Danger of the NPC Label

I have heard a dangerous trend that seems to be gaining ground in some online communities, and that is that a portion of the world population has been labeled as NPC, or Non-Player Characters, for those of you who don’t speak video game lingo. NPCs are the extra characters thrown into a video game preprogrammed that the outside players interact with. They can be helpful or hurtful or merely there to add color and texture. The first thing that comes to my mind is playing the 8-bit RPGs where you go up to a villager and it just says “Welcome to <fill in the village name>” over and over again. The movie Free Guy gets into this a bit in a fun way, asking what happens to the NPCs when the active players aren’t around.

So, people are taking the metaphor of the human existence as being put into a giant RPG essentially, where we play out our existence in a game rigged against us, which is a very useful way to think about reality in many ways. But why does this belief that a swathe of the population are actually NPCs indicate danger? Because it is the next evolution of othering a large percentage of the population. Only a “chosen few” are real players and anyone who isn’t on the exact same wavelength just doesn’t really exist fully, so that means they are subhuman compared to the real players and can be used or ignored with ease, and that then erases their agency. And that becomes a really easy step to taking away rights or ignoring violence or even enacting violence on those NPCs. Because if they aren’t full players, then what does it matter to the player? It made me a little sick to my stomach actually to delve into the mindset and see how it is spreading. It is so driven by selfishness and ego and a lack of compassion, and the feelings of isolation that must be felt by those that think that need to be addressed at some point.

On a positive note, though, it got me thinking a lot about our human existence as a story. We each of us come into the world and our path through life is like a book. And we are the main character in our own story, but that doesn’t mean the other people in our book are ONLY in our book. We each play a part in everyone else’s story that we touch in some way or even pass by. I find that exciting in many ways and will discuss this further in another blog, but in the meantime, if you are someone who wants to write off the NPCs in your life, just think about the fact that YOU are also the NPC in many other people’s stories.

Holiday Sales!

I made my first print sale over at Fine Art America earlier this week, which reminded me that I have it set up, so here is a coupon code for 20% off for the holidays, good til 12/31! Use code AGULKT. It’s amazing how inspirational a single sale can be for an artist, and I’ve already been working on more art this week so it’s a good motivation to keep on going. https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kat-micari I’m in the process of setting up a Redbubble shop as well, and I will post links to that eventually. This is the piece I sold a print of.

I also have a sale going at my clothing and accessory shop. Use code JOLLY2022 for 20% there. Custom orders may not ship in time for the holidays, but I have a slew of Samples and Ready Made items ready to go. https://www.originalsbykatharinetracy.com/store/Samples-and-Ready-Made-c78177941

Happy holidays!

Delayed Annual Posting of Crumbs, a poem

I’m a week late from election day, but here is my annual posting of Crumbs. I’ve just been grieving too hard on this anniversary of my father’s passing to be able to give extra lately. Interestingly, he ran for City Common Council multiple times on the unpopular side, losing every time, even while he was in the hospital sick last year, and while I never agreed with his politics, I was proud of him for speaking his truth and generally making people question things.

It is also disheartening to live in the United States right now. I want to help make things better in this world, but I’m so worn out by everything. And not enough people want to change and grow. So there’s that.

Crumbs

We squabble over crumbs on the floor
While the big pile of money… oops… food
Sits on the table just out of reach.
We eat self-help slogans
Never acknowledging that this game
Of life is rigged against us.
Slogans offer little sustenance.
We dance as the puppet masters
Pull the strings.
We follow the magicians’
Sleight of hand
And allow ourselves to be astounded
With their misdirection.
We obsess with details
Refusing to ever see the big picture.
And we are amazed that we remain
Forever hungry.

Copyright 2013, Kat Micari

Progress on Shakespeare poetry project and other updates

I finally finished reading or re-reading the entire works of William Shakespeare this past week, including all the poems! It was a task I set for myself that I thought would only take a year, but it’s taken almost three as I interspersed the reading with many other books and essays. I’ve created a short poem inspired from a female character in each play, so the next step is to decide what kind of illustrations I want to do to accompany the poem and maybe edit the poems before creating my next collection.

I have had the urge to be so creative in all the things again, but I find still that I have to focus on my family and on the creative work that is bringing in the income, which is my costuming and sewing work. I feel like there are multiple paths opening up for me career-wise, and I’m not sure what that will look like in the future, but I always come back to my music, writing, and art eventually. Everything has felt like a huge effort lately though, and I’ve had to look after my personal health as I wrapped up two of my three big projects in this last quarter. It’s always a balancing act.

In good news, I’ve finally found some of my fun and play again! That is something I’ve been working on for years now. The last two theater projects I was involved with were just so collaborative and joyous. The bigger issues in the world were touched upon in the art, but in a way that we could laugh at the follies of the world instead of wring our hands at it. And that in turn has allowed me to be much happier and more fun with my family. As we approach the anniversary of my dad’s passing from Covid last year, this family fun is so much more important to me and also fueling my creativity.

Life is spinning on.