Wednesday, February 9, 2011
July of 2008. The time when I really got this blog rolling. It was originally created in December of 2007 in the heat of a "wanting to vent" moment when the cafeteria at my old job suddenly and without warning wanted to charge me for "extra" cream cheese on my bagel. I literally created a blog for the sole purpose of saying that one thing out loud to the entire world. I think the interesting thing about the start of this blog isn't the post that inspired it, but the name I chose for it. Spiritual Evolution of the Bean...
What does that mean anyway? I guess through having to create usernames on a plethora of websites I have become known as Biffybeans. (On Flickr, on Twitter, on the FPN, etc.) Biffy was my childhood nickname (Mom still calls me Biff) and Beaner my dog. I believe I had recognized my own spiritual awakening sometime around the middle of 2005 and the name of the blog just kind of fell out of my head. The Bean, (meaning me) was going to write about her spiritual evolution. I guess...?
I love the photo sharing website Flickr. I love the user groups that you can submit to and peruse such as the "What's in your bag" group where people spill the contents of their bags/purses and label what's in it. I liked looking through them and seeing the common threads... Lamy Safari fountain pens, Stabilo markers, Moleskine journals. Then I began to find people who would post an image of their art supplies and write mini reviews of what they liked or didn't like about a product. I really liked that. As I am analytical in my thinking, I wanted to share in that same way. I know how hard it can be to find a local art supply store - how most of these things have to be purchased from the web and with the cost of shipping and all, how purchasing from the web and not liking something can become frustrating as all heck. So I happy started to post my comments on Flickr about various products I had tried... then onto the Fountain Pen Network once I started using fountain pens for daily writing... One day in the midst of all that I remembered that I had started and abandoned this blog and transferred everything I had written to this space - so it would all be here in one place.
But I couldn't just write about art and writing supplies.... I wanted to write about my Spiritual Evolution. I had been doing all kinds of interesting and mind expanding activities and meeting all kinds of amazing new people and I wanted to share, and so I did. I talked about drumming, performing, teaching... and creating art.
Writing, teaching, and creating art. If you had asked me 5 years ago what I think I'd be doing now, I probably would have stared blankly into outer space. It took a long time to understand (with the help of a friend's shoe up my butt) that I had more to contribute to the world than what punching a clock from 9-5 could deliver.
It took a world of guts but in November of 2008 I gave my notice and walked away from a "regular" job to live the life of a renaissance woman. During that time I have helped a friend write a book, maintained two blogs, started teaching my mandala/personal growth workshops, played music with amazing people in front of big crowds, traveled more than I have in my entire life and met a kazillion spectacular new friends. In addition to continuous writing and art creation, I also maintain a fairly regular presence on Facebook (a personal profile as well as a fan page) and an occasional one on Twitter. I've set up my original art for sale on Etsy, prints of my art on Imagekind and my images on stickers and such on Zazzle.
Sometimes I don't know whether I am coming or going, but this is exactly the life I wanted. To do what I love while being of service to others. But now I have a rather large dilemma. I do not know what to do with this blog and I'm hoping that you can offer me your thoughts, opinions, etc.
Though I still have a few items that I will eventually review/discuss, I no longer live to find the perfect combination of pen/paper/ink. Have I found it? I don't know, but I can say for sure that my focus is no longer on it so there must be some things that I enjoy using on a regular basis. Quality product reviews are incredibly time consuming when you factor in the actual use of and note taking about the product, taking and editing photos of the product, writing and editing the review. Though I did have a fair amount of fun trying all kind of different things, other things in my life have taken priority.
What I want to do is move more towards writing and sharing my art as it pertains to my experiences and interpretations on life and unfortunately, I find blogger to be somewhat limiting. (Though for a free blogging platform, I am extremely grateful.) When I write for Rhodia Drive, I am using Word Press and I find the interface so much more rich... just the ability to put an individual post into a specific category - I want that for this blog! So I am pondering moving the blog to Word Press, OR starting a new one altogether.
Starting a new blog has it's pros and cons. One big pro would be that I would want to redefine myself as "Stephanie Smith" visual artist/writer rather than "Biffybeans" product reviewer/mandala artist. (In that scenario, this blog would be kept up but no longer updated) One big con would be not knowing if all my readers would be interested in following me to a new blog - and potentially losing what I have worked so hard to gain and having to do it all over again. I know for sure that I want to continue writing my own blog - just not 100% sure which is the best direction for me to take right now.
Thanks for hanging in and letting me ramble. I appreciate your patience.
PS - Original artwork above available for sale on Etsy