Monthly Archives: February 2015

Four Benefits of Having a Supportive Community

support     səˈpôrt/

1. a thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright
2. material assistance
1. to promote the interests or cause of
2. to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage


We all need support. Human beings are social, communal creatures (although you’d be hard pressed to get me to say that whilst on a subway car with broken air-conditioning on a sweltering summer day, but that’s exactly why I bicycle everywhere in the summer).

This goes all the way back in human history to early days when our species’ survival required the protection of families and tribes. Isolation often ended in death. Nowadays, we are shaped by our social environment and we suffer when our social bonds are threatened or broken.

There are many forms of community available locally, regionally, globally, and virtually. Communities provide:

  1. a sense of belonging and identity
  2. mutual support and a feeling of being part of something larger
  3. greater influence thanks to collaborative and combined effort
  4. a safe space for experience and exploration.

Humans, to one degree or another, introvert and extrovert alike, all need to feel like they’re part of a supportive tribe. We need community and we need connections with other individuals.

What communities are you a part of? Who holds you up when you lose courage?


8 Birdhouses to Nest In

Nest     \ˈnest\     -noun-

  • a pocket-like structure formed by a bird
  • a snug retreat or refuge; resting place; home.
  • an assemblage of things lying or set close together
Available now on my Etsy Store as wall art or a greeting card and soon to be available as fabric (for tea towels and pillows!)


Link Love – Lettering, Fonts and Typography

A picture may tell a thousand words, but a thousand words can express just as much, if not more. To do that effectively in art and design, we rely on lettering, fonts and typography. This week’s link love is all about these!




Observe and Discuss:


The myth of the overnight success

“Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took twenty years.” –Monty Hall

In this age of instant gratification, a myth has taken hold that luck and being in the right place at the right time will grant you overnight success. While it might be true for that one in a million person, for most of us it’s a trap bound to make us feel terrible about ourselves, our efforts and our abilities.

Uncertainty makes us wonder if we’re not good enough, not young enough, not old enough, not smart enough, not creative enough, not lucky enough, not _________ enough (you fill in the blank). If you’ve ever stepped out on a limb about anything, you know that feeling.


Success often requires risk, which comes with rejection, which requires resilience. It’s a cycle that demands perseverance and confidence, hard work and consistency. If you stumble, get up. If you get knocked down, get up. If you are exhausted and can’t get up, get up.

Work it harder, make it better
Do it faster, makes us stronger
More than ever, hour after hour,
Work is never over
-Daft Punk

Don’t give up. Want it. Love it. Work for it. Believe that you are good enough, experienced enough, wise enough, creative enough, lucky enough, and you deserve it. Because you do.

Put that effort in every day towards your goals. Little steps forward turn into great leaps. You’ve got this. You might not be an overnight success, but years of trying can make you look like one.

iphoneIf you like these wallpapers, you can sign up for my newsletter today and get them for free this month! Each monthly newsletter has a freebie included, so it’s like a gift bag in your inbox each month.

What you do for yourself, any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself, will affect how you experience your world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world. What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you do for others, you’re doing for yourself.
-Pema Chödrön

Five bicycle patterns to keep you rolling

Working with some pattern ideas for fabric, wrapping paper, etc. As I went along, I got looser and looser with the icons. The colors are what I’m really excited about, though. Not that long ago, I never worked with color and was, frankly, afraid of using it. Now I’m embracing it and loving the results!Shawn Carney Art - Lifecycle Pattern Shawn Carney Art - Lifecycle Pattern Shawn Carney Art - Lifecycle Pattern Shawn Carney Art - Lifecycle Pattern Shawn Carney Art - Lifecycle Pattern

Featured Artist – Kate Bingaman Burt


Kate Bingaman Burt‘s art might seem a bit compulsive at first glance. She spent eight years drawing one thing that she purchased each day. She spent another two years documenting everything she bought by filing photos and receipts away into an archive. She drew her credit card statements every month until she was debt free (six years later).


You might ask yourself why anyone would take the time to document something as mundane as this. Kate’s work pokes at our consumer culture and highlights the emotions, like joy and guilt, behind our consumption. She is a curator, a collector, a storyteller, a repetitive archivist, a chaotic creative, a disciplined art soldier, an explorer of the mundane. She is committed to the crazy.


There is a transparency to her work that makes you think everything is laid bare, the ephemera of daily life, the dollars and cents, the little bits that make up a life. But the spots don’t represent the leopard and the tail, trunk and legs don’t illustrate the elephant. By revealing so much of the mundane, Kate highlights how much we each have hidden away. The curios and ornaments of our lives, the bits and pieces that we leave behind, these are the stories that sometimes define us but never explain us. And at the heart of it all is the irony that we are all consuming her consumption. The collecting itself begets more consumption. Visually, emotionally, viscerally, this is what human beings do. We consume and collect and excrete and then we repeat that process over and over again. We consume, therefore we are.