Monthly Archives: March 2015

38 crystals to guide you on your way

Nothing is more grounding and uplifting than the positive energy from a cleared and charged group of crystals. Here’s a study of part of my collection for an upcoming group of work I’m doing.

Shawn Carney Art - Crystals Study


Paula Scher’s Typographic Maps

Today, I crawl out from under my rock and discover something that everyone else seems to have known for half a decade or longer. Paula Scher is a fantastically talented designer of many things and a master of typography. She also makes maps. I love maps. I also love typography. And I love intricate details. Paula Scher’s detailed typographic maps are like the pbj (what, peanut + butter + jelly = 3) of my dreams.


As you would expect from someone so talented, she’s also able to artfully articulate ideas that get to the heart of creativity and conception:

“How can it be that you talk to someone and it’s done in a second? But it IS done in a second — it’s done in a second and 34 years. It’s done in a second and every experience, and every movie, and every thing in my life that’s in my head.”

Her TED talk should not be missed and you can pick up her book MAPS here. ( She’s also got three cool little mini journals available here.)qmc_paula_620_0

How to stop procrastinating and start living your life

It’s finally spring, although you may not know it from the weather. Nature seems to be procrastinating this season, locked in the dredges of a long winter. Maybe you’re procrastinating, too.


Want to get back to the gym? Want to start doing training laps? Want to eat healthier? Want to read more books? Want to start (or finish) a project?

What’s keeping you from doing that? Are you procrastinating? It’s probably because you’re allowing your emotions to steer the course of your life. Don’t worry, that’s human. But these emotions are often residual echoes left over from the past. At one point it might have been necessary in order to protect you in some way. Now, even though it thinks it’s trying to help, it’s just getting in your way.

But, you can move it out of your way. You just need one tool: accountability. Here’s some ways you can put this into action.

  • Schedule workouts with a friend. The commitment of being there with them will be more likely to hold you to it.
  • Have a personal mantra. “I am doing this because I love me.” When you’re feeling like you are procrastinating, stop everything. Meditate quietly and repeat your mantra in your head. Move through that emotion.
  • Stack rewards. Give yourself a treat that you only receive when you complete a task or goal. Soon you’ll look forward to that task just to get the reward.
  •  Join a support group. There are plenty of meetup and other groups in a variety of areas, so whatever your goal or project you can find other people who are doing something similar. Join them and verbalize your goals and make yourself accountable for those goals publicly. Sometimes that’s all it takes on those days when the “old you” is trying to “help”.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. We create good habits simply by performing them over and over until they are second nature. If you want to achieve something, reach for it, even when you don’t feel like it.


Sign up for my monthly newsletter and get free stuff in your mailbox, like this spring wallpaper!

DESK iphone

Two ways to increase your reading

So, one of my goals for this year was to start reading more. I’m currently reading Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I like to read/listen to different books depending on the mood I’m in.

alejandroescamilla-book I’ve finished four books since January:

These are the books on my list to read (or listen to) next:

As you can see, I am all over the map with genres. I like a wide variety of subjects and as long as it’s not too dry or poorly written, I’m game. I have a soft spot for mysteries, sci-fi, and magical realism, but I love a good historical novel or non-fiction book, too.

tkLOe7nnQ7mnMsiuijBy_hmI’ve signed up for Audible (get two free audiobooks!). It’s what I use when I’m doing my cycling training laps or jogging. I’ve stacked the “reward” of listening to a book with exercising, so I only get to listen when I’m working out. As soon as I’m hooked on a book, it’s all I can do not to go sit on the trainer or do laps around Prospect Park, just so I can hear a few chapters!

I also use the FREE Kindle reading app which works on most devices for those digital books that I check out of the Brooklyn Public Library and have to use my eyeballs to read. It’s great. I can read on my iPad in bed before I fall asleep.

These two things have really helped me increase my reading this year, so yay to 2015 goal achievement!


First, coffee.

Shawn Carney Art - First, Coffee

I’ve been wanting to delve into printmaking for a while. I decided to jump in and purchase the material to make a linocut:

Once I had everything, I thought about the things I’m passionate about. Cycling. Donuts. Cider. Coffee. That was it. I had my subject matter.

I’m going to make these into postcards and greeting cards, then move on to experimenting with other carvings and printing on fabric. Keep an eye out on my store!

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

This week’s MATS assignment was to create a children’s picture book art. After some initial direction to loosen up by sketching goats, we were given the final assignment: create a book cover for The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I liked the idea of hand puppets, so I created a cover that would come with a set of hand puppets for kids to play with while reading the book!Shawn Carney Art - The Three Billy Goats Gruff