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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Guess I'm a Mom, too!

Before too long, just oughta put this here because I love how cute this treat looks.

Mother's Day is the last Sunday of May for me, here, in the Dominican Republic. And my mother, even though I'm only a Cat/Dog Mom and sometimes the Mom Friend, tends to get me little gifts for the occasion (this is only one of many waiting for me for when I visit). Which I find sweet but also amusing. She says that at times it's as though I'm her mom, too (long story short, she's the more energetic and spontaneous of the two).

I like to consider myself the "Vodka Aunt", but I can't deny that I do tend to step in as "The Mom" when the situation calls for it and I'm able to fill that role. Yet, I'll always be in awe of literal mothers that are exemplary nurturers, consistent and reliable. Y'all are the true superhumans and you deserve the best!

EDIT (6/15/2023): Got clearer pictures!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Temporarily Inactive Sites

Hey, all. 

As some of you might have noticed, I haven't been updating my secondary sites lately (PhantomShuffle, DarkSpectacle, HorrorStumble) even though I promised weekly content releases (with exceptions). I ran into a series of setbacks and I couldn't follow through with that. Just managed to (somewhat) continue with the content for the main site (TintySun) alone. 

I'm no longer majorly affected by the setbacks, but now have plenty to catch up with and more to tackle while my energy and focus aren't entirely optimal yet, so returning to them will still take a while. Fortunately, although the content was time-sensitive (seasonal), it won't lose its value and I can still put it up later on to be visited and revisited whenever. Plus, there are still plenty of months left in the year for me to, hopefully, do so before the next one starts and pace things well again for the next phase.

If any of you were anticipating and looking forward to more, I'm truly sorry about the delays and thankful for your patience. I'll make up for it!

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Why does it take some more time than others to have something they’re good at or be good at something?

You’ve probably heard of the term late bloomer. Lateblooming can apply to various different aspects and dimensions of learning and developing into someone admirable or at least worthy of praise. Usually, though, this is associated with talents and skills that seem to come quickly and easily to some but not to others, making it a matter of context. It basically refers to being behind at something in relation to others.

But why is it taking someone longer? Could be a number of reasons:

a) They have extra obstacles and challenges to overcome, inside or outside.
b) They are multi-talented, unable to stick to a single thing but able to synthesize or extract from many.
c) They are “talentless”, though maybe ambitious and persevering enough to keep going regardless.
d) They have not yet found their talent and are still searching for it, elusive as it may be.
e) They are not where their talent lies, so progress is harder and slower.
f) They are confusing or stealthy about it.

Considering these possibilities, it can be oversimplistic to measure the totality of someone based on where they are currently at, to give up on yourself or on them, and assume that you are doomed to always being less-than. When you might just be a late bloomer, like many other accomplished people that exist or existed.

Being a late bloomer doesn’t guarantee that you will eventually be better than everybody else, but it is sometimes the case. When you finally gain some sort of momentum and are propelled forward. When you persist after others have stopped or ceased to have intense dedication. When it turns out that you were actually accounting for more and it’s key. And so on. It can be tempting to seek this sort of glory out of spite, too. For all the times you were doubted or overlooked, maybe even ridiculed and humiliated. But simply reaching a level that you’re happy with, if not much else, can be fulfilling enough. 

It is up to you and maybe you're not too late.

Points on Thoroughness

 #1  If you are naturally meticulous and perfectionistic, you won’t be satisfied with rushed (and likely faulty) work. There are times to be complacent regardless, but making it habitual will kill your drive.

 #2  You must develop patience if you are dealing with complexity, depth, and breadth while aiming for accuracy. Yet, remain active and not passive.

 #3  Not everything has to be a race to the finish line. If you’re putting in proper work at a reasonable pace, you may eventually have something better and greater that makes up for its delay.

 #4  Resisting the urge to settle for the illusion of grace and grandeur, rather than putting in the work for its reality, yields benefits you may find more worthwhile than what little gratification not doing so could bring.

 #5  Doing things superficially and/or narrowly isn’t necessarily going to lead to errors, but the result will be off if there happens to be relevant factors that you missed and failed to consider. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Trendy or Trendsetting

Do you joyously follow trends or are you more of a trendsetter? Maybe a bit of both. But what does it entail?

It is likely that you have a stronger (natural) preference for one over the other, being trendy or trendsetting, and that you hold one in higher esteem than another, either by your own criteria or ones you’ve adopted. Yet, both hold merit and both can be challenging, depending on what comes easiest to you and how well you do it.

In the fast-paced world we now live in, following, keeping up with, and anticipating trends, is no simple task. It takes someone alert, quick, prepared, and ready to jump into and grab any opportunity they can to be part of what is currently taking over before it is too late and something else, possibly wildly different, comes along. Not all of us are made for it; there’s a certain dexterity to it and it can go beyond being told what’s hot and blindly joining in. Sometimes, it is a lot more complex than that and merely being able to participate in the trend can be an ordeal. And sometimes, excellent timing and time management are essential. You may have to gather resources, gain knowledge, and/or develop skills, all in a short time frame. Being trendy is not just about buying an item and putting it on.

As for trendsetting, there are a few formulas. Some are quite unorthodox (e.g. unethical marketing and advertising tactics preying on insecurities or appealing to ego, exploiting lack of character, and more). But in its highest form, it is when you’re capable of making or doing something so outstanding and so fundamental that it can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. Something that others wanted or needed but weren’t yet aware of until it came along. Something that they can actually be a part of. And when you pull this off, don’t be surprised when people follow in your footsteps, whether that was your intention or not. Even those that were mocking, criticizing, or reluctant about it could give in or even begin to compete with you at your own thing. This can be especially frustrating if you were only aiming to be different and unique and are suddenly seeing copies and clones of you or what you do. But it comes with the package.

If imitation poses a problem that, all considered, is in your best interests to mitigate, you will have to firmly establish yourself as the original and/or come up with something that can’t or wouldn’t be replicated by many. In most cases, expressing your discomfort won’t do. And enforcing strict rules against it could leave you in a worse spot. But this can take some of the edge off.

If, on the other hand, the point is for more and more people to be and do as you (e.g. living more healthily, fighting worthy causes, doing charity work, etc.), you can continue to be an example to aspire toward and facilitate pathways for it, keeping yourself in check as you take on this role that makes you responsible for others to a degree. It is a kind of power to be careful with and it is bound to be met with resistance, scrutiny, and demands as it grows greater. These may be justified or not, so you must both stand your ground and course-correct.

Trends come and go, but they make history...

Points on Impact

 #1  The impact we have on others is not always apparent and can go beyond the area it directly affected, spreading over, across, and into more. It may even cause an unimaginable and unbelievable butterfly effect. For better or for worse.

 #2  You shouldn’t be afraid of creating ripples in the world. But, to have a clear conscience, you should at least try to be mindful of the consequences of your actions and aim for good results.

 #3  Whether you change one life or many for the better, make someone’s day or their year, it is still significant. Do not keep yourself from making a small difference simply because it won’t be considered big enough by some.

 #4  Impact for the sake of impact alone can make you destructive and egotistical, making what’s around you a plaything. It will bring you self-importance that you believe you can be proud of and boast about, but this is void of virtue.

 #5  You are not inconsequential and it is in your hands to help shift things in one or another direction.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Gemini's Basics

Transit Date: Late May.
Concluding Spring.

Position: 3rd.
Element: Air.
Quality: Mutable.

Symbolized by: The Twins.
Typically Associated with: Communication, versatility, wit. 

At Best: Intelligent and persuasive.
At Worst: Argumentative and two-faced.

For context and more of relevance, please read about The Zodiac.

Friday, May 19, 2023

I love Thoughtful & Meaningful Gestures

I’d been in the habit of posting many of the presents I receive from friends and family that I cherish, given that I've treated my site as a sort of scrapbook I can look back on and reminisce in, along with being yet another way for me to honor them. And although I’m taking a more focused approach now, it is not something I wish to leave out.

However, I should note that, unless I (childishly) make it obvious in my tone and choice of words, it is not for bragging (or humblebragging). I do personally cherish these gestures and, often, I like them, and aspects of them, so much that, for one reason or another, I must share about them! Besides, all taken into account, my circle is small and I don’t normally receive a lot of presents. But, I won’t deny that they do make me overjoyed - and who wouldn’t want that for themselves?

Furthermore, considering my mission, I concluded that this is relevant. Some of the presents I’ve received (and might keep receiving) are art, artsy, or picked out artfully. That or they in some way relate to art or the elaboration of art because that is what I’m into. They may, as well, speak of me. Plus, the act of making or choosing presents, and the many ways they can be packed, wrapped, and delivered, is something I’ll eventually be touching on. So, might as well start by showing my gratitude for them (with the givers’ permission).

I also give out presents. When and how I can (my budget is currently tight), but I tend not to post those unless there’s something I must illustrate with them. Who knows, though? Maybe I’ll eventually get into the habit of that, too.

So look at this cute gift bag I found to put in it small items for my bestie! I was holding on to a few and then got a few more before she visited, around a couple of months ago. She also ended up bringing me a bag full of a variety of items!

Anyhow, if you’ve been convinced to believe that giving and/or receiving presents is merely conceited, superficial and materialistic, consumerist conditioning, I’m here to combat that notion. It can indeed be like that sometimes, but that’s not all there is to it. And if you’re artistic, more likely than not, you’ve had the urge of doing something special as a gesture for somebody else.

I can’t promise I’ll be posting them all, nor that they will have anything to do with current topics (take it as a parenthesis unless stated otherwise), but I’ll be posting some every now and then. As soon as I get them or as soon as I get the chance to get sentimental about them. There are already quite a few I’ve yet to bring up, separately. It is almost overwhelming! But in a good way. I am deeply thankful. ♥

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Learning the Rules to Break them like an Artist

Why even bother with rules if they are meant to be broken?

It is not uncommon for artists to scoff at rules. Artists are here to push the limits, shake things up, and turn them around. Aren’t they? Or at least that is what many would aspire to with their art and one of the top purposes art is best at. So, then, it would seem contradictory, as well as awfully limiting, to ask of an artist that they learn any rule. Weren’t they supposed to be as free as they can be?

You could be that kind of artist. Completely free. Or “free”. It will have its consequences, desirable or not, but it is your choice whether or not you will pay any mind to any rule or simply express yourself absolutely at your every whim. You may get some impressive abstract and even surreal artworks that way, under the impression that you were not following rules even though, consciously or not, intentionally or not, you cannot escape them all.

Paying attention to rules, though, can indeed be crippling and paralyzing for an artist. There is no denying that. Yet, if learned properly and incorporated appropriately, they can instead take your art to different and higher levels. If you don’t let them block you and instead have them work for you, you could use rules in your art and still be making art that is free and that is yours. Probably also saving yourself much headache by being able to tell exactly why something doesn’t seem to be working well within your art.

Certain rules are there by nature and, rather than being made by humans, they were only perceived as already existing. These are, in my opinion, the rules that you should be paying the most attention to as they reveal the secrets behind the magic of great and grandiose art. Human-made rules can also be of importance. Your own, your superior’s, and/or your contemporaries'. They could help keep your artworks congruent and cohesive for what they will become a part of or be in service of.

Once you’ve gained a significant grasp on rules in art, you can begin discerning and deciding which to respect and which to break (or bypass), not being too caught by surprise (and possibly devastated) by the results - for you are now more aware of what they keep together and what falls apart without them.

This is when you can make innovative and revolutionary artworks. And not by accident or “mere talent” that you can’t explain. You can count on being able to do it again if you wrack your brain enough a second, third, or fourth time. Or up until you’re satisfied with a unique style that you bent and broke the rules for.

Points on Rebelling

  #1  Seeking autonomy and freedom comes more naturally to some than to others. In some cases, it is not even a question and it takes little to no effort on their part to have this orientation. Instead, conforming and settling for the opposite, is where the struggle is.

 #2  Be warned. If you go against just any authority or rule for the sake of not being controlled, you are still not in control of yourself and can be controlled by others.

 #3  If at any point, you must lead, then lead. If at any point, you must follow, then follow. Just don’t expect others to do as you do merely because it is what you do.

 #4  There is nothing wrong with being a follower or taking a supportive role, abiding by the reign of another, unless it is harming you or others in serious ways and should be reconsidered. There are fewer valid reasons to rebel against a good and competent leader.

 #5  Do not mistake being needlessly selfish and disruptive with having the character and courage to stand and fight for rightful causes.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Taking Advice & Criticism

As an artist, you’re more than welcome to do things your way and screw whatever people will say. At least in some cases and up to a point.

If you’re making art in a manner that is personal and/or for your personal satisfaction, pretty much anything goes as long as you’re fine with it. You make the rules and it can be as messy or orderly as you wish, as distorted or accurate, as minimal or elaborate, as chaotic or harmonious. Interpreted in one or more ways. And in such cases, hearing unsolicited advice or criticism can grind your gears. How dare others assume you care about their opinion and claim your work is anything but perfect or only your own? If you’re sharing, it is to have it admired or at least respected. And as self-centered as that may sound, that is quite valid. Artists get a pass to be self-centered. That is how they connect and stay in touch with themselves.

However, if you’re trying to make art to be a part of something greater (e.g. a team project) or aiming to reach, move, and mark others with it, you might want to consider taking advice and criticism. Since, in this case, there is more to factor in besides yourself.

Artists, especially while starting out, can be touchy about their work and not handle negative feedback very well. It may feel like a cruel attack, disapproval, and condemnation - even when that isn’t the intention and it was delivered with tact. Hence, although sensitivity is an asset for artists, this is where they must turn it off or bubble wrap it. Over time, then, after being exposed to countless feedback, painful or not, and managing to not be completely discouraged, they may develop an unshakable confidence that could baffle people and make them wonder where it comes from. It came from enduring and dodging a lot! From internalizing and purging as required, too.

If you don’t seem to be developing such confidence, there is likely more at play. Whether it is unhealed wounds (making you extra vulnerable), deeply-rooted insecurities (making you your worst enemy), or something of major importance being at stake and getting you out of your character (making you dread mistakes). And if that is so, you should reflect and work more on yourself. As otherwise, you won’t be able to move forward with ease on your artistic path and will instead be tempted to hide your work and take it to your grave. If not also obsessively perfect it with no end in sight and even procrastinate completing it with the excuse of “needing more work”. High standards are great, but this is crippling.

Remember, you get better by admitting, instead of denying, any errors or shortcomings in your work to properly correct them and continue improving. Advice and criticism, when constructive, will lead you in that direction. See yourself as someone who is growing and evolving, not as whatever you’re making that could use revision. Try not to get too defensive.

Once you have your feedback, use it to guide your decisions. Sift through it to find what best serves the purpose of the work. This can be tricky, but can also be mastered with practice.

By listening attentively, looking for where the person giving the advice or criticism is coming from and where they are going with it, whether they are genuinely trying to help you or not, how much they know and understand what they are saying or speaking on, and how much it suits what you’re attempting to accomplish.

Some people will only seek to tear you down, hold you back, or sabotage you. Consciously or not. You could simply ignore them but sometimes it is best to not have them around as they can be convincing and sway you despite your efforts not to be.

Points on Feedback

  #1  Receiving feedback from others can be beneficial even if you are highly critical of your work and naturally oriented to improve it. You will learn more about others’ tastes and preferences and possibly be shown issues that you overlooked or that were in your blind spot.

 #2  Although input, positive and negative, can enrich you, it can also enslave you. Do not become overly reliant and dependent on it for you could lose yourself and what was originally yours to make.

 #3  Praise, especially that which rubs and enlarges the ego, is a tool that can be used for manipulation in a dynamic that keeps you seeking it as a reward. Be wary if it seems to be serving them more than you.

 #4  Hearing about what is wrong, flawed, or insufficient can be painful or at least disappointing, particularly when aiming to impress, but you must train yourself to take it as an opportunity to make corrections (if necessary) sooner than later rather than as a definition of yourself.

 #5  Exercise discernment; not everything that is said about it will apply to what you are doing and trying to do. Take in what does, let pass what doesn’t.