Freedom Fridays: A Little Break (A.K.A. Why We Do What We Do)

I've been a little lax the last couple weeks on Freedom Friday posts, and there's been a reason. Several, actually. However, the three main reasons are what I'm writing about this week.

Why We Do What We Do


I'm in the middle of two major projects right now and, in addition to my regular work, they are consuming every last bit of my free time. That's okay, though, because these are the kinds of projects you want to do, the things that you do "the job" for, the projects you hope you get paid for instead of relegating them to hobbies. In other words, these projects are the answer to that popular question: "Why do you do what you do?"

Omaha Comic Con - O-Con

I love movies...watching them, making them...they're one of my top passions. What better way to celebrate them than to go to Comic Con, right? It starts today here in the Omaha Metro area, and I've been working on a couple different projects related to it.

Domino from Deadpool 2

If you haven't been to see this movie, I definitely recommend it. It's a bit different than the first movie: darker, somewhat more serious, and in some ways far sillier, but it doesn't disappoint. Better than that, it gave me inspiration for my Comic Con costume for this year: Domino. I wanted something that would be fairly simple to put together, mostly from my own store of costuming and Burner supplies. 

Of course, it's never as simple as you think it will be. I still love the process, even when it vexes me beyond measure. ...oh, yes, I mean vex. One of the pitfalls of trying to do things on the cheap is that it invariably takes longer and creates more frustration. The upside is the weird new techniques you learn when you are trying to figure out how to create with fewer resources. It's something I sometimes fear we're losing in our culture...but then I go somewhere like Burning Man, or work on an indie film, and my faith is restored. Which pretty much brings me to...

Filmmaking 101 - It'll definitely go wrong

The old adage is correct: if anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible time. It might also be the motto for filmmakers. "Hurry up & Wait" is the current motto, and conveys the same basic insight, but is less of a mouthful. 

So it was as my brother, Kaleb, and I worked on a short film to play before O-Con. He'd had some cool ideas for a little back and forth with he and his best friend, and we set out on Saturday to make it happen. And everything went wrong.

In case you didn't know, Iowa has chiggers...and if you don't know what those are, you don't really want to. Nasty little red mite bugs that leave nasty red welts wherever they go. So, we prepared for chiggers with this chigger repellent that is marketed toward soldiers. It worked; no chigger bites. What we didn't do was prepare for mosquitoes, which, as it turned out were all over our film location. We're talking plague levels. I was worried we'd actually catch the whine of mosquito flight in our audio. We didn't, but I have at least twenty new bites to show for it. I think I took about that many out along the way, so I'll have to be satisfied with that.

In between fighting bugs, we had heat, prop, and costume troubles to deal with, which is standard fare when filming. Alas, we had to cut it short. Thankfully, we got enough good footage to make a teaser, and hope to do more at a later point. It's not posted yet, but here's a sneak peak of the commercial (inspired by the video game "Fallout") we shot last week that goes with the short:



Totems Group Art Show


In addition to the costume and filmmaking, I've spent the last few weeks working on some paintings to enter in an upcoming art show. Painting is something I'm something of a novice at, despite having learned painting techniques decades ago. As an artistic outlet, it is definitely more hobby than professional endeavor. I still enjoy it, and like to take opportunities which inspire something personal in me as they arise. So, "Totems"? I say, hell yes. If you're interested in more info, check out the Facebook page for the event. Here's the flyer:



How We Do What We Do


Being an artist in this day and age is...difficult. We live in a world that wants us to pay our bills as we create, but seldom pays us the respect of offering fair value for our creations. Everyone wants something free, and with the access we have to technology highlighting the plethora of talent out there, people rarely understand the true worth of what they're asking. So finding a way to survive as an artist takes some creativity in and of itself.

Enter Patreon.

I discovered Patreon through my brother, Kan Lamat. The site helps artists to get their work out and survive by connecting them with people in a similar way to how artists once worked (and sometimes still do) with patrons. A potential patron can contribute to the artist, and the artist gives them exclusives on upcoming projects, specific rewards, and news on their process. It's a cool system, and  I've been working on my own for the last month or so. It's nearly ready, and I'll be launching soon, hopefully by the end of the month. So stay tuned if you're interested in a new way to keep up with my ventures.

I'll be back to Freedom Fridays by August. Keep a weather eye out!

What Inspires You

So, how do you find passion and the means to do what you do? That's the big question I am always looking to answer on here. I'd love to hear your stories, to hear what drives you, and helps you succeed. To be an artist is to be a revolutionary, one project at a time.


Had some cool passion projects lately? Feel free to share below!


What do you think? 


Still exploring the galaxy? 
Click on any of the following: 
site (under construction!) - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

Curious for more? Check out my other projects: 
Ransomed Roads (RR): site - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest
Tricky Fish Photography (TFP): Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Deviant Art
TFP Shops: RedBubble - Zazzle - Society6
The Arcadian Gypsy (AG): shop - Facebook - Instagram

© Content property of Andromeda Ross, all rights reserved.

...build a door...


"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
~Milton Berle


What do you think?

Still exploring the galaxy?
Click on any of the following:
site (under construction!) - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

Curious for more? Check out my other projects:
Ransomed Roads (RR): site - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest
Tricky Fish Photography (TFP): Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Deviant Art
TFP Shops: RedBubble - Zazzle - Society6
The Arcadian Gypsy (AG): shop - Facebook - Instagram

© Content property of Andromeda Ross, all rights reserved.

...don't hurry the process...


"I don't want to hurry it. That itself is a poisonous twentieth-century attitude. When you want to hurry something, that means you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things."
~Robert Pirsig


What do you think?

Still exploring the galaxy?
Click on any of the following:
site (under construction!) - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

Curious for more? Check out my other projects:
Ransomed Roads (RR): site - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest
Tricky Fish Photography (TFP): Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Deviant Art
TFP Shops: RedBubble - Zazzle - Society6
The Arcadian Gypsy (AG): shop - Facebook - Instagram

© Content property of Andromeda Ross, all rights reserved.

Quarterly Review: Q2 2018

The second quarter of this year was intense. Lots of things in the works, lots of setbacks, and lots of healing. So, as we move into the second half of the year, you should be seeing things come to fruition that have been progressing over these last few months (and years). Here are just a few for my quarterly review:

The Biz

I'm taking a look at the direction I want System Andromeda to go in the next few years. There will be some shift in focus as I take on different projects. Changes to the website are coming as well. So keep your eyes open for various announcements.

Social Media

I love the different tools that have cropped up on the web in the last few years to help small businesses. There is very little you can't do nowadays to help boost your social media presence. I'm doing a series on the System Andromeda blog here that highlights some of these tools, so you should stay tuned for my "Freedom Fridays" posts. You can keep up with these by subscribing on the right.

In addition to these traditional subscription options, I hope to have email newsletters coming to you soon, making it more convenient to follow what is going on here at System Andromeda.

The big piece that is falling into place for social media is the acquisition of a Patreon account. If you've not heard of this, Patreon connects artists and their fans in a way that is reminiscent of historical patronage of the arts, without all the creepy prostitution vibes. Instead, artists can offer their patrons exclusive news & content, as well as rewards for contributing and encouraging them in their process. I should have mine up and running in early July (barring emergencies, of course), so stay tuned.

Life Coaching

As Life Coaching has become more of a peripheral calling, I've relegated it to a less active, more inspiration and motivation-centered sphere. I believe to achieve some of our dreams, we need someone who can be a sound board for ideas & troubleshooting, in addition to encouraging us to keep going when it gets tough. And, oh baby, I can attest to it getting tough.


Life

My mental health always takes a nosedive over the winter, and here in the Midwest, I have a particularly difficult time recovering. So if you can relate, know you are not alone.

Health

I've been learning about migraines. Did you know that there is more to migraines than the obvious headache portion? As migraines seem to be taking a more active role in my life (thank you, aging process), I've been doing as much as I can to prevent and treat them so I can be a functional human. Here are some things you may not know about migraines:
  • You may have advanced warning. This is called the Premonitory Stage, and it involves things like exhaustion, cravings, mood changes...if you're a woman, you might mistake this for pre-menstrual symptoms. Just a heads up.
  • Aura Stage: This stage affects a number of neurological aspects, such as vision and motor functions. Seeing spots, sparkles, experiencing weakness, dizziness, and speech & hearing symptoms are common. You can even have problems with memory, fainting and partial paralysis. What??
  • Headache Stage - the Main Attack: Ah, the main event. The headache is what migraines are most known for. There can be light and sound sensitivity. And, oh, the pain. They are so severe they crossover into debilitating...paralyzing, even. It's so bad, that people are known to vomit from the intensity of the pain. Here's the kicker, though: you can have a migraine without the headache. Go fig.
  • Resolution Stage: This is where the migraine starts to end. Often a slow fade, this process is sometimes sped up by sleep, a good crying jag, or even vomiting.
  • Postdrome: Oh, there's one more stage. This recovery period is often referred to as "migraine hangover", so you can guess the symptoms: exhausted, moody, appetite changes. They may mimic or mirror the first stage.

Source: www.migrainebuddy.com

You can learn more here.

Advocacy

This aspect took a front and center role in April, as I began my first Autism blog in earnest: Changeling: The Ongoing Journey of an Aspie. I decided to make a big push to educate others during this month, as it is known as Autism Acceptance Month (more commonly known as Autism Awareness Month). I find myself feeling more and more able to share this part of myself, which had formerly been overshadowed by stigma and fear of ostracization. There is so much incorrect information out there on what it is like to be on the Spectrum. I wanted to spread the word as much as I could on what new research has uncovered about this misunderstood part of our evolution as a species. I hope you will take a look. You might find some enlightening tidbits.

Also on the radar here is connecting more with my fellow Autistics, including some online groups, and connecting to local services here in the Omaha Metro area.

Tiny House

I am shifting focus here toward actual planning for my tiny house on wheels (THOW). The big news here is that I'm about 99% on the type I want - a skoolie - and have created a preliminary floor plan. I have been doing research on what is needed, pitfalls to avoid, and what this baby is going to cost. I had originally planned to go to this year's Tiny Fest Midwest, but was only able to attend one day, due to unforeseen circumstances [see above, re: migraines]. Still, I have some insights, and should be posting on it on Ransomed Roads, where I will be recording the majority of the build process.

Travels

Travels are on hold while I get some other projects done, but I did take a visit out to Maryland to visit my dad, who was not well. He's much better now, and it was great to see him nonetheless.

Writing

In addition to being a professional blogger for a digital marketing company, I now have four blogs going! I have really stepped up my writing in the last few months, so check out some of the latest ideas I've been working on.

Ransomed Roads

I love quotes, and have added those to most of my blogs, including this one. If you are yearning for travel quotes, you should definitely subscribe to the Ransomed Roads blog. I've been going deep, so I've found ones I hadn't even seen before and am sharing them with all of you! If you want to find them on social media instead (as well as more Ransomed Roads posts), check out these options:

Look for some travel stories from last year on there as well, and stay tuned for the fall, when I will have some new tales to tell.

The Lost Title Cards

The big one here is my "Behind the Screen" series, highlighting some interesting tidbits about movies that most people don't know. It's already getting some great feedback, so stop by.

Changeling Ashes

I've begun to post Monthly Finds and Insights for all the things I come across while researching Autism. I want others interested in educating themselves to have another option for finding out about what it means to be Autistic, so feel free to check them out.

Tricky Fish Photography

I am currently working hard on Tricky Fish Photography. I've been spending a particularly large amount of time in Lightroom, a more recent addition to my photo editing arsenal. I can't say I like it more than Photoshop for the simple reason that Photoshop does more. However, that is pretty much what I like about it. Lightroom is basic photo editing with a few small tricks, and it's making my shots come out better and better in the post-processing phase. Don't worry; I'll be sharing soon.

Shops

Website and shop research is a big theme right now, and will be through Q3. I am excited to start offering prints of both my photography and paintings. More on that as it develops.

Projects

In the meantime, I've been doing a few small projects here and there, mostly for my brother, who had prom, graduation, and some other things going on. He makes a great test model, and I'm enjoying working with humans more.

I'm also working on creating prints of paintings for both my own work, and that of my best friend. I'll be posting more on that soon enough.

As always, you can find me on these sites:



Arcadian Gypsy

Arcadian Gypsy is essentially on hold until the fall. This is one of the many things that I am reevaluating for the coming years on System Andromeda. 


Painting

There's an upcoming art show called "Totems". I am excited to be a part of it, and am working on a couple of pieces. Wish me luck.


Costuming

I am working on a cosplay piece for the upcoming O-Con, Omaha Metro Area's Comic Con. I went for the first time last year, and am looking forward to spending more time this year. I'm going (barring sartorial disaster) as Domino from Deadpool 2. Pictures will ensue, should I pull it off.

Moving Pictures & Performing Arts

I have wanted to start my own production company for years, so I'm doing a little brainstorming right now...nothing major, we'll see how that develops.

Voice-Over Work

I am doing some training and research to to my acting in a slightly different direction than I had previously. I want to get into voice-over work. I hesitate to share more than that at present, but rest assured, you will hear more about it.


Overall, this has been a wacky Q2. Great stuff, great challenges. Let's see what Q3 brings us.

______

Plots & Schemes for XXXX:


Writing

More blogging, and more writing gigs. I am currently taking on projects for proofreading, blogging, and other kinds of content.

Tricky Fish Photography

Websites and shops. More photos to be shared. Can't say it enough.




Share your comments below!

Still exploring the galaxy?
Click on any of the following:
site (under construction!) - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

Curious for more? Check out my other projects:
Ransomed Roads (RR): site - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest
Tricky Fish Photography (TFP): Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Deviant Art
TFP Shops: RedBubble - Zazzle - Society6
The Arcadian Gypsy (AG): shop - Facebook - Instagram

© Content property of Andromeda Ross, all rights reserved.

...on the other side of fear...


"Everything you want is on the other side of fear."
~Jack Canfield


What do you think?

Still exploring the galaxy?
Click on any of the following:
site (under construction!) - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

Curious for more? Check out my other projects:
Ransomed Roads (RR): site - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest
Tricky Fish Photography (TFP): Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Deviant Art
TFP Shops: RedBubble - Zazzle - Society6
The Arcadian Gypsy (AG): shop - Facebook - Instagram

© Content property of Andromeda Ross, all rights reserved.