Skip to main content

I have written on occasion of my struggles with living in the post-Bush economy.  I am going on year three of unemployment, and now get by mainly with a little help from my friends.  What little work there is in my field of Instructional Design is going to younger applicants – and there is precious little of that.  That happens in other fields as well.  Once you hit your fifties opportunities shrink based solely on your age, and of course these days anyone out of work is in trouble.

If you haven't seen it already, take a look at this quickie animation of unemployment rates by county since January '07 in the USA.  (H/T Lupin)

When you land in terminal unemployment, and what has worked for you in the past just won't work any more, you have to find a new way to live.  In such circumstances one goes through certain processes, making a list of skills, strengths and weaknesses and assessing these against any potential or actual opportunities.  

When it comes to that list of strengths and weaknesses, it is heavily weighted in my case toward the weak side.  My strengths are comparatively few, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that it pays to play to ones strengths.  I guess that's especially true when you don't have that many to begin with.  

I can write a bit and have a modicum of artistic ability, while possessing all the carpentry and mechanical skills of a young baboon.  So handy man work is out.  I do manage to sell a few prints from time to time from my Face Book photo page, but it's not many and I don't make much.  Art is a hard dollar I have found.  I have done  the visual design for a few web pages, none of which are live on the net yet, so I can't use them to generate new business.  

In a market where there are virtually no jobs for people like me, we have to do something.  All of the analysis and self-knowledge that I can muster tells me that I am doomed to write and make art...for better or worse.  So far it's been worse but I'm hoping it will get better.

It's always been my ambition to be a writer and artist.  The only reason I became an Instructional Designer is because it is mostly about writing, plus I got to illustrate much of my work.  I've been writing and illustrating my ass off for over 30 years.  But it's no longer about ambition, it's about necessity.  And necessity is a 'mother' of invention.

In my artwork, I often begin with a photo from the public domain and use that to make a new image.  This is termed appropriation art and is akin to sampling in the audio world.  Digital appropriation artists are creatures of the Internet and a logical  outgrowth of cyberculture.  

In the visual arts, to appropriate means to adopt, borrow, recycle or sample aspects (or the entire form) of man-made visual culture.

Wikipedia

Here are a few of my recent digital paintings done in Photoshop.  

A-home-in-Cherryville-72dpi

Rainbow-Blackfoot-650px

One-of-the-Poorer-Girls

Call-of-the-Wild-650px

Midnight-in-America-650px

As some of you may know, I've been working on a book project for a couple of years now.  It is a highly autobiographical view of the last 50 years of American history with the working title, "The Secret History of my Foolish Heart."  I would say this project is 85% to 90% complete, which is to say I still have a lot of work to do before it's ready to publish.  

More recently I've also been working on a side project which consists in part of a repackaged collection of my Daily Kos diaries on hippies called, Wear Your Love Like Heaven – The Hippie Diaries.  I have rewritten all of the previously published diaries, and there is approximately 50% new material.  Previous illustrations have been replaced with b/w documentary photographs from the public domain, many of which are guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of any old hippie...and possibly others.  There are also several of my collages included, though the only color is on the cover.  All interior images are black and white to keep costs and the price down.  I have put a lot of effort into making this smallish 138-page book a well-polished jewel.  I hope I have succeeded, but that's for the readers to judge.

Special thanks to Patric Juillet who suggested that I put this volume together and turned me on to this sweet little deal at Amazon.com.  It allows authors and artists to publish themselves directly to Amazon bypassing the usual gauntlet of agents, editors, publishers and hucksters in the traditional publishing jungle.  Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.  It seems that it is empowering the artist (they also publish music, video, etc).  This is available to anyone who is capable of putting it all together by themselves, which is a considerable task but doable.  In the case of book publishing, you do get some editorial support.  They'll warn you if there is something technically wrong with your document but you are fully responsible for all editing, proofreading and formatting - and all has to meet their submission standards.  It takes a lot of work to get it all right, but when you do you're done.  When final proofing and editing is complete, you click the publish button and your book goes live.  It is printed on demand as the orders come in, thus avoiding waste.  You retain all your rights, and it all seems very straightforward and democratic to me.  I like the thought of just putting it out there and letting it sink or swim.  Sometimes you get lucky.  I know that chances are it will sink and I accept that...but I remain ever optimistic.  :-)

I designed the cover art using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.  The design is based on a female figure lifted from an Alphonse Mucha poster in the public domain, originally done for the JOB rolling paper company in 1898.  

The quotes are actual unsolicited quotes.  I realize that it's terribly immodest of me to include them in the cover design...but then modesty doesn't sell books.

FRONT-COVER_650px_72dpi

I equivocated about posting the following image for fear that it might give some people the vapors, but in the interest of full disclosure I guess I should.  This is what the back cover looks like.

BACK-COVER_650px_72-dpi

Please forgive the shameless self-promotion but I'm told it's necessary if I want it to sell...and it is important to me in more ways than one that I sell a few of these babies.  And for the record, I do not believe that I am either Tom Paine or the soul of Daily Kos, but I do appreciate the kindness, wisdom and powers of discernment of those fine fellows who said so.  The book is ten bucks.  I wouldn't dare ask anyone who needs the money to spend it on my little book, but for those of you who can spare it, I'd consider it a great kindness.  

Wear Your Love Like Heaven – The Hippie Diaries is soon to be available at Amazon.com, but my royalties are higher if you purchase directly from my eStore page where it is available now.  To all who buy a copy, please enjoy its strengths and forgive its weaknesses...and thank you very much.

I would like to express my gratitude to all of you here at Daily Kos who have supported me and my work over the years.  Your friendship and support have kept me sane, and you have taught me more than I could ever quantify or repay.  You have all been, and continue to be, a very big part of my life.  Thank you for that and may you all have the most wonderful existences imaginable.

NAMASTE

I know, I know, I'm a shameless bastard.

BOOK-COVERPeace-Out-OPOL-650dpi-FLAT

P.S.  Good luck to everyone out of work or otherwise having to learn new ways to survive.  Don't overlook Kossacks Networking For Jobs and Community.

Originally posted to One Pissed Off Liberal on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 02:16 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, jbou, Pat K California, mwjeepster, Velocity, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, paradox, Superskepticalman, Ed in Montana, OkieByAccident, Angie in WA State, planetniner, vicki, opendna, Alma, Terri, tmo, northsylvania, Bill in Portland Maine, Common Sense Mainer, BOHICA, Radiowalla, murphy, ogre, SarahLee, teacherken, NYCee, Timaeus, El Zmuenga, Trendar, glitterscale, cedubose, Liberal Thinking, KingOneEye, abarefootboy, Danno11, saraswati, theboz, mattman, emal, Outsourcing Is Treason, tnichlsn, tommurphy, Shockwave, billlaurelMD, goatchowder, KateG, mslat27, willyr, azale, Sandy on Signal, devtob, TarheelDem, RFK Lives, shpilk, object16, mataliandy, rasbobbo, nicki37, TheMomCat, bronte17, Zinman, conchita, elveta, Doc Allen, annrose, nyceve, bhlogger, srkp23, Agathena, ask, CoolOnion, PBnJ, cosmic debris, mkfarkus, roses, slatsg, gabie, Larry Bailey, nargel, limae, redux, Fe, ornerydad, bwren, oceanview, fumie, ctsteve, enough already, navajo, Cedwyn, antirove, sidnora, Eddie C, wader, revsue, Quege, Dube, danthrax, TexDem, Dallasdoc, DeadB0y, businessdem, CitizenOfEarth, wordene, gmb, exiledfromTN, churchylafemme, peterborocanuck, HeyMikey, laughingriver, BMarshall, wilbur, ohiolibrarian, Chirons apprentice, On The Bus, Steven Payne, betson08, Greg in TN, onemadson, grrr, Timbuk3, alizard, Pohjola, dkmich, walkshills, Diana in NoVa, Donna in Rome, AllisonInSeattle, zerelda, side pocket, MrFrost, Kitsap River, randallt, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, SanDiegoDem, bablhous, rickeagle, AaronBa, snowbird42, Irish Patti, boran2, xxdr zombiexx, Timroff, donailin, Jersey Joe, Julie Gulden, joanneleon, humphrey, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, escapee, blueyedace2, m16eib, yuriwho, relentless, democracy inaction, PBen, Superpole, run around, panicbean, clammyc, truong son traveler, citizenx, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, trinityfly, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, GUGA, Chaoslillith, cfk, majcmb1, Frank Palmer, Sun Tzu, jimstaro, jimreyn, GreyHawk, Burned, SJerseyIndy, cassidy3, Overseas, sheddhead, lotlizard, bluemanredtex, govib, bmaples, Captain Future, serrano, Lisa Lockwood, Brian B, Ekaterin, Snud, fhcec, noweasels, Jim P, begone, reddbierd, RiaD, Mother Mags, Born in NOLA, Denny in Seattle, third Party please, LeftOverAmerica, Knucklehead, trashablanca, blizek, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, vigilant meerkat, Clytemnestra, ferallike, BlueInARedState, dharmafarmer, Themistoclea, Krush, tonyahky, ActivistGuy, Gorette, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, victoria2dc, Scientician, buhdydharma, KenBee, The Wizard, mango, carolita, Son of a Cat, ginja, blueoasis, Farradin, Blue Wind, SherriG, triv33, TalkieToaster, StrayCat, 4Freedom, bubbanomics, Glorfindel, gatorcog, Crashing Vor, SadieSue, imabluemerkin, Iranaqamuk, joe shikspack, NearlyNormal, mcmom, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Zwoof, boatsie, soccergrandmom, Unitary Moonbat, MBNYC, caraleescockers, llbear, ilyana, JugOPunch, CA Nana, Doggie269, doingbusinessas, GiveNoQuarter, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, Cassiodorus, Dreaming of Better Days, goinsouth, blueoregon, zedaker, Statusquomustgo, Blicero, CharlieHipHop, Friend of the court, Hedwig, Temmoku, markthshark, Aaa T Tudeattack, NonnyO, AntKat, BentLiberal, ladypockt, bigchin, old wobbly, Sapere aude, Noor B, dov12348, john07801, marykk, lightfoot, pfiore8, anotherdemocrat, donnamarie, Cronesense, sistersilverwolf, Haningchadus14, possum, ninkasi23, DocbytheBay, Dartagnan, ColoTim, offgrid, Margfh, yoduuuh do or do not, silverlil, edsbrooklyn, Sydserious, LillithMc, Mary Mike, ebiker, profmom, hold tight, Jimdotz, dclawyer06, ilex, DWG, joyful, joedemocrat, Unbozo, aliasalias, Canyon Lefty, artisan, jayden, snowshoeblue, BlueInKansas, jolicalcat, Killer of Sacred Cows, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, millwood, Moderation, pioneer111, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, Got a Grip, leonard145b, LWelsch, JML9999, keikekaze, cloudbustingkid, trueblueliberal, willb48, Predictor, Terra Mystica, on the cusp, TomP, Empower Ink, stoneboat, VA Breeze, JDWolverton, MKinTN, MyBrainWorks, rogerdaddy, Corporate Dog, Jesselyn Radack, Edger, davidseth, Justus, JaxDem, flowerfarmer, ms scarlett leadpipe, Youffraita, lamzdotes, Involuntary Exile, Unique Material, elwior, CDH in Brooklyn, skeptic griggsy, VL Baker, jamess, robroser, geomoo, pickandshovel, TokenLiberal, MsWings, mofembot, Seamus D, glendaw271, o the umanity, bob zimway, j7915, luckylizard, LaEscapee, James Kresnik, DixieDishrag, allie123, Quilldriver, magicsister, In her own Voice, angelino, Mike Taylor, revelwoodie, GrannyOPhilly, shortgirl, papicek, jlms qkw, ZhenRen, Purple Priestess, ggwoman55, LaFeminista, Celtic Merlin, wv voice of reason, maggiejean, Florene, Ripeness Is All, MTmarilyn, two roads, snackdoodle, ALifeLessFrightening, lostinamerica, CanyonWren, Nebraskablue, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, Partisan Progressive, War on Error, earicicle, SciVo, Patch Adam, mkor7, DHinIA, TheOpinionGuy, sanglug, allep10, kevinpdx, histOries Marko, dalfireplug, blueocean, angel d, Adept2u, deviant24x, Leftcandid, isabvella, Cleopatra, Larsstephens, Words In Action, cassandraX, BigVegan, mamamorgaine, rb137, flitedocnm, patrickz, LaughingPlanet, publicv, politik, blueyescryinintherain, jethrock, MarkMarvin, Interceptor7, wvmom, trixied13, Monkey Man Hermit, NY brit expat, Lady Libertine, elginblt, SoCalHobbit, paradise50, sharonsz, debbieleft, addisnana, Johnny Q, farbuska, elengul, Otteray Scribe, Mike08, ozsea1, StateofEuphoria, atheistben, wildlife advocate, Kharafina, freesia, anyname, poorbuster, BlackQueen40, Teknocore, Mistral Wind, soothsayer99, Situational Lefty, beantown mom, deeproots, Civil Writes Activist, princesspat, Late Spring, Donna O, marleycat, Lorikeet, Cinnamon Rollover, Dan Gallo, Santa Susanna Kid, dle2GA, Ojibwa, felldestroyed, floridablue, CKendall, Grandma Susie, worldlotus, vzfk3s, rexymeteorite, corvaire, peregrine kate, mali muso, Aquagranny911, Imhotepsings, StateOfGrace, mfprtoo, JayinPortland, Jantman, daveusf, SoCalSal, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Book of Hearts, zenox, StepLeftStepForward, PrometheusUnbound, ArtemisBSG, fgsfds, Only Needs a Beat, Patric Juillet, ridemybike, FireBird1, Aji, Siri, The Lone Apple, S F Hippie, The Red Phone Is Ringing, congenitalefty, Th0rn, teabaggerssuckbalz

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site