Month: May 2018

Broken Toyland Newsletter #12 for 2018

Broken Toys, are what birthed Broken Toyland. It was the name of my first painting, and the dolls followed shortly thereafter. As did the woodcuts. Around 2001 or thereabouts. The ideas had been banging around in my head since years before that, but wasn’t until about 2001, that they started to materialize.

But I stopped doing Broken Toys because I got discouraged. More about that below…

But first, here’s some examples of my new found inspiration to start doing them again.
Most are in my shop.

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Lonely Hamster. Find him in my shop. Closeups and other photos to see as well.

When I started doing Broken Toys (one of a kind original doll creations), I never saw anyone else doing them like I did. The only thing that came close, was folk artists.  I have always drawn inspiration from folk art. Then after several years of making them, suddenly others are doing them. I would have thought nothing of it, but they ended up looking too much like mine. At the time, I had also submitted my designs to Hot Topic. They responded to me, telling me they love my art and are interested. That they’d contact me soon about the details. Well, they never did and completely ignored my follow ups and phone calls. Then next thing I know, there’s toys looking like mine in their stores.  Yes, it really happened. This kind of thing makes me sad because there’s so many unique ways to be, instead of copying and stealing from others. This was when I was selling heavily on ebay. I guess that’s part of the price I paid for earning some popularity.

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Momma Bird is in my shop. Lots more photos of there, too.

Around 2008, I started to solicit galleries in the area of NM I was moving to. I got into one pretty well known gallery in Santa Fe. I showed my dolls there, my paintings and my wood cuts. I showed at this gallery for about 1.5 years, during 2009-2010. At the end of my time there, another artist suddenly appeared, with dolls too similar to mine and the characters in my art. That really irked me. It appeared that they were soliciting the same galleries and did not live close to the area. They even used part of the name I use to portray myself in my art (which I was also using heavily at the time, in many pieces). There was too much coincidence, so I lost interest in doing them like I did, and went a different direction and focused more on painting the stuffed pieces completely… and my woodcuts… then kind of went off the deep end doing Vouxdoux Dollies. But not long after, everyone and their dog started doing woodcuts lol. I’m not saying I know for a fact they were getting ideas from me. But it was just a little too coincidental when they never did them before, then suddenly are, after commenting about mine lol.

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Lonely Kitty #01

But back to Broken Toys…
I’m reclaiming them and am embarking on a full blown creation frenzy. I needed this so badly. This is the direct link to Broken Toyland. And I have become so disconnected and discouraged from it. Doing the dolls again, has given me the much needed inspiration therapy and breath of fresh air that I have been lacking for far too long. Back to the bare roots of it all. It feels incredible. I’m sick of canvases, to tell you the truth. It’s exhausting having to pour your soul out into a painting, when you cannot concentrate or have silence to create… the dolls don’t really require me to get into that deep, dark place, where I need to be undisturbed to work, while extracting pieces of my brokenness. I’m not saying I won’t do canvases. Of course I will. But it’s not going to be my focus right now. I have to do what’s uplifting for me, mentally and emotionally… knowing I’m doing yet another painting that will sit, collecting dust, is beyond depressing.

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Lonely Kitty II. Find him in my shop.

I would love to create custom dolls for people. I will be doing all sizes, shapes, crazy,  elaborate, simple… fun fun fun. They can hang or stand or lay around. They are artsy on all sides. They need homes and they promise to keep you company. They’ll hang out all the time and not get weary of your presence.

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So, if you like to collect one of a kind original art, that’s on the cheaper side, my dolls fit that description. Broken Toys were a ground breaking thing, I think. I should have never let the plagiarizing upset me to the point of withdrawing from them. And I never will again 😉

If you like them, that’s great. Let me know what you’d like to see made into a doll. I won’t do celebrities and stuff like that… won’t do copies of things like Jack Skellington and Sally, etc. I will do animals and people shapes, themes, etc. Broken Toyland stuff.
These new Broken Toys are a cross between my older ones and my Vouxdoux Dollies. I like it. It’s a good combo. Both are old ideas though. Old becomes new again. Feels right. I just hope people can see them on my social media, because I think they’ll do well.

I have a whole list of names ready to be assigned to girl dolls. This is so much fun 🙂

Feel free to contact me. I do love hearing from you guys.

Oh, I nearly forgot… I did do one canvas since the last newsletter.

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Broken Angel. He’s in my shop.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. I hope life is treating you well. And if not, I hope you’re hanging in there and have good friends to lean on to help lighten the load.

love, v

haveagoodday

 

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Broken Toyland Newsletter #11, for 2018

Happy Sunday, everyone. I hope there’s hope in your life.
ravenwalking

There isn’t much new art. I’ve been extremely discouraged, due to a major drop in my sales and an increased blocking of my posts on facebook. More about that at the end of the newsletter…

Here’s what’s new:

These are a set of Broken Toyland pillowcases. #01, and I hope to do more. But that will depend if they sell or sit. They’re what I call, negative painting. You remove the colour with bleach, and it leaves a design. So there’s no paint involved, no texture… just a flat normal feeling fabric. These images show all four sides. They are standard sized pillowcases, too, so they’ll fit right on a regular bed pillow.
I would like to do custom orders and designs, too.
This first set is in my etsy shop. Each is a one of a kind original painting. They will last just as long as any pillowcase will, providing you take care of it. No bleach, etc, and they should be nice for a long, long time 😉
They are pre-washed, ironed and ready to use.

doyouevennotice
Title: Do You Even Notice? (sold)

impudent
Title: Impudent. It’s in my shop. Sort of manga inspired, broken toyland style wood cut.

That’s it for new art. Hardly anything has been selling for over a month now. It seems to have come right along with the new changes in the facebook and instagram algorithms.
I have a story to relay. I posted this on my main facebook art page, but I have no idea how many saw it. It needs to be told.
My mom was at the gym last week, and started talking to a guy she sees there sometimes. Come to find out, he works at facebook. She jumped at the opportunity to ask him why the heck her daughter’s business posts are being blocked from view to her followers. He played dumb, of course. When she was persistent, he said it’s because facebook considers posts like mine, unpaid ads. So they block them. Needless to say, I was not shocked, but was furious. This is people’s livelihoods we’re talking about, here. Facebook promised to never charge us. They also  promised, in their own agreement, that if you willingly click ‘like’ on someone’s page, that guarantees you to see that page’s posts. I guess it’s stupid to believe their ‘official narratives’. But I just wanted to make people aware of what’s going on, and why I get so frustrated and keep harping on this. While most people will never understand how maddening this is, trust me. It’s VERY real. And it’s being done on purpose. So know it’s vitally important that when you see posts by a page you like, click LIKE on it the moment you see it. This will help the post gain more visibility. Here’s how it works… when a page owner makes a post, it has about 5 minutes to get 10 likes, to boost organically and be unblocked to more people. 10 more in the next 5 mins after that, does the same, and so on, etc. The more a post gets engagement, the more people will see it. We never asked for this, but facebook foists their rules on us so they can squeeze money out of people like me, to supposedly boost the post to more people. This doesn’t work, as is a scam. This has been proven already a long time ago, so I won’t go into it. For those of us who make our living doing something and have no other means of income, this is a deathblow. And until we find a better social media, we need help. I’m about at my wit’s end with this. I’ve said that before and pushed through somehow. Gotten some sales that took the heavy load off of me so I could think and work. But lately, it’s been so bad, I can’t even describe it. If I can’t do my art, there isn’t anything left. This is what I do. And I doubt that every. single. day.

That said, if anyone gets a set of minis or one of the mediums, I’ll toss in a free one. This little guy, to be exact.
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I have 2 sets of minis and 2 mediums, in my shop. Whoever is the first to get any of those, will get this little cute guy for free.

I hope I have better newsletter next time. The last 3 weeks have been horrendous. Lots of stuff going on besides my lack of sales. The combination robs me of my ability to work and concentrate. We never know what someone’s going through. Let’s promise to try and be kind to others. Be thankful for what we have and ‘be the change’ you’d like to see in the world.

Until next time…
…v (the broken)

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Broken Toyland Newsletter #10 for 2018

Hello everyone. I sincerely hope whoever is reading this, is well hearts02

Here’s what’s new, art-wise:

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I have two active coupon codes for my shop. They are:

15OFF and FREESHIP – May 05 – 09 (ends when the clock strikes midnight on the 9th)

You can enter 15OFF for 15% off your total purchase, at checkout. If you’re using a mobile device, make sure your etsy app is up to date or you might not even have an option to enter a coupon code.
or…
You can enter FREESHIP for free shipping off your total purchase. (U.S. only.) Again, if using a mobile device, make sure your etsy app is up to date or the coupon code option might not show up.

My sales have taken a sharp drop in the past 2 weeks and that’s usually when I start offering discounts. Take advantage. It benefits both of us.

timetorejointheworld
Title: Time To Rejoin The World, 16×20, multimedia on canvas.
I have closeups of it in my shop.
This painting depicts a suggestion for those of us who have been hiding away from the world, due to issues like ptsd, etc, who have found being in society is too much to bear. But you can’t live like that forever. I guess I’m talking to myself more than anything. There’s a whole world out there. The circle in this painting that stands for the earth, is an old Copernicus chart of the solar system. I could not fine a globe 😉 But it’s cool like it is. I tried to make the girl look like she’s giant, standing on a universe of life. Kind of like the milky way, but made of flowers, tears and other things. And she’s pointing to the world, saying, “There’s so much more to experience, so come in out of the darkness.” But sometimes hiding in the darkness is safe… or so we tell ourselves…
But seriously… one day we will all breathe our last. In the meantime, remember also to live. Memento Mori… Memento Vivere. <— that is the point. Which brings me to the next painting. I did this next one prior to the one above. More synchronicity…

anoldteardrop
Title: You Can’t Live Inside An Old Teardrop Forever, 12×12, multimedia on canvas.
You can see closeups in my shop.
She said (to herself), “You can’t live inside (the prison of) an old teardrop forever. Trust me, honey, the colour will return to your world, and the grey filter will fade away…”
The point being, don’t hold onto the dead past. I don’t know why we do that, exactly. I think it’s because we think we loved or need a thing (or person) so badly… we do not want to let go. Even if the only thing we have to hold on to is a dead past. Even an abusive past. We romanticize about it, forever how destructive, hurtful or bad it was. It’s a mystery to me…

I want to share a poem I read this morning, in the book, The Reason, by Lacey Sturm. It’s a poem someone else wrote for her, and it fits so incredibly perfect right now. More synchronicity. So I’m going to share it here. It’s written by a young woman named Taylor:

WE MAKE EMPTY WISHES UPON STARS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEGUN TO BURN AWAY
WE ADD FALSE COLOR TO HAIR THAT HAS ALREADY BEGUN TO GREY
WE PLACE LIVELY SPRING FLOWERS AT THE FEET OF THE DEAD
AND WE ONLY VOICE OUR MOST MEANINGFUL WORDS ON OUR DEATHBEDS
WHY IS IT THAT WE TRY SO HARD TO PAINT COLORS ONTO THINGS THAT HAVE ALREADY FADED AWAY?
YET WE NEVER OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE THE BRIGHT HUES OF TODAY?

Wow… bullseye. For me, anyways. Navigating back into a world of light and life, is a difficult one, after being in the dark for so long. PTSD is nothing to scoff at. Which is what I did, the first time I heard it from  a doctor (forever ago). I do not want to keep painting things that affirm someone’s depression, in a way that makes them comfortable in it and see no other way. I mean, I want people to know they are not alone… that someone really does understand. But also not encourage them to remain in that place. You can curl up with it, or you can stand up and walk. It’s easier to curl up, I can tell you that. Standing up and walking (away from the comfort of hiding), is NOT easy. But it will eventually start to lessen. Nature has a way of curing those types of things. Being outside, in the sunshine… in life… in creation… being with your pets, being creative… eating real food instead of junk… that’s just the beginning.
But I want to paint things that show hope. I feel like I’ve weakly tried, then gone back to the comfortable. The dark. Not because it’s trendy but because it’s what I know so well. It’s my comfort zone. Even though it’s life sucking.

Anyway, enough about that. I didn’t plan on writing the above. It flowed out, so I’m keeping it real.

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Title: Owl Constellation

And whoever is the first to buy any of my mini woodcuts sets, will receive the Little Cup piece, below:
littlecup01

I’ve also started a new shabby doll series called, Intention Dollies. They are meant to be reminders.

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Intention Dollie #01, is in the shop

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Intention Dollie #02, is also in the shop. This one comes with a little blank, cloth book, that you can write your intentions, hopes, affirmations, etc, in. It stows in the little front pocket, too. Check out the pics in the shop for more.

I also grouped the remainder of my Little Marydeth, minis. You get 3 in a set.
lilmd5,7,8
These are in the shop.

There are a LOT of one of a kind original paintings available right now. As well as 2 bowling pins, one flower pot with skull flowers and still some prints left. Prints come in 11×14 and 16×20.

makeawish321

If you made it this far, thank you.Z
As always, feel free to contact me with questions, comments or just to say HI.
I’m always available for that.

So, until next time, take care and keep hoping.
…valery