Category: Uncategorized

Broken Toyland Newsletter #14 for 2017

garland04

Greetings 🙂 I hope all is well.

There’s one active coupon code for my etsy shop. It ends on the 18th at midnight MST.
The code is, MERRYCHRISTMAS. You’ll get 15% off anything 30$ or more. I guess there’s no longer anything for 30$ in the shop anymore, as all the ornaments are sold.

garland01

Here’s the new art:

ghosts
Title: Ghosts

whenfaerytalesgetold
Title: When Faerytales Get Old. Find it in my etsy shop.

garland03

That’s all for now. I will probably make another newsletter with new art before Christmas. We’ll see.

garland02

Until then, I hope you’re enjoying your December. I hope it’s warmer wherever you are. It’s so cold here. This California girl is FREEZING lol.

Take care, until next time.
…v

deers and birds
Merry Christmas
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Broken Toyland Newsletter #13 for 2017

Greetings. New art and some great discounts in my etsy shop. AND free items with every purchase. I need to thin out the amassed art. That’s good news for customers ❤

Use the codes below, at checkout, to get 100$ off purchases of 300$ or more, or 50$ off purchases of 200$ or more. If you want 15% off 30$ or more, you can enter code, MERRYCHRISTMAS, at checkout.

100off300 code: https://www.etsy.com/shop/brokentoyland?coupon=100OFF300
50off200: https://www.etsy.com/shop/brokentoyland?coupon=50OFF200

If you have any questions at all, about any of this, feel free to contact me.

separators01

Here’s the new art:

mermaidandtheravenking
Title: Mermaid And The Raven King (there has a short story, too. I’ll post it below)
Find it in my etsy shop
mermaidandravenking2
Title: Mermaid and Raven King II.
Find it in my etsy shop

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I have 12 ornaments left and will not be making more. Some of which are in this photo, below. But not all. Some of those have sold. You have to go to my etsy shop to see what’s available.

2017ornas23-35minus27

If anyone wants several or even all, message me and I’ll give you a super deal.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone is well and having a good December.

…v

old-fashioned-christmas-cards-eoteu4so

Sunday Rantasaurus Rex

This is not part of my newsletter. The MAIN purpose of this particular post, is to help people understand what’s going on in social media and how small business owners are affected (DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a rant so if you’re triggery or snowflakey, don’t like to read, prefer pictures to words, leave now lol. But if you really want to learn and understand, pull up a chair and bear with me.)

Yes, I desperately need a new social media platform.  One that is unbiased, believes in free speech and free market and equality. All the big ones that everybody uses, are now corporate owned (by the usual cronies) and corrupted with algorithms, bots, virus spawning ads, blocking mechanisms, data mining, etc, owned and run by the biggest, wealthiest cronies (cronyism or crony capitalism, which is  NOT at all, classic free market capitalism) out there, enriching themselves on our backs. But if you aren’t a small business owner or an anti establishment truth teller, you won’t notice. Furthermore, you probably won’t even care because it doesn’t directly affect you. But it actually does. You see, the struggle is real. I hate to use that overused stock phrase, but in this case, it’s spot on. And if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. No grey areas here.  It will eventually directly affect you.

I wanted to address what Facebook (FB) is doing to us small business owners. Yeah, yeah, I’ve talked about it a hundred times in the last 3 years. You’ve heard of the frog in a boiling pot, story, right? They’re using this tactic on FB, so you don’t even notice you’re being boiled alive. Or boiled right into invisibility. As they hold your customers hostage, soft-mafia style, to extort money from you so you can supposedly get your posts seen to the large customer base you worked so damn hard to acquire. This is not drama. And this is no joke. I am being harassed by FB, daily, with their stream of incoming notices, trying to harass me (see image further down) into giving them money. They ruined my income because I relied too heavily on their platform for my business. I don’t need anyone to tell me that was a huge mistake. I’m well aware. But it was working and when this is my sole source of income (my art), and something is working great, you focus on work and not other social media. I had been exhausting myself with other platforms (that no one really used and / or didn’t work well) and galleries (who are politicized and prejudiced) who act like your employer and not an employee (which they are!), to sell your art, taking a whopping half of all sales. It’s not right. So I focused on what I had control over, what worked and what felt right. That being, running my own show and using FB as the main means to do it. Then they stuck the knife in and began blocking my visibility. Consequently, I have lost 90% of my income. I. Am. Not. Kidding. I cannot pay them to boost my posts. I tried all that for over a year, and I can swear to you , it doesn’t work. It’s not designed to work. It’s designed to extort an endless stream of money from you. There’s been countless videos done by people who have proven this fact. They give you fake ‘reached’ numbers to trick you into thinking something is working. But the proof is in how many people will like, comment and share the posts. And those numbers never change from when I boosted or not. It’s a scam. I have been wanting to get away from FB for a long time now. But everything I’m trying, either uses the same methods as FB or they just don’t work at all because no one’s really using them. I need something new and have exhausted myself looking and trying. If anyone has info on a great platform that is open, honest and works, let me know. And DO NOT send me links to video how-to’s, or suggest twitter or deviant art or steemit. I HAVE TRIED THEM AND THEY DO NOT WORK. You can see the ones I use by going to my website but there are 3 times more that are not on my site, that I have tried. There must be something. I cannot believe the entire internet is fouled up now, the way FB is.

I’m gonna tell a story. Let these words paint a visual. Immerse yourself in it and pretend it’s you. Try to feel it…
Imagine you own a little shop somewhere, doing what you love in a nice place you live. You work every day and own an honest business. You’ve been at it a long time and it’s slowly grown into something you can rely on and be proud of. You offer something unique. People come from all over to enjoy your products. You don’t live a lavish life, but you have enough, and that’s what matters. Oddly, you suddenly gain the support of another larger store in your town nearby and they drive business your way. You reciprocate. You’re doing ok. Everyone is. You can breathe. Then one day, unprovoked and out of the blue, the large store owner decides they want some of your money. Why??? Well, just because they consider you their competition now, regardless of the fact they are way bigger, have tons more customers and are actually wealthy and live a lavish life style. They set up road blocks and obstacles that block access to visibility and parking for your shop. They build an extension to their already huge store, that directly covers your shop entrance. They hire someone to tamper with your phone lines so anyone calling, gets an ‘out of service’ recording. They pay someone to intercept your outgoing mail, delivering it to them, instead. They open your mail and collect your customer data and start offering your customers, a similar product. Most of this you are unaware of, as a small business owner. Sure, you know the annoyance of the big store building and expanding, now covers most of your shop’s visibility, but you have no idea about the thing with the phone and the mail. You start wondering why no one returns your calls. Why no one is calling you. Why no one responds to the ads and discount coupons you send them in the mail. Things that usually proved to be great marketing, have zero effect now. So you physically start asking around. You go in other small shops in the area and find that similar things are happening to all the other small business owners. You start connecting the dots and discover the common denominator. The BIG store that is expanding by leaps and bounds. You see your old customers, streaming into the big store, so you approach a few and ask how they’ve been… small talk, They mention  this big store is now offering a similar product like you do. The customer thought maybe your shop closed because they hadn’t heard from you and they didn’t even think to come check, after hearing a ‘out of service’ recording when they phoned you. You had become invisible, because of the big store. You are furious. And rightfully so.  You decide to hire someone to look into things. That’s when you find out about the mail stealing, customer interception and phone tampering. You storm into the big store’s main office, and demand to speak to the owner. Not willing to wait and be put off, you just barge right into their office and confront them with their criminality. They are smug, in their expensive suit and surroundings. They do not deny your claims. Rather, they smirk at the power they have attained and offer you a deal. They know you can sue them but they also know they can drag it out for years and bankrupt you in the process. Besides, they’re friends with the courts and can easily pay them off. And you cannot afford all that drama and stress. Your little shop is your livelihood and your only source of income. They offer to put up a sign so people that go to their shop, will know your little shop is back around their expansions, if you pay them a certain amount, every day, of course. If you don’t pay them, they won’t put the sign.  So you reluctantly agree. You already have no money because they have drastically cut your sales by their expansions and control, but you do it anyways, having a shred of hope that things will turn around. The sign they put up, has a counter on it, that records all the people who pass by it, so you will know it’s working (lol yeah, right!). You can trust those numbers because the big store owner told you it’s reliable (lol trust a crook lol) and that in no time, you will see great progress. So you pay. You watch the sign with it’s reliable numbers, going up, up, UP. Yet no one is coming into your shop. You pay a little more, for a slightly bigger sign. You see those numbers increase a bit. But no one is coming into your shop. Now, you haven’t completely lost all your customers. You have 6 or so that keep coming back. Making their way around all the road blocks and expansions, to gain access to your little shop that they love. You are so thankful for the faithful ones! But honestly, you feel guilty because they are the only ones supporting your business now. You know it can’t last forever and you don’t want it to because it’s not fair. You pay for a slightly bigger sign, in hopes to generate some new customers or catch a glimpse from some of the old ones going into the big store. Nothing changes but those numbers still keep going up. It makes no sense. You have become obsolete, unneeded, unwanted, forgotten and invisible. You decide it’s time to relocate. So you close up shop and move out. You sell your little home in the little town you loved and lived in for so long. You say goodbye and go on an adventure, in search of a new place to call home. But everywhere you go, you see more of the same BIG STORE. They’re everywhere now! Then you notice that everywhere these big stores are, there’s little shops blocked out. You also see the signs… Most are now empty and long closed. Tragic! You see the endless streams of people going into the big store. They do not see the little shops or the signs pointing to the fact some are still there, in the shadows. No one sees the signs. They have tunnel vision on the big store. They feel good about giving their money to the wealthy and ruinous, small business killers because it makes them feel… I don’t know… empowered? That’s hilarious lol. They can save a penny, buying from the big guy. Oh, that’s so damn thrifty! give that schmoe a cookie for the shear brilliance of that idea. /facepalm.  So then, the small business owner (you)… the one who closed up shop and took off on an adventure to find a new home, kept traveling and searching. No one cared. No one thought, “Wow, I haven’t see so-and-so for ages… I wonder how they’re doing?” They were too busy picking up the crumbs under the table of the mega wealthy, daddy warbucks, big store owner. And they felt good about that. End of story.

Back to my rant…

I want to show an example of what I’m being harassed with by FB, on a daily basis on all the pages I own and run. They do not give you a means to opt out. The option finally did appear on my big art page, after weeks of harassment and I have used it a few times, then it disappears again. Doesn’t stop them from continuing though. The option is absent from my other 5 pages.

This is a screen capture of the usual harassment. The equivalent to a paid sign:
20for17more

I now get more notices from FB, trying to squeeze money out of me than I do from the 4k+ people that have liked my pages. Something is VERY wrong with those stats. My big art page has been reduced to an audience of about 6-12 people who always see my posts. That’s it. 12 max. Out of 4,173. Four thousand, seven hundred and forty three. It is being done on purpose, by design and relentlessly, with the sole purpose of getting money. Because, after all, I’m their competition. How can anyone think this is ok? This is not even paying for a service, which I am totally ok with, IF IT WORKS. This is a platform that plasters every page with ads they’re making a ton of money on. Last time I checked, FB was a mega corp worth about 165 billion dollars, owned by some of the world’s wealthiest people (who are very biased, mega crony and evil, in my opinion).

A lot of us are being affected by this. Sadly, a lot of us give up because we cannot fight this monster anymore. It’s impossible for me to stop doing my art, so I won’t give that up. But I do want to quit FB. They collect our private info and use that, too, for gain. It’s not right. It really bugs me when I hear people go on and on about hating stores like Walmart, because they’re gigantic corporate mega monsters who ruin small business, yet they don’t bat an eye at using and supporting FB. There. Is. No. Difference.

I’m going to keep struggling and trying to win this battle. I know there has to be a way.

I also know people can help by clicking the ‘like’ button, instead of just apathetically scrolling by for more eye candy. If you really want to help, then do. I have grown so weary of asking for such a simple little thing. But then, the way FB works, is they stall your posts from appearing in the short time window you have to get the most likes so your post is organically boosted without having to pay. See how they work? I have studied this for years now, so I see the facts before my eyes. There is no arguing it. It is what it is and it is CORRUPT by design, for gain. Classic, problem> reaction> solution. (look up,  hegelian dialectic.) Their solution. An endless hamster wheel run to nowhere.

Back to the story I told…

I have started off on a journey (again) to find a new place to relocate (cyberly speaking). But everywhere I go, I see the same Big store conglomerates (think FB, etc), overshadowing the small shops, imposing rules, demanding money and eventually putting them out of business. The same tactics are being used. It’s no coincidence. They WANT to destroy small business. This is not capitalism. It’s the opposite… It’s cronyism, with the socialist end goal of monopolizing everything, owned by a few. This is what it always does. It’s bad for everyone else but the cronies. There has to be an answer, other than exterminating every last rotten one of them lol.

So, in conclusion, if anyone reading this has some real answers, some well proven ideas that work, let me know. Do not… I repeat, DO NOT toss me a bunch of links, videos or stupid advice. That doesn’t help me. I’ve been wracking my brains with this for over 3 years now, so I’ve pretty much covered it all. I need something new. Something that works. Not FB, not Twitter, not steemit, not SEEN, not MINDS, not Tumblr, not Deviant art, not Pinterest, not LinkedIn, not Instagram (owned and ruined by FB), not print ads, not galleries (on or off line). Gosh, I’ve tried them all, I think. I want to know what works for small business and why it works. Not assumptions, not hearsay. Something online has to work. All hope can’t be lost…

Broken Toyland Newsletter #12 for 2017

BLACK FRIDAY SALE is live right now, until the clock strikes midnight, the 26th.

 Click here to go to my etsy shop <—

blackfriday20

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If you have ‘liked’ my facebook page, and you want to make sure you do not miss any posts, then please follow these steps:

Go to my main facebook art page and find the ‘following’ button.  Hovering over that button should open a drop box. Inside there, find where it says, ‘notifications’. To the right of ‘notifications’ you will see a little grey pencil icon. Click it and another box will open (they don’t make this easy, do they…). Inside, you will see an option that says, ‘posts’, with a little square box to check. Check the box, then click DONE. Only then will you know when I post. Otherwise, my posts will be blocked. Much appreciated. I need help with likes, too, so if you see a post, just click the like button. There’s 4,173 people on that page and on an average, only about 5-6 people see the posts. It’s downright depressing. So any help is hugely appreciated.

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Here’s some new art:

lagrimas

Title: Lagrimas (teardrops)

 

whatsomecallbeinginlove

Title: What Some Call Being In Love

 

3littlebirds

Title: 3 Little Birds

 

onawalkwithmyballoon

Title: On A Walk With My Balloon

 

numb

Title: Numb

 

noche

Title: Noche

 

veiloftears

Title: Veil Of Tears

sugarskullfaerie

Title: Sugar Skull Faerie

 

patched

Title: Patched

starcollector

Title: Star Collector

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I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving ❤

thanksgiving04

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I still have Christmas ornaments available, too. I may or may not make more for this year. Kind of burnt out on them. I have14 left. Here’s just a few.

Ok, that’s all for now. Take care then.

…v haveagoodday

Broken Toyland Newsletter #11 for 2017

imissyou
Title: I Miss You, 12×24, multimedia on canvas. Find it in my etsy shop.

haveyoueverseentherain
Title: Have You Ever Seen The Rain? 11×16, multimedia on wood. Find it in my etsy shop.

upward
Title: Upward. Framed 5×7, multimedia on watercolour paper. Find it in my etsy shop.

intheforestofdarktrees
Title: In The Forest Of Dark Trees, 11×16.5, multimedia on wood. Find it in my etsy shop.

Broken Toyland is evolving.

I have come to realize that I stopped following my passion, and was focused on producing as much as possible, in the shortest period of time possible. This, due to my living conditions. I can be super prolific, if I have the conditions that I need to create. Peace, quiet, solitude, no tv, chaos, people noises, etc. Since I work at home and live with someone who does not understand my needs to work, my ideal conditions are fragmented and random. So during those time, I work hurriedly. Or I put up with the constant shattering of my concentration (usually this is the case) when not alone in the house. I fell into a horrible pattern, that I came to accept, and my art has suffered. I have suffered. The stress it creates… the headaches, even migraines, from not being able to work and concentrate, and trying to under impossible conditions, has taken a huge toll on me. I haven’t been getting enough sleep for years because I’ll get up at 4-5 am, so I can work in peace. Then go to bed super late so I can work then, too. It’s been a very unhealthy process I’ve fallen into. I’ve started to hate my art, because it was all starting to look the same and feel empty. It was becoming boring and annoying. Not enjoyable and freeing, like it used to be. It’s been a kind of creative coma, where there’s still a blip, showing signs of life, but otherwise unresponsive. But now that I’ve come to realize the rut I allowed myself to be in, I am making changes. I am taking back my privacy, my solitude, my peace. Low and behold, an instant breakthrough. These new paintings are making me feel good again, about my art. They are enjoyable to create. I actually want to dive in, because it’s exactly what it’s always been about for me. The joy of creating. PASSION. Taking what’s inside, and putting it outside. Telling a story. Communicating. Yes, these take me 10 times longer to finish, but that’s ok. I used to love creating on big canvases. I stopped because making small ones that will sell fast, became more important, due to the ruin of what facebook has done to my fan base visibility. Everyone should know that old tired story by now, so I won’t go into it. If you don’t, contact me and I’ll fill you in. But I have boxed myself in, creatively and mentally. That’s unacceptable. Survival can be a weird thing. I was too weak and exhausted to deal with it before. I’m still exhausted, but I’m not as weak mentally, and am taking back control of my direction. I have to grow. I’ve been at this stagnant place for years now. No more rut. No more apathy. I still sort of feel like a rat in a maze, trying to find a way out. It’s time to gnaw through the wall. So what you’re seeing now, is a  birthing process. Broken Toyland is being reborn. Maybe Broken Toyland is over. Who knows. We shall see. I plan on focusing on abstract expressionism, to put a label. Primitive at times, but narrative. My art has always told a story. I just didn’t realize it was such a huge part of my process. I might layer the chapters of a piece… I might do more of a storyboard or collage… but I will try to also attach a short story with them, so the viewer will be able to partake in a better visual. I want people to be immersed in it. See, feel, experience. To have a pure moment, without agendas, facades, manipulations, deceptiveness… you know, what we experience every day in the real world. What people call, normal. I think it’s entirely possible to step back into innocence, via art of all types. Innocence in the sense of experiencing childlike joy and wonder. That, my friend, is a pure moment.

Please feel free to contact me. I love hearing from you guys.
That’s all for now.
…v

iheartyouhaveagoodday

Broken Toyland Newsletter #10 for 2017

Greetings, from Broken Toyland… in a dream where love is real.

I hope this entry finds you well.

The last newsletter was heavy with 2017 Christmas Ornaments. That might be all I’ll do. We shall see. Might do a few more next month or November. Not into it. People asked if / when they’ll be available, so I made a bunch, and now they sit. This happens every single time I get requests lol. So this might be it for now. They’re all in the shop if anyone’s interested.
There was a time when I sold all my ornaments for 35$ each. They’re 30 or 25, now. And the more you get, the better a price I’ll give. Just contact me if you’d like more than 1, and I can pull them out of the shop and invoice you direct, with a discount.

Now, onto the art!

Here’s the 2 new paintings I’ve created since last I posted here:

downfall

Title: Downfall, 16×20, multimedia on canvas. See it in the shop.
What are your demons? What is your downfall? Is it the contents of a bottle? or some other ‘thing’? Perhaps a person? …someone from the past that continues to haunt your life, without mercy. Someone or someTHING you know is bad for you, but you cannot stop desiring? These things can (and do) cloud our judgement. When will we grasp the fact that we don’t need any of those things to become ourselves? To be complete? Even content?

underthenorthstar

Title: Under The North Star, 8×10, multimedia on watercolour paper.
See it in the shop. Lots of closeups, too. This one is framed.

Declaring one’s love under the ever-fixed mark of the north star…
my words will only prove inadequate. Let Shakespeare tell it:

Sonnet CXVI

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

anartistshouldalwaysbe

 

In other broken toyland news…
Some updates about the direction of my art. I’m feeling a real pull to go more towards the abstract expressionism end of things. I’ve always dabbled in this, as well as primitive / intuitive styles. I’ve been seriously considering my options, as far as financial things go. Trying to keep my head above water (barely) and keep my artistic integrity… doing what I love, being satisfied with it, and paying my bills, in other words. I don’t want to do something I don’t like and that feels unnatural, just to make a buck. So this seems to be the solution. I’m not going to give up on my traditional Broken Toyland style, but it will start taking a back seat to reality. And that reality is, I cannot rely on a dozen super loyal customers to support me.
Now, about commissions… I’m seriously thinking of not doing them anymore, altogether. I’ve had a couple bad experiences lately and it’s no longer fun. It’s always the same thing, too. A lack of willingness to communicate. Some people have been great, but more than half do not want to participate in the communication process that allows me to get the visuals I need, to create the piece. And I don’t like the stress it creates. Especially feeling like I’m annoying someone if I need more info. So, if you’re wanting a commission, keep in mind that the prices are naturally higher than anything in my shop and the process will often involve you, too. I really don’t want to do them anymore, but might change my mind. So contact me if you want to inquire about one.

That’s it for now.

Bye bye, summer. Hello fall.

sunset09-22-2017

Until next time, take care.

…v

haveagoodday

Broken Toyland Newsletter #09 for 2017

Greetings, from Broken Toyland.

We have the first Christmas Ornaments for 2017, below.

2017ornas01-09

01-09. Some closeups below. I love the patchwork ones 😉

2017ornas10and11

10 and 11.

2017ornas12and13

2017ornas14

2017ornas15and16

2017ornas17and18

I have them in my etsy shop. I can also do custom orders. Just contact me.

I’m having more of these all the time now, so keep an eye on my facebook page or follow me on instagram to see the newest available ornaments and other art when they become available.

That’s all for now. Until next time, take care and keep on hoping.

…valery