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Weekly Blog and Video Digest 7/15/19: Weather, Ecological Consciousness Ramblings, and Etsy Shipping Issues

[Image caption: A photograph of a Tarot card, the Page of Wands, from the Millennial Mystic Tarot, depicting a young woman climbing through a desert in the Southwestern US heat. End caption.]

Hey all! It’s Taylor, with the weekly blog and video digest. I’m a day late but I hope you’ll forgive me. I’m going to chat here a bit about oracle cards, and then we’ll get on to a summary of (and embedded versions of) the videos I posted this week over on my YouTube channel.

The summer has been going well. It’s been kind of crazy hot…okay, totally crazy hot, here in Virginia, USA. And it’s only July – August is our crazy-hot month. Honestly, I am deeply concerned about this planet, and while my intuition tells me that things will get better for this world and this species, that same intuition also tells me that “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Not a good feeling, but that’s what I sense.

Still, I continue to put one foot in front of the other. I try to make decisions, both day-to-day and more long-term, that are good for the Earth. For example, I’m looking at buying my first car, and while I could buy something less expensive that is older, or I could buy something “hot”… I’m trying to focus on fuel-efficiency as being one of my main priorities. I may not be able to afford a Prius or other hybrid, but I AM looking for the very most fuel-efficient car I can manage, considering budget and other restrictions.

And about the car – it will have at least one positive effect on YOU all: For those of you who have been waiting 5-7 days for me to ship things…I should be able to ship things much, much faster once I start driving myself! Up until now I have been relying on buses to get me to the post office, but now that it’s so hot, I have to rely on friends (it’s too hot to walk even the short 1/2 mile between the bus stop and the postal office). And while my friends are awesome and very kindly help when they can, I usually only get to the post office once a week.

So, assuming I can get myself a car, I will soon be able to drop that shipping time estimate back down to 2-3 days, which is mostly processing time anyway. Hoping to get that set up soon, but until I, you know, purchase a car, please bear with me.

Also, one last thing…I really need to do a video or blog post or both about Etsy’s RIDICULOUSLY BAD new shipping policies. They are essentially forcing some of their own (deceptive, manipulative) ideas on already-struggling shop owners, just so that THEY can make more money – all while lying to our customers. It’s some BS, and I don’t think most Etsy shoppers are aware of it.

So I’m going to be, uh, doing a bit of an exposé soon. Sorry, Etsy, but if you’re going to be this bad, we – the shop owners, essentially your suppliers – ARE going to take it on ourselves to educate each other and our customers.

With that said, let’s get on to something a little more fun – this week’s videos!

7/8/19: Unboxing Goulet Pens Package | Fountain Pen Haul!

In this video I just unbox some fountain pens and fountain pen supplies, and walk you through what I got and why. Everything was ordered from GouletPens.com, a great fountain pen retailer.

7/10/19: Using Tarot and Oracle Cards for Story/Novel Development

I have wanted to make this video for QUITE some time!! I’ve used Tarot cards for storytelling for a long time, and I’ve found it incredibly helpful…so I definitely wanted to share some tips and techniques with you all. I know there are some writers out there in my follower-base so I hope that it was helpful for you!!

7/12/19: Summer 2019 Planner Lineup

So, this is some of the books and planners that I’ve ended up using for summer 2019. As of July, I HAVE moved into that Recollections spiral planner, and I LOVE IT…tour of THAT one coming in August.

That’s all the videos for this week. I hope you enjoyed them!

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to support this blog, the channel, and what I do, please head over to my Etsy shop and get yourself a little something – or, just subscribe to the blog, my YouTube, and my Instagram. I promise that Etsy Exposé is coming soon, so stay tuned for that.

And with that being said…I hope that you are having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very, very soon.

All the best,
-Taylor

Weekly Blog & Video Digest 7/8/19 | New Oracle Cards, New Etsy Listings, and New Videos!

[CC: An oracle card, the Goddess of the Moon card from the Energy Oracle, on top of a pile of scattered, face-down Energy Oracle cards. The moon in the card seems to glow in a supernatural way. END CC]

Hey guys! Taylor here. It’s time for the weekly blog here on taylorjohnson.art, where I check in every week and let you know what I’ve been up to and what’s new!

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[CC: the same image of the same card from the Energy Oracle. END CC]

The first thing I want to talk about is that I’ve invested in a few new decks. And by a few, I actually mean about 8 decks this summer. I know it sounds like a lot, and I don’t usually invest in so many at once…but I do enjoy working with them, and I’ll definitely use them. And, after years and years of pretty much being a Tarot purist, I think I am FINALLY ready to start learning about oracle cards. I could write the five new decks off as research for my upcoming oracle, the Sacred Storyteller Oracle, but honestly, it’s not just research. I bought them to use them, and to advance my understanding of oracle cards. Oracle cards are not something I’ve always been super positive about, and I want to change that. They help many people, and recently I’ve just felt inspired to open up and try them.

So. Yeah. New oracle card decks coming soon – Wisdom of the Oracle, The Enchanted Map, Kuan Yin Oracle, Gospel of Aradia Oracle, and more. I may review them, and if I do, would you all like written reviews here on the blog, or YouTube video reviews? Let me know.

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[CC: A photo of several small, colorful, hand-stitched Tarot deck bags. They all have different patterns and different color stitching. END CC]

In other news: New things are coming to my Etsy shop shortly! There will be new deck bags, suitable for tarot/oracle/angel cards of all kinds, AND new notebooks…in new sizes!! I will soon carry Pocket and B6 inserts, as well as B6 Traveler’s Notebooks. I’m so excited to be able to offer these to you.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been shopping with me lately. It honestly makes me so happy to pack up items and send them out to people. It’s about more than just the money; I enjoy providing a service or product that people can treasure and even benefit from spiritually.

ReadingsfromMMTInsta

[CC: A grid of photographs of a hand holding up various cards from the Millennial Mystic Tarot. END CC]

Oh, and the Tarot decks! Yes, the Millennial Mystic Tarot decks will be shipping out soon.

Like, this week. Like, Tuesday. If you haven’t ordered one yet, click here to see the listing, and order yours now.

Without further ado, let’s get on to what videos I posted this week.

July 2019 Card Reading | OWN YOUR TRUTH, PROCESS CHANGE

This is the monthly card reading for July 2019. As usual, I’ve done a reading for the collective using tarot, oracle, and angel cards to read the energies of the coming month and give us all a bit of a heads-up on what we can expect!

FAVORITES Summer 2019!

It’s a favorites video, yes. I just have so much stuff to show…it’s a little embarrassing, but eh, these are fun videos to make.

I Don’t Know What’s In These Boxes?? | Random Unboxing

OK, so I exaggerated a little: I knew most of what was in these boxes. I just didn’t know precisely which box was going to contain which of the TOO MANY items I ordered in June. It was pretty fun, though, to open up boxes and not entirely know what I’d find.

So, I guess that’s about it, guys. I hope you’re doing really well. I’m mostly doing awesome, though my anxiety has been really, really bad…But what else is new. I’ll be okay. Always am.

If you’d like to support this whole operation financially, please do head over to my Etsy shop and find yourself something. If you’d rather support through social media boosting, please follow this blog and my Instagram and subscribe to me on YouTube for more videos about art, Tarot, and stationery.

And with all that being said…I hope that you are having a TRULY excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very very soon.

Bye!
-Taylor

Weekly Blog 7/1/19: Returning from Hiatus, the #hbnotebookchallenge, and #onebookjuly2019 !

Hey guys! It’s Taylor.

I’m back from my “burnout hiatus” and am feeling way better. I actually did spend part of this last week, the end of June, working on filming videos – but only because I had started to feel like it again, and I’m doing well enough with my full time work that I think I can begin to add my usual content-creation processes back into my life.

As I’d said in a previous video and maybe some blog posts, whenever I’ve increased the amount that I work at day-job stuff, I’ve gone through a couple months of “OGOD I HAVE NO FREE TIME LEFT, ALL MY FREE TIME IS GONE, ALL I DO IS WORK, I CAN NEVER DO A PERSONAL PROJECT AGAIN.” I felt this when I started part time work, and again when I increased to half time, and again when I increased to full time.

However, even with FT work, I DO still have free time – it just doesn’t feel like it, and I have to use it more wisely. And now that I’ve had a couple months to adjust to full time work, I feel once more like “OK, yeah, I’m busier than I was – but I can manage this. I can still work on my personal things. This is doable.”

So, yeah. I’m back.

me at event

The past month has actually been…great. I launched my first Tarot deck (buy it here), I had my 30th birthday, and I had a business trip (day-job related) to LA. I can’t say much publicly but gosh, it was cool as hell. I had a lot of great opportunities to attend an ACLU event and then a Women In Media event. As for the logistics side, I hate flying but I love travel, so, mixed feelings about the trip – but TSA wasn’t too awful and I did come through okay, so I guess it was a win.

I’ve been painting a lot for the next deck, the Sacred Storyteller Oracle, and I am thrilled with the cards so far.

That deck is coming out for Christmas/Yule/Solstice 2020, but you can follow the progress on this blog or on the deck’s Instagram, @sacredstorytelleroracle.

I’m also participating in a couple of challenges! One is a yearlong one, the #hbnotebookchallenge by Sarra Cannon of Heart Breathings. This challenge is basically to use up a notebook a month, and was inspired by Sarra’s realization that she had…kind of a lot of notebooks. Stacks and stacks of beautiful…blank notebooks. I have the same problem with mine, so I was really inspired when Sarra posted a video challenging everyone to use up a notebook every month of 2019!

For some people, their focus in doing the challenge is to write more – some people are hand-drafting novels, others are journaling, still others are memory-keeping, and so on. For others, it’s about decluttering and changing how we think about the perpetual acquisition of notebooks. And for some it’s just a fun challenge!

HBNotebookChallenge.jpg

A lot of us have found that a whole notebook every month, though, is a LOT more writing than we want to be doing; so, many people (including myself) have chosen to alter the challenge slightly for ourselves. My adjustment is that I’m using traveler’s notebook inserts instead of actual notebooks for my 12, but I still plan to fill 12 of them. I started with three Standard size inserts, but just finished a half-letter size one. I’m not being super strict about what size I use….just making sure I actually do all that writing.

The other challenge I’m joining this year is just this month, and it’s the #onebookjuly2019 challenge. Basically, the challenge is (loosely) to use a single book for your planning or journaling for all of July. Me, I had to alter this too, of course; I’m basically using just two notebooks: a traveler’s notebook system and a spiral-bound planner. I would have tried to keep it all in the TN, but I’ve been planning for months on moving into a Recollections “Creative Year” planner from Michaels, so I really had to alter the challenge to allow myself to use both. So, notes and journaling and to-do lists go in the TN, and all the rest of my planning goes in the spiral planner.

2Notebooks

I don’t have a video digest for you for this blog; that will come next week once I’m back to posting videos. I’ve actually pre-recorded and scheduled out videos for most of July, so never fear, content is coming. I just had to take June off. It was a good thing, though, and I don’t regret the choice.

In closing…Thank you all so much for your support. If you’d like to financially support this operation, please do head over to my Etsy shop; if you’d like to see the videos I make, check out my YouTube; if you’re at all on Instagram, follow me there; and don’t forget to subscribe here for more updates on all my projects.

Until next time… I hope that you’re having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very, very soon.

-Taylor

Weekly Blog 6/3/19: Prep Week, Launch Day, and Other Schedule Struggles

Hey guys! It’s Taylor, and today is Monday so it’s time for the weekly blog and video digest. I write a blog every week here on my homepage about what I’m doing, what challenges I’m facing, and what you can expect to see in terms of content from me in the next few weeks.

MyCardsBack_512

This is prep week. Launch day for my  Millennial Mystic Tarot is 6 days away, and I am doing my best to be as ready as I can be. It’s a little terrifying. A lot of people have posted early reviews and/or helped to hype it up, and I am SO grateful for that! It has been amazing to see the community come together to share and support this deck, and I am forever in your debt. All of you.

I’m also currently working on creating the illustrations for my next deck, the Sacred Storyteller Oracle. I’ve got a few done and they’re posted here. I’m working on Arches and really enjoying the benefits of that paper.

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I’ve joined a journaling challenge, the #hbnotebookchallenge by Sarra Cannon over at HeartBreathings. Sarra is an incredible indie author and also a stationery fan and has started this awesome challenge to help people use up their unused notebooks, or boost their journaling practice. My participation is going to be using up a 64-page standard Traveler’s Notebook insert every month for the rest of the year. I’m enjoying it so far and I love having a reason (ok, excuse) to journal way more than I had been.

Finally, here’s an overview of this week’s videos over on my YouTube:

Painting an ATC | “Doll in Shadow” + Anxiety Chat

This is a video I’ve wanted to make for a while. It’s just a little chat about my experience with anxiety disorders and how they’ve affected my life – plus how I’ve managed to deal with them.

Setting Up a 52 Pan Palette | 1hr Palette Setup Tutorial

This is an epic palette setup video where I set up a full 52 color palette! I’ve never used pans before, but since making this video and this palette, I’ve used it a lot, & it is now my main palette for EVERYTHING. I love it!

June 2019 Card Reading | Look to the Light to Heal the Dark

Finally we have my monthly reading for June 2019, featuring the Millennial Mystic Tarot as the main Tarot deck for this reading!

That’s about all I’ve got for you this week. Until next time, I hope that you’re having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very, very soon!

-Taylor

Weekly Blog 5/28/19: The Blog Is Late, The Blog Is Late!

[Header image: A painting from the Sacred Storyteller Oracle, the illustration for the Crone card.]

Hiya guys!

So, sorry the blog is late. I’ve been busy as hell. I took two days after Memorial Day off, but spent them all running around catching up on errands, cleaning my room, completing a commission, and finishing off the first draft of the Millennial Mystic Tarot guidebook… so I feel like I need a weekend after my weekend. As usual.

Speaking of the Millennial Mystic: It will launch at midnight EST, the morning of June 9, 2019. So, it’s just about 10 days away. I would recommend that, if you want to know as soon as it goes live, go ahead and favorite my shop on Etsy and make an account there. This is not a paid Etsy promotion – it just ensures that you can quickly check out, in case they do sell quickly. I will be limiting the first run to 200 pieces, and while that seems like a lot, I’ve seen indie decks sell out sometimes within hours. But I have no idea what the demand will be like, really. It’s hard to predict, when I’ve never published a deck before.

One thing I’d like everyone to know, though, is that the Tarot deck will ship about 6 to 10 weeks after you order it. This is because I will be ordering the shipment based on the number of decks sold in the first couple weeks, and will need time to order them, have them come in, and do QC (quality control – check them all for errors) and package them.

I’d also like to thank the various reviewers who have posted reviews about my deck this week. From Vix (NewAgeHipster) to SarahWritesEtc to others, I am so grateful to all of you for donating your time to review and post about this deck. It means the world to me to have people excited about this.

Now, on to the video digest:

May 20, 2019: How It’s Made : Laminate Travelers Notebooks by Taylor Johnson Art

This is sort of a “How It’s Made” style video of how I make my laminate-paper Traveler’s Notebooks (a new item recently added to my Etsy shop). I mostly just wanted to share the process and let you know how I make these! Please, if you want to make ones of your own, go ahead and try it yourself. (By the way, the laminator I use is a Scotch one from Target, and it was about $21 USD and does up to 9″ wide.)

May 22, 2019: Watercolor Supplies Beyond The Basics What You MIGHT Need!

I’ve wanted to make this one for a while! It’s basically a list of supplies that are REALLY helpful for watercolor painting, but are often overlooked because people focus on the paint, paper, and brushes. From mason jars to paper towels to heat guns, you’ll find all that info here.

May 24, 2019: Inking and How You Might Use It In Your Work!

I love inking. A lot of us love inking. But how does it really figure into one’s artistic process? In this video, I talk you through how inking works for me, and how it might work for you.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got this week. Thanks for reading, thanks for watching, and thanks for being part of my journey.

All the best,
Taylor

Weekly Blog 5/19/19 –

Hey guys! It’s Taylor, and today I don’t really have a topic. I thought I’d just give you some updates and, of course, the weekly digest.

Updates first:

  • The Millennial Mystic Tarot is still on track to be released June 9, 2019.
  • I’m working on a really big, really fun video where I’ll be setting up a frighteningly large watercolor palette, and sharing about my process for choosing paints, which is based on an awesome Skillshare class by Denise Soden.
  • I’ve been really enjoying doing daily card readings over on my Millennial Mystic Tarot Instagram. You don’t have to sign up for anything, you can just follow the MMTarot there and read the general energy forecast each day.
  • I may be illustrating a children’s book at some point soon. Whoa. Can’t say much right now, but….whoa.
  • I’m working on some new artist trading card originals for my Etsy shop. For just $20, with free shipping, you can own an original piece of my artwork, and I’ll even sign it for you! These are a great option for people who want to own an original but don’t have a lot of funds, or maybe just don’t have the space to display something large.

With that being said, let’s go on to the video digest!

May 13: Replying To My YouTube Comments – FINALLY

Yes, I went there – I finally went into my YouTube comments and faced the crowd and listened to what you’ve been saying! I am gaining courage in this, but still have a lot of anxiety about it, so please bear with me. Thank you for all your kind words!!

May 15: Mid-May 2019 Card Reading | Unbuckle From the Blame Game, Step Deeper Into Love!

Man, is it just me or do these monthly readings go DEEP?! By the way, this is the first time in one of my monthly readings that I’ve used MY deck, the Millennial Mystic Tarot.

May 17: Plan With Me – Bullet Journal Timelapse May 2019

Since I’m back in my bullet journal (again) and was able to film this month’s setup, I thought I’d share it…halfway through the month, but still, you get to see me set up and decorate my bujo!

That’s all I’ve got for today. Until next time…

-Taylor

Weekly Blog 5/13/19 | Printing Struggles, Arteza Watercolors, and Oracle Deck Videos!

Hey guys! It’s Taylor and I’m here with the weekly blog and video-digest. Let’s get right into some updates.

First of all, I’ve had a (relatively minor) issue with the printing of the Millennial Mystic Tarot. This issue is not something I was aware of ahead of time, and actually, even after I got the decks, I had no idea that it was a problem. But a kind person who was in on the early promo run reached out to me and said:

“DUDE. These decks STINK.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, your call, she wasn’t talking about the art. She was actually referring to the rather chemical-y smell of the UV coating on the gloss-finish cards from MakePlayingCards.com, the printer I use. And while many people who do indie decks do use MPC, most of them get the MPC Card Finish rather than the Gloss Finish. I personally didn’t have a problem with the smell, but apparently some people are very allergic.

Lesson learned: Card finish. New decks are coming in today and I’ll be sending them out to reviewers and such shortly.

A note: Some would question why I’m sharing about this struggle – so many people want their deck production to seem flawless and smooth. But I feel that I’d rather use myself as an example for others who are making or contemplating making a deck, so that YOU can learn from MY mistakes and mishaps.

And another note: No one who purchases a deck, at all, ever, will get the gloss finish. I will be storing those for friends and family who are non-allergic, and only the card finish will be sold. So no worries for you.

Next up: I’m going to be doing some more Cheap Art Supply Celebration videos – YAY!! Next one will be trying out Arteza watercolors. I ordered that huge, $40, 60-tube (SIXTY TUBES) set. I know my M Graham paints are astoundingly higher quality, but honestly, I love cheap art supplies, including watercolor, because they free me up. They let me NOT worry about wasting paint. They let me just enjoy the joy of creating.

I’m also, with those Arteza paints, going to do a video on setting up a palette when you don’t know your paints well. While this is not often recommended, I do think a lot of us end up in this situation, where we want to make the most of a palette but don’t even know where to begin. So, I think it’ll help to have a video describing how I approach choosing paint blind, so to speak.

Thank you for reading. Without further ado, here is the video digest, a summary of the videos I posted to YouTube this week:

May 6: Starting the Sacred Storyteller Oracle | Watercolor Speedpaint and Updates

A speedpaint (timelapse video of me painting) of one of the first cards I’ve done on the Sacred Storyteller Oracle, my upcoming oracle deck. Click here to learn more about that project, or watch the video for a quick discussion.

Angelarium Oracle Deck Unboxing + First Impressions!

An unboxing and first impressions video for the Angelarium Oracle of Emanations deck from Lo Scarabeo. As per usual, I was less than thrilled with LS’s production of the deck, but it was a lovely one in terms of the illustrations and concept. Click here to learn more about Angelarium.

State of the Studio | Spring 2019

Every so often I do a “State of the Studio” video in which I give you general updates about my channel, my website, my shop, and my online presence in general. It’s a good chance to hang out, chat, and keep everyone up to speed on all this stuff that’s going on. This is the second SotS Address.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-Taylor