My Mind on Facebook

First day using my new Facebook page. (©️Robin King)

First day: Confusion, frustration, claustrophobic panic. Most soothing thought is to click DELETE & run away forever. But I won’t. Not today.

If you’re there and have visited me, commented, liked, etc., THANK YOU! As soon as I get my sea legs I’ll do the same. Initial attempts to follow others have failed. But I’ve left comments. There’s hope!


Now it’s an even dozen: I just set up a new Facebook page.

Grrrrrrr! Back to Facebook. (©️Robin King)

Have I tried Facebook before? Yes. Eleven times. Some were pages and some were profiles but not one of them lasted more than a month. Facebook freaks me out! Being logged in there gives me visions of monster-bugs-in-the-basement-battling-flesh-eating-zombies slasher movies but you’re locked in the theater with real zombies and bug monsters and they all want to eat your popcorn through your intestines.


So why do it? I’m trying to promote what I upload to my Redbubble Shop.

Instagram lacks Twitter’s linking features. Twitter was OK but lately it’s fraught with more angst and vituperative pissyness than I can take without screaming into a pillow.

I don’t want to do videos. I’m not interested in chasing influencers for their attention, and I can’t afford to do brand ambassador giveaways, etc. Those choices limit my social media platform opportunities.

There are other sites, methods – yes. But Facebook is Facebook. It has “reach.”

So, here we go: Facebook, attempt #12. I hope I survive it.


A Celebration of Paper, Pixels, and Practice


Playing with Paper and Pixels (©️Robin King)

Placing and pasting pieces of paper “perfectly” – Haaaha! – takes practice. The last time I created something from paper pieces was at least five years ago. I need some practice because I plan to use paper when I make the “Textures of Music.”  Here’s what happened when I worked with those pesky bits of paper last night:

  • First, I haphazardly ripped old advertising circulars and some of my old paintings into pieces, big and small. I never cut the paper because ragged edges are more interesting to my eye. This is part of the pile:
Mostly repurposed paper, torn into pieces. (©️Robin King)
  • Then I cut very basic face shapes from two sheets of solid-color paper – to represent eyes, nose, mouth, and eyebrows.
  • Next I found a repurposed piece of cardboard onto which I glued the face parts and a few “test” pieces of the torn paper (to make the “skin.”). This is what it looked like:
It’s turning into a face! (©️Robin King)

Fun! So I added more.

By the time I finished skin construction and a face began to take shape, my gluey fingers were sticking together and I had advertising confetti in my hair (don’t ask) so I stopped for the night.

I cleaned my hands, stowed everything away, opened the Sketchbook app, added that photo of the early test face, and began to play.

The result is at the top of this post. It’s simply a celebration of paper, practice, and – because I love messing with them – pixels.

Is it nice to be niche?

But if you don’t know your niche you can’t define your audience. (©️Robin King)

Yesterday I received another one of those newsletters from art marketers (or whoever sends them) about how everyone needs a “niche,” especially people who create images that they’d like to sell.

I’ve never been able to niche myself. Sure, I can focus on one subject or medium or “style.” But I won’t live that way, not anymore. I spent decades in a career niche. It was restrictive and uncomfortable and the only reason I kept doing it was for the salary and benefits. And, after a while, because of inertia.

The bright spots in those button-down decades were times of creativity and learning.

Now I’m free of those restrictions. I want to explore and learn and create what I want to explore and learn and create for as much time as I have left on this planet.

I’ll probably create more weird faces than anything else. And I’ll choose bright colors more often than not.

If that’s not niche-y enough then I guess I’m going to be niche-less.

First Filter Forge Photograph: “Five Minutes Before You Die”

“Five Minutes Before You Die'” (©️Robin King)

Those of you who’ve used Filter Forge will probably recognize the filter I used on this photo. In the past, to achieve a similar effect I’d take a picture of something with cracks in  it (paint’s good for that) then add that image to the original as a digital layer and blend the two. Clicking on the Filter Forge filter was easier, of course. But I can make all kinds of cracked-looking images by taking photos of different cracked surfaces. So…as far as this filter goes, it’s super but I have a file of my own already and can make more (but they wouldn’t be as scalable).

The other Filter Forge features are different, though. Most of the ones I’ve looked at so far are one-click, complicated actions I can’t replicate, certainly not in one click! They look fascinating! I’ll work with them this week.

Re the image above: It’s the result of more than Filter Forge clicks. I also edited it using Pixelmator Pro and Affinity Photo. Then, using Adobe Photoshop Elements I digitally repainted the places I wasn’t happy with. Tbh, I still see places to fix.


The title of this image is in honor of a relative who died Thanksgiving night. I hope he saw strange and colorful things before he died – I think he would’ve liked that.

Tiny Singing Faces – Tests for the “Textures of Music”

Small faces – but not small enough (©️Robin King)

These little faces are first tests for the “Textures of Music” piece. Here’s the post about it: “Sneak Peek: Textures of Music.”

The faces need to be tiny because I plan to have 200 of them positioned on a piece of A4 paper so I can scan it for editing, resizing, and uploading. Before I do anything else (like colors, etc.) I have to figure out how small the singing faces can be before I lose control of their expressions. The ones here are small but not small enough.

The next test will include hair, head tilts, and more accurate mouths. Necks and shoulders have to wait until I know if there’ll be sheet music. I’m still deciding about that. Should the singers hold sheet music? It would complicate everything (visually) so I may leave it out. But that decision depends on this one: Is this image humorous? Or serious? Right now I’m visualizing it as gently humorous, which would allow for inclusion of sheet music. But…we’ll see.

Stay tuned.

Sketchbook or Art-Incubator?

First sketchy thing (©️Robin King)
Second sketchy thing (©️Robin King)

For longer than I want to admit, I’ve been intimidated by SKETCHBOOKS. They’re books! They need contents! They want good things inside them! They adore creative ideas! They want us to fill them. They exist to contain. And not just contain but also display. And not just display but also inspire!


Too much pressure…

Anyway, I’ve tried. And I’ll try again. I won’t give up. I have a couple of sketchbooks. I’ve even put a few ideas and sketches in them. But they’re inconvenient for me and never never never as easy to use as a computer or tablet. Well, not never. If the power’s out, sketchbooks rock.

Last night I was watching TV, unwinding after an especially squirrely day, and began a digital sketch to help me relax. I added pieces of other images from my files. It’s a small thing and the various resolutions don’t match. It’s not fit to be uploaded to Redbubble or printed. But that sketchy thing gave me more ideas. So I made another version of it, and another. From sketchy little nothings something will grow. Maybe it’ll be special enough to share with the world. Isn’t that one of the reasons for a sketchbook? As an art-incubator?

Have I been using “sketchbooks” all along? Digital ones? Are my files of digital meanderings actually cyber sketchbooks?

Art-incubators made of pixels!

Why not?

(I’ll look for one of my non-cyber sketchbooks, though, and fill a page.😳)

Filter Forge Free Trial: 29 Days Left

This face was already weird. The filter added to that. Interesting! (©Robin King)

Clock’s ticking, kids: Only 29 days left!

Yesterday I downloaded the 30-day Filter Forge free trial for Mac.

Filter Forge counts calendar days not usage days so I can’t delay this (and I really want to play with it).

The image above is a quick test result: it’s one of the Filter Forge presets applied to a soft pastel sketch I did in 2010. To be fair, the face was already very odd looking (especially the nose).

Filter Forge embraced the weird!

::runs like the wind::


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