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My name is Pia, some of my friends still call me Sherm from my days as a graffiti artist. I live & work in Los Angeles, CA. This is my corner on the world wide web to post my art, writings, etc. More about me here.

Find me on these social networks:

Flickr | Instagram | Twitter

Happiness is the Center

I couldn’t come up with a better title for this post, so this will do. I’ve been wanting to blog, but I’ve run out of things to talk about. Truth be told, I really don’t have a whole lot to say other than life is good and all is well in my world. And I really don’t want to force it either; perhaps sometime soon, more ideas will come through that will be worth blogging about.

In the meantime please continue to pursue peace, love and happiness for yourselves; continue to sparkle and shine on no matter what’s happening around you. You deserve to live a stress-free life. Don’t feel guilty that others are miserable, remember that you are only responsible for YOU.

Maybe I will write a tutorial on how I created the animated gif above. We shall see!

What Does the Term ‘Occult’ Mean to You?

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The term ‘occult’ seems to have a bad rep (depending on how you perceive it I suppose) – do a quick Google image search and you’ll see mostly dark, visual interpretations of the word. Different people interpret it in so many ways and that’s fine, everybody’s entitled to their own creative vision. In movies however, the occult has often been mostly portrayed as something weird, dark and scary. Synonymous with black magic, it’s become a permanent image in people’s subconscious that it’s an evil thing that can call in demons, vampires, witches, ghosts and otherworldy beings that can harm you.

The occult has also been tied to government conspiracies, the illuminati, the Knights Templar, Freemasonry, etc.

I admit that I was initially attracted to the occult by way of dark, strange imagery on the internet. I didn’t understand what the symbols meant, but I was drawn to it and knew that I liked it. It makes for great subject matter for when you’re creating something in the horror, cult, supernatural, sacrilegious, weird genres. One’s imagination can conjure up all sorts of imagery from the term. And it just looks damn cool.

Over time though I realized that the occult didn’t just encompass the dark, but also the light. My interest in the occult eventually led me to healing and learning about myself. The light and dark are One Thing. Duality only exists in our human minds, I believe it’s how we make sense of the chaos that is our earthly existence on this dimension.

The word occult simply means hidden from view; something mysterious, a secret. When I close my eyes and visualize the word, I imagine a beautiful shining light, hidden deep within my being and yours; something that you search for that’s really been there all along. This has light been dimmed by layers of programming throughout our human years, negative beliefs and other mental junk and is just waiting to be rediscovered, awakened by our true selves.

All the things I have been spending time learning about these last 4 years – tarot, crystals, Qabalah, magick, meditation, metaphysics, mysticism, comparative religion, etc…all are part of the occult.

I hope this (sort of) clears up some misconceptions about that word. I’m sure someone out there can better clarify what I’m trying to say here but hopefully this will do for now. Feel free to add to this or expand what I’m trying to say.

On an unrelated note: the watercolor painting above was done when I was emulating the bold, traditional tattoo style of tattooing that I really like. I was trying to get into tattooing at some point and so my artistic style had that feel for a few years.

Animated GIF: Trippy Flower

I was trying to get this GIF to loop seamlessly in After Effects. Haha, it’s a 10.4 MB file, original drawing on my Instagram.

I started off with a drawing that I did today, took a picture of it and sent it to my email. I then separated the stem from the flower in Photoshop into 2 parts so I can animate it in After Effects. I also had to fill in the gaps on the stem – so when I rotate & scaled the flower, the top of the stem doesn’t disappear.

Trippy Monday, life is good.

How to Make a Flyer in Photoshop Using Your Own Photos

If you are feeling uninspired and aren’t finding the perfect image or background, use your own photos to create a flyer for your event or to promote your offerings & services. Everyday we are taking photos and posting it to our social media accounts; there’s lots of things to take photos of – the sky for example, you can take a picture of a flower, the grass, the road, a wall, a piece of wood and use that as background texture. Remember, inspiration and beauty is everywhere!

A perfect photo to use has a lot of space for text, so try not to use an overly busy photo. For this tutorial, I am using a photo that I took of the sunset when hiking at Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, CA around dusk.

I am using Adobe Photoshop CC on a Mac. Beginners can follow along.

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Tip: always duplicate your photo, and use that duplicate for your project. You never want to overwrite or use the original – then you would’ve lost your awesome photo forever. Sadface.

Step 1: Open up the photo you are going to use and go to File menu > Save As…

This saves your photo as a Photoshop document also known as PSD. PSD is the raw version of your file where you can edit, create your text and layers, etc.

It’s always important to Save (Command S, Windows/Start Key on PC). People tend to overlook this most basic step, especially when you’re in the zone. So always remember to save often if you don’t want to redo all the work that you did.

Tip: if the photo you want to use is on your phone, email the photo to yourself from another email address. From there you can check your email from your computer and download the photo.

Step 2: Resize your file.

You want to resize your file if you’re going to use this for internet / social media use. You don’t want your final file to be too big. Go ahead and go to Image menu > Image Size…

Type 600 as your Width and hit OK.

Step 3: Add some text. Play with the sizes.

Make sure you turn your Background layer in your Layers panel into a layer by double-clicking on it. Now you can add text.

The font I am using is OPTI Cashew Bold, it’s one of my favorite fonts to use.

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Step 4: Add more text.

You can stick with one font as long as it’s easy to read. If you need to add a lot of information, then it would probably be a good idea to change the font. Helvetica is always a good choice. In this tutorial, I am sticking to using one font.

So for the most part, we’re actually done here. If you’re satisfied go ahead and go to File menu > Save for Web > use JPEG, High, Quality: 60 for your settings. Make sure you have ‘Optimized’ checked on. You now have a flyer that you can post on Instagram, Facebook, etc.

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Step 5 (Bonus): Add a shape behind the text

Maybe the information isn’t standing out enough. Let’s add a shape behind the text ‘WHERE, WHEN & WHAT TO BRING?’…then make the text white.

Reversing the color of things always helps when all the text looks the same.

Click and hold the Custom Shape Tool (Star-looking icon on your toolbar) and click Custom Shape Tool. On your top bar where it says Shape (might be located on your far right), click and hold the little arrow; Photoshop comes with custom shapes that are ready to use for your project. Pick the one called Banner 4 (when you hover your mouse over the shapes, a label for the shape will pop up) and make your shape over the text ‘WHERE’.

Hit Command J to duplicate the shapes and place them over ‘WHEN’ and ‘WHAT TO BRING’. Resize the shape over ‘WHAT TO BRING’ since that one has longer text.

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Step 6: Move shapes under your text and make them white or any color you choose.

At this point, your shapes are on top of your text. In your Layers panel, move the shapes under your text and change the color of your text.

Don’t forget to hit Save.

Step 7: Play around and have fun with it!

I did more tweaks to mine, like change the colons to question marks. Added an exclamation mark to ‘City!’ This didn’t take long at all, probably less than 30 minutes…an hour for me because I was creating the flyer AND typing this tutorial up.

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You can download the PSD and font I used for this tutorial.

How to Create Your Own Background in Photoshop

Perhaps you need to make a flyer and can’t seem to find that perfect background. Why not make your own? I notice that the time it takes for me to search for a background, could’ve been used as time spent making one. It really doesn’t take that long, if anything you will end up spending more time creating your background because it’s a lot of fun and you will literally get lost in the creating process.

This Photoshop tutorial is aimed towards intermediate users (those who aren’t new to Photoshop and use it regularly), but I think semi-beginners can do this as well. I am on a Mac using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

Step 1: Create your file.

Mine is 800×800 pixels, 72 resolution, RGB mode. Perfect to use for Instagram.

Step 2: Change the color of your background.

I picked a gray color (#666666) and hit Option (Alt for PC) and the Delete key. This fills your current white background with the gray or whatever color you choose.

Step 3: Pick another color and make a shape.

Click the U key on your keyboard or go to your Toolbar to click and hold the icon with the circle – a dropdown menu appears to give you other shape options. I am going to keep it simple and do an elipse…a magenta elipse.

I am now going to call it a circle instead of an elipse because it’s just easier to say.

Step 4: Pick another color, duplicate your circle, and change the color.

With your circle layer still selected, hit Command (Windows/Start on a PC) Key and J and now you have another circle. Option + Delete Key to fill it with a new color and move it around. I picked a darker magenta.

Step 5: Duplicate your 2 circles and play with the color modes.

This is the fun part, the part where you can get lost and play for a bit because it’s endless. Select both circles in your Layers panel (Shift + Click to select more than one item) and hit Command J again. You should now have 2 other sets of circles, 4 total). Move them around, make them smaller or bigger if you want; deselect and then select one of them and choose Color Dodge in the Blending Modes dropdown menu right above your Layers. The circle “blends” in and now you can see the other circles underneath.

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Step 6: Group your circles into a folder

Select your circles by Shift + Clicking on each one until you have all of them selected, then hit Command G to group them. Doing this creates a folder for your circles.

Step 7: Duplicate your folder

Hit Command J again to duplicate that folder you just created. Now you have a 2nd folder full of circles and you can move the entire folder around, maybe even rotate it to create an interesting composition. Play around with this until you are satisfied.

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Step 8: You can repeat step 7 or add an Adjustment Layer.

So let’s say you’re satisfied with what you made, but the image you created is still too bright to add text over it. You can add a Levels layer to make it darker or brighter depending on your needs.

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In addition to the Levels (which made mine darker), what I also did is create a new layer, and made a gradient over this, hit G on your Toolbar. Hold and drag your mouse over this new layer and it should create a gradient with the 2 colors you have as Foreground & Background. I gave it a Multiply Blending Mode to make it darker. It adds depth to your background and now you can put light colored text over it.

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Step 9: Add text

Go ahead and add some text to this image.

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Here is the PSD that I used for this tutorial that you can download for reference. The font I used for the main headline is a Google font called Ultra.

Usually when I find that something in Photoshop isn’t working, it’s probably because you didn’t select your layer in the Layers panel, and then you also have to target your image.

So always remember: in order to change something, you must select it first – the layer itself and then click to the image area.

How to Add a Custom Background to Your Drawings in Photoshop

This is a new marker drawing that I made today. Most of my artwork is usually feminine in nature so I wanted to channel in some masculine energy. I also promised to type up a tutorial so here goes!

Here’s a simple technique that I like to use for my drawings. Beginners new to Photoshop can follow along 🙂

I am using Adobe Photoshop 2015 by the way and the key commands I use are for Mac. Control key is the equivalent of the Command key on a PC.

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1. I scan the drawing at 300dpi and it gives me this large TIFF file. You can take a pic with your phone, email it to yourself and download it from there but I find that the resolution isn’t high enough. I could be wrong though, feel free to try it.

2. My scanner software (Image Capture) is kinda janky so when it scans, it gives me a washed out scan. To fix this, I usually hit Command Shift L or Auto Levels in Photoshop. Or I adjust the Levels and Curves until I’m happy with it. In Adobe Photoshop CC 2015, it’s now called Auto Tone in the Image menu.

3. I want to add a cosmic background to the blacked out area of the drawing. It would be good to find a background that’s about the same size of your scanned image. In your layers panel, double click to turn your locked background image to a layer so that it can be edited. It’s going to become Layer 0.

4. Hit W on your keyboard to select the Quick Selection Wand tool, third tool on your toolbar.

5. With your Layer 0 still selected, on your image click the area you want to select and see how much it covers. You will see a selection (some people call it marching ants). If you need to select more additional areas, hold down the Shift key and click another area. The more solid the area is, the better your selection will come out.

6. Now that you have a selection, hit Command Shift I or go to Select menu > Inverse. This changes your selection. You won’t see it until you put a mask on it.

7. With your selection still active and your layer 0 still selected, at the bottom of your layers panel, click the Add Layer Mask tool, third one from the left. This masks or hides the area that you selected.

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8. Now you can bring in your cosmic background by dragging the file right into your Photoshop document from wherever it’s located. It will place the file right smack in the front so once you’ve adjusted it to your liking (size and position), hit enter or return; now you can move that cosmic background layer to the bottom of your layer stack.

9. Make sure to hit Command S to save your work! Save often if you’re doing a lot of edits.

10. I like to play with the blending modes in the Layers panel, the tab that says Normal but has a dropdown menu. I added another layer and played with gradients and changed the blending modes on there too.

Endless fun!

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If you want to practice with the files I used, you can download them here.

Stay Relevant

I have an affinity for handpainted lettering and typography – gothic, script, ornamental, etc. Basically the hard-to-read ones that aren’t normally used in advertising – because although they’re lovely to look at, they’re kind of hard to read.

I drew this up a few years ago. I find that when I’m annoyed with something or someone, it tends to fuel some of my artwork on a subconscious level. I don’t even remember who it was in particular, it could’ve been a few random people who I just stumbled upon on internetland. I guess it bugs me when people hella show off or try too hard – they’re either screaming “hey look at me, I’m doing something” or “hey look at me, I post nothing but bullshit…but I want you to think it’s NOT bullshit”. So at the time I made this, that’s what staying relevant meant to me: people who just do useless things in order to remain in the minds of the general public, like celebrities who are famous – you don’t even know what they’re famous for.

Well fast forward to now. Being a jill-of-all-trades in content marketing and design, I’m starting to understand what staying relevant means from this angle:

  • Posting images and using words that you wouldn’t normally say to catch the attention of a potential client or buyer.
  • Being in the customer mindset, thinking like them so you can better predict what they are most likely to buy from you.
  • Paying attention to the latest in technology, social media, pop culture and anything related to it.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not a fan of the last bullet point. I don’t like having to keep up with any of it, especially anything that’s cool and trendy. But since we’re in a global market now, meaning everyone is either buying or selling something whether it’s their art, music, creative services – we could all stand to stay relevant somehow by learning something new everyday and applying it to ourselves.

Keep your mind open to possibilities and opportunity, no matter what age you are.

Let’s Get Weird

The original title of this post was actually “How Weird Is Too Weird?”. I changed it because I did some keyword research on Google & it told me that this title gets more searches than the one I had in mind. Go figure.

Let’s face it, we’re all editing ourselves constantly…especially on social media or anywhere online that is public. Being weird can’t really be wayyyy too out there, can it? Sure, most everyone is saying nowadays “stay weird, be yourself, etc”, but what are the actual consequences of that?

Luckily for me, since my day job has to do with adult content – being weird is part of the job. If you are a creative person, then being weird is a given.

But for the rest of us, perhaps we have to keep it under wraps. Most people still have to set up some kind of private or semi-anonymous account because in reality, what if your employer or a family member is snooping? What if someone just doesn’t like you and wants to use it against you? Many people are still judgmental. Lots of things come to mind, really.

We are free to express ourselves but with restraint, sound judgment and consideration for others.

I just wanted an excuse to post a new, weird sketch to go along with this blog post. Believe it or not, coming up with topics to write about is helping me come up with more ideas to draw. It’s a win win and I’m stretching my creative mind a little bit further each day. And I am thankful for that.

I need to buy hiliters though because I’m tired of the same 3 colors I’ve been using.

Rebuilding Oneself Creatively

At some point in life, one has to rebuild or reinvent themselves. Maybe even more than once, but a few times in a span of a lifetime.

Your past no longer defines who you are now at this present moment.

I imagine this is how musicians must feel when fans are attached to their more popular songs; people keep wanting to hear you play those same songs over and over but you (the artist) have been ready to move on for sometime now.

But I have to admit, Purple Rain is Prince’s best album. EVER. RIP

I understand this because I have been in the process of doing just that, making others aware of me but from a different view.

It’s not easy, but it can be done. Your past friends might not ‘get’ you anymore, or you might have just drifted apart with those you used to be tight with. It happens.

And yes, there are a ton of artists, writers, makers, creators out there who want to be noticed for their work too but don’t be discouraged if you feel as if no one is paying attention to you and what you have to offer.

You must keep trying, but not in a way that makes you look thirsty (that’s a whole another topic in itself). It is better to make an effort than to be in a defeated mindset and say outloud “no one’s gonna buy my stuff” or “no one’s gonna give me the time of day”.

“No one likes my art.”
“No one likes my music.”
“No one reads my blog.”
“I’m not good at this.”

How do you know that? How do you know what people like or don’t like? You DON’T know.

As far as not being good at it, then you must practice. It’s the only way to get good at something. Even those who are naturally gifted have to practice their craft; it may come easier for them because of their talent – but practice and consistency is involved in any endeavor.

Here’s a personal example: I don’t think I am very good at writing. I am good at blogging about personal shit…as a matter of fact I am an EXPERT at it (haha); but writing for an actual audience – being helpful, making it interesting and to the point? That’s definitely a challenge for me. But I am making the effort with this blog post, I am practicing more and more.

The one thing you don’t want to do is put yourself down. Try not to say anything negative about yourself, try not to say anything negative about others.

Continue to create for yourself. Act like nobody’s watching.

So I hope this blog post motivates you a little. I know, I know…there’s already a FUCK TON of motivational quotes, words from ‘influencers’, experts, gurus, etcetera out there.

But I am just like you, I am trying too. I want to put more effort into this blog, I want to get better at writing quality blog posts on topics that I can discuss. I want to keep pumping out new drawings to go along with these blog posts.

Here are some new rough drawings from my sketchbook. I kinda like coloring with office supplies, hi-liters in particular :]

Drawing – LOL OMG Occult Girl

Colored her over the weekend, still WIP.

Not posting as much & following less people on Instagram in order to draw more. Taking all distractions away (little by little). Doing instead of trying.

Your power lies in the present moment. You can affirm what you want to happen and visualize the outcome.

I’m on my way to manifesting a new reality, whatever that is.

The Occult Goddess of the Internetz

Flexing my creative writing muscles. I felt compelled to write this piece / commentary / poem / whatever you want to call it – but I also wanted a drawing to go along with it. Update: replaced animated GIF sketch with a drawing.


The Internet Goddess walks among you. She remains anonymous but watches, observes all human computer interaction. She absorbs it all and uses it…

for marketing & advertising purposes.

WTF?

Yup, she is a mirror of you. She is you and you are her. The way you talk, what kind of slang you use, your pains, your gains.

She, we, her, I…

throw it all back at you.

So buy something already. She needs to see some kind of ROI.

I am the occult Internet Goddess. Worship my coding, copywriting, blogging, video editing, web design, graphic design, SEO, marketing skillz…

I am everything. I am nothing. I move freely from desktop computer, to laptop, to tablet, to mobile phone.

I am everywhere and nowhere.

People underestimate the Internet Goddess. She’s not popular, she doesn’t have followers, WTF does she do??

The Internet Goddess puts herself in service to others. In doing that, she thrives.

Egoless, heart centered, she will work hard for you. Sounds like a gimmick, but it’s not.

The Internet Goddess can lure you in with her mind (posts), body (pictures) and soul (likes) if she really wanted to…

but she’s busy, just like you.

You will probably not meet her IRL, but you will know her work online. You will start to recognize that she can assimilate other people’s thoughts, yet retain her own identity…

the identity of nothing.

In being nothing, she can contain everything.

Just like The One Reality.

She’s out there, surfing the internet. Thinking, feeling, posting, typing…

Maybe she’ll text you occasionally, maybe she won’t.

Only a handful know her IRL.

She prefers not to be known.

I am the occult Internet Goddess, and I will live forever…

on your screen.

Old Sketch – Dragon Girl

My drawings are at its purest when I sketch them initially. The more I try to refine them and make them perfect, the less they become natural and loose.

Drawing – Tektite Unicorn

I participated in a tektite guided meditation last night & posted an animated version on Instagram today (something that I just did pretty quickly in Photoshop), so here is a still version. Have I told you that I enjoy making GIFs? Well, now you know 🙂

From Robert Simmon’s Book of Stones: “Tektites carry the energies of a number of extraterrestrial streams of communication and information. These stones, whether they are themselves Meteorites or not, vibrate with high-frequency pulsations which can put one in touch with ETS.”

And that accurately describes what I experienced: I floated from a desert landscape into the night sky, exchanging energy with my star. After that, I traveled further into space and landed in an area that was similar to Superman’s home, Kryptonite. Ice-like and blue, except it wasn’t. I encountered & merged with a being that morphed from a unicorn, to a sea horse, then into a pulsating, wavy, transparent sea slug until it grew larger & became glints of colored light. It was overwhelming that I was literally blinded by the light! Did you get the song reference? Super trippy indeed. Thankful for the experience!

I still want to learn how to animate really well in After Effects, as well as create 3D graphics in Cinema 4D. I really just want to animate my visions. I just want to play, experiment and have fun. There are so many things I want to learn…

so a rough drawing made with office supplies will do for now.

Art for Sale: Wu-Tang “C.R.E.A.M” Painting by Sherm

Title: CREAM
Size: 16″x20″

Do you live by the Wu Tang code of Cash Rules Everything Around Me? Then this 16″x20″ acrylic painting is for you. This is a painting of the letters inspired by the rap song “C.R.E.A.M” by the world famous Wu Tang Clan.

Price: $250





Dream On

Today I am dreaming about a few things:

Rather than striving to buy a house (which I can’t afford at my comfort level anyway), I am now dreaming about freelancing yet again.

I’ve been doing the fulltime thing for quite some time now. It’s great to have that security but I also want to experience something different. I tried freelancing a couple of times before but failed.

I want to work for myself, and I want to grow my own business. I mostly just want the freedom to work from home and be at home. I’m kind of a homebody.

But just because it SOUNDS easy doesn’t mean it is.

And this could just be another pipe dream…
or this could be me manifesting a whole new reality.

If it’s in alignment with your highest good, then anything is possible.

Allowing myself to dream on.

Photo is a closeup shot of my favorite Labradorite stone. If you look closely, you’ll see what appears to be a lone figure. He occupies this mystical forest, just being.

I wish I could be like him, to just be. But it is also an inherent part of our human nature to want more for ourselves when our current situation no longer gels – to make our dreams come true, to manifest our truest desires.

Kirin

chinese-unicorn

Original Chinese Unicorn drawing

The Complexity in Her Eye – 2010

Title: The Complexity in Her Eye
Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 8”x10”

Oval shaped painting from 2010. Depicts a feminine eye surrounded by a pattern.

Price: $100



Earth Day Everyday

I wrote this prayer for the earth today, please share 🌍💚🙏💚🌏 #earthday #22nd #22teachings

A photo posted by Naha Armády 🌙 22 Teachings (@naha99) on

One of my metaphysical teachers Naha, wrote this beautiful prayer in honor of Earth. I felt compelled to share it.

Naha has taught me and many others about the tarot, crystals, psychic protection & so much more.

Check out Naha’s magical Instagram or visit House of Intution

Metatron’s Cube & Sacred Geometry Meditation

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It’s time to start showing my website some love again; after all, I am still paying for it. Social media is fun, but websites are still the meat & potatoes of the internet (ha). What happens when Instagram is done…what WILL be the next thing? Social media platforms always tend to come and go, your website is really the closest thing to permanence.

I’ve decided to stop thinking so much. I noticed that it really held me back from being creative.

What I do at work, thinking/analyzing is ok and it works well for me but definitely not for my personal stuff.

Here is a rough drawing that I did a couple of weeks ago. I attended a guided meditation with Jessica Snow at Spellbound Sky. I’ve attended two sessions so far and wow…after coming back to the earth plane I literally had to scramble back home both times and draw what my mind’s eye saw. My mind was blown and the visions were crystal clear. It was an amazing experience and I hope to do more.

So if you feel like you’re stuck creatively or are having some kind of block, I highly suggest a guided meditation! 🙂

Renting vs Buying a Home in Los Angeles, CA

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This is not really a rant, but more of an observation…

but it seems that those who either grew up in LA or have lived here for a long time can’t afford to buy a house. You either have to move really far away or suck it up; and by suck it up I mean you continue to rent the house or apartment you live in so you could have an easy commute to work and be close to the places you enjoy frequenting. It all boils down to comfort, convenience and sentimental value – you just love that area and don’t see yourself living anywhere else.

But everyone always says it’s better to buy than to rent. My parents were drilling this into my head before I even understood the concept.

Now that I’m a little bit older, I’ve been thinking more and more about buying a house. I’ve talked to others around my age (the 35-45 something crowd) and they want to buy a home too, but none of us can afford it. The prices of homes in certain neighborhoods are going up and a lot of these homes are really just somewhat average.

It’s as if locals are getting pushed out farther and farther out.

I’ve been thinking about how far do I want to live just to have the house I want. But other factors fall in too like will I like the area/neighborhood, how far am I willing to commute to work, etc.

In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful contemporary house I saw during one of my hikes/walks a while back. A bitch can dream, right?

Mixed Media Drawing * Lost in Time * 2008

echopark-chick-sherm

Title: Lost in Time
Description: Framed 11″x14″ black & white, mixed media drawing

If you grew up sometime between the 1980’s and 1990’s, were influenced by gang culture and watched “Mi Vida Loca”, then this mixed media drawing would be the end result. This is pretty much a throwback to those times.

Echo Park wasn’t a safe place back then. I’m sort of amazed at how much the city of Los Angeles has changed, for better or for worse.

Price: $250




Amazing Photo by Aaron Huey

I’m pretty sure the photographer who shot this (Aaron Huey), emailed me the same, awesome photo more than 10 years ago. It’s so surreal when things resurface. Anyway, this was posted on Nat Geo’s Instagram today! So crazy.

I want to let people know who saw this photo in their feed that I wasn’t the only one on that wall; top left is ATLAS and bottom left is VOX. They were my crew mates from WGS (We Got Skills) Crew.

Hiking Around Los Angeles, CA

[At the time this was written] I was forced to make a lifestyle change 4 months ago – I went and got a physical and was told that I was prediabetic and had high blood pressure too. Fuckin a, bummer. Being Filipino doesn’t help, either.

If I was still a few years younger, I would’ve probably ignored it and kept on eating the way I did (I did ignore my first warning actually). But this time around, it was different. I paid attention this time and commited myself to reversing this.

So long story short, I’ve been eating better. I’ve also been exercising and exploring LA like I never have before. I am learning to appreciate nature a whole lot more. Admittedly I’ve lived in LA for a long time now, but never explored it’s natural environment.

Here is a list of places I have hiked at so far, this list is just for my own record.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Cahuenga Peak

Coldwater Canyon Park

Eaton Canyon

O’Melveny Park

Runyon Canyon

Stough Canyon Nature Center

Temescal Canyon Gateway Park

Wildwood Canyon Park

Stough Canyon Nature Center

Wilacre Park

Radial Light

radial_light

I have posted this before but as a static image. I was digging through my old files when the idea came to me to post this as an animated gif, unfolding itself like a flower.

The Unicorn: A Magical Symbol

pink-unicorn

Most girls grow up loving unicorns when they were young, I was definitely one of them. I had an insane collection of My Little Ponies and She-Ra’s unicorn.

As I learn more about spirituality, metaphysics and symbolism – I’ve come to realize that the unicorn is not just a mythical creature to be adored but also a symbol of magic – a symbol that you can meditate and draw upon when you need some imagination and creativity in your life.

The unicorn is synonymous with imagination, dreams, fantasy, magical things, otherworldly realms, thinking of the impossible. And I totally get it now.

Here is an old drawing that I made into a GIF.

So today, dare to dream. Dare to imagine that anything you can think of is possible.

Femme9 & Sherm – 2015

Untitled

This is the last thing I painted with my good friend, Femme9.

I don’t have much of an interest in painting graffiti these days, but I still admire it.

As one gets older, priorities definitely change.

Planet Caravan – Black Sabbath

We sailed through endless skies
Stars shine like eyes
The black night sighs
The moon in silver trees
Falls down in tears

Light of the night
The earth, a purple blaze
Of sapphire haze in orbital ways

While down below the trees
Bathed in cool breeze
Silver starlight breaks dawn from night
And so we pass on by
The crimson eye of great god Mars
As we travel the universe

Crystal Appreciation

Untitled
I’ve been wanting to talk crystals on here, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I didn’t have the perfect photo to capture the perfect angle of any of my stones, but today I felt compelled to write something.

I’ve only been collecting crystals and gemstones for a few years, and it feels like I’m barely at the tip of the iceberg of really learning from them.

But I’m also excited that more and more people are using them to expand consciousness and to assist with spiritual growth – I never thought I’d be one of those people but life is weird, awesome and mysterious in that in unfolds in unexpected ways if you let it.

All I know is, I was searching for some kind of healing. I was full of hate, jealousy, anger, resentment. I also allowed stress to get the best of me, I cared too much about what people thought and I still couldn’t get over the death of my mom from December 2006. I was always aware of these negative feelings, but no matter how hard I tried to not feel them – I couldn’t escape them. My mind and my ego ruled more than my heart.

I truly believe that having crystals near you can change your vibration and expand your consciousness. They are able to assist us with so many things. Here’s a personal example:

I had to move to a new place recently and I was concerned about the people who lived there previously – I was wondering if they had bad or negative vibes.

So before we moved in completely, I wanted to grid the house with crystals, by making a crystal grid. I found this helpful page on crystals to use for home protection. I had searched for a few ways, but this one was the easiest to do. We also used palo santo.

That was 6 months ago, and I can safely say that I feel protected and safe in the house I’m living in.

I have more examples of crystal assistance, but for another time.

This is a picture of my first set of crystals. I love them all but I tend to gravitate to Tiger Eye, Labradorite, Fluorite and Amethyst.

And for those who are reading this and asking why, you can search online and read a few articles, including this. And trust me when I say that I’ve asked the same questions. Everyone has to experience crystal energy for themselves.

The Absence of Color

Still one of my favorite quotes. I don’t know anything about fashion nor does it interest me all that much, but I really wanted to know about the person who said these powerful words. I did learn that Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese fashion designer.

I Thank Myself…

for putting up this website. Though it’s mostly a ghost town around here, through years of just writing out my thoughts I actually did learn how to blog/write better, be more clear with the written word. It’s actually become part of my job now, to write copy. I didn’t think I was capable but again, I’m glad that this website served some kind of purpose.

Everything is a practice, and a constant edit.

In the past, this website also served as a place for me to complain about (you guessed it)…work. At the time, it served a purpose. But now, it doesn’t. Things change, and I’ve decided to change the way I think about things. I’m learning everyday by letting go of struggling and just going with the flow.

What did I struggle with? That’s a long list, but one of the major issues I struggled with is making assumptions. Another one is taking things personally. There’s a fuckton of shit and I’ll probably save it for another blog post on another day.

Save the Savages 2007 Painting – SOLD

I had written a pretty good blog post about the first time I used “Save the Savages”, but then I deleted it. Like I said – I’m insane, I know. I realize now that I keep redoing this blog/website of mine because the past versions of myself no longer align with my present self.

The first time I used “Save the Savages” was for a painting I did back in 2007. This is a painting of the Santo Niño (Baby Jesus, Holy Child, etc) which is an iconic religious figure in the Philippines. When I lived in the Philippines, I remember as a kid that this statue was in the house. It was creepy – androgynous-looking actually, and I didn’t know why it was there.

And as I got older in my early twenties, I met some conscious friends here in the US. Friends who told me that things are not as they seem. I learned about history and oppression of indigenous peoples, including Filipinos. That the Spaniards put those religious systems into place.

And so I named this painting “Save the Savages” – because that’s what I got out of it. Throughout history, indigenous people are often perceived and treated as savages, because they don’t fit the mold of modern society. So those who have the power feel that they need to “save” or convert these people, force them to believe in a Catholic / Christian God, etc.

Oddly enough this painting sold. Regardless of your personal interpretations on the art you create, people still identify with a religious icon in their own personal way – it must’ve meant something to the buyer.

Palm Reader 2010

Old drawing of my right hand, scanned and modified in Photoshop. I like this one a lot, it still vibes with me. Maybe it’s the pink color, the stars, the framing device or just a combination of them all.

Personal Brands and Such

For a long time I thought I screwed myself over by changing my site name from “SHERMGRAFIK” to “SAVE THE SAVAGES”. Deleting everything and putting it back up didn’t help either. If you view it from that perspective, I guess I kinda did; I lost visitors, I lost my spot on Google’s first page for search engine results and I really don’t have much of an internet / social media presence anymore. I basically lost my audience.

That you should stick to your ‘personal brand’ so people will remember you, that you should ‘build up an audience’ and ‘gain more followers’ …that you should do this or do that.

That’s all blah blah blah to me now, only because I’ve finally reached contentment, I have no desire to achieve those things. And I want to remove the phrase “I should” from my vocabulary forever and replace it with “I can”.

Being content is not the same as being complacent.

And after learning how to do this for my employer, I’ve come to realize that people can buy or even cheat their way into popularity and brand awareness – by stealing other people’s content or buying followers, just to name a few.

This sums it up for me, it’s a quote from what Cameron Crowe learned from David Bowie on Mashable:

His takeaway, though, is what sticks out bright in his mind today: “He was always obsessed with music and art and never the business.”

“The thing I just wanted to say — I’ve had the last couple of days to think about it — [is that] David Bowie’s impact is so huge in that he presents himself now as a role model to artists who may need to remember that it’s not about branding, it’s about a restless need to be creative and to continue being creative,” he said. “David Bowie was the anti-branding artist.”

Don’t get me wrong, branding is great – it gets your name out there. But for artists, it’s not a hard and fast rule. You don’t have to stick to a style of creating because the masses like it, you have to create because it’s what you’re born to do whether you have an audience for it or not.

And that’s my take on it.

Design a Mandala

I have lots of saved images that I have pulled down from the internet for reference, inspiration or whatever. I suppose I should start sharing them again. Enjoy.

You Are the Universe – Work in Progress GIF

I think I like the initial drawing more than the final, but then again I’m experimenting and just going with it. More to come (hopefully).

You Are the Universe – 2016

I haven’t been drawing much, but I’m always creating (as we all are in one form or another) you just might not notice me as much. I prefer being a ghost anyway.

Although I’ve been paying attention to myself more, I haven’t really given this blog much thought. I hope to start posting stuff again, but I can’t promise it will be consistent either.

So here is my first drawing of 2016.

Convergence

Drawing on black construction paper with silver paint pen. 2012

Your Time Is Up – Print

Title: Your Time is Up
Dimensions: 16″x20″

This was a drawing turned into a 16″x20″ 2 color screenprint created in 2008. The bunny dies a physical death and returns to its source. The guys who did this for me did a great job, the florescent pink pops. It’s bright and bold.

Price: $20


Do Not Covet Your Ideas

I think everybody who creates something struggles with this at some point.

Sad Girl Sherm

I tend to use whatever’s around, I hang on to used up Sharpie markers for shading – those are my favorite and they add texture to the drawing. Gothic chola.

Manipulator – 2009

the-occult-woman

Personally, this is one of my favorite paintings. It’s dark & bright at the same time. This is one of those rare moments where I’m not thinking too hard about what I want to create, I just went with it.

Paintings – Women of the Occult

She is you, you are her. Black is her choice of color – it hides, conceals, protects.

Dark, mysterious, intuitive; she will only reveal whatever it is you seek…

if you sit still in silence.

Title of left painting: Mystic
Title of right painting: Goddess of Death & Destruction
Acrylic on canvas, 2010.

Both paintings are 24″x36″

Please inquire via email: pia [at] savethesavages [dot] com

Erotic Painting: Sister of the Flesh

Title: Sister of the Flesh
Dimensions: 18″x22″

Framed mixed media painting from 2012. This painting exudes a dark and erotic mood; it depicts a young nun with her boobs exposed, standing in an infinite hallway that is the convent. A lustful woman, whose thoughts are both perverse and sacred. The red roses represent her desire, the three eyes above represent the Holy Trinity.

This painting was part of a group art show titled VEXED: Tits, Tatts and Turmoil at 423 West Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.

Price: $400




Deformed Friends – Sticker

This is a 6″x4″ red & black postcard size sticker that I made years ago (2008). I still have a few left.

Price: $2




Sherm – Dickies Wall 2004

Still running, only because it’s a ladder spot. Otherwise, someone would’ve dissed me years ago I’m sure.

Reverted

Back to the old theme. No matter what, this is my favorite theme EVER even if it’s no longer being updated by its developers. Only thing is, the reaction buttons don’t work too well with it – I can’t get it to work the way I wanted it to before. Wah, whatever. I guess I won’t be able to gauge people’s reactions anymore.

So I’m starting over…AGAIN. Hopefully this will be the last time. Bare with me as I will attempt to put back the posts everybody liked. This time it will be mostly my artwork, my own content.

Sometimes I am insane and I obsess too much over this shit.

Seeking Divine Knowledge – 2010

Title: Seeking Divine Knowledge
Description: Acrylic on wood, 12″ x 24″

This painting depicts a hand holding a pink rose, reaching out to the sun. The Babylon Sun symbol is incorporated into the sun.

Price: $350