I’ve not talked about my affiliate marketing journey on here, as I have yet to make money from it. But I feel like I need to now, just to document all the shit I’ve had to do just to get it to this point.

5 years ago, I bought an adult domain. It had all the right keywords so I bought it. It turned out that that domain had some risky history that came along with it – Google decided that the domain was pure spam so it penalized me, giving me a manual spam label which I had no idea how to fix so I had to work on that just to have it revoked.

It worked and I was so elated. First obstacle down.

At the same time I didn’t really know what I was doing with what I had set up, so I halted everything. I kind of regret it now that everything is saturated but again, I was clueless about the affiliate marketing game even though I had purchased the playbook that would help me do it step by step and secondly: even though I spent money to test it, I was still scared about spending big chunks of money.

I’m still clueless tbh, but not as clueless as I was 5 years ago.

5 years later, I started it up again and now I’m dealing with a site with malware (obstacle 2). I had taken care of it mostly by making sure the site was clean and secure, but still had one more thing to pass.

My traffic source said my site still had malware, so I had to do one more thing (obstacle 3). And thankfully, it worked within the timeframe I was given.

I know none of this isn’t very detailed (I’m sure those in IM – internet marketing – will get it) but the point is:

if we want to achieve our goals – whatever they may be, we’re gonna be faced with other challenges along the way BEFORE we actually reach our goal.

Expect it and keep pushing anyways.

And when we reach our goal, we STILL have to maintain it somehow.

The process and the effort of trying to make it all work together will be tiring, as there are different parts that have to connect for all of it to work. Pace yourself and take a break from it whenever you need to.

You don’t have to rush to make it happen but you have to keep going because you’ve already gone too far and spent money to set it all up.

So that’s where I’m currently at. I’m just typing it out for my sanity.

The title of the post is appropriate because it’s what I wrote down after I completed my third obstacle, for now. Also, I didn’t know what photo to attach so I copied and pasted some Wingdings.

I also purchased my birth chart report – it indicated somewhere in the report that I was courageous and liked to take a few risks in life. Could this be one of them?

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Some of you might remember that I posted this interview years ago on October, 1st 2012 when my website was still under SHERMGRAFIK dot com. Well oddly enough, FB sent me a memory that I posted this interview 8 years ago today. Here it is again because I’m really missing her heavy right now. I’m having a hard time feeling excited for Halloween, as her transition anniversary is the 20th. Her and I would start drawing around this time for Inktober on Instagram then fall tf off after a week or so because life happens. I can feel my body grieving and my spirit wandering, not wanting to be present.🥺

roxybmontoya-artwork

Hi Roxy! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You know I’m a HUGE fan of your work. Can you tell us a little about who you are, where you live and what you do?

I grew up in Hawaii, but currently live in Las Vegas. I came out here right after I graduated high school to attend the Art Institute because Hawaii didn’t have art schools at the time. While in school I met my husband, got married, had two boys, and we’ve been in Vegas ever since where I work as a fine artist, graphic designer, and instructor at IADT.

I have always known you to be a creative individual. How did you get into art?

I always felt the need to get images out of my head when I was little and kept a lot of journals that I’d write and doodle in. My sister and I have an 8-year age gap, so that being said we never had anything in common so I had to play on my own and keep myself occupied. I wrote a lot of stories and illustrated them. Kind of like imaginary friends on paper, but none of them were human. They were all magical little animals. I still prefer to paint animals to this day. I think they are much more interesting than humans.

Since I know you personally, I also know that you are a graphic designer and also an instructor! How did you get into that? Do you prefer one over the other?

I’ve always wanted to teach! But what I didn’t expect was to be teaching at a college, I always told myself maybe high school? Or maybe even a Jr. high art class, but college never really crossed my mind. A good friend of mine got hired as the program chair at IADT and wanted to build a solid team of new instructors and asked if I was interested. Before interviewing I sat in one of her classes to see if it was for me, and I fell in love. The rest is history and I’ve been there for 3 years now and love what I do. I love school because I’m a huge nerd. If I weren’t an instructor, I’d probably be a student.

Also, I don’t think I prefer one to the other because I teach what I love to do.

Do you gravitate towards a certain style of painting, designing, overall creating?

I think I’m still and will forever be trying to find my style. I am inspired and love so many different art movements, artists, and styles, that it’s only natural to include a little bit of everything in certain art pieces. I also love to experiment. But when it comes down to it, the core of my fine artwork has a strong Pop-Surrealism background and influence.

Design work is a bit trickier since I work for clients, but one thing I am a fan of is fresh and clean work. That will NEVER go out of style. I like to keep up with design trends and incorporate them when I can to keep my work up to date and marketable.

On the topic of instruction – what is the constant question that your students ask, or a topic or concept that they tend to struggle with?

Funny you should ask, but believe it or not, a reoccurring question I get at least once a quarter is “How much should I charge for my work?” This is such a broad question and I don’t give any solid answers, but instead try to give some advice on finding their worth. I also let them know that some of my best portfolio pieces were done for free, but the experience and exposure were priceless. It gives them a lot to think about and it has them view the graphic design and art world in a whole other perspective.

When you start a painting, do you have a routine or way of doing things? Does it have to be quiet or do you have tv or music on?

When I start a painting, it’s always intense! I feel like a surgeon about to perform heart surgery. I need all of my tools ready and laid out perfectly. I need all of my tools, cleaned, and I need to be focused. Once I sit down I am NOT getting up unless the house is on fire (because there is nothing more frustrating than having your concentration interrupted!) After I triple check my work area to make sure everything I need is there (including coffee and extra water,) I put on my painting playlist and slip on my earphones. Everyone knows not to bother or talk to me till I’m done.

I notice that you paint bunnies A LOT. Why bunnies? Is there a meaning behind it, your spirit animal perhaps?

Besides being cuddly and cute, I’ve always had rabbits growing up. I’ve read that rabbits represent creativity and fear and always felt that was an interesting combination….

Where do you get your inspiration from? What motivates you to create?

I love and collect antique children’s books. I love any nostalgic imagery and the books I have are filled with amazing illustrations. My favorite illustrator is Richard Scarry.

What motivates you to create?

Not too sound overly emo, but the best motivation I have ever had was a broken heart. I paint my best work when I’m depressed.

This is a random question but what are your pet peeves?

When people are late. Biggest pet peeve ever.

Honorable mentions: Bad parenting (like parents who bring their kids to R rated movies!) people who misspell “they’re,” assholes who take up two parking spaces, stupid baby names, people who go shopping during peak hours and use a bazillion coupons, dirty keyboards.

Ok so now, the opposite of that question – what do you love, admire, obsess about?

Typography, Radiohead, alchemy and symbolism, analogous color pallets, blood, thick cuts of fatty marbled meat, pictures of ice cream, cholas, silly tattoos, sushi, human anatomy, vintage children books, hello kitty, my kids, my husband, and my best friends.

What goes on in that brain of yours? Do you have deep thoughts about life’s greatest mysteries, or do you get paranoid about the government watching your every move?

I am always thinking of my purpose, because I think everyone in this universe has a purpose.

Any guilty pleasures?

Food porn, silly pictures of animals on the internet and making up captions to what they would say and how they would sound like out loud, vampire shows, reading Teen Vogue instead of adult Vogue. Ugh, I’ve already said too much.

Jesus or Satan?

One of my favorite movies of all time is Constantine, and I’m always daydreaming of being the female version of him. How rad would that be? Anyway, team Jesus all the way. WWJDOMGFTW.

If God (or aliens) decided to destroy us and it was up to you to represent us, what would you say are the redeeming qualities of the human race?

Despite our imperfections and capacity of evil and greed (let’s forget about all of that for a quick second,) humans will never stop fighting for what they believe in. We’re the only species that keeps advancing; we’ve built pyramids, been to the moon and cured diseases. Regardless of some of our actions, which can be ugly, we have the ability create beautiful things.

What do you think about art on the Internet and the amount of copying people do (whether it’s intentional or not)?

I think it’s more common than not, especially with young artists just starting out. It’s a cycle. We all get inspired and subconsciously (or not) we’ve “borrowed” elements or techniques we’ve admired and included them within our own artwork. Now, if someone reproduces your work, and continues to do so, that’s a problem. But there is nothing wrong with being inspired and openly letting people know where the original idea came from, for the sake of not looking like a douche. The idea behind this is to eventually find yourself and your own style. There is a difference between being a reproduction artist vs. someone completely original and known for his or her own unique style.

Speaking of the internets, what websites do you frequent?

The usuals. For design I like to check out what the people at Behance or Dribbble are up to. I have a handful of artists I like to follow, including Shermgrafik.com. Then of course guilty pleasures like Facebook, Pinterest and Allrecipes.com (because I love to cook.) And if I remember, I visit Postsecret on Sundays.

Are you a lover or a hater?

I wasn’t sure so I googled “Lover or Hater Quiz.” I took it and it said I was 50/50. It also gave me some advice: “I know you mean well, but you should be more open minded, and socialize more.” After taking the quiz, I feel slightly more hater than not.

Any advice or words of wisdom to those who are just starting out in the creative world?

Read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon. Also, try to give back when you can. Not every gig has to be a paying one. Paint a mural for your community or design a logo for a charity out of the goodness of your heart (I love doing benefit shows and knowing my piece will help towards a good cause.) You were given a talent; never stop being thankful for that. Like any good thing in this world, nourish it and appreciate it. Keep evolving and even when you’re satisfied with a piece of art or design, start brainstorming how the next one will be 10 times better. Know there will always be someone better than you. Stay humble.

Is there anything else you’d like to say or let people know about yourself?

No animals were harmed during the making of this interview. 

Roxy on Instagram 🐰 Roxy’s website

Her most recent illustrations are at @xactoknife

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You look really beautiful today

Thanks…I love compliments about my flesh prison

Image description: photo of an old (Victorian?) painting. A man is offering flowers to a woman sitting on a stone bench. Her head is turned away, she seems indifferent.

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My Only Fans isn’t poppin and here’s why:

  • I’m not fucking popular.
  • I’m not showing any nudes.
  • I’m not promoting enough.

Become or do the opposite of the 3 I just mentioned above and I’m 100% sure your Only Fans will be POPPIN. (Don’t know why I picked “poppin” – it seemed the most appropriate word).

My reason for this is that I simply would rather be low key about it. If I start promoting heavy like everyone else then I will for sure attract creeps and rudeass subscribers who will demand shit from me and I really don’t want that.

Most people are lured by money but can’t see that there’s a price to pay for it. I would rather have my peace & privacy (whatever that actually means). I don’t think I can handle the fame, rude comments and lack of privacy. I can see that some of these girls are already suffering from it.

So I’m taking it slow and not forcing myself to do anything I don’t feel comfortable doing.

If you do go on Only Fans, or any of these platforms (there are more now that are springing up btw with better payouts) – be sure that you’re not doing it for the money. Otherwise you’ll be disappointed.

Do it because you like making content and that it’s a creative outlet for you.

Based on my observations so far, the ones who are making bank from Only Fans have a huge following on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. And they’re young and attractive. And they’re showing nudes.

I’ve only found someone on Only Fans close to my age; she’s a few years older than me and is successful and that would be Sinnamon Love and Tera Patrick. The only difference is that they’re retired porn stars with huge followings and I’m just a nobody.

To be continued…

Here’s a trippy animated gif that I made – I drew the triangles in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet, animated them and added some light in the middle. I wish I could remember how I actually did it though.

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These last few months has left me feeling jaded about the spiritual community. From spiritual bypassing to fake Instagram gurus, to false spiritual “influencers”…

I know it’s nothing really new but on top of a pandemic / economic depression / apocalyptic times maybe that’s why I’m not as vested in Crystal Healer LA as much as I was before. My relationship with Reiki has also changed as I’m learning to decolonize my spiritual practice, which is complex. I still love crystals though and believe 100% in their healing abilities, I just don’t know where I belong in all of this.

Perhaps that’s why I respect and admire the Devil so much; even though he/she/it is a made up figure it still represents a powerful, opposing force. Last night as I was going to sleep, I pulled the Devil tarot (the third card of 3) from the Labyrinthos app.

At least the Devil, who is a symbol of our shadow / aspect of our true and unconscious desires – won’t lie to us. Of course we will spend half our lives denying it, but if you look at your life thus far – your unconscious was really running the show all along. Please read Existential Kink by Carolyn Elliott.

Here’s an old drawing that I did, scanned and altered in Photoshop. At the time of this drawing, I wanted to be a tattoo artist so I was heavily influenced by Sailor Jerry’s flash. You can see that i borrowed the demon head from him.

Hail Satan.

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I know I probably tend to confuse people – as I’m ALWAYS starting up new Instagrams and trying things – I currently have 5 and that’s just for my personal projects.😉

I am that eternal fire, a Sagittarius Sun with my home planet being Jupiter – constantly searching for freedom and expansion. Constantly wanting to express different aspects of myself, as I’ve come to realize that now.

It used to frustrate me to no end as to why I can never finish things or be consistent for once. I hated it and would berate myself.

Have you ever known fire to burn consistently? Of course not.

I am understanding myself more as I get older and accepting myself fully. I’ll be 43 in December.

I hope you are too.

This was me from 5 years ago. Even though I had already stopped painting graffiti, I was still trying to be anonymous on the internet and wasn’t comfortable showing my face.

Just know that it takes YEARS to be comfortable in your own skin. It takes time to love and get to know ourselves. Once we truly know ourselves, no one can say anything to us anymore. No one can really hurt us.

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If anything, I have learned to open my heart and give with my money.

Ironic given that the whole purpose – at least I thought it was MY purpose – was to make money with the crystal shop. And I definitely have and I’m super thankful.

What I didn’t expect was that I would be giving a lot more.

I’m learning to work with money in a way that I haven’t before. For a long time, I lived in scarcity mode meaning I always hoarded money. I always felt like I never had enough. So I was stingy with it even though I had more than enough.

Lately though, I noticed it just comes back to me naturally whenever I give it.

Ever since Covid hit I’ve been tipping witches online and / or buying their products and I am definitely seeing a benefit of doing that.

Some of these Auras are available at my crystal shop by the way, the Money Drawing Ritual Conjure Oil is from Mētztli aka The Revolutionary Mystic’s shop.

Missing my best friend Roxy every fucking day. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about her. October 20th will be a year since she transitioned. I wonder if she will visit us on Samhain.💛

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This song – Kapila’s Theme by Om always takes me somewhere else. I only listen to it when I’m driving to work.

Sight to freedom rises descender.
Ground to screen of the seer, the sight, and the seen.
Up to obviate the sentinel and ground prevails.
Fuse to seed at the flight into absalom.

Perhaps not being on Twitter is good for me, I am less distracted and reading and writing more. I really was on there mostly for work but then work & personal kind of started crossing over to each other. I don’t know, I guess that was my fault for allowing it to happen.

For this new moon, I re-commited myself to writing for 20 minutes a day again. I was doing it earlier this year but fell off.

Current books I’m reading:

Reiki and Japan: A Cultural View of Western and Japanese Reiki
Let me just say that this book has clarified and confirmed a lot of things for me. If you’ve been reading my weird & confusing experiences with Reiki, then you’ll understand.

Way of the Ancient Healer: Sacred Teachings from the Philippine Ancestral Traditions
This one is also really good, as the author blends history, culture, spirituality, shamanism, metaphysics, psychology.

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