It would be easier to say ‘fuck LA, it’s gentrified. I’m moving the fuck out.’

Yes, easy right?

But much harder and more of a challenge to actually stick around and take up space in your own community.

Let’s be real here, do you really want to move; especially if you’ve lived in LA for so long? I’ve thought about the logistics of getting a house that I can actually afford…in the desert, but financially it would still cost the same. And besides, why the hell should you move just because some out-of-towners are taking over your neighborhood. Fight back!

So the question is, how do you fight back, then?

By supporting local businesses, supporting your friends who are all grown up now and have started opening up their own businesses; supporting small mom and pop shops who have become a fixture of the neighborhood. Support them by buying something, don’t ask for free stuff; understand that they have to make money and have bills to pay too.

Fight back by taking up space, why not start your own small business if you have an idea that you think people would love? This is your city, too!

Most of us have gone beyond the self-centered mentality – when you were young all you cared about was yourself. There was a time when it served you well.

Now is the time to give back and help out.

I hope this puts things into perspective a little bit. Here is an excellent read: 9 Tried & True Methods for Fighting Back Against Gentrification

Fear is a strong word and not the word I prefer to use, but merely wanted the title of this post to jump out at you.

I’m sure you are aware of this already – people are posting more videos these days, whether it’s on Snapchat, Periscope, Vine, or YouTube. Do a Google search and you’ll see that YouTube is in the top 5 of the world’s most visited websites.

I feel like I’m one of the very last people on planet Earth to get on board. Why?

I’m not exactly new to video marketing; I’ve posted some videos on behalf of the company I work for. But no real, live people were involved; and I only used my voice, once. It was awkward, at least for me. The videos were mostly made in After Effects with existing photos and audio. I’m still learning how to edit in Premiere.

I’m terrified of the thought of people looking at my face, let alone watching me talk. I know I’m not the only one, right? Plus when you come from a graffiti subculture where your painting skills were more important than your face (NOBODY ever showed their face)…you kinda see why this is a challenge for me, right?

It’s not like I’m hiding or am deliberately antisocial in everyday life…video is just very new territory for me when it comes to myself.

Although for me personally, I’d rather go with the artsy type of video like this one. It just seems like people are starving for content though – like how to videos, tutorials, life hacks, etc. If you are a business owner or just promoting yourself it’s just not enough anymore to have a website or blog, or to just post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Video is pretty much already part of the internet landscape. A lot of people don’t even want to read anymore, for fuck’s sake; they’d rather watch a video. I like to do both.

Anyway, so I’m trying to figure out how to leverage using video for my stuff. I guess the main obstacles are:

1) come up with a video that will be of use to others and
2) get over myself and the fear of my face being shown in video :/

The video above was made in After Effects – just playing around with the CC Mercury and Particles plugin. Then I made the movie into a GIF in Photoshop. If you pull the file down, you’ll see that it’s a 10.7 MB file with 353 frames, lol. Your GIFs shouldn’t be that big but I did it anyway. Maybe I’ll make a tutorial soon once I have the steps down…

If you happen to be reading this and have posted videos on YouTube, how do you get over being nervous when it comes to creating videos that feature yourself?

Not sure what to post or vlog about? I searched for 10 Simple Vlog Ideas for You to Try Out

The Death card appeared to me twice this week – first it was Death from the Sacred Symbols Oracle deck with the skull and rose at the beginning of this week on Monday, (top left)…

and then last night when I came home from work. I was sitting at my desk talking to a friend on the phone when I randomly pulled the Death card again from my HK tarot deck (bottom right).

I had a few other decks on the table so I decided to pull the other Death cards from them for this photo: top right is from the Albano-Waite deck and bottom left is from Camoin / Jodorowsky’s Tarot de Marseille.

The reason why I have all these tarot and oracle decks is because I am learning from them, they guide me throughout the days of the week. I feel better prepared for real life situations (whether I am consciously aware of them or not), and I admire the artwork too. The Tarot is a teacher. I’ve barely been studying the Tarot for only about 4 years now and I guess this is my method of learning; I learned that the same cards tend to come up in different decks. It probably doesn’t make sense to others, but for me it helps me to see comparisons. Consider it a double or triple confirmation. Some decks I use more frequently than others and so they end up sitting on my desk for months.

Reflecting on all the violent events so far this year made me realize even more that Death is and will always be a constant part of our lives. Someone is probably dying right now at this very moment, but we’re not aware because it’s just another day. So we only pay attention to what we see on TV and social media. We cannot dictate to Death who lives and who dies; Death doesn’t care if you’re gay, a person of color, a cop, a rich or poor person or someone of authority…

Death comes for everyone, this is the ultimate truth. Once you strip away all the complex feelings that humans attach to death – grief, sadness, hate, anger and everything in between…

there is just that, the natural part of life. It seems unnatural that a person dies at the hand of another, but at the same time this is and has been the history of human civilization. A person dies, and another one is born. It’s the cycle that keeps on going, no matter how we feel about it. The World Tarot card appeared to me this week too.

Death is certainly the most painful of all teachers. It is the one that is hard to let go of, to get over with and move on from. It’s especially painful for us who are still alive because we’re the ones who have to keep on living and remembering.

My mom passed away 10 years ago from cancer. I feel as if it was only in these last 4 years when the Tarot showed itself to me, that I started to feel like I could live again.

This is not to say that your feelings and emotions are invalid. They are valid and you have a right to feel the way you do. You can grieve and experience all the feels for as long as you need to, this is what it’s like to be human. Just know that this too shall pass, and that you have people that understand what you’re going through.

Where there is death, there is also rebirth, growth, transformation, healing, a new way of seeing things, a different perspective and so much more. The effects of death are far-reaching; peace, love, unity, justice, karma, and other cause and effects can spring from it. It really puts me in awe.

It seems like every single day whether I am at work or at home I always see 11:11 on my phone, computer or digital clock. It’s been like this for months now. I see other number sequences often too – like 111, 222, 333, 444 & 555. Sometimes 666, 777 & 888. 888 because I work for a company that deals with lots of phone numbers. I end up Googling the meaning of these numbers often because I see them so much.

And it becomes even more in depth if you’re studying the occult meaning of the numbers themselves in conjunction with the Tarot. Talk about going deep into the rabbit hole, I am going to reserve that for another blog post (and when I can actually articulate it).

Patience vs Synchronicity

Patience is good. Synchronicity is better. Patience can be defined as bearing or enduring without complaint. It is the act of “giving time” to that which will come to fruition. It is the hope of things to come.

On the other hand, synchronicity is that which knows no waiting or enduring. It recognizes that all is complete in the moment. It provides all in this very moment. It knows there is a perfect time and place for all, and one who experiences synchronicity knows of the harmony between the person and the completeness of the moment. One in synchronicity is not waiting for the rain to stop so that the garden may be tilled, but instead appreciates the rain in all its splendor, along with the situation that it creates in the moment.

Source: 11:11 Synchronicity – Repetitive Numbers and Their Meaning

I just realized that I have a lot of original content that I created for myself to use for social media stuff and really just for the sake of creating and experimenting; for example this one was my old Facebook cover photo from 2013. I always like things to match to the point where I become obsessive over it, like my cover photo and my avatar. What can I say, it’s one of the few things I CAN control.

I used an old drawing that I scanned (the woman with a rose and a skull); I then played around with colors and gradients in Photoshop. For some reason I was drawn to using bright colors, triangular shapes and checkerboards at the time – not really knowing the significance of each. I then created a black square shape, duplicated it and layed it out, grouped them together, flattened them and used the Perspective tool to create the floor. The white part is just one big shape.

I hope to type up a decent tutorial soon on how I create my graphics, so my blog posts can be more useful and have some kind of value to you, the reader.

Here is a good reference of the meaning of the checkerboard in Freemasonry

Hello dark type on white background! I’ve been resisting this for quite sometime now, I just really, really prefer white type on black background. I don’t just like black, I LOVE IT. I feel protected when I wear black, vulnerable & exposed when I wear white (like I just know I’m going to get some kind of food stain on me & I’ll be upset for the rest of the time); not sure how I can relate that to website readability & color but anyways! Just seems like every freakin website I visit now is a template or has a white background; don’t get me wrong – it’s nice & clean, but everything looks the same.

But from reading a few things online a lot of people say that most prefer to read on a white background, especially if it’s text heavy. Something to do with astigmatism too.

Luckily with this WP theme along with my CSS skills I was able to compromise – my logo up top sits on a black background, it looks more striking that way. That’s enough for me & makes me happy.

Yup, if you are an artist/designer like me, you would get nitpicky and obsessive about this kind of stuff too.

If you are having a hard time deciding, this old article on The Do’s and Don’ts of Dark Web Design might help you decide.

p.s. I am aware that comments aren’t working right now. I’ve been trying to figure it out so bare with me. Thanks for reading!

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My cat Tabby started vomiting recently, even though we feed her the same kind of food – a can of wet food (Purina Pro Plan) and some kibble (Nutro). There are a number of reasons why a cat would vomit, but the main reason usually has to do with their diet. Apparently a cat can develop allergic reactions to food as well. We had to figure out which one is the culprit and we think it’s the kibble. I am just posting this link as a reminder.

Learn the Reasons Cats Vomit

So I decided over the weekend to put up my old website and it’s domain, shermgrafik.com back online.

It will serve as an archive of my old work. And if I am attempting to do the art thing yet again, then it’s important for people to understand my background.

The site was redirecting to Save the Savages, but decided to make them separate.

What is the reason for this? I believe that if I did have an audience, they wouldn’t like every part of me jumbled together into one, confusing mass…

so even though we are one and the same individual – I am creating the illusion of separateness.

Our human brains like to categorize things, and so does the internet.

So those who like my old graffiti & art stuff can go over there. Those who like the stuff I do now can stay here.

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