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Entries in New Year (5)


Dreams Are Real 047: 2013 - Absinthe Soda

Photo by Shahriar Shadab

"After the first glass you see things as you wish they were.
After the second, you see things as they are not.
Finally you see things as they really are,
and that is the most horrible thing in the world."- Oscar Wilde

2013 rolled in with promises of fresh start and delivered with a great big blow to the perceptions of illusion and reality. I called it absinthe soda.  The Oscar Wilde quote summed it up but as the days turned to nights and hours into months, the horror turned to beauty and the great mysteries of the year unfolded. It seemed to be a year of open homes, wounds, and new ventures. It started and ended in the same physical space. There is a saying that whoever you spend your time with or whatever you end up doing on New Years will give insight to the outcome of the year to come. I believe this to be true and spend the night in the company of close friends sprawled on a canopy bed drinking champagne and recounting stories.

Summing Up 2013:

I was written up in The Guardian, NY Times, Hi-Fructose, Run Riot, Luna Luna, Digital Journal and did a panel on independent publishining for Bedford and Bowery and guest hosted Comic News Insider. I was featured in Force Field Fotocomix 01 by Seth Kushner, traveled to Chicago and did a tarot class at Madame Zuzu's. I had shows in Last Rites, Sacred Gallery, Skylight Gallery, Local Project, and Madame Zuzu's. I did the album cover for The Cold & Lovely, shot their music video, and my own video vignettes were featured as backdrops for their tour. I also did production design for Natti Vogel's "Cannibal video which was featured on Mtv Hive. Speakeasy Dollhouse got rave reviews this year as well and so it goes on another year. I also did a Speakeasy Dollhouse themed Dr. Sketchy's before it waved goodbye to it's NY chapter. After a trip to New Orleans I came back refreshed and Sister Enable and I started London Conjure. I also joined with Damon Stang to bring you "The Witches' Compass" at Catland Books.

2013 brought some sad news as well. My dear friend Taylor Mead passed away and forever took a piece of my heart with him. You were a brutal year 13, but necessary and I'm looking forward to all that 2014 has to offer.


Dreams Are Real 043: Happy New Year

Happy 2013 and year of the snake. 2012 was a crazy one with three apocalypses and loads of transformation. The tarot wasn't lying when I pulled the Tower on my birthday. I woke up this morning after a night of debauchery and champagne. I spent it with some of my favorite people in the world, just as I did last year.

Going over 2012 was a bit rough. I had some great ideas and produced some great work. I was written about and photographed. I traveled and met people, some people who are putting into motion some major changes. These are all exciting changes that I'm not allowed to speak of just yet but will be announced soon enough. It was also a highly introspective year, I was both the hermit and the socialite. It was a year with many layers.

This morning I checked the website of one of my greatest friends in the world, Warren Ellis. Warren is my go to for almost everything whether it be business advice, practical advice, even relationship advice. Words can't express how much I adore him. Of course the first thing I read today was posted on his blog. I think it pretty much sums up 2013.

Wyrd is a good old Anglo-Saxon word that may loosely translate as “fatedness.” 

“To become.”  “That which happens.”

There is strangeness in wyrd, an active supernatural process of destiny.  Its descendant word “weird” retained its paranormal context until fairly recently.


Wyrd and the future are where I’m going to be living, this year, I think.  Maybe I always was.

Let’s have a good weird year.

This was the last thing I painted in 2012. It's a Day of the Dead skull with honeycombs, bees and butterlies.

As I got dressed I pulled two cards for the New Year. The first one I pulled was the Two of cups. Two of cups symbolizes partnerships, bonds, healing, love, union, forgiveness, moving forward, and positive energy.

The second card I pulled was the World.  The world symbolizes coming together, positive completion of a cycle, dynamic balance, bringing two things together, flourishing, beauty, peace of mind, being present, satisfaction and contentment.

 I got dressed to go out for New Years I thought about writing this post as a year in review. I've done it every year since 2008. This year seemed a little different, it wasn't as important to show myself or anyone else my achievements. The important thing was to move forward and keep achieving, keep bettering my craft, and keep pushing forward in my art, my life, and in love.

We filled the bathtub with champagne and strawberries. A decadent end to 2012 and a luxurious beginning to 2013.

Happy New Year all. I hope it's fabulous.  I pulled a card for all of you too. For 2013 the energy will be that of the Queen of Cups. The Queen of Cups represents a person adored by all, good natured, beautiful, and honest. They are admired and respected by those around them. She represents love and creativity at its fullest and is always there when someone needs a hand, beauty at it's highest. She is a reminder that to truly be able to give of ourselves to we need to learn to receive others and vice versa. Here's my version of the Queen of Cups featuring Lenora Claire.


How To 010: How To Keep Your New Years Resolutions

Happy 2012!  With just one day under it's belt 2012 has already begun to be awesome.  I divided my time between two parties, one a small gathering of uber talented people in a midtown flat and the other an all girl party at Molly Crabapple's filled with smart, talented, gorgeous women who I am so honored to call friends.  We toasted with champagne at midnight as Occupy Wall Street marched down the street below. History in the making.  We all sat around glasses half full with our tallest high heels talking about what we wanted to accomplish in the next year.  While 2011 was a lot about self reflection, friendships, and figuring out what I really wanted 2012 seems to be about taking it to the next level and just going for it.  No fear in 2012.  We let go of so much in 2011, take it in in 2012.

I figured this year I would publicly share my resolutions.  

1. Take my career to the next level.  What does this mean? Well, more press, more shows, not holding back when I want to do a huge project and not limiting myself.  I have a lot of good ideas, they just need to be put out there.  Applying for grants, selling prints, being more active on social networks, and producing as much work as humanly possible.

2. While I intend to be more active on social networks, this does not mean refreshing twitter 20 times a day.  After assessing my time management I realized a lot of the day gets lost in the internets and not all in research.  So limiting my time refreshing and checking email is pertinent to my productivity.

3. Getting out of debt.  Yep, part of taking my career to the next level is getting out of debt.  I went to art school for 4 years at $30,000 a year, sure I had scholarships and grants but I also had massive loans.  It adds up over the years.  Time to kick that debt goodbye and become that financially stable maven I always wanted to be.

4. Getting an office.  And by getting an office I mean setting up in a cafe for a few hours to write.  It's great to work from home but also there are many distractions there.  So when I'm writing I'm going to set up shop somewhere other than the bed or couch.  Plus a nice steaming cup of coffee or tea will totally get me moving in the right direction.

5. Making a wishlist of people I want to work with and sticking to it.  So many photographers and dream publications, companies to contact.

6. Paid to travel.  This is one I have no idea how to do but I'm going for it. 

7. On a health note releasing the idea that I have to lose weight and get toned instead. Also drink more water.

8. Projects I plan on finishing: The tarot, self promotion book, series of stories based on dresses, possibly an attempt at a comic.  

Sticking to your resolutions can be complicated if you don't know where to start.  Here's a few tips.

1. Don't go crazy with the resolutions.  Pick a few things you know you can keep.  You can add more as you go along.

2. Get a planner or use the calendar in your phone.  Get organized.  The more you are aware of what's going on, where you have to be, and what you have to do the more you can accomplish.  Plus you won't feel like you are always trying to remember what you are doing.

3. Eliminate unnecessary feeds, twitter follows, emails, and facebook friends.  I seriously just deleted 4,000 + emails.  Feels good.  I'll also be trimming down my twitter feed.

4. Clean out your purse or wallet, put last years receipts in a folder and get a fresh new start.

5. Day by day is the way to do it.  Don't try to cram everything you want into one day.  Make a schedule and take small steps to achieve your goals.  For example, you want to have your art featured in certain publications.  Take time everyday to either search appropriate publications or contact them.  Just one or two a day adds up over a year.  Baby steps, baby steps.

6. Eat better.  The best way to make sure you are getting things done is to make sure your body is getting properly fed.  I started doing this in 2011 and have been reaping the benefits ever since.  Exercise + healthy food is a win/win situation.

7. Clean your house and create a place for everything in it.  You'll feel better and your mind will feel less scattered.

8. Make a list of your resolutions and keep it either in a journal that you use often or post it up where you can see it. That way you can check things off as you achieve them.  Remember to simplify.

9. Think about yourself as a whole.  Does everything you do come together? If there's anything that doesn't quite fit in with the bigger picture get rid of it.  You can always go back later. Remember one day at a time. 

10. Be proactive. It's easy to get lazy or have our doubts take over.  Keep focussed and carry on every day.  Somedays will be more productive than other but keep open and you'll see it all start to come together.



Dreams Are Real 039: Year In Review

It's been one hell of a busy year for La Gitana.  The tarot deck got a running start and 2012 will be all about finishing and publishing the deck.  Many thanks to Jim Shirey for allowing me usage of his gorgeous flower photographs.  

Thank you Holly Golinski, Sxip Shirey, Feloche, Peter Mahoney, Orien McNeill, Jill Tracy, Molly Crabapple, Sherene Schostak, Gabby Young, Josh Spear, Lenora Claire, Warren Ellis, Baby Dee, Shannon Moran and Jon Lane, Nicole Fiorentino, and Amanda Palmer.

Ghostlight Project - Film Fragment #30 from Jim Batt on Vimeo.

 The beginning of the year was spent making secret film fragments with Jim Batt while he was in town.  I had the pleasure of hosting him and Kim Boekbinder for a few days.  

Wes Freed did the amazing poster of me for the Drive by Truckers record release show at Bowery Ballroom.  It was all about red go go boots and Valentines Day.  I am very honored to be painted by the honorable Mr. Freed and have been a longtime fan. The Drive by Truckers were absolutely amazing and the album is great.  Kate Black was my partner in crime for the DBT shows. Thank you to Wes and Patterson for treating us so well.

Lonesome Liz came to visit me.  During that time we had a helluva time going to shows around the city including Hubert Sumlin and Brian Mitchell.  Kate Black took this of us at the Chelsea Hotel.

Taking it all in at Hubert Sumlin.

I made digital collages for the Once Upon a Time in a Gallery show in Oxford, had two of my Pornsaints pieces in the Erotic Museum in Amsterdam, did an artist piece for Bushwick Open Studios, was on the cover of Dan Holloway's Ode to Jouissance, and had my work and writing showcased in underground pirate internet called Notwork.

I shot with the lovely Fairytale Vegas.

The incredible Beth Hommel

Collaborated with the talented Emily Poole and my partner in art Mike Lala

Another collaboration with the irrististable Veronika von Volkova and my brotherlover Shahriar Shadab.

And a shoot years in the making with the extraordinary Steve Prue.  So honored to be one of his rockstars.

I got to pay homage to one of my favorite people in the world in Captured Ghosts, Mr. Warren Ellis.

I worked with one of my favorite friends Gabby Young on her cd cover for the Song for Japan single.

And with two other of my favorite people Maria Alexander and Jill Tracy on At Louche Ends.

Molly Crabapple drew me for her 66 Project.  I also had the honor of visiting her while she did her penance in Week in Hell.

Of course there were the other events too.  I played Lucrezia in Cynthia von Buhler's Speakeasy Dollhouse, attended the Coilhouse Black & White & Red All Over Ball, read tarot at Escape to NY, created work for Gemini & Scorpio events, Visionary Tattoo fest, modeled for Sweet Gwendoline clothing, visited Molly Crabapple in her Week in Hell, saw Murder by Death, The Drive by Truckers, Kim Boekbinder, Sxip Shirey and all sorts of brilliant talent in action, Literary Death Match, Project 40, naked girl parties with the best of friends, Beneath the Half Moon, witchy nights, Comic News Insider party, and toasted to Bored to Death at Brooklyn Inn.  I also guest hosted a few events and curated a meeting of the minds at Science House.

It was also the year of press.  I was featured in Time Out NY, GQ Italia, Bushwick Daily, Fixe Magazine, Chinashop Magazine, and Eight Cuts as well as writing guest blogs for and  

I also started and finished Dangerous Combinations, 40 days of letting the muses in and letting them take me wherever I needed to go.  My 40 days of madness.

And of course none of this would have happened if it weren't for the Amy Winehouse and Burrough's pieces.

Happy New Year.  I hope it brings you much inspiration and many blessings.


Dreams Are Real 04: The Symbel 

A little ritual to see how far you've come in one years time.  It makes you grateful for what you have and what your striving for.

Dedication Round:

I dedicate 2010 to Oshun.  Orisha of beauty, love,money, creativity, and art.  That's what I want this year.  No more drama, just a lot of creativity, beauty, and love.  Oh yes, and money would be really nice.  I would like some money too.  Oh don't give me that look.  You'd like some money too.


Bragging Round:

-Constellation went to print.  We've had some amazing people grace our covers and I am so super excited for what the next year will bring!  Thank you to Molly Crabapple, Jeniviva D'espinet, Lenora Claire, Reverend Billy, Amanda Palmer, and Dame Darcy!  2010 brings our fabulous one year in print cover which will be the glorious Jill Tracy!

Also met Betsey Johnson and went to her birthday party where she said that I had a great sence of style!  That made my year right there.

-Started Knickerbocker Circus Publishing with Emily Poole and Drusilla Osborne.  We signed our first authors Eric Nelson and Anya Kless and published our first book They Be We.  We'll have at least 3 new titles coming out within the next year including my own memoir. It's a scary step for me as I wasn't sure if I even wanted it to come out but necessary.  We also held our first social experiment by bringing typewriters into the Mars Bar.

-The Gallery shows have been non-stop this year with more to come next year.  Anno Domini, Behr-Thyssen, Museum of Contemporary Art DC, Soulard Art Market, Laconia Gallery, Antena Gallery, MODA, Chicago Art Source Gallery, and Gallery 5 (twice)

-Beneath the Half Moon was born this year and our classes have already started.  It's amazing to teach courses with my partner in all things spiritual, Sherene Schostak.  Super excited to be writing the manual for the book and working with so many wonderful, brilliant people.

-Attended so many amazing events and met so many wonderful people, The sex bloggers calendar release party, vintage belly dance, Life Inc/Smith Mag party, The Radar Party, 50 Cent, Ron English opening dressed as cathy cowgirl, Royal Flush film festival and party, Bob Coulter's fabulous birthday party, and so many more but my brain is overloaded at the moment.

-Went through a tremedous heart break and lived through it. There were many sad factors in this. Out of it though was the best rebound gift ever.  My Hollywood super dream crush of many years asked me out.  He lives in LA.  It didn't work out but it was really nice to know that he liked me too. He directed and acted in my favorite film ever.  I owe huge thank you's to Warren, Lenora, my housemate,Sherene, Kathleen, and everyone who reached out to me at that time.  I love you.

-Joining wonderful collectives like Swimming Cities & The Blood Dumpster.

-Seeing my friends get movie deals, mega press, and all the attention they deserve because they are brilliant.  I'm really blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people I call friends.

-Seeing productions like American Tea Opera and Lonesome Liz's Mojo Sideshow go from ideas to shows.  I'm really happy to have played a part in it.  I also saw Francesco D'Isa (Pornsaints) launch a clothing line.

-Worked with some awesome photographers like Joseph W. Carey (Stark-Arts) and Vlad Kenner, not to mention the wonderful photographers associated with the Dolly Sisters pinup group.  I also met Mockingbird Girl this year who is the most wonderful person in the world.

-Launched this website.


Oath Round:

This year I'm working on being more organized and creating as much as possible.

Lowering the salt and sugar intake.

Getting my tarot deck published.

Traveling to the UK in May for business and pleasure.

There's a lot of good things already forming.  Seeds have been planted and I await the little sprouts.  Some have already been sprouting.  I feel good things for 2010 even if it is a lunar eclipse during Merc and Mars retrograde.


I'll try to post a year in pictures but my schedule is a little packed right now.  Thank you to everyone, my family, my fans, my friends, I love you all.

x to the o,


Feel free to share your own Symbel's with me.  You can either comment here, leave a link to your blog, or email me privately at