Category Archives: My Books

I Goofed, Sorry :(

Hello! Suzanne here—artist, author and instructor at Silly Girl Factory

Image of the door of Silly Girl Factory in Langlois, Oregon

For the past few weeks I have been attempting to figure out how to “revive” and “grow” my email list in order to tell more people about the new stuff I am making and selling. In the process, I accidentally added personal contacts to my current blog subscriber list—you may not have asked to be here!

What I really wanted to do was make a separate list to invite new readers to join my blog list. But I am a bit of a newbie doing the technical work in Mail Chimp… and…

I goofed, and I am really sorry.

Now you are on my blog subscriber list. This is how I initially got your email address: Once upon a time we have met in person, worked together, or I have admired your work via social media links (yes, I am a website snoop). We may or may not remember each other or where we first met! But here I am, in your inbox!

Because of my goof, I decided to just go ahead and tell my whole new list what I am up to!

I love to stay in touch.

I invite you to view the new work going on at Silly Girl Factory via my website. My factory makes art, writes and publishes books, and teaches both yoga and creative art workshops. Silly Girl Factory may be a new brand—however making art, writing books, and teaching are not new to me, and you may know me as Suzanne Gibbs or Suzanne Gibbs Studio.

Suzanne Gibbs and new puppy Zoie.

When I paint or draw my art is idealistic, plural, and impractical. I make the work in a spontaneous and direct manner. I call upon a viewer’s understanding of daily production and repetitive work. The strength lies in my art’s elegance and confidence. I paint reassembled patterns as seen on quotidian objects, spaces, places, and people. Culling ideas and inspiration from my own painting and drawing as well as popular media and a plethora of other inspiration. I flatten the hierarchy of all that I see. Making meaning out of meaninglessness.

Yep, basically I draw and paint while staying silly and having fun doing the serious business of making art.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Alive! LOOK, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $65

When I write, I dive into my own life and I record, represent, distort, fragment, distill, celebrate, challenge and evaluate all that I know—blurring the boundaries between what I think I understand and what I wish to understand. Then sharing what I write via books and blogs.

In a few short weeks I will have my second book, My Year of Separation: A collection of essays examining the impossible task of separation from self, complete and ready for an audience—the first published shipment is already on it’s way to my factory. I am hoping that you might be one of the people interested in this project.

My Year of Separation, book cover, written and illustrated by Suzanne Gibbs is my newest creation.

Now, back to my mistake. I Goofed

  • If you do nothing. You’ll stay on my e-mail list and receive regular notifications.
  • Additionally, you may decide to go over to Instagram or Facebook and follow me I post images of the projects I am working on, almost daily.
  • Lastly, there IS an unsubscribe button, and you are free to use this option at any time, no hard feelings, after all you may not have elected to be here, but you are now due to my mistake!

Except, you might miss out…

I want you to hear about when my second book is being shipped!

Also, I am currently working on my next project—another book— this one is being done almost entirely by hand, I will go digital when I scan the sketchbook, but the creation of this new work is paper, pen, ink, watercolor, crayons,colored pencils, and glue in a sketchbook. I am creating drawings, writing, and doodles—oodles of doodles. I am creating this project for The Sketchbook Project in NYC. The working title of this little gem is:

Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC

I am over the top thrilled to have found a way to have my art on display and available for viewing in NYC! This is a dream come true! Many many years ago (1982) I wanted to attend art school in NYC, but I didn’t. Now my art can go to NYC to live in The Sketchbook Project library, and I can go visit the work andy time I want. Seriously, very hugely exciting!

Let’s do the Happy Dance!

Well, I will happy dance once I finish this next project! And… of course… since Silly Girl Factory IS a factory and in high production mode, there will be other projects announced later this year. You want to know about these, right? Sure you do!

I may or may not have your permission to email you in this way, and because of this I appreciate that it is a privilege to write to you today. Thanks for reading!

I adore my FANS! Hugs and Kisses and Happy Dances!

Happy Valentine’s Day too!

Toodle-loo! Until another time!

Suzanne at Silly Girl Factory

The Finish Line

I am almost to the finish line… just a little bit more effort and I will order my first set of books!

Honestly, there is no way to contain the excitement of FINISHING a big project! …and I’m not even finished yet! So you’re stuck with me telling you about it!

My second book looks at my own beliefs and behaviors, one essay at a time. Written from the perspective of a year in my life.

My Year of Separation, book cover sample/not the final product!

My Year of Separation is a book containing a series of essays about the year I moved out and lived on my own for the first time in 25 years, and successfully stayed married and connected fully to my children, friends, and family—while healing from the near death of my eldest son.

My Year of Separation will sell for $15 plus shipping. However, pre-orders from now until February 28, 2018 are $12 each. What a deal! Simply email me and I will send you an invoice and I will also let you know as soon as the first shipment arrives to Silly Girl Factory and when it will be on it’s way to you. These will be signed editions. You may request special notes, if you like.


You know what? Thanks for reading my blog! If you have continued to enjoy the information I present, feel free to forward this post or any of my ideas to a friend! To support the work I do, buy a book or my art!

Not in a buying mood today? OK! I’d love more followers on Instagram or Facebook…tee hee…

Sharing Excitement

I am too excited to contain my excitement! I need to share more details about my newest book.

But before I do, you could buy my first book. I recently ordered a select number of re-prints. These will be signed copies!

Then you could move onto reading my second book! …When it is ready!

My Year of Separation is 95% finished (I think). Ninety-five percent is very likely an overestimation, but every time I begin to see the end of a project I always get excited to start my next project.

The life of a creative…

Sometimes, I forget about all the little details that go into finishing a project. Then I get excited about sharing my work with the public, and you, my cherished and loyal readers. And, hinestly all those little details seem so mundane!

I say, Phewy! On details! Let’s just get this thing out into the world!

Today, I am feeling the need to share and tell you where I am at with this new book.

  • Recently an editor was hired—wow was that a lot of work! And the work I did with her made the essays stronger.
  • I have a few illustrations to draw.
  • The cover needs to be designed and doing this part is always a fun way to use my graphic design skills.
  • An ISBN number has already been ordered.
  • AND, I plan to self-publish as soon as possible.

I need to share with you that—hopefully by February 19th—I will have published this second book! BUT this is a huge PUSH goal! Huge!

Please cheer me on! Or tell me you’re excited to buy a copy… or that you are excited for me, just because!

 

Silly, synonyms—because I sometimes wonder if I am silly to share the deeply personal and make my thoughts public!


You know what? Thanks for reading my blog! If you have continued to enjoy the information I present, feel free to forward this post or any of my ideas to a friend! To support the work I do, buy a book or my art!

Not in a buying mood today? OK! I’d love more followers on Instagram or Facebook…tee hee…

New Book Coming in 2018

As many of my readers are already aware, our family lived through a traumatic experience in 2016 that extended into 2017. To deal with this trauma I resorted to my tried and true emotional helpers: making and moving. I wrote, drew, scribbled, and made messes in my journals and sketchbooks almost daily and with great urgency during this time. From these pages a new book emerged. I also practiced yoga and went for long walks outside, even in pouring rain and sometimes snow.

My Year of Separation is my second book and will be self published really really soon. The plan is to have it in your hands by May 7—just before mother’s day…

…OR EVEN SOONER!

I hope you are excited! I hope you will want to purchase a copy of my newest book!

There are words of comfort and certainly some unpleasantness in the stories I share in My Year of Separation: A collection of essays examining the impossible task of separation from self.

crayola crayon box pattern, created in my sketchbook during my year of separation, NFS

I have a theory that there are many people attempting to separate from our true selves going on in the world right now. Including myself. Some indicators are: drugs, alcohol, prescriptions, broken relationships, violence, and the list goes on…

I am not saying that I was doing drugs or being violent, but there was disconnect, for sure…

Some indications of the desire to separate from the self are more subtle. My book aimed to look at underling root causes of separation from self in myself, one essay at a time. By sharing my inner journey I hope that others can relate to the journey and intentionally find contentment and joy within themselves as I have been able to do as a result of this journey.

The book is little and not very long—just over 100 pages—so I will not tell all here. I can share that the following quote from the Dali Lama strikes a cord within me having just finished my manuscript and sent it off to an editor:

Outward attainment will not bring real inner joyfulness.
We must look inside. —Dali Lama

While you wait for my much anticipated (ha ha) book, may you have a most glorious and joyful day today—knowing that I care about you, even if I have not yet met you in person. Hugs and Namaste.

F-n Good Article

Amateur vs Professional. Can anyone really define the difference, the grey area, the line in the sand between these two categories bestowed on creative people? Artists? Authors? Well, maybe and maybe not.

What I like is that this article tried to draw the line and define the difference. At times the article is gut wrenching. At other parts, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. Yes, yes, so true…

Do you want to know for sure if you are an amateur or professional artist? Do you already know? Read the article here.

This is a fu–ing good article because each time I read it, and I’ve read it many times over the past three years I see more wisdom and I also recognize the lies I tell myself.

In my most recent reading, the advice in warning number 7 gave me prickles on my spine and at the base of my neck. Ugh, yes I tell myself… ugh. Number 7 – “Amateur artists never finish their work.” There are several projects I promised myself I’d complete this year (2016) and they are still on the table. A second Conscious Curiosity book for the self – yep, not yet started, but I said I would. A Dorkey Doodle coloring book that I created – yes, almost complete, yet stalled…. Then there is a set of postcard designs I made initial sketches for… another stall… and I could go on. and on.

I guess I’m still in amateur stage, but this saddens me to say, because on another level I feel like I AM a professional. I have given myself to making art and writing for so long that I cannot even imagine myself doing anything else anymore.

Enough lamenting. Professional vs Amateur. Who really cares? Why label? Why categorize?

Anyway, if you’re interested, it IS a very good article: 9 Warning signs

I dearly hope you are kinder to yourself than I am to myself.

Face Fear

There is quite a lot to learn about fear. We can focus on it, forget it, or face it. The thing is, I have noticed that what we ignore tends to stay stuck. I do not want to stay stuck in fear. Do you?

Your fear is the most boring thing about you.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Below is a sample from a journal page of the fears I faced a year ago when I choose to write and self publish my book, Conscious Curiosity.

“I fear that I will not reach as many people as I wish to reach with the content in this book. I fear a dud, like the cheap smoke bombs my children used to buy in China Town in San Francisco. They’d light the fuse…wait…and nothing. I have written and shared what I think might help, but I may be creating a dud…a project I launch, I promote, I wait, and I find nothing on the other end but myself still wondering about how to make a more three dimensional and full life with my partner in life and with myself.”

I faced my fear a year ago and self-published my book in spite of my self-doubts.

Now, a year later, I continue to face fear. Daily. I write or draw or paint and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I move through the day reciting to myself, “I am enough” and “hello fear, let’s play today.” I do this in the hopes that fear listens and realizes, “yes, she is enough and she is ready, let’s let her have this project.” Then, I create. The projects I work on, I am prepared to share. Even with fear coming along for the ride.

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.

During the writing process of my first book, I had decided at some point that I am willing to put myself out there. Willing to take a risk. Willing to create even if I did not find readers. Fear lurked in every corner every day. The more I worked the smaller fear became.

I will continue to write more, draw more, paint more, and share more.

I face fear. Do you?

PS. I significantly lowered the price on my book. You can now purchase it at $13.00 instead of $19.95 (use the link above).

Designed to Sell: Turn Your Creativity Into a Career

Catchy title eh?

I took it from another blogger/on-line business, please see credit below.

One year ago I self-published a book that I had designed to sell. I created every page, every word, the cover, the content, the chapter breaks, the paragraphs, the font – yes, even the font! I had plans to sell a minimum of 400 copies, I felt that if I could do that then, “I would be an author!”

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.

I sold 79 copies.

I gave away about 18 copies.

I am an author?

I ran marketing on my blog, Facebook, Amazon, and through word of mouth. I placed it in two retail stores for sale.

None of this was enough to: “turn my creativity into a career.”

Or maybe it does? The career definition does not include income… or maybe it does…. does it matter?

All of what I did makes me proud. The book sales. The recognition, and proud that I listened to my inner muse, followed through, made the work, shared the work, and also that I can say today: “One year ago I published my first book.”

You can still buy a copy on CreateSpace:

Conscious Curiosity: Communicating to Connect

Or Amazon.

Several months ago I promised myself I would begin another book. That has not happened yet, but the itch is getting stronger. And as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, the idea wants to be brought forth, if not with me, it will travel to another. I don’t want this to happen, I want my next book idea to be written by me.

When I do my next work I am going to work to please my inner muse. My creativity is too important to me to give it the nomenclature of “career.”

To those of you who purchased a copy of my book, THANK YOU!

Source of blog title: Designed to Sell : Turn Your Creativity Into a Career

My Promise

I cannot promise you very much. But I wish to talk about promises anyway. You may know by now, I wrote a book and published it last year. Bla Bla, I know you’ve heard this before.

To finish the book, I was following a promise to myself.

Do you make promises to yourself? Ones you can’t keep? Ones you don’t keep? Are you already tired of the topic of making promises (aka New Years Resolutions)? We are already 15 days into the new year! Ack! You feeling it? Yea, me too! I have not focused enough to get going on any new new promises to myself! Except, I HAVE upped my workout routine! Ouch, my body is sore.

I’m still gonna talk about promises for a bit!

A few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would write a book and publish it. I had no publisher in mind. I had no plan for self-publishing. I had no idea how to self-publish. I only knew I would learn along the way. I knew I wanted to keep my promise to myself.

I wish now, that I knew what motivated the promise to myself so that I could conjure up that moxie again this year!

Let me be clear, when I promised myself I’d write a book, I did not know if any of the content would be of any use to others. I actually did not fully know what it was that I was going to write. I could only hope and pray and… write. The book got much fuller than I thought it would be. And then I published it. And now. Here I am, nine months later, and I’m still talking about the book – Conscious Curiosity! I promise you I will make new work soon (so that you can read about new stuff).

But, I still have a few thoughts about my book, Conscious Curiosity. I wrote the book so that people could figure out ways into deeper conversations with their partner. However, I cannot promise that people will have great conversations all of the time. Especially, not just because of my book! Heaven’s no! There is, as I have said before, no quick fix to life’s wacky moments and twists of fate. I am a dreamer, but also a realist.

I continue to dream of a world where we all are connected, and we KNOW that we are connected. In so knowing, we become and are kinder and more loving to one another and to ourselves.

Back to my book and my promise.

Conscious Curiosity changed my life. Or maybe it’s just me, and my husband and how we worked together that changed our life. Maybe life changed because that’s what life does. I’ll never really know. You could read Conscious Curiosity. I make no promises that it will change your life. Ha! Still, you never know…

Here is The Promise.

Did you notice the capital letters in: The Promise above? I am going to devote the next six weeks to exploring the idea of Conscious Curiosity, again. This time Conscious Curiosity: Communicating With Oneself (as opposed to Communicating to Connect, as in with a partner as my first book explored). I am curious if there is another book in me. I am curious if I could learn to be kinder and more loving to myself. I am curious about what would happen if I became consciously curious about connecting to my deepest being. This curiosity stems from two things: my first book and my new training in Yoga Teacher Training.

I promise to let my readers – you – know how I am coming along. Ugh, ok. There. I said it. Out loud – sorta – on the internet. Last time, the Docents of Long Beach Museum of Art were my cheering squad. Life is different up here. I am seeking a virtual cheering squad! Will you promise to ask me how things are progressing?

My promise to you is that the journey is worth the try. What will you try?

My First Book

My First Book was released to the public 9 months ago!

I have had modest success. I also found out I love to write as much as I love drawing and painting. You can expect more books for me in the coming year!

My First Book is under my belt! Done. Finis! Accomplished. Self published!

You may purchase Conscious Curiosity here or request a book direct from the author — a signed copy — by emailing me at suzanne@suzannegibbs.com.

Designed to keep asking questions, even when you put it down.

Designed to keep asking questions, even when you put it down.

Have you ever wanted to write your own first book! You can! All you need to do is write and write and write some more. It takes a lot of writing because in the end at least 30% of what you write to fit into the book never makes it into The Book!

Maybe you have NEVER wanted to write a book, but you have wanted to make writing a daily practice. If so I have a treat for you! I would like to have you join me for one month to write together in a group. Keep reading, I’ll tell you more.

Since writing my book, I have kept writing most days. I write in journals, notebooks, inside books I am reading, on scratch paper, post-it notes, on my blog, on GoogleDocs, I tried Draftin (did not like it) and on Word documents — you name it! I have bits and pieces of writing all over the place!

During some months I have had the support of other authors and daily writers from around the globe. I joined an on-line writing circle. We write everyday knowing others are doing the same. No critique, no blaming, shaming or shunning — only honest to goodness encouragement.

Consider this an early invitation to add something NEW to your life in 2016! If you’d like to join Free Write Fling with me in February click here to learn more!

I wrote My First Book alone.

I have since learned that writing can also be enjoyed in the company of others. I am sharing this gift with you!

Maybe we don't need to walk alone.

Maybe we don’t need to walk alone.