Art · Business · Kansas City · Moving · Self reflection · Writing

What is best in life?

Now that things have finally settled down re the financial shit-show of the last six months, there have been some big decisions to make.

Larson and I are planning a move Westward – even if that means only so far as Lawrence, KS (our last resort). We have pledged that this is our LAST YEAR in Missouri. No offense to Missouri or its people, but we’re just not that into you.

We’re planning and saving for a move to Seattle. Why Seattle? Larson has been there before and was going to move there at one point, but he’s fallen in love and desperately wants to put down roots. I just want to live in a blue state, preferably west coast. For all that I admire the people who are sticking it out here and trying to make a social and political change in these very conservative-leaning states, it’s just not my fight.

Personally, I was born in California and lived most of my life there. While I don’t want to return to the SF Bay Area, I do want to live in an area that’s more aligned with my upbringing and our personality.

When my mother kicked me out at seventeen, she gave me a letter that stated in one (of the many) segments “California: It’s Just Geography.”

It’s not. To say so is naive. Not only the state, but the city, and then the neighborhood, have a massive effect on culture and way of life.

I want to live somewhere with dedicated bike lanes, robust public transportation, access to plentiful state and national parks, weather that isn’t fucking crazy, and food that focuses on clean, organic, and local products.

Yeah, you can find some of that here, but not nearly as much, and not near enough. I don’t want to put our kids into schools that have lost accreditation and live in an area that has a literal line between the rich, white neighborhoods and the poor, black neighborhoods.  And I don’t want to move to the suburbs. The suburbs are boring as fuck.

So we’re moving. A savings plan is in place. The wheels are turning.

I also admit that there is a very personal, probably paranoid component to the desire to move. Larson and I want to start a family. I don’t wish to to be in the same state as my mother, someone I don’t want involved with my child. I don’t want her to enact any grandparent rights or some other twisted courtroom bullshit so that she forces her way back in. We will not be having any children until we are as far away from her as we can get. Playing the court system is that woman’s bread and butter.

In the meantime, during preparations for the move, saving, etc., I need to focus almost all of my additional attention to growing my business.

Car Tattoo Designs was a little early to start because I haven’t worked out all the kinks when it comes to the longevity of the design. The UNI brand paint markers, whether they’re POSCA or the oil-based brand, are sublime when it comes to putting down the drawings, but protecting them is something I’m still working on.

20180123_172822-01.jpeg

I’ve been using rattle cans of an automotive clear coat. They’re inconsistent in how they go down and I’ve noticed that the designs begin to ‘flake’ or fade within about 1-3 months from the last application. I scoured the internet and spoke to a few paint and autobody forums and Facebook groups about what was the best method, in their opinion, for sealing in the artwork permanently.

My plan is now thus:

I’m going to acquire some auto-body panels–hoods, doors, bumpers… whatever. Just as long as they’re part of a car. I’ll draw on them and start experimenting with different clear coat brands using a paint gun and compressor. The buy-in for this is probably going to be several hundred dollars at least, but it’ll allow me to experiment, put the panels out where they’ll be exposed to full sun and weather, and see how each brand and method responds to repeated exposure.

Additionally, once I have the paint gun(s) I can start to play around with background color as well, maybe doing an ombre or fade effect to add depth and pop to the designs that will lay on top. I can do this with further car panels or with other materials. People have used automotive painting techniques to paint animal skulls, wood panels, patio furniture, etc.

From what I understand, I’ll also need a pop-up tent that can fit a car with all four sides enclosed, including a tarped bottom, to keep out any flying debris and make sure that the painting area is free of contaminants. I may also need to make or buy stands so that I can take individual panels and have them lifted so that they have full coverage. Of course, there will also be a need for protective gear like a respirator, safety goggles, and gloves.

For the first time in a long time, I’m not too worried about the cost. Not least because I can write off the expenses on my taxes, but also because I know that once I button down the exact process, we can take off with Car Tattoo Designs and make it into a viable business no matter where I happen to live. Additionally, driving for Uber is far more lucrative than anything else I’ve done.

I’ve also started writing on the regular now. I’m rusty, and some of the work that I’m churning out is a bit painful to look at even moments afterward, but I’m gaining momentum.

One of my favorite bits of inspiration is taken from science:

newton

It’s as real for physics as it is for mental states and moving forward with your dreams or ambitions. Momentum is everything.

It also applies to working out. I started doing yoga again, and woo-boy am I out of shape. I can barely scrape twenty minutes before crying for mercy. But I know I have to keep at it. Every day. Because I need to stay in motion.

And that’s that. I’m excited about what we’re doing and the new challenges ahead. The frightening times of financial insecurity are… well, they’re not entirely over, but they’re far more manageable. And it feels GOOD to have focus, goals, and a destination.

That’s all for now, lovelies. See you next time.

xoxo

 

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