2019 Epic Update

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^^ Today I am working on cleaning my studio. Specifically, I am organizing my paint rack. By now, I have tried at least 50 different variations on this rack. And I’m sure but the end of the year I will try at least 50 more.

<< See what I mean? This is the same rack earlier this month. 😂

I was talking to Dallas, as I often do, about the “woes” ;) & “overwhelming” current decisions I am faced with currently with my art. LOL. I love to make these tiny pebbles into these insurmountable boulders. It’s easier that way- then I don’t have to take any action. (Ouch. Hah, truth is no fun. 😂 )

When I go to post on Instagram, I always found myself absolutely perplexed on WTF to say. I don’t really know who I am talking to. How much do I say? What is of value & interesting/helpful/inspiring that I can share? It’s a hard puzzle to try & crack- especially when you’re still trying to get a grasp of where you’re going, & who you’re trying to attract/serve. And it feels like I’m shouting into the void…

(vv The same rack, the same month, configured differently. 😂😂😂 )

Painting I’m working on at the moment. I need to will myself to finish it very soon. I’ve lost the momentum/thrill with it. And yet, it holds a lot of promise.  * fingers crossed *

Painting I’m working on at the moment. I need to will myself to finish it very soon. I’ve lost the momentum/thrill with it. And yet, it holds a lot of promise.
* fingers crossed *

The dog across the street always stares out the window at us, longing to be outside. He reminds us of the doge meme doggo. 😂

The dog across the street always stares out the window at us, longing to be outside. He reminds us of the doge meme doggo. 😂

I proposed some ideas to Dal of what I could share, thinking it wise to maybe split these up into different Instagram accounts. “I could have an account where I share art advice/tips/techniques for other artists at a similar place as me, & also advice for creatives at the beginning of their journey. Maybe on this page I could also spotlight/interview other artists like I’ve been wanting to… On another account I could share local opportunities for artists in Utah County. And then maybe my current Instagram could be inspo for living your best life, as well as behind the scenes on my process/meaning behind my work.”

Dallas, as always, saw it all clearly. “Combine it all. You don’t need different channels for each. You can talk about all of those things, & your spirituality/witchy stuff, & your poetry, etc. Have it all on your website, & that way you aren’t bombarding people with stuff that they’re not interested in. They can search it out if they want it.” Man, he is wonderful. Like I said, I was excited & bummed to hear his advice. Excited because now I had a purpose for my website, & the advice rang true. “Bummed” because it meant I had no more excuses & I had to finally, actually get started. !! 😂

For my fellow artists, I just read this article I found really helpful from Laura C George: Why People Don’t But Art. I found it to be comprehensive, & honestly some of the most solid advice I’ve heard on the topic. It was a perspective I somehow overlooked. 10/10, would recommend.

Also, I just finished reading 2 audiobooks that I really loved.

  1. Creative Quest by Questlove MAN THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE!!! I am a sucker for self-help & creative books, so when I read the killer reviews, I went out on a limb & tried this one. I think getting out of our terrain & looking to other creatives from other realms/mediums for their unique perspective is so priceless. Hearing a musician’s perspective on the creative process, & having it presented in such an innovative & casual way was incredible. Honestly, this is one of my new all-time favorite books on creativity. I’m having trouble finding the words for this one- there is so much there!! Read the reviews on there/the description & see if it sparks your fancy.

  2. This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike -Augusten Burroughs I honestly picked up this book because it sounded like a train wreck. 😂 HOW THE HECK COULD ONE BOOK CLAIM TO DO ALL OF THAT & SUCCEED?!?! …….. Like seriously. I know you skimmed the forever long title, but re-read that. Can you imagine trying to write that book?!?! 😂😂😂 Ya know, I found this book insanely refreshing. He just says it how he sees it. He says it plainly, despite almost everything he says being preeettyyy controversial. And yet, a lot of it rang true for me. Throughout the book I kept thinking, “Wow, I have NEVER thought of it like that… Ya know, he’s not wrong… Wow.” For even daring to say some of the things he says, I kinda super respect him. That being said, this book isn’t for everyone. It was good for me. It kinda pissed me off in the right ways that force me to take action.

I’m so freaking proud of my snake plant. It’s growing like a champ.

I’m so freaking proud of my snake plant. It’s growing like a champ.

“Never apologize for what you’re into”
- Mike Kelly


This is a quote I heard about a month ago that has kinda stuck around in my head for awhile. I want to open myself up to be more brave & weird with my art & interests/curiosities- I think I’ve been self-censoring too much. Anyone else ever feel like Instagram is the place where the “Kool Kidz” from high school thrive/roam? I never cared for being a Kool Kid before, but it seems to me that for some reason I care now? I guess I really want to be Kool, & I think I’m molding myself too much. Ugh. Gotta work on that. It feels like all the things I’m genuinely interested in are also REALLY TRENDY right now, & I kinda hate that. Idk why I feel such an instinctual drive to be different & hipster. ?? But I fear that I am just following the trends with all my interests, & I hate that. I feel like this is really really incoherent. 😂

Do you feel directionless on where you’re going with your art/creativity/life?!

It may be time to re-calibrate with a vision board.

I was watching a helpful episode of One Fantastic Week where they were mentoring a fantasy artist at the beginning of his career, & one of the things they had him do was make a board of all of his favorite art/artists that mirror his vision for his future work. I’ve done this for awhile, it was something my incredible high school teacher Mrs. Ridge had us do: look to other artists past & living, & save a Pinterest board of art inspirations. The only problem for me is that at this point, over the years I have accumulated 6,000+ paintings that super inspire me, all of which are from completely different backgrounds & styles, many of which in contradiction. 😂 Overwhelming much? 😂 After watching this episode, I went through & made a new Pinterest board, using their OCD friendly new(ish) feature where you can have organized sub-folders/boards within one big board, & I decided what my current vision for my art is. Combining my own art, & art inspirations. Ah… it felt/feels so nice to finally have some sort of direction. And though I seem to always fret about this even still, it feels nice to have some sort of compass to use again.

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"There is a vitality, a life force,
an energy, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
& because there is only one of you in all of time,
this expression is unique.

And if you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
& it will be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is
nor how valuable
nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours
clearly & directly,
to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself
or your work.
You have to keep yourself open
& aware to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open…

No artist is pleased.
[There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a dissatisfaction,
a blessed unrest
that keeps us marching,
& makes us more alive than the others."


- Martha Graham

American dancer + choreographer + leader in the development
of contemporary dance + writer (1894-1991)

Things with my art have REALLY BEEN PICKING UP.!!!!!!!!!!!! The fastest that they’ve ever gone.

In December I had a solo show at Unhinged with the Provo Art Stroll, (Thanks to Lexi Linford for the invite!) & a group show at Boxcar. (Thanks, Joseph Smith!)

In January I had a group show at Enliten cafe for the Provo Art Stroll. (Thank you for putting it together, Mr. James Rees!) I also had a piece for auction for Encircle/ the incredible LGBTQ+ Resource Center in Provo. (Thanks to Megan Greer Ah You & Lindsay Butram for running the event!) I’m ecstatic that the piece is now going to live permanently in the SLC Home! :) ) I was also so thrilled to be a part of a group show: Hidden Voices at the Woodbury Art Museum. (Thanks to the curators: Chauncey Secrist & Mr. James Rees!)

(^^ Shown above, the painting for Encircle. Inspired by a photo taken by the brilliant Katelyn Williams/ @fatal_rhythm of the iconic Lexi Linford/ @ajlinford . Frame hand made by my incredible father-in-law, Steve South. )

At the start of this month/February I had a solo show at Third Space Studios with 80+ of my paintings. (Special thanks to Kara McCullough for hosting at her incredible space.) Ah, it went SO WELL!!! It was with the Provo Art Stroll, & I got to meet so many freaking rad people! My husband estimated that around 400 people came by that opening night. (Which is wild!!) So far I’ve sold 23 paintings through that show!! Ahhh that is the best feeling!!! That’s definitely a new record for me! It feels incredible to have my paintings/sketches adopted into new homes- I’m ecstatic for all of their new lives. The show is going to stay up through the month. (vv)

(Shown above: Hidden Voices - Woodbury Art Museum ^^)

I was recently invited to be the Visiting Artist at Sundance Mountain Resort. (Special thanks to Megan Greer Ah You!) On March 2nd I’ll be there at their gallery/studio all day doing a live demo, & my solo show will stay up for two weeks from that date. !!

I also just found out that I have been selected to do a mural in Downtown Provo!! (Special thanks to McKay Lenker Bayer!) It’ll be behind Velour & the new Mozz Pizza on University Ave near Center Street. I’ll be working on it in March, & it’ll be completed April 5th.

That same night I’ll be doing another show with the Downtown Provo Art Stroll I’ll tell you about real soon. :)

A few months back I was invited to be apart of a Group Portrait Exhibit at the Bountiful-Davis Art Center, (Special thanks to Chauncey Secrist & Cara Krebs!) & that will open March 1st. I can’t wait! I seriously feel so stoked & honored to be a part of it! (The paintings that will be in that show are shown above ^^.)

I recently designed this tattoo for Maya Dehlin, someone I super respect. It was seriously an honor & wild to be a part of. ♥ vv

Yeah. WOW I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT ALL OF THIS.


I didn’t foresee this time of year to be so busy & rad & exciting!! In the tarot, this year is slated to be my year for The Sun & The Wheel of Fortune, & MAN IS THAT PLAYING OUT!! There have been so many opportunities to shine, & it has been just AGKK SO REWARDING & FULFILLING.

All this time,
I had no idea that all of this was coming.
I mean, you dream, & you hope,
but you never know.
It’s all out of your hands.

This is so exciting to me because it isn’t celebrating how I performed one day- it isn’t about one good painting, or one good effort - it’s the past 10 years I have dedicated to art, the thousands of hours I’ve put in, & the whole journey, & that is what feels oh so good. I want to go back & celebrate the younger me, hunched over a piece at 2 am, through phases of pure bliss & pure frustration.

I feel so grateful for the ongoing calls to create throughout the years, for my stubborn drive & will to will myself to go from below average up to now, for the incredible guides on my path who have lead me back to focus, to the freaking kind people who have supported & encouraged me along the way, & to the muses/creative life force/ephemeral Divine that pops in from time to time & decides to co-create with this stubborn & wildly inferior, often doubting collaborator.

Something dumb I’m trying to get over:
WHY DO I TAKE THESE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES
& TURN THEM INTO STRESSFUL/OVERWHELMING THINGS IN MY HEAD???

1/4 of me feels like the paragraph above,
while 3/4’s of me feels
so so so so so stressed & overwhelmed
by the idea of doing it all.

I was listening to an interview with my queen Maggie Rogers,
& she talked about how vital it was for her & her process
to stay in the present/the here & now.
And I was like !!!!♥♥YES, THAT♥♥!!!!

Because, if my cute little baby self
is overwhelmed about my “CRAZY FULL CALENDAR,”
can you imagine how Maggie Rogers must feel
about her ACTUALLY JAM PACKED CALENDAR
NONSTOP FILLED WITH INTERVIEWS/MASSIVE PERFORMANCES/TOUR,
ETC, ETC, ETC, ETC?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
And she is doing it!!!

So if I can just BE HERE IN THE PRESENT,
where nothing is on fire
& everything is pretty alright
& kinda really incredible,
& do the best I can each day to meet these deadlines & goals,
then I’ll be just fine.
I’ll learn/I’m learning.

Side note: Just wanted to put this out into the universe now & say:
It is absolutely my dream to work with Maggie Rogers. :D

If it doesn’t happen, so be it. But it is a really nice compass to hold onto, & to help me strive to better my craft.

Other Side Note: I found myself recently torn between
two { contradicting } mindsets.

1: take EVERY opportunity!!!!!!
Opportunities build on one another.
Be in the right place at the right time.
You may have to hustle.
You may have a lot on your plate-
it's worth it.
This is a season of hustle-
we'll slow down at some point.
For now, make it work, & do it all!!

2: There will be more opportunities-
we don't have to do them all right now.
See if you can reschedule for a later month,
or if you can schedule for next year.
Thank them kindly, but decline.
Have an abundance mindset.
You’re building a career, not a season.

Both make sense to me.
I’m not sure which one is the “right” one,
but I ended up going in camp #1.
I decided to follow Marie Kondo’s advice,
& follow what sparks joy.
I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. 😂

I also applied to be in the 300 Plates show. I didn’t get accepted, but they have a limited number of artists they can accept, & It didn’t get me down. I’ll try again next year! I also applied to be in two different group shows at the Rio Gallery. We’ll hear back soon.

This last week was kinda really hell for me/my family.

My Mom had a health scare & was in the ER/hospital for a life threatening surgery. Everything went on hold, & we were all there with her all week on & off. She went through absolutely hellish & excruciating pain, but in the end it all went really really well & she did incredibly. And yet, in the thick of it, it was a LOT emotionally. I was worried we were going to lose her… again. We almost lost her this time two years ago to suicide. All of that is a whirlwind. It brought me back into a mentally unwell state with all the symptoms that come with that. I’m working back to get through to a well state again- I’m already feeling much better- I’m hoping I can fight it off. (Lol, why do I speak of it like the common cold? 😂 ) I’ve just been able to fight it off for quite a while, & I’m hoping to nip the spirals in the bud. (^^ Shown above, the sketches I did while at the hospital, & trying to stay sane.)

This oracle deck by uusi is new to me, &amp; I’m smitten. Look at the ART. ♥♥ Thanks to Zina Bennion @sego.strega, a tarot teacher/witch I admire the hell out of, for the recommendation!

This oracle deck by uusi is new to me, & I’m smitten. Look at the ART. ♥♥ Thanks to Zina Bennion @sego.strega, a tarot teacher/witch I admire the hell out of, for the recommendation!

Organizing my paint racks also consists of color swatching some of the oil paints I’m less familiar with in order to decide the order they should go in.

Organizing my paint racks also consists of color swatching some of the oil paints I’m less familiar with in order to decide the order they should go in.

Between working so heavily on the business/planning/promoting end of things, & the family emergency, I haven’t gotten nearly as much done in the studio as I would’ve liked/as I had anticipated. Hence why I’m easing my way into it all with cleaning things up.

Dallas &amp; I got to help create this mural for a few hours. (Lol I worked on some of the yellow areas, &amp; Dal worked on some of the dark green areas.) It was awesome! McKay is a local hero of mine. I admire the hell out of her emphasis on community art &amp; making art accessible. She is a freaking rad artist, the creator/curator/director of the Tiny Art Show, the director of the Downtown Provo Art Stroll &amp; Provo art scene, &amp; an incredible high school art teacher. Wild, right?! She does it all!!

Dallas & I got to help create this mural for a few hours. (Lol I worked on some of the yellow areas, & Dal worked on some of the dark green areas.) It was awesome! McKay is a local hero of mine. I admire the hell out of her emphasis on community art & making art accessible. She is a freaking rad artist, the creator/curator/director of the Tiny Art Show, the director of the Downtown Provo Art Stroll & Provo art scene, & an incredible high school art teacher. Wild, right?! She does it all!!

I’ve recently been obsessed with sketching with walnut ink & white charcoal on toned sketchbook paper with aqua brushes. It is my jam right now. The sketches above are from a Drawing Night that blew my mind. It was my first time sketching skulls/animal skulls, & I had an absolute blast!!


This last month I have been motivating myself by using Pomodoro sessions. Pomodoro is where you set a timer for 25 min working in deep focus, then a 5 min break. After 4 of those sessions, you take a 30 min break.

Typically once I start going, I get in the zone & I don’t stop until around 3 sessions. 😂 I love it- it works for me. Because 25 minutes is so short & painless, you can make yourself do practically anything for that short of a time.

I use an app on my Fitbit Versa watch. There are phone apps you can use as well, but my phone is a black hole for un-productivity. 😂 101/10, would recommend this method. That’s how I pushed myself to complete this here post.

AAAAND, I DID IT!! ♥ ♥ ♥

This was an immensely long & candid update. !!
I hope to do these fairly often.
I also hope to be less ramble-y
& more useful next time.
But ya know what, I really liked doing this.

I really really really suck at summarizing,
& when I summarize on Instagram,
I feel like the parts I keep & the parts I omit
end up hiding a lot of the story/full picture.

I am no longer a dimensional person,
Worries, wishes, flaws & all.
I become as persona-
a one sided, optimistic snippet.

So I’m excited about the idea of more transparency,
& a new outlet for some side projects I can’t wait to start up.


What questions do you have for me?

What problems are you experiencing in the creative process?

Comment below or shoot me a message on the contact page.

I’ll answer it in a post, or I’ll ask an artist I respect to take a stab at it.

All my heart to yours,

♥ Haily




Haily South2 Comments