It’s time for another shift in the paradigm: consolidate for expansion. There were three websites but only one me. Data migration, link updates and boom: one structural umbrella that I can branch internally to accomplish the same thing in a quarter of the work. tamijourban.com now houses all of my projects. An important promise that I intend to keep is to continue to use my voice. This voice. I was driving to work and decided in today’s downtime I will begin the first installment of The World In My Eyes 2.0. There is still more data to migrate, but the past is always ready, the present is impatient, and the future will not wait. The Drawing Of The Day Series isn’t happening as fast as I’d like for me to record my incessant thinking. That Collection will never die. I love it, and true love never dies. It may ebb and flow, but when it’s real it’s forever.

How do I do make it happen? It took me three months to write up the last Urban Sketchers: Miami article. I guess the only way to do it is just…to do it. Be like Mike. Make it easy. Make it accessible. This new sexy set-up is all of those things. I already learned not to wait for the right time. It’s never the right time. Act now. So what exactly am I creating? Is this a diary or a journal? I like words. I like painting with words, assembling them like brushstrokes (or needle strokes). So I looked it up. One resource stated “Girls write diaries, boys keep journals.” I guess I’m a boy, because I like the word “journal” better the word “diary.” Further reading described a diary as informal documentation of daily activity requiring no special training or purpose. How romantic. A journal, conversely, is a more intimate adaptation of personal writing where the author speaks of his or her feelings, emotions, dreams, etc. It is unregimented in schedule and free of restrictions in length and frequency. Journal once a week or journal ten times a day. No rules. My favorite rule. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

First order of journal business: the obligatory emo selfie complete with moody lighting, Gen-X apathy and an unapproachable yet pensive distant expression. Okay, the truth? I’m between appointments and having a great hair day. The A/C at work is on the fritz. It’s oppressively hot in here rending me uninterested in anything as labor-intensive as pushing a pencil around. So after I finish this entry I am going to change the clothes on my Bitmoji and then head over to Buzzfeed and find out what kind of pizza I am.

In early 2000 I bought and created my first website, tamityville.com (the URL still exists, it points here). Back then not too many people were building their own self-hosted websites. Then suddenly everyone had a website, a blog in particular. Noah Grey, the genius behind the first Perl-based content management system Greymatter, ruled the world. Enter WordPress, Greymatter’s advanced hatchling. Soon the Lunatic Fringe known as Social Media stormed us. MySpace, Blogger and eventually the unstoppable Facebook brought living life to a screeching halt in lieu of posting pictures of all the staged fun you’re not having anymore. Why eat lunch when you can take a picture and Instagram it? Hashtag delicious. Like begets like. Follow for follow. Don’t follow me, I’m lost too.

Now no one has a website anymore, Twitter is where it’s at. Look me up and read about how I ate a grilled cheese sandwich in 160 characters or less! Now don’t get me wrong, I have all of these profiles. I am not interested in living in rapid reversal of technology or progress. They are priceless tools in navigating this vast world, something I as an artist have a deep passion for. Not to mention how my knowledge of these vehicles contributes to my income. So my sparsity of participation in public forums is unrelated to my choosing to build up my own real estate on the interwebs. I’m an introvert, I like to play in my own yard. I am not trying to replace my Social Media profiles by hanging out here. I simply find it a less distracting and more intimate way to communicate. So I guess this is my own private Anti-Social Media.

I wanted to create my online presence in the spirit of how I view it. Of course SnapChat is fun, and Google makes looking for a movie time or finding a Thai restaurant en route of northbound I-95 extremely convenient. But my daily routine craves a little more intimacy. I read blogs and forums. I solve problems by learning from the articles someone else has already written on the subject. Like it or not, I can’t unlearn my knowledge of web development, despite it pretty much driving me nuts. So here I am, kicking it old school with a self-hosted content management system. A blog. Another word, by the way, that I dislike. But everyone knows what it is.

We have become driven by capture and flaunt. I’m guilty of it as well. But there are certain situations, social or otherwise, technology intrudes. As a tattoo artist and tattoo recipient, I understand we all want selfies of our tattoo extravaganza. But reel it in. I tattooed an owl on a woman’s forearm. The entire time she was taking videos and then replaying them as I was tattooing her. Not posting them, not texting them, just replaying them. On her forearm, there is no better vantage point IRL. Have we gotten so brainwashed that we are incapable of viewing life unless it’s on a 4″ screen? Hey man, cool.

As I was perusing my #coffee magazine on Flipboard, my phone lit up and this is what I saw. Four, four, four, all the time. I have truly come to love this number. So much so I hid it in one of the tattoos on my left arm. When I love something, I tattoo it on me. Of note, Michael “The Shape” Myers is on the master list to be on my skin. I see this number with enough frequency that despite not losing any gravity, it’s become old hat. I will never take it for granted. If nothing else at this point it’s a reminder to smile. But the romantic in me still believes it’s guiding me toward the very best version of myself, the highest form of happiness and the balance created by success and serenity. It’s a foolproof intention: happiness. Unconditional happiness. By definition, it’s the only state that defines itself without a catch.

So where does this leave me? I mean, I like Social Media just as much as the next girl. I’m a freelance artist with a full online presence including a portfolio, store and now “blog.” A ludite I am not. A hypocrite I will not. I My arsenal consists of a 27″ iMac, 2 MacBooks, 3 iPads, an iPod touch and an iPhone 7+, not to mention two printers, five cameras and more jump drives than I can wrangle. Trust me I drank the Kool-Aid. I think the fact I cannot control being photographed, recorded, posted, tagged, etc. incessantly while trying to work just has me a little jaded. After all, it’s not a bad thing becoming a part of someone’s life forever. Every person I tattoo has just a little bit of permanence. The fact he or she is proud enough to broadcast it is flattering. So this is the part I shut my yap and say thank you.

This was the last client of today. She was cool, sat well as (most) women do. My tattoo portfolio needs another 3D butterfly like my feet need to grow another shoe size. My journal, however, well this is No.1. Pictures or it didn’t happen, right?

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