Who Will Buy My Love?

Two things are true: (1) I need to make some money and (2) I need to make what I love.

Years ago – before I was ancient – I could’ve learned how to make “beauty.” Maybe I could’ve learned how to make cute/adorable/charming. That’s less likely. But, instead of doing what I could’ve done to feed a consumer need, I fed my own.

I made what I love.

Now it’s all I can do. It’s all I want to do. I need to make what I love.

Now and then I can produce “beauty,” etc. But it’s….meh. I don’t love it and I can’t fake love well enough for my “beauty” to be be beautiful to the world. 

Let’s shift gears, OK? Take a little detour…

Online advice about selling visual art via print-on-demand sites always includes this gem: “Know your audience.” That’s excellent advice, applicable to most of life’s endeavors. But how do you know and satisfy an audience that doesn’t exist? Beyond supposition I haven’t a clue except that it would be people like me but who had money to spend.

Detour over.

Given my timeline (I’m ancient, remember?) in the early spring of last year I decided to focus on what I love to do. That seemed wise because even if nothing sold I could at least enjoy what I was doing and my dwindling time wouldn’t be wasted pretending to love something that might not sell anyway.

Ooooo! Exciting! Must’ve worked great, yes? Here’s how well that plan’s worked: Nothing’s sold except a sticker of an [arguably] beautiful abstract I made 13 years ago. I earned $.33 (cents, yes) that I’ll likely never see because the payout threshold is $20. Want to see it? Click through to my Redbubble shop.

Who was my audience? No idea. Maybe a music lover. Maybe a violin player. Or maybe someone who likes little abstract images that will stick to things. 

Reeling from the realization that I wasn’t getting anywhere I updated equipment and purchased new software. Beginning mid-summer last year I frantically tried to make what I thought might sell. What was that exactly? Not what I love. Everything else. I’ve tried hard to create for that other audience, the one that likes beauty and charm and adorable cuteness but IT’S NOT ME. I’m drowning in loveless creations.

I need my love.

I need my faces.

So – enough! I’ve had enough! Maybe I’ll make abstracts along the way, maybe I’ll take pictures of pretty things, maybe I’ll crank out a few colorful patterns just to please the POD site’s algorithms, but my new plan is to make – and try harder to sell – what I love. 

Like this face:

Acrylic painting, photography – digital collage (©️Robin King)

Is it ugly to you? Creepy? Scary? Weird? Edgy? Disgusting? Bizarre? It’s beauty to me. I loved making it! I love seeing it!

And I love this one:

Acrylic painting, photography, pencil drawing – digital collage (©️Robin King)

Does it intrigue you? Bother you? Make you feel compassion or confusion or anything at all? It’s dark and bleak and touches me deeply. It’s beauty, to me.

I’m my audience. All I need is a few people like me who share my love and will buy it. 


Note: The above may seem like whining and maybe it is. To be fair, I’ve flip-flopped this way before. I’ve also been wildly inconsistent with promotion. And – maybe – what I love isn’t really meant for anyone but me. Maybe it’s just “bad art,” not even good enough for a refrigerator door. Maybe my love is wasted, misplaced. But it’s still love and I’m going to make these faces until I can’t.

Adobe Photoshop Elements/Mac Monterey Temporary Workaround and FlamingPear Freebies

“Floating Rose Pink Squares” ©️Robin King

After a couple of days of trying things I figured out that Adobe Photoshop Elements will function normally on my Mac (Monterey) exactly one time per computer startup. In other words, if I start the Mac and open PSE (Photoshop Elements) it works fine. If I close PSE and then reopen it (without restarting the computer), PSE won’t open. So…if I do open it I have to leave it open until I’m ready to shut off the computer. PSE will start again and run fine following another computer startup. Weird, but there it is. 

Note: I posted about this problem earlier: https://robinkingfaces.com/2021/11/26/adobes-announcement-about-photoshop-elements-mac-monterey/

Here’s some fun news: Years and years ago (2006?) I first downloaded the “Freebies” pack of Adobe Photoshop Elements plug-ins from FlamingPear. So useful! So easy work with! Over the years, each time I got a new version of PSE I downloaded and installed the Freebies. Today I was happy to see that the Freebies work with my new PSE! Here’s a link if you’re interested: http://www.flamingpear.com/freebies.html

They really are free and are simple to install. I edited “Floating Rose Pink Squares” (above) using the “Kyoto Color” filters.

I made the image itself using Image Tricks Lite (Belight Software). It’s also free: https://www.belightsoft.com/products/imagetricks/

If you don’t see me here for a couple of days it’s because I’m playing with my “new” digital toys – including Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro.


“Floating Rose Pink Squares” is now available in my Redbubble Shop: https://www.redbubble.com/i/throw-blanket/Floating-Rose-Pink-Squares-by-artbyrobinking/95412338.NZ8A6

An Affinity for Lines

Diagonal lines – nice. But I want something else…
THIS is what I want!

Yesterday I posted a request for advice about either Affinity Photo or Pixelmator Pro. You can see the specifics in this post: https://robinkingfaces.com/2021/11/25/do-you-use-affinity-photo-pixelmator-pro-is-this-possible-thats-all-i-need-to-know/

Thanks to Phil Perkins – Perkins Designs – I was able to do exactly what I wanted, using Affinity Photo. Thank you, Phil!! And thank you, also, to Ed Ritchie – eRitchieart – for letting me know that I can do the same thing using Pixelmator Pro. I haven’t had an opportunity to try that yet but I’m sure it’ll go well. Thank you, Ed Ritchie!!

Adobe’s Announcement About Photoshop Elements & Mac Monterey

If you have a new version of Adobe Photoshop Elements on a Mac with Monterey, you may have been having a difficult time opening/using Elements. I certainly have! Well, there’s some news:


(You don’t need to sign in to Adobe to read the announcement.)

Upshot? They’re working on it – with Apple. Yay!

Do you use Affinity Photo? Pixelmator Pro? Is this possible? That’s all I need to know.

First of all, I could do what I need to do quickly and easily using Photoshop Elements but I just bought the new version and it won’t open on my Mac (OS 12.0.1). That problem ought to be addressed by Adobe eventually because I’m only one of many users in the same becalmed boat. But I reallyreallyreally need to make some images NOW.

Second, I have Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro. I’m still learning how to use them which is why I don’t know the answer to this question:

Is it POSSIBLE to take one image, make four copies of it, and paste them as layers onto one image that’s double the dimensions? Example: Let’s say I have a 4000x4000px image. I want to create a new image that’s 8000x8000px that will have four copies of the original 4000x4000px image in it – in the top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right? Actions will be copying, pasting, and rotating on the horizontal and vertical. When all four copies are arranged properly they’ll need to be merged (flattened) into the background layer or only visibly merged, depending on how the file needs to be saved.

Can this be done using Affinty Photo? Or Pixelmator Pro? I’m guessing that it can but my attempts so far have been unsuccessful, I’m running out of time, and my level of cyber-frustration is unprecedented.

There are other programs I could probably do this with (GIMP, Sketchbook, etc.) but my options are Affinity Photo and Pixelmator  Pro. I don’t need instructions – I’ll figure it out how to do it if I know it’s possible.

So…is it possible?


What’s the Rule of Thirds for Flowers?

“Rule of Thirds for Flowers” ©️Robin King

There’s a “rule” of visual art composition called “The Rule of Thirds.” It’s about dividing an image into thirds to create a “pleasing” image. The first time I heard about a Rule of Thirds in the context of art I was when I read a book about photography many years ago. I remember laughing because my experience with a Rule of Thirds was through music. In so-called Western music, harmony is built on thirds to avoid the perceived “dissonance” of fourths and and sevenths. That’s a parochial view, of course, developed long before the world’s glorious variety of music was available to the entire world.

But it’s a “rule.”

Because my experience with composition originally came from music I think that by the time I picked up a camera I’d had my fill of “rules of composition” and have ignored them ever since. That’s probably a failing of mine; I don’t recommend it.

But I do recommend this abstract image. It’s a closeup of a lily. What an amazing structure! This one has a pistil trio that reminds me of piano keys.

To view “Rule of Thirds For Flowers” in my Redbubble Shop (as prints and on products) click here or on the images above: https://www.redbubble.com/i/art-board-print/Rule-of-Thirds-for-Flowers-by-artbyrobinking/95069737.5E8EA