Design Your Life

Finding More Love and Happiness


These are not tips meant to be solely taken for happiness, you can find tons of happiness inspiration nestled within all sorts of magazines and websites! However.. these are tips I have found to be true. Accept them and make them work for you and you’ll find some delicious new happiness.


Taking inspirations from other artists and making them work in a way that is very you and your style can be ok but make sure you’re aware of where you got it from. If what one person is doing inspires you, also make sure others know about it. Recognize and honor those who inspire you, they wont forget you as easily when they’re rising to the top.

It’s important to realize we do not live in a box closed off from the outside world and everyone’s work is everywhere. I used to get really upset about this. Still do sometimes.. but what’s the point?

Be aware that if you’re using another artist’s work without their permission in any way to benefit yourself or to gain profit, you should be strung by your shoelaces to the nearest tree until you come to your senses. The importance of the world and the internet is that we all have an opportunity to express OURSELVES. Not our neighbors.


Let go of your superiority complex if you have one. People are going to copy you if you’re doing something groundbreaking, it’s not a new tale. Instead of trying to monitor the whole world (impossible even for Bush), accept that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Can you imagine if Andy Warhol exerted energy making sure no one copied his work? You’re inspiring others. Be proud of yourself. Artists have inspired other artists since the beginning of time. That being said DON’T COPY. Find inspiration but BE YOURSELF.


Study daily, anything you have an interest or passion in. Continue learning about it and never stop — let your passions guide you and your dreams. Live your life doing what you love and enjoy everyday you have alone and with those you adore to the utmost. Share your passions and research, in this way we’re always learning about new things from each other. Master your craft and you will find true happiness and satisfaction inside.

Flamers & Trolls

Everywhere that there are amazing and positive, creative, successful people you’ll find a group of jealous and conniving. They feel that instead of working on their own dreams they’d prefer to shatter yours and inspire you to fail. Don’t ever give up and let them win — be true to yourself and you’ll attract friends that are true to you, too. Everyone has people that do not like them, everyone clashes with someone. Don’t ever beat yourself up for it, focus on those you love and that love you. Always be open to new friends. You only live this life once, spend it with and thinking about the positive relationships you have and move on from the negative. They’ll only cause you pain in the end and it’s usually taking away from your family and friends that stood by since the beginning.


Or souvenirs of the mind. Collect good memories and let go of hurtful ones. Be aware that you cannot change the past and your new life starts today. If you feel there is something missing from your life that you see in your memories — realize that is a charm to be shared with only you and whomever you may experienced it with. If you can locate them let them know what they mean to you, if you cannot mentally thank them for the wonderful adventures and move on to have new ones. When people separate it can be for a million reasons, all that matters is the memories they shared. Don’t focus on what you had, focus on what you have. It’s nothing but a Polaroid to hold sentimentally in your mind, let it inspire you to spend new amazing times with the people you care about now.


Be a little bit more compassionate! Not only will it improve your happiness but it will improve the receiver’s happiness as well. Even if you feel fake, like you don’t mean the help you are extending, keep offering and building character because soon you will feel it. You’ll feel better for being reliable, too. 🙂


It also doesn’t help to take a trip to your nearest carnival and grab some cotton candy or a candy apple or saltwater taffy! If you were really feeling indulgent you might get all three, haha.

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  • Reply athinalabella 10/24/2009 at 6:29 am

    Very well said. I loved this piece. There is too much jealousy in this world. Its a very negative emotion that has to be dealt with. If not, it can eat away at your soul and leave you empty inside and very unhappy.
    I can count my true friends on hand if I am lucky. It sucks when people judge you, if you look a certain way, and they write you off as stuck up, or stand offish. That hurts. For along time I closed myself off, cause I was afraid of getting hurt. So guess what, I lost out on alot experiences and people in my life. Just now I have begun again to open up again, and let people in and do what makes me happiest, and life is so much brighter and more opportunitive. (Is that a word?)
    And as for the copy cats…I learned too, to take it as flattery. And now I think its just silly to get upset at something like that. Its all ego. One should be glad, to have inspired someone, and brung something out of that person that was not there before. So with saying that, everything is inspired by something else, to become something new and evolved. What’s there to be made about, again it goes back to the ego and an something that has to be dealt with. Loved it, and can I have some ice cream instead, lol.

  • Reply amberrenee 10/25/2009 at 1:04 am

    Eeeee yow! Everything you say is so sweet and thoughtful, athina. I absolutely adore your point of view so much. I love that you agree with me about the copycats thing — I think it can be a hard one to deal with for many (including myself).

    YOU take the icecream and I’ll take the candy apples! 😉 deal?

  • Reply Kim 11/01/2009 at 6:28 pm

    I’m going to have to disagree with you on that…
    COPY is definitely NOT flattery

  • Reply amberrenee 11/01/2009 at 6:37 pm

    Yes.. it’s hard to deal with, I still have panic attacks from it — I wont lie. I guess we have to expect when we break molds, unimaginative people will follow in suit?

    I use that harsh tone about it in the article because I’m mad that I let it affect my happiness so much sometimes — I’m forcing it into my brain. How do you cope?


  • Reply Kim 11/01/2009 at 8:29 pm

    What bothers me most about it is that copycats do affect my business. When I first started selling on Etsy my items were unique and I was the only one selling them. Now there are copycats galore selling knockoffs of my items.
    For example~ my starlight peppermint ring. Nothing like that existed… anywhere! And now it seems like they’re all over Etsy.
    I guess stuff like this wouldn’t bother me if what I did was a hobby…. but it’s my life and it’s my job! I try not to browse resin on Etsy much… whenever I do it angers me. I’ve seen sellers copy my designs down to every detail and even borrow words/lines from my item descriptions. It’s gotten so out of hand! It’s gotten so bad that it makes me rethink my business…. do I even want to bother with the stuff anymore. My sales have really taken a dive lately. I’m just at a loss…. not sure what to do.

  • Reply amberrenee 11/01/2009 at 11:20 pm

    YES — that is just something I cannot grasp.. I also strive to do unique design and it really drives me mad when I see a flyer released the week after using my design elements! What gives?

    We try so hard to market ourselves and our unique work as an artist and yet someone can easily cut out all of the hard work and just take the glory. I just don’t get it..

    “I guess stuff like this wouldn’t bother me if what I did was a hobby…. but it’s my life and it’s my job! ”

    !!!! YES!! and your PASSION!

    I hate to hear this because I have always LOVED your stuff (you know that!) and I can never wait to see what you come up with next, candy worlds contained inside resin! <3 I hate to hear this. It's happening all over and it's really sad.

  • Reply Saraaaaaah 11/02/2009 at 5:24 pm

    I agree with what you said. But, my only problem, is that I would want credit. Whether it be publicly known, or if the ‘copyer’ had told me privately. I just want the other party to fess up to the fact that it’s not their original design and/or idea.

  • Reply amberrenee 11/02/2009 at 9:11 pm

    Which is why I said “Recognize and honor those who inspire you” — if you’re copying someone that’s making ground chances are everyone’s going to see you for a rip off and you’ll lose every bit of credibility you have.. I think copycats often do not take that into consideration.. once a girl actually copied Miseducated in 2001 and put the whole domain online somewhere else under her own name.. I definately did not stop for a second when contacting her ISP and letting them know so they could remove it… do these people think that no one will notice?

    Also — it’s never a bad idea to let an artist know that they have inspired you and it may build your network and you’ll meet new friends. It’s actually a great idea to contact anyone who has inspired you and let them know.. that’s really an amazing feeling to experience when you found you’ve inspired someone — and instead of making the artist upset or anxious, you’re encouraging them. <3

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