Friday, April 16, 2010

Tax Time

Well, the deadline has passed - we hope you all managed to file your taxes on time this year! We cut it a bit close, filing at around 2am the day before they were due. Whew! Every time Monkey thinks about taxes, he thinks of Maggie Gyllenhaal screaming "Get bent, tax man!" at Will Ferrell in "Stranger than Fiction."

It has been a good process going through all the records and books and using this mandatory, stereotypically-icky event to look back and reflect on all the major financial gains and losses throughout the year as Monkey + Seal. When you get right down to it, as much as Monkey + Seal both want to make their business fun and exciting and full of art and goodness and yummy food, the reality is that it can be all of that, but you also have to manage your money, track financial records, and handle all the business side of things. It can be sort of rough at times, but in the end, anything that brings you one more step to your dream is worth it.

For all you budding entrepreneurs out there, how do you manage to keep the balance between the fun side of business and the business side of business in check?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Junia y Andres

This weekend Monkey + Seal headed down to San Diego (Chula Vista, to be more appropriate) to attend the wedding of our friends Junia and Andres. Another super artistic couple (and creators of the currently-on-hiatus Popote card line), their wedding was so distinctly them, it was really amazing.
Between the centerpieces made out of books, hand-crocheted doilies, and hand-painted Munny dolls (seen above), to the giant balloons that were part of their invitations, to the unified signage on the snacks, the wedding was a DIY masterpiece.

We will most definitely be using some of their wedding elements as inspiration for our own, many-years-down-the-line-eventual wedding. Also, we must comment that the food was simply amazing. They had a nopales salad that was extremely kick-ass, and the ginger lemonade spiked with bourbon that they had during cocktail hour was delicious. Also, whatever tequila we had for the toast was one of the smoothest drinks we've ever had. Monkey could have most definitely just nursed a bottle of that tequila all night.

Anyway, best wishes to Junia and Andres (who are now on their honeymoon) on their new adventures as a married couple. Yay!

PS - Now that the wedding is over, you can focus on Popote again!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Monkey has been doing a lot of reading the past week, and constantly, he's stumbled across the notion of gratitude being one of the main forces that moves the universe. Being grateful is definitely difficult when you're facing tough situations, but really, if one can manage to do it, one will definitely enjoy life more.

Whether or not you believe in the power of positive thinking, or visualization, or the Law of Attraction, or any of the new-age, life coaching movement stuff, the sheer logic of being grateful for everything in your life will lead to much more happiness.

If anything, Monkey + Seal have found that when we stop and think about it, we have much more to be grateful for than to be angry or frustrated about. Yes, in the past week Monkey lost his wallet on the bus, and Monkey + Seal got news of not being juried into Spectrum and not getting into the SF Renegade Craft Fair. Also, some of our student loans' grace periods are ending, so we'll have large loan payments to start paying off.

However, Monkey had his wallet returned, there's always next year for Spectrum and Renegade, and Paper Hat Productions (which is basically Monkey + Seal) is working on their next art riot extravaganza. Additionally, Seal just finished some freelance work, we got to go to our good friends' wedding this weekend and take a small mini-vacation, and we somehow managed to run into a friend when we went shopping for Indonesian snacks! Additionally, we have jobs and a cozy apartment in one of the most awesome cities in the world, and we're pretty healthy, and get to follow our dream of becoming professional artists. We could go on and on, but we're sure you get the picture.

Anyway, it's a proven fact (although don't ask us for citations, sorry) that negative events affect us about 10 times as a positive event. No wonder its so easy to get bogged down in the negative. But we find the trick is thinking about all the other good things in your life (that we often take for granted) to say "hey, although xy and z sucks, we've still got a,b,c,d,e,f,g,etc. going for us."

So, to wrap things up, don't wait for Thanksgiving to be grateful for all the little things in your life. Make it a daily habit and your life will be way more fun and meaningful!