I’m excited that I actually followed through with Gala Darling’s Instagram challenge for October. Sure, I was late a few days, but I completed all the prompts! I’ve already shared days 1-15, and now I’m going to share 16-31.

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 16: Big Dream – I wish to never go back to a 9-5 job. I wish to never run out of inspiration and to be able to consistently create. I wish to be successful by my own guidelines. I wish to never become fully jaded. I wish to live and love till I’m over 100. I wish Baltimore had a rainbow crosswalk.

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 17: Favorite Artist – My favorite artist will always be Katie Sokoler [source]

Day 18: In The Morning – What I do every morning is different (besides peeing). The only other constant is waking up to these balloons above my head. It’s a strategic move. Try not to be optimistic when this is the first thing you see every day.

Day 19: Your Bucket List – There are a lot of things on my bucket list, and it’s constantly growing, but in terms of priority, jumping on a Velcro Wall is pretty high up there. [source]

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 21: Your BabesJanice (horror loving firey red head with the handwriting of a sexy computer), Charlotte (hula hooping wild thang with gypsy undertones), Ashley (trend setting gal with a sophisticated sense of humor and a plethora of hidden talents), Cristen (crazy idea having blonde bombshell with an ass that won’t quit), Suzie (free spirited derby bad ass with a humongous heart), April (stilt wearing timeless lady who has more fun than you knew was possible), Joanie (loud crazy passionate girl who goes all in to whatever she does), Munchel (not as dainty as she seems chica with a kind heart and a hidden gangster living in her brain), Schaeffer (fun loving lady with welcoming demeanor and a crafty preference), Michelle (creative kinda scientist with an interesting outlook on life and the best ideas you never knew you needed), April (a spirited hard working lover of trees patterns and animals with a mermaid kinda lifestyle), + Melissa (passionate and opinionated with an incredible sense of humor and work ethic).

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 20: Favorite City – My favorite city is Baltimore. I love the way Fells Point always smells like a bakery, the beautiful murals both commissioned by the city and sneakily put up in the middle of the night, and how fucking strange and beautiful people are.

Day 22: Seasonal Love – Even though there’s a good six weeks of Autumn after Halloween is over, my favorite part of the seasons changing is that for a significant period of time society finds things like this acceptable vs. how I find it acceptable (read: necessary) the rest of the year.

Day 23: Throwback Thursday – Not featured: I’m wearing roller skates indoors

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 27: Wonder – What gives me a sense of wonder? Stars. Forever stars. Couldn’t see them that well tonight, so I drew them.

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 24: Spirituality – I don’t believe in an organized religion. I don’t go to church. I do consider myself spiritual. My spirituality comes from my inner mermaid. I practice personal rituals, and I pray to glitter. I have an altar and I feel the cosmos inside of me whenever I see the stars above me. [Photo from my annual mermaid ritual]

Day 25: Before And After – 2004 + 2014. On the left is a girl who can do splits and exercises 20 hours a week, yet she is more conscious about her body than ever. She has fresh wounds she made herself covered by leggings that aren’t yet considered fashionable, and she just started taking a medication that she’ll probably have to take her whole life. She’s still really excited for Spirit Week, though. And she’s going to give you hell for not dressing up. On the right is a woman who is carving her own path. She doesn’t have a gym membership anymore, but her self esteem is higher than it ever was before. She’s learning how to be the kind of adult she wants to be, which includes a lot of kid-like stuff. And she’s still going to peer pressure you into celebrating. Celebrate it all, lover.

Day 28: Biggest Challenge – My biggest challenge has been Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to work on my rituals for my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I did an intensive six month session, which at its core is just exposure therapy. I would have homework assignments where I would have to do things that gave me anxiety. Every day I had to sit with a drawer open for 45 minutes and stare at it (among countless other assignments). When I first started I would cry, big bawling hysterical tears, as I stared at it. Most days I couldn’t make it past 10 minutes. But now I can leave the house with a drawer open and I don’t have a problem with it. Facing the thing that scared me the most was my biggest challenge (so far).

Day 26: Self-Care Routine – Every day when I get in my car I spray glitter on my arms and chest.

Lovetober Challenge | Uncustomary Art

Day 29: Beside Your Bed – In the interest of transparency, I didn’t clean my nightstand for this prompt of sharing what’s next to my bed. Featured: pink bowl of cat toys, water bottle, wrist band and magic wand (that I found!) from last night, sticky notes, Sharpie, tape, fan remote, stolen LED ice cube, fascinator, mirror, vitamin D pill, emergen-C packet, tapestry needles, eye cream, box of trinkets, DC parking ticket, hamburger pouch, tray of miscellany. And that’d a typewriter decal on the side.

Day 30: Advice – If you get inspired, don’t let it go to waste. Act first.

Day 31: Halloween – If you want to know how I celebrated Halloween, this post will give you a great idea.

Thanks again to Gala for organizing this challenge, and I’m so glad it was such a success. If you’re interested in following me for further Instagram adventures, you can!

PS – I got featured on Gala’s second round up twice! Yay!