Business of Art and the Money of Corporate Raiding – Why Create Anything

Ding – ding goes the cash register in the old stores from Five & Dime stores to old grocery stores every time there is a sale made. Even in today’s stores, as the register drawer opens and closes, there is a plastic swush that is is recognizable with every sale. In art, you don’t get that.

I’m thinking of putting a bell somewhere to note when someone buys one of my artworks or designs on the products being made through Zazzle – but it would probably be pretty annoying after awhile – both when it rings and when it doesn’t for awhile.

Sales in art is not based entirely on subjective criteria. However, it can be noted that in many cases, art is sold as part of something else (inclusively.) The designs and artwork put on products in big retail stores are already made into whatever you are buying and when you go to have a tshirt made or business cards – art is partly included in the price or charged for being done as part of the print job. Meaning, the art is not purchased separately in many cases, though it is there providing sellable visuals that make the product desirable.

Architecture firms pay artists to visually conceptualize the buildings, public spaces and homes they intend to build. Landscape designers either hire an artist to render their plans for landscaping so the customer can understand it or do that themselves. Magazing rely heavily on illustration and have both in-house artists work for them and hire illustrators specific to articles whose work they already know.

There are art publishers that publish limited edition prints and those who mass produce for the interior decor industry where most, if not all of the artwork seen in retail stores and local frame shops at the mall are bought for resale.

After a tremendous number of years making art, selling art and learning about selling art, it is something to be said that I am numb to it all now. I’ve watched brilliant sculptors of our time go into ice carving because the public wanted that and not big sculptures for their homes and businesses. I’ve watched ridiculous things being made using materials that are absurd to get the public’s attention whether sculpting in butter or hand-rendering famous works of art on tiny chocolate squares.

It is a strange time. Nothing surprises the public anymore to the extent that it has become a joke played upon by advertisers trying to find something more ridiculous than the last to get the audience to speak about it, remember it or repeat any of it on social media or around the water cooler.

At one time in the fine art world during the last forty years, artists have castrated themselves and filmed it, calling that performance art – only to be ignored anyway and their work denied by the apathy of the public and then committing suicide over it. That doesn’t even make the news at the time it was done and certainly wouldn’t today.

But, in the midst of this strange landscape, there is more creativity and imagination, wonderful artworks and artistic endeavors than ever with a vast array of amazing types and avenues of interpretation. It is staggering. And, the public is mostly not buying any of it regardless. Nor, supporting it. Nor desiring to be supportive of any of it, for that matter.

As Banksy came through New York City and made his secret tagging project with its social messages, he did everything right according to the public relations playbook and still barely had a couple sales of his work in person when he set up to sell it in Central Park before he went back home. The news coverage and social media, the public’s interest in it didn’t matter – they still didn’t want to buy it from the artist. That says a lot.

Experts call it the “gig economy” where it used to be called freelancing or making something and then selling it directly to the customer. And, today much of that is done online with large platforms delivering what seems like opportunity to those who make things, create things, craft, sculpt, do art, write, do music, invent, and have skills in those areas.

Well, okay – gig economy. And, building a brand. And, becoming an expert in your field by knowledge and skills marketed effectively online. Those can work despite the walls of competition coming at you every given moment.

But, when I wrote the post on my old blog the other day about Toys R Us going into bankruptcy when they enjoy a 15% share of the toy market – and how it happened, and as I keep watching people at the top of our government spending millions of dollars to go on a golf weekend or take trips at our expense or plan a $50 million dollar parade while my sales give me none of those things – it occurs to me that creating anything is not how money is being made necessarily. And, probably not for some time now – like years upon years.

Where someone like Thomas Kincaid was able to bring his art vision to the public marketplace successfully, millions of others did not and were not given the access to even take that road successfully at all. It is as if, for one to get in the door – 500,000 or more did not. The odds are worse than playing bingo.

So here is what I wrote a couple days ago after doing the research on why Toys R Us is being dismantled because of a private equity group who bought them in 2005 using “equity” from their portfolios of investing other people’s money and leveraging 80% of the price which was then charged to Toys R Us to pay off ultimately destroying them as they threw $400 million out the door every year to service loans which shouldn’t have belonged to them since they were made to purchase the company in the first place.

That is a long winded sentence and I was about to change it – but damn, that’s exactly what they did. It can’t be said in two or three word sentences.

So, rather than tell you all about how to make a great art business and share with you what all I’ve learned about it, from fine art to illustration, art publishing and surface design, showing in art festivals to showing in galleries, to the amazing online opportunities which are mostly work and not really opportunities – I’m going to share what I’ve learned about really making money – if you’re going to –



The Anatomy of Business in America –

  1. Open a firm. Make it an LLC and get a nice address for it, even if it is shared.
  2. Print a bunch of slick looking brochures and paperwork. Buy some nice desks and expensive chairs.
  3. Hire some men and dress them in very expensive suits.
  4. Get people to give you their money to invest. Borrow against the money they give you to invest more than you have available.
  5. Charge them for investing their money and every time the investments are handled, traded, bought or sold.
  6. Use their money and portfolios as collateral to buy up an existing company in the US – one that has been around for years.
  7. Borrow 80% – 100% of the price the company purchase would be by using these other people’s money and portfolios as you “equity”collateral on the loan promising the company will payoff the loan from its cash earnings inflow
  8. Pay yourself several million dollars for making the deal by taking it from the company you are buying.
  9. Put the entire purchase price of the company you are buying into debt owed by that company and not you and not your company even though you did the borrowing to get ownership of it.
  10. The collateral wasn’t yours, the equity stake put up never moved anywhere and is paid off by the company being bought plus paying for its own purchase by you without any of your money ever being used.
  11. Rob all the cash resources and assets that you can possibly liquidate from the company you now own without ever having to pay anything to get it.
  12. Charge management fees to the company you’ve bought while you dismantle its assets and cash diverting them into your pockets and those of your firm.
  13. Force the company you now own to borrow from you and from your firm some of its new loan money that will satisfy paying off your debt for having bought it, so they are effectively paying you interest on the money you did not actually borrow to buy the company in the first place which is now owed by the company you “bought” who is paying for its purchase price.
  14. After 2 – 5 years of bleeding all the cash possible from the company, either A.) sell it by taking it public and then finding a buyer for it to cash you out, or B.) going into bankruptcy as the company is then required to pay you again three times over in the bankruptcy process.
  15. Get payouts again from any credit default swaps you took out on the loans your firm made to the company that  you forced the company to take to pay the money off that you “borrowed” to “buy” them. Make sure you get hundreds of millions from the bankruptcy of the company while its vendors, landlords contractors and many other creditors get nothing.
  16. Make sure executives are given big fat bonuses by the bankruptcy court because they are your friends and any pension funds or other employee benefit funds are depleted so they get nothing but a layoff notice, (or not even that.)
  17. Enjoy the hundreds of millions of dollars that now are yours which you never built in the first place through hard work, gaining market share, challenging the competition or any other basic tenets of capitalism and market based economics.
  18. Do the same thing to as many companies as you can while continuing to run your firm convincing people to give you their money to invest and charging them while using their money and not yours to be the “equity” / collateral to buy these companies and do the same thing to them to bleed them of all cash resources which you didn’t earn.
  19. Tell everybody how great you are and how nobody else in the United States is worth anything unless they are like you.
  20. Deny you put tens of thousands of families in economic hardship by taking their jobs away, destroying their communities by shutting down large employers and cutting the income from contractors and landlords who had provided real services and goods to the company. And, run for public office.
  • cricketdiane, 03-13,18



Well, that’s it – that is how money has been being made in America since the 80’s and otherwise, you could –

Go to an art school, get a portfolio of work together in your own style however many years and dollars that will take, if a gallery will take you on because your work is already selling and has an audience it brings to the gallery.

Or become an illustrator – but first, go check those books in the library that are put out every year of illustrators and understand that the competition is well placed to already get the work where you would need to get those opportunities. And, spend the years and money to get really good at illustration with your own style that is distinctive but not too distinctive and that fits the marketplace but is different enough to be marketable.

Or, paint and craft a bunch of items, frame every piece and make packaging for it all, lug it out to the art fairs and festivals, pay them a bunch in fees, sit with the work for three days while watching people pass your booth to go buy something from a wholesaler that is in the booth three over from yours on their way to buy funnel cakes and watch clogging.

Or, find a way for your work to get in the big fine arts shows and be judged worthwhile – Basel in Florida, the Armory Show in New York – places like that, but know that it won’t guarantee even one more sale even if everything you show there does sell.

Or, put your work online with art on products made as they are ordered at one of the print-on-demand sites for art prints or products, like Zazzle – but remember that once it is online, no one will believe you are an artist or illustrator or anything except an affiliate marketer for the platform even though you are the one designing the product’s visually appealing elements or doing the artworks that are going on them. And, remember that most of the competition there will be using art they have purchased from a clip art service like shutterstock or istock, a freemium service or something that was illustrated by professionals over 75 years ago that they are allowed to use now in the public domain.

Or, try to get licensing deals for your work through the conventions at LIMA and Surtex for 2-d surface art and designs where for about $8,000 and several days paying to fly there and stay out of town with those expenses on top of it, a few artists and designers actually have been known to get licensing deals from the separate independent artist space they provide. Although, a couple years ago one of the big paper product and office supply companies had a licensing employee that noted, they rarely go over into that area except to see what they’ll be up against and the trends to take back to their in-house art department.

Or, go online with video content about painting and how-to / DIY. You might want to check what those look like right now. It would be surprising if anything hasn’t already been done well by 14,000 video content makers already but hey, it could happen.

Or, go into other absurd uses of materials that haven’t been done yet – Easter peeps have been made into arches and other sculptural art, clear packaging tape has been used to make sculptures of people life size, butter has been carved into life-sized pigs, already chewed chewing gum has become a palette for a visual artist to use to make “paintings” of an entire group of things and I think one artist from Asia came to New York and made a two or three story tall sugar sculpture in a warehouse. But, it can’t be that’s all the absurdity that can be created, I’m sure.

Or, you could plan, build and locate somewhere, kinetic art that moves and does things, light art sculptures for the light festivals, or 3D projection art that is put on buildings for the light festivals, do massive building sized murals like those being done all over the world, sidewalk art that looks like you could walk into the sidewalk, steampunk style art that uses all sorts of gizmo pieces put together – but recently, it was a virtual rose made on a blockchain platform that made a million dollars – not any of those other things.

Or, you could invent something – but I keep remembering this:

This man finally got $25 million for his invention but not till having fought for years in courts for it – and the company never had to steal it that way to begin with –

Home Depot Ordered To Pay $25 Million For Stealing Inventor’s Safety Gizmo

Before Michael Powell came along, Home Depot employees were slicing off fingers left and right, resulting in nearly $1 million a year in worker’s compensation claims. But Powell devised a simple guard for protecting workers’ digits and let the company test it out in eight stores in the area. The trial was a huge success—and cut worker’s compensation claims down to $7000 the following year—but instead of ponying up Powell’s proposed $2000 per device, Home Depot just went ahead and fabricated copies of the saw guards without Powell’s consent.


Nope, as much as I’ve told everyone including myself that the way to help America is to invent, to build, to create and to make things – that isn’t what has provided people the money in this country in my lifetime. Not even building a business offers that anymore, not unless it is the kind of firm described above in the Anatomy of Business in America that I wrote.

As many of the inventions made by Americans have ended up the property of foreign nations because companies sold them or corporate raiders sold them or through the bankruptcy process described above – the novelties of a company are taken, it is hard to say that building, inventing, creating, harnessing new things, or even creating new art – is at all worthwhile. I still do it, you may still do it, but the chances are – it will get none of the money that corporate raiders get through that corrupt process being done every single day.

And, it won’t get the kind of money that is given respect and freedom to live in this country. The United States does not honor its inventors and creatives as some other nations do, instead treating all of us with derision and contempt.

It never changes.

  • cricketdiane, 03-15-18


In the event that you do come up with something new, remember – you are up against SALY (Same As Last Year), before ever getting your foot in the door to sell or license any of it.

If it is new, it isn’t proven in sales and track record – so nobody wants to chance whether it will sell or not. That’s why 90% of the tshirts being sold and worn by most people have nothing on them – just a solid color. Strange isn’t it.



The animation for the Scared Donkey Mine Game I made yesterday – learning



This video clip I did yesterday can be found on YouTube here –


Granny D Countryside Mines CricketDiane 2018 4 w Music – the small somewhat animated piece I did yesterday for Granny D and The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game to learn more about animating and game development – yes, it is very rough, but so cool being able to do it. My music is in the video too. Video animation of Granny D walking through the countryside to the mines is one way we are looking at solving the visual style of the game – may try something else also. Please visit our GoFundMe page raising money to develop the Scared Donkey Mine Game into a video game from its board game version designed and created by Diane C. Phillips, aka CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Art and Design.

And you can find more of our art and design products on our Zazzle store where you can customize them to suit what you like –

Check out our blogs and website too –

and our new blog –

Cricket House Studios Website –

On Twiiter –





Art of Today Uses a Bit of Everything from Handpainting and Drawing to Computer Software, Online Platforms and Digital Alterations

One of the colorful shopping totes that would make an awesome beach tote bag for the summer – for spring break and for going to the lake. This tote bag uses my designs in colors that are bright and fun, for an amazing upbeat look. This beach tote says, Make It A Beautiful Day and is the perfect way to pick up a smile or two from others. Great tote bag for the beach.


Using the animation and game development lessons I’ve been getting from the online community, this video clip below is what I made today using my artworks and the skills as I’m acquiring them to understand how to make animations. It is pretty. (No music on this one.)


Some of the other nifty products I’ve made lately have lots of sparkly look to them – lots of glam and very fun, like this shopping bag / beach bag / tote –


Using an artwork from about 2001, this Geometrix series artwork done in its negative with a bunch of twisted computer background work (yes, the original painting had the hands like that and the squares – then I added to it) – made Unity stickers today for promoting and supporting diversity, working together and inclusion. Also made another sticker set using the design and a clock to go with it.



5 Techniques to End Creative Block and Writers’ Block for Artists, Innovators, Inventors, Makers and Creatives

Every so often, it is obvious that the page in front of us, the canvas or the computer screen awaiting words, is blank and speaks blankly back to us without any flow at all. It is called, writers’ block or creativity block or artists’ block or inventors’ block. You get the idea – it is where nothing happens creatively and writing or creating if forced, simply isn’t even worth having made the effort – because it isn’t working.

CricketDiane 2018 Photography NYC Doors DSC01708-2-2
CricketDiane 2018 Photography NYC Doors to express what writers block and creative block is like for this article about unleashing creativity.

So, rather than have that creative block last on and on, here are seven techniques that can help end it and re-awaken the flow of creativity, innovating, inventing, making, writing and creating –

dirty the page

Well, it doesn’t happen as badly with a blank page that gets nearly anything painted on it or written on it. This is the old, start somewhere adage and the flow will start up again. So, write something down, put the date, signature the top of the page or bottom of the canvas, use the weather or sky as an excuse to start putting in something until the rest starts to flow.

Dirty the page or dirty the canvas, dirty the work area with some possible materials then shove them out of the way to the side and start something with a few pieces to play with how they fit together and what those pieces might do.

My favorite for writing is – It was a dark and stormy night, written on the page. Then it can be about anything but there is somewhere already something on the page or computer screen, so I might as well write something to go with it – usually about something else and then I take the dark and stormy night part out in editing.

For art and drawing, get a stack of paper or small canvases or aceo sized cards and start putting some paint on them. Unremarkable or valuable – doesn’t matter, stick some paint on it. My favorite is to start with the sky or do paint or draw a rose to see if I can do it better than last time until the creative ideas start flowing naturally again. It works.

play in the paint – play with the words

Let go of what other people think and whether it will sell or what might be salable (sell-able) or marketable and simply play with it awhile.

Dripping paint on a surface is one way of starting to play in the paint and it is easy to direct once there is something to work with to move around. But, it doesn’t have to be worth a damn or something worth anything to someone else.

Occasionally, it is more valuable to experience the joy of playing in the paint again, playing with the act of inventing and making again, playing with the words to enjoy the art of writing again. Maybe it is always important to do that and to say this is renewing, is an understatement, especially once marketing and sales become part of it all.

let the emotions fly

Give voice and artistic expression to the anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness, boredom, grief, sorrow, love, hate, hope, joy, pettiness, annoyance – whatever it may be and put them into a written dialogue, or into the paint of the painting, or into the music as you create it (try to record it by the way), or into the words for a song. Make comedy material with the feelings, sculpt them into the clay or invent them into something that expresses it.

Letting the emotions fly into these creative formats is done without judgment or hindrance and the most amazing things are created with those emotions. Do another painting or another writing until it is done, or half-way or two-thirds – it doesn’t matter. Letting the emotions go into the work is what helps unblock writers’ block and artists’ block.

Just keep making another painting or music or invention or writing until the emotions are gone or have changed, become relieved or the feeling of satisfaction comes that makes it obvious that the feelings and emotions have been fully expressed.

what could be done with it – if

Start with a flower or something, (nearly anything), and what could be done with a flower or any other basic everyday item or group of items. This is the magic question, IF. If the flower were in a field of flowers, if it were a painting of a still life, if it was a flower in someone’s hand, if the wind has blown the flower’s petals off except for one, etc.

IF – is powerful tool to awaken the arsenal of possibilities, creativity and the flow of creating. So, start with something and write or paint or draw quick sketches of what could be done with that flower or that thing or those things. Whatever the theme, the mind can dance in and out of the possibilities without anything but playfulness about it, IF it is allowed to do so and called upon. That is what this does.

There is no way to see how this works except to try it. For me, when I was writing this, I started with a flower because I like flowers. There are a lot of them in my art. So, I wrote something to put here as an example, The flower stands tall in the soft nestled grasses sparkling with the bright drops from the summer rain. But, I can also see that flower in a bright kitchen window behind the sink where someone, probably me – is washing dishes and humming a bit of a song. Well, those could be leads to other places for writing – but not required.

It is only important to write down, paint, draw or speak into some video or recording of some kind for this to yield a flow where it had been blocked before. The same is true of inventing and making – start with a flower or something. What could it be made from? What if it’s like this? What if an entire gizmo were to be shaped like a flower to catch the sun or to catch rain from the roof to dispense it later across the yard? or whatever the theme or item or group of things you’ve chosen. It doesn’t have to be a flower.

what could be the story – idea cards

One handy thing to use for going around writers’ block and creative block are story idea cards that you can make yourself and some are available every so often in the marketplace for writers or designers or kids. These are used by famous authors according to some books about writing. I don’t know which ones used them but I’ve used them and they are the handiest tool to change writers block or artistic block into a flowing river of story avenues and worthwhile ideas while awakening the excitement of pursuing them.

Idea story cards are 3 x 5 cards or slips of paper, post-it notes or pieces of business card sized cardstock with ideas written on them that generate elements of possibilities for a story, a piece of art, a song, a piece of music, a craft piece, a sculpture or an invention. They can have problems to solve for the world or scenes and characters, riffs for a song or dynamic action sequences.

Using the idea story cards is easy, making them is fun and they offer questions as well as ideas like – who planted the flower, what is the scene around it, what part could it play in the story, does someone interact with the flower and use it, is it part of a bigger story about the garden where the flower is planted?- as in the flower example I used above.

You can make the scenes, the ideas on the story cards in different ways depending on the kinds of writing you do or the kind of inventing and innovating you want to do. These are a great way to end writers’ block, creative block and artistic / inventors’ block. The idea story cards give a place to start and a way to move the pieces of a story or invention around to play with it and that’s its whole purpose to ending writers’ block.

  • cricketdiane, 03-05-2018


About CricketDiane –

I’ve been creating nearly every day since I was a kid and that is over 50 years. I’ve created in numerous ways in a range that moves from art to problem-solving to inventing, creating music, sculpting and painting to writing and doing various computer / online based projects.

I’ve created and created and created, been blocked creatively on occasion and come through it to create and create and create again. I’d say that makes me an expert in this – and some of these techniques for ending creative block and writers’ block will likely work better for you than others, but what I can say about it is this – getting creativity to flow unhindered is well worth the effort.

Writers’ block and creativity being blocked, hurts and makes everything else harder too. It is better to make the effort to move forward and release the flow of ideas to work with them and do things creatively, create things and invent and write and make – I definitely know that by experience.


You can find more of my art and designs here –

CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Store on Zazze

and other blog writings by me here –

And see my current efforts on GoFundMe to make a board game I created into a video game that I’m working on right now –

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game by CricketDiane on GoFundMe





Granny D Animation to go with The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game by CricketDiane


This video clip is the third of the ones I’ve made recently using animation skills I’m just now learning – and Adobe Spark for the quick clips to share them.

This is the second one –


And the first one –


New game characters for the Scared Donkey Mine Game that I drew by hand and then put into photoshop after photographing them. Learning to use animation techniques in photoshop and other software plus working towards using them in the game development platform – one of the open source platforms.

Also seeing how to present what the game is about, already wrote out most of it, but the scenes need a little more to explain how the characters move in visual ways for me to express what I mean.

These little Adobe Spark goodies are an interesting way to quickly see how the voice and scene look together while explaining about the GoFundMe campaign to raise money to turn the existing board game of the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game I created into an amazing video / online game.

We haven’t had any donations yet which is a little disconcerting but I haven’t put it on many other things yet, while I’m still getting the numbers together of the costs involved to be more specific about how we will use the money and where we will be trying to get some matching funds to go with the campaign funds that will be enough to get the video game made and marketed.

  • cricketdiane, 03-03-2018


8 Ways Creativity Makes Life Pop

Creativity is a powerful force. It is present ===========

CricketDiane 2018 Creativity - My Art at ArtLab SI 2017 DSC00297
Creativity Makes Everything Better – Shown: One of my drawings of a still life with a wine glass, wine bottle and grapes being done in pastels at ArtLab / Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY 2017 



The Advantages of Creativity –

Increased Flexibility –

Creativity increases flexibility in thinking, goal setting, planning and sense of the possibilities.

Innovative Approaches –

Creativity opens the ways of considering innovative approaches, problem-solving and in applications of possibilities and solutions.

Faster Ability to Respond –

Creativity makes a faster ability to respond to situations, analyze possibilities and make good judgments to use in responding to these situations.

Improves Memory –

Because creativity calls upon remembered experiences, tried solutions, people’s suggestions and things seen or read about, that might help in the current creative effort, project or goals, creativity enhances and improves memory and recall.

Improves Communication Skills –

As creativity seeks to be an expression of what is imagined or considered as possibilities, in nailing down the problem needing to be solved and in using communications to convey the possibilities of what is created, the skills of communicating are improving each time through each of these and other aspects of creativity.

More Relaxed and Confident –

Creativity increases the positive feelings of capability and options thereby relieving some degree of stress and giving a more relaxed and confident internal landscape the more it is used and exercised, whether fully successfully or not. The capacity to create as an action that is possible does this and means that it improves self-esteem and confidence allowing a person to operate in a more relaxed, at ease manner while feeling more comfortable in their own skin, so to speak.

More Capable in General –

Since creativity expands thinking, capabilities, memory, applied reasoning and brings together various skills operationally, it serves to make the person doing it, more capable in general. Creativity works out the intellect, the emotions, the psyche, the knowledge and skills of the person, the memories and the expansiveness of possibilities in such a way, that greater capabilities emerge each time it is used.

Better Able to Create Solutions When, and As Needed –

Because creativity is being utilized during times that are not critical in nature, the basic use of creativity for problem-solving when it is much needed is ready at hand as an option to use in any situation, and especially when needed in critical situations as they are occurring or in the immediacy of them. Creativity becomes another skill set that is available to use seamlessly, easily and with more viable results, the more it is done.

Conclusion – 

The creativity inherent in the human species has been the game changer that has allowed us to adapt, flex, build, change, grow, problem–solve and survive.

With creativity, life is rich and varied, productive and satisfying in wild, beautiful ways. Without it, life is only whatever is given without the capacity to change any of it.

Creativity nourishes the mind and the spirit while enhancing the feeling that efforts are being substantially made toward something. It is a healthy and powerful aspect of being human as it draws together applied knowledge, know-how and intangible lines of what might be possible into a full-fledged real form that can be used to problem-solve, innovate, invent and make the world and everyday life, a much better place.

  • cricketdiane, 03-01-2018





Working on The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game and Making My Designs Into CricketDiane Products on Zazzle Today

Today, I made this NYC Architecture tote bag on my CricketDiane store / Cricket House Studios and posted it at Zazzle.

The characters that I’m going to create on the Scared Donkey Mine Game were hand drawn by me yesterday early in the a.m. / they were designed by me, with one for Granny D, King Pindick, No Help Hannah, a gem cluster and a chunk of raw ore for the mines. Today, I will be using those drawings to construct them in Photoshop and use them directly on the game development platform to make a little snippet of action with them hopefully.

Here is the tote bag I made today – (you’ll have to wait to see the other things I’m working on, including the game characters but I am working on creating them right now.)


I might make a couple more things over on Zazzle from my saved designs today so my store’s catalog will update and there will be some new designs there.

Will probably use Godot to make the game or Panda3D, both open source. Need to check a couple more things about them first though, like tutorials about them and game developers’ commenting on them in general.

If I can just get a little of this game to show as a video, it will make The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game come to life and start having some of the elements needed for pitching it properly to some companies, if I have a chance to do that.

Have one of the formats for the Game Design Development Document – from a template on the internet which I’m going to use to put the hand-written GDD that I’ve already made about 15 pages of (by hand), into. That will help too.

Checked on a lot of game development blogs and articles that cover how to calculate the costs of developing a game within a more focused and exact set of costs. Tomorrow, or later today, I’m expecting to take those pieces of information and start putting them into a genuine cost-projection for developing the game, hiring some fluent game coders, and putting the equipment together and licenses for software that will be needed, among other things.

That’s it for right now. Painted a little on the oil painting of a still life that I’ve been fiddling with every so often – did that already for a little while today. Might come back and do a video of it – just something short to add to twitter and youtube.

  • cricketdiane, 02-23-18


The current GoFundMe campaign to turn my board game called, The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game into a video game is here, check it out when you get a chance if you haven’t already, and please share it. Thanks so much!


If you haven’t seen my store yet on Zazzle, it is found here – Believe it or not, I designed all of that stuff using my artworks and designs, except for about a dozen things on the store that I designed with others (like grandchildren, or daughters, or friends).



The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game

Grandma is introducing the exciting new Scared Donkey Mine Money Game GoFundMe campaign to turn the board game designed by CricketDiane into a video / online game. Come join her.

The GoFundMe page where the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game is fundraising is found here –

Please like us and share on facebook, youtube, twitter and your blog! And, donate if you can. Thanks so much!


The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game Project –

We are going to make a board game into a video game. You want to come along and watch us do it?

Well, put on your “Get Along” face and donate today for our Scared Donkey Mine Money Game to become the world’s best number one new kind of exciting game and gaming play. It is a board game now by an inventor who is a grandma like our spokesman. You’ll love her. You’ll hate her.

But with your money, she will put this board game into a video game that you will get to see happening as it happens with updates, secret invites to streaming and video content of team and project development sessions, be the earliest beta version testers and help grandma get the kinks out to make this the smoothest, most seamless running game being done today (with hyperdrive) – no, not really hyperdrive.

Let’s Put Together A Seamless, Amazing Video Gaming Experience For This Game –

We’re up against the greatest teams in gaming development who are already in place making the games we will be standing next to in the marketplace.

They’ve got their geekdoms all set up so we are gonna need your help.

Donations give us the money to pay for code to be written and to hire our own team of people who will take this board game and make it come alive.

Explore the various mines with their valuables in a walk-through style gaming play –

With worlds of the Scared Donkey Mine and other mines you can explore, trade, change and build on its potentials to be mined of valuables in the best way possible. It’s fun!

Find the secret vein of riches in the mines that no one ever knew about and find the costs and ways to mine it before the other players and without King Pindick and his conniving buddies finding out.

You need to play this game at least once, but every time it is played, it is different in what combinations of actions will work as the valuables change value and the mines offer different yields – and learn more about how money works in the real world and about mining your own resources than you would ever be able to figure out some other way.

Don’t Look Now But King Pindick Thinks He Can Mine His Mines Without Your Help –  

    (he is in for a shock because it turns out he is wrong about that)-

Join us in the worlds of the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game. Follow our story as King Pindick discovers that his vast resources cannot help him unless he gets others to find, harvest (mine), and profit also from the mines.

Just take a moment to help Granny D assess the mining operations that No Help Hannah and No Help Harvey are using for King Pindick’s service while robbing him at every turn.

Take on the challenge of finding and mining in the most power-giving and profitable ways possible from your choice of mines, operations and markets for their valuables based on making the best possible set of factors and deals with the King and his cohorts.

Find yourself in the worlds of the mines and assess their potential riches, see the mine operations to decide on how to invest in making better and more efficient returns of their potential money-making.

Be The Wheeler Dealer You Know Yourself To Be And Try Out What You Think Works –

Make the trade deals on the trading markets to get better returning mine operations or more profitable mining equipment or mines with larger payloads of valuable resources, that you must discover by exploring and comparing their riches in the changing markets values for them.

Fight off King Pindick’s conniving cousins and his current mine operators, No Help Hannah and No Help Harvey as they try to sneak in and take the mine and its proceeds from you and other players. Make deals and alliances among the other mine owners to stop them or divert their interests to something else and some other group of resources. It can be very tricky and take a bit of sneaking and conniving back on them, since they are pretty slick but very lazy and greedy as they try and get King Pindick’s permission to take the mines away from you and other players.

Play with others or play alone, but remember – in this game, strategy wins.

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game is a board game created over twenty-five years ago by CricketDiane. You can view more of her art, designs, blogs and things by googling cricketdiane as one word.

It takes anywhere from $20 million dollars to develop a top tier video game to a low of $200K if some of the programming can be done by the game’s founders. (add link to those facts.)

Our goal is to raise $3 million dollars for developing this video game through online crowdfunding and other sources to get the game made and into the market.

This campaign is raising funds to take the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game from a board game and make it into a video / online game with a cost of doing that of two years and very likely, about $3 million dollars. The GoFundMe campaign you see here is part of that fundraising effort to develop the video game.

Join us by donating today and let’s help Granny D up her game into the 21st century!

Thank you for your donations and for taking the time to check out our project. Please take moment and share us to facebook and twitter, or write up a blog post about it.

Thanks so much!

(But, don’t call me Granny D. – Thanks bunches – cricketdiane.)


Several Things I’ve Been Creating This Week

Some of the things I’ve designed in the last week –


CricketDiane 2018 Princess Beading Designs Opals DSC03948-1
Opals – Beading Design with a beautiful princess look for a necklace – Designed by CricketDiane 2018 and Cricket House Studios Art and Design.


CricketDiane 2018 Oil Painting Spring Floral Still Life with Bunny DSC03982 - 2
CricketDiane 2018 Oil Painting Spring Floral Still Life with Bunny that I’ve been painting from a drawing I did last week.


Reading this just made my day. It is a great blog post about creativity and how it makes so many things better. Worth checking it out.

10 Ways Creativity Can Completely Change Your Life

But there is something that’s always at my (and your) fingertipsSomething we always have that will instantaneously make us happy, right now in this moment.

And that is (drum roll please…) our creativity.

Creativity is not just for artists or making art. Creativity is life making. It’s anything we do that turns us on, invigorates us, or offers a simple moment of pure merriment.

Definitely go over and read this one – it is inspiring.


What’s Blocking Corporate Creativity?

Creative ideas don’t have metrics. They haven’t been around for a while. You might not know anybody that’s been using them. What ends up happening is, you get a creative idea, it has weird metrics, you don’t really know much about it, and it doesn’t allow a decision-maker to make a correct decision. They don’t have the data.

Instead, a way to think about creativity might be better served by not thinking like a decision-maker but like an inventor figuring out and getting curious about the answer.

From a corporate perspective, creative ideas and creativity are necessary but often, elusive despite the opportunities inherent in organizations for creativity to flourish and being much needed. This article explores it very well. There is a podcast about creativity too, from Wharton.


NYC US Customs House Smithsonian American Indian Museum Rainbow CricketDiane 2017 DSC01567 - 3Z-2
Creativity flourishes when we do more of it. I gave the US Customs House in New York City, a more expressive creative look to its stodgy, stuck in the 18th century facade. – CricketDiane 2018



Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin on the role of creativity in business

from Maya Angelou. As she put it, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

This concept of creativity being a resource that grows with each use and diminishes in strength when left tucked away in silence, runs counter-intuitive to how we view most finite business resources like time and money.

. . . successful entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin, treat creativity as sacred. They often view creativity as their strongest competitive advantage, and taking the time to actively nurture the creative process, gets priority in their daily routines.

The blog post above offers Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin on the role of creativity in business in video clips – amazing!


9 Ways to Make Creativity Part of Your Daily Life

The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more it will grow.

So how do you make creativity part of your daily life? Here are 9 suggestions–and guess what? You can get started on them all in the next 10 minutes.

These are great and lots of fun to try. The creativity awakening suggestions from the blog post above are as fast and helpful as claimed. Great fun!


Invention, Innovation, Resourcing, Creating Solution, Can-Do Thinking, Makers, Hackers, Inventors

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