There is always something that seems to come along practically every day that keeps you from doing your Art. I see it in workshops with people who have come so that they can have a free week to make art. Even though they are away from everything in their normal life, something happens that distracts them. Sometimes it is an email from a friend or loved one with some news that changes everything—once it was a bee sting and then last time I taught a workshop in Sayulita, Mexico it was a dramatic evening windstorm that came out of nowhere while we were all at dinner. All our art panels, paper, and brushes were blown out of our open-air studio and were scattered across about a ¼ mile of rain forest. I permanently lost one of my 12 x 12 paintings.
Sometimes I wonder if distractions come because in a way we are looking for them. I know sometimes it feels good to have a legitimate reason to not go into the studio. Then who can blame you? This big thing came along and I just had to deal with it. Maybe it is just something that forces us or allows us guilt free to take breaks from our art. Or perhaps it is just totally random.
I write this blog, always waiting to the last minute, on Wednesday evening. It comes into your inbox on Thursday. I try to never miss. That is my goal. I always have something to write about by the time Wednesday comes around. But this time I didn’t. Maybe it is because I am far away on the small island of Mallorca, in Spain. I was procrastinating late last night wondering if this would be the one time in the past few years that I wouldn’t pull of writing my weekly blog.
And then I got a perfect excuse. Late last night I realized that my Gmail account email had been hacked. This person or persons had gone into my email and blocked my email to my assistant Ferris as well as my financial / accounting service. They also blocked all incoming email from these parties too.
And then they proceeded to impersonate me to them and them to me. It was like I was having conversations with them via email but the emails were a little misspelled and all these people seemed a little distracted. But I believed I was actually in conversation with them.
However once they started to direct me to start using a new bank account temporarily and transfer my money into a different random account, I began to be concerned. Ferris and the bookkeepers were also receiving orders from “me” directing them to do the same. Well, we figured it out at about 4 am my time last night, with all of us using texting and not emailing for awhile we didn’t’ know who was actually who. I changed email passwords as well as drop box, my bank account was frozen as a result and I was up all night totally freaked out.
The silver lining, if there could be one, was that I awoke late this morning with the perfect excuse to not do what I was having a hard time doing to…this blog post. This is serious. I almost lost my savings.
But after thinking about it, I realized I did have a story to tell, albeit a cautionary one. So do change your email passwords regularly. Check your settings whenever you get a weird email especially from someone you know. They just might be an imposter posing as your friend.
But don’t obsess over this as I have been doing the last 24 hours. Just be more careful with your passwords or leaving your computer open.
And go back to your art.