The Obligatory Reflections Post, 2018 Edition
It has been 12 months since I began this venture of carving out a section of the interwebs; 12 months of extreme highs, painful lows, crises of faith, depression naps, carb binges, crying jags, paralysis… and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I launched this space January 24, 2018. It began as an unfortunately named site: theladybrianne.com. The domain name was a decision I made impulsively and regretted soon after. Despite my regret, indecision over what to change it to, resulted in my being stuck with it much longer than I would have liked. I first considered the name “Ladyblood” as a possible alternative. A more visceral and easier-to-spell name that somewhat captured the raw sentiment I was going for while simultaneously addressing the feminine perspective and/or the fact that all humans are born of a female source, blah blah blah. Well that site name was owned by a domain farm and the price they were charging was fucking ridiculous. After a series of attempts to negotiate down to a fair number, I walked away and reconsidered my options which is how I wound up with “Graphicpaint.” Years before, I had successfully negotiated the purchase of graphicpaint.com from a different seller and had been sitting on it, the name dormant and unused, just waiting for me to find its purpose. I would have never guessed that this site would be it, but in many ways it all makes sense.
Where The Fuck Did These Names Come From Anyway
The Lady Brianne was an offshoot of “the Brianne,” which is how I refer to myself in relation to my mother: she’s “the mommy” and I’m “the Brianne.” The lady part came from someone I dated last January: I enjoy being unnecessarily formal in texts, referring to people as Mr. this and Ms. that, and one day the guy responded to my buttoned-up language by calling me Lady Brianne. It just so happened that I was working on the site and needed to settle on a domain name so I went with it. Had I given it more thought or even Googled it a bit, I would have realized that one, it doesn’t at all capture the feeling of anything I wanted to create and two, everyone will confuse it with being some sort of reference to Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones.
The origin story of GRAPHICPAINT is much more logical. Years and years ago, I moved away from using my name as my email handle to using “graphicpaint” instead — I was a graphic designer and a painter so it made sense and came to me in a flash one day. Armed with this new alias, I attended a local creative conference and signed up for a brainstorming session on new business concepts; each attendee shared something they were struggling with and the others would offer thoughts and suggestions. My idea at the time was to create a website that centered around crowdsourced porn, but I didn’t know what to call it. All of my ideas were names that referenced sex or porn in some way which was a surefire way to ensure that any business email would be flagged as inappropriate and never see the light of day. I was circling the drain, totally hung up on finding a name and unable to think about any other part of the idea until I solved the puzzle. Someone in the group helpfully suggested I call it something completely unrelated, pointing out that “Twitter” meant nothing until it was used as a business name and it certainly wasn’t literal. That struck a chord and I mentioned my new moniker, graphicpaint, and the whole group reacted positively. Years later, I decided to preemptively buy graphicpaint.com even though I had made no other progress with the idea. It wasn’t until I failed to negotiate a fair price for ladyblood.com that I realized the answer had been in front of me the whole time: I needed a new domain and I already owned a new domain, problem solved! I also realized that in the same way ‘graphicpaint’ could be used to describe pornographic content, it could also be used to describe raw content in general, maybe sexual but maybe not. I thought it was perfect and now here we are.
Then and Now
Last year I created this site as a platform for myself, to write and publish and gain some feeling of legitimacy. This year my intention is for the site to be a platform for others. I want to share content that is provocative, subversive, sometimes ordinary and humble, but always honest. I want to offer points of view that are written, spoken, filmed, coded, whatever. I want to be surprised by the results and stay open to wherever the evolution may go.
Who knows what I’ll be saying after the next 12 months? Surely I didn’t begin 2018 even considering the possibility that this space would ever become a business, but now here I am working behind the scenes to make that happen, my media mogul dreams finally on their way to becoming a reality.
I think it’s also worth noting the jump in viewership and engagement. December 2018 was my biggest month yet with over 500 unique viewers, a 35% increase over the previous month. I’ve had visitors from 75 countries around the world, some even subscribing to my weekly updates. The whole thing just blows my mind and I am endlessly grateful.
I may not yet be where I would like, nor have I accomplished all the goals I have set for myself, but I am 100% certain that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I have no idea what lies ahead, in the next 12 months or even the next 12 years, and that’s just fine. If nothing else, this year I have learned how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Here we go again…