Monthly Archives: November 2011

Eleven Days After Qutting Smoking and how I tricked my brain to stay smoke free

Artist Jessica Doyle goes crazy while quitting smoking

Somewhere in between determination, heart palpitations, lethargy and giddiness I stopped smoking cigarettes eleven days ago. Oddly enough I feel more level headed than I’ve felt in a long time, albeit a sleepy time.

I slept 16 hours per day during the first three days of the quit and sporadically puffed on a Nicorette Inhaler and on a nicotine-free electronic cigarette. I also thought about bookmarking a national directory of treatment centers on my browser in case I needed further help quitting.

The constant dizziness from quitting didn’t subside until day four and it’s still lingering today. And I can’t beleive the manufacturers of the Nicorette inhaler want you to use 12 cartridges per day! I’ve been using one per day since my quit and puffing on an electronic cigarette five to six times per day. And now, eleven days in, I’m weaning off both the Nicorette and the e-cig.

I’m not really sure what prompted me to stop smoking on November 19th, and can’t really say why I feel good or how come I haven’t gone crazy or regressed back into smoking again. I guess when the time is right you just do it and say frack off to everyone and everything else that gets in your way of completing the task at hand.

There are numerous reasons this quit is sticking…

Continue reading

Renewal

Cleansing Rain

Relaxation doesn’t come easy for me, if at all. I’ve battled severe insomnia since I was a child. I’ve always had difficulty shutting off my brain. Over the years, I’ve developed pretty good skills at hiding it from the outside world, but internally I’m usually worrying over something. I like to drum up things to fret about if otherwise there’s nothing.

Working for myself is both a trigger and a relief in this regard. Since I’m obsessing over details anyway, I might as well direct that energy toward my own business. I work excellently on my own. I don’t need anyone to point out all the various nuances of business that I should be watching. (Even if I’m conversely too lazy to take action on them.)

Occasionally I must take drastic measures and run away somewhere. Travel is my drug of choice lately. It’s the only thing I find just as exciting as art. Sometimes more so. Sometimes it’s exactly what I need to inspire me to do more art. Often, while I’m gone, I still try to work. I answer emails, renew listings, send out invoices, keep everything moving along.

I think I’m afraid to let go. Continue reading

New Traditions

Wintery trees in Pink

Do you decorate?

I’ve always adored holiday decorations. Or, at least, I used to, before I had adult responsibilities and recognized that I was short on space. (Clutter didn’t bother me as much as a child.) Even the holiday decorations in stores made me giddy, and I dreamed of which “style” I would put up if I were grown up and had my own home.

Now I am, and I do, but I’m not very interested in decorating. Which makes me sad.

In fact, I’ve become less interested in decorations the bigger my home has gotten. I put more effort into decorating when I was 21 – and squished into a small apartment with 3 other people – than I do now. I don’t know why.

Well, yes I do. Now my priorities are different. My business is my focus. My studio has expanded exponentially with each move we’ve made, thereby rendering any “bigger space” irrelevant. I also grew to hate clutter, in part because I spend all my time in a messy studio. It doesn’t help that I try to be all minimalist and Zen. It’s hard to fit multicolored lights and reindeer into that. Continue reading

Don’t Make It Good

Don't Make It Good

I wasn’t always a painter. Sure, I’d dabbled before, but it was never something that had any sort of hold over me. In fact, I found it boring. Then one day, out of the blue, I had this terrible, burning, incredible need to paint. To really paint.

So, I did the only natural thing to do. I found this awesome painter I was acquainted with, who had a long and successful career as an artist, walked straight up to him and said,
“I want to paint.”

He didn’t blink. In fact, he told me exactly what to do.

The most important thing, he said, was not to spend too much money on materials. Specifically, he told me to start out with house paint, preferably the “oops” paint (the cans that had been messed up at the hardware store), because it was cheaper. At first I thought this was in case I decided I didn’t like painting. A good point, to be sure, but in actuality he didn’t want me to feel guilty using up anything I’d bought. Which I would have.

Then he told me what continues to be the best advice I have ever received about art, ever:

“Don’t make it good.” Continue reading

The timing is off and someday soon it will turn on

handpainted wooden beads by artist jessica doyle

In life we either get it right or we don’t as there really isn’t an in between nether world that we can climb into when things aren’t going the way we want them to. However, I tend to crawl into that purgatorial space when the creative bug hits and begin drawing the creatures that float around in it, in an attempt to make sense of what was, what is and what could be or write, right here, on the blog.

And it isn’t that things are going bad right now, they are however at a stand still of sorts and testing the limits with the timing being off and locating the on switch seems to be out of reach and dangling in front of my fingertips. I have to laugh at that because what else am I to do when it comes to men?

I decided to put my online dating profile to rest a couple of weeks ago and haven’t logged in since. I’d much rather meet a man in real life and talk with them face to face as between both Facebook and Plenty of Fish the men I’ve met through those sites are not what they make themselves out to be.

There was the man who after five or six painful dates simply couldn’t say more than “Well, uh”, “What do you want to do?”, “I’ll have whatever you are having” or “Whatever you want to watch is good with me”. Conversation was extremely painful and the thumb rubbing and clenched jaw and darting eyes and feel sorry for me look on his face at all times made me want to silently scream. I’m sorry, but always agreeing with me on everything is a complete turn-off. He was not man enough for me. But this next guy was too much man… Continue reading

Why I Hate ‘Work of Art’ (and why I watch it)

Fingerprint of Inspiration

If you’re not familiar, ‘Work of Art’ is a reality TV show on Bravo about artists, in the same vein as Project Runway. Artists with different styles and backgrounds compete against each other toward one last battle, the prize being money and an official show in a fancy art place, displaying all the crap they made over the course of the season.

Each episode presents a new “challenge,” or theme, to inspire the artists to make a piece of art that will be judged against all the rest, after a time limit of one day in which to conceptualize, create, and finish their art. It has to be unique, innovative, something that passes the approval of “qualified” judges, and must never be too reminiscent of their own style or in any way similar to what they made last week.

It’s not much different than pulling in ten random people off the street, throwing them into a craft store for 20 minutes, and then demanding they produce genius art in a day.

This is not a venue in which these artists are allowed to display their lifetime of creativity, the progress in their own careers, or their unique fingerprint of inspiration. It’s a pressure-filled war zone where they are emotionally blindfolded, dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and told to build epic cathedrals out of popsicle sticks. Their reward is a harsh critique from some dude who owns a gallery in New York and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Sarah Jessica Parker will grace them with her presence. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Me or On this day I became the 3,996,794,592nd person to be born on Earth

jessica doyle holding handmade 2012 desk calendars featuring the artworks of Creautires of Whimsy

Lately it’s been difficult to hit that Publish button within the dashboard of this blog… as I’m questioning what to share and what not to share… what to say and what not to say… who to talk to and trust and who not to talk to and most of all questioning what it all means.

The bigger you get the harder you fall is hitting REALLY hard lately as my life becomes more and more public. It hits home instantly when you walk outside and while waiting for the bus or are having a sip of wine with a friend or are grocery shopping and are stopped or pointed at and someone says I know you from somewhere and then they ask your name and it registers with them that you are a blogger or worse if it’s a man they recognize you from a dating site (which is somewhat creepy) especially when said man who recognizes you is someone you don’t want to be in touch with in the first place.

I attended a large arts and crafts show this past weekend at Brunswick Square in Saint John from November 3rd to 5th (an didn’t even share it here on the blog due to being overwhelmed with prepration) selling my art and paper goods. It was an amazing show. I talked to many wonderful people during those three days and many of those same people recognized my art immediately from Etsy or Facebook or Twitter or from here on my blog. That in itself, is, very humbling. Continue reading

Art Frenemies

Perspective is everything.

Lately I’ve been pondering the relationships artists have with other artists.

I think in some ways, there’s this mistaken dream that artists all gather collectively the way we imagine it was done in 1920′s Paris; a utopia of sorts for artists to mingle, support, and commiserate with each other.

A scene from the movie Midnight in Paris:

Gil: I would like you to read my novel and get your opinion.
Ernest Hemingway: I hate it.
Gil: You haven’t even read it yet.
Ernest Hemingway: If it’s bad, I’ll hate it. If it’s good, then I’ll be envious and hate it even more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

Well put.

Online, I’ve been fortunate to connect with many artists, mostly visual artists, but artists of other genres as well. Perhaps it’s the distance between us, the safe barrier of computer screens shielding us from the snickering, eye-rolling, and snide comments we’ve experienced in real life. Maybe it’s the sense that we share a common bond, not only of marketing ourselves as a business online, but also a common lack of artist-to-artist relationships in the real world.

Or, maybe we just have a wider audience in which to find people we truly click with.

In real life, at least for me personally, I find an odd, awkward distance in communication between myself and other artists. For whatever reason, conveniently, my real-life artist friends are the least likely to comment on my Facebook updates, acknowledge anything about my life, or ask how I’m doing when they see me. Continue reading