Category Archives: Anxiety

Artist Tip #25 – About the real price of things

So, today I read an article on the CBC about the surging Loonie. It’s now worth $1.05!

This is incredible, as growing up Canadian meant our dollar was always worth much less than the American Greenback. And even as recently as 2007 I was earning $1.25 CAD on every $1.00 USD when I transferred it from Paypal into my bank account. Those days are long gone and gone with them is the ability to price items for sale similarly to what my American friends and artists are pricing their items at.

Supplies and shipping costs are more expensive in Canada than what they are in the USA. And with the shipping and duty charges ordering supplies from the USA in the smaller amounts that I need, isn’t worth it at times. I do try to support both Canadian and US based businesses as possible when purchasing supplies and do scour the internet to be able to do so without decreasing the quality of my items. In fact, from whence I opened my shop in late 2007 to now I’ve actually increased substantially the quality of both the materials and packaging used on all the products I produce. That is what creates value. Continue reading

Secret #6 – Sharing a day in the life

The guilt arrives in waves. For many this guilt is something you may never experience. It could be something you experience daily.

It’s a form of anxiety associated with earning money. That’s the only way I can describe this; that knowledge that one is beginning to earn more than poverty level income and entering into the middle class dream.

I mean, I’ve never had to deal with earning much money by Canadian standards or budgeting in larger amounts each month.

All I want to say is dream, then think of that dream and make it a reality. This dream has to do with money and making money in a way that is healthy, self gratifying and brings happiness or emotion into the world; a contribution.
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Three personal blog reader emails to share with you

Just over four years have passed since I first began blogging on March 6th, 2006. In essence I have a Bachelor of Blogging. And people are writing to me with their stories, gratitude and sometimes just to say hi.

I thought I’d share a few emails with you that I’ve received over the last few weeks from readers of this blog. They have been reproduced with permission and names changed if requested. All moved me in their own way and even brought me to tears… This is why I blog. This is what inspires me. Continue reading

Complications in life rant balanced out with some positive notes and drawings

It began a few weeks ago as simply a feeling of being tired and overwhelmed. Then it progressed into exhaustion and not being able to keep up with myself or rather do all the things I wanted no needed to do. After a week or so a slight sore throat developed and that too went away but the tiredness remained.

Usually a day or two before a sickness takes a real hold of me I tend to get this adrenaline rush and feel so physically awesome running around and do so much in such a short period of time like today is the last day that I’ll ever be alive and everything I ever wanted to do must be done now! Sadly, deep down inside on that day I know that I’m going to crash pretty hard and boy the crash has been long winded this time around.
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Mia Flower – Is art worth the investment?

Some of what I draw or create gets lost in the shuffle deep in the recesseses of my studio or sells before I get a chance to publish it to my blog. Mia is an illustration I created last year with india ink and watercolor on Canson paper. The original sold earlier this year with three other large originals, a handmade box of mini prints and a set of four seasons.

It was the largest single sale I ever made on Etsy and the second largest art sale in my life in regards to art sales and prompted the writing of a rather poignant post. The largest I ever made was the sale of the original Grace acrylic painting which sold for $1250CAD.

Art is worth money. It is worth the investment. And I guess that is what you need to think about when you buy art. It’s not something that you’ll likely buy and throw away in a few years. Art is something that by definition of being art should over time gain in monetary value and in the least hold it’s value long after the artist is dead. When you buy art, especially from an artist who is actively creating and alive and more importantly sustaining themselves on their art, you are in fact allowing them to continually learn, hone their skills and perhaps one day earn a living wage from their art because their skills are such that it demands a value higher than minimum wage.

I’ll be turning 36 on November 8th. I always dreampt that one day I wouldn’t need to do graphic design anymore. Sadly, it took falling down to my lowest more than once to realize this dream. I’m far from earning in Canadian Standards a living wage. But I’m getting there.

What does that feel like to earn more than $50,000 a year?

Next year I want to earn $50,000. Scratch that. I want to earn $100,000 Net.

This year will be the first year that I will earn more than poverty level income in years. I can’t count how many years I earned less than $10,000 since graduating college in 1996. I can count how many years I earned more than $20,000 but less than $25,000. TWO.

And I don’t know why Mia made me think of these things. Or maybe it’s because I’m dealing with making large monetary decisions, more than I ever had to in my life. I run two businesses; that of art and that of renting rooms and the housekeeping of those rooms.

A big chunk of money is something that for me, gives my mind rest. It gives me the fuel I need, to recuperate and create anew again. And to be honest I haven’t had a rest in months.

I plan to work my but off until next year and then, hopefully take two weeks too slow my brain down followed by another two weeks which I’ll spend in Brazil or Mexico. No, not Mexico. I want off the continent! I’ve never traveled off the continent.

If I get to earning that much money I will be hiring a bookkeeper. YAY!

I’ve carried a lot of guilt around about earning money. It’s an anxiety; a shame. Something I wrote about the other night but did not publish because it’s one big long run-on sentence. Maybe I’ll publish that secret tomorrow to let it go and move forward.

As an artist or a supporter of the arts how do you feel about an artist earning a living wage? I say a living wage as minimum wage is not a living wage by any Western standard.

Mia is now a beautiful limited edition print available in the shop

Power Pus Puss

Twelve year old Missy Two Shoes was viciously attacked last weekend. She is none to happy about losing the ability to blink her right eye after receiving a direct puncture wound to the head between her right side ear and eye.

cat-puncture-wound

The carnage ensued on the backyard deck. I heard the mishap and ran to the rescue of my kitty cat. MEOW! I clapped my hands in fright and screamed in delight when the multi-coloured striped feline assailant fled from sight! Poor Missy Two Shoes would not let me come near, content to perch wide eyed atop of the railing. Now, let me tell you this…

I phoned my Mom and Dad to see about borrowing a car and they drove down as they live but a few blocks away. I comforted Missy while Mom spoke on the phone leaving my number with the answering service for the next *on call vet to return our call. I then noticed the mountains of ghastly fluff all over the deck and sadly it was mostly poor Missy Two Shoes’ grey fur. She wasn’t blinking her right eyelid but her third eyelid sure was. I carried her inside to inspect the rest of her body.

She suffered major scratching to her belly and side and a few other minor dispersed scratches.

The vet called back shortly; saying to wash the wounds with warm soapy water and trim any fur from around it to avoid infection and to bring her in on Tuesday as it was a long weekend here in New Brunswick. I could have brought her in that night however her wounds were not life threatening and she was eating, drinking and purring albeit not quite herself.

I washed her wounds and the puncture began bleeding just, a little bit. The next day the puncture wound had scabbed over and beneath the scab a good sized boil had formed. I washed the wound again gently removing the scab to drain the puss and boy did it ooze olive green!

At the vet on Tuesday afternoon he checked her over, gave her a shot of slow release antibiotics and fed her some minuscule little white pills to aid in repairing the nerve damage above her eye. He said she looked good weighing in at 14lbs! She’s a big kitty! I always find it funny that Missy will not walk into her carrier without being tricked into it. And then at the vet when you take her out she damn well wants back in that carrier immediately.

Power Pus!

The Ball is under control - cat drawing illustration by Jessica Doyle

During the last week I’ve been cleaning that scabbed over for the second time wound all the while watching the furless bump grow into a small grape, and being unable to remove the scab to drain it without hurting her, I just left it in place until it would come off on it’s own.

Well, last night, I sat her on the kitchen table to clean the wound and lightly touched the scab and it blew off into outerspace followed by a green brownish slime landing plop on the floor. Power Pus! I cried “OMG your brains are leaking out of your head!” She sat unable to move, mesmerized likely by the stench of the goo trailing down the side of her furry face. I said “Don’t you run away!” Hoping her amazement would last another 5 seconds until I raced back to her from the sink with a damp cloth to clean her and then the floor up.

Was she ever angry as the realization set in that her brains blew out all over and down the right side of her face. I was thankful she couldn’t blink that right eye for a mere moment as goo was hanging on to her eyelashes. Then the blood came. I didn’t even squeeze or scratch it… it just oozed on it’s own. She wiggled away from me running upstairs to the bedrooms. I ran behind her hoping she’d enter my room and not one of the rental bedrooms, with another wet cloth in hand.

The Happy Ending

cat-laying-stairs

She is beginning to move her eyelid (now that pressure is gone) and the wound, albeit bald and covered in dried blood has not turned into another pustule. She’s a happy kitty!

* living in a smaller city means there is no 24 hour drop-in vet clinic

The cat illustration entitled The Ball is Under Controlwas created by me and is available in my art shop

The Physical Withdrawal VS the Mental Withdrawal

There are no words to describe how I’m feeling these last few days. The physical withdrawal from nicotine was easy. The mental withdrawal is not so easy.

I’m feeling drawn to use substitutes and am not eating enough. Oddly when most people quit smoking they begin eating more. I’m the opposite. I try to control something, e.v.e.r.y.thing…

The first few days I had this low grade anxiety which was tolerable. It’s turned into a massive tight chested fight for my dignity. My concentration is nil. Nada! I really don’t know where to turn. My ADD is rearing it’s ugly head badly and I’m depressed and anxious and tired of reading that it will pass and to do something else instead. I’m sleeping more than I’m awake right now.

And I never did seek treatment after being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This diagnosis was the final one as the GAD, PTSD, Addiction and OCD are all but symptoms of ADD in adult women. How’s that for a mouthful. And most of us aren’t diagnosed until our mid-thirties.

I have an appointment to see a councilor (not free) on Friday and I’m going to make an appointment with my family doc (free) and call West (not free) to get my medical files sent (not free) here.

And really, this struggle is ongoing for me. Most days are good but the last few months have been hard. And yes, I did buy a house but it’s a rent to own agreement. I’m not rich folks… my income is small. I just go without and I don’t know anymore what the reason is that I quit smoking. I regret it because it’s turned all the little molehills into mountains within my mind.

I’ve re-read that book “Easy Way to Quit Smoking” 5 times? It is super easy to quit but not for someone with Mental Health issues.

I feel like my brain is missing it’s jolt. ZAPP… now you can concentrate for an hour uninterrupted. Go be a productive human being Ms. Jessica Doyle.

I must be one of the few people who actually loves to smoke. Frack!