Category Archives: happiness

The Highs and Lows (of making art)

Tree shadows on canvas

Sometimes I just want to slap myself.

I have terrible mood swings regarding my art. One minute I think my work looks great and my career is going to be swell and everything is awesome. The next, I downward spiral into despair that nothing looks good, nothing is working, I’m a hack, it’s going to fail, people will laugh and mock and cry.

It’s all part of my process.

Generally at some point during every single painting I’ve ever made, I love it; I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done. At another point, with every single painting I’ve ever made, I hate it. It’s trash. It’s not worthy of continuing. And I do this back and forth throughout the entirety of creating each piece until I’m finally happy and satisfied with it. Continue reading

I Think I’m Giving Up Cable (and other signs the apocalypse is nigh)

Remote Control

I‘m a wannabe minimalist. I dream of location-freedom and spend a lot of time figuring out ways to be more nomadic. You know, just in case I start traveling all over the world at a moment’s notice. In fact, this year I’ve decided to participate in the 100 Thing Challenge.

I hate being owned by stuff. Stuff doesn’t prove anything about your success in life, other than that you like to accumulate stuff. It is not memories, it is not living. It’s just stuff. Stuff and things.

I think it all started about 7 years ago when we decided to live without a microwave. We moved into an apartment with a very (very) small kitchen. It didn’t come with a microwave and we decided it was unnecessary to get one. We had an oven. It would require more thought and time put into our eating, but so what? When we moved again in 2009 to a place with a much larger kitchen, there was a microwave on the counter. I asked the owner to remove it as soon as we signed the lease. We’ve never missed it, and the counter space is awesome. Continue reading

Makin’ a List

It's a Small World at Disneyland

Well since my master plan of getting a tree and making things semi-festive this year has not panned out due to our house being infested with illness, I thought I might do a little dreaming instead. If I can’t decorate, I can still use my creativity!

Here are five things I dream of doing, some easier to accomplish than others, but one day I’ll have done them all. :)

1. Throw a big festive dinner for friends and family. Vegan options, not-remotely-vegan options, wine flowing like wine. In a big decorated house.

2. Spend all of autumn in a place that really shows its seasons. I’ve always dreamed of renting out a nice house from maybe September through December, somewhere like Vermont, where I can watch all the leaves turn colors and then fall off while the world around me morphs into a giant snowglobe. And everything will smell like apple cider, and people will walk their dogs through piles of leaves and the dogs will be wearing scarves and sleigh bells will jingle in the distance. That’s how it is there, right?

3. Make hot white chocolate for my husband. I’m not a fan of white chocolate either (the darker the better) but the poor kid is allergic to regular chocolate. It’s so sad.

4. Buy mistletoe and hang it somewhere.

5. Go stay in a shnazzy hotel in a big city that’s all decorated and bustling for the holidays, with window displays and people running around and lights hanging from everything. Like Paris. Or New York.

Despite not yet having a tree or even knowing if I’ll be able to get one, I know I have a few things to look forward to this year either way. Hanukkah party at our friend’s house. Sushi on Christmas Eve. Driving around looking at lights with my husband. Mulled wine and watching Downton Abbey with my mom.

But in the meantime, I’m gonna keep dreaming of a healthy weekend. :)

Written by Shayla Maddox for Art & Musings

You Can’t Handle The Truth

Happiness is a Beach in Kauai

So I’ve learned something.

I went to Kauai to find answers, not really even knowing what my questions were, but feeling like there was something I was missing that I needed to find. Or maybe I needed to be found. One of those. I don’t know.

I wait for answers too often. If I want something to happen, I assume things are simply going to work out, eventually. Someone or something will swoop in with neon signs and arrows showing me every step of the way. 

But clearly, for awhile now, I’ve been unhappy. I’ve felt unsettled and awkward, almost like I was intentionally avoiding something. And for the first few days in Kauai, I wasn’t settled either. I was thrilled to be there, of course, but I felt a little like I was phoning it in. The truth was, I was starting to panic. What if I didn’t find answers here? WHAT IF THERE WERE NO ANSWERS?! Gack. 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

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

The good in becoming vulnerable

How do you deal with unwanted attention or attention that perhaps you didn’t expect to get from something you wrote, said, posted, tweeted, shared or facebooked for the sheer fun of it; basically because you could, because it’s your personal space to share and create on.

Getting sick and feeling awful certainly puts one’s life into perspective. It has a way of making you take stock of where you are, where you were and most importantly where you want to be once you do begin to feel better.

Do you count your blessings? Do you make yourself vulnerable to new friendships, new business initiatives or even romantic relationships or do you avoid them out of fear? Do you take risks or do you always walk on the damn line like everyone else and fit into the mold that society markets to you?

Something snapped inside in March after travelling to Fredericton. I haven’t been quite the same since. And that could be due to the Synthroid beginning to work and stabilize the hypothyroidism. Or, it could be that in being honest with and surrounding myself with people who inspire, share, challenge and grow with me rather than work against or hold me back, I’m growing as a person again. And this doesn’t mean that we agree all of the time… in fact it’s quite the opposite… it just means that we like each other and like the dreams we talk of. That Waitress Story is more important than ever.

I applied for a creation grant in early April. It was rejected three weeks ago.

I signed with an artist representative a few months back. I ended that relationship quite abruptly a few weeks ago after learning that all was not what it seemed to be.

I also turned down a part-time College level teaching job earlier this year after realizing during the uber-complicated negotiation process that we were not a good fit after all.

I am dating and realizing more and more what it is that I’m looking for and it’s not so simple or black and white as what is written on this list as many men seem to think from the sheer amount of emails I’ve received from them about it. Look, I don’t date men that I meet online anymore, well maybe…

All it really takes in life is a genuine smile and an outreached arm to dance. Actions speak much louder than words and it’s those actions that make a person back away or grab on and enjoy the ride.

Really, life is that simple and if you are not experiencing that then you must do everything you can and get off of that straight line and enjoy the bumps along the way.

Today I’m grateful for family and friends who while being kind and gentle are challenging me to break out of the shell that I slid into sometime last year.

Photo Credits: Andrew of Park Imagery

  1. Me and my beautiful friend of 20 years, Vikki (Fredericton, NB, Canada)
  2. Me and Vikki again (Fredericton, NB, Canada)
  3. Me hoola hopping with 50lbs of homemade hoops (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  4. Doing my best to keep those hoops spinning (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  5. My good friend Anne hooping (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  6. My good friend and roommate Andrew, hooping! (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  7. Harrison’s Dad, me and Harrison (Cambridge Narrows, NB, Canada)

Introducing Digital Fine Art Downloads on HandmadeCloud

HandmadeClou.com digital fine art downloads, artist Jessica Doyle, printable, creative commons, commercial licenses, royalty free

UPDATE – Licenses have been adjusted to reflect Creative Commons 3.0 for personal use and the Pay-What-You-Can-Model for commercial use. Also prices have been standardized to $2.99 per download. Thank You!

About a year ago I began working on HandmadeCloud with the intent of it becoming a fully digital download shop that would supply individuals, families, teachers, students, interior designers and other businesses with original stock illustration. After many attempts and much frustration to get the site working properly, I decided to switch shopping cart systems. I’m very excited to say that Big Cartel works wonderfully in conjunction with PulleyApp and will serve all your illustration and decorating needs from within the comfort of your own home.

What exactly is a digital fine art download? A digital fine art download is a high resolution scan of an original piece of artwork. It is really no different than a photograph taken with the digital camera. It can be printed on Tshirts, coffee mugs, shoulder bags or even dinner plates. You can print it out on your home printer, bring it into your favorite local printer or upload it to a Print on Demand website and have them print it out at the size you want to later frame for hanging on your wall. Continue reading