Category Archives: work

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

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

An FYI a RIP and a DIY – it’s the end of the miniature greeting card sets

fish miniature greeting cards set handmade

I began designing and creating these sets of cards in late 2008 and shortly after listing them for sale in the Art Shop. They were an instant success, with people buying them who spanned the globe living on five continents.

FYI – About a month ago, I was diagnosed with mild to moderate tendonitis in my left wrist and hand. And while, yes, I am right handed, I use the left hand simultaneously and just as much as the right hand when doing studio work, artwork, assembling, packaging, cutting, gardening, cleaning, dishes and typing and want to keep the left wrist from becoming too damaged to use at all. Preventative medicine?

RIP – I have about 14 packages of cards left in six different sets. Once they sell out, I will not, in the foreseeable near future be creating more.

DIY – However, I will be releasing and selling the awesome digital file that is associated with each set of cards; 10 patterns wrapped into one download in total. That means, you’ll get the high resolution print files with illustrations included, instructions for creating and packaging them and the supply list too. Expect this pattern to be released later this summer.

A Little Something – limited edition series of three fine art prints

floral abstract fine art

These beautiful illustrations have taken a long time to produce, from when they first painted one year ago, into fine art prints. It wasn’t until a local buyer here in Saint John requested them as a series of fine art prints to hang in her children’s bedroom that I actually created them this past weekend.

And they are soft, pastel and lovely!

Each measures 8.5 by 11 inches (21,5cm by 28cm). This is a limited edition run of 25 editions only.

Anyhow, they are listed! Enjoy!

I wish this paper held more meaning or why income tax should be abolished

self employed canadian income tax preparation

Last night I began the task of sorting all my papers from 2010 into piles.

There are shipping cost piles, art supply piles, utility bill piles, packaging supply piles, energy pile, gas pile, two insurance piles, an oil pile, cleaning supply pile, mortgage pile, car cost pile, an office supply pile, printing supply pile, sale piles, room rental receipts, local sales piles, an advertising pile, a personal pile and these piles don’t include the copious amounts of online presence, fees, hosting costs, contracts or sales on the web piles.

Needless to say, I’m overwhelmed with the paperwork from operating two businesses and at a point where I feel like writing to the Government of Canada OMG wait… it’s now the damn Harper Government and demanding that poor people shouldn’t have to provide proof of income in fact no one living in Canada should have to provide proof of income. If they want to know how much money someone earned then they can come and do all the paperwork for me as I can barely afford to buy food right now let alone take time away from working to prepare my tax return.

Have you ever seen that New Brunswick social services commercial where the lady has to choose between eating a can of food or paying her rent? I’m in that situation and it has nothing to do with overspending, not budgeting enough for this or that, not working hard enough or making bad decisions with my money. It has everything to do with getting sick at an inopportune time, renting to an idiot last fall and not qualifying for health insurance, one bad art sale where I earned one third of what I earned the year’s previous sale, being single with no children in Canada combined with dramatic increases in the cost of food, home insurance and high rises in the general cost of living over the last two years.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. I earn barely enough to survive. And right now, I’ve gone through all my pennies. I need to laugh. Haha! It’s not all doom and gloom.

People who are employed and receive a T4 from an employer and who complain about taxes have it easy at income tax time. I’m not saying paying taxes are easy… all I’m saying is that you do not have the tremendous amount of paper work that someone who is self employed has. Please don’t ever complain about having to prepare your simple income tax forms. I know the difference as I used to work for somebody else too.

Self employed people in Canada have it the roughest. Self employed poor people have it even rougher. I have the same amount of income tax paperwork to do as someone who runs a large company.

And I’m not angry at anyone. I made these life and career choices. Really, I’m trying to find the positive in this. I’m trying to find the courage to overcome this. I even thought about getting a job, any job, and seriously looked for one in January and February but it’s not enough money to even make a difference so I worked very hard and got one room rented to a nice man and have another room rented for next month to someone who lived here last year. and each of those men will be here through to the Fall of the year. Those two room rentals pay me what I’d earn working at a part-time job. And room rental is a part-time job. I can’t count how many people say I’m lucky having the rental income… where is the luck in this? I work at it and clean those rooms and give up my privacy in exchange for money.

On the other hand, I get to have wonderful people to share my home with which is socialization that I so desperately need. It keeps me happy and keeps me going and in a weekly cleaning routine. I’m generally happier with people living in my home. And that in turn allows me to think more clearly and do the (tax) things that under Canadian law I must do.

I also know the bad times don’t last forever and that there is always a silver lining or upside to the downside. I have never asked for nor applied for a government handout, I’ve never applied to help pay for my health-care costs or housing. Maybe I’m too proud or maybe I’m just stubborn. I miss having the safety net of Employment Insurance and even though they’ve opened up to allow self employed people into the EI program… it won’t work for me as the income I earn from room rental will cancel out any benefit that I’d receive when underemployed, sick or pregnant. My life is a catch 22.

I do beleive things are changing though as my health improves ever so slowly. I hadn’t realized how bad I actually was until five or six weeks into taking Synthoid did my body and mind go “This is what I’m supposed to feel like and how did I even manage before?”.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get the latest round of blood test results. Sadly, I’m feeling as low as I did in early January, meaning I’ve likely plateaued on the Synthroid and need the dose increased.

Anyhow, this is what I’ve been up against over the last five months. And everyday I’m grateful for family and friends both on and offline who provide the positive energy I need to keep going and finally rise above and overcome this mess. Thank you, all, for that.

And keep in mind that income tax was only created as a temporary measure to pay for the wars and now that war continues against the disappearing middle classes and poorer classes in Canada.

And it makes me laugh because even Missy the cat is shaking her head in disgust sitting on the paperwork. 😉

May I recommend some lovely ladies for your custom illustrative needs…

…as I am no longer accepting custom illustrative or design work. Below are three women you’ll love to work with.

Lovely Lady #1

illustration illusio creative

Name: Lorrie Whittington
Country of Residence: United Kingdom
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IllusioCreative
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/illusio
Blog: http://www.illusiocreative.co.uk/blog/
Specialities: flora, fauna, letters, website design, logos, typography, photography

Lovely Lady #2

woman illustration

Name: Stephanie Corfee
Country of Residence: United States
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stephaniecorfeeartist
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/stephaniecorfee
Blog: http://stephaniecorfee.com
Specialities: whimsical girls, ladies, abstracts, logos, dreamscapes, typography

Lovely Lady #3

cat illustration taraflyphotos

Name: Tara Fly
Country of Residence: United States
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tarafly
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TaraFlyPhotos
Blog: http://taraflyart.com/
Specialties: characterized cats and beautiful surrealistic period felines

You are all likely wondering why I’m not accepting custom work any longer. I’ll expand upon that in my next post. In the meantime do visit these ladies sites. They are great at what they do. I can personally vouch for both their work and illustrative integrity.

Which road to walk down?

I find myself at a crossroads at the moment and unsure of what road to travel down.

Do I pack up, sell the house and move into a smaller home or into an apartment? I did the cost crunching and it would basically cost about the same as where I’m living right now. So, I am staying put. One decision made.

Do I continue to find people to rent rooms to? This is the nagging question that’s been spiralling in my head as of late. I had many problems last Fall with the people I was renting to; missing tenants, unpaid rent and excessive use of scented products which in the case of the latter I’m severely allergic to.

The missing tenant was thankfully found after I was featured on the local news and is coming clean on the money he owes me while another tenant will likely be served legal papers and taken to court for the monies he owes to me. Oddly enough the third tenant who wears excessive cologne wants to move back in and when I received the email I spat out a mouthful of water onto my desk in shock. What did he not understand? Even the money he paid his rent with reeked of cologne and made my finger tips swell when handling it and I had to encase it in plastic before travelling to deposit it at the bank. This same person vehemently hated cats and hissed and shoed Missy repeatedly telling me to keep her out of his room. I said you’ll have to accept that she lives here and this is her home and that if you don’t want her in your room you’ll have to gently pick her up and place her outside of your room. Continue reading

2nd Annual Open Studio and Art Sale

Poster for open studio and art sale at Jessica Doyle's house!

From 5:00PM to 9:00PM on Thursday, December 9th, I’ll be opening the doors to my home and studio. And as I’m holding this event later this year than I did last year I’ll also be offering 25% OFF your purchase on the day of the sale.

Items for sale include:

Please have a look through my online shops to see many of the items I’ve created by hand over this last year.

My personal shop HandmadeCloud
My Etsy Shop

If you can not make it, because you live far away but would enjoy receiving or giving a piece of art as a gift this year I’ve created a special 25% OFF coupon code to use in one of my shops listed above. This coupon code will expire on midnight, December 9th, 2010.

Oh, and the coupon code is 2010STUDIOSALE and it’s good for 25% OFF your entire purchase. You can also order online and choose to pick your order up in person on the evening of the sale by ordering on HandmadeCloud.

Happy Holidays!
sincerely,
Jessica Doyle and Missy Two Shoes the cat!