Tag Archives: creativity

Coming out to play or how an introvert fails to thrive

jessica doyle self portrait

If you are a creative person you likely have many drafts or unfinished pieces of work in various stages of completion laying around your studio or stored on the computer.

In early November, 2011 I began entering a burnout from working online and from life in general. And by mid-January 2012 my health had completely failed and I was hospitalized for seven days. It’s only now that I’m coming out of it (publicly) so to speak.

What’s sad, is that I knew it was happening all of last year but didn’t know how to stop it or where to go for help or how to financially afford treatment by taking time off of working as I have no health insurance or employment insurance. I wrote the following on November 7th, 2011, the night before my 38th birthday, and never published it here on the blog.

What exactly does it mean when you hit burnout or rather when you succumb to not be able to creatively think or do anything else other than change who you are.

And when you are introverted, adjusting to extroversion is almost painful at a cellular level. To an introvert, extroversion feels like being tickled everywhere for an extended period of time and forced to exert and use one’s senses in life in an outward fashion that others can see, taste, smell, watch or feel immediately.

An introvert on the other hand basically sponges all that external sensory stimuli, balls it up, swallows it, mentally digests it and assimilates it all into the brain for use in original and unique regurgitation onto paper, instrument or dialogue that extroverts absorb in the form of entertainment.

The above few paragraphs are by no means a finished thought but they do summarize how fast my fragile boundaries were eroding. I was utterly overwhelmed most, if not, all of last year. Only those people closest to me knew the extent of what I was trying to deal with if they even knew at all. I didn’t share too much here on the blog… I don’t think I knew how to. Yes, my failing thyroid is playing a part in all of this and yes I’m keeping up with the blood tests and adjustments in medication again.

And what finally prompted me to sign into this blog and break the silence and actually write today was perhaps the most awful therapy appointment I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through yesterday. And it wasn’t that it was awful per-say, it was just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before… and I’m going to submit myself to it all over again next week. Haha.

A few weeks ago my Mom gave me a camera to use, that she had won at work, as she already had a camera of her own. It’s a Canon Powershot SD 3500 IS, 14.1MP. I’ve begun playing with it. I snapped the pic above in the upstairs bathroom.

Whose Art Is It Anyway?

I usually don’t pay attention to any crazy-artist streaks within me, but I suppose from an outward standpoint it’s probably obvious. I have a tendency to swing between extreme emotions about everything I do, spending half the time loving a painting, and the other half hating it. But that’s normal, right? Creating is hard.

I also like to spontaneously change my work after it’s finished. One might say “destroy.” “Ruin.” “Cover up.” I say “improve.”

I have been known to quietly remove an unsold work from public view in order to change it in such a drastic way that it is essentially a brand new painting. First I’ll paint it white. Then I’ll paint it over.

This infuriates my husband. In his mind, the work now belongs to my fans and my audience, even if no one owns the physical painting. In my mind, the painting isn’t finished until it has a home, and as long as it’s hanging on my own wall, we’re calling it a “work in progress.” 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

Artist Tip #24 – First new drawing in seven weeks time and why that’s OK

Fabriano Quadrato Drawing by Artist Jessica Doyle

Ever feel like you lost your mojo? Or that everything else was strangling you for your attention?

It’s amazing what happens when your life takes turns that you weren’t prepared for, or for that matter, even wanting. Needless to say I’m happy these days and back in the studio working full-time again. While it’s easy to worry when one week turns into seven weeks without even picking up a pen to doodle with, simply realize that it’s just your brain saying give me a break and to go and do other things and that when you come back to your passion, it will still be there. And further more, when you do return, you’ll likely feel inspired from the time you took off and by the things you did do during that period of time.

The creative process isn’t about who can produce or sell the most within a set amount of time… it’s more akin to an apple tree growing and cycling through the four changing seasons. Every year you’ll find yourself experiencing different weather systems and people that will come, go or stay in your life.

This little mandala like anemone was drawn with a sepia toned Faber Castell Pitt Artist pen and Prismacolor Veritihin coloured pencils inside a 9×9 inch Fabriano Quadrato multi-coloured journal. Click the image above for a larger version.

And after you’ve doodled for a bit you’ll soon find yourself craving to draw more complicated pieces. I’ve always likened drawing to riding a bicycle. You may get rusty but as soon as you begin peddling doodling again the colours and ideas will appear.

artist Jessica Doyle holding an illustration

I’ll be peeling the tape off of that one tonight. I’ll share the scans of it later this week.

Anyhow, wishing you all the best today and do take a peek at this new page on my blog!

About me – a list of 130 things

Jessica Doyle

To compliment the 130 things about the man I want in my life,

  1. I am creatively particular.
  2. I prefer Mac to PC.
  3. I am more anxious than depressed.
  4. I am hopeful.
  5. I am lead by emotion.
  6. I can see the other side.
  7. I am allergic to scented products and some pollens.
  8. I am severely allergic to dust.
  9. I take antihistamine a lot from April to May and again from August to October.
  10. I beleive in natural remedies but do not discount modern Western style medicine.
  11. I am small breasted.
  12. I have strong shapely legs.
  13. I don’t mind getting messy.
  14. I like doing dishes.
  15. I love growing food.
  16. I may have hypothryroidism (waiting on the second round of blood tests).
  17. I weigh 128lbs to 135lbs.
  18. I am 5’5″.
  19. I spend more on art supplies than I do on clothing in a year’s time.
  20. I use those art supplies daily.
  21. I prefer cats to dogs.
  22. I can not eat fast food.
  23. I will try anything twice.
  24. I had Chron’s disease in my mid-twenties.
  25. I have a long 9″ scar on my stomach from Chron’s surgery.
  26. I have been in remission ever since the surgery, 13 years and counting.
  27. I believe in mind over matter.
  28. I believe in love.
  29. I have had my heart broken more than once.
  30. I have blue-green eyes that turn grey when I’m sad.
  31. I was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type at age 33.
  32. I do not take anything for it.
  33. I changed my lifestyle drastically at age 32.
  34. I do not work at a regular 9 to 5 job.
  35. I divorced at age 29.
  36. I do not have children but am open to the idea of having one or two.
  37. I have lived in three different cities.
  38. I pay attention to detail.
  39. I get hung up on the detail.
  40. I bounce from one thing to another.
  41. I have trouble grounding myself.
  42. I turned 37 today.
  43. I am a smoker who wants to quit and is finding it difficult.
  44. I do not smoke inside.
  45. I struggle at times to earn enough money and at other times earn more than enough.
  46. I own my own home.
  47. I own a 2000 Toyota Corola LE that only has 94,000 clicks on it.
  48. I walk on my tip toes sometimes, especially in bare feet.
  49. I love the ocean.
  50. I like trees.
  51. I love walking anywhere.
  52. I have mild trichotilomania.
  53. I take a size 4 to 8 or XS to M depending on the clothing manufacturer.
  54. I hate malls.
  55. I like to touch nipples and hairy chests on men.
  56. I love my family and close friends.
  57. I am secretive.
  58. I know how to mow the lawn and shovel snow.
  59. I am not afraid of hard physical work.
  60. I am good at solving problems.
  61. I can hammer a nail and own a few tool boxes.
  62. I can build things online.
  63. I can build things offline.
  64. I know what WordPress is.
  65. I often feel misunderstood.
  66. I am an introvert.
  67. I enjoy working at home.
  68. I am a landlord and rent rooms in this home to workers and students.
  69. I take aciddophus and bifidus daily.
  70. I take calcium and vitamin D daily.
  71. I am honest and most sincere with that honesty.
  72. I will not lie to you.
  73. I like flirting.
  74. I enjoy sex.
  75. I day dream.
  76. I eat many small meals per day.
  77. I like the idea of home schooling.
  78. I have never owned a cell phone, smart phone or other miniature mobile device.
  79. I would like to own an iPhone.
  80. I love Science Fiction.
  81. I have trouble learning spread sheets.
  82. I love colours.
  83. I don’t like striped clothing.
  84. I have trouble sticking to a routine.
  85. I am happy.
  86. I am deviant.
  87. I have taken substances in the past to enlighten my mind.
  88. I beleive in God or that higher power that connects us all.
  89. I get angry at politics.
  90. I get angry at outdated laws.
  91. I am not my blog.
  92. I try to see both sides.
  93. I can catch people in lies and do call them out on it.
  94. I dislike ignorance.
  95. I sleep 7 to 10 hours per day.
  96. I sleep with ear plugs.
  97. I have acute hearing and excellent eye sight.
  98. I am sensitive and take things to heart.
  99. I love when someone can keep my attention for longer than 10 minutes.
  100. I dream of traveling.
  101. I do not have a passport.
  102. I am afraid of crossing international borders especially into the United States.
  103. I love snow storms.
  104. I get excited.
  105. I like electronic and beautiful inspiring music but have trouble choosing it and prefer suggestions.
  106. I get busy.
  107. I get overwhelmed.
  108. I will try to repair first before buying something new.
  109. I love being lead sometimes.
  110. I have long fingers.
  111. I have hundreds of freckles than join together in the summertime.
  112. I beleive in taking ownership of one’s life and actions.
  113. I love blankets, puffs and quilts.
  114. I love paper.
  115. I love pens, watercolour, coloured pencils and acrylic.
  116. I go through an average one pen per week.
  117. I recycle.
  118. I choose organic when I can afford to.
  119. I love one on one.
  120. I like small get togethers and pot lucks.
  121. I love being amazed by grandiose things.
  122. I am secure with who I am.
  123. I do not like head games.
  124. I have trouble with spelling and grammar ever since studying French as a second language in Middle and High School and am thankful for spell check.
  125. I am not your mother.
  126. I do not like Yoga.
  127. I remember visually.
  128. I am not in debt and pay my bills on time.
  129. I am a scorpio.
  130. I am…
  131. Well there you have it folks. I may add this to my about page and link each item to a relevant post.

    If i sound like someone you are interested in do get in touch by emailing eastvanesica (AT) gmail DOT com.

Artist Tip #23 – On being self employed

Three things to think about:

  1. When the money stops coming in you do NOT stop working
  2. When the money does come in you DO save as much of it as you can for when the money stops coming in
  3. When the savings are gone you can either sulk, get a real job or GET creative

I don’t know how it happened…

…and I don’t know if I like it…

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where what you knew for over 20 years; two decades folks have rapidly evolved into another routine… one that wakes and puts you to sleep at different hours than that which you were accustomed to both physically and mentally?

Creatively, is it zapping, draining and most nauseating.

Productively, it is good, yet subliminally I feel as though there is something missing.

This is what a change of season feels like to someone with ADHD. It is foreign, intriguing and almost unbearable to a most exciting degree, albeit most familiar and strange yet illuminating.

I mourn the loss of my late night routines. 2010 marked a year of major inner change and that change for me was adjusting to a daytime schedule that I didn’t ask for. It just happened. It. really. did.

I deliberately don’t tell many people that I’m on a day schedule so that I have my mornings, uninterrupted and all to myself.

…so don’t tell anyone…

PS – January, February and March of 2011 are looking to be most sublime by the current forecasts. And to help keep track of the days of week and months of the year in 2011, calendars are listed in my Etsy Shop and soon to be listed on my own domain.

Seasonal Kaleidoscopes or Why I Like Winter

Each Winter I seem to migrate no hibernate into my dreams, put paint brush to hand and begin painting floral and embellished little artworks. Stroke after stroke I load the paintbrush and simply paint. I think it dawned on me that much of my recent angst was due to not letting my mind flow freely and for me that means creating sometimes anything.

While living in Vancouver I dearly missed Winter and the quietness it brought about. The seasons their blend into each other with Winter being but a blip of minor cold and incessant rain in December and January. There is no distinct separation of Fall to Winter and then Winter to Spring. And this really affected my psyche, as for 30 years I was acclimatized to distinct seasonal separations and time lapses. That first year I remember thinking when does Winter start or end for that matter? And when does Spring arrive? Yes, the Magnolia’s and Cherry tree blossom’s bloomed but the grass was green in February when I arrived, and it was 11º Celsius when I a stepped off the plane in a bulky Winter coat thinking I’ve arrived in paradise. Is this really Canada? Continue reading