Category Archives: friends

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

Loneliness – The Burden of Artists

The Lonesome Road of Artists

Don’t get me wrong — Being a self-employed artist is absolutely the most rewarding and fascinating journey I have ever undertaken. It lights my soul on fire and makes me happier than I ever thought possible. I feel empowered and capable. I absolutely love getting up every morning. I adore my job.

That doesn’t make it any less lonely though.

I’m not talking about the hermit-like lifestyle I lead all day, every day, in order to get work done. I’m talking about the absence of true connection with other people who don’t pursue goals in the same manner.

I’ve met many people who work 9-to-5’s and generally assume that I work very little, and that my daily life consists of TV, napping, and leisure. Somehow, amidst this life of endless stasis, my artwork, marketing, and writings burst forth into the universe simply because I think them into existence.

Whenever I achieve something I’ve been working towards, someone inevitably comments about how “lucky” I am. Ha. Continue reading

Four vintage Smurfs and one vintage Carebear

Papa smurf, smurfette, carebear

A few weeks ago I held a small reunion of sorts in the backyard for close friends and family. Three of my long-time friends were in attendance. We all grew up on the same street thirty odd years ago and remain friends to this day. Continue reading

On the outside looking in

How do you find your way in a world where everything is familiar and long ago thoughts, ideas and beliefs begin to creep into your being once again? Twenty years ago I answered this question by applying to college in another city and upon acceptance of my application moved away as quickly as I could at the age of 19.

I don’t want to do that again, but the idea of doing it continues to pop into my head. My closest in real life friends live a world away offline but online they are right beside me via Skype, email and Facebook. These are people I went to college with or are childhood friends with whom I skipped, walked and played hide and go seek with. I see them once per year or even less at times. I miss them greatly at this time of year.

It’s so difficult moving back to the city you grew up in and making strong connections especially when you live alone, work alone and choose to associate with very few people offline most days due to financial constraints, past wrongs and simply opposing belief systems.

So right now, I’m on the inside looking out the studio window and don’t know where to go, who to talk to or what to do and it’s driving me crazy! I don’t want to teach art classes or be involved in the arts offline. It’s not my domain. Really. I’m an online activist and content creator much more so than an offline one. Or maybe it’s just because I don’t know how to do it? Or I don’t know how to take what’s in my head about working online and put that knowledge down on paper and teach it.

People from various organizations are contacting me to come and speak or teach workshops. I don’t know how to do that. If you want me to do that you need to help me. Push me. Pay me. Really. I don’t know where to begin in trying to navigate the grant system or how to apply for an art gallery opening. You need to set up an actual appointment for me and not leave things so open ended as it’ll be another year or never before I reach a decision. I understand online but not offline.

I find the activist in me is coming out and I’m seeking an organization to join or common interest group and hope that I can find the courage to follow through with that goal before I turn into a peanut. I keep thinking about knitting, sewing and working with fabrics again. I’ve got all the supplies and three sewing machines sitting upstairs waiting to be turned on.

Anyways, life has a way of cycling and repeating itself and it’s not until a decision is made that the loop ends and a new fuller path is presented you.

On the outside looking in is available as a limited edition print on HandmadeCloud.

New River Beach in New Brunswick and learning to move forward without fear

hula hoop on branch with shadow and sand drawing at New River Beach in New Brunswick

I traveled to New River Beach yesterday with Vikki, Gus and his little guy. It was a beautiful day, albeit too cold for swimming. I had my hoops with me and spent a good hour hula hooping up and down the coastline. Vikki wondered off photographing most of the coast… Hopefully she’ll upload the photos her Flickr.

We ended the day by driving back into Saint John to the Thai Hut located inside Quality Convenience on King Street and ordering chicken Pad Thai. Yum!

jessica doyle with boy and hula hoop

Last weekend, when I decided to take some time off from Etsy I drove to Fredericton to visit with these guys at their respective houses. Put it this way, it was the first trip I planned and took by myself. And, I knocked that irrational fear right out of the water people!

I’ve been close friends with these two since first year of College, which was 17 years ago now. I hadn’t seen them in seven years but we’ve kept in touch online and lately, the time just felt right to pick up from whence we left off in real life. Each of us seemed to have our own serious life and health related issues that we were coping with and healing from during those last seven years that needing tending to. All three of us are healthy and happy these days and moving forward. We each own our own homes and enjoy the work we do too which is mighty different than the apartments we each rented and the financial struggles we each faced during the post college years.

Both Gus and Vikki studied photography at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design while I concentrated on Graphic Design and illustration.

The photo credits go to Gustavius. He snapped them with his cell phone. The links in this post will take you to their Twitter and Flickr accounts.

It was an art gallery hopping, wedding and family filled eventful weekend

If there is one thing I’m not so good at, it is this: posting pictures of what happened over the weekend as I did not take any.

I’ll surmise:


Got up and ate some food. Dillydallyed most of the day and hung out on Google Buzz while writing last minute art bio’s and answering emails. Then got dressed and procrastinated a bit more and promptly decided that I did not like what I was wearing and changed again, then ran to catch the bus that was speeding down the hill. Got off the bus on King St. and purchased a bottle of Pepsi and a pack of smokes. Took a giant swig of Pepsi and smoked a smoke. Walked to the gallery and helped them finish setting up for the show. By this time is was 4:00PM and the show was beginning at 5:00PM. It was creatively unorganized and overwhelmed with people. There were no distinct way of knowing who created what ACEO as they were all haphazardly hung on the wall; all 1500 of them. Was fantastic!

The mood was festive and relaxed, yet jumpy and crowded. I enjoyed myself thoroughly! I met Fred Ross and also Herzl Kashetsky; two world famous local artists. I bought some ACEO’s, sold some ACEO’s and had a great time! Went over to the Happinez wine bar afterwords to meet up with some others. Left and went home around midnight, exhausted and with sore feet from wearing damn sexy tall dark brown leather boots. Sleep.


Got up and showered and immediately proceeded to cut the shit out of my legs while shaving with a dull razor… cursed. Feverishly began wrapping handmade placemats and coasters (I made them) wedding gifts for cousin and his fiancé. Decided that I desperately needed sheer pantyhose to wear with little black dress in an effort to cover scraped and bloody legs. Must go buy pantyhouse, take BF to his place for his change of clothes and get back to my place in 45 minutes and get dressed myself. Brother and his GF picked me and the *BF up and we headed to the wedding. None of us knew how to get there. We Doyle’s are a funny lot. We just knew it was at a church off of the Manawagonish road over West. Made it ten minutes before the wedding. Sat through wedding. Was beautiful. I cried.

We packed up and went to Burger King after the ceremony at 4:00PM as we likely wouldn’t be eating until later that evening around 7:00PM at the reception. I ate chicken fingers and fries.

We arrived at the Lily Lake pavilion. We parked. The men drank beer and the women smoked. More family showed up with beer. A party was happening in the parking lot. I left to go inside. So beautiful were the decorations! Food was amazing and the dancing was fun! Arrived home around midnight. Sleepy!


Awoke with a start! Well, housekeeping day and cooking meal for family day in celebration of Mother’s Day Day. Weather was cold and I decided not to BBQ. Drove BF home and bought some groceries. Made a tasty marinade for pork chops and let them stew in it. Began madly cleaning house and stripping tenants beds and linens and doing laundry. Brother arrived to pick me up and take me over to get a second dresser for my bedroom from his GF. She didn’t want it anymore and I needed a second dresser.

Arrived back with dresser and my brother the carpenter, helped me install massive shelving unit and hang some large artwork on the walls. Brother peeled and cooked potatoes. I vacuumed and changed bedding. Mom and Dad arrived. We made salad and ate the prepared food. Family left.

Fell asleep on papasan in sunroom for three hours, woke up and stumbled upstairs to bed to dream.

The weekend really was both blissful and lovely!

I was in a haze most of the day yesterday and am finally coming around today with answering emails and responding to requests. It’s difficult to to take three days off of silently working online and be thrown into live crowds when one is an introvert and coming back to this was actually quite hard yesterday. Today though, I’m feeling refreshed and invigorated and looking forward to a peaceful week of just me, my computer, pens and paper.

*BF stands for boyfriend and it’s much easier to write than the guy I am dating

Etsy Elves in Indonesia are Helping Me Package this Christmas

Yesterday this email from Christopher Dewan of The Urban Sherpa arrived. He had found me about a week ago via Gawker Artists and proceeded to add me as a friend on Facebook and I in turn added him.

He bought Do You Love Me from the shop yesterday. I emailed him saying thank you and that his order would be packaged today and mailed out to him on Wednesday.

He responded:

Oh, hi! For some reason, I guess I didn’t expect that order would go straight to you. I guess I figured, I don’t know, you had “people” for that — a great big art warehouse in Indonesia, or Etsy elves; and then you’d just get a big fat monthly check in the mail from them. Or something. I guess I’m naive…

Well, I work in a studio that up until very recently doubled as my bedroom. My helpers are two cats named Missy Two Shoes and Cat McGandy.

I print, cut, assemble, create and package everything for sale in my shop while the cats meow Silent Night and frollick to Jingle Bell Rock.

Thanks Christopher for making me laugh!

Christopher’s email made me think of Knife Gun Pen’s poem, The Four Hundred Hour Workweek and then of Chartreuse’s blog post, The Laymans guide to the End of the World Part One.

I like being small.