Art Anxieties and Other Adventures

Hello dear readers.

I hope today finds you well.

I am coming to you live from my new art making nook:

wri
Newly dedicated writing and arting space. Also fuzzy.

I keep trying to figure out how to convince my heater that warm does not mean melting all the clocks in the house with epic heat and that likewise cold that stops time dead is not appreciated. These extremes should not be the only settings available, but my heater is unaware of this fact.

Even though it’s not going very well with the heater, other things are going VERY well for me, some for the first time in a long time:

  • Goth Gal is almost a year old and no one has threatened me to stop making comics or face the fish of pain.
  • Goth Gal is now on Tapastic and will hopefully be seen (and liked) by more!
  • My novel is almost two years old–still in first draft editing mode because life interrupted my plans.
  • I have a brand new freaking awesome professional art board to create stuff with thanks to donations from patrons at Patreon and GoFundMe.
  • I just sold my two paintings for the first time to a non-friend/non-family person.
  • And I was just promoted in my part time job to a much higher position.

Things are going well.

So why am I paralyzingly worried?

I should be dancing on the moon in a full on conga line with some little green (or gray) men (or women) right about now. Instead I find myself worrying that I will now not have time for art.

This may sound selfish to some. I know there are plenty who can’t get a job, let alone get promoted in a position that lets them work from home in their pajamas. This is the college dream–well this is someone’s college dream anyway. I saw enough pajama pants on campus to know that. Still, please don’t get the wrong idea: I am so overwhelmingly grateful and excited that I don’t know quite what to feel…but I am also downright terrified.

Why, you may ask?

My first thought after the excitement of the offer fizzled down was what if I don’t have time for art?! I then readily followed a bunny trail of thoughts down a dark road that involved my dreams being locked away in drawers as I was forced to deal with the practical things of life until I died of old age or alien invasion–whichever comes first.

 

now-im-a-superhero
Not my art. Anxiety Girl belongs to Natalie Dee (as far as I can tell).

 

In my epic level disaster scenario (which oddly does not include zombies at all), I age rapidly while my dreams abandon the obviously failed artistic writer person in search of sunnier shores (read people who make money off of their art and don’t have to work a non-art job). Right about now is when my more logical side started giving me the Ben Franklin stare-of-discomfort ™:

960
This is the face of a man who has seen things, or had his parking space stolen–hard to say.

My logical side knows all sorts of stories about all sorts of people who made it while doing a normal person job but it also knows stories of those who had everything going for them and somehow did not make it. (That latter part was really unhelpful logical side!) The one helpful thing my logical side did point out (before I stuffed it back in its cage) is that dreams are not in fact separate entities, so they can’t technically run away.

So, how am I managing this unhelpful fear of change/life/dreams/art?

Up until now, I’ve been working major overtime at work, helping other people with various things, hanging out with friends when possible (I’m so sorry Blanka–I totally forgot until yesterday and I really did have a message sitting in “send”. I WAS NOT FLAKING ON YOU!), and doing all the other things people have to do in life to stay alive.

All of that really needs to change.

The new position means I don’t need to work overtime. Being that I’ve been working almost 80 hours a week for several months and doing Goth Gal and doing all the other stuff, this is a HUGE relief (I began this job as a part time job…life had other ideas). However, a leadership position means more time in other ways. Plus, even without overtime, it is still hard to work a job and create art. And for me it may be harder than for most because I have some remnants from my major health issues of last year that I am still battling. I will be taking some health steps soon in an attempt to cleanse all of that–but that’s another post for another day.

So, to fix my quandary, and make sure my dreams are fed and watered properly, I am setting up some boundaries!

Yay–wait what?

I know, it sounds kind of boring, and vaguely like an adult thing… and even maybe not inclusive. Really though it’s more like YAY! because it is inclusive and I am totally NOT adulting.

Really.

So boundaries, how can they help?

Well Tim, boundary inc. guarantees that as long as you enforce their patented boundary technology, you will be able to decide things and mostly stick to those decisions.

Subject to terms and conditions, special offers do not apply, not applicable in the case of natural disasters or health issues.

Or, in other words, I’m blocking off specific days and times for art. I’m also overhauling my schedule completely. I will do art in time slots before work because that is the only way I can really stick with this. Different strategies will work for different people, but this is what it has to be for me. Nothing but art will fill these specific slots because I will guard them like a rabid hyena. That’s my job. In return for providing them some dedicated time, the dreams with stick around with me as long as I feed them.

Which is why I am sitting here typing this at 6am…my eyes hurt.

Normally, I don’t get into work until noon. This means I’m up all night then get up and go to work. Unfortunately this also means that by the time I get to me time, or art time, or writing time, I am tired and I don’t have much drive left to push myself with. So, I end up giving myself permission to take off JUST THIS ONCE. Which of course becomes JUST ABOUT EVERY TIME.

So, from now on, I get up in the wee hours of the morning and I get to arting and writing and my million and one projects that are always flowing through my head screaming PICK ME!!!!! This is also why I made the new nook. I need a space my brain doesn’t associate with my normal job that is easy to get to when I’m bleary eyed. (Right now I am convinced coffee is nature’s superpower). I have also dedicated my weekends to creating deadline specific art so that I am not overwhelmed during the week with it. And I am going to take at least 30 minutes to write every single day. Arting needs to be as much a priority in my life as eating, sleeping and working for my paycheck.

No art can be created without TIME; it is one of the most important ingredients. Many of us (I am looking at you here dear readers) beat ourselves up about our imperfect art. Yet usually we are stealing moments in between other moments to be able to make the stuff in the first place. So in essence you and I are creating time in between the ticks of the clock. That’s magic as far as I am concerned.

Getting off of a full time job and working on your novel even though you are worn out is MAGIC. Painting even though you are going to school and working a part time job is MAGIC. Making videos and uploading them to Youtube even though you have crippling anxiety is MAGIC.

YOU ARE MAGIC!

Ongoing art making is nothing short of heroic. Ongoing art making when you have a million things vying for your time and you have to provide for your family is nothing short of miraculous. So good job to those of you making it despite the odds. To those of you making art in the wee hours of the night because you have to be somewhere in the early hours of the morning: I salute you and admire you, even though we might never meet. You are amazing people.

And to those of you who want to make art, but keep waiting because you are busy or tired or worried, it’s ok. Start small right this very minute. Try to take as little as 15 minutes each day to spend on art. You don’t need fancy tools–any pen and paper will do. My novel started out as random snippets doodled in notebooks and grew from there. Eventually you will find that what art gives back to you is greater than what you put into it. Don’t wait for life to give you the time, because there will always be a more practical thing waiting to fill it. You must take the time you need, life will not give it to you. The struggle is worth it. Somewhere, someone desperately needs your art.

Imagine a world where David Bowie didn’t try because he didn’t believe he was good enough. Even as we grieve his loss, we see his huge impact on the world. If he can do it, you can do it. If you aren’t sure this art thing that you want to try is really what you want, experiment. Art is everywhere if you are looking for it. You can try 50 different art forms until you find one that clicks with you. You don’t have to go all in at once. Work on little dreams. If you take some time out to care for your little dreams it gives them the chance to grow into big dreams.

Take time.

Make art.

Live.

Until later my dear readers. ❤

 

 

The Best & The Worst

Hello dear readers.

It’s been a while since I posted here.

I’ve had many, many ideas but no time / brainpower with which to write.

So, here I am, thinking myself into quandaries as usual. 😉

Today’s musing will cover topics as diverse as Alice Cooper and Murder She Wrote.

Yep.

You heard me right.

So without further adieu, here we go.

I have been quite active on social media the past few weeks. This is due to many factors including lack of creative energy, crazy work schedules, producing/promoting Goth Gal, losing and gaining patrons and a sort of general malaise that comes with the Post Halloween insanity that seems to take over America every year.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE giving gifts to people. Carefully choosing something for someone you love, watching their face light up when they open it (or cringe depending on what you’re going for) and meals with people I love are great. The insane commercialism on the other hand that hits at midnight on October 31st, I could do without.

Seriously retail places:

Stop pushing products at me. You really don’t change what I am going to buy AT ALL. Also, I’m artistic so I can make  A LOT of my gifts.

SALE SALE SALE BUY BUY BUY messages do nothing but make me AVOID spending my monies with you.

The CUSTOMER is almost NEVER right–please adjust accordingly.

And finally, GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES PAID TIME OFF to spend their holidays with the people they love.The rest of us can wait a day, or a week or whatever, to buy whatever it is we want.

Okay, retail rant over.

One shopping type thing I have been enjoying is Apple Music. It keeps me from spending way to much on music when I launch into a music obsession. If you have iStuff and you tend to move from obsessive music binge to obsessive music binge (as in MUST HEAR EVERYTHING BY NEW ARTIST), get yourself an apple music family plan. 14.99 per month for up to 6 people. I am THERE. I mean okay I literally AM there…but you know what I mean. 6 friends could totally make this worth it too–if you trust your friends to pay you for their iPurchases.

I’ve been on an Alice Cooper binge this week and I have really been enjoying it. My current favorites is Along Came a Spider, if you’re interested.

Spiked top hat. Need I say more?

Alice_Cooper_2011
I WANT YOU…to dieeeeeeeeeeeee. (okay he really doesn’t. However, it reminds me of that Uncle Same “I WANT YOU” poster…)

 

Speaking of death, I have also been spending a lot of time with Mrs. J.B. Fletcher in Murder She Wrote and thoroughly enjoying Murder She Blogged‘s commentary. I now frequently add “of death” to names. Seriously if you like JB, check it out! I happen to think JB is pretty sweet myself.

who-is-dead-jessica-fletcher

She’s like Auntie Holmes or something. I firmly believe that my childhood love of this show has completely blinded me to any flaws–you have been warned.

Speaking of flaws (I am SOOOO obvious with my transitions this evening), I have also been pondering social media.

What was that noise?

Oh, it’s just all the people reading this having a different reaction.Gotta slow down on the murder mysteries…

Social Media is a strange unique beastie that brings out the strange and unique in the people who use it–for better or worse.

I have had a blast and been very uplifted by kind comments and people enjoying Goth Gal. But I have also experience such things as being told off for dressing as a sugar skull for Halloween because culture (well actually Dia de los Muertos is a cultural mixing bag to start with), watched people dis the recent explosion of the French Flag everywhere (bad job everyone who uses a symbol?) and general asshole-ishness.

It seems to me like 97% of the people on social media are either OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING HOW DARE YOU!!!!! or are offensive about everything we hate this other group because reasons!

I am neither of these groups.

If I offend you, it probably wasn’t intentional.

I do not hate anyone unless they cause pain/suffering/death on purpose.

So, to recap, DON’T cause pain/suffering/death on purpose and I won’t have any problem with you.

Also, I will not live my life in an “Oh no I might offend someone better not do _____” bubble.

Sorry, NOT SORRY.

We are all imperfect people who screw up, fall in love, are amazing and horrible and more all at once.

Social Media is blowing all of this out of crazy proportion because of MANY reasons.

It’s sort of bothering me because I see it, even contribute to it at times and other then signing off…I don’t know how to fix it. And signing off seems like running away from the problem.

Yet, it depresses me more than I know how to express when I see someone attack something like posting a flag over a profile picture or yell at someone for their lack or possession of a specific cultural heritage.

It just brings up this question: what is wrong with us?

Why can’t we spend time actually helping instead of judging everybody?

Spend all that debate energy helping someone!

I will continue to ponder all of this lest this post become never ending.

So, for now, I’m going to leave you with Neil Gaiman’s words, because I think of them often and because they echo the fairy tales I took to heart in my youth:

Instructions, by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before, 

Say ‘please’ before you open the latch,

go through,

walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted front door,

as a knocker,

do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat nothing.

However,

if any creature tells you that it hungers,

feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

if you can,

ease its pain.

 

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.

The deep well you walk past leads down to Winter’s realm;

There is another land at the bottom of it.

If you turn around here,

you can walk back, safely;

you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

 

Once through the garden you will be in the wood.

The trees are old. Eyes peer from the undergrowth.

Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She may ask for 

something;

give it to her. She

will point the way to the castle. Inside it

are three princesses.

Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve months sit about a fire,

warming their feet, exchanging tales.

They may do favours for you, if you are polite.

You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.

 

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferryman will take you.

(The answer to his question is this:

If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

 

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.

Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that

witches are often betrayed by their appetites;

dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well hidden,

and you betray them with your tongue.

 

Do not be jealous of your sister:

know that diamonds and roses

are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and 

frogs:

colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

 

Remember your name.

Do not lose hope – what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their 

turn.

Trust dreams.

Trust your heart, and trust your story.

 

When you come back, return the way you came.

Favours will be returned, debts be repaid.

 

Do not forget your manners. Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).

Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

 

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is why it will not 

stand.

 

When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,

you will recognise it, although it will seem much smaller than you

remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before 

but once.

And then go home. Or make a home.

 

Or rest.

Copyright NEIL GAIMAN, not me.

(please don’t sue me, I’m trying to speak in feelings and I’m not paid for this at all. In fact it costs me to keep this website going. Also, I have no money anyway. So please don’t sue.)

Be safe everyone.

 

The Best & The Worst

Hello dear readers.

It’s been a while since I posted here.

I’ve had many, many ideas but no time / brainpower with which to write.

So, here I am, thinking myself into quandaries as usual. 😉

Today’s musing will cover topics as diverse as Alice Cooper and Murder She Wrote.

Yep.

You heard me right.

So without further adieu, here we go.

I have been quite active on social media the past few weeks. This is due to many factors including lack of creative energy, crazy work schedules, producing/promoting Goth Gal, losing and gaining patrons and a sort of general malaise that comes with the Post Halloween insanity that seems to take over America every year.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE giving gifts to people. Carefully choosing something for someone you love, watching their face light up when they open it (or cringe depending on what you’re going for) and meals with people I love are great. The insane commercialism on the other hand that hits at midnight on October 31st, I could do without.

Seriously retail places:

Stop pushing products at me. You really don’t change what I am going to buy AT ALL. Also, I’m artistic so I can make  A LOT of my gifts.

SALE SALE SALE BUY BUY BUY messages do nothing but make me AVOID spending my monies with you.

The CUSTOMER is almost NEVER right–please adjust accordingly.

And finally, GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES PAID TIME OFF to spend their holidays with the people they love.The rest of us can wait a day, or a week or whatever, to buy whatever it is we want.

Okay, retail rant over.

One shopping type thing I have been enjoying is Apple Music. It keeps me from spending way to much on music when I launch into a music obsession. If you have iStuff and you tend to move from obsessive music binge to obsessive music binge (as in MUST HEAR EVERYTHING BY NEW ARTIST), get yourself an apple music family plan. 14.99 per month for up to 6 people. I am THERE. I mean okay I literally AM there…but you know what I mean. 6 friends could totally make this worth it too–if you trust your friends to pay you for their iPurchases.

I’ve been on an Alice Cooper binge this week and I have really been enjoying it. My current favorites is Along Came a Spider, if you’re interested.

Spiked top hat. Need I say more?

Alice_Cooper_2011
I WANT YOU…to dieeeeeeeeeeeee. (okay he really doesn’t. However, it reminds me of that Uncle Same “I WANT YOU” poster…)

 

Speaking of death, I have also been spending a lot of time with Mrs. J.B. Fletcher in Murder She Wrote and thoroughly enjoying Murder She Blogged‘s commentary. I now frequently add “of death” to names. Seriously if you like JB, check it out! I happen to think JB is pretty sweet myself.

who-is-dead-jessica-fletcher

She’s like Auntie Holmes or something. I firmly believe that my childhood love of this show has completely blinded me to any flaws–you have been warned.

Speaking of flaws (I am SOOOO obvious with my transitions this evening), I have also been pondering social media.

What was that noise?

Oh, it’s just all the people reading this having a different reaction.Gotta slow down on the murder mysteries…

Social Media is a strange unique beastie that brings out the strange and unique in the people who use it–for better or worse.

I have had a blast and been very uplifted by kind comments and people enjoying Goth Gal. But I have also experience such things as being told off for dressing as a sugar skull for Halloween because culture (well actually Dia de los Muertos is a cultural mixing bag to start with), watched people dis the recent explosion of the French Flag everywhere (bad job everyone who uses a symbol?) and general asshole-ishness.

It seems to me like 97% of the people on social media are either OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING HOW DARE YOU!!!!! or are offensive about everything we hate this other group because reasons!

I am neither of these groups.

If I offend you, it probably wasn’t intentional.

I do not hate anyone unless they cause pain/suffering/death on purpose.

So, to recap, DON’T cause pain/suffering/death on purpose and I won’t have any problem with you.

Also, I will not live my life in an “Oh no I might offend someone better not do _____” bubble.

Sorry, NOT SORRY.

We are all imperfect people who screw up, fall in love, are amazing and horrible and more all at once.

Social Media is blowing all of this out of crazy proportion because of MANY reasons.

It’s sort of bothering me because I see it, even contribute to it at times and other then signing off…I don’t know how to fix it. And signing off seems like running away from the problem.

Yet, it depresses me more than I know how to express when I see someone attack something like posting a flag over a profile picture or yell at someone for their lack or possession of a specific cultural heritage.

It just brings up this question: what is wrong with us?

Why can’t we spend time actually helping instead of judging everybody?

Spend all that debate energy helping someone!

I will continue to ponder all of this lest this post become never ending.

So, for now, I’m going to leave you with Neil Gaiman’s words, because I think of them often and because they echo the fairy tales I took to heart in my youth:

Instructions, by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before, 

Say ‘please’ before you open the latch,

go through,

walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted front door,

as a knocker,

do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat nothing.

However,

if any creature tells you that it hungers,

feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

if you can,

ease its pain.

 

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.

The deep well you walk past leads down to Winter’s realm;

There is another land at the bottom of it.

If you turn around here,

you can walk back, safely;

you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

 

Once through the garden you will be in the wood.

The trees are old. Eyes peer from the undergrowth.

Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She may ask for 

something;

give it to her. She

will point the way to the castle. Inside it

are three princesses.

Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve months sit about a fire,

warming their feet, exchanging tales.

They may do favours for you, if you are polite.

You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.

 

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferryman will take you.

(The answer to his question is this:

If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

 

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.

Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that

witches are often betrayed by their appetites;

dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well hidden,

and you betray them with your tongue.

 

Do not be jealous of your sister:

know that diamonds and roses

are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and 

frogs:

colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

 

Remember your name.

Do not lose hope – what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their 

turn.

Trust dreams.

Trust your heart, and trust your story.

 

When you come back, return the way you came.

Favours will be returned, debts be repaid.

 

Do not forget your manners. Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).

Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

 

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is why it will not 

stand.

 

When you reach the little house, the place your journey started,

you will recognise it, although it will seem much smaller than you

remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before 

but once.

And then go home. Or make a home.

 

Or rest.

Copyright NEIL GAIMAN, not me.

(please don’t sue me, I’m trying to speak in feelings and I’m not paid for this at all. In fact it costs me to keep this website going. Also, I have no money anyway. So please don’t sue.)

Be safe everyone.

 

All the NEWS

Hello!

I have been in an artistic bubble pondering things for days and today it popped–thank you job that said no to me.

Before I really begin, I just want to say that all of the projects below will be available for FREE on this website, ghouline, and gothgal.net. This will not change NO MATTER WHAT. You can visit, read, watch, enjoy without giving me a dime.

I make art. I share that art with the world. This update is NOT me asking for money. I have linked to patreon, only in case you are interested in more than that.

I repeat: ALL the things are available FOR FREE.

(That said, there will be high resolution versions available for patrons, along with other rewards.)

So, like I said, I have been pondering things for DAYS. I decided I needed to go all in with my art. I’ve been holding back, afraid I’m not good enough, afraid I am not a “true” artist, afraid the fact that I haven’t made it means I’m not going to…well NO MORE.

I’ve edited, compiled, created and altered. I’ve come up with ideas, plans, projects and something of a release schedule. I’m going to use my websites as best I can. There are three projects currently running: Goth Gal, Alison:Wonderland and Ghouline. More projects will be announced, rewarded, and offered as time goes by. Some in the future will perhaps be pay only–we’ll see how it goes.


Current Projects:

Goth Gal is a web comic strip similar to the Addams family. It follows a crusty yet lovable gothic gal in search of quiet darkness and never-ending coffee. There are a host of other characters including Rebel Ray, Coffee Cat, Apro Academic, the Goth Black Girls, and the Gothic Bunch–just to name a few. Come goth on with Goth Gal! Comics are released three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Alison:Wonderland is a mix between a manga/comic that follows the adventures of a girl named Alison and her hacker handle Wonderland in the near future. The comic merges the magickal girl genre with technology, information control, wonderland, and life. A comic page will be released once a week on Thursdays starting in November

Ghouline is entertainment to raise the dead. The youtube series follows after the grand tradition of horror hosting. Ghouline will be your creepy-cute guide through horror video games, and possibly classic horror films as well. The series will begin in October. (I will add a more solid release schedule here soon.)

Keep reading if you’re interested in supporting me. If not, I hope you’ll view my work in the coming days. ❤


Want to Support my Art?

I am also now pleased to announce that I have the weirdest patreon page in existence–probably. If you’re still reading, I will assume you have some interest in supporting me as an artist/writer/musician/filmmaker/creator person. So, yay!

Anything you can give is SUPER appreciated. You can also limit things if you’re only interested in one project or if you want to give but can only afford a few times rather than every time.

My patreon banner shows some of the current projects:

Patreon All New

Reward structures start at 0.50$ and go up to 100$

Rewards include: HD multi-wallpaper packs, high resolution downloads of art and comic pages, a goodies grab bag, behind the scenes access to doodles and sketches and more, a goodies grab bag filled with physical rewards liked signed art and finger puppets and WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE, a lifestream where I give you a tour of my house, or take you through my day or (almost) ANYTHING really.

If you are interested in any of the above, please consider supporting me. Visit patreon to see the full rewards and project details: https://www.patreon.com/madskye

Thank you for reading! ❤