Friday, 8 August 2014

Taking it easy

Savoring what life has to offer...

I try not to use my blog as a venting space. I know we all get a little tired of seeing friends on social networking sites doing nothing but complaining. It seems everywhere there are bitch fests. That's part of the reason I don't take to forums, being on a blog is a little nicer; there aren't any snobby cliques that exclude you, it's your blog so you're in control of the content. I just find it a lot more enjoyable to socially network through blogs. Today I'm writing to give an update on how things are going in my life and how it impacts my blog.

The last time that I spoke of my personal life I was discussing my dire need for employment. There have been next to no jobs available in my city (and surrounding area) for general labor or specialty positions. I made the decision that instead of sitting around waiting to get hired, I would take things into my own hands and sell my art. Well, things haven't fared well. My grand idea to produce artwork for profit is far more difficult than I ever imagined. I've been running into multiple problems. It's not like when I was in University and I had projects with deadlines, every day is a deadline in my eyes but I keep failing to complete things. It seems like I've had to start projects over hundreds of times! Part of my problem is the materials I'm using. I spent money on some of the best crafting supplies available but they're far from perfect. I keep trying to research how to use my materials effectively but I can't find anything. Nobody shares their industry secrets, you pretty much have to make up things on your own. 

For the previous month I've been doing nothing but trial and error. I've been developing what I refer to as prototypes. I want to perfect my product rather than sell something blindly with no consideration for how it holds up over time. I've heard many horror stories of customers purchasing things through Etsy only to realize that they're terrible quality when they receive them. It's easy to fake a picture and make something look amazing, we see it magazines all the time, but if you make a crappy product it will bite you in the ass. People aren't afraid of giving you a bad review. So, rather than mess up and send something out that I'm not happy with, I've continued to push forward with making prototypes. It's a daunting process. Sometimes my heart just isn't in it because I'm continually exhausting myself. I feel really defeated especially because there are so few resources on crafting (there's tons if you're interested in knitting or painting fine art). I'm beginning to realize why so many people say selling art on Etsy (or Ebay) is a good hobby. As a job it's stressful and financially draining. I've been reading about peoples losses for the first few years of business. It seems artists just can't break even. I'm afraid that might happen to me.

As usual I've been applying for jobs frequently. I spend about half a day job hunting and the other half either studying computer programs that I can use in the workforce or trying to make more art. I haven't really had much time to myself unless it's when I'm sick or when I have the weekends off with my fiance. It really sucks. I wish I did have an ordinary full time job, at least I'd be getting paid for my time and I could do what I want in the after hours. Lots of people have told me to look elsewhere for work but it seems the whole province is in a dry spell. My fiance and I always wanted to move to a small town but of course job opportunities are even worse in rural communities. I will say one thing in their defense, there are more entry level jobs in the countryside than in the city. I guess all I can do is keep plugging out resumes and hope for the best. I've even considered going back to school for a small course but it's just not financially possible. It's a real drag. I know I'm not alone though, my best friend is struggling with the same thing. : (

I will continue to post on my blog as much as I can. Most of it is going to have to be articles about styles, reviews, and things like that. I feel bad because I've been meaning to post about my sewing but I haven't had any time to sew. It's been driving me bonkers. I get flyers in the mail from our local fabric shop and it's such a downer! I just want to sew!!! Fingers crossed that I get some kind of solid employment before the month is up, otherwise it's been a whole year that I've been looking without success. 

Speaking of anniversaries, my fiance and I are having our six year anniversary soon! We're planning on doing something special. We used to go on week long trips to celebrate but that's probably not going to be possible this year, which isn't too bad. Before moving out, our vacations were a way to spend more personal time together, it was like living together. It was always such a relief, especially from my uni studies. Now that I live with my fiance every day feels like a vacation. :) He's really helped me to feel more calm, I suffer from an anxiety disorder but it's always better when he's around. I'm really grateful for the things that I do have. That's what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to savor the good things in life. Really, when you've hit rock bottom it's all you can do. 

Kind Regards,

Original image source not found


  1. Alright, first of all, congratulations on your anniversary, I'm sure it will lift your spirits a little! ^^
    Now, I'm struggling with the same problems for over a year now; We live in the capital, where there aren't many entry level jobs that fit my profile or at least don't require specific qualifications; I've been looking everywhere and I've been to way too many job interviews...I also tried to sell stuff - mostly jewelry - on Etsy, but stumbled upon the same problems as you have. Producing quality requires investment, which you obviously can't afford without an income, plus it's very time consuming and exhausting and frankly, I don't think it's worth...I also tried to arrange some paid photoshoots - wedding, family and baby photography - but turns out, that there are way too many hobby photographers who do it for free and people, obviously, rather have it for free even if I offer higher quality at the end, I was forced to take a commission based job that I hate...I keep applying for other jobs, of course, you can never give up...I just wanted to reassure you, that you're not alone and I do understand you, but trust me, it will get better. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words! It helps a great deal to know that I'm not alone in this. :) I know it's been hard for a lot of people in my city, graduates and non graduates alike. We've had a lot of companies and retail stores close down. There's something like 2000 people laid off this year because of closing factories. We're all fighting tooth and nail for any open position that doesn't require years of experience but the jobs are few and far between.

      And I totally understand what you mean about competition in photography. In my city most people will use students for their photography needs because they do the job for free or very little pay. There are a lot of struggling photographers here in my city because there are two schools that offer that program. My one friend had to give it up photography and go back to school to become an electrician, and even then he couldn't find work. I have the same problem doing graphic design, there are tons of graphic designers in my city because there's an overabundance of graduates from that course. I could offer my services as a freelance graphic artist but there's always someone who knows more computer programming than me or offers cheaper/free services.

      I know one day things will get better, it's the waiting that's the hardest part. I'm really happy that my anniversary is coming up! I'm also looking forward to seeing my best friend, she finally returns home from her year long absence over in the UK. There are some good things to look forward to. :)

  2. I'm sorry you are suffering from anxiety, I know all too well what that's like after 20 years of depression. We celebrated 3 years the other week and didn't do anything pricey since I also have a low paying job and my man still is unemployed (he's only just gotten his visa). I feel I know about your troubles and I can only agree and maybe offer this piece of advice: Take time for each other, go for walks, cook good food, download free games to play together. Things will turn around soon enough!

    1. Congrats on your 3 year anniversary! :) That's great advice. I've been trying to spend more time alone with my fiance because he makes me feel better. I love to go for walks at night, I know he's not crazy about them but he sometimes entertains the idea. We've been playing a lot of GTA 5 recently too, it's good to have something to occupy my time. I know he's thinking about work a lot too, he has his own struggles. He applied for a job he really wanted and got turned down. There isn't a week that goes by where he doesn't mention it. It seems we're all struggling with something, I hope things improve for all of us. With the way the economy has been, something has go to give eventually.

  3. Hello lovely :) I have so many thoughts after reading your post. As someone who is soon to graduate with a BA in History I understand your feelings and where you are coming from. As an artist who sells on Etsy, with many other artist friends who also sell on Etsy; art is not a career for us. Of 10,000 people who choose to pursue art as a career, maybe 2 will be able to live on that income. Even then it is not generally going to be a lot of money to live on! All of us have to take supplemental jobs and use our art based income as a little bonus when it happens. Original art isn't what it used to be. The internet has made it easily accessible, but it has also made a lot of problems for honest and hardworking creators. As you have said people don't trust others, and are not going to question themselves for a minute in doling out a negative review! I am sending sooo much love and energy that you will be able to get a day job that you enjoy. I can only send out empathy as the situation truly is crappy. My brother is in Toronto and graduated 3 years ago with a film degree, he's been working at a drug store in the retail part since he graduated :/

    1. Thank you for writing, Jennifer. : ) Art is definitely not a career. My favorite professor from Uni is an accomplished sound artist who has to supplement his income by teaching. It seems that artists pursue art not necessarily for financial gain but to contribute to the community and to express themselves. I always wonder what it would have been like to be an artist or art student when art was popular, all those years ago. Because of our poor economy art is no longer a booming and profitable industry. There are some artists in the tourists towns who do alright but only during the summertime.

      It's unfortunate that Etsy has become so over saturated, you can easily miss the great artists because of the high volume of mediocre artists coming into the market. I guess people look at Etsy as easy money, but it truly isn't. If I do start up my Etsy store it will be for extra pocket money and for the enjoyment of sharing my art.

      I know your brother's situation all too well, I've met a few film grads and that industry is suffering also. In high school teachers and counselors will always tell you to follow your heart and do what you love, it's not until after you get your degree that you realize you should have done computer science or pharmaceuticals. Applying an arts or film degree to other job industries definitely isn't easy. Although money is important, I don't want to get too hung up on job worries, life is too short to obsess over work. I'm hoping to secure a decent job so I can do my art on the side. I just applied for a dog grooming position, maybe I'll get it lol.

      Congratulations on earning your BA in History!! : ) I'm sure you feel anxious about graduating, but it feels so great when you finish. I worked so hard when completing my degree that after graduation I still felt like I had to write exams and finish paintings lol. When it finally set in that I was finished it felt like a breath of fresh air.

  4. Congrats on your 6 year anniversary ;o)
    Please try to stay positive and keep being grateful! Something will come around!
    Being an artist is a hard job! I know for myself, I am very grateful for the people who have purchased from me and who continue to come back.
    You should put your art on your blog ;o) Start advertising ;o)
    I'm sending you many blessings!
    Hugs ;o)

    1. Thank you! I'm really excited about my anniversary, it's coming so quickly. : ) I'll be sharing my art soon, I've found some solutions to problems I was facing. I think I might review some craft products on here also!


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