I started a contest to celebrate 100 sales (which I have surpassed already) on my etsy shop.
Here’s all the ways you can enter!
Twitter – @artfulretro
I can’t believe it. I actually BROKE 100 SALES! I made it to 110 sales today. This is beyond the scope of anything I could imagine.
www.etsy.com/shop/retrophiliac is my store and here’s 3 new designs!
I also added some fanny packs, a skirt and a tank top to my store! I am so encouraged by the positive words and new people I meet online through my art. I feel lucky to be able to express myself like this.
As you may already know (but you might not?!) I already have a hard enough time calling myself an “Autistic Artist” without a few people getting rather upset with me over that.
Now, I am adding a new term to the mix:
“Non–binary, also known as genderqueer, is a spectrum of gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or exclusively feminine—identities that are outside the gender binary.” –Wikipedia
I have never felt female. I also haven’t felt male. I just feel something else and it’s just a fluidity of sorts. I went through a phase in my life where I would ONLY shop in the boys section at retailers like The Gap, The Bay and Zellers. I practically lived in my carpenter jeans, a “no fear” shirt and a red gap pullover hoodie. I hung out with a few boys on the school yard. We would discuss Pokemon. This was when Red version had just come out — 1996. I guess I was around 8 years old.
I had no desire to wear anything remotely feminine. I didn’t even want to get my ears pierced, learn how to do makeup or anything my sister was doing.
I just felt awkward. I knew I already had struggles fitting in, but I couldn’t figure out why I felt such negativity towards being outwardly female. I still am unsure.
When I got a bit older, I embraced it. I learned how to do my makeup, I got my ears pierced, I wore dresses sometimes, skirts more of the time and styled my hair. I’m not saying these things are necessarily feminine but for me, I equated those experiences with that gender role. I’m not sure I ever felt comfortable dressing that way. I went to a family wedding and dressed up nice and in a dress, but it didn’t feel like me. I may have to invest in a nice pair of dress pants or something different.
Here’s a video that makes the concept easier to digest:
I am still coming to terms with things like pronouns. I know that she/her makes me uncomfortable. I just haven’t decided what I want to replace that with. I’m not sure if they/them would work for me.
I also don’t like terms like “pretty girl”, anything to do with “lady” or “m’am”. There’s just a feeling of not being able to relate that comes off pretty strongly for me. I’m not really sure what about it bugs me so much. I guess when you have something this deep-seeded and it’s been manifesting for so long, there’s a point in which a decision has to be made to live your truth. I’m starting to learn how to LIVE MY TRUTH.
I realize there’s probably a lot of places where I refer to myself with female pronouns and other female identifying words, so please don’t call me out on that. This is a work in progress and i am in a stage of my life where a lot of things are changing and patience is an exceptional virtue.
I definitely needed to get this out and share this with my readers. I know that sometimes there’s quite a bit of time between my posts. I often have to wait for that perfect moment where I can sit down, write and unleash all the thoughts that are building up in my mind. It’s a perfect release.
Things have been so crazy lately! I sometimes get on random art tangents and i’m able to create things I didn’t think were possible.
A lot of people have been asking about me getting my art on merchandise and I just didn’t like the options until I found a good one – so now i’m able to offer art on all kinds of applications.
This is my favourite:
Here are some bag designs currently in my shop.
Oh, I also have a meeting with a couple fellow Autistics who have asked me to join, to talk to an organization I currently have come concerns about and have written about. This will be a first for me.
I am one of those people who seem to have the ability to cut through the drivel that is perpetuated by others.
I saw right through Daniel Jones of The Aspie World. I knew that there was something about him that didn’t sit right with me.
I have created two videos where I react to him. His content is truly repulsive.
His content is chalk full of sensationalism, which is defined as “(especially in journalism) the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement.”
He uses clickbait titles which plays off the very same theme, essentially taking Autism to a level where it becomes something fresh, new and exciting – at the expense of others. He also pairs up with other YouTube creators who have the same thing in mind. I recently heard that he made a point of insulting “negative” creators at an event tied to the creation of his videos.
He creates content to boost his ego. He can’t take critiques from anybody. If you tell him he’s doing something wrong, you’ll be blocked very quickly.
There have been other people in the #ActuallyAutistic community who have called him out and some that have even taken the time to private message him to express their feelings about his content, only for it to fall through the cracks and be disregarded. He has also written a book about a religion (he may or may not) have created and he also promotes his merchandise through his videos.
Edit (July 11th 2019): It’s also alleged that Daniel Jones is even more phoney than he lets on. User “yourfavehatesautismspeaks” on tumblr has added some very interesting talking points to the conversation.
Alex Watts is his producer and “community manager” who decided to send me this on twitter. It’s incredibly unfortunate that they will stoop to tactics like this as a means to communicate with me.
If you have the ability to watch my react videos, you’ll notice very quickly that he fails to cite sources for his information. When talking about Aspergers VS Autism, he prefaces it saying that it doesn’t apply to everyone, yet he makes generalizations. Autism absorbed Aspergers in 2015 — Four years before his video came out. He said he will be updating the video, but it’s not like he didn’t have the new information at the time of creation. I also am baffled at a lot of the things he says and he continues to perpetuate his information as fact. It’s not factual. If you can’t cite sources and you can’t show proof to people, you’re only as good as your word.
His videos are presented at different educational events which is a further way to perpetuate fiction.
He has also said that there is a lack of Autistic female youtube creators, which also is not true. Perhaps he said this because he’s not a fan of those who have challenged him and suggested that he change.
Emma Dalmayne created a video back in October of 2018 that I highly suggest you watch.
A vast majority of his audience seem to be Autism “Warrior” Moms. These are the type of people who generally won’t listen to #ActuallyAutistic adults in favour of people who are telling them what they want to hear. Daniel Jones has found that they are the perfect audience for him and he uses terms that are generally not well liked by our community like “WITH Autism”, “With Aspergers” — which I find a lot of these parents use. Plenty of them are Autism Speaks supporters as well and won’t hesitate to attach a shiny blue puzzle piece to their social media handles.
Please don’t mistake me or try to make me
The shadow of anybody else
I ain’t the him or her you think I am
I’m just trying hard to be myself
Oh, society’s goal is to be part of the whole
That may sound good to you, not to meThe Turtles, Let Me Be
For a bit of a backstory, I posted some of my cat themed art in to some various cat facebook groups. Some were more receptive than others, some banned me for accidentally violating their rules (even though I had made a google docs with the different groups and varying rules), and my facebook exploded. Messages, friends requests, a lot were welcomed with open arms but it was non stop and very anxiety inducing. I already have very, very bad anxiety but this actually made it a lot worse.
I ended up making my own group, Nice Cats for Nice People. We actually welcome those who are Neurodiverse, who want to share their cat-related art and etsy store and try to adhere to less stringent rules.
I then had people writing me, telling me how they thought I was violating (cat facebook group) rules and giving me feedback I didn’t ask for, which made me even more agitated. I can’t tell you how many new people i’ve had to cut ties with. It just hasn’t been healthy for me.
Yesterday, I was in the car, traveling to go to a concert and I cried. I flailed my hands for a short few seconds. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to do anything but go back home, miss the concert and weep in bed. This was after a few people decided to tell me that I was oversharing the negative messages I was receiving on my facebook page and some of the private messages sent to me seemed to have a good intention but had a lot of unwanted, “real” or “brutally honest” advice that I didn’t ask for. I was already on the brink of an emotional collapse and that sent me over the edge.
There have been incredibly positive people and really negative people.
There’s even people who believe it’s okay to tell me that I clearly have issues after i’ve made it incredibly clear that I suffer from mental illness, which is intertwined with being Autistic.
Being Autistic is not an excuse, It’s a NEUROTYPE! It’s part of who I am and why I behave the way I do. I honestly can’t even believe I have to justify myself to anybody but I have to write this because these things keep happening to me over and over again. I also had to reiterate that my artwork and my Autism are very much hand-in-hand and that I utilize my art to talk about Autism and vice versa. I have HUNDREDS of pieces i’ve art that i’ve painted. I’m not new to this at all. I have been making art my entire life.
There was a time where I really only worked intuitively and for myself, as a way to relax and unwind. When people can’t understand why a pet portrait costs 150.00 USD, I don’t really know what to say without sounding really upset and hurt. It’s a lot to take the personality of someone’s cat and turn that in to my own style. If i’m working intuitively, I don’t think. I don’t need to plan the way something looks, copy features and make it look like someone’s best friend. Getting the features right and the art completely perfect puts so much pressure on me to appease my customer. I’m almost at the point where I have to set my price at something that aligns with my thoughts of “how much would it take for me to drag my ass out of bed and paint something for someone else?” Honestly, I don’t even know what that price would be.
My brain is not only wired differently due to the fact that I am Autistic, but my chronic depression, anxiety and poor coping methods are linked to the fact that I spent 15 years or so being verbally and emotionally abused by my father…EVERY SINGLE DAY. Add that to the childhood bullying and ostracization from my peers at school and you have a brain that suffered from a lot of trauma during it’s most vital developmental years. I also hear that if you’re removed from your mother immediately after birth, which I was, that can also lead to developmental issues. I also am learning disabled. I never graduated, I got my GED instead.
I really want those reading this to understand a few things so i’m linking them below.
I hope this provided insight in to just some of the things I am struggling with. Please be kind.
If you’ve been with my blog for a while, you’ve known my intense struggles with trying to get my art out there. It’s been hard, complicated and generally a lengthy process.
So, I decided i’d just take a chance and share my pieces of cat art in some of the facebook cat groups and the response has been positively amazing. Quite overwhelming in fact — and not in a bad way.
I sold 8 pieces of art in the last 3 days. I don’t even think i’m able to comprehend that this actually happened. It blows my mind.
I’m still trucking away at making more pieces of art but it’s takes time. So that’s currently what i’m working on.
If you want to support me, you can check out my etsy at:
Thank you so much!!
Yesterday, I was absolutely taken aback by a comment I received on one of my twitter status updates.
I had posted a mini rant about my frustrations with my art and my mental health struggles. It felt liberating to be able to “clear the air” and be transparent.
Nowhere in my rant did I ask a single question. Not. One.
I had a few positive, supportive comments from fellow Autistics and followers of my page, which I was grateful for.
However, there was one person who decided to go off on me and write an entire paragraph about how I need to stop trying to sell my art, that I need to work on my mental health and that I clearly didn’t have it under control. Also, that I shouldn’t be posting these questions and not expect a response. There was no question. I wasn’t asking for advice.
I was pretty upset, shaken and I felt like this person had the clear intent of kicking me while I was down.
I posted a couple tweets which seem to be going viral. I penned them right after this person decided to delete their comments.
1.a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.”the stigma of having gone to prison will always be with me”synonyms:shame, disgrace, dishonor;
If you’re looking to end the stigma of mental health, giving someone unwanted feedback and being insensitive is the absolute 100% WORST WAY TO GO ABOUT IT.
if you’re reading this and you’re going through something, don’t ever feel like you deserve condescending comments & unwarranted advice.
I just listed this piece of original art on my etsy store! Part of the proceeds go to help the cats in my community.