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 also those who don’t understand:
why telling me to use their cat for inspiration offends me (I am not spending the painstaking time to get the features of your cat perfect–for free)
why telling me that Autism isn’t an excuse for my behaviour essentially discredits my entire being
that not every single piece of art I make is going to be for sale and that I get emotionally attached to some of my work
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.
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.
Hi Everyone, I don’t ever mean to neglect my blog but i’ve had a lot going on. I had to have a heart rate monitor on for 24 hours, so that made me feel like I couldn’t get anything done. I also did a commission for a lady of her cat in a cup, so that felt exceptionally special to do.
I’ve been moody, as usual and I was considering a neurodiverse job placement agency which now seems to have undertones of being a bit scammy, as well as being involved in receiving funding from a local Autism organization that I have spoken out in the past.
So, obviously I need income – and so many people keep telling me to list my Cats in a Cup artwork on Etsy. Etsy, overall, hasn’t been to kind to me. In the long span of having it, i’ve only made 2 sales.
A dream came true of mine. I was on the radio on my favourite network, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). I met Gloria Macarenko and she was so lovely! I am a HUGE CBC fan and I couldn’t believe I got to go in the part of the building where they broadcast the news, both television and radio.
The radio program was all about a Youth with Autism conference taking place tomorrow and I will be running an Art workshop. This will be the first of it’s kind for me and hopefully not the last.
I have posted negative reviews on both Crystal’s facebook page and Mortgage Tree as well. With Mortgage tree, that lead to a very uncomfortable conversation through private messages which I try to avoid.
They’ve also VINYL WRAPPED A CAR (which was revealed after this conversation)
Of course, there’s plenty more links that include all the twitter and instagram pages as well as a search for their hashtags. They’ve got all their bases covered. The youtube videos are pretty bad too.