The Hustle, The Grind

My latest piece!

I never created art with the intention of sale. I create art because of the natural process and the welcome distraction it brings. Although, the more interest I get, the more i’ve felt like it would be the perfect opportunity to put some pieces up for purchase. I am a terrible closer. I actually have sold some pieces through instagram, but I am having a difficult time getting any finalized sales through my Etsy store. I will fully admit that pricing my work is a difficult feat. I want it to be accessible for people but I also don’t want to undervalue the work and materials i’ve put in to each and every one. With that being said, i’m completely willing to work with any budget if someone truly desires to acquire some of my art.

I’ve e-mailed different venues and now i’m waiting to hear back. Not only physical venues, but print as well. There’s no “one size fits all resource” that can tell me of places to submit my art or local cafes’ that display it, i’m completely reliant on google at this point and some kind people on reddit who have given me some great suggestions. I’m very thankful.

I want to mention I have seen the call to artists on Opus’ website and Alliance for Arts, but a lot of those are juried shows and/or require a fee and that’s not something that I am financially able to do. I just paid Etsy six dollars and change in fees – with no sale to recoup those funds. (Fingers crossed)

If you have any ideas for me-I would absolutely love to hear them!

I did hear a suggestion to have prints for sale but it’s kind of hard to scan my art. If you see the image in this post, that’s what a 9×12 looks like scanned. You can see all the bumps from the canvas board and it’s not attractive. If I take a physical photo, there’s always lighting problems and issues with the dimensions or taking a perfectly straight photo, where the canvas isn’t warped.

I would love a mentor or an artistic partner but right now I am pretty self-reliant. I wouldn’t even know how to go about that.

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Etsy! Podcast! Radio Interview!

So excited to share some great things. I actually accomplished some tasks that were on my list.

Links are here:

Etsy

Soundcloud

Radio Interview

The Importance Of Art

Ever since I was young, I have always been surrounded by Art in some shape or form.

My Mother would spend a fair amount of her time at her light table, working on inscriptions she was hired to do. Her expert hand-painted watercolour images and master calligraphy beautifully came together in a harmonious display.

It was a memory I won’t soon forget. I really enjoyed art class in my early years. It was one of the only classes I didn’t have to stress over. I knew I would not fail.

Museums and galleries are some of my favourite places to visit. I have had the pleasure of visiting not only local galleries but galleries abroad. I’ve been to the Louvre in Paris and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Netherlands. A shining moment for me was being able to see Piet Mondrian’s work in person. That brought me a lot of joy.

In the Royal Palace, Amsterdam
Standing in front of the Louvre
Posing with some Mondrian

I started really getting in to my own art around the time I was transitioning from a teenager in to an adult. It was a reliable source of comfort and expression.

I was lucky to show my art at a gallery in Vancouver’s Gastown, as well as headline the Here Be Monsters Festival in 2011. My achievements have been more extensive than I could ever have imagined. So much so that I had to make a list.

I find that having the ability to integrate my activism with my art has been a great way to build bridges and bring my many messages to the forefront.

My process of creating very rarely relies on an idea. It generally is a subconscious, intuitive movement, picking up colours and seeing what happens. It amazes me that I am able to make such vibrant pieces of work even in my darkest moods. It’s nice to have an outlet to help me cope with my depression and anxiety.

I still long for more immersive art experiences. I also really enjoy watching theatrical performances and some genres of live music. I think that getting to absorb creative expression is one of the best ways to get inspired.

Art show and an unexpected conversation

I currently have a piece of art up at the JCC Vancouver’s Community Longing & Belonging exhibit. Tonight was the grand opening of the exhibit and a lot of people made it out. I was happy to share the space with so many talented artists, some of which included my Mother, who painted a Hamsa and birdhouses, as well as my two Sisters, one picture missing. My younger Sister used a pouring technique.

I was also interviewed by an old school friend of mine, Alison, for Co-Op Radio which will be on this Sunday.

I was taking a photo of myself with my art and lingering around the same general area when a Lady came up to me and started talking. I can’t recall the exact conversation but it got to a point where I tried multiple times to end it. Being an Autistic Person is part of my identity and I harbour no shame towards that. I believe I may have introduced myself as an Autistic Artist. This Lady was very forward with the things she said, some of which included how we shouldn’t label ourselves and how she does not believe in that. I was saying it’s part of who I am. I can’t remember what else I said but she was still persistent. I felt really invalidated and upset but I didn’t want to show those feelings.

If someone wants to refer to themselves as the way they identify, there’s no reason for someone else to decide that for them. I wasn’t saying anything negative about myself! I find it empowering because it’s a celebration of what Autistic people are capable of and bringing light to how diverse we can all be.

I just want to add that i’ve felt incredibly depressed lately and my emotional sensitivity is taking a beating. I can’t handle very much and I am in no mood to argue. It completely depletes me of any energy I was harbouring.

I was able to channel my negative mood in to some new pieces of art that are very bright, happy and positive.

Kim’s Convenience is BACK!

I’m so excited to announce that Kim’s Convenience is BACK for Season 3!

I think as a collective whole, we can agree that the wait has been long but good things come to those who wait and I can assure you it’s good, really good.

I want to thank CBC for giving me the chance to watch the first episode, aptly titled “New Appa-liance”. I honestly don’t want to give too much of the plot away. What I can tell you is it starts with a fart and ends with a dishwasher.

Janet’s has her struggles in her photography program and grapples with her name. There are some wonderful moments with Jung and Appa. Umma is a bit more emotional in this episode, but I find she has good reason. If you haven’t watched the show and you’re looking for laughs, you can catch up on previous episodes on CBC Gem & Netflix.

Premieres on CBC January 8th at 8/8:30NT.

Read my previous article about the play & meeting Paul Sun-Hyung Lee here.

Holiday Heights at Bloedel Conservatory

I want to thank the Vancouver Park Board for giving me the chance to attend this beautiful event.

The Bloedel Floral Conservatory first opened it’s doors in 1969 and has been delighting families ever since. It had been an especially long time since I had been – probably over 15 years! I was in awe of the plants and the birds! The gorgeous lights that have been added to make holiday heights come to life. 

We were warmly greeted and asked if we wanted to participate in the scavenger hunt. OF COURSE. No hesitation. Find all the GNOMES?! YES! In case you didn’t know, I love garden gnomes. I think it has to do with my fascination of all things kitsch. 

The birds are stunning and wonderful to see. For me, it evokes memories of my past. I grew up in a house full of pets. One of them was Arthur. Arthur was a blue and gold macaw who absolutely loved my mom. They were inseparable. 

Arthur now lives at the conservatory and I stopped by and talked to him. I could tell that he remembered me. He was family, after all. 

We approached a photo wall, complete with hashtag and beautiful flowers. Couldn’t help but snap some shots! Insta-worthy moment.

I noticed that some of the trees had very eclectic decorations. Shells and other kinds of natural wonder adorning them. Things like this please me because they give me artistic ideas and I love the fact that they are so unique.  

If you want to visit this glowing, tropical attraction that is sure to awe you, all the lovely details can be found here! https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/holiday-heights.aspx

Thanks for reading and have the happiest of holidays! 

Reliving my (painful) past

I want to preface this post by saying that these are things i’ve experienced and at the time of writing this, I do not have a PTSD diagnosis. I, in no way, want to make those with a proper diagnosis feel less than or devalued in any way.

Often times I find myself in these dizzying spells with negative thoughts running rampant. They flood my mind: terrible, painful memories that I wish would vanish.

Discovering deceased pets, multiple instances of being bullied which included: thumbtacks, sharp side up- They would be left on my chair with an audience that consisted of my entire class, watching and waiting to see if I would notice and sit on it, purposely having dodgeballs thrown at my face, having friends-of-friends find out personal details about me and they would attempt to humiliate and berate me based on it, being excluded from birthday parties, having the whole class turn against me while the teacher was out of the room – that’s just some of the bullying that occurred during my elementary school years. Can’t forget the workplace bullying with all kinds of instances that included customers yelling at me, management making me cry or not believing things I say (I am very honest) and being fired – which was one of the most humiliating things i’ve ever lived through, co-workers being nasty to me for reasons i’ll never know.

I also can’t forget all the things my Father did: the daily verbal abuse, screaming so loud that you could hear him down the block, chasing me to my bedroom and holding the door closed so I couldn’t leave, yelling at me for questioning things he said and having friends witness his emotionally destructive behaviour which was embarrassing and continued to pile the stress on top of me. 

This is just a small portion of the hundreds, maybe thousands of memories that flow through my mind.

Even though I had the support of my Sisters and my Mum, I still felt so alone and depressed. I didn’t think I would survive so I failed to look after myself. I think sadness was one of the first emotions I remember experiencing.

I want these painful memories to subside. Easier said than done. I can’t seem to shake off things that happened as far back as I can remember. 

People often say things like “Forgive and forget”, “don’t dwell on your past”, “move on” and “live in the present”. It’s NOT THAT EASY. Diminishing the valid feelings of those who often have to suffer in silence is not something that sits well with me. It’s hard enough to allow those feelings to come to the surface, let alone feel comfortable enough with anyone to actually allow the words of pain to flow out of ones mouth. It’s a PRIVILEGE to listen to such agony. I don’t think it’s okay to interject comments telling someone to forget, move on and live in the present. It makes things worse.

I have reached out to some people that have caused me pain and forever haunt me in my memories and I was unsuccessful. I also was left feeling as though what happened was my fault. I do my best to cope.

Forgiveness is so much harder than its made out to be and it has stages that are very similar to grief. I would say that one of my biggest faults or personality flaws would be the severity of my anxiety. Many thoughts continue to haunt me, not only during my waking hours but even during my sleep.

I’m talking about those nights where my mind and my heart feel like they are racing in unison.

Trying to fall asleep, I toss and turn. Sometimes, I wake up at 3am and lay there, trying so hard to go back and sleep peacefully when my mind is at war with it’s self. My body becomes warm, clammy and my night sweats are the worst. I try to find something to think about or something to do. If one of my cats happens to be awake I will gravitate towards them; their soft hair, their therapeutic purring – it helps me stay mindful, it’s calming, it puts me at ease.

Every day is a new chapter but my story starts with pain and my book is still being written. There’s still a chance for happiness.


Sippin’ hot drinks!

I have been enjoying a lot of hot chocolate and teas while frantically entering Christmas contests. It’s that time of year again and it happens to be one of my most enjoyable hobbies. Seriously. I do this…!

I did some more background work on film where I was dressed up all 80s and it was WILD. I didn’t realize my hair could get that big.

I also was featured on GEEK CLUB BOOKS and they’ve been so kind to post me on their social channels. I would love if you could read the article here: https://geekclubbooks.com/2018/11/impactful-blogs-navigating-life/

Lastly, I actually drew something that conveys my hyper-awareness & anxiety all at the very same time: 

I have been thinking of some articles i would like to write so i’m just kind of waiting for that BURST of creativity to hit me so I can get it done. I haven’t neglected my blog. I always fear people are going to think i’ve abandoned it. That’s just not the case.

New ABOUT ME video!

I’m honestly not sure if my microphone even worked, it was plugged in.. Hopefully the sound is okay for my viewers!

 

It’s not easy – but it’s worth it!

I LOVE working on my blog!

affection appreciation decoration design

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

I will admit that it’s incredibly hard work and I face a fair bit of negativity and rejection. There has been a lot of positivity, as well! I can’t believe all the opportunities I have had and continue to have. It’s amazing!

With that being said, I also do NOT make a single dollar off it. Not one.


In order to do so, I would have to:

  • Host my own blog, which is expensive! I would then be able to initiate google analytics.
  • Affiliate links and Ads
  • Charge brands to work with me in exchange for content creation. I can’t do this because my traffic is not significant enough.
  • Sell some Art. That means REALLY sell Art. Not just false leads aka. interested customers but no transactions.

There’s various ways you can help me:

  • Share my content
  • Sign up through my Ebates / Swagbucks links on the right hand side of my blog
  • “Buy me a Coffee” – Monetary Donation
  • Buy some of my art

Believe me, I have been brainstorming! I do whatever I can to make a good go-of-things but I currently work VERY infrequently and I am always wanting to create more and more content.

Thanks to all my amazing viewers, friends, family, #actuallyautistic community and brands/venues that have been kind enough to collaborate with me.