March has certainly been a trial in productivity and I have been trying not to drown in the waves of anxiety. I’ve been trying to keep the depression at bay, but in the last few days I finally realized part of the reason I have been feeling so low… I haven’t kept it at bay.
Not at all.
I’m focusing far too much on the news, and really need to take steps back. More so than I thought. Depression is finding a way to settle in but, thankfully, it rarely stops me from creating. I can work through it, I just need to be careful and take more breaks. Plus, I know why it’s here this time.
This pandemic, and the state of the country, are making a mess of my mental space. I need find some higher ground and remember how to breathe. I’m not drowning. I’ll get through it.
March has certainly been a trial. I had to make some serious changes, as I’m sure a lot of us have. As I’m currently looking for work, which has been the case since January, my day-to-day hasn’t changed so much. I’m still promoting my artwork, trying to get more of my work “out there”, working on some personal projects, taking commissions, and looking for work in the digital art or graphic design fields.
My husband, however, lost his job recently. He work(s)(ed)(?) for a small start-up and, while they want to keep running and paying people, they have to think about the future of the company… and that means they had to lay off a bunch of employees. Including their only mechanical engineer.
March’s Supporter rewards are now on Ko-fi! I added a small extra image this month just because, but I’ll leave that as a surprise. I’m posting these a bit early this month, too, but no one is going to complain about that, right? 😉
I’m running an art raffle on Twitter, with the draw on April 25th!
Three (3) people will win a free coloured sketch from me, of a character of their choice. Anyone can enter! ❤
Art will be in a similar style to the image in the original post (see above). Character can be your original, an avatar from a game, or one from your favourite show or even book. Make sure to have a visual reference if you win! ✨
To Enter ⭐ Follow me on Twitter, and ⭐ Retweet this post
It’s hard to be creative and productive when the worry and anxiety are so overwhelming. But I don’t need to really need to say it when so many of us are feeling it, do I?
How do we not not focus on the awfulness coming up from this virus, like the panic and greed causing toilet paper shortages? My family didn’t stock up weeks ago, aiming to be reasonable about purchasing and leaving enough for others. But, unfortunately, that means we’re now running out.
Of toilet paper. Of all things.
Clearly, not everyone else thought the way we did.
Before this all started, I was working on my own projects while searching for a job. I’ve been doing small freelance jobs and commissions, but a steady full-time job is preferable. While I have been applying, I have had little feedback or response. I’m trying not to get discouraged, since I also know that there are a number of people getting laid off now and also looking for work. It’s a difficult time and the demand for work is high. It will like be some time before I find a job, especially one that’s full time.
I’m not going to stop looking, though.
At the end of February I went to visit my parents in Toronto for my mom’s birthday. More information was coming out about the virus after my arrival, and the seriousness of what was happening in China and Italy was coming to the forefront. Luckily, I was able to get back to California before a pandemic was declared. All the while being careful not to touch my face and to wash my hands and to wash my hands and to wash my hands.
It has been nearly two weeks since my return and everything feels like it’s all different, all over again. And it is such a change that I need to relearn how to work within it. To learn how to be able to focus despite these stresses looming overhead. These last few weeks have been rough and creatively empty for me. This last Tuesday I tried to draw, but it was a real struggle to maintain any semblance of focus.
I’m unused to dealing with these kinds of feelings when it’s not depression. It feels so strange to say it like that, too. I don’t want to treat it like depression, either, but it’s so close. But maybe that feeling is coming from a worry that, by doing so, I’ll let Real Depression in and have to deal with that, too.
Wednesday (the 18th) I tried to work on writing for an hour, and fared a little better. (An hour seemed like a small but reachable goal.) The urge to check email, news, Twitter, etc, was unbelievably strong. I had to repeatedly interrupt my actions with directions and reminders.
“The news will be there when you’re done.” “There’s nothing on Twitter that can’t wait another half hour.” “You’re doing this for your own sanity. Relax.”
I’m still working on taking care of myself, and redirecting my focus from following the news too closely. Remembering to take a nap if I’m overwhelmed or read more books that I enjoy. (Evidence of this is the recent influx of book reviews on the blog.) It’s far too easy to get caught up in the influx of information everywhere. One can’t check Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram without being flooded with news.
It’s time for a break from social media. Not completely, as I do need to be informed, but limits need to be in place for my own sanity. Resorting to checking social media less, maybe just 2-3 times a day, then leaving it for a few hours to allow myself to relax.
Thursday, I was doing better putting this social media moratorium into practice. It’s a start.
And then my husband got laid off from his job.
I know I’m not the only one going through issues like this. (Dealing with the effects of the pandemic, metal health stuff, etc.) A lot of us are. And a lot of us are worse off than I am right now. The world is a scary place these days, and I wish I had some good advice or insight to offer, but I really don’t. This is new for everyone. And we can only try to do our best, even if that’s not good enough for now.
All I can think of is: Stay safe out there, and try to be strong. I’m trying, too.
In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.
Exciting news! I’m now a Reviewer on Reedsy Discovery. If you’re interested in becoming a reviewer, too, and want to benefit us both you should use this link. When you post your first review using it, we both get paid for it!
For those unaware, Reedsy Discovery gives reviewers access to a pool of ARCs to read for free in exchange for an honest review. At this point, “free” and “books” are really all it takes to get my attention.
I’m sharing the February Art Update earlier this month, since I’m travelling back to Canada(!) on the 27th to celebrate my mom’s birthday on the 28th. I haven’t seen my parents in the year-and-a-half since I moved to California, so to say that I’m excited for this trip is an understatement.
Any art-stuff I complete during the next few days will just be bumped to March’s Update, though anyone following me on social media (or Ko-fi) will get to see anything I share.
I’m not promising that I’ll be posting much during the trip, though. There will be parents to bug, dogs to hang-out with, and newborn puppies to care for. (The tiniest of sub-woofers, just born on the 23rd.)
Over the end of January and beginning of February, I took on a couple commissions. At the same time, I had a few larger/long-term projects of my own. This was planned, but it left me wanting to do something else after a long week of working.
The result was a 20-30 minute sketch done entirely on the tablet, using ArtFlow. There was nothing in mind when I started other than “draw an elf”. For a sketch, it turned out fairly well. I made a note to come back to it eventually because, while I like it the result, it doesn’t capture quite what I wanted.
Something wasn’t perfect. But it would have to do, for now.