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.
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.
Ko-fi is a platform that allows creators, like me, to be easily supported by fans of their work. Supporters can give a “ko-fi”, which is similar to the price of a coffee, to show someone that they value their work and would like to offer support. It’s pretty great!
Last week I shared Part 1 of my adventures in Sugar Pine Reservoir, where I visited the area in late September with my husband and mother-in-law. It’s a gorgeous area to spend the day wandering around and soaking in the beauty of nature.
I had heard stories from my husband and his family about how beautiful and peaceful the area was, but had yet the chance in any of my travels to visit the space.
This all changed last month. And I think it’s safe to say it’s now one of my favourite places in California. I want to back!
In late September, my husband, mother-in-law and I traveled to Sugar Pine Reservoir, located in Northern California, to spend the day wandering around. I had heard stories from my husband and his family about how beautiful and peaceful the area was, but had not yet had the chance to visit.
This was all about to change.
In preparation, I purchased a new SD Card for my camera, a nearly-ten-year-old Canon EOS REBEL T3. In previous years, I have shied away from shooting photographs in RAW. My excuse was that SD Cards were expensive and I would rather take more photos and experiment, rather than have to stop early and miss something because I didn’t have card space.
These days, SD Cards don’t really cost all that much and I have no excuse not to ensure I have ample room for the photos I need to take. I never had any excuse, to be honest.
And after editing RAW photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic recently, I don’t think I will ever go back to using only Adobe Photoshop. For photo editing, if I don’t need to edit people out of them or work on a design, I can see myself using Lightroom for most retouching instead. It’s amazing for organization and batch editing. I love it!
This post is based on a similar post I created for Tali Gibson Designs LLC‘s company Portfolio. It was a post that turned out far more detailed than originally intended, and I can see it being relevant here as well. It gives a fair amount of insight into how I photograph and edit photos, as well as what programs I use to do my work.
There are different ways to edit a photo based on how the photo was taken and the intention behind the editing. In the case of landscape photography, there is more leeway in how far to push an image, compared to the subtlety required for portrait retouching.
Photograph taken in September 2019 at Sugar Pine Reservoir in California.
The last two months have been busy for me, so there has not been much in the way of content going up here. It’s the kind of busy-ness that’s productive, but doesn’t offer much to show for it in the short-term.
For those who keep up with my devientART Gallery, you will have seen a few designs popping up in the last month or so. That’s a small portion of what has been going on around here. I have much to show you!
Website: Tali Gibson Designs LLC
In July, my husband started up a business, Tali Gibson Designs LLC. Since then, we have been working on creating content for the website to showcase examples of the services we offer through the company. Being a new and small company, I’m both Graphic Designer, Website Administrator, Social Network Admin, and Whatever-Else-We-Happen-To-Need.
As promised in a previous post, the deviantART gallery and portfolio are updated with a number of photos from 2016 when I visited San Francisco. It was an adventure and I can’t wait to get the chance to go back.
I made the trip from Mississauga, Ontario to California to visit my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and his family for a couple weeks around the Canada Day holiday and Independence Day. On July 4th, a group of us went to San Francisco to meet another friend and explore the city.
I have a deviantart account, TalizmynVox, and have since 2003. (16 years… Already?!) The link is up on the sidebar of this blog, but I never actually gave it a proper introduction. Oops!
I have a fair bit of work available to view there and, going forward, will post here when I upload anything new. Beware of going too far back in the archives though, because 2003-Talizmyn was just getting out of high school and the artistic abilities were only just beginning to evolve into something… presentable.