New Tablet and Ko-fi Goal

Two weeks ago, during the One Week Portrait Challenge, I wrote about how my tablet broke on Wednesday: midway through the challenge. When that happened, after I spent a bit of time panicking, my husband encouraged me to look into getting a tablet that would work for me.

After much research and consideration, based on the types of tablets I found, we decided the cost difference between a decent tablet and a great tablet was too small. And so, rather than settle for decent, we ordered a Microsoft Surface Book 2.

Everyone who donated through Ko-fi in the last few months, or commissioned me for work, helped me afford this tablet. And so I would like to say: thank you. You’re actively helping me become a better artist and designer, and it is appreciated.

New Ko-fi Goal

March was full of tough decisions, and to be honest it was a really scary time. I was so nervous making posts about my fears, and dealing with the anxiety that came with all of the uncertainty. That anxiety and uncertainty has not all gone away, of course, but it is less new and a little more familiar. And frankly, familiar has always been easier to deal with, for me.

I’m fortunate for the family I have, for those who can and choose to support me through Ko-fi, and being in a position where I’m able to change my Ko-fi goal again from food/rent to something beyond necessity. And I know this could change at any moment. But, for now, I want to have hope and think positively. And this, for me, means aiming for something that will help me create, improve my abilities, and do what I love to do.

And that’s to create good art.

One program I have wanted for some time is Clip Studio Paint. My Ko-fi goal has been updated to reflect the plan to purchase Clip Studio Paint Ex, for $219 USD. I would prefer to purchase the program outright, rather than pay a monthly subscription, as I’m not a fan of the subscription model for using programs.

The program itself has some impressive features including a variety of functions designed for comic-creation, smart colouring tools, precision rulers, and comes with an impressive library of brushes, poses, and other resources. Given all that the program offers, and with the potential to increase my workflow and improve my abilities, the cost of the program seems more than reasonable. That’s not to say I won’t be keeping an eye out for a sale, though!

Want to help me reach my goal?

The learning curve for Clip Studio Paint may be steep, but I’m up for the challenge.


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

A March of Tough Decisions

Crimson and Green Cutouts. January 13, 2004. Photograph.

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.

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Trials in Creative Productivity

Trying to make sense of all these pieces.
Doodle, March 2020.

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.”

Oof.


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.


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Talizmyn on deviantART

Did I Ever Tell You I Was on DeviantART?

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.

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Stumbling into 2019

Hey there,

I’m a graphic designer, photographer, artist, and writer. The best way to describe who I am may be to say that I am a creator. I want to make things out of nothing and share them with you. Except… I haven’t been doing much of any of those things of late. And that’s going to change. It changes today.

I need a bit of accountability and I am going to be using this blog to do so. It’s now my space to share projects, reviews of content I’m interested it, random musings, and whatever else I happen to want to share.

Here’s a bit about me

My name is Janessa, and I go by Talizmyn online. I’m a gamer in my free time: I play Guild Wars 2, Diablo 3, The Sims 4… just to name a few. I’m a fan of the Mass Effect and Borderlands franchises and plan to continue with those series in the future. I love reading, writing, and am active on Goodreads. I have had dogs and will talk about them for hours if you let me. I don’t have pups now but plan to soon in the future… but my husband and I aren’t quite prepared for that yet!

I am Canadian, from the Greater Toronto Area, and currently live in California with my husband and our roommate. I miss snow far more than I thought I would and don’t much care for the dry Californian air that gives me nosebleeds in the middle of the night. How is this a thing that happens?

I’m learning that, in California, winter means rain and, thankfully, a reduction in nosebleeds. It also means the return of allergies, which I used to only have to deal with from May to October. But I guess one can’t have everything.

What to Expect

As I said above, I am an avid reader and I plan on posting reviews ob books I have read, excerpts from work I am creating, art, photos, new items available in my shops, and perhaps even reviews of movies and shows I’m watching if I feel strongly enough about them to share. I also post a fair bit on Instagram of items I have cooked, baked, or random photos taken of the area on my phone. My goal is to focus a lot of that here, rather than leave each site as its own separate entity.

Plus, it’ll get me writing on a much more consistent schedule. Comments and feedback will be welcome.

Thanks for joining me.