Me and Etsy and other rambles about commissions and being crazy

I haven’t had great luck with my Etsy account. I made it at first to sell hand sewn hair things:

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And then I got extremely lazy about sewing. The last thing I sewed was a skirt made out of sweatshirt fabric, and although I totally wear that thing around like it’s designer, I left the hem undone and attached the waistband with the messiest basting stitch I’ve ever done in my life. So, I didn’t use my Etsy account until I decided to try to sell artwork.

I haven’t had a lot of luck, like I said. Actually, no one has ever purchased anything of mine from Etsy, ever, and barely anyone has ever even looked at my page. There’s a lot of awesome stuff on that site, but even for people much better than me it seems hard to get noticed. I used to think no one was buying my stuff because it wasn’t good, but I’ve realized stuff doesn’t have to be the best to sell. The right person just has to see it. (I learned this the second my artwork actually started selling. My favorite things are not the things people buy.)

Anyhow, I barely have anything in my shop, but I listed the Frida Kahlo portrait this afternoon as both a digital and physical file. I didn’t know how to price the digital file, because it’s really high quality and at that point they can just print whatever. But I put it at $8.00. And then I realized that the copy that I’ve been splattering all over the internet, while it’s not as high quality, is still good enough to fit most people’s needs. On the other hand, I fixed a weird shadow.

This is my shop, if you’re interested.

On a similar topic, the thing where I draw something and people pay me is strange. I find myself getting this weird writer’s block- I guess artist’s block? That’s is anxiety related. I’ve already decided I’m useless and can’t hold a job, and coming to that conclusion pretty much made any work hard and stressful because I worry about how I will mess it up. I have a piece for my best friend’s aunt that I literally cannot finish. I get all panic attack-y when I look at it. I think the problem lies in the fact that she’s related to someone very important to me, and the fact that she’s actually paying me what the work is worth. And it’s really unfortunate, because I’m pretty much fulfilling my own prophecy here. It’s so weird that art was one of the only things I felt I had left, after I kind of crashed mental-health wise, but once I started making art my work, I started to lose that too.

But, I mean, that’s probably untrue because, other than the one drawing, I’ve finished everything I was supposed to do and probably been more productive (in a focused, non-manic way) than I’ve been in any other period of my life. I did drop the ball on some free or cheap stuff with friends, but where I really failed with that is not just coming straight out and saying things like “Oh, you plan to sell it? Then I can’t give it to you for $20 after all. You also need to buy the copyright from me.” I need to make sure when I’m doing things for friends I turn on my professional side. I’m getting better at that, too.

While I am being productive, probably thanks to adderall, I’m also having weird side effects that aren’t on the label. Acne, I know, is a side-effect many users say they have that the manufacture denies. I’m having serious breakouts mostly on one side of my face, and the only thing I can think may be causing it is the Adderall. I have never had large amounts of acne. I either clear skin had one or two pimples at a time from the time I started puberty. Hormonal changes could be a problem, but this doesn’t follow the pattern of hormonal acne. These are small, sometimes painful red bumps and for the most part all that is in them is pus. I don’t think it’s a rash, because they do really look like pimples and they come in one or two at a time, go away together, and then start up again in about a week.

Another problem I’m having that’s new is weird sinus issues. My sinuses have been acting up for months, and now I have post nasal drip, a swollen lymph node behind my left ear, which is almost completely blocked and has been for a week. Can this be related to the adderall? I dunno, probably not, I’m not a doctor. But it does feel really strange, having my body act in ways I’m not familiar with at all.

Anyway, how are y’all?

Another Hard Night, Can’t get help

Edit: I think I’m past the danger zone at the moment, so I just want to let anyone who reads this in the future know that I’m okay. I think I’ll leave it up, though, because it has some thoughts in it I should probably look at more deeply.

I think I have been headed towards recovery, but  if you want to use a metaphor, and hey, why not, I am now in a valley so far down I can’t even remember what the sun looked like. All the things I want to be seem impossible, and instead of being traits I’m proud of or goals I want to be, they feel like sharp objects I’m constantly stepping on. I’m supposed to be smart, but I feel stupid. I’m supposed to be nice, but I’m mean. I’m supposed to have a future, but I feel pretty sure that’s not true. People tell me I’m talented, but that’s only because they don’t know how piss-poor at art I really am.

I don’t know what to do right now. I don’t know if I can make it through the night. I don’t think I can.

My emotions have always taken control of me. They have always felt like physical pain. Hurting myself physically actually hurts less. And it let’s me disassociate. Problem is, I always have to come back, and then I see whatever I did to myself.

When I was a teen, and a cutter, I got told all the time I was looking for attention. Whenever I tried to ask for help, it was assumed that all I wanted was people to look at me and pay attention to me. I can understand some of the reason people thought that. I was agoraphobic, thought every one hated me, and only went outside probably twice a month. A lot of my problems back then came from cabin fever and barely interacting with other humans. And I’ve never had a stable environment. I’m afraid to have children, because I don’t know if I can give them the things I never had, the things I needed. Set rules, for instance, instead of just punishing them when I get mad. A system of chores. A meal time. The feeling that their mom isn’t going to change from loving them one moment to beating the crap out of them the next. The hospitals, when I was a teen, had structure. They had people who talked to me as if I were normal. I felt safe I understood the rules of the people there. I struggled to interact with others, but still, I did much better in the hospital than outside of it. One reason is that part of my condition is an unreasonable and unpredictable reaction to stress. I, the real world, I basically am in fight-or-flight half of everyday. Hospitals are boring, horrible, but mostly not stressful places. My doctors understood, but nurses constantly made comments about me faking, being fine, not having problems, and just wanting attention.

And so, it is really hard for me to ask for help now. I get old I don’t want to get better. I get told I just want attention. One time I was told that I was since I’m resistant to a lot of medicines I probably never will get better. There have been so many times I’ve asked for help and the responses have been so hard for me. One was three months ago. I told a nurse I didn’t pick up my prescription for ativan because, as I’d told my doctor, I really didn’t want to take it. My father was a drug addict. I don’t mess with addictive as-needed substances. The nurses response: “Well, if you don’t want to take your meds, what do you want me to do then?”

Continue reading Another Hard Night, Can’t get help

Write about an Object

Just rediscovered a good friend’s blog. I can’t even tell you how amazing this person is, but I think her writing speaks for itself.

red alder press

It is a small ceramic cradle six inches long, three across , five tall.

Too small for a live baby. Too big for easy packing

and we were always packing. She came with me

everywhere. White with pink trim. Bundled in dirty shirts,

in yesterdays newspaper, in the bottom of plastic totes

and heavy baskets.

She is always cold to touch, cold as I hold her

to my cheek, nestled to my ear, you can hear her.

Even in the desert, even after the longest drive.

My grandmothers last creation, thrown for my birth.

A useless cradle which followed me like her voice,

a sound I can only imagine. Haunting, my packed life

my childhood travels

from the sun

to snow

to desert

to water

Landing on an island

I filled her finally

with my sisters baby hair clippings

dried yellow flowers,

beach glass, coins from distant travels

and finally…

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