Blog| Art, Insecurities, and Being Overwhelmed

It’s the week of the con which means the house is a mess, we’re running around constantly, and we’re pulling 8 hour work hours to get everything done in time.

This year, Rony’s got his own table so double the stress.

I’ve been in a funk mentally and the stress paired with being sick on and off (I’ve had awful back pain for the past 5 days) is all coming to a head.

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Believe it or not, I’m actually far more prepared this time around than usual. Probably because I’m nixing the jewelry aspect of my business so I’m not making a thousand necklaces the night before. I have new prints, new zines, new stickers, a new display set up, new banner, and everything is good.

So obviously that means I should crank out 10 new art pieces the week before. Because that’s not stressful. Some of it is good, some of it is okay.

I’ve learned to like my art and it’s constant fluctuation of style because it makes things seem new every time. I like the art I’m producing and I think some people do too. But I’ve had this ongoing problem with feeling insecure about it. There’s always a bit of nerves when I make new art. Is it good, will people like it, will it sell if I make prints? Is everyone’s art better than it?

I know it’s pretty much all in my head. I’m seeing friends and artists selling art and getting engagement on their posts and people commenting about how good it looks while I’m getting crickets. Everyone’s prints and merch looks so nice and well made while I’m cutting 400 prints by hand and hand cutting stickers for 2 days because I can’t afford to get things made for me and I’m cheap. It’s the feeling of trying so hard and getting hardly nothing in return.

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I think it’s also the fact that I’m letting go of so much. Ladies Night, Lubbock Artist Collective, Pokemon Art Drop, Geek Girl Brunch. I’m passing them all on and I’m seeing them continue without me. I no longer have ten thousand different events to go to and my calendar is empty and while that makes me a bit happy (I can paint for myself and write again!), there’s the feeling of being empty without these things.

I’ve talked before about how doing all these things feels like validation. You become the Go-To person, a mover and shaker, and then once it’s gone who are you without it?

Right now I’m feeling jealous and tiny and insecure. I feel like I’m projecting that onto people I care about and my brain is paranoid that everyone hates me and my art sucks.

But I’m aware that this is my brain being weird. I’m looking in on the outside saying “Hey, that probably isn’t true and you’re just in a funk” while being in the actual funk. I’m stressed from the animals, not being able to clean the house, getting art done, and worried about sales and it’s all culminating in this ugly mood.

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One of my biggest sayings has been “Women Support Women” and I hate this awful paranoia I have right now because it goes against it. I love and support my friends and do not want to be jealous of them. My art is not like anyone else’s art and they’re art is not like my art. Some are good at certain things like talking to people and engaging or a certain art style that people like more while others are good at online sales and marketing and promoting themselves. Everyone is different and I need to start learning from others instead of being resentful.

I have friends that care. Yeah, I’m not great at reaching out and talking to them and I don’t really comment on people’s post, but I read them all and I care. I’m just a shitty introverted friend.

Brains are weird and we’re in a competitive society. So I’m going to feel jealous now and then. I need to make sure I don’t let it affect me and my attitude.

In a week, I won’t have to con prep. I’ll redo my store, organize the house, have a garage sale, and work on new things. Yes, I’m saying goodbye to a lot of things I created. But now I’ll have more time to create new things and focus on myself.

Jealousy and insecurity are awful, but they happen. I won’t let it affect me though.

Just one week. I can do this.

-Sam <3

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Blog| Shopping Ban

I may not seem it, but I am not great at managing money. I wish I was but yeah, no, somehow I always end up scrambling to make sure everything is paid. I’ve mastered the art of living on $50 over the span of two weeks.

It’s a mystery where it all goes. No matter how much more money I make, poof. It’s all gone. One part is I have an online shopping problem. I buy things randomly. Books, clothes, dresses, art. And then it sits there, all piled up. I have dresses for every occasion which means I have dresses I rarely use. The comics are stacked up, I have books I’ve never read, and I’m slowly getting swallowed up by junk.

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This year, I’m going to fix that.

I’ve seen a few other bloggers put themselves on shopping bans every now and then, making sure they use the things they have and aren’t being wasteful. But I want to get serious about it. I did research. RESEARCH. From now until we actually move and are in Washington, I am not allowed to shop.

Hold on. There are specifics.

It’s not like I’m going without groceries and toilet paper for months at a time. There will be things I can buy, can’t buy, and specific items I am allowing because I am budgeting for them. I’m going to break it up into lists. Stuff that is allowed and pertain to my “jobs”, stuff that isn’t allowed because I know its excessive, and stuff that is approved ahead of time.

For this, I’m following the guide Cait Flanders‘s made for her year long Shopping Ban. She even wrote a book about it! This will keep it reasonable, help me address how much and what I buy so much of, and make sure I’m not wasteful.

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Here’s the breakdown:

What I’m allowed to shop for:

  • Groceries and essential kitchen supplies
  • Gas for Car
  • Replacing essential cosmetics when they run out
  • Basic toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Pet essentials
  • Gifts for others (Don’t go crazy)
  • Necessary art supplies
  • Necessary business supplies
  • Restaurants (2 times a month at most)
  • 1 Audiobook a month (Audible. No more than the 1 credit)
  • Comic Books on your pull list only

What I’m NOT allowed to shop for:

  • Non-essential cosmetics (No lipsticks or eyeshadows, LUSH)
  • Clothes you don’t need
  • Shoes (Pretty shoes, flats, etc)
  • Books, magazines, notebooks (Gotta get a library card now)
  • Toys, Funko pops, mystery boxes (Overwatch boxes are no-no)
  • Video Games
  • Household items (candles, decor, furniture, etc.)
  • Electronics and appliances

Approved Shopping List

  • 2 pair of work slacks (I’m down to one pair)
  • 1 pair of work shoes (All of mine are breeeeeaking)
  • A compost bin (On my Goals List)
  • Hair done once (So my hair doesn’t fall out)
  • Oil Change/Car Related Maintenance
  • Passport (Also on Goals List)
  • Movies/Concerts/Events (I’m not missing Infinity Wars, guys)
  • 1 Purse (My tiny purse is breaking)
  • My friends’ products they create and sell (#Supportlocal)
  • I can replace things that break, but have to get rid of them.
  • 1 Souvenir if you travel

I know you’re looking at the lists and thinking I gave myself too much leeway, it’s not that hard, or that this doesn’t look fun. The thing is: we have a lot of stuff. I buy books all the time when I have a ton I haven’t read. I have supplies for hobbies I’ve never done, half started ideas and overall a ton of junk. Yes, the art supplies and comics are really necessary but I work with those so they kinda are. And concerts, experiences, all of those aren’t physical so as long as I don’t go crazy it’s fine. I’d rather experience things than have physical items.

Shopping Ban

We’re going to purge. If it’s broken, not necessary, etc. then it goes. Sentimental stuff I’m saving in a special box or taking a picture of it and putting in a keepsake book. Clothes I don’t wear are donated. I don’t want to sit in a room and see all the stuff I’ve wasted money on, look at the things I’ve bought instead of going to travel. I hate feeling cluttered and a lot of it is that. Clutter. I want to organize and make space and use what I have.

My approved shopping list are things that I had planned on getting or need (my pants ripped last night for the third time and I’m down to 1 pair and all my boots have holes) or are experiences rather than objects. My hair needs to be redyed and cut and is frizzy AF so I’m going to get it done for the very first time. That’ll keep the color lasting for a long time, keep my hair from falling out, and keep me from compensating and buying a ton of shit because my hair looks bad.

Whatever money I would have spent, goes into savings for moving. I need to see how much money I’m wasting and put it to use.

This is going to be hard and I’ll do monthly updates. I am a compulsive shopper. When I’m irritated or bored or sad, I shop on Amazon. When I’m frustrated, I buy new clothes. We need a change, a big one. So I’m unfollowing and unsubscribing to all stores, hiding ads, and making sure there’s no temptation. This is going to be hard, but if I can do it then it’s worth it.

Could you put yourself on a shopping ban? What are things you do to make sure you don’t buy things you don’t need?

Give me your tips!

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-Sam <3

Blog| 28 Before 28

Hi!

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I’m 27 now!

Nothing has changed besides the fact that I have survived 27 years of life, but isn’t that a celebration on it’s own?

This time around, I’m forgoing the 28 Before 28 rule, mostly because I set so many goals for 2018 and my birthday is so close to the new years. Instead, because I set 20 goals for the new year, I’m going to set just 8 to get done before I turn 28.

20+8= 28. See what I did there?

I like working towards goals and I think it helps keep me focused on the things I want to accomplish.


So what are my birthday goals this time around?

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  • Take a Class
  • Once a month, unplug for a weekend
  • Get a passport

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  • Learn to compost
  • Learn Tarot
  • Pay off a credit card

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  • Learn Spanish
  • Call or Skype family often

 

This year is for refocusing and working on myself. No events to distract, just working on the big goal of moving and bettering myself. I think every now and then it’s good to take a step back from hustling constantly to make sure your foundation is good. I take on a lot and if I crumble, everything else goes down too.

My next post will be all about our birthday trip to Santa Fe and how it’s motivated me to plan some long-LONG term goals.

Thanks for sticking around on this craziness.

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-Sam <3

Blog| 27 Before 27 Recap

And so we’ve come to the end of being 26!

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It was a whirlwind of learning experiences, trying new things, and learning a bit about myself. There is always room for improvement and I think overall, I’m becoming a better person. I never would have thought that as I turn 27, I’d have a business, be in galleries regularly, be involved in events and running them, and I would know so many people.

It’s been an absolutely crazy ride. I didn’t get to do all the things, but I did a lot of them!

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  1. Save at least 4k for moving
  2. Connect with friends more outside of events 
  3. Finish the #52Selfies Project
  4. Minimize my possessions
  5. Do one big women’s event in town
  6. Visit family more often
  7. Take more napsIMG_0675IMG_0969
  8. Go to another concert
  9. Get another tattoo and get my nose pierced
  10. Have a solo gallery
  11. Paint a large painting
  12. Be less wasteful
  13. Do at least 3 cosplaysIMG_5593IMG_8604
  14. Look into breast reduction
  15. Do things that make me happy, not for money
  16. Be less harsh with my body image
  17. Learn to say no and do not stress yourself
  18. Be free to feel confident in how you look, what you love, and to not be serious all the time
  19. Take care of my body and health better
  20. Take a class
  21. Show more gratitude
  22. Try a spa
  23. Stop biting my nails22195453_10209780669383485_6721010785168625956_n
  24. Go roller skating again
  25. Start meditating
  26. Finish a short story and submit for publishing
  27. Learn to go running

I have been hanging out with friends more and more outside of events I’m in charge of, I’ve gone to see my mom and sister more, and am trying to make a more conscious effort to go and hang out with my dad. I think with things slowing down this year and with a new niece on the way, I can keep this going.

Self-care has been big for me. I’m my own worst critic and have had a body image problem my whole life. I’ve learned to let things go a bit, wear things I love, and take care of myself. I fell off the bandwagon a bit with eating healthy but I’m good to get back on it. And I take naps now! Yay!

I barely got getting a tattoo done at the last minute! We went and got small tattoos last Friday, after our last gallery! No piercing though so it’s only have crossed off.

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This is the year we not only adopted Leon, but fostered Mae Mae and 5 kittens. I’m very lucky to say we’ve gotten two of the kittens into new homes and Mae Mae as well who is being very loved right now. Rescuing has been such a reward and I’m so glad these babies are in good homes.

Of course, not everything got crossed off. I didn’t get to take a class, go to a concert, or get 4k saved up. I’m barely getting back into writing and yeah, running is a no go for me though I did use the treadmill a few times!

Overall, I did 16.5/27!

I’m proud of myself for doing so much. Sometimes, I need to just cut myself some slack and try something different. Slowly I’m getting the hang of this adult thing it’s not as scary as I thought.

Here’s to 27!

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Happy Birthday to me :)

-Sam <3

Blog| January Goals

I’m gonna go ahead and say that December was a lot crazier than expected. Between our trip to Tennessee and Alabama, Holiday break, and trying to get everything done as well as Christmas stuff, I didn’t get as much done as I could have.

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December

Personal:

  • Finish deep cleaning the house- I did! But then it got messy again
  • Rearrange the storage unit- We did do that! It’s so nice and organized now
  • No fast food this month- I caved and got Mexican food :/
  • Budget! Save at least $100- noooooooooope
  • Have people come and socialize kittens- I debated giving this to myself but it’s a no. Frankie got socialized but Black and White are still being little babies. We’re gonna have to work on it more.

Work:

  • Get the Pre-Orders shipped out-  Kinda. I have two I’m delivering in person.
  • Finish Christmas art Also a kinda. Some I just caved and bought presents for.
  • Work on one large painting- I did a semi-large fluid art for my mom but that’s it. No really large ones.
  • Start prepping for Lubbock-Con lol no
  • Mark down old inventory- not really

So a pathetic 3/10. Not great and it’s fully my fault for getting overwhelmed, not pacing myself, then just lazing on the couch and writing for 3 days. Holidays are always stressful for me and I should have been better prepared.

January is here though! I’m going to try and use the New Year motivation bug to get a bunch done and start the year on the right foot!


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Personal

  • Clean! Throw out and condense things!
  • Give up soda and drink more water
  • Play and socialize the kittens!
  • Seriously, no fast food.
  • Stay organized and myself some relax time, but not too much

Usually when I want to start new things, I want to start with a blank slate. That goes for our house. I frequently get overwhelmed by clutter and just want to throw everything away. So I’m going to go room to room and figure out what can be tossed, what’s broken, or what’s just not being used. We need to condense our belongings anyways for the move and I think now would be a good time to pack away what’s not neccessary.

I’m also going to challenge myself to cut down on my sugar and for one week, drink only water.

Then of course, there’s me time and working with the kittens so we can find them new homes.

Work

  • Get Inktober prints/sketchbook done
  • Go through inventory and restock
  • Paint once a week
  • Do a live stream or speed video
  • Restart #52Selfies

IMG_0912Lubbock-con is going to be coming up fast and I want to focus more of my table on my art. So I won’t be selling jewelry or anything. That means I need all my prints done, figure out a new table set up, and get some paintings done to sell maybe. I also want to make sure I make new things often and so I think the video and painting would be good.

#52selfies didn’t work out last year with the whole Leon going missing incident, but I want to try and get it done this year.

Pretty sure I say this every time but I think these are doable. I got a new planner I’m trying out to help keep me organized, I’m scheduling time to get things done, and I just need to push myself.

Our gallery for the month, our last one, is Friday and after that it’s just prep-work and celebrating birthdays! Not a bad start for a new year.

I’m linking up with Writes Like A Girl so be sure to check out her small goals and everyone else in the link up!

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What are some of your goals for the month?

-Sam <3

Blog| 2018 Goals

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2017 was a whirlwind of good and bad.

Good: 

  • adopted Leon
  • Fostered Mae Mae and her kittens
  • Got a new car
  • Started up the Lubbock Artist Collective
  • Went to Disneyland, Tennessee, and Alabama
  • I finished Inktober
  • We started making plans for our eventual move
  • Started the Blog!
  • Made new friends and tried new things

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Bad:

  • I got mugged
  • Leon went missing
  • Money problems
  • The ten thousand times the A/C went out or the house fell apart
  • Politics

Though the bad were big, I’m glad the good outweighed it. This year I want to keep focusing on that and not let negativity weigh me down. Time goes fast and I want to make the most of it.

My resolution for this year is simple. I’m putting myself first.

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2018 Goals

  1. Move!
  2. Learn healthy habits and lose a bit of weight
  3. Start letting go and delegating projects
  4. Try new things
  5. Learn to be more empathetic
  6. Paint often
  7. Write consistently
  8. Help rescue animals if possible
  9. Keep some plants alive
  10. Blog Consistently
  11. Get rid of clothes, toys, anything I don’t need
  12. Cook through a cookbook
  13. Take and print more pictures
  14. Play more
  15. Save as much money as I can
  16. Read 24 books
  17. Take care of my skin
  18. Give up poultry
  19. Be more organized
  20. Don’t let the deadlines stress me out

2017 gave me an idea of what I wanted to do and become. I do need to spend more time focusing on myself. I’ve created some wonderful things in Lubbock and met some amazing people that are going to help keep it going after I’m gone. Now it’s time to work on me and push towards bigger things.

Moving is the main focus of 2018. I don’t know when or how, but we’re going to make it happen sometime this year. If I accomplish just this one goal, I’ll be happy.

So goodbye 2017, you weren’t great but you taught me a lot.

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I’ll be posting my January Goals tomorrow and soon I’ll be wrapping up my 27 Before 27!

What are your goals for this year or do you have a New Year’s Resolution?

-Sam <3

Blog| When It’s Too Much

I live a busy life. It’s a recurring theme in everything I do. If you know me as a friend, you know you need to ask me a couple weeks ahead of time if I’m free and if it’s last minute the answer is probably no.

Once upon a time, I didn’t have a social life. I’d go to work, go home, read or watch TV or play games or paint until 2am in the morning, and then go to sleep and do it all over. I’d always find a reason to cancel plans or bail out of something and stay home.

Things changed and now I’m constantly on the move. The days when there are no events or things to go to feel unreal because I feel like I forgot I’m suppose to be somewhere. After October, I realized I still had a bunch of events to do.

We had the gallery and Ladies Night and my guest speaking event and birthdays and parties and then we had to clean the house, take had Leon’s birthday, the Museum event, etc. And then I got sick on Halloween. And then I stayed sick for like a week. And then I got food poisoning.

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I also had social media I had to keep up with. Moderating groups and taking care of issues and fighting people about why no, I don’t have a lot of hope for Justice League.

Lo and behold, I got overwhelmed. I almost broke down and cried in the bathroom at work. I had a headache for two days straight before I realized I had stopped taking my medication. My voice was raw and shot for over a week and I wanted to lay down and sleep and not do anything. I had to go home early from work one day and I passed out for like 3-4 hours immediately.

I wasn’t taking care of myself and that’s a slippery slope when you have anxiety and depression. I rely on my support system and routine. It keeps me grounded and keeps me from becoming overwhelmed by all my events and to-do list.

I need to get back into it, calm myself, and focus. A relapse is a sure fire way to kill any momentum I have from Inktober and with the holiday season hitting, I need that momentum.

So what are some of my routines?


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1.  No Staying up Past Midnight

I am not someone that functions on little sleep anymore. I use to be but now I get headaches and am cranky and have an awful time getting up in the morning. Ideally I should be in bed by 11, but what can I say? When I get more sleep, I find I’m not hitting the alarm twelve times and throwing my hair in a bun in an attempt to look presentable. The more put together I look, the more focused and professional I feel at work. Fake it til you make it. I’m an adult baby in a big girl job who has a vague idea about what she’s doing but I can at least act like I know what I’m doing.

Making sure I get enough sleep also keeps me from wanting to nap and drink a ton of coffee with a lot of sugar.

2. Clean/Deep Clean the House

If the house is messy, clean laundry piled up in a basket, dog toy scraps all over the floor, and dishes are covering the counter then I get stressed and don’t want to work on anything. I also have little desire to fix it the worse it gets. See, depression is weird. By keeping up with it before it gets that bad, I keep myself from using it as an excuse to not do anything and also keep it from being an unmanageable mess.

Deep cleaning is also very very helpful. I go through these periods where I want to throw EVERYTHING away and just list a minimalist life, but that doesn’t quite work for me. I try though. Yesterday, to distract myself from working, I went through my whole closet and pulled out any ill-fitting or old clothes that I know I don’t wear. I organized my drawers and swept and hung stuff on the wall and put away ALL the laundry. The room ended up looking nicer and I felt a lot better now that there wasn’t so much clutter.

Clutter can make you feel claustrophobic and stressed so sometimes you need to do a clean sweep and toss out anything you don’t really love or use. And if you don’t think you can do that, get a giant tub and put it all there. In a couple of months, if you don’t miss it or need it then you know you can get rid of it.

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3. Eat

I don’t mean like binge but when I’m relapsing then I forget to eat or can’t bring myself to put in the effort to make myself food. Make toast for breakfast. Eat a salad for lunch. Cook pasta for dinner and eat the leftovers for the next few days. Make sure you are eating every meal.

Lethargy is a killer. It saps any will to clean, do work, or just enjoy things. If you don’t eat, it’ll just feed that lethargy by making you cranky and irritable and feeling sick. So eat!

4. Take a Time Out

A lot of the work I do is on social media. Managing the Artist Collective, events, and posting my art means I’m constantly checking notifications. Is anyone asking me a question, are people debating civilly and not name calling, is traffic to an event picking up? It’s constant. But that also means my energy gets sapped pretty quickly. I can’t tell people off because I’m irritable and they’re annoying me. If I don’t check the notifications, what if I miss something?

It’s not fun and gives me anxiety. So sometimes, I let people know I’m outty and if they need me then they can text. I read or watch TV or nap or clean. I break away from the screen and disconnect because being connected is exhausting.

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5. Write Stuff Down

When I’m overwhelmed, writing down everything I need to get done can help immensly. I’ll write down all my deadlines, figure out which ones are the most pressing, and work on those first. If there’s something that can wait, it goes on the bottom of the list. By making an action plan, things tend to look less daunting when I’m done.

Having a planner or journal also helps. I had a Life Planner but found I didn’t like how big and cumbersome it was. I read about Bullet journaling and grabbed a small notebook from Target and started using that. It takes a while to get use to, but I can take it with me and write down all my events, reminder lists, keep track of habits, and keep a budget. Being able to write stuff down and have it all in once physical place keeps me from feeling stressed about not knowing what I have coming up or if I lost my grocery list, etc. I know where to look to find the info.


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These are just a few things but it’s a start. Routine is good and healthy. And some days it’s okay to just nap on the couch and not do anything. But too much can be bad and you have to recognize the signs before it gets worse.

What do you do when you are stressed or overwhelmed or feeling depressed?

-Sam <3