Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Truth About My Art...

"I think it's amazing that you make your living as an artist."

I cringe a little when I hear those words.  I am an artist - that much is true.  But...the rest of the  truth is that I don't "make a living" making art.  I am not a successful artist, at least not in the way you think I am.

The truth is that I have two part-time day jobs - one as a paralegal, and the other as a research assistant. Neither pays me a glamorous amount of money but they are in subject areas that matter to me and to which I am happy to give my time.

The truth is that because of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues I manage to work about 25 hours a week total. And that most months I make just enough to cover my bills. And this year most months I've actually ended up in the hole.

The truth is that my art barely pays for itself. I don't generally make any money after studio fees, gas, teaching insurance, and all the other things that go along with creating and teaching.  I hope to change that, but the truth is (again) that when faced with marketing a class/show, or doing what I need to stay out of The Wallow – wallow prevention wins.  It has to...

The truth is that the small amount a few faithful Patreon subscribers send me each month has been my grocery and cat food money more than once.  I can’t express how grateful I am for all three of them (yup, there are only three). 

The truth is that I write about my art, talk about my art, share pictures of my art, A LOT because it is my art that keeps me from falling completely into a pit of depression and despair. And maybe because I write a lot about it so much and share it so much people assume I must be making a living at it...

The truth is my art is like air to me.  Without it I'm not sure what I'd do...

The truth is that art has saved my life more than once - just as being able to write is giving me this outlet right now – it has given me a place to put my feelings.  To express things I can’t express anywhere else or by any other means.  

It is in this way that I am a successful artist.

And I am successful at a few other things. 

I am successful at is sharing myself honestly. 

I am successful at providing spaces for those who want to explore.

I am successful at making art the moves people.  That speaks to them in some way. 

I am successful at connecting people. 

I am successful at keeping my head above water though I don’t always understand how. 

I must be successful at being alive because I’m still here.

I am becoming more and more successful at doing the work to heal myself.  And  I do believe that one day, I will be together enough that I will be a more conventionally successful artist.  

Right now my most important creation is myself.  


If you'd like to support my work and my healing journey, please considering joining my Patreon Page:  Joie Grandbois-Creatrix  --  Thank you. 


Sunday, November 25, 2018

864 Emails (or how I never met a self help newsletter I didn't like)

Share a link to an online quiz that will help me discover my inner goddess archetype I’ll happily offer up my email to see the result. 

Maybe you can tell me what inner block is holding me back from being my best self – just send me a link for your free webinar on the five things that hold all women back and I’ll sign up in a flash.  

Better yet, send me an offer for an online meditation/self-compassion/embodiment/learn-how-to-love-yourself conference where I can get access to 96 free webinars ALL WEEK LONG.  I’ll take that, here’s my email address.  Thank you very much. 

Send me something that tells me how you can make me a better, more whole, more happy human being and I’ll hand over my email address without a second thought.  Some might even call me a sucker.  

I, like most of us, am just looking for some answers.  I want to find out why I’m not happy.  Why I’m not the success I want to be.  Why I’m not so many other things that I believe I should be.  And if you want to send me a little hope in my inbox, I’ll take it. 

Even though on some level, I know that hope is not the ultimate goal here.  The goal is to get me to sign up for a workshop, or an online course, or for a women’s spirituality group, or whatever variation of the happiness promise you have to offer.  For only $90-$500 a month I can take your course, connect with others just like me, learn to love myself, manifest my dreams, and, yes, yes (if I buy the bonus package) – I get to be a part of your exclusive Facebook group.  But I sign up anyway because hope is a thing I want to grab on to.  

Which is why this morning I found myself staring at a notification of 864 unread emails.  As I scrolled through my inbox I saw the same addresses over and over again.  Many were some variation of spirit this or that, with subject lines that included everything from astrology to women’s circles to inner peace; keywords – goals, manifest, Yes!, now, and you too can... 

I decided I’d had enough.  

It took me an hour and a half to review my inbox. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any personal emails buried amongst the self-help hurricane my inbox had become.  I also wanted to keep the few I was actually interested in.   In the end I unsubscribed from 65 email newsletters, most of which I’d never bothered to open let alone read, and I stayed subscribed to 8 that I actually read on a regular basis. 

I know there is no easy solution for depression, anxiety, or self-loathing.  There is no shortcut to processing trauma, reprogramming my brain towards healthier coping patterns, or self-acceptance.  It is all process…process…process…stumble…process…process.  

For me it is also a lot of hard work…but it is work I need to be doing if I want to do more than just exist.  

The fewer distractions, the better. 


If you'd like to support my work and my healing journey, please considering joining my Patreon Page:  Joie Grandbois-Creatrix  --  Thank you.