I have this red cup sitting on my drawing table that, well, for lack of a better term, serves as a “graveyard” for my pens that have lost their use. I have this difficulty in letting my creative instruments go, hoping that maybe they may serve some unique purpose at some later date. This is even so when it comes to my more disposal pens like the Microns, which luckily have been a bit useful in their nearly dried out state. I’ve discovered that as they reach their bitter end they release less ink which allows me to stipple in a much finer gray tone where needed, especially one my smaller drawings like the ACEOs. This is more difficult to achieve when the pens are fairly new. But unlike my felt tip Microns that can still give me some use as they breathe their last breath, once my technical pens take a dive that’s it. Needles break or get bent, parts leak or clog to the point of no return. For all the beauty in artistry they provide, technical pens are a bit pricey and high maintenance. My Rotring alone cost me $40. Replacing and/or fixing any issues can cost you at least half, if not as much, as what you paid for the pen itself. Hence my reason switching to something more economical. But I still hold on to them. I still love the feel of them in my hand and the certain air of professionalism they present. Maybe one day I’ll spring for a new one and put more dedication into its upkeep. If you love precise like myself, technical pens are quite lovely to draw with but keep in mind they do require a bit of care to maintain.
Okay, I thought that I wouldn’t do another post until Sunday, after we’ve all had time to recover a bit from our turkey comas but I couldn’t wait and had to type up this post in hopes that maybe someone has some answers. So here’s my question, did the Brexit have an effect on shipping items from the US to the UK?
Today I had the wonderful surprise of shipping a three ounce item to the UK at three times the cost of what I’ve previously paid for shipping similar items using International First Class mail. I found myself fussing with the postal clerk because I just knew she charged me wrong. But that was indeed the price and the only explanation I could come up with is that maybe Brexit has something to do with it. If this is the case then this really puts me in a dilemma with selling my art to lovely fans in the United Kingdom, who make up one fourth of my followers and collectors. Now I either have to increase my shipping rates to compensate for the cost or not sell to the UK at all. I really don’t want to stop selling to people in the UK so I’ll be upping my shipping cost but this really sucks. It’s frustrating enough that postal costs keep going up and changing every year here in the US, now I also have to keep up on how political issues in other countries may effect me selling my art to international fans. Feeling rather bummed about this. 😒
“If you chase two rabbits both will escape.”
Confession: Sitting down to do my art is far more challenging then creating the art itself. Why is it so difficult to be a productive artist? Not a day goes by that I don’t promise myself that “Today is the day I’m going to really get some work done. I’m gonna sit here at this desk and really crank it out.” Yet 15 minutes into my work I find myself scrolling through my Twitter feed either giggling at cat videos or keeping tabs on public opinion on social issues. Who else is tempted by the lure of spending their free time binge watching a new Netflix series or Hulu original? I find myself at times racked with guilt that I may only get an hour of work done before I’m lured off into doing something else. My only balm to soothe me is the thought that maybe it’s not just me. Maybe this scourge of distraction and procrastination is the bane of all creatives and I’m not alone in my dilemma. Sometimes my ability to focus feels more like chasing dandelions in the wind.
Mourning the absence of my softness in this aggressive world. I may have been taught to survive but I was never taught how to live.
“Part of being a creative artist is developing the determination to do your creative thing in spite of the fact that there will always be people out there telling you that it’s a waste of time.” ~ Drew Kimble
It’s a dull, nagging feeling that comes to me whispering “What’s the point?”. I’ve heard it from others but you’re often unprepared to deal with it when the words are being spoken from your own lips.
The vector of doubt is an insidious beast, creeping in and undermining the best of our aspirations and goals. Yet it is an undeniable part of the artist journey. Actually, doubt can be beneficial. Doubt comes from that part of us that seeks to keep us safe, to keep us from putting ourselves in any mortal danger. It rears it head and sends up an alarm when we venture off our beaten paths and into the unknown. But when not in any mortal danger, doubt can be paralyzing if left unchecked. It can choke the creative spirit and wither one’s enthusiasm. But it doesn’t have to be the death blow to one’s artistry and neither does it need to be eradicated.
I’ve come to accept that doubt is a natural part of being human and that it can serve as a reminder that I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. When doubt rears it head, which is more often than I care for, I remind myself why it is that I create. I remember that there are things that I want to see in this world that don’t already exist and I’m therefore tasked with bringing them into existence. I remember that I have a vision that can be of inspiration to others and that to create is my way of giving back to Life for this gift of existence.
When doubt grips me and whispers “What’s the point?”, I simply turn on some music that inspires me, remind myself why I feel compelled to draw then pick up my pens and start inking.