Archive | May 2016

How to keep working on product ideas when things are tough…

My newest projects!

I posted some new items on my Etsy store today. Still hardly any likes on my Facebook and only a few new followers on my Twitter account and Instagram.

I posted some new digital stamps that I’ve been working on. I hand-drew them with grey lead and went over them with fine liner before I scanned them into the computer.

One set is of three wedding party members, a bride, a groom and a bridesmaid. I may add to this set later on with ‘flower girls’ etc., at a later stage.

The ballerina set has three different ballerina’s with different hair styles and all with different poses. These can also be printed and coloured as per the purchases wishes.

So far both sets have the three characters only, all left black and white for anyone interested to purchase to use in their personal artwork. They have clear backgrounds and no colour, so that the buyer can print them on paper in any colour they choose and maybe colour them with their choice of artistic medium.

My goals are for people to buy my digital stamps, images and paper kits to use in creating their own creative artwork such as junk journals, scrapbook albums etc. I hope to promote more people to continue creating more artwork in order that more people benefit from the positive outcomes of being creative. If even one person buys and enjoys some of my creations I will be happy knowing that I helped create more happiness around the world.

So how to get the interest I need to start getting sales?

A lot of the marketing guru’s suggesting that social marketing is the “big thing” now for advertising and reading more interest in your “business” or “products”. In truth it can be very hard for introverts and people with emotional and mental health issues to get “noticed” and to grow “followers”, let alone getting any sales for products etc., that they try to get people interested in.

I may not have the answers as to how to generate “sales”, but I do know a lot about picking up the pieces and trying to continue creative ventures when it seems as though you’re gaining nothing from them.

How to gain Followers?

Does it really matter in the big scheme of things if people suffer from emotional or mental symptoms?

The real truth, is that some of us simply need the space to vent out our emotions and show our creativity no matter what. Even if creative artists don’t get any real interest in what they create, simply “trying” to get their work seen and noticed can be a huge ego and confidence boost for some people. Sometimes we need the extra push to get out of bed and put some effort into doing something for ourselves.

Even though we are pretty desperate financially for me to get some sort of income to help my husband pay the bills and for me to be able to continue to afford to buy supplies to continue my creative activities. For me it’s not really about getting any “sales”, otherwise I’d have given up last year for good and never tried posting any more Youtube video’s. I certainly wouldn’t have continued working on improving my blog or to find ideas on topics to continue posting blog posts…

What if I never get a single sale?

The truth is, I might never generate a single sale, I might give up on the Etsy store if I don’t achieve any sales from my efforts. I’d probably continue trying to get some interste in my blog though, because this is how I am able to continue getting some satisfaction that my words might possibly help some people. If only a few people read my posts, that itself is helping me to keep my confidence a little bit better.

Sometimes that’s all a person really needs in order to keep working on positive efforts. The fulfilment of the need to feel necessary to someone, that feeling that I may actually be able to help some people buy blogging, it can keep me going sometimes when I’m feeling down.

The push to continue trying to make a difference for atlas a few people, really helps me put more effort into maintaining my own emotional health. The need to continue pushing yourself in order to be of benefit to someone can be a very powerful motivator.

The positive feelings you are able to gain from being able to continue working positively towards a goal aimed at helping people can make a huge difference in your emotional well being.

For me, knowing that even just a few people are reading my blog posts is sometimes enough. I am able to be at least a little happier knowing that someone finds my work interesting, even if only a little. Knowing that I may make somewhat of a positive influence on other’s, is in itself priceless…

Late Blog Post – Quick Update

This weekend we had our toddler’s birthday party. I was totally unable to write a blog post, let alone post it online.

Here’s a little about what I’ve been thinking about and working on lately…

Red Girl Quote - @SidedProject Watermark Copy

 

I’ve read a few tips online about starting small business ideas etc and posting video’s and information online about products to sell versus posting information and blogs/vlogs etc about things like mental health. Most of what I’ve real lately all points to people believing that products and art/craft that you try to sell and information you give about dealing with emotional and mental health issues should be kept seperate.

I’m of the opinion that in some circumstances this may be unnecessary. For me, my art/craft is actually a form of therapy for the emotional and mental health issues that I have. They help me deal with the pain and confusion I suffer with anxiety and from the symptoms I live with. Some of my business or product ideas actually focus on how I use my art and craft in dealing with all of these issues.

I plan on completing my zines and e-book and try to post them online on Easy in order to sell them. I plan to try to make some profit from selling them to help buy more supplies etc to continue my creative processes in order to continue to try keeping me more happy and sane from the emotional upheaval of my symptoms.

I don’t think it is absolutely necessary in my circumstances to keep my craft/art and my emotional and mental symptoms and issues one hundred percent seperate. Some people I chat to online have openly asked me how I deal with my symptoms and my craft and art play a very big role in my managing my symptoms.

I used my craft and art work to help maintain my sanity and reasonable emotional levels while I was off all my medications since I married my husband in 2012. For atlas four years I was able to continue a reasonably normal life without taking any medication for my emotional or mental health. Although I have now been put back on medications from a new psychiatrist I have started seeing, I will happily continue using my creativity to assist in managing my symptoms.

For me my creativity is a way to vent, it lets out the angry and other negative emotions in more safe, non-egressive ways. It helps to vent any negative emotions I may have against anyone and helps reduce any rude or bad behaviour I may show against anyone. When I am feeling low, it helps make me feel somewhat useful and productive and gives me atlas a small level of confidence. It gives me extra excuses to get out and try to communicate with other people. It stops me from wanting to completely hide in the house away from others and makes me really want to talk to people and show them my artwork.

I may edit my zines and e-book not to be solely about managing my symptoms without medications, but I will definitely continue working on them as the main ideas behind them are about using creativity, craft and art work to help manage emotional and mental health symptoms.

If you use your creativity in helping you deal emotionally or mentally, I’d love for you to post links or pictures of what you create. Let me know, I’d love to look at what other people do to cope and what artwork other people create.

Art Therapy

What does Art Therapy mean for you?

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The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings. It promotes the reduction of stress, and improves self-esteem and self awareness.

Art therapies are a form of psychotherapy utilising creative procsses, including visual art-making, drama, and dance/movement, with therapeutic intention to improve and promote physical, mental and emotional well-being.

You don’t need to be talented or an artist to receive the benefits, if you don’t know how to implement creative processes for self therapy, there are professionals that can work with you. Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of creating art or writing to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Art therapy uses art materials, such as paint, pencils, chalk, markers and almost anything else you can think of. Art therapy can consist of any creative process and any type of artistic project that you can think of from visual artworks, to writing, music or dance.

Art therapy involves the creation of art in order to increase awareness of self and others. It helps promote personal development, increases coping skills, and enhances cognitive function. Focusing on the creative process helps to reduce tension, stress and negativity by keeping your mind on more positive and enjoyable tasks.

Art and craft can boost self-esteem and help the artist achieve insight. Art therapy can encourage artists to:

  • Express feelings that may be difficult to verbalise;
  • Explore their imagination and creativity;
  • Develop healthy coping skills and focus;
  • Improve their self-esteem and confidence;
  • Identify and clarify issues and concerns;
  • Increase communication skills;
  • Share in a safe nurturing environment;
  • Improve motor skills and physical co-ordination;
  • Identify blocks to emotional expression and personal growth.

Art that is created with the intention of self exploration allows different outcomes, rather than focussing on a specifically planned finished product. Art is about expressing oneself.

Self-expression reveals the sources of personal struggle, it helps you examine who or what situations spark emotional or spiritual discomfort. By discovering the barriers to your health and happiness, you have the potential to avoid or manage similar triggers in the future.

Creating a new piece of creative work transforms inner rage, pain, or emotional baggage into something more visual and definable. The creative process can help you visualise your opes and fears, and can make you become aware of emotions and thoughts that shouldn’t be ignored or suppresed. It can help provide a way to ‘vent’ negative emotions and relieve you of some of your stress or anxiety.

You might not always have control over how you react to situations, but when you sit down to create, you are in control, you craete your art how you think it should be. This control, while seeminly a small victory, can boosts your confidence and can greatly enhance the quality of life and the way you see it.

Creative art and craft can increase the artist’s self awareness and open their eyes to empathy towards others. The creative process helps a person cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences. It can help enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of creating art.

So, how do you use art to help yourself? What is your preferred style of ‘Art Therapy’? How do you express yourself in your art/crafts? Post a comment below and give your input…

If you would like more information on how to use creative processes or art journalling/craft as self-help art therapy, look for my updates in the e-book and guide I am currently writing!

 

References:
Grace Hwang Lynch, Encouraging Self-Expression Through Art, 2003-2016,
http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/encouraging-self-expression-through-art/
The Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association, 2015,
https://www.anzata.org/about-arts-therapy
What is Art Therapy?  http://www.arttherapyblog.com/what-is-art-therapy/

Art & Wellness, Creating Art for self expression & healing, Posted April 15, 2012,
http://www.themindfulword.org/category/wholistic-health/alternative-therapies/
Amy Chovan, Creative Healing Through Self-Expression, May-June, 2010,
http://www.peoriamagazines.com/as/2010/may-jun

Some of my projects

I thought, I’d post an extra post and actually write a little about what I have been creating and putting up for sale in my Etsy store. Below are two of my Motivational Quote Posters I have for sale in my Etsy store.

I have been using my emotional energy to create various pieces of artwork in my Art Journalling and also generating and creating various different types of Junk Journals. Some of the artwork I create in my Art Journalling I am incorporating into products for my Etsy store and some I keep for my own personal use at home for private viewing.

My Art Journal pages are mainly created using various different Art Journalling techniques, prompts and ideas that I usually find off the internet and from YouTube videos. Most of my work is created using Acrylic or water colour paint, Derwent coloured pencils and water colour pencils, Artist coloured markers, fine liners and other odds and ends such as glitter glue. I even sometimes use odd supplies such as nail polish to add just the right amount of glitter, colour or shine to some of my artwork.

I do some work now and then in creating other types of paper craft items such as scrapbooks and mini scrapbook albums. I feel as though I need a bit more improvement and experience in these areas before I am brave enough to start putting them up for sale, but I will happily add pictures of some of the albums I have made so far to get some input etc. Currently I have about two-three scrapbook albums in progress, one large one for out sons baby photo’s, one large wedding album and two or three mini albums I am working on. I still have another two or three that I ‘plan’ to create as presents to take overseas to give to a few of my husbands relatives. I need to get myself into gear and get them done before December as we plan to go over to see them in next coming January…  😀

At the moment I mostly enjoy Art Journalling and making Junk Journals though, as these give me the most confidence and happiness at seeing how well I am able to finish them. A lot of my time is taken up with painting recycled papers, newspapers etc.  I stick together several pages to make them thicker and sturdier before I paint them and currently have almost ten individual pages already painted waiting to be used in projects. Most of them are meant to be used for front covers, I will post pictures of these as they progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotionally Tired of the fight

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I’d give anything to be able to create my artwork more often in peace!

Life is all too much about money! What wouldn’t I give to be able to use a time machine and go back to hit the person who invented money over the head to stop them!

I had a conversation just yesterday about this wish of mine to stop money from being invented, and my husband showed me my error, it’s not money that’s the problem, it’s human greed that’s making me miserable!

No one is open and/or willing to help other people. Everyone is too busy looking out only for themselves. Money has too much value these days, let alone being absolutely necessary for general living. You can’t do anything or go anywhere without it! You virtually can’t eat or drink anything without money and you can hardly get any resources without it.

A lot of unhappiness comes from the lack of money! The main problems I have with our marriage is due to lack of funds and how we could make my life less stressful and easier. If we had enough financial funds to buy extra equipment that would make my house management easier. We would buy a dishwasher, a good strong medium weight vacuum, we would more easily afford to buy food for the home as I am a really lousy cook.

My lack of cooking skills adds a lot of extra emotional stress and trouble between me and my husband. The more I try to become a better housewife and cook, the more I stress over it the more mistakes I make and the more problems we have in getting along. I have panic attacks and other anxiety issues more often and at worse levels and it all starts off more of my Bipolar symptoms. It’s like a never ending cycle of negativity and stress.

I really am desperate to try to look after the house and our son and husband better then I am able to. However my desperate efforts go pretty much unnoticed because of my lack of expertise in some of the main the tasks I have to get done in order to look after them. I get discouraged easily from cooking because it’s so bad and we sometimes can’t even eat it. It makes me feel bad to throw away food and it’s against my husbands culture and against both of our religions. When it’s that bad both my husband and I get upset and we become more irritable with each other. He assumes that I don’t try hard enough and that I get too distracted with my “hobbies” and I get sad and depressed thinking that I am not good enough at anything.

It can become very emotionally draining and tiring to have to keep fighting over the same topics, fight against your emotions and symptoms and fighting with your family members are both hard to cope with sometimes. Sometimes it can be extremely hard to continue motivating yourself to continue working on improving your emotional and mental health when you have a seemingly constant flood of problems that keep churning up more trouble.

I am desperately trying to avoid giving up all together, but what can a person do when they are unable to really learn something important no matter what they do? I have tried almost every idea my husband, I and my mother can think of to get me to learn to cook better. So far nothing has really helped, I even started refusing to answer the phone if I am cooking, but I can’t exactly stop my son from wanting my attention, he needs to be fed etc.

Sometimes, there is no real solution to be found easily…