I struggle mightily with my mental health. I feel like a spectator in my own life sometimes. Kind of like a character behind my eyes, influenced by the action but powerless to stop it.
It not constant, its not even frequent these days..
But when the swings hit, the hit hard.
So, tonight, for no big reason, I am in a horrible and hopeless mood. I feel on the edge of panic and I am restless in my own skin.
My car has an issue, that’s the only trigger I can think of today. I’m not going to be driving it for a while, but frankly, that’s no big deal, we have another car here and Dee can’t drive it so we really only need one car. The lose of the car, and even the associated cost of fixing it shouldn’t have me this full of anxiety.
I didn’t feel this when the cat died..
I didn’t feel this when Dee had her seizure…
But tonight I do…
Look, there’s a lot going on to be sure. School is open again, I’m going to be driving Damian in in the mornings, then Dee to work, have to pick Dee for lunch, Damian will take the bus home, but I then need to pick Dee up at the end of the shift. Between all that I need to try and do housework, cook, get groceries etc. etc. I am the only driver, and there’s a lot that needs to be doing.
All while I am trying very very hard to build a name in photography and make a living doing it.
I’ve been sheltered a little, I have EI and while I have reported earning when I have them, it was a safety net for me and the family, but that runs out the end of September and then that’s it, pull the rip cord, the only thing I have then is the photography and the money I make from that.
I said in a previous post that I may have to return to work in a retail position of something, but that’s a whole other nightmare of trying to coordinate shifts and transportation.
I am under IMMENSE pressure, from me of course, to make this work… IMMENSE pressure.
Photography is something I am good at, and getting better. I am making money, but not enough. NFT’s could be the answer, but they might not. You need to be established, and build relationships and log the time, lots and lots of time building your brand, you have to grind at it to make it something folks want to be a part of. When folk are purchasing NFT’s they are buying YOU, they are buying the impression you give them.
AND the work needs to be exceptional, different and flawless…
I’m just shaking with apprehension about the coming months…. I am optimistic that it will not only be fine, but be exceptional…
But I am also full of doubt and fear that it won’t work at all…
Its like I’ve said so many times in the past. I don’t want to be rich, I just don’t want to worry, or to be afraid, anymore…
Here’s a collage I produced earlier today from some wave work I did this past winter. It’s representative of my moods right now to be sure…
Thanks guys for all the support.
And special thanks to all the folks who purchased from my printshop these last few days, its been exceptional and I am very appreciative of your patronage.
Spent the afternoon in Tickle Cove and managed to shoot one of those rare photos that I loved as soon as I opened it. That’s rarely happens, but in this case, it did.
Its minimal, it’s simple… it tells a story of mystery, of what lays beneath.
The editing has something else that I am very much enjoying lately as well, the blue hue. I am really grooving on these cool landscape shots. It’s funny, my exterior shoots are really going to the blue end of the spectrum, the interior stuff is trending to the warm.
I sense a series coming here…
In other news…
I have minted one of my most popular photos…. Under the Stars is now on Foundation, its also my FIRST minting on Foundation….
I’m optimistic that the folks collecting NFT’s find it as appealing as everyone who wanted to own a print of it last year!
I am also adding this shot to my print shop…
I did have this offered as an NFT as well but I put a time limit on it, didn’t sell digitally, lets try it in print. The print shop has been doing VERY well recently, thanks so much for all who have purchased!
Thats all for this evening.
Oh, tomorrow I am updating my CV here on the site as well in advance of my ArtsNL grant application.
Never thought I would be able to keep doing it. Sometimes I don’t know why I do it, why it’s so important. It helps me, it helps me work through some things, sometimes they are art things, something they are life things…
I’m going to keep it going, I am hoping to hit 365 days in a row… just to prove I can do it….
I was on CBC radio this morning, Weekend Arts Magazine. I missed it of course but most reports are that it was a good interview. No podcast of anything yet, once its up, IF its up I’ll share it to my media page.
I like having these interviews, it seems to me that it shows that my work is of a quality high enough, or interesting enough, that folks want to talk about it. That’s good, that’s in the right direction.
Hopefully they work to get more folks interested in what I am doing. I know it worked to get another local artist interested in the NFT market. That wicked good news, its rewarding to know that what I am doing might inspire someone to give it a try.
Speaking of NFT’s, I wish I could figure out a way to get more traffic to see mine.
I am doing this experimental NFT where I made one available for the weekend only, shared it a bunch of times on Twitter, got decent feedback on that platform itself but it didn’t translate into a sale, of even much traffic to the NFT itself.
Just two views, despite seeing seen HUNDREDS of times on Twitter.
If anyone reading this is in the Photo NFT market of have had success with selling their work, I would love to hear any advice you might have on promotion of the work, getting in front of eye-balls!
That’s it for tonight folks, thanks for keeping tuning in, I appreciate you all!
So I tried to log in to my block site on my computer and for some reason it wouldn’t accept my password which is weird because it’s the same one I use on my mobile device which is what I am blogging on now.
I’m doing this voice to text so if there’s any weirdness or awkward pacing then I’m going to blame it on that and be done with it lol.
So today I launched my NFT collection Twillingate Explored and while it’s gained a lot of activity on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook there haven’t been any sales. I would be more discouraged if it weren’t for the stories of other photographers that I’ve been reading that waited a long time for their collections to move as well.
Look I knew this wasn’t going to be a Is get rich quick scheme or anything like that. I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy as posting a bunch of photos and having people spend their hard earned money on them. It’s going to take time to build an audience and to get people engaged in what I’m doing.
I still very much believe in the platform and the idea of NFTS.
Tomorrow morning though I am getting up and visiting one of my favorite places and doing some much needed photo therapy.
Until tomorrow have a great evening and we will speak soon.
As I spoke about last night, today we had to put our beautiful kitty Random over the rainbow bridge.
The vet clinic was amazing, gentle, explained everything, was calm and soothing. Let us guide the process at our speed and was nothing but loving and respectful to Random.
In the end she went quickly and surrounded by the people who love her.
I want to say as well, I was very proud of the boys. The handled this with grace and poise, allowing themselves to grieve while understanding that what we were doing was the most loving and right thing we could do for poor Random.
She’ll be missed, she’s better where she is, where the catnip is plenty and the fields are full of things to chase.
I was pleased to be invited to speak to Steve and CBC Radio this afternoon about my work, my inspiration and the recent foray into NFT’s.
Tune in Saturday morning for Weekend Arts Magazine to hear what we talked about.
Speaking of NFT’s, my 20 piece collection Twillingate Explored is dropping in the morning…
Wish me luck!
Thats’ it for tonight folks, its been a heck of a long day, much sleep is required…
Goodnight, and have a wonderful evening, smooch your pets.
This evening this blog is going to be all about my cat, my nurse, my purr monster…
Random, our precious girl, our sweet senior kitty will be passing the rainbow bridge tomorrow after almost 14 years in our lives, and possibly as many as 17 years on the planet.
This girl is cantankerous, moody, full of piss and vinegar and was the loudest purr machine I have ever heard. She was MY cat. We have another, Laken, that ended up being Darlene’s cat, but Random was mine in every way, though, truth be told, in recent years she has become Damians cat, my youngest boy.
But she will ALLLLLLWAYS be my cat.
Random got her name for the way we got her. We had talked about getting a cat for sometime and were ready to make the commitment but we never really discussed the when. Then, one day as we were returning from errands in St. John’s to our home in Pouch Cove we passed the St. John’s SPCA. We drove for about another 2-3 minutes when Darlene and I looked at each other and said. ‘ Let’s get the cat now.”
We turned around and while there were several that caught our eye, Random caught our hearts. After the application process we were approved to take this ball of fuss home.
She had every right to be fussy. First, she was declawed. The declawing process is a trauma, so much so that it’s not even performed here in Newfoundland any more, it was deemed to be too barbaric…
Second, the circumstances of her being at the SPCA. Random was abandoned in an apartment, when the landlord finally found her she was skin on bones and there was about a half inch of water in the toilet bowl. It was fortunate the bathroom door was left open, and that the toilet seat cover was up or Random would never had made it to our home, she wouldn’t have survived without water.
Third, when we took her to the vet for a checkup after adoption and it turned out that at some point in her life someone cruel son-of-a-bitch hit her in the mouth with a blunt object, or kicked her, something. The result was the loss her top canine teeth. It resulted in a semi-permanent snarl….
Thats her, summed up, the sweetest girl with a snarl…. I loved that cat, I DO love that cat.
And because I love that cat, because WE love that cat we are going to do the right thing.
We are going to relieve her of her pain, we are going to send her off with the same love and the same care we gave her every single day. She deserves it, all of our cherished pets do…
Folks, I am going to be doing what I can for my local SPCA in memory of Random.
It started out incredibly, coming off my residency in Twillingate, I had a lot of interest in my work, my calendars had arrived, my Etsy site was set up and going.
I had plans to spend a week in St. Brendans, at least 2 nights on the Southern Shore, a couple of night in the Burin area, all collecting, capturing and sharing off the beaten track places of history, steeped in the stories of the past.
I had a show being hung in Eastport and I was on the right track.
My beautiful wife Darlene was on month three of her dream job. A note here, many of you may not know the back story here. Darlene didn’t work for the first 16 years of Gabriels life. First she stayed home to raise him to a school age, then, in kindergarten, Gabe was diagnosed as being on the spectrum and she and I decided she would stay home with him and his younger brother while I worked.
Darlene is a smart, talented graphic designer and while this was the right decision to make and we were both ok with it, I was over the moon happy for her when she actually got hired as a graphic designer 5 minutes away from where we lived.
I had my vehicle, the $1000 bone wagon ( Thanks again Joe and everyone else who helping make that happen and helped again when it went in the shop, you are all angels ). For the first time since my spinal surgeries I could drive for more than 10 minutes pain free and I could get in and out of the rig without crying in pain.
Everything was coming up roses.
Then Darlene had her Grand Mal seizure and life changed completly.
Look, the most important thing is she is on the mend, and today, almost full month later, Darlene worked a full 7 hour work day.
This is a huge deal.
When the event happened though, and for the 3-4 weeks that followed, and for the next 5 months. Life changed.
Darlene can’t drive, at least until she goes a 6 month period event free.
So, I am the only set of wheels in the house. This means I can’t go anywhere, I am bringing her to and from work, the kids to where they need to go, Damian starts school in a week and he will take the bus but will require rides form time to time as well.
I am grateful that my family in intact, we all were scarred to various degrees by the events of a month ago, but we are intact and we have each others back.
Its scary though for me, my career was just teetering on the edge of taking off. The residence was a huge boost, the work I did while there was among the best work I have EVER done. I was excited to continue to develop that style and turn my eye to other places in the Province, share that with the world, bring some attention to these wonderful places.
That’s paused for now… not done… paused…
But, as I spoke about in previous blogs, I spent most of August REALLY stressed about the coming months and how we were going to survive if I couldn’t generate new interest and income from my work. Photography is a funny thing, every one LOVES to see it, few like to buy it, and the conventional thinking is there are only so many walls in a house.
That’s why I invested my time and energy into calendars, art cards, greeting cards etc. These are things that folks need and will buy regularly. But, to make a living I would need to sell 3000 calendars, about 2800 more than I will sell, or 10,000 art cards, about 9900 more than I will sell. Or I would need to sell about 200-300 prints and canvases, again, about 250 more than I will sell.
As you can see, as successful and as popular as some if the things I do are, and they are, I value each and every transaction, there are a long long way from being where I could make a living from them, or, even survive.
It was a stress filled month.
Despite the shows, the markets, the fact I had not one but two interviews with CBC radio in August, and that kind of coverage is stunning to me, it was a dark month full of dark thoughts with no relief from any of it in the form of really immersing myself in a photo project.
The last week of August was good. I had an excellent Birthday, Dee was easing back to work, and as I mentioned above, actually clocked a full day today.
And, I discovered NFT’s…
Not going to go into any detail on them here, I have spoke on them exhaustively over the past few days.
Suffice to say, it give me some optimism that things are going to be ok. I will take that as an end of August feeling anytime.
So, lets see what September might bring shall we?
One last note on NFT’s though. I am doing a major drop of a collection on Friday. One of the 20 items is already sold, which is AMAZING to me, I am optimistic the rest will do as well.
If you are interested in it, its going to be at this address…