My name is Connie and I’m a visual artist, I have been full-time freelance since 2004 working on various projects from Sketch Card Art (Contract Properties and Personal Sketch Card Commissions), Pet Portraits (Regular and Memorial), Graphic Design (Postcards and Fliers), and Character Illustration/Paintings.
Back in March of 2021 Blue Buffalo discontinued the Healthy gourmet chicken dinner canned catfood and replaced it with Tastefuls, they touted that it was the same, but it wasn’t. My cats started refusing it, then the vomiting and diarrhea started. All 3 cats that ate it were diagnosed with IBD, the oldest ended up getting worse and we had to put him to sleep, Jules ended up with pancreatitis, was on medication for a month, and he and his ‘sister’ are on steroids for it. Jules’ IBD progressed, last Friday he had a seizure, we rushed him to the vet where he had another seizure, but left him unresponsive, so I made the decision to end his suffering. Out of the 3 cats that ate that food only one is left.
Blue Buffalo was the only food all three of them ate until they all got sick, it’s the cause for 2 of their early deaths. Pet food companies need to be held accountable for putting toxic ingredients in their foods and lying about it . Over the course of this ordeal I have spent thousands on food, medicine and doctor visits.
I’m angry at myself for believing I was making a good choice by feeding them that food. Blue Buffalo has a good marketing campaign, but don’t believe it, it’s all lies to feed their bottom line, at the expense of your pets life. It will only kill your pet and cost you a lot in medical bills and medicine..
It’s been a rough year to say the least. A very good friend of mine died in September, and my Step-Sister died at the beginning of December. I’m doing more art, than I’ve done since starting my day job. Most days I feel like I’ve taken a wrong turn in my life, it’s all upside down and backwards, but I keep trudging on, maybe I’ll find my way back to where it all went sideways so I can get on track.
But hey, 2022 is just around the corner, the year of Green People Crackers, Viral Vampires, Kaiju coming up from deep under the sea and biological war to end everything.
I was hoping that we’d have COVID in the rear view mirror at this point because I wanted to get back to doing shows, but I’m not so sure now. Being out around people gives me really bad anxiety, I don’t want to deal with the insanity a certain group of people have about wearing masks or vaccines.
This weekend I’m taking down my mask order listings in my shop, I’ve already put away all of my fabric & sewing machine. I made masks almost non-stop for 18 months, it’s time to concentrate on arting.
I’ve been enjoying this whole Chibi/Super Deformed character style I’ve been working in, even if no one else really likes it. I just have so many I want to do, it’s my escape from this monotonous hamster wheel of an existence I’m stuck in.
I need to get cracking on reworking my portfolio, in the coming weeks I’ll be updating my website and adding art & prints to my website store.
Kurt Russel as Santa (This was my christmas card this past year)
I’m still around, sort of, these days I feel half dead and always with too much to do. This never ending mundane cycle I’m stuck in is going to end up killing me. I have a dayjob it pays my bills, but leaves me feeling empty and used up. I need to do art, it’s a fundamental part of my being, the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. Because of work & life I haven’t painted in 2 years, does anyone even know what that’s like, imagine suffocating, because it’s exactly like that. So I bought a tablet that I can paint digitally, it’s a substitute, not nearly as satisfying as actually painting, but I am making art. I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m trying.
Yeah, 6 months have past since my last entry. The Day job is exhausting, I have little to no energy left when I get home at night to do any kind of arting. I have no idea how I’m going to rework my portfolio, I get about half an hour worth of drawing done on my lunch break, and that’s it. The weekend is usually full of the stuff I used to do during the week when I was freelance. This is going to be far more challenging than I had originally imagined.
This is the last painting I managed to do, and that was at work, took about two weeks?
are officially CLOSED.
I know I had mentioned keeping commissions open till Sept 7th. I just don’t think I’ll be able to do it, so I’m just going to go ahead and close now.
I will not be taking on any new commission for the foreseeable future, and I’ll probably be super picky about the projects I accept.
I start my new day job tomorrow. I will need some time to get my brain out of the ‘art for money’ mode, and find my creative voice again, right now she’s MIA.
First paycheck will go toward getting me a new pair of glasses, paying for my website at wix, and getting the cats to the vet for their annual check-ups.
My last show is October 20th – The Wheaton Halloween All Night Flea Market. I’m not sure at this point how many shows I’ll be able to do, or if I’ll even want to do shows anymore once I get sorted with the new job. I’d like to keep doing them, but it all depends on how much new original work I can create while also working 40 hrs/wk.
I created this for a client’s business card because I thought it needed a pop of color over the standard black/white clip art.
I really don’t even know where to begin this post. I’ve been actively job hunting since April. I’ve had 3 phone interviews and one in person interview. And still no job.
I have frustration on several fronts.
1. Too many civilian employers don’t take Military Career Experience as real Career Experience.
2. So Far I’ve run into the people doing the hiring for creative jobs have absolutely no experience in that job. So when you’re asking about items on your resume, as you’re talking to them, their eyes glaze over because you can see they have no idea what you’re talking about. When you try to clarify what you’ve said by making it simpler, they’ve lost interest and are just looking at you.
3. I’m very limited to how far I can go for a job. I’m limited by funds and the fact that my car is a piece of crap. It needs repairs I don’t have the money for. I can drive for about 20 minutes before my car starts to over heat. The highway is completely out, it’ll over heat in 5 minutes.
I might have to re-evaluate my strategy and go back to admin for the time being.
It’s So Damn Frustrating. Being Frustrated and anxious sucks. I cleared my commissions list and all of my contracts. I have zero dollars coming in right now. And I’m so anxious I can’t draw anything without wanting to chuck it in the trash.
Edit to Update: I just got a call with a job offer, now I just need to wait on the background check.
So I’ve set my patreon to *hiatus*, maybe permanently. I don’t know yet. At first I was really enthusiastic about it, but as time went on, and I couldn’t gain any traction, I began to really doubt I could make it work. I can’t even find the motivation to do anything for it anymore. Maybe I’ll reactivate it once I’m in a better headspace.
Thanks for sticking with me here for as long as you have, I really appreciate it.
If you’re still interested in showing me your support, please consider commissioning me, or buying a print or other merch from my shops using the links below:
Mighty Con Dupage has come and gone. I really thought that there would have been a better turn out with the weather being as hot as it was, I think people opted to stay home where it was cool. While I didn’t do great, it wasn’t terrible. I had great neighbors on both sides, I got to chat with young artists, and a few friends I haven’t seen since last year (or maybe the year before). I’ll most likely do it again next time it rolls around.
Lately I feel like the internet has become a black hole, while people may like your work they wont necessarily give it a like or comment leaving you to wonder if anyone likes your work at all. And with every site and it’s algorithm, getting your work to your followers is next to impossible. So getting out to these small local shows is so refreshing.
Hoping to have it finished today, I have a portrait commission to start.
I’m also thinking of offering this type of portrait as a commission with an option to put it on merchandise for the client. I can’t remember if Zazzle lets you make private product pages, I know you can’t at Society6. Would anyone be interested in something like this?
Ok, gotta get back to work, I hope everyone has a great week.
Welcome to my new blog – I finally made the jump to WordPress from the rickety old google/blogspot. In a month or so I’ll be deleting my blogspot blog. I really do wish that WordPress was compatible with Wix so I could just use a widget there to display my posts. I’m sure I can find a work-around.
I need to get back into the habit of posting, this micro-blogging trend is to A.D.D. for me.
I have a show on Saturday, and I have some new sketches I’m working on for hopefully new work for that show, and products at my society6 shop.
Balance between client work and personal work is so very important when you’re freelance. I lost sight of that and really loaded on the client work for the past few years. (it doesn’t help that we have a bunch of debt now from getting ripped off by a contractor.) So much so that I might get one personal piece done a year, and personal work is important for passive income (Prints for shows, artwork for online merchandise, etc).
It came to a breaking point here recently with the last two sketch card sets I’ve done. My rejections have always been kinda low, the last few sets I’ve seen more than half of my cards getting rejected, and I’ve seen what’s been showing up on ebay and it just doesn’t make any sense. I’ve seen high schools students do better work that what’s being approved. And this last set (Lost in Space), 34 of my 50 cards were rejected, can you pay your bills with 160.00 for a two week job? I didn’t think so. That’s why I’m done with Sketch Cards, the approvals just aren’t there, and they are taking time away from other work I should be doing. I really thought that sketch cards would/could be a stepping stone for my illustration career, but it’s definitely a dead end for me.
So once I get my commissions list cleared, I’m going back to the daily grind – full time at first then maybe to part time. This will free me up to focus on some personal work and getting my professional portfolio where it needs to be so I can start seeking book illustration work. There are too many personal projects I’ve been trying to get started, but there is always a deadline hanging over my head. Like that alienday drawing I did 2 years ago, I still haven’t painted it, or that coloring book I’ve been trying to illustrate – I can’t even find time to start it. Just so much I want to do.
I’ll still be taking personal commissions because I love doing work for other people, but I won’t be actively seeking any contract jobs till I’m ready.