Here is the condensed version of my journey as of today.
I started writing in 2005 even when I was told that I shouldn’t since being dyslexic would only lead to me failing and being incapable of writing anything worth reading. I even managed to get published twice (in Germany) with a small publisher.
In 2007 we moved to Canada and my creative side had to take a backseat to finding work and figuring out how life worked in this wonderful but sometimes strange world. Yet I had a lot of fun helping my kids when they had a school project to work at.
I returned to my creative side in a way when I took a position as a cook, pouring it all into my culinary creations. Nothing fancy, but always delicious. Things changed in 2011 when I developed a chronic pain disorder. Fibromyalgia became the most hated part of my life. Even after being diagnosed and medicated the illness forced me often to stay home from work. A situation I hated, because it made me feel useless and weak. I loved work, and yet my body told me more and more often that it wasn’t willing and able to get me through the day.
I began writing again. It was my way of dealing with the situation and to prevent myself from falling into depressions. While writing I immersed myself in a world of my own creation where I had total control, while in the real world I felt like being controlled by an illness I had no power over.
I fought for two years to stay in the kitchen and keep going, hoping I might adapt or find a medication that would make it all go away. Of course, that didn’t happen and after two years I admitted defeat and quit my job with no idea what to do next.
It’s seven years now, and I still haven’t found a job that I can physically do and are qualified for. Well, there where one or two but I never even got to the interview part. I did manage to get my High-School diploma, hoping it would make it easier to find a job.
While hoping was pretty much all I could do, I never was someone who was satisfied with sitting on the couch, watching TV and doing nothing productive at all. As I said I already had started to write again, and for some time I didn’t do much else. Whenever I wasn’t applying for a job, taking care of my children or keeping up with the chores in the house, I lost myself in worlds, characters and situations I created. Often parts of my life would blend into my stories or influence my characters. Writing helped me to deal with the fact that everything had changed and the feeling of being lost.
As you can imagine with English being my second language and the fact that I’m dyslexic as well as not having the money for a good editor my books didn’t make it onto any bestseller list. Yet I wanted to share my stories and decided to take the risk and published them myself.
While doing that I discovered that I loved to design. Creating my own book-covers opened up a new world that was eager to explore. Yet I couldn’t draw anything recognizable by hand, but manipulating photographs, drawing on a tablet with mirroring function and using special brushes I managed to create some interesting outcomes. From there I started to just let my creativity flow and created all kinds of art. Since they where no more than a file on my computer I couldn’t figure out how to share it.
At the same time I felt often useless. Some time had passed since I had quit my job and also we weren’t bad off financially I felt the need to contribute. I felt like a burden, when I was able to create something beautiful. At least in my mind and judged by the compliments I got on a regular basis on social media.
When we moved to Killarney in 2015 and I found out that we had a Farmers Market I found a good way to share my art and make some money. Obviously I didn’t know much about running any kind of business, but I decided to try. I already had my books, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough. Not for me or my customers. So I created laminated bookmarks using my photographs and artwork. I also ordered some T-shirts with my art on them.
It wasn’t as great as I hoped in regards to money, but it was an amazing experience. Enough though that I felt encouraged to explore further what I could do.
I tried more things, like pour paintings, different ways of digitally creating art, jewelry making and most recently resin art products. I also explored my business abilities, which aren’t as good as I wish they where. Three years ago I opened up my own online store, using a drop-shipping company that printed my art on products like clothing, accessories and home decor. That store will close when the hosting plan runs out, because keeping it going costs me more then the store ever made. It might have worked better if I had more interest in the business side, but working tirelessly on promotions, newsletters and keeping the inventory in order isn’t really my thing. I too easily get lost in whatever new art form I’m exploring.
But I will be working on ways to continue to share my art, only in a way that won’t cost me as much as the online store did. And I will keep you in the loop about my artistic journey.