Finding Love in Art Again…

Hey pals,

The first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was an artist. I let the dream go a long time ago. maybe it’s more that I felt like the kind of art I liked to create wouldn’t sell. No one would want my work. Clearly I’ve been proven wrong! I’ve sold 6 pieces this year, which is very crazy to me. The thought of my art being on display in people’s houses is… I don’t know it’s hard to explain how I feel. I never thought this would be a thing! Thank you everyone who has shared my work!!

I never thought it would be possible to make stuff that would help support me financially. I know I haven’t sold many pieces, but this and when I was making dog toys briefly, has shown that maybe I can and do create things people would like to buy, use and display.

A lot of what I have been creating is made of supplies I already own. I’ve had a million and one hobbies over the years and enjoyed doing different forms of art. I have a bag full of old material which I would like to continue to make dog toys with later on. My film photo poetry is made up of old magazines and old film photos from my great grandparents. The art that goes up for sale are old pieces I updated or finished. I just hope to bring new life to these old objects, I hope they find a new home with someone who loves it rather than all these things going to landfill.

I’m looking into mobility aids I may find beneficial, I’m testing out a ring splint but they are pretty expensive each and might need several adjustments (which costs money to post back and forth etc.) I’ve ordered some ear bud versions of ear defenders to try out and I should be receiving funding for an over the bed desk so I can work better and longer at my actual computer rather than my old laptop (that does struggle with editing videos quite a bit, especially longer ones) and I’m still trying to cover therapy and the chiropractor, along with personal bills like my phone cost and car.

I’m waiting up to 10 more weeks for a response for my benefits (which could be leaving me without support for 4 months total…) so I appreciate everyone’s help and support! My Art shop is open, I have a lot of pieces up and available on my Kofi shop at the moment, also on Depop if you prefer that. You can also leave a tip on my Kofi. I make a lot of educational pieces like these videos in my Disability and Chronic Illness YouTube Playlist or my Takayasu’s Arteritis post.

I have started the process of getting an ADHD diagnosis, I dropped in a letter with support etc. into my GP on Sunday so hopefully I’ll be referred to Psychiatry UK for a free diagnosis assessment on the NHS. They don’t yet have a process for Autism but are working on it, so I think I’ll be applying the same way down the line. Private diagnosis was far too expensive at nearly £1,000 for both ASD and ADHD.

I made some writing progress for the first time since January, I feel like that and my life not really changing a lot are why writing blogs has been difficult. I wrote 1500 words the other day of my WIP and am very close to breaking 15,000 words total. That’s roughly 1/4 of a novel if I aim for 60,000 words. I tend to over-write so I’ll probably end up with a ridiculous amount of words really that I’ll have to cut down. I prefer to do that though over being way under word goal.

I’m always trying to keep an eye out for paid writing gigs, acting auditions, paid art submissions, etc. I strongly believe in supporting each other online rather than seeing each other as competition. We won’t all match the same skill set requirements so if I see anything that would suit a friend of mine more than me, I send it on. So if anyone sees anything that may be suitable for me when it comes to the above, please feel free to let me know via any social media channel or my contact form on this site. I do highly appreciate it and want to put myself out there as much as possible. I also appreciate interactions on my content here and on YouTube and sharing my content with new people.

I think that this year, for a lot of people including myself, has been rediscovering things we liked before we thought of it as a job or a waste of money. I’ve always enjoyed being artistic in any way imaginable. I loved going to art classes and being taught new things, but the things I loved most were things I taught myself. I’ve always enjoyed being innovative, I’ve always looked at things slightly differently though we may come to find that’s because I’m Neuro Divergent. This year has been a lot of re-learning for myself and who I am and what I love to do. Art has helped me mentally a lot, it’s been very cathartic. I can’t believe I’ve been inside my house for a year… in some ways I don’t want the world to return to normal, because I feel like all the accessible ways of functioning will disappear… That’s a talk for another day. I like to hope that Art can change the world.

~ Artie

They/them

Still Struggling as a Hoarder: Update

hey pals

I had a pretty great time selling my second hand items online through lockdown, I sold so many items I’d had up for a while plus loads I’d gone through and put up throughout lockdown. people were bored and online shopping and it’s trendy to second hand shop, plus I’ve sold quite a few button bundles because people have been getting into crafts during this time! I really purged quite a lot of items and made myself a pretty nice little bit of extra money (not that much coz I try to keep most of my items priced reasonably) and things have slowed down since the rules have changed and people are being told to start going back to work and the shops are open or opening up… which sucks for me as a small seller without many other forms of making money, but I can imagine this will also probably impact other small/online businesses and individuals who rely on this to help pay for essentials.

check out my videos where I declutter and organise my home

I’ve been dabbling in the facebook marketplace again since I decided to have a reboot of the spare room furniture, we sold everything so quickly on there and replaced everything now the storage is so much better. So I was hopeful, as I have some larger items I don’t want to bother with posting and just want someone to come collect them, that maybe it would work out well for me with other items. I sold one pair of shoes pretty quick, and they were a pair I’d recently decided to let go of after using them in a video for the first time in probably years. I then sold a bundle of mens large tops for £12 quite easily. But most of the buyers since then have been flakey. I was trying to sell some silicone straws coz I just didn’t get on with them personally and someone wanted them posting, so I was like sure, £4 all in to cover postage. She agreed and then didn’t respond and had then looked up straws and decided to buy a set from amazon for £3.99… so only a penny cheaper than I’d originally suggested. I think this is petty to start, rather than helping out someone personally you give more money to amazon, but also rather than saying ‘hey I found them on amazon at this price could you do anything better’ etc. she chose to just let me down and buy from a massive corporation. Infuriating to be honest. I did end up selling them to someone who also wanted them posting for £3.90 but lost almost 50p to paypal charges! You can never win really.

People keep messaging ‘is this available’ and then don’t reply when I say yes… reply a week later and agree to buy then never pay… or never show up… so when this lady popped up (an obvious reseller coz she didn’t even ask for clothing sizes!) I kind of just sighed with relief that I would finally be getting rid of 24 items and emptied one of the two massive clear containers I use to keep all this stuff in! I’m only making £20 but that’s totally fine, I’ve had these items up for a while with minimal to no interest.

It can be hard to price things reasonably on depop because that app alone takes 10% of each purchase, and then paypal takes a cut and you still have to cover postage as well. A lot of my cheaper items only get me a couple of pounds, which I don’t mind coz I do really hate the resellers who charge extortionate amounts for things for no reason. But I do have some more expensive items. Normally because they are larger items, or they were more expensive to buy for myself originally, or hard to emotionally let go of. A lot of items I sell on are items that barely fit or ended up not fitting me and I couldn’t return them, very rarely do I pick up pieces specifically to resell but I only do that if I find something worth it. I try to limit this coz it’s not my main thing and I don’t want it to be. I mainly sell to get some money back from items that just didn’t work out for me, whether they are too small, don’t fit the way I want, were hand me downs from family, etc.

Sometimes I pray for a reseller to find me on the Facebook marketplace because it often means a big purge of items, this has happened to me a few times. One time before the pandemic, probably when I was still at uni and had a purge, a lady came and literally rummaged through the piles of clothes I had out on the bed in the spare room! This time she saw my post with collage pictures of items, she told me the ones she wanted and made an offer (I did say I would do bundle deals)

I miss bootsales a lot, but the idea of paying £10 to park and set up sucks a lot coz you’re desperate to at least make back that tenner and end up sat there for ages and barely selling a thing even if your prices are low. Also, right now there’s a world wide pandemic and I don’t think we should be going out to bootsales right now… but people will do anything.

I still have a lot of clothes to sell, and I feel like I still have items I need to really decide to part with. I have a bit of a weird emotional connection to clothes I buy and I think it’s a mixture of never feeling like I have one solid aesthetic and growing up with a family of hoarders but also always feeling ugly and like clothes don’t look good on me for a long time. I dont feel this way now and I think that’s the problem ahaha! I love clothes and style now, that it’s hard letting go of clothes I like even if they don’t fit. I let go of a shirt I loved because it wasn’t long enough on the arms, and a few other amazing pieces because I just did not wear them at all or much since I bought them. Sometimes I have great intentions but end up never wearing anything because I’m chronically ill and spend most of my time in PJ’s and tracksuits and it’s even more true since we’ve been locked down. I have nowhere to go and I’m mostly dressing for the temperature!

The clothes I sell on aren’t just from me, but also my mum and my gran, sometimes other family members too, so it’s quite the selection of styles and sizes. Plus the three of us alone have changed sizes so many times over the years, sometimes you find a bunch of old clothes that you don’t fit anymore that were just packed away once upon a time. I still find boxes and bags of items I haven’t seen since university or even before then! Though, thankfully, I think I’ve gotten through most of those things by now! It felt endless.

It’s been kind of rough not having easy access to a post office as well. I like to use my small local one because I like to support local businesses, but they shut down their post office section for a large chunk of the pandemic (which, truly fair enough) and I couldn’t actually take myself into shops for a long time either being high risk. So, for ages I was using the online postage label printing system which was annoying to use coz I had to measure everything I posted, and I got it wrong a few times, as well as printing the labels and sticking them on. I’m lucky to have my own printer (the only good thing out of university that I still even use is this printer, paper and ink I got from DSA) if I didn’t have this, I would have struggled a lot more. I was trying my best to limit sales to items I could slide into the post box so I wouldn’t have to drop any parcels off inside, come into contact with anyone, or travel further afield. And it was working out find, but I always wished my postage services were supporting my local post office as I can imagine they’ve probably been hit with the pandemic. Now, they are open again 11am-1pm, which suits me I am still at home 90% of the time, and everyone inside wears a mask and there’s minimal contact, most people I approach in the shop is better at attempting distance than anywhere else out in the world I have been. So, I’m looking forward to being able to use this regularly again if my sales keep up, and not worrying so much about larger parcels and how I’m going to post them.

My second struggle is my excessive book collection closely followed by DVDs. Book isn’t so bad, coz every once in a while I got through my read and unread sections and have a purge, but I got into reading and buying ebooks during lockdown and it’s such and easy instant hit it’s hard to stop (especially when you see a tonne for 99p) but I’ve been dedicating time to actually read some of my physical books I’ve had for a while so I can either move them to the Done section or get rid of them somehow. DVDs however are a bit tricky, I’ve seriously minimised over time because I now use Netflix and watch so much YouTube I don’t really need DVDs except for the odd film or series I really love that aren’t always available on streaming platforms. Who even watches DVDs anymore? I stuck on an episode of House M.D. recently to check out an episode and it was the most grainy thing I’ve watched in at least 5 years. So, those have gone to the bye-bye pile, waiting until it is big enough to take to donation or see if I can sell any of it. I sell a lot of books and DVDs through MusicMagpie (which isn’t a great service but it’s nice to get some extra cash from a hefty pile of unwanted items) sometimes I’ll manage to sell books on Depop, that’s happened a few times, but mostly they all just end up getting donated because who watches DVDs? and my reading tastes are a bit weird and often a lot of the books I don’t want, no one else does either. Lockdown has meant I’ve just had to take things to the donation bins in the area as nothing was open to accept donations, now more shops are open(ing) I might be able to take things to a store that supports a charity I actually like. I’m still sad that the donation shelves in hospitals and GP surgeries aren’t functioning but it’s obvious why, but I wish there was some other way I could support my local services, especially right now. I can’t imagine it’s easy and I think the extra money in their budgets would be helpful. Guess it’ll just have to wait a bit longer.

Truly I’m not entirely sure what the point of this is… I think it is just something that has been on my mind for a while as I’ve been putting a lot of work into this. I think as well, I just want to remind everyone to think of who they are buying from. Your £5 will be greater appreciated and used by a real person you buy from on Depop or the Facebook Marketplace than a billion trillionaire. What do I use the money for? Sometimes it goes towards living and travel costs, I need to fill up my car’s tank and pay for its tax somehow. I try to put money into my savings, hoping for a brighter future where I could maybe go and do a Masters in Dublin. It also goes towards a lot of excess health costs, like the millions of vitamins I’ve been told I should take or seeing my chiropractor or my therapist who is helping me through medical related trauma… These are just my circumstances, but hopefully this may help you see why sharing the wealth is important, a lot of people rely on that small income to keep themselves afloat and it’s not as easy as it may seem.

~ Artie

P.S. that massive box is already full again… mostly just for storage but it’s full.

If you’re UK based and are interested in helping me out, check out my depop.

For more clothing based content you can check out these links: Thrifted wardrobe 1 and 2, I dress like a stereotypical bisexual, Trying on all my thrifted shirts, come thrifting with me, shopping midsize and disabled, tips for making money and selling online.

Stupid Things Buyers Have Asked Me

Hey pals,

I sell a lot of items online, across different platforms, so I’ve had these questions below multiple times about different items across the platforms… and I wanted to talk about why these questions are stupid and how to ask a similar question and actually get an answer that would help you as a buyer and the seller.

(note: this is an abrasive and rant-like post because hearing these questions so often is extremely frustrating especially considering I am selling my items relatively cheaply to try and shift items and make at least a little bit of money)

‘Have you tried it on to know how it fits compared to a women’s dress size?’ (about a mens blazer)

Men’s sizing is in inches, it’s not a stupid made up number like women’s, so knowing the size (which was on the post) she could measure herself and decide if she thought it was too big. I said something along these lines but a bit more polite. Her response was: ‘oh it would definitely fit i am only a size 8 which is a 36” chest i just wondered how big/oversized it fits, how it hangs, if the shoulders might look silly etc’

My response was: i dont know, I wear a mens 42 and i’m a 14/16. Each jacket has a different style/cut and each body is different, I wouldn’t be able to advise on your body and how this jacket would look sorry

I have never been a true size 8, I have no idea what that life is like. My waist is about the size of her chest, for reference. I’m tall, broad, big boobed and have unusually long arms. I know from experience with my body that things don’t look the same on everyone. My mum for example is the same ish weight as me, 2-3 inches shorter than me and carries her weight on her bum whereas mine is on my waist. We might be similar clothing sizes, but we look totally different. Also I’m selling this blazer for £10 including UK postage, so either buy it to see if it’ll fit coz its way cheaper than any other blazer you’ll find, or fuck off?

People offering lower than the price im selling an item at, getting my response of sure I can post on this day shall I change the price on the listing, and then they say: ‘cant buy until…’ (insert a day of the week somewhere between 4 and 10 days away)

I often reply with: okay well message me again on the day if it’s still available. 

This one replied: ‘okay not 100% sure yet tho’

Why are you messaging me if you don’t even know if you want it? What a waste of everyone’s time here. 

‘Do you have a pic of this on?’

I sell lots of items of all sizes either because family or friends have given them to me to sell or because I’ve changed size so much over the years. Most of the time I’ll try to add a picture of it on if it still fits just to avoid this question, but if I haven’t I also will not go out of my way to take one because it’s a dumb question. 

This particular instance I said: no it’s not my size. What are you looking for from a photo of it on? I might be able to give more information.

Coz yanno i still wanna sell these items so if I can measure the length of something for you, sure I will, but I’m not putting it on coz we probably don’t look anything alike!

Her reply: it was just really the length of it

So i said: i can measure it for you tomorrow if you like (it was nearly midnight and i wasn’t gonna get up to do it now)

She replied the next morning: thanks

I couldn’t reply til the evening: sorry for delay i was a bit busy today, it’s 31 inches long

Didn’t even get a reply of thanks but no thanks, which is super fucking rude. 

‘Hello your shirt caught my attention and i would like to see it before buying if you happen to live in (enter city here) by any chance?’

For starters the location is on my posts (which is not exactly where I live but that’s the town on my address, and needless to say it is not in the city this person was asking about)

I said: no I don’t live in ______. About half an hour drive outside. It’s as it looks in the photo. It’s been worn a couple of times, practically as new. 

No reply. 

The question was stupid because you can see my location and it’s just wasting time asking something like that, and getting my hopes up for a sale to just not even bother responding. Also £5 for the t-shirt, do you need to come see it first?

There are many many more situations like this and worse. I face many rude people regularly and many silly questions like the ones above which mostly never end in a sale, which makes it even more frustrating because I am not even getting paid for my time answering. Occasionally I get really lovely buyers or really quick and easy transactions that do make this worth it (I once sold something to someone at 2/3 of the price because they were so nice and respectful to me, remember politeness always pays) and I do appreciate those buyers so much!

Leave a comment with your worst or best experiences selling (or buying) second-hand so I don’t feel so alone! I’ve told a lot of these to a friend of mine who literally cannot relate at all and has never had an issue…

Check out my depop where I sell most of my things now!! I am unable to work as I am chronically ill and disabled and making sales really does help me afford travel, petrol, private health care, etc.

~ Artie

Why We Should Help Each Other Get Work

Hey pals,

 

So, I can’t really tell you where this is coming from, except from a recent happening among my family and friends. I said to my family recently that it is near impossible getting a decent job that pays well and has stability, without knowing someone who works within the company. Lots of companies don’t advertise well because it costs, and pretty much all of them will advertise internally, which doesn’t get rid of the problem of not having enough staff. They’re always trying to do you out of money because of your age or experience, or you just wont get the job because of things like this. Yes, even at jobs that say they will provide full training for the role. (This is also a lie a lot of the time.)

 

I’ve heard a lot from people who work full time about people not turning up for interviews they’ve agreed to or ghosting companies rather than just saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’. But the companies still often wont take on people who have a brain and will try their best to do the job properly. Somehow, it’s always the people who don’t have a clue what they’re doing, don’t try to know what they’re doing, and are a nuisance that get the job.

 

If you know your company is about to advertise roles and you have a mate or family member who is unemployed or stuck in a shit job they desperately need to leave, then do what you can to give them a good in? Big them up to other staff (particularly if you know who is doing the interviews) and help them get their application and documents in as quickly as possible, even tips on what to say in the interview…

 

It works the same in the creative world. With everything being online, we miss so many opportunities if we aren’t online at just the right time. So if you see something that would be perfect for a friend of yours, send them the link, or just generally signal boosting is always good especially for opportunities for marginalised people as they are often requested by smaller companies and creators and don’t always have the reach they need.

 

Really we are all in a bit of a crisis where we can’t just climb the ladder of a company anymore, the age of retirement is getting older and older, and the standards for young people are getting higher and higher, no one can stand a job past 6 months because of company abusing their workers and co-workers bullying each other… and definitely not being paid enough to put up with it. And no matter how hard you try to do well, it’s still always your fault. No, yeah, even that. That is your fault too even though you didn’t even know that was a thing. Oh, well that’s your fault you didn’t know… but how are you to know to ask, when you don’t know you don’t know it…?

 

There’s just about a million ridiculous standards that are impossible to meet but we all (unfortunately) gotta make money to… exist. It’s actually a lot easier to get a job when you know someone in the company, so if you already have a job, just lend a hand through the process. You don’t want to see yourself or someone you love going to food banks or being evicted because the government is trying to kill off the poor.

 

Don’t get me started on the government, at least not today.

 

~ Artie