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

Collective Book Haul (December – March)

Hey pals,

I’ve been on a partial book buying ban since 2020 ended, mainly because I don’t have much money and I have many books! But I’ve been keeping an eye out on second hand selling sites (mainly on facebook) for books in series I want to read or have started and liked enough I would like to own and continue (as I talk through these in my Book Series I want to Finish in 2021 video! If you want to buy any of the books series I’m reading, check out this list) so those were my main second hand purchases! I also had £40 worth of gift cards I can’t really use online (they are annoying with how they work…) and I don’t need anything I can buy with them or the shops are closed because of Lockdowns. So when I pop into town occasionally, I check out the only shop open right now that also has books and takes these gift cards!

If you would like to buy any of these books listed! I have linked where you can buy them on the bookshop, if you use my affiliate link you will support me and indie bookshops!

I never really know HOW to book haul, but this is the best I got and how I’ve been doing it for a while. Mainly, mention the book and sometimes link it, talk about why I want to read it and some of them I include the synopsis in case anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about. The four new books I bought with gift cards from Christmas. I still have some money left on them but they are very annoying to use and I have to keep track of what is left on the cards.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: I watched the film and really enjoyed it. If you’re new here, I love reading books after I’ve seen the film or show adaptation. A lot of the books on this list fit that brief, honestly! But as part of my Books I Want To Read More Of in 2021, I wanted to read more fat-positive books and this is where I’ll probably be starting. “In a small Texas town, a confident fat girl confronts new challenges to her self-esteem. At age 16, Willowdean—her mother calls her Dumplin’—has a good sense of herself. She’s uninterested in Mom’s raison d’être, the Clover City Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant, which annually takes over the town and Will’s own house.”

PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I read the first book of this series in September 2019 when I was starting to get back into reading again after my Creative Writing Degree put me in a chronic slump. Another I read after watching the adaptation, there were quite a few differences between the book and film and I’ve seen the second film which makes me curious what the next book is like and this is a series I wanted to try and continue this year. It also comes under books I want to read more of in 2021.

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed: “Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Want to chill out and vibe? Come watch Dawson’s Creek with me!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: I don’t really know what this book is about I bought it because my friend liked it a lot and the Prince mentioned is called Cardan which is close to Carden. That’s all. “The Cruel Prince follows Jude, a human girl living among faeries. She wants to fit in, but her stubbornness and determination cause her to stand out among the royal family, where she aspires to become a knight.”

The second hand books I’ve picked up highly discounted since December. This is one of the best ways of recycling your books, either offering them for sale or free on social media (facebook marketplace always has loads of book posts) maybe take them to a charity shop or thrift store that sells books, last resort are donation bins. Or some people use old books for art (like me, check out my ko-fi shop!)

You by Caroline Kepnes: Another series I’ve watched! I think I liked series 2 a bit more but I liked it enough to give reading it a go! “The novel presents a cast of emotionally disturbed people whose interactions with each other can be both hilarious and tragic. Joe is obsessed with Beck when she first walks into his bookstore. He uses her name to research her online and find where she lives.” I really enjoy watching thrillers and crime, I am trying to get into reading it!

For more book series I’m planning on reading, you can buy them here.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Sadly a couple of them aren’t in the best condition but that’s okay. I’d seen the films in the past but not many times, I decided last year I would finally read the books and give them a shot and honestly I was so shocked at how much I enjoyed the books I decided I definitely wanted to own physical copies and these were such a bargain I couldn’t pass it up.

The Divergent books by Veronica Roth: (1-3) “The novel Divergent features a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago and follows Beatrice “Tris” Prior as she explores her identity within a society that defines its citizens by their social and personality-related affiliation with five factions, which removes the threat of anyone exercising independent will and re-threatening the population’s safety. Underlying the action and dystopian focused main plot is a romantic subplot between Tris and one of her instructors in the Dauntless faction, nicknamed Four.” I read the first book last year too, similar circumstances as The Hunger Games, but I would like to give it another read through the lens of disability and neuro-divergence (hm…) because I feel like this might be one of those books showing a bit of a scary reality of the politics we already live and the experiences of disabled/neuro-divergent people.

Please check out my ko-fi and consider supporting me with a tip or buying my art!

Recently I have been reading a lot of NetGalley ARCs, check out the reading vlog here, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading for free and experimenting with some new genres. I plan to do a wrap up blog post of all the ARCs I read recently with general opinions. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in reading about (I will include release dates as well for all the books I discuss, some will have come out already some not) I also have another book tour coming up! I was on the Act Your Age Eve Brown book tour this month, and will be on another exciting book tour in May on my Instagram!

Books have made me feel like I have an escape during COVID and that has been so important to me. How do books make you feel? What books should I read first from this list!? Leave a comment down below!

~ Artie

They/Them

contact here

How To Be A Thrifty Gamer in 2020

Hey pals,

I’m not a huge gamer, I enjoy playing old games from when I was younger and also always been a Sims person. But the gaming industry can be a pretty wasteful space. Things are slowly getting better as we mostly pay for a digital copy or pay to stream games now vs. always buying the latest game on disc (or game cards? whatever we used back in the day). But how do you continue to be a gamer and enjoy video games without the environmental impact and also trying to save some coin?

I’ve never been someone who stays up-to-date on the latest game trends, I don’t have the newest consoles and I don’t have a gaming computer (though I am looking into buying a gaming laptop…) and I still have a lot of my old games and consoles. But they can break and what do you do when you’ve completed them all? One of my favourite things to do is going into second hand electronics/game shops like GameStop (which might be deceased by now) or CEX. Their prices for older games are pretty decent and they take almost anything. You can sell to places like MusicMagpie but I don’t recommend it unless you’re desperate because their service is awful. Anytime I’ve booked for a collection they never arrive the day scheduled and then claim I wasn’t in and my most recent interaction where I was able to drop a box off at a shop for delivery, they claimed 6 or more of my items just weren’t in the box when they definitely were, definitely better off with CEX and going into store it’s much easier and the prices are about the same.

They buy and sell all kinds of electronics, not just video game based products. I sold an old camera I used for filming my videos, because my new phone has better sound and video quality so it became redundant. Also, a very old camera lens from my A level Photography days (8 years ago…) which gave me a nice little sum of money. I also sold a pile of old DVDs and games I no longer wanted, I’m trying to part with as many DVDs as possible really as I stream most of my content off Netflix and my family have Sky but it IMG_2651can be hard to let go. Some of the items were only worth a penny, but it’s something added to the price off what I’d gone there for. You can also check if they are taking the items you’re selling by looking them up on their website and they give you what they sell it for, what they pay cash and what they pay store credit which tends to be higher than cash coz they want you to keep coming back. It’s a good system. Almost like a game library. Buy a game, return it for some money when you’re done, get a new game. This is why I like it really.

There can be an issue with old broken electronics or random chords you don’t know what they went to, Curry’s actually recycle these items which is great as I hate the idea of electronics just being thrown out and adding to the rubbish collecting in landfill and would rather be a little kinder to the planet.

I’ve been returning to old games recently to try and complete them so I can finally find out how they ended! And then be rid of the clutter! But my Nintendo DS from when I was a kid got trashed somehow, like unfixable trashed, so I’ve known for a while I’d need to purchase a new one (or rather an old new one…) I know they sell them on their website but I would rather skip the postage and buy one in store so I checked as I was selling my unhaul of items and they did indeed. It was the newer version of what I used to have as a child and smaller, but they said it was better quality and only cost about £5 more than the older one. It has been pretty fun to get back into. I’ve been needing a space where my brain switches off from real world and can be focused elsewhere, and a lot of the game I play have mini-games that are good brain exercise, and I think I’ll be going back to Animal Crossing and Nintendogs for a more relaxing version of this too. Time to chill out.

(I wish I was making money from this post but I’m not, I just think this is a good alternative to buying new and giving things to charity as you know these items go up for sale at reasonable prices whereas a lot of things donated to charity end up being thrown away…)

It’s also a great way to actually make some extra money off of old items going to no use! My camera lens fetched me £45 more than I needed! I’m pretty sure I have other stuff sitting around I have no use for, but there’s a lot of mental preparation that goes into letting things go. The lens I sold was to a camera I still have and also haven’t used for god knows how long so I think this may be the next to go, along with a few PSP games I completed or have no interest in playing, and DVDs obviously.

But, overall, my experience there was great. I didn’t lose any money I actually made some and I recommend doing this if you need some extra money or are a gamer. It’s a pretty good deal, all in all.

~ Artie

I may sell some games on my depop for UK delivery so check it out.

As I don’t make any money from my writing currently, I do need help keeping this going and keeping my equipment up to date/working. I do accept donations via Paypal and I’ll happily promote you at the end of a blog post or YouTube video, just leave a message with the donation. You can donate here.

I also use Canva and sometimes Skillshare, if you want to try using either of these things, use my links and I’ll get to use some stuff for free. Canva is great for my thumbnails or blog post pictures and Skillshare is a great way to learn new things! 

Collective Second Hand Book Haul

book pile tbr book haul

Hey pals,

Leading up to Christmas, I was finding quite a few decent books in charity shops and at the doctors/hospital book donation shelves and I thought I would share what I found and if they’re gifts for people or not (I’m not spoiling anything because these where all Christmas presents so they’ve all had them!!) I would read all of these books so I’m telling everyone to give it back when they’re done so I can read it too!

 

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Gift to my mum. The title was an inside joke but also had a funny sounding plot. Paid 20-30p donation.

 

Another gift, couldn’t decide who to. I talked about this book in another post.

 

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I picked this up at one of the hospital book donation shelves. I plan on reading The Great Gatsby this year and have heard a lot about the Beautiful and Damned, and I can’t stop myself with a two for one deal! Think I paid 20-30p donation. 

I’ve read some Zadie Smith before and just thought I’d pick it up and see if I enjoyed it. I’ve not read a whole novel of hers, just bits and pieces. Part of a 3 for £1 deal.

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We all love Killing Eve in my house, this book looks pretty small so I expect it to be a fast read and I think I’ll give it to my mum when I’m done coz she really liked the show too. Part of a three for £1 deal in a charity shop.

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The potion Diaries just seemed like an easy to read YA fantasy involving magic. A bit more on the hetero/girly side for me, but I decided to give it a chance. £2 in a charity shop.

 

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We are big Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French fans, so the first is for my mum and second for my gran and then I’ll be stealing them back. I am always deeply fascinated by the lives of famous people and how they got to where they are. This was in our book self at the doctor’s surgery and I’m pretty sure I used pocket change to pay for these so can’t remember exactly how much. 

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Just as a side note: for the few books I’ve picked up at donation shelves and paid relatively low for, my family often donate books to these shelves, we often have brought bags of books as we like to help support our NHS staff and services. The books we pick up will likely be returned once we have read them, plus more. I encourage others to do this rather than donate to charity shops as they can be picked up for any amount of donation which makes reading more accessible. Plus, I am sure patients stuck in there for long periods can use these, hospital stays can be really dull and a choice in books to read can help patients feel more positive.

 

I’ll let you know what I (and my family members) think of these books when we get round to reading them!

 

~ Artie