Of course I’d be home sick on a weekend where I’m basically free of obligations and actually have time to go out and enjoy myself. Funny how things seem to work out that way, huh?
I don’t have a fever or anything; Just a sore throat (my left tonsil is swollen and giving me neck pains – cue blowjob jokes). But it’s enough of a red flag to warn me against romping around and getting wrecked tonight. Besides, if I continue at the same level of activity that’s been propelling me all week, I’ll definitely be so sick that I won’t even be able to do any freelance work. Sigh.
Damn you, responsibilities.
Actually, I’ve been feeling fairly ill since my parents came to visit. They spent the night last Saturday so we could do an Ikea run the next morning, but seeing as my room only has a twin bed … Well. I let them have it together, and I slept on the floor.
But Dad snores like a dinosaur.
Mom talks in her sleep.
And my floor isn’t exactly this big comfy mattress.
When you combine that with the fact that we had to wake up early the next morning to get to Ikea when it opened, that I got absolutely zero rest, and that I spent the next few days exerting myself by building tons of freaking furniture, unpacking all of my crap, doing a few massive loads of laundry, and simultaneously humoring friends who wanted to hang out, it’s not difficult to imagine how I’ve managed to get myself sick.
So while I may be all comfy and cute in my pajamas now, the last few days have been pretty intense for me.
Example, my girls recently treated me to a Ke$ha concert at the Warfield here in San Francisco, and I just couldn’t turn them down!
Check it out, we were even featured on SF Weekly! Ha.
Getting ready was fun. I love doing dark makeup looks and rarely get a chance to dress up here in the city since every event or party I attend is usually so casual. It’s actually been one of my main qualms about living in San Francisco, ha!
But after dressing up a little for @RichIGN’s birthday, I’ve gotten back into the habit of just wearing whatever-the-fuck I want. I think I was in a huge funk there for a while after the whole debacle with my job situation, and the panic of not having enough money to make my rent, combined with the stress of searching for a new place to live.
Things are settling down now, though.
I’m happier (or at least, more complacent) than I have been for a while, and I’m starting to feel really comfortable here in the city, as well as with where I am in my life. I’m learning to take things a bit more slowly instead of trying to rush ahead and meet my goals ASAP. I’m learning that things take time, and that I can’t just snap my fingers and have everything I want in an instant. In fact, the whole struggle of trying to make money for my rent has taught me a lot about humility, about working hard, and has helped me realize my own potential.
Though admittedly, being forced to rely on my raw talents was really scary at first. I thought to myself, what exactly am I capable of? I guess I can write. I suppose I can draw a bit. I’m something of a Social Media fanatic. And I am definitely a networking freak of nature. But what good is any of that if I can’t put it to use, right? What good is any of it if no one notices? How does that help me if I can’t monetize my own abilities or experience?
I beat myself up for about a month feeling absolutely useless.
All of my efforts seemed to be going unnoticed, I seemed to be failing left and right, my savings were being sucked dry, and the pressure – god, the fucking pressure – of always feeling like I need to be perfect was really starting to wear me down.
I know I say that I’m no role model. I know I’m always going on about how I fuck up often and that no one should ever attempt to mimic my bullshit. But behind all of the denial, I am almost always wrestling with the idea that I need to set some kind of example for the few who might look up to my nonsense (and believe me, I know who you all are, and you’ve all been so fantastic in your constant support of me).
It is actually this very realization that often drives me to excel. I think to myself, I can’t look like an idiot in front of all of these people. I need to work harder. I need to do better. I need to succeed.
Motivated by my own pathetic failures and by the idea that I can’t let down all of these people who I know are rooting for me, I started to push myself.
I guess you could say that I’m a fairly strategic person when it comes to success. I enjoy being excessively prepared for shitty situations so that, when the time comes, I will always have two or three backup plans.
In the case of my job situation, after I’d completely exhausted my business and personal network for positions and opportunities, I realized that I could only rely on myself in order to remain living within the city. No one was going to help me, and no matter what anyone did to try and help me, the responsibility ultimately fell on me to survive, not anyone else. So if reaching out to my network wasn’t working, I had to try a different approach.
Art, for example, has always been one of my many hidden talents that I’ve managed to neglect through time and distraction. But after being recognized by IGN for my ability and having my work selected for an exclusive Zelda feature, it gave me a huge boost of confidence.
So I began there.
First, I reworked my entire website layout in order to present myself in a way that would better speak for my artistic abilities. I began putting together my illustration portfolio, churning out shit tons of new original art pieces, showing off what all I was currently capable of doing, and also showing how quickly I am able to learn and master new techniques. I also hauled my ass out to conventions where I could network with other artists, comics publishers, and like-minded people in order to get a good grasp on who my competition was and what I’d need to do in order to succeed.
Pursuing art was good for me.
It put me on the path to positive thinking (something that I had been severely lacking — you can even go back a few entries and see all of the depressing shit I had been writing about how much my life sucks, ha!).
My friends were, unexpectedly, extremely supportive of my revealed passion for illustration. And the surprising amount of encouragement I received from fans, readers, and followers (or even just random artists on Deviant Art) was surreal.
When I timidly began to accept commission orders for custom art pieces, I was shocked at the reaction. People were snatching up my art like hot cakes! People were framing my pieces and putting them up on their walls! People were talking about my work – both negatively and positively – and the buzz was spreading about my stuff! I was selling my art all on my own, and making my rent.
Here are some photos sent in by fans of my work printed and/or framed:
You can’t even imagine how good it felt to feel like I was succeeding at something again – anything – after spending so long doubting my abilities and myself.
I felt like my vitality had been renewed.
It made me realize my own strength. It made me realize that I couldn’t rely on anyone else to help me get through tough times. That at the end of the day, all I can do is channel my own talents and make the most of them. That hard work pays off, and that being on the brink of absolute failure is really just a way for us to prove to ourselves what we are capable of.
My friend said to me once, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” And she was right.
Art, for me, has always been this old talent that I’ve always been able to fall back on during tough times. And now knowing that I am able to survive on my art alone, even in the face of being unemployed, is this huge weight off of my shoulders. If there is some secret Art God out there, or some kind of Art Guardian Angel watching over me – thank you so much for looking out for me. I can’t tell you how grateful I am. But if those things don’t exist and it’s really just me and my own talent, then shit. I feel incredible.
About 1,500 words into this entry, and I realize how long it’s becoming.
But fuck it. I’m home sick, this is my blog, and it’s been a while since I’ve really vented like this anyway, right? My blog’s been so full of pictures, pictures, pictures, art, art, art – the writing part of it all has sort of been set aside.
So to those of you who aren’t here to read, I apologize (not that you’ve made it this far anyway). And to those of you who enjoy my babble, thank you for coming this far as I still have quite a bit more to say. Heh.
For now, let’s just leave this entry at “To Be Continued,” shall we?
Inspired by Death Note, I’m actually setting up a publishing schedule for my blog so that, in the event that I become extremely busy with freelance work (or get sick and have too high of a fever to write or publish), or even if I just become swamped in general (like I have lately with all of the moving and unpacking I’ve had to do), my blog will continue to publish art, comics, and blog entries on a set schedule.
I’m thinking … Sundays?
Sunday seems like a good day to read my blog, right?
So let’s take this schedule on a test run. From now on, every Sunday my website will have new content on it for you to enjoy. Sounds like a plan to me.
Until next time,
XOXO Cheri XOXO
Oh, and PS! Don’t forget that if you have any questions or need any advice, you can always just Contact Me via the form on my website. There’s always a chance that I’ll feature your email or letter on my blog! You can also use the form just to send in your letters of support. I appreciate it more than you know. Also, when you get a chance, don’t forget to check out my recent article on G4TV’s The Feed. Leave comments, share it, retweet it, like it on facebook, etc!
QUICK EDIT: OH!! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone. Please do something awesome for your mom and make her feel special. She deserves it! :) After all, she did carry you around for 9 months in her belly suffering through back pains, getting fat because she’s eating for two, and then raise you to adulthood. All a mother wants to know is that you appreciate her — so show your mom you love her today! Call her, send her flowers, cook for her, take her out to eat if you can, do a little song and dance, whatever! :) And have a great Mother’s Day, everyone. <3