the whole sad story
so here's the situation. i am a generalized trainwreck of a person; i suffer from anxiety, depression, ADHD, a few different chronic pains (tendonitis in forearms/hands, fucked up injured shoulder, lower back pain) and some other annoying bodily conditions. i still can't drive, because i panic too easily about being a Mortal Thing in a Metal Death Machine. i have never been able to be functional on the level expected by american capitalism. despite everything, in 2016 i managed to get a part-time retail job, allowing me to finally move out of my mom's house to an apartment with my boyfriend and a roommate that's within walking distance of my workplace. i was making enough money to cover a good chunk of our bills and a bit of the rent, and food stamps allowed me to cover my own food.
four years later: my relationship is unfortunately on the rocks for various reasons and he has moved home with his parents, so my primary financial support is gone, and i'm not sure if it's coming back. and i have plantar fasciitis. probably one of the worst things i could have gotten working in retail. it's a painful condition of the foot that makes every step excruciating after a few hours at work, and it sucks ass. it started in march 2020 and i couldn't get treatment until august; it usually takes 6 months to a year to resolve, IF it resolves.
because i am poor as dirt, i am on medicaid. the oregon health authority considers plantar fasciitis "below the line," otherwise known as "not important enough to cover treatment for," which is wild because it's a long-term condition a lot of poor people get because they work on their feet 40+ hours a week. because of the abject cruelty and stupidity of US healthcare, i've had to pay for my own treatment. every 2 to 3 months i need a $50 cortisone shot. my custom insoles were a cool $400.
because of plantar fasciitis, i've had to work less. i already couldn't work a lot. i went from my already meager two 8 hour days a week to two six-hour days a week, which hurt a little but was manageable. but, as this has dragged on, my store manager has started to become hostile about accommodating me, asking "how long this is going to go on" with increasing frequency. i keep getting passive-aggressively scheduled for one four-hour shift in a week.
sedgewick, the claims handling company that's handling my ADA accommodation case, is also just being shit now, ignoring all my phone calls, making zero effort to communicate with me. my case "closed" automatically on the 8th of january and i'm now dragging HR into the mess because i can't get anything done on my own. i'm pretty scared i'm going to lose my job. if i don't fight for accommodation, i'll lose it because i'll keep having to call out or go home early. if i fight, they might try to find a way to get rid of me.
because of my not-driving situation, i have very limited job options. so as you can imagine, i'm scared right now. things are not great. i was doing ok up until about the point where my computer (which i need... to do art stuff... to keep making money) all-but-died and took its monitor with it.
i also have a cat, who costs money to take care of, and i'm afraid if i end up having to move home, i won't be able to keep her. she's very hostile to other cats and my mom already has a cat.
so that's most of it, in as few words as i can manage, which is still too many. sorry about that! tl;dr everything is shit! i've been struggling emotionally and physically for months and i need help.
expenses: some transparency
i've been making about $500 a month between work, patreon, ko-fi and the occasional gumroad sale, but it's going to be even less now that i'm getting like one four-hour shift a week sometimes.
since September i've had to spend:
$400 on custom insoles
$150 on cortisone shots
about $250 on plantar fasciitis care (high quality shoes, brace, pain relief stuff)
$800 on a new computer
$200 on a new monitor (old one blew up)
...for a grand total of $1800 in Unusual Expenses in just the last few months. i usually make like less than $10k a year, so that is a huge chunk of my financial ass. i have been helped along by some generous donors and the shitty little $600 check we got because of the plague, but my savings have still taken a hit.
i also have upcoming expenses:
new phone (mine is actively dying)
new computer chair (current one is falling apart, causing me extra pain)
new clothes (a lot of my wardrobe doesn't fit anymore; i gained a bunch of stress/plantar-fasciitis-related weight in 2020)
...and if i don't recover from plantar fasciitis, the only option left to me will be surgery. which i guess will probably have to be a gofundme. i'll have to fund my living expenses for the required recovery time as well as the surgery which is almost definitely going to be hellishly expensive. :( i don't even want to think about it.
right now i make about $95 a month from Patreon. my Ko-fi is at a weird standstill right now; a Gold membership costs $6 a month and i only have two monthly supporters giving a total of $8 between them, but i do get a lot of random unpredictable donations through it.
my hopefully realistic goal is to get to $300 a month between Patreon and Ko-Fi.
my less realistic goal is to get to $500 a month, which even if i lose my job would give me a decent amount of money to throw around monthly.
how you can help
pledges: if you can pledge a small monthly donation to my patreon or ko-fi, that is the best way to help me. don't be embarrassed if it's just a dollar! small pledges are sustainable for you and add up for me. plus you get benefits! i do a monthly art poll, and i want to get back to doing sketch requests in 2021! you also get to see the secret Supporter Clubhouse page of my website, as well as sketches and alternate versions of art i don't post publicly.
donations: if you can just toss a few bucks my way once, that's great! thank you!!
purchases: i have a very small store with some digital goods! more to come!
passing the message along: if you follow me on twitter, please RT me when i post about fundraising stuff! or just RT in me in general so more people see my art/maybe decide to support me!
also, i always want to say before you decide to throw money at me: PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ME YOUR LAST DOLLAR. please do not donate if it hurts. don't set yourself on fire to help keep me warm, ok? ok. love u.
i deeply and sincerely appreciate all financial support. i often don't know how to thank people thoroughly enough. but from the bottom of my heart and other organs, thank you.
welcome to the doodlemancy blog. it's new as of today.
2019 was rough. i made a few pieces i was decently happy with, but this Fina one is the only thing i was really that proud of:
...and it felt like a fluke. not to be dramatic but for quite a while, i’ve been feeling like my goals are impossible, i’m never going to finish any project ever, and i am probably the worst artist in this universe and also all parallel universes in which i exist as some kind of artist. drawing has been A SLOG. just thinking about it made me feel tired and frustrated. lately, most of my drawing time has just been my patreon sketch requests, because at least that gets me paid and makes someone happy, cue sad violin and handkerchief honk. and then while doodling on my samsung galaxy tablet (a very fun rectangle, but small and not suitable for serious drawing) i thought, "i just want this, but bigger".
i had outgrown my tools. i got a bamboo 9 years ago and learned to draw digitally on that, then switched to an intuos 4. i’ve finally reached the point where the visual disconnect and small drawing area is causing me problems i just can’t solve. detailing feels like playing pool during an earthquake. the small drawing area strains my wrist and stiffens my drawings. my skills and needs have surpassed the capabilities of this rectangle.
i've been using non-monitor graphics tablets for as long as i've been doing digital art. 10 years ago, wacom was basically all their was, and the price of a cintiq was so astronomically high i had to convince myself i didn't want/need one so i wouldn't feel sad about it. same deal with the iPad when it started getting popular with artists-- it was out of my reach. i bought the galaxy tab last year because i wanted an iPad, but didn't want to give apple money (and didn't have enough money to give apple anyway).
the next morning, i started "casually" browsing tablets. a few competitors (namely monoprice, huion, xp-pen) have been making affordable graphics tablets for a while now. 5 hours of researching and feverish livetweeting later, i had purchased an xp-pen artist 15.6, because my roommate happens to have an xp-pen monitor tablet and let me try it for a minute. it took about 3 strokes of the pen to convince me. i was going to wait until my tax return showed up but i realized i was not going to draw until at least march if that was the case. i was in too deep. i had tasted the food of the fae and would never go back through the hedge. so i paid off my credit card and slapped the tablet purchase on it. then i thought and talked about nothing else for 3 days (i assume these 3 days were probably pretty excruciating for everyone who knows me or follows me on twitter).
4 days in: i'm enjoying drawing again. the thought of drawing makes me excited instead of exhausted. it's not a slog anymore. i was going to bed most nights night thinking "i didn't draw again, i'm a failure" and now i wake up excited to turn on my tablet and draw. i feel good about art for the first time in at least a year. i actually probably haven't felt this good and this optimistic about drawing since i was 13 and had just obtained a copy of How To Draw Manga: Compiling Characters from Powell's bookstore on a field trip.
the faulty carpenter blames his tools; the wise carpenter knows when to replace a hammer. especially if the hammer is really outdated, has a terrible driver that crashes constantly and is greatly impeding his ability to draw anime girls.
here is my first finished piece in CSP. it is a little awkward, and imo it doesn't look like my usual art style. but it contains more joy than anything i have drawn for a long time.