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

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Motivation and Passion: Who is she?

Hey pals,

 

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my sense of passion for what I’m doing and the motivation to continue doing things. I am letting procrastination get the better of me. I try my best to ignore the view or follower count of other people I interact with online, because we are all different and work differently. But it’s pretty disheartening to see all the work I put into my videos, or instagram pictures, or writing across platforms, all getting barely noticeable interactions.

 

My videos barely reach 15 views and I put hours of work into filming, audio, editing and thumbnails. My instagram pictures only reach 100 likes if it’s Harry Potter related and will maybe reach 30 likes on an average day. Jumping onto twitter tags and getting 10 likes compared to the hundreds other people get for less witty and less creative posts… My YouTube subscribers climb one person every couple of months, but my instagram swings up and down by 40 or more every week…

 

And with each platform changing constantly how they do things, I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep up. I’m tired, I’m sick, I have so many ideas floating in my head but not physical capacity to do them. Or even mental capacity a lot of the time, I can’t get past the brain block. I can’t stand to sit in a quiet room for the feeling of loneliness to settle in. The realisation of how completely and utterly alone and unappreciated I feel.

 

I am sick. But I love to make things. I can never be one of those people with a niche because I love to do everything. I love making my videos, I love writing blogs and stories and poetry, I love reading and watching TV and Film, I love singing and music, I love to dance and exercise, I love junk food but I love learning to take care of myself, I love taking photos and I love learning to love photos of myself, I love talking about the things I care about, I love drawing and painting and art and making presents for people, I love clothes…

 

But I hate the effort it takes to do all these things and I hate feeling like I have to improve my content rather than wanting to… I hate feeling like I’m not doing anything, or doing enough, or that people around me are thinking that. I hate feeling like I’ll never be independent and happy… I hate feeling like I wont ever make money doing something I love… or if I do I wont make enough to live off.

 

Making things and posting them on social media can be great but also soul killing. I’ve done my best over the years to ignore (or semi ignore) the numbers, the analytics, and comparing myself. I ignore the fact that I got more views and more likes when I had brightly coloured hair… what’s different from then and now? I’m still relatively the same person and creator… why does my hair colour change how many people interact with me? Why do selfies do better than pictures of my work, or my dog, or things I really care about?

 

Is it the people who are watching and interacting? Or is it the analytics and the way the sites work? Does my stuff get lots or thrown to the bottom of the pile because I’m not paying for it or I don’t have 1mil on every platform? Is it because I’m not skinny enough?? I see plenty of people posting the same kind of content as me… but they have more followers and they are much skinnier than I. I’m about an average size in the UK… Does that mean less interest on the Internet? I can’t help but see a correlation. Will posting more than once a week, or once a day attract more attention? Could I even physically manage that??

 

Some people who make content like I do, may feel like I have an advantage because I have a niche or marginalised experience. Sure, I can apply to more competitions for free, I can talk about things not many other people are talking about, and I can relate in a way others can’t… but along with that, there comes a lot of internet abuse. Trying to be authentic as a marginalised person opens you up to being shit on. I mean, look at the white cis able bodied male creators out there and all the crap they got away with and still get away with, and I am including gay men here for a lot of instances as well.

 

I’m just frustrated and angry and so, so tired of fighting to be heard and fighting to be as valid as other people in the creative industry. I feel like I can never stop doing all these daft little things on social media to remain relevant that I can’t take a moment to do something I really care about and really want to put the time and work into, or even BREATHE. I can’t breathe under all the responsibility thrust upon me by myself, and by society, and by my family (not my immediate family that I live with and give a shit about me…) and by my teachers past and present… by all the people who have no idea about my struggle. All of this whilst going in and out of hospitals and doctors appointments, and private therapies, and nausea, pills, pain, and pain again, and having so many stories to tell but they’re stuck in my head, they’re stuck in draft, and I slept wrong so I can barely move today, I need to buy this and see if that will help, and oh my God where did all my friends go, and well it would be nice if they contacted me surely they know, and I should be working to pay something towards living at home but I can’t keep a job either because I’m disabled or the employer is ableist, or because I’m queer, or because I ask too many questions, oh and why can’t my past stay where it is rather than sneaking up on me months later when it has finally been put away in a box in my head that I will never touch, and now I need therapy again because no one is listening…

 

No one is listening. But people like me are constantly told how useless they are and how terrible we are just for existing. People hate disabled people, people hate queer people (especially the bi and nonbinary kind), people hate mentally ill people, people hate people born as the female sex, people hate slow dyslexic people, but they also hate educated people, they hate poor people, they hate unemployed people, they hate witches so much they might as well be starting the trials all over again… and so much more that I do not experience but others do. And I’m sure they are as tired as me.

 

Where is our right to live a peaceful life? Social media inundates us with all the worst things that are happening in the world but also the most rich and successful people flaunting what they stole.

 

What I’m trying to say is the smallest things that affect us are mostly inherently political and systematic. People’s failure to teach, learn and express empathy.

 

But who cares right? As long as you’re ballin’.

 

~ Artie

I’m Going To Be Published!

Hey pals,

 

No, my title isn’t clickbait, I’m really going to be published! 6 months after graduating my Creative and Professional Writing degree with a 2:1, I received the info that I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO AN ANTHOLOGY!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a small project and has only been made possible thanks to all the people who backed the kickstarter. We had days to spare and reached the £6,000 goal within a month! You can still pledge (I think? I’m not sure by the time I publish this… if not, then sorry.) PDF copies and physical copies of the book are available along with merch and signed copies etc.

This anthology is a collection of nonbinary writers’ personal essays about their experiences of being a nonbinary person! I’ve very excited to get my hands on a copy and read everyone’s essays and to have a real hold-in-your-hands book THAT I’M IN!

I’m sure there will be an option to purchase the book after the kickstarter closes, I will update everyone on that when I know more. I was too excited about this I couldn’t keep quiet about it!

 

Please check it out and keep an eye on the project! And thanks to India for putting all this together!

 

See you guys next week!

 

~Artie

Food Review: Lacto-Free Cornish Brie

Hey pals,

 

I’m starting a new review series solely for Vegan and Lacto-Free foods and replacements. I recently have been through a lot of stomach problems, I was already reasonably lactose intolerant but now it is very extreme and causes me a lot of pain and even disrupts my life. I struggle to find anything recommending foods that will replace those naughty things. I don’t want to feel like I am being deprived of foods. So, I am trying to find replacements of things I like and blog about them!

 

IMG_1053

 

First up: Lacto-Free Cornish Brie

I love camembert and brie, but they are dreadful for my stomach so when I saw this brie slice in the lacto free section, I was interested. I’m not a huge crackers fan so for me this was the ultimate test; does this cheese make me enjoy eating it on crackers? I started with eating the pointy end and found that some part tasted a bit funky and gross but I couldn’t tell if it was just the formula, the skin, or something dodgy going on. The next time I tried it, there was no funky, weird taste (thank god) and it tasted pretty similar to brie, a more mild cheese compared to camembert. I actually used this as a go to for a few days instead of having lunch because I felt nauseous and it was very satisfying. This may not be vegan, but it is definitely a good option if you love a good soft cheese like me!

 

~ Artie

 

15 Questions Getting To Know Me Better…

Hey pals,

 

Seeing as 2019 is the year of becoming the best me I could possibly be, I came across this post on tumblr. “Questions for knowing yourself better” because I’m repressed and might learn something new. Here are 15 questions, getting to know me better.

 

  • if you could change one aspect of your life or personality, what would it be?

This answer changes (obviously, I’m sure it does for most people) but I think my two main answers would be my health or money. These two things define my freedom in life.

 

  • are you ‘your own person’ or are you defined and pushed around by others?

I wouldn’t say I’m ‘pushed around by others’ but I notice I’m a bit of a people pleaser and then hold people up to impossible standards and just upset myself. This year is focusing on being more of what I want.

 

  • is there any area of your life where you feel out of control?

My health. Constantly fluctuating and changing what’s wrong, when I think I understand, it changes. It makes it impossible to exist normally.

 

  • do you feel more comfortable in and organised or chaotic environment?

I feel more comfortable in an organised environment, BUT my room, my stuff, my bags, etc. are almost constantly in chaos because of fatigue and a lack of space which is why you always see me posting about ‘having a clear out’ because I just haven’t even seen where the end of clearing through stuff will be…

 

  • how comfortable are you with spontaneous ideas, or a last minute change in plans?

I’m not great with that because I have to prepare myself for things (again, because of my health) but I’m happy to deal with some last minute changes like ‘we can meet here’ or ‘go here’ etc. and I used to be more down for spontaneous plans when I had better and more accessible modes of transport at my fingertips.

 

  • do you feel renewed by being around others, or is it crucial for you to have time on your own?

I’ve learned this since finishing university. I love being alone and I actually prefer to be alone than around people, or I’d rather be in small groups like one on one. Socialising sucks away my energy.

 

  • are you motivated, or undermined, by competition?

For me it depends on the situation. I mostly don’t think about other people’s work if I’m submitting something to a competition and I think that’s a good and healthy way to think. With friends playing games, I like friendly competition but when it gets too intense I stop enjoying myself because I don’t like some of the nasty things people can say because of competition. I just want to enjoy myself with friends, not win.

 

  • do you work well under pressure, or do you tend to fall apart?

I used to fall apart when I was a teenager; I would leave things to the last minute because I wouldn’t understand the assignments. I would have panic attacks and cry the night before things were due. Now, I’m better and am more organised. I’ll start sooner but when it gets close to the deadline, I can bash out a lot of work if need be.

 

  • are you better at praising and complimenting others, or at consciously affirming and building yourself up?

I feel like I used to be very good at praising others, particularly during the period of people pleasing. I feel like I am better at self-affirmations now because I’ve had more practice at it in the last 5 months. BUT I can be good at compliments and showing how much I care for someone when I see a meme that describes my feelings.

 

  • are you a morning or and evening person?

It changes. I’ve had periods of being a really happy mid morning person and enjoying the full day and going to bed by midnight. I’ve also had times where I’ve not woken up until late morning or midday, and not gone to sleep until early hours of the morning and I functioned better. It all just depends on my sleep cycle at the time. I’ve found it changes and I don’t have a single rhythm.

 

  • do you persevere, or do you give up easily?

I persevere and sometimes to the point it’s unhealthy for me. i.e. bad relationships, jobs, hobbies that don’t make me happy.

 

  • do you like to go with the flow, or take control of your own life?

Take control. I have to go with the flow in regards to my health sometimes but I’ve always been a low-key control freak and need to have a grasp on my life and where it’s going.

 

  • are you more of a thinker or a feeler?

In the Myers Briggs test this is the one that switches the most for me. I am mostly INTP, so a thinker, but often get INTF, a feeler. So I feel like I have the logic, but when I feel really intensely about something I will ignore my logic 100% of the time.

 

  • what are your passions and goals?

You can see THIS POST for my goals for this year. But as for my passions in general, I love to create things and I want to do what I can to change the way our world works and help people.

 

  • what would your perfect day look like?

I don’t think I have one. Probably somewhere away from home.

 

I hope you guys found that interesting and enjoyed getting to know some more about me. See you next week.

 

~ Artie

More Ways We Can Help The Environment

Hey pals,

 

Back at it again with another one of these posts! I had some remaining points in my original documents about clothes recycling but I also uncovered a very, very old video outline involving creative ways to be better to the environment! So, here we all go!

 

  • Old and damaged DVDs or CDs are actually really useful for turning into a DIY mobile to hang around vegetable gardens. They’re great at attracting bigger birds that will scare smaller birds away, leaving more critters in your soil to keep your veggies healthy!
  • Linked to above, any discs you no longer use then means you have a box free. I think they’re recyclable, but you can also use them as back ups in case you break another box, or you’re feeling retro and are burning things onto discs and need something to keep it in.
  • If you’re an avid gardener, reusing plant pots in a must. You also need to try and cover the holes in the bottom with something that will still let the water out… how about a little bit of cardboard or paper you were throwing out anyway? This also makes it easier to plant into the ground when they’re ready.
  • I don’t see too many people doing this anymore, but instead of buying wrapping paper (which can often not be eco-friendly) use newspapers or magazines as makeshift wrapping paper for presents. You can customize it further with your own drawings!
  • If you have any fruit trees and live near a wooded area, any of the old and half eaten fruit would be good to gather and throw out into the trees. You’ll feed the animals too shy to come out, save yourself from gross rotting fruit that also attracts wasps, and possibly help fertilize or grow some new trees. (we all know we could do with some more trees about…)
  • This one is for people with plants: drinking water is super important for people in general, but if you or any guests don’t finish their glass or bottle (tsk tsk) use that to water your plants. Helps save a little on your water bill. If it’s easier, collect it in a watering can first and water all your plants in one go.
  • I know bottles are hugely controversial, but I’m aware many people still buy plastic bottles. Water or fizzy drinks, if you do buy some and like to grow your own plants (or are dreamily thinking about starting) I’ve heard they’re good to use for growing plants outside. They can be like mini-greenhouses keeping the warmth and moisture in, but also great for fending off little buggers like squirrels, they’ve murdered many of my oak tree saplings in the past.

 

Clothes recycling

  • any really old ratty clothes, reuse into cleaning cloths or take to local clothes recycling bin
  • give on or sell on good quality clothes you no longer wear or want
  • customise clothes you no longer love, make it into something you will wear again
  • ‘vegan’ shoes aren’t as great as they are marketed to be. Mainstream vegan shoes are purely just plastic. If you really feel you cannot wear animal products as clothing, look into a more natural vegan clothing/shoe brand because animal product clothing is actually better for the environment over all. Just depends on which side you stand on with this issue. (vegan leather, polyester, faux fur are all plastic) leather boots will also last years if you take care of them, whereas plastic boots will last maybe a year.
  • Take things you don’t want to the charity shop (check where the money goes and the charity’s beliefs before donating, like I personally wouldn’t donate to a charity that has been vocally anti-LGBT like the Salvation army) or to some kind of local jumble sale to raise money for your area. You can do the same with non-clothing items as charity shops and jumbles have many items up for sale.
  • You can also look for specific charities to donate your items to. I’ve been donating a lot of clothes and spare hygiene products to a local homelessness charity. I’ve also read there are a few charities that you can donate things like make-up to for victims of domestic violence or to women’s shelters. It’s mostly shopping around to see what cause you’d like to help with your spare things. A lot of them will also let you know what they are in need of if you’re not too sure.

 

Besides all this, if you have some money you’re looking to donate or invest into something that will help the environment maybe have a look into kickstarters by people inventing really cool self-sufficient technology to help clean up our planet. Or even write a letter to your local MP about wanting them to make more of a difference and list some suggestions. Even organising a group of people to go litter picking can be helpful.

 

Anyway, that’s is from me. I’ll continue to post these and I’ll eventually get to a more detailed one on how we can put the pressure on our government and big corporations to start making a change.

 

~ Artie

 

 

January Wrap Up

Hey pals!

 

I’m a little shocked January is already over, a lot has happened to me in this month it has been crazy but I’m still feeling positive and excited for 2019. I’ve submitted some pieces of work and I’m currently thinking through an idea I have for a competition that closes end of February, and I’ve been trying to apply for some creative jobs or scouting out opportunities even if they aren’t advertising.

 

I feel like I’m doing okay. I had a mental health blip recently, the reasons of which I will not discuss at this time. But that’s all over now; it was a sign from the universe that this is not the place for me and I have bigger and better things to get on with. It was taking all my energy and thoughts, now I’m back to full focus on my health, my work, and myself and I feel much better about that. I have some money saved and I still make a little from depop sales so I think I can still do the enjoyable experiences I want to do this year.

 

LA was a pretty crazy ride. I honestly can’t even remember the order things happened because we just did so much every day. The main thing for me was it felt familiar, even though I didn’t know where anything was etc. it felt like I’d been there before. I felt comfortable ordering drinks or food at places, I kept forgetting about the whole tax deal, but everyone in the service industry was super nice and accommodating where they could be.

Unfortunately, as a group we often went to food places that didn’t have much to offer me. Everyone was surprised, but I had said from the beginning LA has more specialised img_0315restaurants than the UK, but the usual places still barely accommodate. It just sucked we didn’t go somewhere I could choose from a menu, not from eating or starving. If I ever go back, I’ll definitely be doing more research on food places I can eat at.

I do have to say one thing, I hated the coach and felt sick most of the time, but American billboard advertisements are… hilarious? Very extra, very misleading, and it was weird seeing the bench adverts in person too. There was one billboard that said ‘are you big enough’ with a woman in a pantsuit with her arms crossed next to it. I think it was a legal firm…

img_0572So many chances to re-enact vines when you drive around LA. The two best moments were ‘road work ahead’ and ‘freshavacado’.

We saw really iconic places. We were staying in Studio City, we went to Santa Monica beach and the pier, Venice beach, the Griffith Observatory and saw the Hollywood sign from there. We went to Universal and did the studio tour and saw a bunch of new and old sets, EVEN THE GOOD PLACE! Saw the Harry Potter section of Universal. It’s so realistic and I want to be part of the Toad Choir that performed!

We went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and saw tonnes of stars names, also lots of rappers trying to sell their demos. We went to this Cemetery (I don’t remember the img_0285name) where lots of famous people are buried such as Johnny Ramone of the Ramones and Judy Garland. We went into this really cool mausoleum with these huge crazy Greek statues and marble floors and walls.

We went to the oldest McDonalds, which really didn’t bother me I couldn’t order anything to eat as per this trip so I wandered about.

img_0249.jpgAnd we went to Disney which is not accessible really at all unless you have an electronic wheelchair and even then the girl on our trip who had and used one, it died part way through the day and she needed to borrow a manual one and needed someone to then push he around. It’s also completely appalling in the food department. Single options, lots include cheese, and their fries (which come with Vegan meals btw) are fried with the meat. I paid over $22 dollars for a single burger that wasn’t even good.

I liked when we first got there and walked round for a little tour with all these cool historic facts about the place and a couple of rides but yanno, your disabled pal is really just not made for theme parks, also I just don’t think I like them? I think that I think I like them because everyone really aggressively likes them…952af469-a599-4c7e-aaff-286460918d8e

I kinda just wanted to have more of a chilled day… I would have liked to be somewhere on a warm day where I could slowly wander round, sit at a café, yanno things normal img_0276people do when they’re on holiday. It just felt a bit too packed for me. Plus, there was a promise of seeing the Charmed house but that fell through so I’ll have to go back for that.

 

I fell in love with it really. The supermarkets had more options, the weather wasn’t as cold, people seemed nicer?? We discussed this. The stereotype is British people are awkward and polite, which as an over all is not true at all. And the stereotype of Americans is loud, obnoxious, annoying, which isn’t true when you’re in America. However, I will say I think its true when Americans come to the UK. The American payment system is fucked up and shitty and I feel like that’s the only thing Britain has done right besides free health care. And right by the Santa Monica Pier there’s practically a village of homeless people; I saw so many homeless people whilst I was in LA and it was really shitty. We have tonnes over here too but Police often force them more out of site in a lot of places. LA they were out where you could see them, you could see how bad the problem is. I’m not saying what we do in the UK is good, not at all, we shouldn’t be scurrying homeless people out of site we should be giving them shelter yanno? Plus they have weed stores I could buy from to help my chronic pain!

 

Besides the negative points, I really liked it there and feel like there’s so much more to see and I’d really like to stay there long term sometime. I might wait until Trump’s reign is over… but being there felt normal.

 

I get vibes in different places I go, but this one felt similar to living at home or in London. Maybe one day you’ll see me there.

 

As you know from my last blog post, I’ve been struggling with a lot of health problems stemmed from this trip. I’m nearly all better, still some weird aches and pains but I’m seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist to try and alleviate the pain and get me back on track. I’m going back to my weekly exercise class and I tried doing some weight training again. I spent a lot of time sleeping through the day and watching Netflix constantly but I think I needed it for my body to heal. I’ve had a lot of crazy dreams too, maybe I’ll let you all in on them sometime.

 

~ Artie