Floating above the negativity

Happy Friday, friends 👋 I hope the month of May has been treating you well 😊

Today, I wanted to share my new piece that started off traditionally and ended up making the edits via Procreate. I really love capturing Betsy’s expression while holding a balloon 🎈

My husband asked me what was my obsession in drawing Betsy holding balloons 😅 The truth is, I was once afraid of balloons growing up. And clowns 🤡 I think it was because I saw Stephen King’s It movie that made me afraid of them while growing up 😟

Over time, I decided to grow out of that fear and finally embraced them. Perhaps by drawing Betsy holding a balloon symbolises my way of compromising my brain and learning to let go of my childhood fear.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling more down as of late. As May is coming to a close and on the topic of Mental Health Awareness, I wanted to share how I’ve been feeling.

To begin with, I’ve had some doubts on my ability to maintain my sanity while being a decent human being. There were some moments that I felt out of place and often question myself Why am I doing this? On top of working full time, I’ve had some moments where I just felt tired and giving up 😓 Sometimes, those panic attacks creep in and trying to ruin my groove. Often, I would have to take breaks in settling myself to the best of my ability.

It’s also not fun hearing my thoughts with phrases like:

You don’t deserve happiness.

Your coworkers think you’re weird and stupid.

You don’t have any friends because you’re a horrible person.

I’m surprised you’re a mom and wife with the way you are.

You’re fat and ugly.

Your family tolerates you but they secretly hate you.

…and the list goes on.

For me, the idea of “floating above the negativity” is my way of reassuring myself that I do have the ability in rising above from toxic people, thoughts and situations. Is it easy to do so? Not really. But, I do my best in keeping things in stride when proceeding to higher ground than where I was originally at in the first place. It’s a balancing act.

How do you rise above the negativity? 🤔 Would love to hear your thoughts 💭

Namaste,

Diana

The biggest lie I’ve told myself

Recently, I’ve encountered a bad comment on a drawing that was shared by a well known art supply company. I felt proud of the progress. At the same time, I also felt a bit doubtful.

Needless to say, the person that wrote the bad comment didn’t give any inclusion on how it can be improved. It just simply mentioned that it was bad. Okay…thanks, I guess? I didn’t expect that the company decided to share my image on their platform. As such, it looked like it was deleted originally from the company page and the person decides to write in again on how my artwork sucked. Talk about persistence. The only thing I can do at the moment was block and ignore.

I’m generally open to receiving feedback, so long as they are constructive and aligned with the purpose of improving. After all, no one is an expert and we’re all learning our crafts through trial and error. No one is expected to know everything overnight.

In these moments, I keep telling myself that everything is fine. That everything will pass and people will forget. Even after reporting the instances and minding my own business, you figured everything will settle in the dust, right? Not quite so…

When you have an inner critic telling you the negative comments are valid and want you to feel like shit, that’s when it becomes mental torture. No one can’t see your struggles. Only you can feel them, slowly aching away your soul as you’re wrestling with the inner demons.

It’s one thing to face the negative comments online. But I think the greater battlefield in all of this is when it occurs in your mind. You can’t escape from it.

It’s been a constant feeling for many years and unfortunately, it’s not something it can disappear permanently. On some days, I’m fine (without lying to myself). And other times, I’m feeling the pressure and weight on myself while attempting to hide the depression. Sometimes it comes from my ability to overthink situations. Other times, it comes from outside influences.

Not every battle happens on the physical level. Many of us are facing with our struggles and are doing the best we can to cope through it all. I think as an artist in trying to convey these emotional pieces into something tangible has been a good way for me to express my sensitive moments. Sharing these experiences with everyone has given me a better perspective on how many of us are dealing with our mental health. And my hope is that others can feel and perhaps relate to the struggles.

Every day, I’m finding ways in setting boundaries, silencing the inner critic and ignoring the folks from the online world who are either passive aggressive, mean or sadists. It’s not easy. For others, it may look easy. But emotionally, it isn’t the case.

I realise that once I started showcasing my work, everyone wants to be a critic. Unfortunately, that can’t be helped. Everyone will always have an opinion. It makes me wonder how famous celebrities cope with these types of large scale criticisms.

My own happiness is what I create and share in a conscious manner, while not being swayed into thinking that I should hide and live in fear. The lesson I’ve learned is that not everyone will be on board with your passion projects. Additionally, we are our own worst enemies. That nagging voice in my mind telling me that I’m no good and the trolls are actually right about me? For now, she’s on vacation. She might make an appearance again. But until then, she’s not welcomed in front of my doorstep.

Have you had moments where you’ve dealt with your inner and outer critics? What did you do to cope with these moments? Let me know in the comments below.

Namaste,
Diana