2015: The Year of Slightly Less Poverty

So 2015 was supposed to be the year I returned to sewing and started living a more creative life.

How did that work out?

More or less okay.  I overestimated how well I was, thinking that my mental health was fine now that I was on medication. That wasn’t really the case, though.  I spent most of 2015 battling my anxiety, at times unable to leave the house.  Since I was working from home, that wasn’t a deal breaker.  But it made getting supplies, sending off packages and the like more difficult.  Not impossible, but requiring a greater amount of scheduling and having things go right.

The depression was a bigger problem to contend with.  It would sap me of motivation and energy.  Coupled with the insomnia, I had to fight for every productive moment for the first half of the year.  It has only been in the last two months that I have found myself more often stable than not.

On the financial front, things fared about the same.  My grand plans for a limited number of large conventions hit speed bumps.  Two of them costing me money.  Those pretty much knocked the wind out of me economically speaking.  It’s only been in the last month that I have caught up on my bills.

But you aren’t here for value updates on how the year went.  You want the nitty gritty.  Just how much money did I make on this quest to earn a living by my creative endeavors?

When it is all said and done I made a gross income of $3,858.86.  My expenses equaled $3,976.53.  So my year ended in the red by about $120.  Up until I paid for my Anime Midwest booth I was in the black for six months of the year, though.  Not great, but not catastrophic.

How did I make my money?

Commissions $1,185.00
Etsy Sales $759.21
Direct Sales* $1,475.50
Other** $407.46

With that $120 in the hole sitting there, the question some might ask is: Why are you going to keep this up in 2016?  I’m asking a different question: Having made almost $1,500 in convention and direct sales with two awful events as part of the mix, how much more could I earn vending at two larger, more established events this year.


* The include sales at conventions as well as sales to people who contacted me directly rather than through Etsy.

** Stuff sold on E-bay, E-book formatting work, etc.

In a World …

There’s a meme that has been making the rounds on my Facebook newsfeed.  “In a world of Kardashians,” the meme says, “be a Diana.”  I’ve seen a few variations of the meme.  “Be a Stevie [Nicks]” says one.  “Be a Rey [from Star Wars]” says another.  There are probably others out there, telling people to be whatever type of woman the meme author finds better than the Kardashians.  And it’s one of those memes that annoys the fuck out of me.

Those pseudo-uplifting ideas that are meant to promote individualism, but only a very specific kind of individuality.  Much like those Real Women Have Curves and When Did This Become Hotter Than This memes, the idea is based on promoting one standard of beauty at the expense of another.  And like those memes it’s poison.  Because when you base your self-confidence on tearing down another’s, you are participating in the same destructive rhetoric that society uses to enforce conformity and to punish those who don’t fall into the narrow definitions of what it means to be a woman.

Just as bad is the inherent sexism in the meme.  Like the other mentioned memes, it is always aimed at women.   If Kim Kardashian was instead Kevin Kardashian, the memes would be very different.  Kevin would be considered a smart business man, a trendsetter, the head of a corporation that influences media, fashion and technology.  The memes would be comparable to ones extolling the virtues of The Most Interesting Man in the World or Overly Manly Man.  But instead, despite being a successful entrepreneur and having a net worth of $85 million, she’s held up as the wrong kind of woman to aspire to.

I realize that progress has been made on so many fronts: body acceptance and positivity, body diversity, rejecting harmful beauty standards, celebrating and encouraging differences and individuality.  And I recognize this is just a phase in that progression.  But I will be very happy when we move beyond this grade school attitude that in order to celebrate what makes us special we have to tear down those who might find their own specialness in the status quo.  Or, as I put it on Facebook:

In a World Facebook Post