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Art by Vethysnia

Traditional & Digital Art by Tasha Shropshire

“Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening itself.”

Life is stressful, but rewarding. Unkind, yet strangely yielding to when I am actually decisive. It has been a strange mix and balance of chaos and order, and it is in this space, with my mental health issues mostly managed, that I have become fortified by the struggle.

One of the biggest things I’ve had to struggle with throughout my life is keeping steady employment. In today’s strictly capitalist society that’s something not very many people ever want to admit, but it’s true for me. But with time comes discipline, with discipline comes ambition, and with ambition comes self ignited change. The seed of it all is hard to find, much less plant, but once someone does, the only limit that stands in the way of their success is their very own mind.

I have double scoliosis and advanced general auto immune disease. This includes chronic inflammation throughout my body, intense daily back pain, and a general fatigue that makes it difficult to get up and actually get the physical tasks in my life done. Given all these disabilities, and a seemingly insurmountable task of trying to get government assistance, I figured I need to stand on my own two feet and really learn how to take care of myself in today’s ruthless market.

Ergo, I have started to apply to as many freelance art, concept, video game startups, and commission based jobs as I can, in hopes that I can eventually afford my own place and all my own expenses. I really do acknowledge how far along I’ve come in terms of growing my art business; but it’s still in its very precious and tender stages, therefore it’s imperative that I gain secondary employment and income. Although it’s not preferable, I am also applying to art studio jobs wherein I’ll be on my feet a lot more throughout the day, as well as interacting with children, their parents, co-workers, and a supervisor. I have much experience in working with kilns, pottery, mosaics, glass artwork and jewelry, and work with nearly every single art medium, including gold leafing, watercolor, and digital. I should be a shoo-in, but my experience tells me I definitely know better than to fall for that mental trap.

It’s also still my desire to book some art shows with my traditional work, and yet that seems so far off as these art studios require hundreds of dollars of rent space as well as donation money. We’ll see how that fares in all honesty; I’m skeptical I’m ready for something like that in general, but at the same time it’s fun to imagine how far I could take this entire thing.

It is my dream to be an artist, as well as to live as one. For the rest of my life until I’m old and doped up on hospital morphine in a nice warm bed. Who knows, maybe even then I’ll still be painting! 😀

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