Things Might Be Getting Better
I think things might be getting a bit better, or at least we might be out of the worst of the winter dry-season. Of course, Artificial Womb made some money over Xmas - with online sales - but generally when the weather is wet, windy and cold it's difficult to sell zines in the street, and street selling is the main way I shift stock. By next November we should have built up a larger group of regular subscribers (like those who support us on here - we're grateful) and have a solid, regular income from sales on our online Etsy shop - but I'm looking forward to being able to street sell more regularly this February.
Alfie and I got our first payment of job seekers allowance this week. Not enough to make up our rent shortfall or meet the rest of our direct debits, but it's something. The heating is on and there's proper, nutritious food in the fridge and that's a blessing.
Signing on is also a useful motivator. I rushed through an application for a masters of fine art postgraduate course this week, something I would have put off for another month or so if able, because we have to appear productive. It's a relief to have it out of the way. I should get accepted onto the course no problem and there's a good chance I'll qualify for a tuition-fee grant and maintenance bursary through a fine art postgrad scholarship particular to the art college here (Duncan of Jordanstone, where I studied for my undergrad too). So that's something to look forward to in the autumn.
For now the priority is exhibiting artwork, selling zines in the streets of Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh, applying for arts grants and part-time work and not getting disheartened. I put a dent in my car today, but don't appear to have damaged anything apart from the bodywork. Nothing to dwell on. The car tax is paid for this month and the insurance and repayments should go through too (provided there's no speeding fines or overdraft fees to pay). Things are stable enough.
I know we just have to keep going. Prepare the vegetable patch for gardening, make sure we're eating enough fresh fruit (something we've been finding hard to come by with our foodbank-based diet of late). I've given up meat, but am still eating fish (which seems to help stave off depressive episodes). I want to write more about food. With money tight it occupies a lot of my thoughts.
What I'm trying to say is thank you for sticking with this project. I know I need to get my financial situation stable, so that the zine and my own artwork are as high quality as they can be. We're getting there, Alfie and I, I think. We won't be poor for too much longer. Being on JSA should force us into being productive members of society soon.
Tomorrow I want to go down to the Fleet Collective before noon and apply for arts opportunities. At some point I must see if there's room in the Generator Projects member's show for one of my pieces. The deadline for dropping off work is tomorrow at 5pm, so no excuses - it has to happen. Otherwise the self-disappointment spiral will cripple me for a few days and I don't have time for that.
I nearly drove up to one of the local jumping spots yesterday, but Alfie ran out to the car and stopped me in time. What is there to live for? Art exhibitions and street selling and the idea that one day this life of ours will be self-sustaining.
I hope this hope is justified.