Etsy Info & Life & Blahhhh

A few months ago I shut down my Etsy shop pretty much out of the blue. Truthfully, something came up which required my full attention, so dealing with my shop in addition to that would have caused a lot of stress.

To be honest, I was already feeling that stress before shutting it down. Sometime during the winter season I hit a wall, especially when it came to sales/orders. It got to the point where they were beginning to cause physical anxiety, which is bizarre because that’s never really happened before. I feel bad for even mentioning that. I am, and have always been, incredibly grateful for the interest in my work. ❀

Anyway, having an excuse to close it for a while instead of hemming and hawing and stressing even longer turned out to be a really good thing.

There were a number of different reasons behind the way I was feeling in general – it wasn't just hobby/sales/etc related stuff. I haven't been open about it here, instead trying to keep an upbeat or neutral tone in my posts. (Should I be? Or is it too much? I never know. :/)

Today, I'm still not 100% but I'm much, much better. It's normal for me to go through periods of depression and anxiety. This time was a bit different though. Usually being creative and focusing on my hobbies is a way to cope. It's extremely discouraging when it's contributing to it instead. 😦

Taking a break helped. I got some pieces done that I've been wanting to make, but never had time for. I even managed to take a few days off of work, which hasn't happened in a couple years, and that helped TONS too.
I went to the bison range to look for animals and was not disappointed…

National Bison Range - Bison

National Bison Range - Pronghorn Antelope

National Bison Range - Turtle Rock

National Bison Range - Bison

And I went up to Glacier National Park.

Glacier - Lake McDonald

Glacier - Lake McDonald

I have every intention of going back to both. (is there any interest in those kinds of posts? I know it’s my blog and I can post whatever I want but…?)
It kind of hit me just how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful place, and I really don’t want to take it for granted. I forgive you, Montana, for the 6 months of winter. Please don’t burn to the ground again this summer, k?

Montana has finally decided that’s it’s Spring/Summer now, so everything is GREEN and it’s WARM and my mood has lifted considerably. Work’s better. I don’t feel quite as sad. I’ve been getting back in church nearly every weekend and that’s helping too.

Soooo… now what?

I’m not DONE with my Etsy shop. I have slowly been working on sales pieces, and managed to complete a batch of western pads which I’ve listed today:

I like making sales pieces, and I think that’s because there’s freedom in making them.

But I have also decided that I won’t be making things to order, or take on any custom orders for the time being. There’s a certain amount of fear behind that, and I am afraid that I’m going to disappoint or let people down. But the very idea of taking on any more is bringing that anxiety up again, and until I get that sorted -if I can get it sorted- I figure it’s best to put orders on the back burner for now. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself in regards to my shop… and there’s this other fear that if I can’t get x, y & z done by such and such time, or if I can’t dedicate so much time every day to work on stuff that I know people have been waiting for, I’ll be a total FAILURE. I know (I hope?) it’s all a lie but it’s still there bothering me.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say anymore, but for the last few weeks I’ve felt like I needed to say something. Also… if there are any artists/tack-makers/creatives that can relate, please leave a comment… I’ve allowed anonymous comments again. They were closed because of trolls. πŸ˜›

It seems like creativity and depression often go hand in hand and I’m not sure why that is. Or maybe I’m just weird, haha.

12 thoughts on “Etsy Info & Life & Blahhhh

  1. You aren’t alone! I have no words of wisdom, except to say that it sounds like you are making the best decision for you. I applaud you for that!

  2. Do what you need to do for you. YOU are the one who matters most to YOU. On that note, we are our own toughest critics, so be gentle to yourself. Do what you like, and if your ready to give it up, then put it up for sale. Not every artist has to do custom orders. I have been in a slump for almost two years now. I have great ideas and even day dreams at work of things I want to try or new ways to do some things, but once Im home i cant remember it, or it just wont translate to my hands and fingers. So, I feel your frustration too.

  3. oh, wow! I’m so sorry. Hope you’re feeling 100% soon! By the way, your tack always looks amazing, and I don’t think I would ever be let down or disappointed in something you made! πŸ™‚ I totally can relate with you! πŸ™‚

  4. I suffer from various mental illnesses, and yes, I totally 100% can relate to the anxiety you feel with custom orders and even creative hobbies for times. It’s important to listen to yourself and take a break when you need to. It avoids running yourself into the ground. I’m sure I’m not the only person in this hobby which can totally relate as well. Just take care of yourself and work in the way that suits you best πŸ’œ

  5. Your blog would be great with other posts like this!!! And don’t worry! everybody gets their creative spark burnt out for awhile ;D You are amazing, and it was so good that you took some time to yourself!

  6. Just work on it at your own pace, Nichelle. When it stops being fun, and well, more like a really unpleasant job, step away from it. Sometimes others forget that we’re only artists, not factories!

  7. Nichelle, your not alone at all! At the end of the day, just do you. I’ve pretty much given up models now after real horses took over, and therefore I gave up reading many blogs about it. But not this one! I love to read your blog regardless, so just do you, and don’t push yourself too hard. If you need a break / don’t want to do something, want to do something, then go for it. πŸ˜€

    We all care about you! πŸ™‚

  8. Ditto, ditto, ditto to it all! Love the blog, no need to be ‘up’ all the time, just be yourself. I also struggle with anxiety and depression. Time off is essential. Regrouping is healthy. Do you! Love and blessings!!

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