Today I’m sharing a project that I’ve been working on for a while. This project was incredibly hard for me, mostly because through it I was processing a lot of emotions.
I start out just wanting to loosen up and explore some of the new techniques shared by some of the artists that I have been admiring on IG. @leahnadeau.art, @sarahcoeyart, and @mimanoart are currently among those artists that I am incredibly inspired by! It evolved into much much more.
Creatively, I was inspired by a TCW stencil with the “always be yourself” sentiment and a dictionary. If I’m being myself I need to define who that is. I chose three words, carefully.
Lovely. What immediately came to mind was that some wouldn’t consider me lovely. Generally, I don’t care what most people think of me, but there are a few that I have hurt desperately who I do care about. I carry a lot of guilt about that and I know that to them, they would not define me as “lovely.”
I felt like an imposter.
At this point, the project took an emotional turn. I started thinking about those people, about the situation that I was in which hurt them, and how I needed to apologize.
I thought that I’d found a dream come true. I thought that I had made a connection with someone so similar to myself. I was so desperate for this connection that I ignored all the red flags.
I started out feeling loved, cared for, valued, and equal. My contributions were important and respected. Eventually, this faded, slowly at first. Coming in early and staying late not only became expected, but oftentimes I was expected to stay late without warning. There were days that I didn’t come home until nearly my daughter’s bedtime, meaning I rarely spent more than half an hour with her in one day.
The sacrifices I made with my family weren’t appreciated, rather it seemed to me as if it was thought that my family got in the way of success. My privacy was intruded upon.
Without my permission, my name was used to author statements that were not my own. These statements were often ones that I usually didn’t agree with. This practice continued even after it was pointed out to be unethical. I was not the only one this would happen too. At some point, a fake identity was made, to field conversations from a specific set of people. At least then an identity wasn’t being used against its will. But the immoral behavior continued. And continued. And continued.
On multiple occasions, I was literally told that my morals did not matter.
Requests, from both sides, were made to discuss the issue. Theirs, half-heartedly, after not believing I was truly sick with headaches and a bout of IBS. They never followed through with the conversation. Mine, which came later, was summarily dismissed. I was left with the impression that my feelings were inconsequential as long as my tasks were completed.
What started out as feeling like friendship turned to ingratitude, to being taken advantage of, and ultimately to animosity and severe depression.
Yes, I had a good time at times. I had experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I learned a lot. I received remuneration beyond money, but it all came at a cost.
The cost was my morals. Friendships. Sanity. Self Respect.
There were completely altruistic reasons for staying in a horrible environment. It would be beyond unacceptable to share those reasons. Just know that I failed in those goals too. This haunts me every day.
Manipulation and toxic thoughts towards EVERYONE were entrenched every day. Chaos and futility thrived; the people around it suffered. This was normal. No meaningful attempt to rectify the situation was attempted. Everything was soaked in greed. Every scrap of kindness was a calculated decision.
The last day of our relationship, after my being a no-show (mental breakdown) for at least a day, and coming in stating that I’m not legally allowed to drive, the only concerns she had was with my impending tasks and kicking out my 6-year old from an environment she had previously been welcomed in.
Zero shits or concerns were given to my health and whereabouts. This came even after I tried to work from home one day, there were zero responses to my attempts at communication.
At the lowest, I felt that I was trapped. I thought there was no way out and that I needed to make the best of the situation.
That was when I caused the most harm.
This is what I was processing while I was working on this piece. The images are those that speak to my soul. The lantern because my grandma was from Morocco and I love ALL things Moroccan. The trees for my childhood in Northern California; I’m a tree hugger at heart. The clouds and rain because I want something beautiful. The unicorn because I desperately want to believe in magic. The rest have less meaning, but they still reflect who I am.
I can not fix what I have done, nor who I was. But I can grow from it and hopefully help others.
Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to watch the video as it carries more of my message and my apology.
Oh, if you want to know the products I used:
The Crafter’s Workshop Shimmery Goodness
Tonic Nuvo Sunkissed Copper Gilding Flakes
Liquitex Matte Gel
IndigoBlue Sheffield Steel Metal Flakes
Tonic Nuvo Radiant Gold Gilding Flakes
The Crafter’s Workshop White Modeling Paste
The Crafter’s Workshop Taky-When-Dry Gel Medium
Lindy’s Starburst Sprays Drop Dead Gorgeous Green
Lindy’s Moon Shadow Mist Vivaceous Violet
Lindy’s Starburst Sprays Tibetan Poppy Teal
Lindy’s Starburst Sprays Bells of Ireland Green
Lindy’s Moon Shadow Mist Burnt Umber
Lindy’s Starburst Sprays Ramblin Rose Pink
Pink Fresh Liquid Watercolor Sunshine
Pink Fresh Liquid Watercolor Lavender
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Opal Magic Blue-Green
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Lime Peel
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Opal Magic Coral-Teal
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Coral Reef
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Black Berry
Apple Barrel Brown Oxide Matte Acrylic Paint
Daler Rowney White Acrylic Ink
Tonic Nuvo Delux Adhesive
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Light Patina
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Sparks Magical Pond
Ranger Dylusions Cherry Pie Acrylic Paint
Ranger Dylusions Pure Sunshine Acrylic Paint
Ranger Dylusions Cut Grass Acrylic Paint
Ranger Dylusions Black Marble Acrylic Paint
All-Purpose White Acrylic Paint
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen Pink
Uni Posca Red
Uni Posca Yellow
Faber Castel Gelato Metallic Grape
Faber Castel Gelato Supernova
Faber Castel Gelato Black Hole
Faber Castel Gelato Mars
Faber Castel Gelato Starburst
Faber Castel Gelato Stardust
Faber Castel Gelato Nebula
Faber Castel Gelato Silver Ice
Faber Castel Gelato Comet
Ranger Distress Ink Black Soot
Ranger Distress Ink Victorian Velvet
Ranger Distress Ink Vintage Photo
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Delphinium
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Orange
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Red
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Blue Violet
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Aqua Green
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Yellow
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Turquoise
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Blue Green
Brutus Monroe Aqua Pigment Blue
Little Things from Lucy’s Cards Jewels – Rainbow Sparkle Mix
Liquitex Clear Gesso
The Crafter’s Workshop Grecian Gold Modeling Paste
The Crafter’s Workshop Copper Penny Modelling Paste
Ranger Dina Wakley Media Paint Evergreen
Ranger Dina Wakley Media Paint Lemon
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Crocus Fields
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Opal Magic Yellow-Pink
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Wild Fuchsia
Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique Rucg Turquoise
Jane Davenport Licensed to Quill Pen
Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of all the stencils, but if there is one you’re asking about specifically let me know! I’ll find its name for you!