Questioning EVERYTHING

Once or twice a month I go into a phase of questioning everything. I no longer trust my own life choices. I doubt my chances to succeed as an artist. I stop believing that the projects I’m working on are actually worth completing.
Today is the pointy peek of such phase, and it is increased by a few recent events.

Firstly, and I might have mentioned it somewhere before, my microstock income has dropped dramatically. That is despite my diligent efforts to upload new shiny vectors each week. I suspect that the reasons for this are:
1. The competition is growing, with more and more high end stock illustrators submitting marvelous works.
2. New Year and holidays’ slope that still echoes around.
3. Me slacking off in improving my skills and becoming a better artist 🙁
4. Shameless thieves take my stock vectors and sell them as if they were their own.

This week I heard about another case of image theft, with my images being used illegally and sold to third party without letting me see a dime. That made me quiet depressed, and while drawing new vectors I was thinking “why the hell am I doing this? I am basically wasting my day creating quality images for thieves to enjoy!!”
While image theft is a major problem, I know that it shouldn’t stop me from creating stock images. There are plenty of self respected companies that rely on stock photography websites. So I have some strength against thieves (for now), but I’m rather discouraged by all the other things on the list.

Aside from stock photography, there are my activities in the self publishing field. I’m shifting from being super motivated and excited to feeling that the whole idea is pointless and a waste of time. I know I should spend more time marketing my recent coloring book (it’s a really good one, with all honesty) and work on my next one (which has 99.9% of the illustrations ready). But creating stock images really takes most of my energy and time, and I am torn between the pressure to develop my microstock galleries and the feeling that I must grow as a self employed artist.

What should I do? Which should I choose? How do I divide my time? Is any of the option even worth choosing? These thoughts are flying in my brain like bats, consuming my motivation and sucking all my mojo. Alas!

To be completely transparent and fair, there are two more things that sabotage my plans: anxiety and idiopathic hypersomnia ( <- excessive daytime sleepiness). These two bastards are way too meaningful to be mentioned so briefly, but if I start talking about them I will end up with a new book to publish. I will only say that my anxiety is deforming every little concern into a life threatening situation, and my idiopathic hypersomnia is forcing me to take long wasteful naps during the day and spend my awaken hours feeling exhausted and cranky.

There, I complained my heart out.
Now to the festive guilt ceremony! That’s when I regret every second I spent writing this post instead on creating new vectors or working on my books or doing my taxes or  cleaning my house or whatever task my anxious brain can shoot into my conscious with needless “urgent!!” signs.

Hopefully you were not waiting for some clever conclusion about functioning in this mental chaos because I really don’t have one. If I’m pushed to the corner I would say, suck it up, take your two hands and just do SOMETHING. The storm will cease eventually. Or not. But at least you won’t be sitting idle waiting for the Messiah.

With this painfully practical tip I will go back to my current vector and complete it. While wondering if it is actually worthy, of course.