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IT’S 3 AM

I’m still obsessed with making money online. I paused my Etsy shop and created a new one here, on this site. There’s a link on the menu.

The site is also optimized for Google Adsense, and ads keep coming up. I am on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter and some viewers come along now and then, but far from being enough. None of them turned into a customer for my services as an illustrator nor purchased something from my store. The only useful page in this site has been the Portfolio, which link I send to potential customers from the Zaask freelance platform. They like my work and make business with me.

I have some regular readers from the WordPress community. That feeds the ego when they’re sincere, but it means nothing for my pockets.

I’m considering giving up any expectations of making money through blogging. I will focus on sharing CHRONOS and hope for nothing in return. Money is to be found somewhere else.

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ON BEING AN AUTHOR

The greatest problem of an author is not running out of ideas. It is running out of money. Worse, it is not making a dime with each oeuvre. One works to death for the void, finding no audience, and no payment. When finding an audience, there’s still no payment.

Here I am blogging, to keep a non-paying audience, still with the illusion of making it grow enough to the point of being paid for add space. This is so silly. It won’t happen. My content isn’t comercial enough.

Being an original author is no way of making a living. One has to be trendy, fashionable and formula rendering to get some income. It’s a matter of finding a tasteful recipe for the crowd and serve pudding over and over again, just like Hollywood. Some illuminated call this recipes genres. The more you follow the recipe, the better author you are.

There are also some enlightened critiques defending the idea of compromise between originality and recipes for success. Those shrunk brains don’t understand that compromise means loss of new meaningful content, which is cut out to be replaced by standards. It is commercial censorship and soul amputation.

Who am I kidding, then, with my silly project? Both this site and CHRONOS will never make me money to survive. I will only make it through commissions, as a drawing and copywriting machine. A working author, I suppose.

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RAMBLING BRAIN

I just realized my level of concern with couples, relationships and marriage is even more abnormal than I thought. My brain is constantly rambling about that, in unstoppable cycles. People don’t get lost like this.

Then there’s this sharing thing, a quest for some sort of redemption and love. Somehow I have the expectation of my words being gratifying to someone and my loneliness ceases. This is completely out of reality.

My suffering, which I call loneliness, is nothing such. It’s depression, pure and simple. It is a chemical imbalance in my brain and the solution is not to be found in a companion. It is all up to me. On treatment and healthy habits. Looking obsessively for a companion certainly isn’t one.

I must find a healthy way of living. This quest for love must be abandoned. I should focus on having fun and make friends. I haven’t done so on childhood and on my teens and now I’m paying for it.

I must silence the voices in my head that launch me to this neverending romantic enterprise and just be outside of my head. It’s time to receive the world, instead of making up one.

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ONE CHANCE ONLY

We live only once and most of my life has been a total waste. This is not a middle-age crisis digression. I have not lived. I’ve been only witnessing existence. Though I’m aware of this for a long time, I haven’t find a way of changing my way of living yet.

I suppose my frustrations are the same as everyone else’s, namely the lacking of love, intimacy and sex, all three connected in a relationship with someone not too demanding. I think this is the key for the all thing. People demand too much from each other, wasting their own and others’ lives with resentment and remorse. Demand should be replaced by acceptance, as long as abuse remains rejected.

It horrifies me the frustration I witness in most relationships and marriages. Such horror started with the divorce of my parents when I was a kid. I became obsessed with love, connection, and all fantasies about soulmates and their sexual fusion. This made me a hungry and scary animal, incapable of anything casual or any abusive commitment, and highly intolerant to the presentation of sex as a favor or gift from women to men. The idea of deserving the opening of her legs is extremely violent to me. Things only work for me when both do our best to feel horny all the time. This requires the effort to excell in all of the spectrum of a relationship, and a profound knowledge, respect and acceptance of the limitations of our companion.

No wonder I feel my life totally wasted. I should have learned to embrace much less than this and invest on hedonism. The thing is I don’t know how and I’m not getting younger. More, I’m afraid of the hedonistic approach being an absolute hell to me. I can’t get rid of my hunger for connection.

I feel my life is wasted because of the absence of connection. I’ve been connected a few times, but unrealistic demands, intolerance and abuse eroded everything. I grieve every day for these losses and long for someone who finally gets it, or who makes me get something else worth fighting for.

Meanwhile, life keeps getting wasted.

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MEETING PEOPLE

Is it just me or meeting people is really hard nowadays? It might be just me. I have a lot of handicaps for such an enterprise. I don’t drink alcohol nor coffee. I don’t eat cheese, greasy food, cream nor too sweet desserts. I get brain freeze with ice cream. I am prone to headaches. I don’t smoke. I have no interest whatsoever for sports or any sort of competition. I find gyms too loud and crowded. I like to dance but I’m more frightening than Elaine from Seinfeld. I find myself shaking after five minutes in the sea or in the swimming pool and become a shrimp under the sun. In short, due to physical limitations, I don’t feel comfortable in activities most people love.

Besides myself, what else makes it hard meeting people? There were balls and fairs on weekends decades ago. Not anymore. Some people go to church on Sundays, or other places of cult on Fridays or Saturdays, but I will never go to religious places. My job experiences did not make possible enough social contact among co-workers and work parties were poisonous. As to social media, they are not social at all. Likes and comments among people who will never meet. A total waste of time, blogging included.

I’ve been looking for activities and groups where I might feel comfortable. I once tried amateur theater, but I soon got bored and memorizing lines is not my thing. I recently joined a writing group and I’m loving it, looking forward to meet them in person instead of Zoom. It’s the only artistic and creative community not focused on measuring dicks I ever met. I hope to find more in time, and meet kind people in the flesh.

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BLOGGING PROPERLY

I wish I knew how to blog properly. I am talking about making money with it, obviously. As far as I can tell, there are two major kinds of blogs: the How To blogs and the Look At Me blogs. Both can promote services. Internet gurus say money is on the first kind of blogs, unless you’re some kind of celebrity or influencer.

When I say blogging it includes any kind of social media posting, like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and what not. It is very difficult to me to achieve any sort of success in this virtual universe because I don’t like it enough. If the door to affordably promote my services and my art was another, I would probably eliminate all my Internet profiles and stay away from the computer.

Most of How To blogs are very specific or rather redundant and deceiving. Pretending to be an expert is highly recommended in the blogging sphere. The Internet becomes a giant sales channel. That’s the main purpose of it as a business. The Look At Me blogs of influencers are the new generation of commercials.

People like me, who strive to make a living with their art and have creative projects of plain and simple aesthetic value, try hard to survive in the dog world of commerce. I avoided it for twenty years, having a daytime job that ruined my mental health. Now I’m trying to learn how to play the game without getting my soul dirty. I hope my mind doesn’t collapse.

My blog and site is growing, but it’s not exactly a success. I wonder if I’m not just wasting time and energy with this and social media. I might give up of posting daily. I really don’t know.

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AM I SHARING TOO MUCH?

I have mixed feelings on blogging about myself. I don’t know whether I’m vain or in need for attention, but there’s this urge to share what comes in to my mind and the insane hope of getting some love in return. This is the behavior of a child.

Since I was said four years ago to have a mental illness for most of my life without being aware of it, sharing my emotions became even more urgent. I found myself not needy but desperate for attention and love. As time passes, I’m getting more unbearable.

Somehow I have the idea that my opinions matter, that my rubbish is valuable contribution to a better world. Knowing there’s absolutely nothing new on my epiphanies, I take refuge on aesthetics, claiming to create new items of beauty that will boost the humanity within us. I think of myself as a kickass artist.

Sharing my views and emotional processing is the chore of my art, wich I take as universal, as part of the most intimate common ground we share as human beings. It would probably be wiser to keep this apart from the promotion of my services as a professional illustrator, but I can’t find a way of achieving that. It all goes in the same package.

You’re hiring more than a drawing machine, folks. Sorry about that.

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MY COMPUTER CRASHED

The technician said it’s the motherboard. I’ll be out of my computer for two weeks. I’m using my cellphone to write this. Very important decisions about my career are to be taken this week, including formalities to be taken through the Internet, and all of a sudden my machine has a stroke.

There are solutions to get things done, but my anxiety got crazy again. I have this cellphone and I can try going to a public library or ask help from friends in case of emergency. The thing is the chronic panic I’m living in while doing my best to be rational and pragmatic during this tiny crisis.

One of my worries is to keep the posting pace of this blog. I want to increase my audience to the point of making real money through Adsense. I’ll probably never achieve such a goal, but it’s too soon to give up. I want this site to become a reliable brand of quality entertainment.

The other concern is the management of commissions. It’s time to become a cellphone virtuoso. That won’t be too hard, I hope. As for scanning illustrations, I can do it in a store nearby.

Everything will be fine. I only wish this damn anxiety to cease.

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THE DAY I FELT I WAS AMERICAN

I was at home and turned on CNN on the TV. I don’t remember why. Perhaps I was in one of those moods for watching international news an CNN still had some reputation back then. There was a reporter on what I supposed to be a rooftop or a large balcony. He dressed an impeccable suit and might have been on his mid-fifties. Strangely he was almost alike to Mário Crespo, one very respected Portuguese journalist born in Mozambique, like my parents, myself being the first of their children to be born in Portugal. A few days later, I would see Mário Crespo talking like this reporter. I am sure he mimicked his gestures to be stylish and solemn. This is how far respectability goes in our press.

Behind the American reporter was the skyline of New York. There were two glass and steal towers on the center, which I knew from movies of the seventies and eighties. They were part of my imagery of America. When I draw cities I recalled buildings like those, I imagined car chases and spy stories on that set.

One of the towers was on fire, on the stores above. The reporter was live, in conversation with the anchor lady. I don’t remember her, but in my head she is blonde now. She made a question about Bin Laden. I could barely understand those words. Only after they were repeated a few times I understood the journalists were talking about a terrorist. I had never heard of him before nor of the organization Al Qaeda. My only references to terrorism were Palestine, Northern Ireland and the Basque country. Then the reporters talked about a terrorist attack on an American embassy in Kenya. I did not remember that. It was in 1998, when people first heard of Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda. For some reason, I had skipped that one.

I only realised what was happening when I saw the second airplane hitting the other tower. I froze.

All I can say is the reporters kept reporting. The man in the suit kept his cool and his style. I don’t remember much more about that man, but I was impressed.

Then came the reporting on the streets. And the filming of people on the windows of the towers, making their choices on how to die.

I saw both buildings collapsing. It was the first time I heard the word debris. People were talking about the debris. Dust and debris. To my amazement, almost everyone who talked to the microphones, common people on the street, said the reaction to the attack would never be similar. America will not kill innocents. People were saying that, covered in dust. Over and over again. We will not do this. I think that was when my eyes got wet.

This was the first time I saw Rudolph Giuliani. He was the mayor of New York and seemed to me an astounding person. I wouldn’t imagine who he really is. He told an amazing story. While on terrain he talked to a man on a stretch. He asked the man how he was and the man gave an answer which Giuliani said it could have been taken from a movie: “Hey, I’m a New Yorker!”

Civilization had been attacked several times before, but 9/11 was the only attack I saw happening. I felt hurt. The West has serious flaws and tones of hypocrisy, and the same must be said about America. Nevertheless, America is the mother of modern democracy, saved Europe from the Nazis and the Soviets, all that with the sacrifice of their own men and women. My culture, and of several like me, is all American. The United States is the Roman Empire of our time and, in a much better way than the Romans, it does both good and evil. The good of America is overwhelming and 9/11 made me realize how much of America is in me.

From that day on I consciously became an American.

Saturday, December 11th 2021

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25 EUROS PER ILLUSTRATION

I draw for you. You talk to me. Offer a gift to remember.