Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"When in doubt, take a nap."

Y'all know how depression goes...ups and downs...it's a constant motion. My up time has lasted so long this round; one of the longest periods of time where I have genuinely felt GOOD! I have been feeling a little slip these last few days, but I'm staying hopeful that it's not necessarily an impending down slide. It's probably a combination of things...allow me to list them please:

1. I miss my family terribly.
2. I miss my friends terribly.
3. I'm working more hours.
4. I'm trying to be the best wife.
5. I'm trying to be a best friend.
6. I'm stressing over finances.
7. I'm stressing over The Ro Fo Sho Art and Photography.
8. I'm about to start my period (sorry male readers).

I THINK I'M SIMPLY OVERWHELMED! I've loaded up my plate with goals and ambitions, and I've set my bar high, and I'm already fearing failure. Failure. There's that trigger! Anyway! Y'all don't need to worry about me; I'll be fine. It's important for me to share that not every day is sunshine and roses...we must keep pushing forward.

I feel stuck with my art business...I don't know how to price my pieces, how to package them nicely for presentation and archival purposes, how to get the best reproductions made...I don't know how to do any of this. It will take time and I need to be patient and keep researching...I know this...but I'm really so damn impatient! Agh! Sigh...it's going to be okay.

For now I'll leave you with one of my favorite A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail pieces and a quick Prisma Color Nupastel drawing from a few nights ago called, "The Blue Lady."

There it is, dear readers...just feeling a little blue these days...and ready for a nap! Happy Tuesday!

Hugs and love, my lovelies,
The Ro Fo Sho

Monday, August 8, 2016

Space for My Dreams

My surroundings are very important to my creative process...comfort and noise control are essential. I have trouble focusing these days in my old age (haha), and so I'm easily distracted. Plus, my head is constantly overflowing with ideas, and it can be challenging for me to sort them all out. A lot of times y'all won't see me on the blog for a while because I'll be sitting in front of my screen typing and backspacing over and over unable to write anything that makes sense. For the past five and a half years I've had plenty of alone time, distraction free...my husband (Tom) was away doing Navy Sailor business more often than he was home. My dining room was my work space of sorts with my nice big table that served as a kind of mini office/art studio. These days my husband is home pretty much all the time now...shore duty in the Navy life doesn't take him away as much, and I'm truly grateful for that. However, I no longer had my own space for creating. You see, my beloved does not have a man cave; the living room is his zone...he's a gamer...and the living room shares an open space with the dining room. My handsome gamer does the online thing where he's playing with people all over the country and they're all talking to each other on headsets...being loud and talking shit to each other...being boys...it's very distracting...totally disrupts my concentration. I love it though; I love how much happier Tom is these days, and our relationship has improved greatly this last year. But, back to the story! We have an extra room, but we've had roommates since we've lived in Florida; they were a much appreciated big help to us financially! Now we are trying it on our own; no more roommates; and an extra room...all for me!!! The Ro Fo Sho Art and Photography officially has its own space...and it's time for me to get back to work, dear readers. Today I will be taking photos of all my original pieces with my DSLR camera, and I will be researching the best way to get prints made. My goal is to start offering originals and prints for purchase by the end of this month. Then I will focus on organizing my photography. I should probably add some "To Do" lists to my "To Do" list haha! Anyway! I'm going to try and take and share a little video of my new space...there is still work to be done as far as more organization as well as decor for inspiration...but I already love it in here...I will grow my business from here. As always, thanks for sticking with me, dear readers, and hugs and love, my lovelies.

The Ro Fo Sho

Also, please follow me on Instagram at Instagram.com/amyrofosho and like my Facebook page facebook.com/amyrofosho...please :) And always feel free to email me if you have questions or need to talk to someone about depression; remember, this little corner of the internet is where I share my art and my life with mental illness - amyrofosho@gmail.com

Friday, July 15, 2016

Travel Sized Art

I've been writing and creating and dreaming and thinking and planning...my mind is overflowing with ideas and dreams and hopes...and I'm absolutely terrible at getting it all neat and organized. I use to be a champ at making lists...how did I lose this ability? I have no idea, but I hope to reclaim it. Or maybe someday I'll have a personal assistant! Ha! Anyway! My depression has been under control for a good little while now...I still have the down days; but it feels like forever since my last long slump, and I'm grateful for this time. Those of us who live with mental illnesses never know how long the good or the bad might go on. It seems we get sadder and sadder when we're down at the bottom and it feels like we'll never get out. But then there's a kind of anxiety and panic during the good times wondering how long it might last. It's a crazy roller coaster ride; y'all have heard me say that time and time again...I'd link previous posts but I don't feel like it, so I suggest searching if you're interested. This is what I try and tell myself every time: When I'm down, I keep pushing through knowing that it can't last forever. When I'm up, I push the anxiety to the side, and I try to live in the moment and enjoy and relish every drop of that delicious goodness. Down or up...I keep on Ro Fo Sho'in'!

Today, I will be working on bookmarks, and then I'm going to laminate them at work, and then I'm going to sell them! How much would you pay for a one of kind hand made piece of art you can take with you wherever? Travel sized art sounds fun to me! Let me know, dear readers :)

This is my dining room table most of the time...completely covered in The Ro Fo Sho Art and Photography shenanigans haha! This is actually a tamed version; composed for a decent photo! Up at the top you'll see some rainbow strips, and those are some simple bookmark ideas I've been working on. I should give myself a deadline for when I need to have my art available to purchase...I can't wait to (hopefully) start spreading it all over the world...awww...I'm in day dreaming mode now, dear ones...time to wrap up.

Keep on Ro Fo Sho'in', my friends and hugs and love, my lovelies!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fangirl Shout Outs!

I've discovered some favorite writers and artists on Instagram whom I've either already made purchases from or look forward to future buys! They have grown quite a fan base from Instagram, and some are active in multiple social media outlets. I wish I was as consistent in my online activity! Maybe someday...ha! Anyway! Let me introduce y'all to some of them...Again...these are their Instagram usernames...oh and I'll link their Etsy accounts and shops!

Absolutely cannot wait to purchase some art from @mackill (link via the computer)!!! How will I decide?! Etsy link

@j.raymond (link via the computer) was my first writer discovery, and I suppose I've been obsessed for more than a year now. I bought his first publication "Spades" when he first launched it, and now I have a signed 2nd edition copy on the way plus "Let Her Run." Super excited! Straight talk, honesty, tells it like it is, gritty and raw and sexy writing right here, dear readers! Etsy link

@j.r.rogue (link via the computer) and @kat.savage (link via the computer) were practically discovered at the same time because they support and promote one another and are friends in real life! I think that's fabulous :) I find these two women very inspiring, and I know that they are going to make a difference in so many lives. Kat's Etsy Link and J.R.Rogue's Shop Link

Can't wait for these to get here! I've already started a collection with J.R.Rogue and have been greatly enjoying these reads:

So, there you have it, dear readers; the creative minds I'm being the fangirl over right now haha! I hope The Ro Fo Sho Art and Photography becomes as successful as these artists have been. But you know...if not...at least I'm enjoying what I'm doing and loving the encouragement and support that I have received. My art lifts me up, and that is really the most important thing, right?

One more shout out, my friends! Another love of mine is music! It influences my art and writing greatly! Local and live music is a treat, and I've definitely missed The Deli in Norman Oklahoma and the talent I always enjoyed there! Sorry for the excessive exclamation marks...it's just exciting, people!!! Anywho! The Band Be Easy is a Florida favorite, and I demand you check them out...that's right...demand!

Okie dokie, my friends, today is my day off and I want to go soak up some sunshine at the pool, so this is all for now. Happy Hump Day and hugs and love, my lovelies!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bruises and Pauses

The following is something I wrote the other night when I was away from my computer, pencil, and paper...okay so I was at work...and yeah I'm not supposed to work on personal stuff at work...but I had the urge to write, and it was slow, and I was still taking care of customers, and it didn't hinder my efficiency in any way. So there. Here it is:

I’ve started promoting my art via a Facebook fan page, and the support from so many friends and family has been incredibly wonderful! The encouragement to keep pursuing my dream of sharing my art with the world, is appreciated beyond measure. I’m still researching on the best ways to go about getting my business legitimately up and running, so it’s going to be a process; but after years and years of simply talking about it, I’m actually doing something…finally! The ball is officially in motion haha! I’ve been wondering how much (if at all) I should separate my personal life with my art life. I’d like to make a decent living from my art someday, but how much of my life do I share along the way? One thing that is clear and something that will always be a part of this aspect of my life is my journey with clinical depression. As passionate as I am about creating and writing, I’m just as passionate about the discussion of mental illness. I feel like there are several of our voices out here, but we’re still not being heard loudly enough. And we all know that our mental health is a daily thing…not an every now and then kind of thing. So there’s my answer. Every day of my life is affected by depression and anxiety; sometimes it affects my art and sometimes it doesn’t…but it’s all part of the same story. I’m going to share a chalk pastel I completed Thursday night. My direction and vision for it changed and evolved as I went along, and my final thoughts on it were with consideration to mental illness. The center of the image became a representation of the semicolon. Are you all familiar with the movement? I’ll get a link for you all…here! I really love that we can all find a meaning in a simple form of punctuation. I won’t always go so in depth with the things I create; I want the viewer to figure out how they feel and what it means to them on their own. This one, however, is very clearly my idea (one of them anyway) of depression. It’s a bruise and a mark that no one can see, but just as the semicolon implies, all it can really do is cause pauses throughout our lives. My dream of being an artist has been paused several times these last 33 years, but I’m hopeful for longer periods of time without the pauses.

 (title in the works, chalk pastel by Amy Ro Fo Sho)

 I haven't settled on a title; it will be something like "An Invisible Bruise" or "Bruising Pause." Suggestions always welcome, dear readers!

Stay hopeful even during the pauses, and hugs and love, my lovelies!

In motion,

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Rainbows On Her Soles"

Well, helloooooo! (Please tell me some of you read that in a Mrs. Doubtfire voice?!) Jeez Louise it's been about 3 and a half months...holy moly! Sorry again for abandoning this little corner of the internet...for the zillionth time...ugh. But, hey! It's going to get better! Let me tell you why. So, after my last entry (An Angry Side to Depression), my struggles kind of...ummm morphed and thinned and bubbled up and over...I was basically all over the place emotionally. Stressed from my new job, still feeling anger and resentment, drained and dragging through every day. It was the first week in May when I just lost it for a few days. Truth be told, I screwed up with some of my prescriptions...as in I called them in and didn't pick them up on time...and my anxiety got a strong hold of me...like a vice around my soul and my heart...squeezing me to the point where it hurt to breathe and the tears came in floods completely uncontrolled. Depression and anxiety can make you feel crazy, and I tell y'all what, I was feeling like the craziest of crazies! I missed 3 days of work and I slept and slept and slept. I've said it before and I'll say it again...we don't always have to fight it...we are allowed to be weak...it's okay to keep the blinds and our eyes closed sometimes. But, again, like I also always say, we can't stay there very long or it can overwhelm us. So, I got my medicine and I got myself to work and I listened to my music and I created my art and I put my fists back up in the air on guard ready to fight the shadow again...and I've been fighting, my friends. I've been "Ro Fo Sho-ing!" that asshole darkness what's up and who's boss! Hell yeah! I'm going to try and make that a phrase for all of us living with mental illness..."Ro Fo Sho" with me, y'all...meaning keep fighting and don't ever give up...keep on "Ro Fo Sho-ing!" I think I'll make t-shirts haha! So! When I first created this blog, it was supposed to to be about my life with depression but also about my art...because my art comes from my life...and it's my therapy too...and like my story, I want to share my art with the world. Get ready... The Ro Fo Sho Art & Photography is officially on it's way...more details to come. And thanks for sticking with me, dear readers!

Hugs and love, my lovelies, and keep on Ro Fo Sho-ing!

Love and Peace,
The Ro Fo Sho

"Rainbows On Her Soles"
by Amy
(lyrics from Beth Hart's "By Her")

Monday, February 29, 2016

An Angry Side to Depression

Time to confess all of my recent struggles with my depression, dear readers. My medicine wasn't working anymore, and when I ran out, although I put the refill request in, I couldn't bring myself to go and pick them up. Basic living and functioning have become more and more challenging. Anxiety and depression typically go hand in hand, but I never really had problems with it until this last year and a half really...and it's gotten worse and worse, I'm afraid. During these last six months or so, I've developed problems with focusing and concentrating as well. I start projects, chores, or tasks, and I can't finish them...I look around at the mess and chaos and I get overwhelmed. Mindless tasks become my only comfort, but even then, I'm still fidgeting...watching TV while playing a game on my cell phone and rolling silly putty around in my other hand...rewinding the show time and time again because I missed something!

I quit my job. I couldn't handle it. The noise and fast pace just about drove me crazy. And again, I couldn't focus...I can't even tell you how many wine glasses I broke. Normally I can leave my personal problems at the door when I'm on the clock, but I really couldn't keep it together...smiling alone made me want to cry with all the energy it took to fake it. I've found another job, and I start tomorrow...it will be quieter and more easy going I think...I hope...

I've unraveled before in my fight with mental illness. I believe every single one of us will at several points during our journeys. Some times are harder than others...this one has been. It has been one of those times where I have felt extremely alone. Now I know that I'm not...I am blessed with support and encouragement from friends and family from all over! Sometimes that long distance love just isn't enough. And sometimes the people who are physically closest to me can't seem to deal with me during my worst times...I can sense their annoyance and irritation, their lack of understanding and or compassion. Then again, that could be the darkness casting its shadows and distorting reality.

Whatever the case may be, I have recently had thoughts I've rarely had before. Normally, I would never wish my internal war and demons on anyone else! This period of time, however, has stirred up an emotion I avidly try to avoid. Anger. Attitudes toward me have felt dismissive and uncaring...like I've become exhaustive and a burden to be around. Usually I can deal with it...not lately. I have been experiencing resentment towards the people who seem to lack any ounce of empathy. I've been wishing my pain on them...wishing they could walk in my shoes for a while and feel the everything and nothing that I feel! I hate thinking this way, I really do. I wrote a poem about it...I'll share it with you all later. Right now...I don't know what else I can say on this topic. I'm angry, but I know my thoughts are unfair and terrible...I wish it, but I don't...it breaks my heart knowing that millions of us suffer. I wish it, but I don't...no one needs to feel this way.

When I saw my doctor a few days ago, I simply lost it...I couldn't explain anything at all without an endless stream of tears. So here's the newest battle plan! I'll be taking 40mg of Prozac with the addition of 10mg of Buspar, and I will be starting therapy up again soon. The therapy will probably help the most since I'm obviously experiencing more emotions and problems at one time than I have ever had before! Talking with you all has always been a kind of therapy for me, but there are things I can't say here...things that are too personal, you know? I hold back really, and I think that's important for you all to know. I believe in keeping the discussion for mental illness open and honest...our voices need to be heard! But our battles tend to involve details that aren't meant for all of the internet world. For example, I don't want to talk so openly about individuals or relationships which are a part of my story because that could potentially involve other stories that aren't mine to share. You know what I'm saying? I try and share as much as I can, I promise!

Anyway! I'm going to wrap this up, my friends. I'll share that poem with you all soon! Just checking in like I do and giving you all the latest update on my depression. I hope everyone has a great week!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!