Words Of Encouragement From The Occasionally Discouraged Artist

Words Of Encouragement From The Occasionally Discouraged Artist

We've all been discouraged at some point in life, but we cannot let that stop us from being encouraged.

Have you ever been somewhere that makes you feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of our world? I have. About 7 years ago I was able to visit Alaska with my family, and standing among the mountains, trees, and wide open spaces you begin to gain a perspective of your place on the planet.

Yet the same feeling washes over me when I stand in the middle of Times Square - the feeling that you are merely a speck of dust in the air. This feeling is even further enhanced when you want to make a mark in this world; through art, through actions, or through impressions. These feelings never really fade, but the best any of us can do it try to make a difference anyway we can.

I grew up with crayons in my hands and images in my mind, and my love of art has continued to trickle into my life today. In high school you can take classes on a regular basis without any fear of not meeting requirements for majors, but it doesn't last forever. In my sophomore year of college I declared as an English major, making the choice to focus on writing over my first love - art.

Yes, there are art classes in college, but they are not always accessible for non-art majors. My first and only experience in a college drawing class really shattered my confidence to be honest - the teacher constantly discouraged me, when art had always been a safe place. I still haven't taken another art class since that particular drawing course my freshman year.

So I learned that if I could not find the solace of art in class form, I would have to find it in my own time. After about a year I decided to make an Instagram page dedicated to this work, to share it with people that may appreciate it, or connect with anyone that would be interested in commissioning anything. When you decide to share anything online it is intimidating, you want to know what people think, but at the same time you are protective over the work that you have been creating.

When you submerge yourself into social media sharing, you start to understand how many other people have the same dreams as yourself, but this shouldn't discourage you. Sure, there will always be another account that has more followers or likes than you, but it doesn't mean that your work is any less valuable. One of the most important lessons that I've learned in life, is that if you can make a difference in one person's life then you have accomplished something amazing.

Some days are better than others. Lack of interest in your work can be discouraging, but if you keep working at it success will build. Starting with commissions, my art received some attention here and there, but it eventually led to some of the most exciting experiences of my life.

Through my art I have been able to connect with other people who inspire me, and it is thrilling to know that people I respect enjoy my art. If I had let all of the discouragement that I have experienced, or the feeling of insignificance I have felt in fantastic spaces overpower my judgment, I would not have been able to have these incredible experiences.

Last autumn, I was lucky enough to meet an incredible author who's story made a lasting impression on me because they had seen my art; this has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had because of my art. Also recently, I attended a concert and was able to share my art with the artist, they enjoyed it so much that they shared it on their own social media.

Of course opportunity is key, but it doesn't take a lot to make the effort and put yourself out there, you never know who you may reach.

Cover Image Credit: Krista Bordeleau

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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After 'Extremely Wicked' And 'The Stranger Beside Me,' We Now Understand The Criminal Mind Of Ted Bundy

1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 550 pages later.


Netflix recently released a movie in May called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" (2019), based on the life of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend's viewpoint.

In 1980, an author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule, published a book about her experience and personal, close friendship with Ted Bundy, called "The Stranger Beside Me."

These two sources together create an explosion of important information we either skim over or ignore about Ted Bundy. Watching this movie and reading this book can really open your eyes to who Ted Bundy really was. Yeah, there are the confession tapes on Netflix, too, but these other things can really tie it all into one big masterpiece of destruction.

I swear, it will blow your mind in different ways you never thought possible.

In the movie, "Extremely Wicked", Zac Efron stars as the infamous Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer. He portrayed the murderer who kidnapped, killed, and raped 30 women or more. Personally, he made a great Ted Bundy, mannerisms and all. Lily Collins stars as Ted's girlfriend who was easily manipulated by Ted and believed that he was innocent for years.

The movie is told in the order that Liz, Ted's girlfriend, remembers.

In the book, "The Stranger Beside Me", Ann Rule writes about Ted Bundy, who used to be her old friend. They met while working at a crisis center in the state of Washington and were close ever since. Like Liz, Ann believed he was innocent and that he was incapable of these horrific crimes.

Ted Bundy had made both Liz and Ann fools. He easily manipulated and lied to both women about many things for years, his murders being "one" of them.

Okay, so we all know that Ted Bundy was absolutely guilty as hell and totally murdered those women. 30 women or more. He literally confessed to that, but researchers and authorities believe that number to be way higher.

But... you must know that the movie and the book tell two different stories that lead to the same ending. That's why it's so intriguing.

At one point, I couldn't stop watching the movie. Then, I bought Ann Rule's book and was completely attached to it. I couldn't put it down.

For me, Ted Bundy is interesting to me. Unlike most young girls today, I don't have a thing for him nor do I think he's cute or hot. I know that he used his charm and looks to lure women into his murderous trap. That's why it's so hard to understand why this movie and book created a new generation of women "falling in love" with Ted Bundy.

GROSS: He sodomized women with objects. He bludgeoned women with objects or his own hands. He was a necrophile. Look those up if you have not a clue of what they mean. That could change your mind about your own feelings for Ted Bundy.

After "Extremely Wicked" and "The Stranger Beside Me", I now understand the criminal mind of Ted Bundy. He was insane, but he was also smart, put together, educated, charming, and lots more. That's why I'm so interested in why his brain was the way it was.

The criminal mind is an interesting topic for me anyway, but for Ted Bundy, it was amazing to learn about.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book I quickly read in two weeks! If you want answers, they are there.

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