Next week is my birthday. If you want to give me a gift I have an idea for you! Today I put this illustration and also coloring page based on it to my Gumroad store. You can buy them there in a set, or separately. So you can choose the amount of money you are willing to spent.
You can buy A4 coloring page for as little as $1. And then please color it however you want, write some nice wishes on the cake for me and send it to me, or simply tag me in a post or story on Facebook or Instagram. I will really appreciate it! In this uncertain times I really need some good thoughts send my way and feel support of the community! Have a nice day!
How Are You Handling It? | An Illustrated Column By Ezra W Smith
What a month, huh?
As a person who is overwhelmed easily, I tried to stay offline as much as I could. I was never really reading the news that much, but eventually I stopped going to my usual information sources as well, because… guess what! Even blogs about art and crafts eventually started to only talk about COVID-19. Even lesbian podcasts, even sustainable fashion brands… I couldn’t take it anymore. So I replaced podcasts with audiobooks, and decided to only check the official recommendations of the country of my residence once per two days to know what is going on.
Another hard thing was that the majority of people (at least on social media) seemed to mostly be dealing with boredom and isolation. While I was still working as usual from home plus trying to homeschool my seven-year-old. For the last 3 weeks I was doing two full time jobs at the same time, keeping my home clean and preparing food, and taking care of 2 pets (one with chronic health issues). I wasn’t bored. I was scared and overwhelmed and stressed and under so much pressure. I wanted to yell at people— “what is wrong with you! How can you be tired of doing nothing! What the hell! Your only job is keeping yourselves entertained! This is not a real struggle!”
However I didn’t yell at anyone, even on the internet. In fact I didn’t even complain to any of my friends or anyone else about my situation. I decided that devaluing other people’s struggle in these difficult times is cruel and unproductive. Also I happened to have a child reasonably early in life, so now I find myself in a situation where I have a primary-schooler, but none of my friends have any kids at all and are maybe just starting to think about it now. So I knew nobody would relate. People would feel bad for me, but would not know what to say. Awkward. So I didn’t talk to anyone. Instead I stopped checking my Instagram, stopped listening to podcasts, stopped texting people and focused on actually doing my 2 jobs. Long story short, I survived. And this weekend spring break started so I no longer have to homeschool my child. For the whole week! What a lucky girl I am.
After this quick update on my life, let me finally get to the point. In this column I meant to talk not about myself (for once), but about a friend of mine. Let’s call her Magda.
Magda is the head of an animal shelter. She collects cats and dogs from the streets, takes care of their health, spays or neuters them at the vet clinic, and finds lovely new homes for these animals. The shelter can only function because of the volunteers – people who choose to spend their free time helping this animals, feeding them, socializing with them, giving them the love and attention they need. However, in this difficult situation we all found ourselves in, the government has decided to forbid for now any volunteering that is not connected to COVID-19. And so the shelter had to be closed for the time being. This is how Magda ended up with 6 dogs in a two-bedroom apartment…
I have a piece of amazing news to share. Since I was a little girl I only wanted to be 2 things: illustrator and writer. Clearly, I chose art as a career after all but my urge to write didn’t really go anywhere. So this year I decided – f*ck that, I don’t have to choose, I can do both. So starting this week I am not only an illustrator but also a columnist for EmpowherNY! Let me present to you my first ever column “More Time & Less Stuff”:
More Time & Less Stuff | An Illustrated Column By Ezra W Smith
By no means am I this fancy person who loves shopping. Until recently when thinking of the person who might have too many things, I was imagining Cher from the movie “Clueless”. I love Cher dearly, but she is not someone I can easily identify with. She is young, I am 30. She has money, I have rent that eats 60% of everything I make every month. I shop in vintage and secondhand stores (mostly due to lack of funds), I watched “True Cost” four times, I live in a small apartment with two other people, and I don’t have a separate room for my clothes like Carrie Bradshaw. And still, somehow, I have too many things. Not just clothes. But also clothes.
I have moved four times to another country in the last decade, and every time there were a few boxes of clothes I donated or threw away. Clothes accumulate wherever I live. Just like dust, appearing slowly but undeniably until you can’t breathe anymore.
And 80% of the clothes are that annoying “not quite right” type. Pants that are comfortable but only if you don’t sit in them for two hours. A blouse that is just slightly too small, so it unbuttons itself right where my breasts are. Not often. But often enough that you are anxious the whole time you are wearing it. Shoes that leave your feet bleeding, but only if you walk for more than 2 bus stops. And you know that. But somehow you still end up walking for quite a bit.
I decided to make a zine about scars. I am a human with a reasonably big scar on a stomach, so it’s a personal story too. If you want me to draw you and tell the story of your scar(s) please reach out to me 🌟 I can’t promise I’ll include everyone but I am very excited about it.
If you have a scar and you are happy with it you can tell me your story too! It can but doesn’t have to be a story about something you dislike about your body. Thank you in advance!
P.S. I will send the complete zine as a part of my newsletter, so if you are not subscribed to it yet please do!
P.p.s. this picture is of a woman called Maria who lost her brother in a car accident when she was 14 so her scar is a reminder of her brother. You can already read her story on my Patreon page🖤
I want you to know me a bit better. I want you to hear about my new projects, book releases and publications before everyone else. In the first few letters, I am planning to tell you about a few super exciting projects I am working on at the moment, my favorite podcasts, my beautiful pets, my big Slow Life turn that occurred in 2018, my recent interest in animal rights and veganism and my decade-long struggle with a unique type of body dysmorphia.
To share all of this and more is why I decided to create this newsletter. Interested?