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4/6/19 Heart to Heart



Hello my lovelies! Hard to believe I haven't written a journal here since January. Time is flying by way too fast these days. I want to tell you all what I've been up to for anyone who reads my little journal here. It's hard to believe I've been on DA now for almost 15 years and I am 32 going on 33 come August. I've managed to achieve a lot of my big life goals so far; I lost over 100 pounds after having gastric bypass surgery, I met my soulmate, Aioue, who lives with me now for the past four years, I finally got a great car that's not a 1990s rust bucket P.O.S. that breaks down every month, I finally have a cat to love and care for again after 8 years being catless, and I'm not as financially impoverished as I used to be. I sell my art at Saratoga Comic Con and I tried out Plattsburgh Comic Con too, something I couldn't have afforded to do a few years ago. I'm no longer begging for commissions and taking on projects I don't enjoy out of desperation for money. These are all very good changes and I am so grateful! Let this be a lesson to you guys who are not where you want to be in life right now. If you write down your goals and take focused actions on achieving them, they will come true. It takes time; years of hard work, but it will happen. Life does get better if you work towards creating the changes you want and stop being a victim of circumstance.

I still reflect back on where I was compared to where I am now, and where I want to be in the future. I had a rough start for sure when my mom died of cancer in 2009 and I was forced to live in a tiny studio apartment where pets weren't allowed. My brother committed suicide in 2015, leaving behind his 6 kids. It seemed like my family was shrinking and I was surrounded by death and doom. For three years I had no job, very little money, I was over 330 pounds, I was single and lonely, and I suffered horrendous bouts of depression. I remember pacing back and forth in my apartment crying and talking to myself, feeling hopeless. I had a car that constantly broke down and ate up what little money I did manage to make while I was doing art commissions that burnt me out. I rarely did art for myself that I enjoyed, and that hurt me over so many years when I looked at my portfolio only to realize it was all commissions I wasn't proud of. Eventually I went from job to job, each one crappier than the last, but my financial situation improved so much that I was finally able to take my art back and be more choosy about commissions. Nowadays I don't do commissions hardly at all, and I'm happy about that! I sell my own art at comic con and I spend a lot of time trying to grow my following on social media. I think all of the hard times I endured made me stronger, and because it was all so uncomfortable, it forced me to make decisions and take actions towards achieving a better life for myself. 

These days I am working 5 days a week; I'm at Panera for three days then I teach private art lessons on the weekends. I am so grateful to my students and their parents for providing me income and allowing me to do a job I actually enjoy. I still have high hopes that someday I can leave Panera and never go back to a cruddy retail/food service job. I want to leave the minimum wage misery grind behind me forever and move forward as an artist full-time for the rest of my life. To do that I need to really produce amazing artwork and grow that following. Here on DA I have 1,300 some-odd watchers and it took 15 years of posting to groups, chatrooms, thumbshare forums, GetWatchers, commenting and networking, etc. I won't lie, I busted my ass and worked nearly a full-time job just to get what followers I have now, but I know only a tiny handful of you guys actually engage with my content here. You know who you are and I am always grateful for you guys for sticking with me, commenting, faving, and letting me know I'm not just posting my hard work into a void of nothingness. I appreciate you all, and if you ever want to talk to me, don't be afraid to message me or email me with questions or comments, or just to shoot the shit. I promise I don't bite!

I also want to thank Aioue for all of his love and support. A lot of my goals I achieved because he's in my life sharing in our joint effort to grow and improve our situation. We've even been looking into buying a house perhaps in the next two years once our car is paid off. I hope he achieves his goals to be a writer and have a successful website where he can post his funny reviews on cartoons, movies, tv shows, toys, and games. He has a lot of talent to share with the world and I believe in him wholeheartedly. I hope together we can publish a children's book or make a game someday too. Until then I will keep working on my own projects bit by bit. Right now I am prepping for Saratoga Comic Con (hence the new Miraculous fanarts).   I also want to work on my Shadows of Etherea comic, create an art book, a coloring book, a calendar, and maybe work on Hell and Elysium stuff. Maybe it's all wishful thinking, but I know if I can focus on one project at a time I can get them done.

Anywho, that's all my rambling for now. Happy spring everyone!

<3 Emily C. 




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Add a Comment:
 
:iconbotc-comic:
BotC-Comic Featured By Owner May 6, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
..Dang. A lot of this is super relateable and a pretty motivating read for me that makes me feel a bit better about my own situation. I am glad things are looking up for you and wish you the best!
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner May 6, 2019  Professional General Artist
problem! Thank you, I follow a lot of artists on various social media and over the years I've discovered we all have our struggles. Even the artists who seem super talented and popular deal with depression, exhaustion from overworking themselves, or other life struggles. We're all in this together, so if telling my story can help people, I'm happy to share. Life can be hard, but it gets better if you work for it. Luckily I did very well at comic con last weekend so I'm hoping to upgrade my computer and maybe get a newer drawing tablet too. We'll see!
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:iconbotc-comic:
BotC-Comic Featured By Owner May 6, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
That is really awesome! I hope one day I can do what you do—going to events like that sounds like so much fun!

I feel like the effort and struggles involved are not a thing many successful artists tend to talk much about, but for those of us who are going through a similar struggle, it's definitely inspiring! As a result, it often seems like artists become popular through a bit of luck, or that they just kind of sprung into popularity overnight, when that's certainly not (usually) the case! It's easy to forget that sometimes, and then look at yourself and wonder what you're doing wrong, and it ends up being a pretty big de-motivator. Your work suffers, and it shows.

But then you hear something like this, and you go "Well if <artist> can do it, so can I! They struggled too, and they went somewhere with it in the end! I can be like that. It'll be rough, but it has been proven to be doable!" So, thank you for that. :dummy:
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner May 6, 2019  Professional General Artist
:hug: You're welcome! Hehe I still get down in the dumps when I see that I can't even reach 300 followers on Instagram and my daily pageviews on DA rarely exceeds 35, so I'm not really reeling in the traffic I want either, but I gotta try hard not to let the numbers game distract me. I have to remember I am making this artwork primarily for myself because it's fulfilling and makes me happy, and for everyone else as a secondary purpose... it's nice to have an audience, but I'm glad I have even just a small one rather than none at all. Selling art at conventions does really help get you some recognition though, since nothing beats seeing your work in person and meeting the person who makes it. It's expensive and exhausting work to get a table at a convention but wellllll worth it. It will more than pay for itself if your work is good enough and you present it well. There's a lot of Youtube videos on how to prepare for conventions and have a nice display, so if you ever do try it out, definitely do your research. Also I recommend displays2go(dot)com for print displays and whatnot, good stuff for fairly cheap (compared to amazon or elsewhere). Anywho, I'm off for the night, take care!
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:iconbotc-comic:
BotC-Comic Featured By Owner May 6, 2019  Hobbyist Writer
Wise words, and thank you muchly for the advice! Have a great night. :>
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:iconcolonelyeo:
ColonelYeo Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Good to hear from you again, Emily. And even better to hear that things are going so well for you. <3
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:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2019  Professional General Artist
Thank you, I am glad I found a little time to finally write a new journal! lol Man, life gets so busy when you're in your 30s. I'm getting old lol
Reply
:iconcolonelyeo:
ColonelYeo Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, I know exactly what you mean. I am right up there with you in age, and it can suuuuuck at times. XP
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:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2019  Professional General Artist
Word lol
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:iconqueenofrandomness108:
QueenofRandomness108 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is that a real duck?

:duckie: Duck Emoticon Mallard Drake Crossy Road - Duck Dance Scrooge McDuck GIF Daffy Duck Eats a Taco 
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2018  Professional General Artist
Yes it is lol
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:iconqueenofrandomness108:
QueenofRandomness108 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Im' surprised it was able to sit still on your head
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2018  Professional General Artist
I was too lol
Reply
:icondroid24747:
Droid24747 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018
Mate, I know exactly how you feel. :hug: I have a very low audience myself but I don't let it bother me so much. I've been told that one of the best ways to get exposure is to join heaps of groups and post art in there too, it helps but I haven't seen that myself. I think that it's a great idea to find some of the more active artists and socialize with them. I know this great artist here who has her own little community and even began an art share project with other artists. Because I socialize with her and the community a found many new friends and a few more watchers who read my work whenever they can. But let me tell you, views don't really mean that much, try not the think so much about them or whether or not you're getting noticed. Just try to make art the best that you can and the real appreciators will comment and favorite.
I hate myself because I don't look at people's work, but that's because I simple don't have the time right now. I need to find the time to look at more art, but I watch you because I love the art that I've seen you do and I know that you are a good artist. I need to tell you this more often, I love the work you do. ^_^
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:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much for the awesome comment! It's really encouraging, and believe me I have tried the groups thing... I've spent hours submitting my art into hundreds of groups, and while it has helped me gain more favs and watches, it still hasn't really given me much connection to people. I do like your idea of connecting with other active artists. I used to do that in livestream chats with some of my favorite artists, and I did make some great friends that way, but most of them started to get too busy in their careers and the whole livestream thing died out. I myself have less and less time these days with work and teaching, plus convention prep. It's all good stuff, just means I can't be online as often as I used to be. I do need to make more time to create more artwork though. I tend to go long stretches without submitting anything and I know consistency is the biggest key to ever grow a following online. All I can say is for now, I'm doing the best I can! I am so excited for March though, leaving Panera to fend for themselves on Saturdays is very satisfying lol Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me and let me know you care, it really is uplifting and reminds me that there are people out there who watch me here because they actually do enjoy what I make. It means a lot!
Reply
:icondroid24747:
Droid24747 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018
Mate, it's fine. Truth be told I need to be more active socially here myself and in fairness most people I know in the community are quite busy with their careers too. I guess it's just how we cope with life at this point. I won't bore you with my story but I went through an identity crisis years ago and stopped being active and in fact creative as a whole until only last year. Really the key thing to remember is yes people do make a living off their art but it always takes a great deal of time. For me I aspire to be a professional writer and so far the last year has been turbulent and ultimately good. Only you can speak for yourself but I feel that you will gain a reasonable following, you certainly deserve it.
If you like I can refer you to where I hang out in, it's a pretty active place and in vibe is extremely positive but honest as well.
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:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2018  Professional General Artist
It certainly can't hurt, link away!
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:icondroid24747:
Droid24747 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2018
No worries. For the record the artist is sylessae and she's most active on dA. Swing by her profile and check out her gallery, her art is amazing and I absolutely recommend watching her

Syl started a personal project a while ago now called Starcall which focused on providing free art for artists who otherwise couldn't pay for a commission. The project has since grown into a big community with multiple artists or different disciplines helping out. The entire community is positively driven to help others and encourage artists to grow so I think people who are serious about becoming great at what they do and want to feed off of other positive influences should at least consider looking at Project Starcall. sylessae.com/ <- This is the link to Sylessae's personal website where she hosts Project Starcall as well as the forums where you'll meet the active artists. She also has a Discord server where we chat on line, if you have Discord ask her about joining, I'm actually quite active on Discord in fact so we can catch up there too. ^_^ Anyway, yeah. Consider joining or at least follow Sylessae, she's a genuinely good person and dedicated to her art.
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2018  Professional General Artist
Wow, her art is really fantastic, I definitely gave her a watch. I do like the idea of her project starcall, but I don't have enough time to be a part of that. I definitely can't afford to make commissioned art for people for free, but I do like the idea of an active community of artists. That'd be great to mingle and meet some people for sure. Also I do have Discord. My name on there is Ayame#7225 I don't get on my pc much, and my phone is too loaded to cram anymore apps on it, but feel free to add me if you like. Thanks so much for sharing this with me :)
Reply
:icondroid24747:
Droid24747 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2018
No worries. For the record I'm not producing art there myself, even though I can if I wanted to and I do, I'm actually about to create a request myself in fact. But yeah I will do. Just so you know I also have a Discord server for my friends as well as artist friends so if you like I can give you an invite too. But I suppose that's more of if you are active enough to want to join. Anyway, I'll add you on Discord, I'm Chris Sifniotis - I wouldn't put up the entire tag so I don't get random people adding me. Keep a lookout for the name and an ugly mug. xD
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:iconthetale-of-rabiah:
TheTale-Of-Rabiah Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
It was nice meeting your there.
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:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2017  Professional General Artist
Ditto! :hug:
Reply
:iconlyravio:
LyraVio Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! Although you probably do not, would you be willing to do an art trade? I am too young to have a paypal and I cannot pay for anything, so an art trade is all i would be able to do.. If not, i understand completely!
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2017  Professional General Artist
Hi there, I don't mind doing an art trade as long as it's simple since I am very strapped for time. I don't mind doing a pencil sketch character portrait or even a small copic drawing.
Reply
:iconlyravio:
LyraVio Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
That would be sweet!! Thank you so much, and feel free to change or do anything that you like to her, whatever makes it easiest and most convenient for you! here she is: sites.google.com/masonohioscho…
What could I do for you?
Reply
:iconemilycammisa:
EmilyCammisa Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2017  Professional General Artist
I look forward to drawing your Lyra :D As for me, my favorite OC is a demon boy named Kalim: Kalim Bust Lineart by EmilyCammisa You don't gotta worry about putting much detail into his tattoos, you can even draw him in a big scarf and have them covered up entirely if it's easier. He doesn't need decorations on his horns either, just do what you want with it ^^ There's more pictures of him in my Hell and Elysium folder here: emilycammisa.deviantart.com/ga… I look forward to this art trade, I've only ever done one of these before. Wish more people would ask for them ^^
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:iconlyravio:
LyraVio Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, I'll look forward to drawing him! His details are exquisite, and I can't wait to draw him, I love his details and I'd love to at least try! 
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April 3, 2017
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