12 Months sober and no longer counting….

To be honest this is a milestone I never thought I would pass. Today it has been 12 months since my last drink.
I have detailed the process of becomming sober over the past year and as you may have seen it has been a journey of ups and downs. My last update at the 6th month milestone was a little negative and I admit I was stuggling a lot around that point. And as this milestone got closer and closer it was very hard to fight the cravings and temptations that have surrounded me recently.

So at the 6th month period I was really not seeing the benefits of quitting drinking. It was only around the 9th or 10th month when the postive impact of sobreity was clearly visible and appreciated.

At this point now I no longer feel I should mention how long it has been or how good things are as I do not need to keep reminding myself to not drink. This process of recording my journey has helped me up to this point, but for now I see no reason to continue doing it.

So for now I am just going to briefly summarise the past year in a cons and pros list.

Cons:

Iam much more anti social, I did not get to see a lot of friends for a long time.
I miss escaping, unwinding and the taste of my favourite drinks.
Some people have not been supportive, offering me drinks and such.

Pros:

Re-connected with past friends.
I think my family respect me a little more.
I Saved at least £1500-3000 this year from not drinking.
I am much more focused on my work.
Consistant moods.
Less dark and painful dreams.
I respect myself for the first time in a long while.
My work income has more than doubled.

Thank you all for your support over the past year, whether it was an email, direct message or just a nice comment!

6 months sober….and counting!

6 MONTHS AND COUNTING

6 months sober and counting…

When I posted my first blog post announcing my sobriety I didn’t expect to get any response from it. But over the past few months I have had people who are on the same path get in touch and show their support. So I thought I would give you an update on how things are and what has been going on.

I feel that by posting all my experiences online I might be painting a negative picture of myself, because your not exactly getting a flattering view of my life. But writing about my experiences helps me during the process of getting better. I am conquering my demons.

Overall I would say things have been positive. I mean I have not caved in and drank anything yet despite having many highs to celebrate and many lows to escape from. This makes me realise I can face any situation and not need alcohol to celebrate or get me by.

I started running and eating a little better, explored exciting new projects and produced some of my favourite paintings yet.

But that is where the positives ends for me. The reality of being sober is a mixture of highs and lows.

To be honest I miss a lot of things about alcohol… but I also hope I never touch it again. When I was drinking something was missing, now I am sober I feel like the only thing that is missing is alcohol. I guess that’s how addiction works, no matter what your current state is, it will bend and reshape itself to fit into your psyche somewhere…trying to pull you back in.


Reflecting on the past.

This long period of sobriety has allowed me to reflect on the past and to try and understand my connection with alcohol.

As a kid I was allowed little shandys when camping, it was very weak beer but I loved the feeling of being seen as a grown up.

I looked back at the first time I got drunk, I was 10 or 11 on a camping trip with my Dad’s rugby team. My parents went to bed around 10-11pm and I was allowed to stay up under the supervision of the other adults.I had already had a few beers by now and was drunk for the first time. I remember running around, feeling wobbly and falling down just for the fun of it. Everything became much more fun.

The following morning my Mum took me down to the river to brush my teeth as I had been sick in the early hours. It was the first time I experienced a hang over, I just knew deep down that this feeling was one I was going to keep living with and that this is how it’s meant to be.

During my teens when I had the chance to drink, I would in excess, I loved the feeling so much. It helped me come out of my shell, speak my mind, be funny, run around, fall down and not care about
if I was getting dirty or hurt it was all just about having fun.

At around the age of 16 depression started to kick in and my relationship with alcohol changed. I saw it as a way to escape and would drink until I wound up passed out on the floor.
In my adulthood it became a reward for doing the things I didn’t like, nothing felt better than having a cold beer after a long shift at work.

So what started out as a tool for fun and confidence eventually grew into a tool for escapism and self destruction.

Also I have always associated drinking with my biological Farther, and I realised that when I was drinking I was just trying to feel closer to him.


Will I give in today?

Several times a day I still feel like just giving in and running to my nearest shop/pub and begin a new phase of self destruction.

I feel restless as if my heart is about to burst out my chest, constantly chewing on the side of my mouth or fingers because I am angry. Not having alcohol to escape has proved tough. But it does give me something to work through, I channel the frustration to work harder.


Nothing changes

I have really thought about why I feel this way and realised I am just frustrated with where I am in my life right now, I seem to make positive changes but not get anywhere.

I found writings I had created during past drinking binges, they were suicide notes, some of them I had forgotten about. Most of them feel like they were written by a stranger…as if it was just the alcohol itself writing the words.

Reading them just makes me realise that nothing changes, in my sober state the same feelings are beneath the surface…in a selfish way I still dont want to be here. So I have some sort of underlying depression and anger running through me, alcohol just brought these feelings to the surface.

But it’s not all doom and gloom

When I am in the supermarkets and I come across alcohol I will stop and stare at it without realising, I analyse the type of drink ,its percentage, it’s price and what kind of buzz I would be at if I drank the whole thing and whether I could afford two or three of them.

I go off into a trance, my girlfriend has to shake me out of it. It can be amusing at times.

Going out

I Still really miss hanging out with certain friends, I did manage to go out twice and just drink soft drinks but it’s not the same when your not on the same level, I am also less tolerant to the drunk people around me. I did still find some fun in the nights though which was nice.

Current state

For the first time in years I managed to spend a couple of days alone without drinking myself into oblivion.

It’s basically Christmas now, it’s going to be strange not drinking for the holidays but I can do it. I do feel like I can make this sobriety last, I still do not want to drink ever again.

I have managed to go 6 months which something I never thought could happen. So I am so determined to make this stick!

10 Ways to make money as an artist

10-ways-to-make-a-living
10 ways I generate income as an independent artist.

Making a decent living as an artist can be tough, especially when starting out, it can be daunting to realise that your stream of income heavily relies on your ability to create popular artwork that sells.

For this reason many artists have to find ways to support their passion, such as having a second job. I used to work in a factory while I was studying for my degree & building my Art & Design business to a decent level.

I have discovered that there are many other ways to create income from your passion, meaning you dont have to work a terrible job just to support yourself. Here are 10 different ways of creating a stable income to help you make a living from your art.

1. Freelancing websites

peopleperhourodesk
Using freelancing websites can be a great way of sourcing new clients, the beauty of these websites is that the work can be so varied and interesting.

The downside is it can be hard to make decent money with most clients looking for the cheapest fee. But if your lucky enough to find the right clients, you can find some
really great paying jobs and possible stable work.

I was able to land many art and design jobs and have made some new friends in the process. I would highly recommend using the following websites

www.peopleperhour.com
www.O-desk.com

2. Selling prints

prints2
Selling prints online has never been easier, there are many websites that you can submit your work too and they take care of the production and shipping of the artworks for a small cut of the sale. You can of course produce your own prints for sale, but for some people it makes sense to use the following websites.

www.Society6.com
www.inPrnt.com
www.redbubble.com

3. Digital Wallpapers

wallpapers

I noticed my artwork was constantly being downloaded from internet without my consent, people would crop chop and edit my work and use it as digital wallpapers on their phones/computers and tablets.

Now this of course is practically unavoidable and comes with the risk of sharing your work online. So I thought maybe if someone liked my work that much, they would pay £0.99 for a high resolution copy of my work. It actually worked well and I was able to make a small income from selling HD resoultion copies of my work.

4. Online courses

dva outro 2

I had many people asking me how I create my work and how could they do something similar. So I decided to start teaching everything I knew about digital art. This is an ongoing development, as my skills expand so do the courses.

So far the response has been amazing, and I am planning to push this project further.

5. Commissions

429-Taste-the-colours-for-web-louisdyer
Commissions are perhaps my favourite source of income as they pay well and give you the chance to connect and make someone happy. I get a number of varied commissions from individuals, companies and publishers.

6. Licensing

Facing-eternity-by-Louis-Dyer

After several years of creating and developing my portfolios I realised I actually had an extensive catalog of work which was just sat there and not really doing anything for me. So I decided to start licensing my work, people can pay to use my work in their promotional material, for example I have one company who regularly purchases my work to use for their Facebook advertising. It is a great way of earning extra income on pieces of art that are just sitting there!

7. Reviews

mini maglus stylus review

I had reviewed several digital art products in the past, some of these reviews caught on well with the public, as a result I have had more companies commission me to write about or demonstrate their products. This can be really fun, it pays well and is a way of establishing yourself as an expert in a certain field.

8. Affiliates

mini maglus

Most online products now have an affiliate system, affiliates work by recommending other people to a product, when they buy the product a certain percentage of that sale will go to you. On one of my reviews I had an affiliate link that generated a really healthy source of income. But be careful not to rely on this income, if a company changes it’s affiliate system you could lose that stream of money.

9. Design services

Louis-Dyer-Visionary-Art-&-Design

I graduated with a First in Graphic design, when I was 16 had plans to make a living as a designer. But as my art started to take over I now use my design skills to make my own business material look great, and to support my artistic development.
I get a lot of web and print design clients which pay well. So think about other creative talents that you have that could generate extra income.

10. 1 to 1 Tuition

419-DIMENSIONAL-PRAYER-FOR-WEBSITE

Recently I have been able to start charging for digital painting tuition sessions. People meet with me and I guide them through the basics of digital painting or design
specific lessons that target troubles they are having.
And most importantly: Network, promote, commit!

The key to making a living as an artist today is to constantly network and promote your best work when ever possible. Once you have fully committed to making a living from your art, make it obvious to the world how serious you are. Be polite, professional and kind to others and you will receive the same treatment back.

To sum up…

So as you can see there are a lot of streams of income here, some are more major than others but they all play a part in boosting my profile and supporting my lifestyle.
Since going self employed I have made so many interesting clients & connections and have built many new friendships!

I am 23 years old so hopefully I will discover many new ways of supporting my art career to share with you all 🙂

Thanks for reading.
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Louis Dyer Plymouth, UK Louis@LouisDyer.comAbout Louis
Louis Dyer is a UK based digital artist creating artwork based on his lucid dreaming and meditation experiences.

He aims to inspire positive self development through his art, design and writing. Louis loves to work with other like minded people and businesses, helping them communicate their messages with the world through inspiring visionary art.

His artwork has been featured in magazines such as Digital Arts magazine, and is regularly shared around the internet.

Portfilio website: http://louisdyer.com/
Digital painting courses: http://www.digitalvisionaryart.co.uk/

Pyramids of the future

ldfa4c

This is a speed painting piece inspired by a hypnagogic visual that I saw just before I had a lucid dream. It was a very striking scene, some kind of futuristic pyramids with a galaxy back drop!

I am currently going through my recent dream journal and making speed paintings to add to the dream vault in my lucid dreaming for artists e-course!

10 ways to make money as an artist

making money as an artist

You can download my FREE e-book by simply joining my Digital Visionaries Club! it takes just 10 seconds 😀
Click the picture above or URL below to join!

http://eepurl.com/Q8PjX

MILD technique

MILD technique

Mnemonic induced lucid dream or MILD is a technique that relies on the creation of mantras. A mantra is a phrase you create and repeat over and over to make an event come true. So you could create a phrase such as “Tonight I will remember more of my dreams” or “Tonight I will realise I am dreaming”. You will repeat this over and over and will find that it almost echoes throughout your subconscious, you may be dreaming and then suddenly you will perform your mantra and realise you are dreaming.

A good time to perform the MILD technique is as you are going to sleep as it increases the chances of the mantra being brought into your dream. First go to bed and get yourself in a calm relaxed state, recite your mantra for as long as possible while you are falling asleep. This technique is very simple but provides surprisingly effective results in a short time.

It is vital to keep your mantras positive, avoid using words that have a negative tone to them such as “can’t, will not and never” you need to believe that your mantra is going to be successful.

Have you ever wanted to become a lucid dreamer? I am currently developing a lucid dreaming course for artists where you will learn

how to become lucid and explore your dreams for inspiration! take a look at my courses here

WILD technique

WILD technique

WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dream) is one of the best techniques to use to help achieve your first lucid dream. The video on the right includes another technique called Wake Back To Bed or (WBTB) this technique can work well with the WILD technique and increases your chances of having a lucid dream even more. A wake back to bed approach is as simple as it sounds, you simply go to bed, wake up a few hours earlier than you normally would, get out of bed for 10-30 minutes, then return to bed.  This makes your conscious mind active during a period where it would normally be experiencing a dream.  When you go back to bed, you will fall asleep directly into a dream state that is hopefully a conscious one.

So if you were to perform the WILD technique on your return to bed, the chances of you having a lucid dream would increase dramatically. The WILD technique can be broken down into simple stages they are; a total mind and body relaxation stage, the Hypnagogic stage, the creation of a dream scene or visualisation stage and then the entering of that dream.

The basic concept for this technique is to let your body fall asleep while you consciously keep your mind awake and alert, this may sound impossible but with practice it is relatively an easy task.

The first stage is to simply relax, this will be easy if you are performing a WBTB as well because your mind will already be in a sleepy relaxed state when you return to bed. If you are trying this without using that technique then just lay in what ever position is comfortable and remain totally motionless. You may get signals and urges to move your body or itch something but it is important you remain motionless. If any thoughts arise, simply observe this occurrence and let them fade, do not indulge in them.

The next stage is where the initial dream vision starts to unfold, you will see Hypnagogic imagery which may take the form of pretty patterns, geometric lights and sparkles. Now you should be relaxing even further, watch the Hypnagogic visions take place and allow them to consume your awareness. Your awareness of your body and psychical self should now have shifted entirely to your inside awareness. You may also hear audio hallucinations in which case, let them occur and let the combination of these entrance you.

You should be able to judge whether or not at this stage you could visualise a dream scene or not , keep a calm and playful attitude when your trying to create a dream, do not try to hard as you may break the trance you have built with the previous relaxation, but try to envision as vividly and in as much detail as possible.

Remember not to get to caught up in these moments or else you could enter a dream unconsciously by accident, you need to keep reminding yourself that you are dreaming even if you are not. When you feel you have visualised a dream scene enough and can almost feel yourself there completely let go of your psychical body and enter into your dream, you will now be having a lucid dream.

It may take a couple of attempts to successfully induce a lucid dream, but be patient and never give up trying!

Painting with the applydea maglus stylus

Painting with the applydea maglus stylus

Pogo connect stylus painting

Painting with the pogo connect stylus

Video footage of me painting my first piece with the Pogo Connect Stylus and Pro Create app

You can read my review here: http://louisdyerartist.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/the-pogo-connect-stylus-reviewed-by-a-digital-artist/

And purchase the stylus here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B009K448L4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B009K448L4&linkCode=as2&tag=louidyerartip-21