I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I'm writing this on a Saturday after spending hours with work.  Part of me feels very crabby about it, and part of me feels I "ought to" be glad I've got a job at all.  I went without one for a long time after my last layoff and the economy tanked.  I've been laid off a number of times in my career.  When companies tighten belts, art is always the first thing to go.  I've been forced into learning a lot of survival skills...

1.  Live somewhere cheap.  Live with others if you can stand them and they can stand you.  Buy a cheap house when you've still got some money.  Forget about buying what will impress someone else.  If your fortune improves, you can rent out the cheap house and get a better one for yourself.

2.  Get an affordable car or live on a bus line.  If you've got a car, maintain it.  I don't believe in leases.  All you get is a bill and nothing to show for it when the lease is up.

3.  Don't charge stuff, or pay the bill in full when it comes.  If you've got a balance on credit cards, pay more than the minimum and call the credit card company for a lower interest rate.  Leave the cards at home when you're out.  If you really need something, make yourself go home and get the card to slow down your impulse to buy.  Especially, quit buying luxuries, and be honest with yourself about what a luxury is.

4.  Eat at home.  Restaurants are expensive.  Cook real ingredients instead of packaged, easy food.  The food is better and better for you too.

5.  Live with what you've got.  Odds are you already have a lot of stuff.

6.  Buy things second-hand.  I paid $5 for my winter coat at a garage sale and have worn it for years.  I got a $200 pair of hiking boots for $5 too.

7.  Turn down/turn up the thermostat.  Just a few degrees difference in summer or winter can make a lot of $ difference.  Do without the heat or AC when you can.

8.  Barter stuff and services.  If you don't have $ for something, find someone who has something you want who will trade for what you've got.

9.  Quit gifting or make your gifts.  (See #6)  The spirit of giving shouldn't put you into irreparable debt.  If people knew you put yourself in financial disaster for their baby/wedding shower, would they be happy?  (If they are, get new friends.)

10.  Admit your poverty to people who matter.  Pretending otherwise only gets you invited to things you can't afford.  Admitting your situation also opens up job opportunities and might provide new ideas and emotional support.

11.  Accept help.  We're happy to help others, but often terrible at receiving.  In a way, that's refusing to let someone else be happy in their giving, which is kind of selfish.

12.  Be grateful for what you've got and you won't spend as much time focused on what you don't have (which only leads to breaking any or all of the rules above).


  1. This is about the wisest post on this subject I've seen. (Although I admit I have problems with #11.) And I love the little icons. Linda, you're a wise, wise person... :)

  2. Good advice. I have been lucky enough to never have had to tighten the ol' belt too much. We've done the "eat at home instead of restaurants" route a few times, but I never had to accept help. Nor would I.
    Best of luck to you. I hope your employer appreciates that good artist is hard to find.

  3. Thanks guys! Seems like something good ought to come out of all my belt tightening experience!

  4. Fabulous advice! I wholeheartedly agree with all of it. The graphics are perfect too :).
    When I quit working to be a stay-at-home-mom, we had to change things up with the finances. It was actually fun and creative in a lot of ways, and most of it has stuck.

  5. This is the best survival advice Linda...it's a shame so many people live outside their means and still feel unhappy.I too love those graphics. Hope work is less fraught for you this week but as you say it is good to have a job. I sometimes moan about how stressful my work is but again I count my blessings xx

  6. Brilliant, Linda...and of course, I would expect nothing less from such a wise woman in possession of much hard-earned wisdom. :-)

  7. Seems like the longer we live, the more of this kind of advice we have to give. Now if we can only figure out how to make the young'uns listen to any of that wisdom. Thanks for the comments!

  8. What heart felt tips. That is perfect for a survival theme.

  9. There's a great feeling of freedom that comes when I follow this kind of advice--not that I have much choice.

    Always good to be reminded! Thankyou.

  10. There is a freedom in all of this, even if it doesn't feel like it when you are passing up things you want. Sometimes I wish for the freedom + some money :)

  11. All sound and good advises, Linda. Also being a creative I have had times when my income was very low. My favourite advise is the last one. That is really the pillar for happiness, whether you are poor or rich. Getting more things will only make you crave even more things - and so on. Enjoy life as it is, and be happy with what you got indeed! Very nice. Just want to add to 2) that biking saves a lot of money and keeps you healthy as well.

  12. great post. I agree completely. (not that my agreement is the condition of it being a great post... not at all. but it helps)

  13. Biking is a great idea. I guess that didn't occur to me because things are too spread out where I'm at, but there are other places where it makes a lot of sense and is good exercise. And Debbie, your comment is all part of the post and adds greatness :) Thanks for the comments!