I just don't know what to do anymore...a life in crisis thread

I’m not really sure how to start this off. I guess it’s a combination rant/help thread. I’m tired and very hungry, but I’m trying to concentrate on keeping it concise and to the point.

Again, starting out the month with no rent, and no food, and very little in the means of clientele. It’s getting to the point where people are probably starting to think I’m just “crying wolf”, but here at Elsewhere I hope that’s not the case. Because I’m very open with you in particular, you are more aware of the depression and health problems that I’ve been dealing with over the last year.
Granted, my health and depression have improved considerably over October, but that hasn’t undug the hole I’ve been in for at least a year.

I’m almost done with @MarkDow, starting on @kxkvi, which should be done by this time next week, and then the other two, which should be done quickly also. That is, if I have food and turpenoid to continue. I have very little turps left, and today I’m eating a bowl of rice, my last bit of food.

I’m starting to think Tijuana was a poor choice for where to do this art thing. Sure, it’s cheap, but as much credit as I’ve tried to give this city, it comes down to to the fact that I’m practicing in a field that’s largely misunderstood by many residents here.
As a few Mexican friends have tried to point out, Tijuana is a conglomeration of mostly rural people who have moved here in the shadow of San Diego in search of a better life, but have also brought along a lack of civility. They trash the city. Garbage is everywhere. There is very little fine art, aside from the cultural centers in Zona Rio.

I’m starting to wonder if it might be a better idea to relocate back to Moldova, where I know there is a much higher appreciation for fine art, as well as land/air access to many cultural centers in Europe and in the East…

At the moment, there are a few things I need to take care of, chiefly food for me and my cats. I’ve been eating a bowl of rice each of the last three days, and a little peanut butter, and letting the cats have what peanut butter they want. This can’t go on this way.
Food is “relatively” cheap here, but I can’t even sell a painting for $75-100 in Tijuana. There’s just not enough want for it.

To take care of immediate needs…food, rent, medicine, mail out some finished paintings, art supplies, etc. I need about $500 (from 1 to 3 paintings’ worth). Getting some works sent out is important, as some clients are getting antsy.
I know Elsewhere has given as much as it can, but perhaps there is someone in extended networks who may be looking for art or something unique to give for Christmas?

As for the long run, perhaps bartering might help me get ahead enough to move elsewhere. Bus tickets, frequent flyer miles, a good used enduro motorcycle. Kind of like the “paper clip” challenge, but using my paintings to trade up, or to sweeten a deal that needs a nudge…


Off the top of my head …

Art is a product. The customers are rich people. It’s worth what they can pay for it.

  • Go where the rich people are. Live in a shed, live in a basement, but be near money.

As a young person I hitchhiked from somewhere in North Carolina to Detroit, and then to San Francisco, with (initially) no money. It’s a pain in the ass but it can be done.

  • Go where you need to be. Don’t let anything stop you from moving.

Please don’t starve to death. There must be free food in San Diego, somewhere.

  • Don’t be too proud to take charity. Take it! That’s what it’s for!

I thought living in TJ would be perfect for this, but I realize now that being near San Diego isn’t the same as being near San Francisco or London, etc.

The good news is I can travel fairly light now, the bad news is you can’t hitch like in the past. Too many anti-transient laws in place. Greyhound or rideshares are still cheap, though.

I’m waiting on some news about a sale that would get me some food. Just need to see what they say.


If you ever decide to come to the Detroit area again and can make it, please contact me. I have a spare room you could reside in if you are able to help clean it out.

But that’s all I can do, is offer a possibly viable alternative. How mediocre of me, lol.


No, not mediocre at all. I appreciate the offer.
I think the main sticking point is how screwed up our economy is, making it difficult for those of us who have a definite talent to participate in non-corporate work, and for general consumers to be able to buy things at a price that is both affordable to them and supports a living wage for the artist.
I partially knew what I was in for coming out here, but I do understand I probably was too optimistic about relying on a certain level of art appreciation as compared to Mexico City or Guadalahara.

A secondary reason is that my parents are reaching their seventies and eighties, and I figured I should still be close enough to get home should they fall ill. I may not be the offspring that can pay the medical bills, but I would likely be a caretaker.

I also realize I keep allowing my dad (in his eighties) to emotionally tether me, and prevent me from wandering too far from home in pursuit of my dreams.


UPDATE: So, I have an upcoming pre-payment that can take care of basics for now.

I’m not out of the woods, but if I spend it wisely, I can get some finished work mailed out and open up a couple of possible alternative avenues to income.

I just went to my friend, the hairdresser, where I hang my paintings to dry in an attempt to see if I can drum up a little business. We have discussed renting one of the salons (community spaces) in the block her husband owns to hold some open art sessions or art classes.
She tells me that she has a couple of people interested, but I still think I’d need more than ten people to make even a meager profit after rent. I have to see if I could find more students to swing it and possibly cover a model. So, currently this is a very iffy proposition.


Couple of thoughts. Maybe look into selling prints as well as original pictures. See if you can find someone who would be interested in selling pictures of tujuana as post cards. Perhaps teach painting via youtube. Presumably you know spanish, have you considered translation work to tide you over?


Tijuana, not so much. Even the locals complain about how ugly it is. I have caught a couple of images that are nice. I think what I will do is make an effort to get down to Ensenada if I can with an independent car (75 miles away, tho). I’ve seen it, and the coastal views are gorgeous.

Eh, no. I’ve been here 2 1/2 years, and still using my Google Translator.


I was considering making a trade for a pressure cooker, too. Mainly for myself, but I’m thinking what might happen if I unleashed boiled peanuts on the streets of Tijuana? Maybe they’d like the spicy ones.


Or with honey and spices?


I’ll give you 3 free business coaching sessions. I think a good pricing strategy would make a difference.


I’ll talk to you about it in a few days, ok? I just need to deal with some things that came up yesterday.


Take your time