Last night someone wrote a comment on my blog about Invisibility and Isolation. It wasn’t a nice comment, something along the line of not giving up my day job, and that people are just being nice to me instead of being honest. And that I collect disability assistance on the tax payer’s dime.

Of course, it was anonymous, but if I tried hard enough I could probably trace down the IP number, but why bother? I think I just want to point out that I don’t collect any sort of government assistance. I earn my own money, on my own recognition and skills. I don’t even apply for a bus pass for the disabled. It’s this day job that I don’t have to rely on assistance, so yes, I’ll keep my day job.

In the case of this grant, I admit to having a hard time admitting that if I wasn’t deaf, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it. The application process is the same as for any other grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. I’ve had to write a letter of intent, then a proposal of what I intend to do with this grant, and develop a budget; and provide my CV and past artistic endeavours such as exhibitions, workshops, residencies. In other words, I worked for this too. The equity office grant exists to even up the playing field for those who fall within their criteria. Unlike what some people might think, it’s not a case of “Hey, I’m deaf and I want to paint pictures. Give me some money.”

I do know of other artists who have applied every year and been declined, so I suppose I’m apprehensive about talking about it with them, because sometimes I think I feel some sort of resentment (which may or may not be true at all).

As for “being nice to me instead of being honest.” Most of the time I can’t tell. I try to take people at their words. I only hope that they are honest because they are honest. And if they’re just being nice, well, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. I think we all like the warm fuzzy feeling when someone is nice to you. I’m perplexed at this person’s message, the implication that being nice means there’s some ulterior motive.

My job is to paint what I paint. I’m responsible for my own emotional actions and reactions to what I paint. How people react to my paintings is their own responsibility. We have a tendency to seek approval (or at least, I do), but in the end, my work is my work. If people respond favourably to it, great! If not, then, well. Great!

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