Making 2018 my bitch

Personal Posts

I know I was trying to cut down on my cursing, and I was doing really well (are you proud of me yet mother?), but if the title fits…

I usually avoid New Years resolutions like the plague. I don’t have the discipline to marry myself to anything so binding for an entire year; but this time it feels different.

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately and there are a few things I want to do with my life and I’ve decided that by breaking them down into smaller goals I can actually manage them. Now I know that it’s already the end of January but this whole process has taken me time and a lot of brain power so give me a bit of a break.

So, here they are, Toby’s Steps to Making 2018 His Bitch! (and then possibly continuing these habits into the rest of his life because that would be a good life plan in general)

 Step One: “The best way to become rich is either to earn more or spend less” 

I read this quote in a Bill Nye book recently (Unstoppable. Good book) and it really stuck with me.

A close of friend of mine once asked me in I was “tired of being poor” and, to be honest, I am. I plan to spend less and save more this year. I’ve started a few different saving tactics like the “52 week challenge“;


I plan to also spend less. This isn’t a huge problem seeing as I’m not a big spender to begin with and I tend to scoff at anything over $25 no matter what the item is. I think the only thing that may temp me would be books, but I’m currently working my way through my unread books, my boyfriends books and my friends books so that should keep the obsession at bay for a few months at least.

I’ve set up my savings account to take money out of my checking account every time I use my debit card to withdraw money. It’s also been set up to take $10 every month out of my account.

My goal is to be able to roll in a mini-pool of $5 bills by November of this year. Pics will follow if I succeed.


I will not be swimming in loonies, because “ow”.

Step Two: Start a Schedule

I have apps to help me with this.

Since moving to Toronto my time management has gone down the drain. I am always tired from work and all I want to do is rest (and by rest I mean stare at the wall and worry about life. More on that later) when I get home rather than work on art work or *cough* writing a blog entry. I need something to kick me in the ass and make me want to accomplish goals everyday, but how the hell do I do that? I’ve never had this problem before, so how do I tackle that?

Easy. Achievements.

I have a bad habit of becoming addicted to app games that give you frequent achievement rewards. That’s right folks, my name is Tobias Medeiros and I’m an achievement hunter. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

I decided that if my need to earn achievements could be exploited to make me accomplish simple goals everyday then maybe I could kick myself back into a routine.

This is where my hunt for a productivity app begins! It starts with “Productive”.

That’s the legit name of the app.


I just downloaded it so I am still setting it up and learning about it, but it seems pretty straight forward. You put in what you want to set into your schedule and everyday it reminds you to do it. Once you check it off then it marks you as having it completed. As you can see it keeps track of your “high score” for every task.

It’s simple, it rewards you and it wants you to do good.

I’ve started with really easy tasks like

-draw or paint

-do something active

-study coding

-clear my emails

Done! I made tasks to do. They’re super easy and take little to no effort to do. I don’t have to draw something “good”, I don’t have to run a marathon, studying will only take an hour of my time, and I can clear my emails as I drink my coffee in the morning.

Look at me being a slacker and getting rewarded for it! Hell yeah!


Step Three: Find my “Zen”. Whatever the hell that means…

I need to learn how to chill. I don’t know how to properly relax and I’m at this point in life where I spend more time stressed out than I do breathing air. I’m assuming that’s not a helpful way to go about life.

I have decided that I am going to find something that helps me just clear my head and calm down for once. I’m not sure what that is yet.

Maybe I’ll try meditating. Or go back to drawing things that make me happy…Like Digimon.

Even something as simple as allowing myself to just sit down and enjoy watching a show without feeling like I need to be doing something.

Because, honestly, I’m one electric hair clipper away for 2007 Britney Spears. It would not be a good look on me.


This is the face of a woman who gives no fucks.

And seeing as I am no longer drinking (Long story short: I have a few health updates to fill y’all in on in the near future) I’ll need to find some sort of outlet.

Maybe I’ll just smoke more pot.

Step Four: Attempt not to die before the age of 30

I haven’t been great to my body these past few years, and by “not great”, I mean I have treated it like a dumping ground for alcohol and bad decisions.

For 2018 I need to actually invest in new glasses, get a new doctor and start booking more frequent check ups, finally see a dentist again and try to be more active.

This may all seem like a lot from a guy who didn’t want to make New Years Resolutions but, keep in mind, when I say “Be more active” I don’t mean “Get fit and go to the gym”. Going for walks, jogging, going out dancing, or even doing a few stretches on mornings where I know I’ll be stuck behind my computer screen. These all count.

Baby steps.

Especially when you have a back condition you keep ignoring. Oops.

Step Five: Be Social AF.

My fifth, and final, step is probably the hardest.

I’m an introvert and even going to work can feel like a drain on my very limited social energy level. After the week I feel so tired that I don’t want to even look at another human. I also know that I like people and, once I’m around them, I’m happy. It’s a very delicate balance and, if it’s done wrong, I could either end up tired and stoic in a high energy environment or by myself and sad. I need to pay more attention to mastering this art of balancing my social life and alone time.

Currently, I have more friends than I know what to do with, and this makes me happy. I’m also super stressed because I feel as though I don’t have all the time I want to spend time with them and spend time with myself.

I am nowhere near being accomplished at this, so for now I am just being honest with my friends. I am slowly working my way towards being a functional human but it’ll take some time. Just like with anything, practice makes perfect. Or at least close enough to perfect to keep me from being a lonely hermit.


Lookin’ at you, old man.

There she is! My steps to make 2018 bend over and call me “Daddy”.

Who knows how far I’ll make it this year, or if I’ll even be able to accomplish any of this. You bet your ass I’ll damn well try! I’m just taking things one step at a time and hoping that if I don’t over-do it I won’t burn myself out or get discouraged. Seeing as these are going to become life changes I needed to make extra sure that they would be sustainable.

I’ll allow myself to celebrate little victories, like being able to see street signs again, and I won’t push myself to do tasks I know I can’t complete and, in turn, allow myself to be distracted from the things I am capable of doing.

If I notice this approach isn’t working, then I’ll just switch it up and try to adjust the way I’m seeing things. Who knows what 2018 holds for us but, whatever it is, I hope it holds promise for the years to come.

As always, thanks for reading folks.

Stay Tobly awesome.

I know I will.

Life advice

Personal Posts

Long time no see friends!

Sorry, I’ve been living this thing called a life; and by that I mean I’ve been pulling double shifts and working on art nonstop and forgot what it means to eat, sleep, and breath.


Little known fact: The Simpsons based Lisa Simpson off of a young Tobias Medeiros. It’s here on the internet so you know it’s true.

Maybe blogging again will help by forcing me to actually sit down and just chill out.

Ha! Sometimes, I lie to myself.

Speaking of life (check out that smooth transition) I had the pleasure(?) of having two small session with a highly regarded life coach recently. It made me feel a few things and think about a few other things.

Let me give you some backstory before I launch into my opinion about life coaches and motivational speakers.

I have been working for a hospitality company since you all heard from me last, it’s an amazing place and I love the people I work with. We get a fair pay, benefits, weekends off and occasional little “gifts” from our employer. Being someone who has done restaurant work before, this environment is far more involved in the life of their employees and it’s kind of a nice change.

Being as involved as they are in our lives and attitudes our GM decided to bring in his favourite life coach, someone I could never even afford to be in the same room with, to speak with us about attitude and hospitality. The responses to this man varied but it got me thinking about the interactions between my generation and the generation of most life coaches and motivational speakers.


Fun fact: We still suffer. 

It all started when the life coach mentioned his lack of a High School education. He phrased this as a sort of “Even if you lack an education, you can be successful!”.

I mean, yeah, if you work hard and you’re extremely lucky.

Nowadays you need a basic high school education for most jobs, including working in my position.

I walk up to people and ask them if they would like a drink and then take their plates away when they’re done eating, so you can see the point I am trying to make here.

It’s hard to coach people on “if I can do it, you can too,” when the environments we are trying to operate in are completely different. There are so many variables we have to account for now, the least of all being the higher demand for an education for minimum wage jobs.

When I was first job hunting I came across a few desk jobs that paid $15 an hour plus benefits and required you to either have four years of front desk experience or a College education. Living in Toronto, it is very difficult to live off $15 an hour and that’s assuming you have no debt from your College years.

I should know. My job pays $15 an hour plus benefits.

Once again, I’m sure you’re beginning to see my point.

I have nothing against this man, and I am sure his seminars work wonders on the men and women of his generation, I just think that a different mind set and new rules are needed when it comes to coaching across generational gaps.

20-30 years provides a lot of time for the professional world to change. It’s like when your grandparents, or even your parents, talk about going door-to-door and asking about job openings. When I was applying for studio work most of them wouldn’t even take phone calls let alone an in-person visit. Even applying for jobs like Starbucks and Indigo, you have to do it all online seeing as applications are no longer accepted in most stores. It’s just different now.

I’ll fully admit that I am coming from a slightly negative place to begin with given my general opinion about life coaches and motivational speakers. I think they’re over-paid to tell us things we already know.

Do some people need them? Maybe.

Should they be selling their tickets for hundreds of dollars per seminar? Fuck that.

I think anyone who feels as though they need a life coach may be better served in finding a therapist. Often times they’re a hell of a lot cheaper and usually whatever is holding you back is better discussed on a one-on-one basis.

If what’s holding you back isn’t serious enough for a therapist, then buy a self-help book. Most provide the same advice with different wording and will cost you around $20.

I personally find it manipulative and sad when I see people dishing out all this money to try and better their lives when they probably don’t have half as much money as these coaches do.

The life coach we had into our work has two houses.

I have a one bedroom apartment in the west end. But, if I pay him more money than my boyfriend and I earn per pay check then maybe one day I can have two houses as well.

I have also noticed that help can come for free. Recently there was a free seminar in my area for anyone who needed advice on how to dig themselves out of a financial hole. If you keep your eyes open, Facebook is a great resources for checking local events, you can find tons of free help groups, sessions, seminars and community programs aimed towards self improvement and development.

Maybe I’m just being cynical for the sake of being cynical.

Maybe I’m just bitter because I don’t have two houses.

Or maybe I just want to see everyone, not just those who can afford it, get the help they deserve from people who can relate to them. I don’t just mean relate in a generational sense either.

Our speaker was a straight white man. This doesn’t mean it’s his fault that he had a different experience from my coworkers and I, but it does mean that we can’t relate to him on certain things.

In conclusion, I guess I just want everyone to have an equal opportunity to find happiness and success. The coach did say that he viewed everyone as being “equal” and, although the world doesn’t work that way right now, I do find the idea appealing for the future. We can work towards that and, on our individual paths to the top, find ways to carve out the road behind us for the future generation. If we don’t, we could end up being the life coach, standing in a room made up of our children’s generation, giving dated advice about a changing world as we look down from an ivory tower.


I hope to look like Hugh Jackman when I am old and rich. Just call me “daddy”

Work. Strive. Find your own path.

And stay Tobly Awesome

I know I will.


Radio Silence

Personal Posts

Sorry guys, I started to strong with my updates but it’s been hard lately so I figured I would at least say why the websites been a bit slow.

Working for a comic project right now that I will keep you all informed about as soon as it’s published. I will say though that this is the first time I have seen my work inked and coloured by other artists and it’s been incredible to see how it translates.

I’ve been finishing up a script for a pitch I am working on. I have been posting sketches of the characters on my Instagram, Toblyshifty, so run over there and check out #Heart+Soul to see more. If no one takes the pitch I intend to self publish but well see how that will all go in the near future.

I started a new day job. Nothing crazy, just something to make ends meet in-between projects. It’s been good and the pay has been a huge help with all the bills I am trying to juggle.

I’ll be more prepared to start posting again soon seeing as I finally dished out the money for a new laptop! Now I don’t need to share the computer with the boyfriend, although he has been very accommodating.

I look forward to sharing more with you all soon.

Till then, stay Tobly awesome

I know I’m trying!

HRT update

Personal Posts

Hey folks!

I recognize that I haven’t uploaded a HRT update in a while and I am way over due for one! Lot’s of changes so there will be some comparison pictures in this post.

So to begin I would like to state that I am officially 1 year and 9 Months on Testosterone with a dosage of one unit every other week. Once I am over this whole “colposcopy” business then I am planning on getting my levels checked and we will see how we go from there.

As far as I know though, besides the obvious, I am doing well health wise! That’s all boring personal stuff though, you’re all here to know about ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. So, just like last time, I’ll list them out for you;

  1. My voice continues to deepen. I now sound male on the phone and my voice cracks a little bit more depending on the day. My upper register is gone completely. I can try to make a high-pitched voice but it’s just not a thing I can do anymore.
  2. Hair! Lot’s of it! I have to shave frequently, although my facial hair pattern has become the love child of a neck beard and a Micheal Cera moustache. I am also noticing hair on my back as well.
  3. Once again I’m going to get a bit TMI but it’s purely an educational thing. My clitoris has grown, which is pretty cool. I haven’t measured it…yet…
  4. I have lost more weight in my face. I definitely have more of a jaw line although it is still really soft seeing as I was starting out with a pretty round face to begin with.
  5. I’ve calmed down a lot as far as my energy levels go. I use to want to go out dancing, partying and having a crazy night life. Now I just want to chill, watch movies, hang out with friends. I just feel more level.
  6. I’ve lost a lot of curves. If it wasn’t for my hips I would almost be a rectangle. I enjoy this a lot.

Look at my face area! Featuring The Cat’s paw.

I’ve been through a lot of changes lately and I feel better for it but I still have a ways to go. In a few months I’ll be celebrating 2 years on Testosterone and I am so thankfully I have an environment where I have been able to be myself.

I’ve been really lucky to have the support system that I do, and to have family and friends who have accepted me. As we launch into Pride month here in Toronto, I feel as though I couldn’t be in a better place.

In the next few months my goal is to start the process to get my top surgery covered. It’ll take a bit longer but I am willing to handle the wait.

I’ve waited this long, a few extra months won’t kill me.

In the meantime I am finishing up with changing a few last-minute ID’s to my new legal name (Tobias José Medeiros, José after my father).

I’ll keep everyone update as usual on further changes and top surgery progress once I have the chance to talk to my doctor about it.

Till next time, stay Tobly awesome

I know I will.


Personal Posts

Not a Colonoscopy, but a Colposcopy. Different hole, equally not great.

It means I had a cancer scare recently and I wanted to share a bit about it with my readers. I do want to start this off my saying that chances are I am okay, they took some samples but they doubt what I have is cancerous. This will be more informational than anything.

Let me begin by saying that I was dumb and this whole scare was my fault. I left my Pap test for way too long before finally sucking it up and just spreading my legs for an examination.  I was nervous and I hated the idea of going through something so innately female and I know that coming from me, Mr. “Dysphoria-can-eat-my-shorts”, that sounds out of character. I have come a long way with my transition and my feelings but I’m still susceptible to feeling dysphoric in certain situations.

Point being I hate the idea of Pap tests. The idea makes me feel icky as a Transgender man.

I will freely admit to being one of those “it’ll never happen to me” kind of guys when I saw an advertisement in my doctors advising Transmen to get checked. “Book your Pap test with your Doctor today!”.

Yeah, no thanks. I don’t see anything bad happening to me. What are the chances?

Pretty high actually, and that’s not considering the other things you might encounter besides cancer.

After finally booking an appointment, mostly to shut my doctor up, I was shocked when my local hospital called a few weeks later about booking a “colposcopy”. I had never heard of this procedure but when the receptionist said something about my Pap finding something abnormal I knew it wouldn’t be anything enjoyable for me. Thankfully, or maybe not, there is my buddy Google.

Thanks to Google I learned that I would have liquid sprayed into my cervix and a “sample” biopsied from the tissue wall. In my attempt to avoid a Pap I stumbled into something I was sure to find less fun.

Cue the anxiety.

I didn’t want to have cancer, I don’t think there is a single person out there that does. I tried to keep my cool by distracting myself with friends but it was always there, lingering.

“Countdown to procedure that you’re not excited for! Friendly reminder that your downstairs is going through some turmoil”.

Boyfriend and Cat have been doing a great job with keeping me happy and high-spirited while I tried not to stress. Not like I had a diagnoses yet so there was no point in worrying anyway. I told myself to chill but I tend to not take my own advice.

Once the day came, a few days ago by now, I was a nervous wreck. My family drove me to the hospital and told me I would be alright. I knew I would be, everything ends eventually even colposcopies you wish didn’t exist. Still, it was nice to hear it from my Mom. She has been my number one champ through this.

After finally finding our way to the women and children ward I was passed along to the lady doctor who would be examining me. Even though she was really friendly and considerate of my situation I still felt really wrong being there.

So how was the actual procedure? I’m sure you’re not here to read about the “vibe” of the office or the colour of my doctors hair. (It was a warm shade of brown. Really brought out the healthy glow of her skin)

There was more vinegar involved than a fish and chips joint, the doctor did her best to make me feel comfortable with Mrs. Speculum, and  I am pretty sure I looked like a cat dropped in water the entire time I was laying there.


Please no more of this nonsense.

Having said all of that, it was quick. The whole procedure probably only took ten minutes tops.

After inserting the speculum the doctor squirts some vinegar around the area, it stung a bit like the time I accidentally used hand sanitizer instead of lubricant. That’s a story for another time though.

They then stick a camera inside you, much like a colonoscopy, and look for any abnormalities.

“Do you want to take a look?”

“Naw, I’m good. I hadn’t really planned on seeing the inside of my cervix on a monitor today,”
Once they find the abnormality they pinch the area with a tool and you feel pressure, not pain. Similar to cramps.

Finally, and this is the part I was actually scared of, they slice a small sample off for biopsy. It didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would but I did bleed more than I thought I would. It feels like an odd sort of pinching pain rather than a slicing pain. This part is over really fast. To be honest they spend most of their time looking around in there.

So what was the verdict?

After giving me some pads for the bleeding they gave me a guess as to what it might be.

Mild HPV.

Fun fact: you’re still susceptible to HPV even if you’ve had the shot, which I have had.

You can also lack any symptoms for up to a year after contracting it.

I knew none of this. I thought that having the shot back in school pretty much cleared me but that is apparently not the case. It just minimizes your chances.

So I am probably cancer free but that doesn’t mean I am out of the woods yet. I still need the definitive tests back and once we have those I’ll have to continue to be vigilant with my Paps going forward.

Learn from my little experience. Get checked out regularly and stay safe. I know that doctor visits can be stressful but your health is so important and you deserve to be healthy.

I’ll post an update in a week or two with my final results and hope for the best!

If anyone has any questions or experiences they’d like to share please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you and maybe we can all spread a bit of awareness together.

Till next time folks, stay Tobly awesome!

I know I will.

Oops, things have changed!

Personal Posts

My bad. Or not.

I am happy to announce that now belongs to me! I bought it. It’s mine.


So with having this as my main domain I have decided to combine my illustration work and blog posts into one big website. That way I have everything in one place. Having said this I am slowly going through all my old blog posts and using pretty words in certain places.

The major changes are just with the visual layout of the site and the addition of my portfolio section. I think the site looks much cleaner and I think it makes sense to be posting my work up.

Given that I now have a more career focused layout I have decided my blog categories will reflect this. I doubt many people are attached to the category names as they once were but if there is one that is missed please feel free to let me know.

In other news:

You can pretty much assume that anytime I go silent major changes happen in my life.

You assume correctly!

I am now living with Boyfriend and Cat in Toronto and no longer working in the Comic shop. More things have happened but that all comics in good time.

For now, enjoy the changes and I’ll be posting some of my misadventures soon!

Till then stay Tobly Awesome

I know I will.

Tis the Season

Personal Posts

To stress the hell out and eat more food in the span of a few days than you do in a full year.

Now that Christmas has come and passed I feel like I can relax a little  bit and actually do that breathing thing I have been neglecting. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am the culmination of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge duct taped together and forced to wear a Christmas wreath noose. I’ll eventually accept my fate and get into the shoehorned Christmas spirit but I will moan and complain about it the entire time leading up to my surrender. It’s not even the fault of Christmas itself, or anything it stands for.


Most people you talk to who claim to hate Christmas will you give the whole “It’s a materialistic holiday, tainted by the man!”, not me. I like the presents. Presents are frickin’ awesome and I will love and appreciate anything and everything given to me. I’m not a religious man either so having the holiday taken over by non-religious forces such as present-giving doesn’t really effect me. It sucks for you religious folks though.

Sorry about that.

My entire issue with Christmas is the way it’s crammed into ever orifice of my life for 2 entire months. I don’t want to hear  Bing Crosby singing about Christmas on November 1st, and the fact that people need to be reminded to chill with the Christmas cheer till after Remembrance day is ridiculous. Your childlike glee can wait till after the 11th I am sure, it won’t kill you. Or maybe it will, in which case that sucks.

I am a huge fan of Halloween and to see Christmas decorations starting to fill up store shelves before my favourite time of year is even over is a pretty sore spot for me. I’m a toxic mixture of bitter and petty, so sue me. I would like to enjoy Halloween to its fullest and going into a shop to pick up some decorations the week before Spook night and finding out that half the aisle is now ribbons,  and tags, packages, boxes and bags. My heart grows three sizes due to the blood accumulation from all my pent-up rage.

I’m not even one of those crazed, foaming at the mouth, Halloween fans. Then again I am not sure we exist to the same extent as Christmas fans do. It’s not cool in a spooky way to be too excited, kills the mood ya know?

Look, I get it. Christmas is cute for those of us non-religious people and very significant to those of you who believe in the big dude in the sky. But when you have people getting angry at you over the whole “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” debate it’s enough to make you want to shank an elf-on-the-shelf in the face.
Side Note: If I say “Happy Holidays” on social media it does include Christmas, get off my candy cane.

Another side note: Love how some people will flip when given a “Happy Holidays” as if it implies that Christmas is excluded but are fine with excluding everyone else by being stubborn about wishing others a “Happy Holiday”. It’s almost like people are self-centered or something, which is totally what Christmas is all about.


That’s just it though, isn’t it? It’s the people. I don’t hate the idea of spending time with your loved ones, good food, awesome presents, copious amounts of alcohol and yule tide whatevers. I think that all sounds pretty cool, and I do love me some spiked eggnog even though it kills my stomach every single time.

I hate people around Christmas time. I hate the way they put one single day on a pedestal just because Christianity tells us to. Most of these people aren’t even Christian! Why? Sitting here now I am trying to find a reason why Christmas would have some importance to me now, as an adult. I can’t find one outside of “because it’s fun”. I feel the same way about Christmas as I do about any other Holiday. It’s fun, you do cool stuff and you might even get a day off work to relax.

Now obviously the over exposure to Christmas has some deep seeded roots with society and the fact that our work and school days are heavily based on Christian tradition and yadda, yadda, yadda, religious politics. I don’t really feel like now is the time to really go into that, it’s a tad long-winded and off topic so I’ll leave that for now. This post is just about me being a jerk at heart and trying to justify it for the sake of my own conscience.

Don’t even get me started on how self-righteous people become as soon as the snow starts falling. Suddenly they’re all “family first, love and peace fam,” when last week they were telling some kid on the internet to set themselves on fire.


You shouldn’t need a Holiday to tell you to appreciate your loved ones and not be a jerk to strangers. If you do, you’re on my naughty list.

(admittedly “naughty list” sounds a lot less PG coming from me)

At least, for me anyway, it’s all over and done with. Soon the Christmas decorations in my mall will be taken down, Christmas carols have already stopped playing on the radio and everyone seems to be back to their hate-filled selves.

As for me?

307 days till Halloween 2017.


Find your carrot!

Creative advice, Personal Posts

I recently heard the term “carrot and stick” in reference to motivation. Basically it’s all about motivating yourself through a series of reward and punishment, it can also refer to achieving more through reward depending on the context of  the idiom. I might be off on that seeing as I only recently learnt what it meant but the point being is that it got me thinking about motivation in relation to work.

I have been working a lot lately, with my next comic illustration gig just starting up, my old job with “Wyvern” coming to a close, and my regular hours at the comic store during the Holiday season. My caffeine intake is up dramatically and my amount of down time has significantly decreased. It can be hard to stay motivated these days when all I want to do is play a video game, enjoy a meal at my kitchen table and get a good nights sleep. If I want to complete my work and pay my bills I know I need to keep going.


Just knowing you have to get something done isn’t always enough to keep you going, and I find the whole “carrot and stick” method doesn’t always work for everyone. Whenever I reward myself with a “break” I find myself having an even harder time getting back into the flow, especially when I am in the middle of a project.

I’m the type of person that needs to brew a pot of coffee, sit down and zone out for a few hours till I get done what I need to get done. Breaks distract me and leave me feeling even more drained than I was when I started. Especially since my breaks usually consist of doing household chores. A break doesn’t feel like a real break when you spend it cleaning floors.

So what do I do to keep myself motivated? If rewarding myself doesn’t work, what about punishments? If I don’t finish project on time do I just take my break away? Well yeah, but that’s less of a punishment and more of a necessity if I want to finish my project and get paid. Stop myself from seeing my partner so I can finish my work? I only see him once a week due to distance and honestly I think that’s what keeps me sane. I don’t want to confine myself to a straight jacket just yet, I’m trying to delay that till I’m at least in my mid-forties.

I often find the best way to keep myself motivated is by comparing myself to others.

I know, I know. I’ve said to never compare yourself to others on a few different occasions but I feel like this comparison is a bit different. I do it in a less self-deprecating sort of way.

One of my favourite things to do is listen to a podcast or documentary detailing other artists and their creative process and then take notes whenever I hear something that fires me up. My favourite one actually comes from a Jack Kirby documentary;

Jack could complete a comic a week.


An entire pencilled comic in one week. Now, I’m not saying that I want to work at that rate right away. This man was a pioneer and I realize he is a legend in comic circles . He was well-known for his work ethic. My point is, I know that doing a comic in a week is possible while maintaining a consistent product. I may not be at that level yet but I know it’s achievable. That’s the point. Knowing that if I work hard enough I can get there.

I’m still starting out and learning more and more about my art, but I know where I want to end up and I’ll keep that in my sight.

If I ever forget what I want, or need a push towards where I need to be I just replay one of my motivators and it gets me fired up.  Seeing something I want always works, and this extends to everything.

If I need to spend a day cleaning and organizing my work station I’ll look up artist work stations on image search and once I get the feeling of wanting what I am seeing it’ll make me want to work towards having that. In other words, I want to clean and organize the ever-living-fiddely out of everything I touch to make everything as streamline and efficient as possible as I work.

Seeing what is possible and working towards it. That’s what keeps me motivated. I want what others have and sitting around, staring at the ceiling will get me nothing.

Well, it works for me. The Carrot and Stick method may work you, or maybe you have another way of firing up. Everyone is different and we all have different things, but if you’re anything like me, competitive workaholic with a need for recognition, then maybe try this method.  If not then try finding your carrot (see what I did there? It’s the title of the blog post. It’s all connected). Find something that keeps you going through the long days, you’re bound to have something that’ll help you.

Well folks, that pretty much sums it all up in a pretty little coffee  and ink soaked package. No matter how you keep yourself motivated always remember that time is a factor and there is only so much you can do in a day. Don’t beat yourself up too much if you can’t fit everything into one day. Don’t let it discourage you and don’t let yourself become your own worst enemy when it comes to work motivation.

Till next time folks, stay Tobly awesome.

I know I will.


Adventures in Depression land

Personal Posts

Depression is a funny thing, it affects us all in different ways but in the end there is no denying it makes us feel terrible. Depression sucks and the worst part about it is that once you start giving in to it, it begins to spiral out of control and you feel yourself losing grip of the things that once made you happy.


I recently discovered something about the way my particular brand of depression manifests and I don’t know how I never noticed it before.


I get truck loads of pure energy out of nowhere and for seemingly no reason at all. Which sucks when you live in a town with nothing to do past 6pm on a Saturday night. This energy isn’t necessarily happy energy. It’s just truck loads of jittery energy and I feel the need to dance or move or do something social.  A part of me knows that if I don’t, the crash will be devastating. It always is.

There is a catch to go along with this. Even if I do expel the energy there is no guarantee the depression won’t just show up anyway. It’s a gamble. Stay in and wait for the crash or go out and possibly crash around people and then spend the rest of the night hiding it.

Once the energy does start to deplete I am left with the worst depression I have ever felt in my life. I want to just lay down and feel sorry for myself.

“No one cares about you”

“You’re all alone”

“Do you really think your friends actually like you?”

I know I have to just push through, I have work to do and deadlines to meet. It can be maddening though and my work ethic doesn’t always win no matter how hard I try. I can’t help but hate myself.

It’s been significantly better since I started my hormones treatments but I still have my days. That’s the thing though, isn’t it? My depression and my gender identity are two different creatures. My gender dysphoria I felt lent to my depression, it fed the beast in a way. HRT came along and calmed the disphoria but that’s about as far as it can go, the rest is up to me.

I use to feel bad about still feeling depressed after hormones, like deep down I was being ungrateful for the opportunity to live the life I needed. I know that’s not true now. You can have everything you could possibly want and still slip into depression. Why? Depression is your mental health, it’s your body, it’s not what’s around but what’s inside. We all know this by now, right?

I won’t tell you how to handle your depression, we all cope in different ways and I get that. I get hyper and then I crash and burn. I will say that it’s important to take care of your mental health and maybe you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself for feeling miserable when everything around you is sunshine and roses. Having a run in with depression should be treated in the same way as catching the flu. Sure you can take preventative measures but sometimes it happens anyway. It’s not your fault, just take care of it and yourself. Battle depression just like you would the flu. See your doctor if you need to but never ever blame yourself for having it.

I know this weeks post was a bit less funny and sarcastic than usual but I felt the need to just kind of get it all off my chest.

Take care of yourselves folks, you’re all tobly awesome!


Opening the Gender Spectrum

Personal Posts

I’ve touched on gender perceptions before in my post Manly versus being a Man.

I have never had a very concrete view on gender roles, I see them more as a “suggested serving” rather than an actual law or rule. You can suggest that pink is a feminine colour, doesn’t mean I have to agree with you or stop wearing it because I’m a boy. I don’t see why it’s such a terrible idea to view “gender” as a broader concept involving more than just the textbook “male” and “female”.


I like to view the gender spectrum as more of a gradient than anything else. The colours all kind of blend together as you get closer to the middle of the scale but there are still two points that appear to almost be solid colours. I see a lot of people who have an issue with this view and it’s not in the way you would think.

There has been a huge movement online to bring about a genderless social structure and, in many ways, I agree with this movement. I agree that gendered razor’s are stupid and that the idea of women being the “weaker sex” is vastly outdated. I don’t think we need to get rid of separate genders entirely. People can identify with being gender-queer/ genderless or any other form of non-gendered lifestyle and I completely understand and respect their feelings being a trans* individual myself.
I fail to see why Gender has developed into this huge war where you have to pick a side of two extremes. A guy doesn’t have to wear a dress to be considerate towards the concept of being gender-fluid anymore than someone who is gender-fluid needs to pick male or female pronouns. It just this assumption people opposed to more than two genders have sort of developed and it’s just really silly. It also baffles me how involved we all seem to be with the gender of people we don’t even know.

“Are you male or female?” really none of your business. I’m just trying to get myself to work at some ungodly hour of the morning and what I’m packin’ in my pants does not concern you. We will never see each other again and I have no obligation to tell you.
This applies to everyone! How a stranger chooses to represent their gender is up to them and whatever makes them happy and comfortable. Butt out.
Sometimes I feel like slamming my face against a wall would be a more productive use of my time than trying to get my points across. If I just sat by what kind of activist would I be? Which brings us here.

While on the note of being genderfluid, have these people who bitch and complain about “they/them” not being grammatically correct never used slang before? Have they never looked at the evolution of the english language? Go ahead. Read some nice old texts and then get back to me. Language evolves and grows, along with a lot of other things on this Earth. It’s a part of life, get over it and stop being a whiney brat about it.

If these people still won’t adapt then screw ’em. They’ll just get left behind as we all move on to something else.

Like getting a new hobby or taking a vacation. I hear Irelands nice.

I’m not trying to tell everyone to give up on the idea of having two genders, I just want people to realize that there are some people in between as well. Like a magical rainbow gender scale going from 1 to 10.

Respect eachother and respect gender. If Hannah uses they/them pronouns and wants to bind their chest some days but wear a dress others then let Hannah rock it. As long as they’re happy.


Anyway beautiful people, just a short post today for my return to blogging…again.
Life has been busy again, been getting more illustration work and planning a move to the “big city” soon so I’ve had my plate full with very little time for blogging.
If anyone wants to see the gay stuff I have been working on lately just head over to my instagram Toblyshifty and give me a follow. Nothing too exciting, just artwork for an LGBT comic I have been planning to pitch, dumb pictures of my transition progress and pictures of my boyfriends cat.
That’s really all for now, I’ll post when I can but we shall see how the next few weeks play out!
Till next time everyone, stay tobly awesome
I know I will.