Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Photo A Day #2

I've been wanting to jump back into doing the photo a day challenge for a while, I think it's such a great way of not only expanding photography skills but also taking note of the little joys throughout the day. You may remember my old attempt where I said I'd do it for the month but it ended up only being that one entry? Yeah. I'd love to say I'll do a full 365 but I have commitment issues, but I'd like to do it every once in a while when the mood takes me.

Monday 23rd July

The day I decided to actually start this photo a day it was already in the evening. It had been too hot to do anything all day other than sloth about, so at dusk I took the opportunity to take a walk around the nearby reservoir and burn off some energy.

Tuesday 24th July

My stickers arrived from Decadent West, so I had to put one straight on my sketchbook! Having to listen to dudes act like I only like Pink Floyd to impress them or lecture me about my own vinyl collection is a regular occurrence. Because apparently women only like frivolous things, and if a women dares like the same thing as a man then it's up to said man to test and approve her or some total BS.

I've had this orange sketchbook for years, it's a Leuchtturm1917 and I've never liked the paper quality. I've been really struggling with my sketchbook work lately, I think in part to seeing so many sketchbook tours on YouTube with perfect illustrations on each page which is such an unrealistic way to work. It's made me develop this idea that everything needs to be perfect in case someone sees it, but the entire point of a sketchbook is that it's a personal space for an artist to practice and develop their skills away from final pieces. Watching TheGothicAlice's sketchbook tours has been a breath of fresh air and helped me to check my priorities. As I'd only used a handful of pages from this sketchbook because I didn't like it much, I figured I'd be less inclined to slip into old habits and try and make it perfect. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have a sketchbook just for me again, I feel like I'm finally getting over my persistent art block and am enjoying drawing again. I hope it lasts and I can get back into the mindset I used to have a few years ago where drawing was a purely personal hobby which I enjoyed daily, instead of feeling like everything has to be shared. Social media can be very toxic for reinforcing that sometimes.

Wednesday 25th July

The day was spent at the local seaside, where I ate a lot of ice cream and paddled in the sea in an attempt to cool down. Although all of the warm weather has been nice, I am concerned about what it means for global warming and to be honest can't wait for autumn! I bought some fresh raspberries on the way home and had them with my new sour cherry flavour tea.

Thursday 26th July

I tried to play about with my camera settings to get a good photo of the moon, partly in preparation for the blood moon the following night, and also because it looked so beautiful in the landscape - quite big with a pink-ish glow. I only have a fixed focal length on my DSLR and this was the best I managed to get. I still don't understand how to photograph the moon as part of the landscape! The above was taken with my Canon G7X Mark II at full zoom, which shows the pink but not the lavender sky. If anyone has any tips I'm all ears!

Friday 27th July

The dress you see in the background was found in the charity shop - an expensive Monsoon dress in pristine condition. And my soot sprite pin arrived from Canada. I love soot sprites, hence naming my social media after them. They feature in my favourite Studio Ghibli film My Neighbour Totoro, but most merchandise uses the Spirited Away imagery. I liked the message on this pin, but I'm never sure how I feel about these unlicensed items. People are often selling Disney, Studio Ghibli, and other licensed and copyrighted characters on Etsy and the like, and I never understand how they legally get away with it without being sued.

Saturday 28th July

Saturday felt like the autumnal weather I'd been craving, filled with thunderstorms and rain. They don't look terribly photogenic, but I felt like something sweet so knocked up some jam and butterscotch tarts which went down very well in my house!

Sunday 29th July

Sunday was more of the same kind of weather, so I set myself up at the dining table with my paints and got on with my travel page spreads from Italy that have been looming over me. I knew I'd be gutted if I never completed them, and they were looming over me and preventing me from feeling like I could draw anything else, so it feels good to have made a good start on them. As I haven't drawn properly in so long, I'm hoping that by the time I've drawn everything I've been meaning to draw will blow away some of the cobwebs and allow inspiration to flow back again. I hope to get back into the habit of drawing daily eventually!

Friday, 27 July 2018

Is This the Life We Really Want?

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to see Roger Waters, a former member of my favourite band Pink Floyd. I saw him both in London, and the following night at Birmingham which was undoubtedly the best night of my entire life. I was second row from the front and being so physically close to him made the experience feel incredibly intimate, it was easy to forget the other tens of thousands of people behind. I even got to touch Roger's hand as he passed by the audience during the final track. To be so close to one of my biggest living idols was a completely surreal experience, and if I didn't have photographic evidence I'd be half convinced it was all a dream!

Despite the show being to promote his most recent album, most of the set list was based around Pink Floyd's tracks which felt amazing to hear live, especially as many of my favourites were included such as One of These Days and Pigs (Three Different Ones). Most of the show was rooted in the 1977 album Animals which is my favourite after Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Despite being a fan for so many years I hadn't been able to see Roger on any of his previous tours which were mostly based around The Wall, so it felt extra special that the shows I should see borrowed so heavily from my personal favourite album.

I'm seeing Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets in September which I'm sure will be another emotional night, especially as Nick's my favourite and it's based more around Syd's era of the band. I can't believe this year I'll have gone from seeing none of Pink Floyd in the flesh, to two of them!

Monday, 16 July 2018

I'm much too fast to take that test

I abandoned this blog for the most superficial of reasons: I liked it exactly how it was. The posts previous to this one really mean something to me, particularly the entry about Their Mortal Remains. I felt reluctant to push those entries down into the depths so they were no longer on the front where they rightfully belonged. So I left it, a snapshot in time. But as this is my favourite blog I've ever created filled with my favourite entries, I began to think that surely it's a shame to end it there and cut myself off from making future entires I'm as proud of?

Cath Kidston x Disney Alice in Wonderland dress

Lately I've felt like I want to burn my closet and start again from scratch. I'm so bored of my style, but feeling impulsive and bored is never a wise combination. I've always gone through phases in my life, so I guess it's really nothing new. There was the boho phase, the grunge phase, the goth, the EGL. I'm reluctant to describe my vintage wearing as a phase seeing as it's been such a huge part of my life for over six years now. But as about 90% of my wardrobe is vintage, prehaps I just went too hard and now I need to go home.

Lately I find myself browsing Lolita brand websites again, pinning Mori and Dolly Kei images, and lusting for all things earth toned. I'm reclaiming old interests such as animated films and childrens literature, old loves which I'd drifted from. Cath Kidston's latest Disney collection proved lethal to the point where I felt directly targeted - Alice has always been my favourite to the point my entire online identity used to be carved from it, and the Cath Kidston style is just the aesthetic I've been coveting lately.

Cath Kidston x Disney Alice in Wonderland dress

Half of the issue is exactly in what I've just stated - I base my entire online presence around one particular thing and water the rest of myself down. It's difficult not to when so much of blogging and social media is about finding your 'niche' and promoting just that and becoming boringly predictable. It's a method that's always lacked authenticity to me as no one is that one sided, and yet it's a trap I still fall into myself. I'm bored of my old blog and my Instagram as no one cares if it's not vintage I'm posting about, and that just feels sad and hollow to me. I long to express myself fully and embrace all of my interests - the Disney, the J-fashion, the kitsch, the spooky, and the vintage. Which I think is why I've felt so wistful these past months for the old version of me. Because I used to embrace every aspect of myself, but somehow got lost along the way.

In line with that I've been giving my online life a bit of an overhaul. My YouTube channel has had a makeover and I'm aiming to ease it into a fully art based direction as art channels have been my favourite to watch since I discovered them. I've also started a new Instagram account, which I hope to be less curated, where the only 'theme' is myself. I've also begun a new art blog, as I really feel I'd rather base myself around that aspect of my personality. I crave to be known for the work I put my heart and soul into, and less for what I wear and what I buy. I'm not sure when I became so materialistic, but it's uncomfortable and needs to stop.

I've considering taking a bit of a break from all social media except for blogging and YouTube - just a week or so to reset myself. It's alarming how much time I waste scrolling, and how little time I spend doing the things that matter to me, such as reading books, drawing, and writing from my heart. Yet more features of my old self I hope to reconnect with.

Cath Kidston x Disney Alice in Wonderland dress
to top