Sunday, 30 December 2018

This end could be my start

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season! Personally I’m always a lot more excited by what comes next - New Year. I know it’s just a day like any other and time is a human construct, but I do love embracing things that signify clear endings and the feeling of a fresh start. And I’m feeling SO positive about 2019! So much so that I’ve been working on my 2019 planner throughout most of December. I love New Year as it provides the perfect opportunity to take stock, reflect, and see where you want to go forward.

I had a mixed 2018, but generally it was very positive and I feel so much stronger going into 2019. I began the year very insecure and unsure of myself, and I’m leaving it with a very strong sense of who I am and what path I want to take. I’ve spent most of my time since leaving uni in a period of self rediscovery, and it’s felt wonderful to re-engage with old interests and feel passionate about things again, and I'm learning to stop being ashamed of liking nice and innocent things. I’ve been moaning about finding my art style for years, and as soon as I stopped trying to find one and re-learned how to just draw for myself again and lose the feeling of everything I create having to be shared, I ended up finding my own style without even trying. And as a result I'm back to drawing regularly again after being stuck in an art block for years which feels wonderful!

In 2018 I also visited Naples and Rome by myself after having not traveled in years, and although it was a difficult trip it was so beneficial to me. I graduated art school with a BA Honours degree in Illustration and got a 1st for my dissertation. I saw Roger Waters twice over my birthday and got to shake his hand at the end of the show. I can distinctly remember stating that it felt like the perfect way to not only celebrate my birthday, but also start a new chapter of my life after a sucky few years and I really didn't expect that to actually come true as it's since that point that things have only gone up and up. I saw Nick Mason in September, which meant I'd seen 2/3 of my favourite band live, and I went to the theatre in the West End 5 times in 4 months - seeing my favourite show Wicked 3 times, and seeing my original favourite show Les Mis for the first time in 7 years.

For 2019 I want to focus on saving money and getting to my ultimate dreams of living in the place I've always wanted to, and also visiting New York. I want to invest in myself instead of things. I also want to learn a new language, draw more, read more, and continue to throw myself into the things that I'm passionate about and stop feeling apologetic about it all and stay enthusiastic and true to myself and my heart. Most of all I want to stay optimistic, which is something I lost for a long time and aren't prepared to lose again.

Title: Catch Me If You Can - Goodbye

Sunday, 16 December 2018

One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter

This dress was my latest make, something I finally got around to after the fabric sat in my stash for over a year! I was inspired by a really beautiful mushroom print dress I saw on Instagram, but when I looked it up and saw it cost £200 I thought yikes and found this fabric on Spoonflower to make my own.

A couple of weeks ago I learnt about the closing of Rookie and it got me on a real nostalgia kick. I admit I haven't read Rookie or even checked it's homepage for a few years, which was a really sad realisation as I used to love it. I discovered so many blogs through it's comment section of girls who were simultaneously so relatable whilst also feeling so much cooler than me! Blogging has changed so much in such a short space of time, and for me Rookie really encapsulated the best of it - when girls blogged like it was an online scrapbook, rather than the staged editorial style we get nowadays. So many of my favourite bloggers from back then have given up and no longer update, almost like a foreshadowing that Rookie would go the same way. Not that I'm one to talk, like I said I no longer read Rookie myself, but I found Tavi's final editorial letter moving as it's so easy to lose your voice and your authenticity online today. I've always thought of myself as an authentic blogger, but I realise I'm no where near as authentic as I used to be as I often find myself thinking that my blog needs to be more interesting - because being real doesn't qualify as 'interesting' anymore I suppose?

I dug out my Rookie yearbook 1 & 2, and bought 3 & 4 on eBay for a couple of quid. I always loved the aesthetic of these books, they're like big zines. It's weird reading back over them and realising how much Rookie taught me; it made me realise how universal so many of my experiences were and that there were people like me out there, and also that there are people that are different out there, and encouraged me to think more.

In the spirit of getting back to blogging like I used to, here's a playlist of songs I'm digging at the moment. For no reason other than I want to post it, which I need to get back to doing more of!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Evil is always more easily imagined than good, somehow

It's felt far too long since I last updated! November seemed to just run away with me, but mostly in the absolute best kind of ways. At least at the beginning of the month anyway, as I've had a chest infection for the past two weeks which has been less fun. But it has meant I've gotten to spend lots of lazy days indoors with plenty of tea and books.

Two weeks ago I popped down to London again although it feels like so much longer, I swear November has felt about a year long to me! I saw Wicked as usual, and also my other favourite musical Les Miserables. It was my 16th time seeing Les Mis in total, but the first time I'd seen it since 2011. The feelings hit me all at once as soon as the orchestra began the Prologue and I burst into tears. Wicked was of course as wonderful as ever, and it inspired me to finally finish the novel it's based on which had sat languishing under my bed for a few months. I don't want to give any spoilers, but lets just say I lost a fair bit of interest after one of my favourite characters was killed off (which I knew happened, but still!). Thankfully after the lull I ended up really enjoying the book, and although it's got it's slow points I'd definitely recommend it even if you're not a fan of the musical.

My artwork has been the biggest thing to keep me from social media this past month, and that's a sentence I'm actually really happy to say as it wasn't too long ago that I was in the deep dark depths of art block. A large portion of the month was spent on Folktale Week, an online Instagram art challenge that fit my interests too perfectly not to take part. I also finished a Wicked related piece that I had begun back before my surgery, and I also ended up feeling inspired to create a series of illustrations based on the main characters from, you guessed it, Wicked. It was purely born from my doodling Elphaba to see how she'd look in my style, and it grew from there. I'm really proud of how it came out though, and it's inspired me to order some products for my Etsy store at long last!

I mostly post my art adventures over on my instagram and my art blog if you'd like to stay updated!
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