Its been a fair while hasn’t it. No excuse really, other than life has been VERY heavy as of late. We are still in the depths of summer over here in Barcelona. So with that in mind I have adopted some sort of daily uniform, which doesn’t particularly make for great outfit documentation/blogging. However thats cool. I have written here about how I seem to have adopted a sort of uniform. I guess thats growing up. You find you and feel better about it and everything seems to slip into that. So here is my summer look that I have been rotating on a daily basis. Its really too hot to care that much. Bring on autumn, tights and layers! I miss you. Shirt- H&M / Camisole- Topshop / Regular waist shorts- H&M / Necklace – &otherstories / Shoes – Birkenstocks.
Dress – Monki / Denim Jacket – Monki / Bag – Cambridge satchel company / Sunglasses – Hawkers / Shoes – Birkenstocks
So summer has well and truly arrived. Which for me means sweat, melting and hiding away from the intense heat of the Barcelonian sun. Out come the milk maid legs and dresses, sandals until October and wanting to live in a fridge. I lose my sense of style a bit in this heat, as not feeling like a gloopy mess trumps any sort of style decision. Its nice to wear floaty dresses and flounce around beautiful stately parks (this one being in Badalona). Also having lupus means I need to stay covered up, so light weight tops or jackets are a must. I would like to sew some little kimono jackets myself. Lets see if I can do that.
To find all my style posts, click here
What a week. It has been filled with highs and lows. The low’s been very very low indeed. I have had many a hospital visit (infiltrations, new medicine etc). ATM it seems like the second round of Rituximab has worked and I can finally (for the first time in over a year) reduce my cortisone dosage. Which is a small, good new step (YAY!).
This week has been the hottest so far and I can say that summer has officially started. Sleeping and feeling sluggish and heat and the sun for me in general are terrible. I try to hermit away in the day as much as possible because I just CAN’T. But it is nice to get outside and go on little strolls either to the beach or the park. Getting my legs out and freckles on my arms.
Thursday night was so nice, getting out for San Joan. San Joan is crazy, fireworks and fire and noise everywhere. We went down to our beloved Poblenou (our barrio) and watched the parade of the Corre Foc, with its amazing percussion band, go and ignite the bonfire. We then walked along the beach and watch the fireworks and chinese laterns before sitting in a park talking about our future and drinking a clara. Perfect.
Waking up in tears to the news on friday, manic family chats and feeling genuinely shocked and scared at the state of things here, there and everywhere. I feel sad and scared for my future as an EU Migrant/citizen. Now more than ever borders need to be opened. I can’t stand this “Great” Britain rule Britannia island mentality. Which to be honest I find embarrassing- its actually something I have noticed more and more when going back. I am also VERY angry that my postal vote did not arrive on time and my proxy vote was unable to vote for me. DESPITE sending everything well in time. I am shocked to the core at some of the things I have seen people I know think and believe (everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs BUT when they are just down right offensive and racist etc it hurts my heart). I will write something more on this in the future as my head is fuzzy and still reeling from it all. Tuesday marks my 10 year anniversary so expect a post then.
Friday I escaped to my favourite place, sat on a rock and watched my busy, hot chaotic home from above and felt a sense of pride and belonging for one of the first times since arriving. It felt right to be where I was and looking at it all pan out from above I felt incredibly lucky and fortunate to experience it. I took a deep breath and felt instantly better. My favourite place is magical like that. It is healing and where I shall escape to more frequently.
Lets see what next week brings!
Ama de casa. House bound and house proud, tied to her home.
la Marinera Grumpy nautical and lost at see, unable to see the horizon.
Bubble gum pink, sugar and spice and not all things nice. This lost girl is forever trapped in a little locket looking pretty (grumpy).
The redhead. Firey and prone to having a bad temper, especially when made to sit in a traditional portrait frame. She is sulky but strong.
Cheerful and sunny. She is not of the sunny disposition and quite likes her own company and staying indoors thank you very much.
Watery and light, always watching and feeling alone. Sad and lonely but always there.
This girl is happy living in the forest and being wild and free. Rosy cheeks and botanical hair. Wild and free.
Lost in the wilderness, brambles and leaves forever camouflaged, nature grows in her bones.
Golden girl. When she was good she was very very good. Lost in her own bubble of brilliance. Lethargic and bored this lost girl is captured day dreaming about adventures and better times. She is surrounded by a gold glitter glow but sometimes feels a bit dull in comparison.
This girl is under lots of mean clouds that tell her naughty things, sometimes she ignores them and then sometimes it rains (and really pours!)
Lost girls is a series I created to explore an alternative image of what it is to be a girl. A project of portraits that explore femininity in an alternative way. They also celebrate fragility, differences and a certain darkness that is not always explored in fairy tales. I wanted the illustrations to be an extension of myself and the stories I have within. I also wanted them to be quite imperfect. The series also explores the depression and anxiety that we often suffer due to not being quite perfect enough. They have been hand painted and hand cut out of thick grey card. They are “pocket” sized. A pocket sized alternative princess.
They have been painted using water colour, pencil and gouache on thick grey card and have all been hand cut.
It has been so therapeutic doing these little projects and bits of art work, as a way of reclaiming who I am a little bit. As I have been unable to work it would also be quite lovely to have a little help, both financially and for my self esteem which is why I have wanted to give a go at trying to sell my stuff.
Hello! Its been a while since I have sat with my laptop and opened up this little white box to write an update. The week in photos came to a stop for a while after the last round of treatment as I have been feeling totally whacked out from it, both physically and emotionally. I just haven’t felt like sharing a whole lot. I took a big break from my daily project and everything really and I still feel like I am gathering up the pieces a little bit. However I have missed these updates and diary like entries. I love looking back on them and seeing what I have been up to and reading where I was. I also want this space to be more about my work and what inspires me. My little corner of the internet and my home. I want to make sure that I am updating this place for the right reasons, because I want to and feel like and not because I have a schedule to keep and feel like I ought to. So yep. Weekly updates will most likely continue but they won’t be forced and I will update when and where I wish. Non of that scheduled best time of day blogging for views shite. I love my little blog and want to nuture it and want it to feel natural and like me. I know the blogging world feels dead at some points but I want to do it because I love recording, writing, remembering and creating content. In fact thats one thing I have realised about my self. I LOVE CONTENT CREATING. I want this to feel real and not some weird false instagram version of myself. I think we are all getting a bit bored of the perfectly created sponsored posts right? I get it, blogging and content takes an absolute AGE to do and put together and why should their not be some monetary reward for that? But its making the right, conscious intelligent choices and also not being scared to be different and stand out and have a voice. Its alright if its not all polished, in fact the blogs I love the most are those that show interesting, different things and not in a weird stylized, shiny box. GAH! I needed to get that off my chest. I feel like I can take a step forward now and get back to doing what I love without feeling all the pressure.
So where have I been at? In a black lonely hole to be honest. I haven’t been feeling all too great at all. I have been trying to make the most of my “up” moments by getting out on walks and sitting in my favourite cafe and trying to buck myself up a bit. Its been hard to do and I still feel like I am there. Is it ok to admit that I am not ok? I am not. Just for the record. Not working, not being able to go out, feeling guilty when I do go out, not seeing friends, not having family, being stuck creatively and just feeling in a lot of pain has taken its toll. Funnily enough the moment I start to embark on a project about my illness is when I become stuck and unable to continue and hating everything I do. I think maybe the project is still a bit too raw and I don’t have enough perspective on it to feel great. Alas push through I shall do.
So here are some bits and pieces (that might be the new name of this here feature) of my life lately. Oh and a video from last summer that I hatched together that never saw the light of day.
Back for more next week. I am thinking of doing another weekly what I am working on round up that is separate to this. However not made my mind up yet? What do you think? An illustrators week in photos including bits and pieces or bits and pieces and a separate post with just my work? How have you all been? I hope not in the same black hole as me! <3
The heat has most definitely arrived. It is sweltering. This was taken a week or so ago when it was still warm but comfy. I have been really enjoying wearing a pop of bright lipstick as of late and am a bit obsessed with the Kat von D tattoo lipsticks. They are amazing. I like that they also brighten my face and make me feel like facing the world a bit more. I am more into wearing black and more neutral colours these days so its nice to add a bit of colour. As you can see I have been mixing things up and doing a wardrobe remix, discovering which bits I wear the most and which bits not so much. Also what I feel good in and what I think suites me. My style has evolved a lot but at the same time stays the same. A mix between a child and a grandma with a bit of utilitarian comfort thrown in. The rest? I am going to sell on depop so watch out soon.
Also just wanted to add that one perk of this no buying clothes thing means that I have had a big sort out and discovered I had these jeans in the back of my wardrobe. I had completely forgotten about them! That is crazy as they were brand new. Its nice to rediscover old gems and bits you didn’t even realise you had. I am going to try and wear bits that I haven’t worn in a while.
Jacket- Vintage / Cami – H&M / Necklace – &otherstories / Jeans – Monki / Trainers – Nike / Bag – Cambridge satchel CO. / Silk Scarf – H&M / Lipstick – Kat Von D Liquid tattoo liptick in Berlin. / Brooch – gift from a lovely friend
You may or may not have noticed that its all gone a little bit quiet round these parts. Well let me explain why that is.
A few weeks ago I had my latest round of treatment which has left me very tired and weak and in a bit of a daze really. The summer has also started bringing with it the sweltering heat. In general I have just felt a bit BLEURGH. I am struggling and its not been easy.
I have been thinking a lot lately about taking the time to step back, cure, get better and breathe. Maybe it is something instilled in me from childhood, that summers are the time to rest and relax and enjoy ones self. I haven’t been able to do much of that (Primavera SOB!). However my head hasn’t been in a great place and I just wanted to retreat a little to gather my thoughts and get back on my feet a little bit. I am still kind of in the hole but am beginning to learn how to turn down the volume a little on the should do/want to/can do thoughts. By that I mean not forcing myself, doing things at my pace and relearning my limits and knowing its ok just to live a little. Everything goes in peaks and troughs. Especially my disease, in fact I think that more than anything else, this disease has taught me that. Patience and listening and taking the time to stop and breathe and its ok if you can’t balance everything in the air. That it is ok to do things little by little and not try and balance everything for it all to come crashing down.
Here are some of my tips to live a little slower and self care a little more:
Take time out:
You are not always missing out, things do not always have to be done in that moment and you don’t always have to follow your dreams. Baths, walks, sitting, reading and just doing nothing at all are ok. I think there is a lot of pressure on instagram and other social media to be the best person we can be and do live the dream etc. However all these memes don’t really account for things like illness, lack of money and other circumstances. Learning to disconnect and take a step back is amazing and its in these moments we can really appreciate and take stock. So taking time out to breathe and just be your rather than having to be the person you think you have to be is bloody nice.
Disconnect from things:
I am currently taking part in a draw everyday project. I got a bit fatigued by it and the pressure of having to come up with something everyday took its toll, I was even fretting about it whilst being plugged in receiving treatment. It also took on a life of its own where I would find myself constantly checking for likes and followers and others feeds and comparing myself to others. So I took a step back and some time off to realign and realise why I decided to do this project. It was also nice to step back from that constant comparison and need to be validated by likes and followers. I found I was really stuck (I am still a bit) and wasn’t allowing myself to really heal. It’s also moments that I don’t want to share and I wanted to just rest and be private and feel like it is ok to recover without the need to record it all. Try to minimise the amount of aimless scrolling and phone time. Try to switch off and be a little more present.
Not everything happens at once:
I want to do everything and I want to do it NOW. I want my work to be an immediate success (and the fact it has not been makes me feel like a failure or I am not as good as the next). I want to try and do too many things that I end up doing nothing at all. I also need to realise my limits and still need to learn that living with this disease means I have a VERY limited amount of resources that I can give to things and sometimes its actually enough just to get better and fight this thing that I have. Also I have a million and one ideas and I always seem to talk the talk and not walk the walk as it were. I need to focus, prioritise and be super realistic about what I can actually achieve. So why not pick the things that bring me the most joy and try just to do one little thing a day?
Don’t expect the world:
So the same as my above point really, but steady and slow wins the race and at some point hard work should pay off. I went in expecting everything to happen and gave my self a lot of pressure of being something and someone and making it into this super successful thing, which it will be. However this isn’t going to happen over night and thats ok, it doesn’t equal failure. Its great to have goals and things but when you find these goals are tripping you up maybe its time to let go and readjust them a little. Little bite sized manageable pieces rather than massive chunks that weigh you down.
You can only do as much as you can manage:
This rings so true for me. I want to do everything and have this amazing instagram/pinterest/perfect action packed life where I am super successful at churning out amazing products and running a successful illustration business whilst being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter etc. Also throw in a debilitating disease and treatment and frequent trips to the hospital. Realising that some days I am just simply managing trying to be well and better and that is quite enough. I know this sounds defeatist but it isn’t, it is about realising reality and working with that and taking a step forward to embracing and being realistic with myself.
Turn down the volume:
I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I am my own worse enemy. I over think and over do and over repeat and that little horrible voice in my head that tells me I am not worth it/ there is someone better/ I am a failure because I got sick/ I am guilty because of this and that etc/ I am so boring /my illustrations are shit etc. Its all silly, why does this negative voice speak and ring much louder than the positive one? I have been slowly learning to turn it down a bit by imagining a literal switch in my brain and tuning it ever so slightly. I try and distract myself when I notice the volume is really loud by reading/ breathing and just by doing something else. Also trying to catch myself before these thoughts weed their way in. Being tough with ones self and saying NO! Also no one judges or cares about the things you over analyse as much as you think they do.
Asking for help:
Its ok to ask for help. Help doesn’t equal failure. Its ok to let it in and be a bit selfish once in a while. Borja’s mum has come with me to the hospital and has sat in the waiting room for hours whilst I get my treatment and knowing that emotional support is there has been so good. In the past I have always gone alone and felt it was something that I had to deal with alone. Mainly because I didn’t want a fuss and also because I didn’t want to be accused of being a hypochondriac and it being all about the other person and them not getting it. I have always felt like it is my problem and just dealt with it. However it is nice to be looked after.
Everything is a work in progress:
Realising that we are always learning and making mistakes and evolving and nothing has to be perfect. Taking a step back to think about how we can improve and then experiment. Nothing is perfect.
So these are the things that I am slowly realising and writing it all here has been good as its good to get it all down and out and onto paper as it were. It serves as a future reminder to myself that having a break and letting go a little actually can be a lot more productive in the end.