long time no see and all that. I have had another unplanned break from this here blog. I have been keeping quite busy though over on my instagram feed. I thought that I would do a little post each week to record my week through the photos I take either with my camera or my phone. I love keeping and recording memories and reminding my self to look up and appreciate the things around me. This is actually one of my goals and resolutions. I meant to do a big grand blog post about that however never got round to it. So instead I will talk about it all in these weekly posts/updates. I love and equally hate looking back at old blog posts due to the fact they make me cringe but its ever so lovely to have things recorded and to look back on old memories.
This week started by popping to the centre, its been a busy week full of errands and appointments. Which has been great to get out. This week I have felt really low and having a lot of anxiety and just feeling dread, self doubt and being in a bit of a black hole. Walking around these streets sometimes is so very surreal. I just feel like this small tiny unknown island floating around a bit lost and not knowing where I am going. It all feels like its not actually happening and right and that scares me. However, I do get lost in its beauty, even if I am feeling like its not “my place” I can still enjoy it. This is one of my favourite bustling areas of Barcelona to visit. Its so pretty and old and I like that. Good bars too!
Mi querido Poblenou. I do love this little village within the city. Its where I live and where I feel most at home. Walks to and from doctors appointments have been a breath of fresh air and a good reminder of how much I do love this place.
I also had to pop up to Gracia, for an errand, I always forget how much I love it there and think to myself I should visit more often.
The centre of Barcelona always has its beautiful, charming hidden bits. I like to seek these out.
The rest of my week has been stuck inside my flat (no so photogenic) and drawing like a mad woman. Its what keeps me sane. Might even show some more off in next weeks photos.
So I must start off by saying that I am in no certain terms a painter. Not at all. I like painting, but I am far too experimental and like to paint over and over things until I get what I sort of want. Thus creating a weird sort of mess in the process. However, I thought that I would give painting a go.
My idea with this piece was to create some sort of alternative weirdo lost girl princess. I decided on the pink hair for this reason, however as the piece went on and on I just didn’t feel it. It just wasn’t right. She didn’t feel like how I wanted to in my head, her skin was rosy and flushed but far too pastel and sweet for my liking. I wanted a tough girl that runs in the forest in between the brambles, her lips a blueish colour, her eyes like birds and her cheeks permanently ruddy from the cold. I will paint another bubble gum lost girl but she will be different. She will be sassier and not so earthy. I want to paint strong girls that most certainly do not need rescuing because they are quite fine on their own thank you very much. Alternative figures to what we are presented right now.
I don’t see many other illustrators/artists share their WIP. I feel like I am baring all by doing this, you can see my mistakes and the piece in its raw sense. It was very hard with this piece to know where to stop, and I think that shows. You can see the thick layers of cracked paint. Funny how that adds to her worn forestry look though. I decided that I wanted her to have normal brown hair, albeit with twigs and brambles entwined in it. This piece was a great excercise into letting go and knowing when and where to stop and not allowing myself to get caught up in too much perfection. I like this and I am sort of happy with how she has turned out, I wish she wasn’t so WORKED but anyway. I think the process and sharing the process is so important and something that should be more celebrated. Even if the end result isn’t a super shiny well styled pinterest piece in the end. I think it’s what makes work more interesting and I for one love seeing process and WIP.
You can find the “Lost girls” series in my shop here, either in print form or originals. Each come with their own little story, like this one, of why they are special and inspiring.
Hello, its been a month. A month (!) since I last blogged. How is that so? Well being an ill one and not really being able to sit at a computer for longer than half an hour has meant that everything is done in small, slow chunks.
I thought I would show some of these small chunks of work and my very messy studio. Living in a flat means that I don’t have a load of space, however am very lucky to have a room of my own. I posted my studio in the past here. I am always constantly surrounded by keepsakes and bits and pieces of inspiration and life. As well as tools and useful things. Here are some bits and pieces of work from late. If you follow me on instagram you will see my sketchbook/work sharing. Its been nice to have a bit of time here alone listening to the radio and podcasts, these little pockets of time have really helped me not feel like Lupus is all consuming. It makes me feel a bit human again which is great. Because I am a nosy so and so I gathered that the rest of you may well be too. I love taking sneaky peaks into others spaces, especially when they are work spaces. Its been a rather sweaty, long, hot month this old month so my little cave has been a good refuge. Where do you work and what are your spaces like? Are they as cluttered and chaotic as mine?
I will do a little life update when I feel better/have energy and time.
Sometimes its all about the sweet little details in life. Serendipitous moments that bring people into your life to show you a bit of love when you most need it. I have struck up a friendship with the lovely Lou of Noo&Nell on instagram. We talk about art and creativity and bits and pieces of our lives. Her emails are like a warm cup of tea enveloping you in a hug and something that have kept me from going completely stir crazy with this cabin fever. It also is nice to have a physical connection to someone and see their personality in their handwriting and parcels. I miss this touch a lot online when connecting with people. I feel like we are so in undated with imagery and online profiles that it is sometimes hard to remember there is a face and a human behind a user name. Its so good to actually have a physical nice little detail of a friend. Its so easy nowadays to hit a like button, to double tap an image to show some love. Its all so quick and automatic so thats why its super meaningful and lovely when someone has taken the time in their day to stop, think and make with their lovely hands. I think thats what means the most, the thought, time and energy that goes into a little parcel or letter like this. For someone to say “I care and I am thinking of you” makes it all quite a lot better.
I must admit I am notoriously bad at replying to emails, sending written notes, planned packages. Scribbled notes seem to get forgotten about and when i do finally get round to sending things they seem a bit lost and irrelevant. However picking up this wonderful package from the post office made me feel generally loved and grateful, it did its purpose of being a care package. I truly felt so grateful (and a little undeserving of such prettiness!). I would love to do the same for the people I love when they need it the most. Watch this space.
The pink parcel smelt amazing as the postoffice worker handed it over to me. I waited until I was at home with pup and a nice cup of tea to open it. Inside the package contained 3 beautifully wrapped little presents, all in delicate pink soft tissue paper wrapped up with a piece of (pink!) string. Just the care and love that went into wrapping everything beautifully. I loved the card that came with the package, indeed when life gives you lemons 😉
The reason the package smelt so wonderful was because Lou had picked lavender from her garden and it had perfumed all the parcel. Within the 3 individually wrapped presents were the wonderful bestest gift an illustrator could ask for. Pencils, wrapped up with yet more lavender. I can’t stop smelling it as its calming aroma washes over me.
She also included two little sweet cushions, I love her funny little gnomes. So cheerful and sweet. Again, stuffed with that beautiful fragrant lavender. I will place it next to my bed and let its calming take effect.
There was also a cute little kitty, beautifully embroidered. I want to see these as brooches and they would be really sweet.
I loved the fact that it was like a care package and full of sweet little details. So much love and time was taken in putting together the little package. Its true what Lou said, she can’t send me get well flowers but this was even better. I have made a dear friend! I love the fact I have very good friends that I rarely see and when I get an email from them entailing their lives and loves and thoughts it makes my heart swell. I love that these words form a bond. I need to get my act together and send out a few care packages of my own. These friends are near and far away and I miss them in my life but feel so happy for technology that my words reach as far as Canada and England and that I have people rooting for me out there when I need it the most. I am rooting for you guys too! /gushypostend
I feel years fall like days. And days fall like years. The expression the days are long but the years are short. How apt I find myself thinking.
Everything around me is in constant flux and change is happening yet I feel I am wading through treacle to move the second hand on the clock just a tiny nudge. Life is on pause while everyone is around me getting married, starting families and going on big grand adventures. Whilst my little old body, aged before its time, sits whilst waiting seeps its way into my bones and eats away at them. The feeling of time rotting away at my insides, thick undergrowth and brambles growing around my bones. Making me feel suffocated and stuck. Making it harder to move from as they root me to this very spot.
The talk of change and future plans seem so distant and in the yonder when only spoken about minutes, hours ago, and then if by magic, suddenly those days turn into weeks that form months and then years.
Big heart wrenching occasions pass with the inevitable goodbyes that tug at the strings of my being, slowly pulling me down and making me miss and feel nostalgic for times that haven’t even happened yet.
Times that are spoken about wistfully, times that are spoken about with the gutsy confidence that comes with talking about very distant things gives you. The giddy excitement of a dream, plans and journeys (physical and mental). All spoken about with hope and joy. But its ok because they won’t happen for a while. There is still time, life still has time to happen, we still have so much time to be. Until the day arrives and its happened. And you are in the exact same situation with all those giddy plans but them still being so far out of reach. Hands flailing to catch at them, if you could just run that bit faster. But you can never run fast enough. You can always run a bit more tomorrow, until tomorrow and the day after and the day after that and so on have passed. Groundhog day. Energy rationed out like medicine. One bit today and the rest for another day.
Trapped by those seconds, minutes, hours, days months and years. All of that waiting and that never being. Its all so bittersweet. Trying your very damn hardest to enjoy it whilst it is here, this present. Thinking this could be the moment, this could be it. Although it never feels like it.
Trapped by that waking thought that life is exactly the same as when you last left it. Only the hands on the clock have been around way faster and many many times, there are new faces that look back at your older face. You awake and realise that you are 10 years older and wonder how you have slept walked through it all. Wading through thick syrupy time, eyes open but not really there. How did it happen? So you cling and grab onto little strings that hold you up, grasping at them. Clutching at any flicker of hope of excitement, that there is always some sort of plan waiting in the wings. Living on other peoples time and lives, watching through tired eyes. Happy to be there along for the ride but sad that its never really you. Happy that the ones you love so dearly are doing this thing called living so well. Happy that they spend their time so wisely.
And you wonder when will it be my second, minute, hour, day, month and year? Maybe tomorrow…
This is a little piece I wrote in 5 minutes hunched over my phone, it is what I felt in that moment (and do still feel). I am OK, despite it seeming quite dramatic. I am ok.
Why hello there FRI-YAY! I wanted to do another little weekly round up of good things to remind me of THE GOOD THINGS in life. I bloody need the remind to be honest. I thought I would try to illustrate them. I had a major melt down paddy at drawing my beloved PJ Harvey. I officially can’t draw PJ. She is too good to put into drawing form (I just ain’t got the skillz). I will be drawing more of my girl-heroes! I have a plenty. Lets not hope I get the strops like this time though…
Oh Polly Jean you sure do own a piece of my black little heart. I have seen her twice in my life, both times amaazing (she was wearing a spice girl dress for one performance!). BUT this album reaches somewhere deep in my marrow and stays there. I love it. It has to be one of the best from the past 5 years if not more. Its so hauntingly beautiful and the lyrics (as always is the case with PJ) are amazing. One of my favourite albums ever and ever so fitting for my weird longing for my isle. Watch all the video’s in this playlist and listen to the full album. It will take you on a journey of an archaic English adventure.
I have always and forever been obsessed with the 1960’s. I kind of wish I was around to document this time and see and feel it with my own eyes. It seems like such an important changeable time. I also just love any of the imagery and iconography that comes with it.
So this is a dedication to my tools and my deepest love for what they allow me to do and for all things stationary (it says pencils above not penises…)
Again, this is just a taster of a blog post that is to follow. I want to do one about my favourite tools and pens and pencils that I use as an artist/illustrator/maker/experimenter person. Above is my favourite pen that is from Muji. Its an indian ink filled brush pen thing. So handy and such a time saver. Its my go to pen at the moment and has heavily influenced my work as of late. The other thing pictured is my muji mechanical clicky pencil thing. Its my dream pencil and everything looks better sketched out in it. Also pictured is my beloved ink well. I love love love ink. Its dark splodgy messy marks makes everything look how I imagine it in my head. Had a terrible paddy fit of a day yesterday (as mentioned above…) when nothing comes out of my hands like it is pictured in my head and this makes me SAD and RAGEY. I hate that feeling of uselessness. It has passed though (sort of).
I have also been loving and I mean LOVING with all my heart this series on bbc 4. Its about artists. I have reawakened my belief in what is my calling in life and what I should be doing and I don’t think I can let anything get in that way any longer. So inspired and so refreshing, here are two of my very very favourites:
Tracey was (and is still) my hero when I was 15/16/17. Her work seemed to really speak to me visually and meaningfully. I love her so so much. She is such a special weirdo and tells her unique sad and powerful story in such a way. Flaws and all. (thats what makes her so strong).
This makes for a slightly awkward viewing but I love love these two. Brilliance. Watch on the BBC if you are in the UK.
This obvs falls under the musica section however also here because it is so much more:
Lastly, here are my current favourite beauty products, will do another PROPER post soon on these but for now here is the illustrated version.
Happy weekend to y’all.
So last weeks post got a lot of feedback, both good and bad in some ways. Interpretation is a good thing though. I think it came across as being a negative whine however what I intended to do was fondly remember the days of innocence and non internet marketing. About blogging and being present on social media because you really want to not because its some ploy to get rich quick etc. Zoe writes about it brilliantly here and is so EN POINT!
Moving on though, I wanted to celebrate the internet and the glorious wonderful weird thing that it is. I thought I would fish out a few of my faves and share and enjoy the good, inspiring, awe wondrous things that are out there. As a few of you mentioned sometimes you just need to scratch a little deeper below the surface to find things.
Oh there have been a few favourite accounts that I have been collecting lately. I mainly use Instagram (and pinterest) to stalk other illustrators and the like. As well as a daily diary of some sort (currently doing the 365 project- more of that in another post).
PS LOVIN’ the new instagram web feed. Mucho mejor folks!
Have a bit of a thing for dolls and 3d illustrations at the moment and I am so glad I found this artist. Her dolls have so much character and are so sweet and the stitching. Love them. Noo and Nel.
A recent discovery of this printing wizard. I enjoy the textures and colours so much (all hand printery and good- rough textures and block colours <3). I also enjoy the subjects they choose to draw. Shops and houses and animals. Lovely! The printed peanut
Elly Pear, someone who hails from my hometown and is now a Bristolian owning the mega super Pear Cafe (must visit when I am next in Brizzle! Frittata and sandwiches yum!). She does the 5:2 diet and is constantly posting the most incredible shots of food and goodness. Love her account so much! Elly Pear
And last but by no means least I present to you the visual wonder that is Seedling Paperie.
Where to begin? The designs and hand drawn typography are dreamy but not to sickly whimsical. The botanical theme through out all of the well painted pieces. The styling oh the beautiful styling. Every single picture is flawless. Way to brand your paper shop! Seedling Paperie
I have really gotten into video in a HUGE way. I guess my attention span has gotten shorter and shorter as we enter in the age of a social digital adhd. Not being able to sit still and focus on one piece of media at the moment due to severe cabin fever. These little snippets, these quick fix inspirational pieces are my cure. They satisfy my need for visual and informational inspiration.
I originally saw this on the wonderful Sanda’s blog (more below!).
Oh Mr Casey Neistat, you truly brilliant inspirational man. Everything you do is natural and just unique and you with or without realising drop grand gems of inspiration and encouragement. This man has stopped me from going under and being full blown crazy. I love his DIY aesthetic and his dream studio (the labeled boxes of greatly organised tools etc). Casey always makes me feel better!
I also recently found this cuties youtube channel. I love her style, her pup and her cute southern accent. Her carefree, relaxed demeanour really appeals to me and her taste is awesome!
I find this blog insanely informative and helpful. Its always super inspiring and gives great tips and insights into blogging and branding etc. I am especially loving the “How I quit my job” series. Especially this edition with Viktorija from AndSmile. So so inspiring… Also the blog it self, brilliantly clean layout and super easy to read. Great consistent content too. Bravo! http://www.theprivatelifeofagirl.com/
Oh dear Sarah! Your blog is such an ace read and is totally what I was going on about in my last post. The kind of blog I miss. Blogging for blogging sake, because you have something good and interesting to say and add and not to sell etc. Great content Sahara and some brilliant points brought forward. http://sarahfordham.com
Dear Sandra, I have been following your blog since you were on the magical livejournal. I have followed your beautiful life for over 7 years. I read your blog in sketchy weird translated english (cheers google translate). You make me wish I was Swedish and living the dream life you have in Stockholm. Anyway you are articulate and intelligent and I can’t wait to pick up a copy of your book. You are also a dreamer and I enjoy your boy candy posts. (pictured above!) http://sandrabeijer.se
Another Swede called Sandra. Totally different from the other Sandra. Her style and apartment in Berlin are amazing. I love her photo diaries from life on the streets around Berlin. Oh and the food. I also want her life! One day I will get to Berlin…. http://sandrajuto.blogspot.com.es
Penguin the Magpie has been one of my favourite things for quite a while now. These hauntingly beautiful photos of family life with an adopted magpie are my very favourite. The special bond and trust that just seems so unlikely makes my heart swell and break at the same time. Honestly something about this makes me want to cry and cry but in an awesomely beautiful special way. I have also had a bit (a lot) of an obsession with magpies for years and years and consider myself to be a bit of a girl magpie. Penguin the Magpie
This article written for the NewYorker is brilliant. Its so apt. I am so done but addicted at the same time with pinterest. Have a good little chuckle at all of the cliches. I was kind of referring to this weird selective and filtered unrealistic life in my last post. Day in the life
A total why didn’t I think of this moment? Except I kinda sorta did at uni, I sewed tiny objects and keepsakes and dolls furniture into pockets and creases of clothes and into these little jewellery boxes. I love this though so much, these scenes. Tiny intricate worlds that make you feel quite nostalgic. There is also something so valuable and precious about the fact they exist in jewellery boxes. By the artist http://talwst.com
PHEW, that took me a while to write. Glad I did though. Yay internet you are not so shit and shallow. I do like you a lot, I practically grew up livin on the internet so. Now to GET OUTSIDE.