trying to become a creative success

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Dearest little white box, blank space, negative space, my journal, diary and confident. I seem to use this little white box as a place to process or record thoughts and feelings at the moment and thats good, thats a blog isn’t it? Is that my “brand”?.

Anyway I was so overwhelmed by the comments and feedback from my last post. I am still processing and trying to understand those feelings, so bare with me. But all the advice and kind, wise words <3
So this blog post, the title, the reason why I need to pour my heart out into this little white box.
The pressure to be a success, the pressure I am feeling and putting on myself at the moment to push myself and get recognised.

I was listening to the most amazing podcast the other day whilst making soup and washing the dishes. It was brilliant. I think I found my kindred spirit in the guest speaker and oh she perfectly described my life for the past 6 + years. I was in a small art school and constantly propped up and was made to feel *special* and like I was talented. You get cocky and almost spoilt with this. It is your identity, the artist/the one who draws/ the one who is good. And then you get thrusted (eep) into the big wild world where you are just one more little illustrator/artist/creator seller amongst many more like you, that have been made to feel somewhat special. Put yourself in a bland, office type environment and see yourself struggle. For you think if you are not good enough for this environment how could you possibly be any good at all (failing to see that its a square peg trying to be smashed and hammered into a round hole- ouch painful!).
And then there is instagram, branding, social media and putting on ones best dress and (war, bitch, fight?! what is the word)  GAME face. Clambering to be seen and trying to get somewhere and be something that the very task you are doing makes you feel like you have literally just sucked the life out the only thing you still loved and enjoyed. You have literally killed your identity (for identity and branding are two different things). SO who are you when you strip all that away? When you are just trying to survive?

I have recently gone through a tribunal after not physically and mentally (as both are so so entwined) been able to work and they ruled that I am indeed not fit for the working word. So what do I do when my work and what I do IS ME? I feel guilty and like I have failed because the tribunal (a whole host of doctors and specialist health care workers and not to mention the tight spanish (but lovely and ever so grateful for) social security system deemed me not able to work. Not to mention the 11 dr’s that look after me and are on my health team deeming me not well enough to either. But my brain, it plays dark tricks on me and makes me believe that I am a failure and not good enough / deserving enough. (That I am a lazy layabout).

It got to a point where every drawing and piece of art was created to fit into a certain image, where with most people a successful brand is them and themselves being them and others being attracted to the things they like/dress/wear/eat etc. Brand image isn’t something that is created it already should exist… Anyway going back to my main point. It got to the stage where I was just churning stuff out for the likes, the numbers, to feel that self gratification and also the reassurance that I am actually good, every like acting as acting as a sort of affirmation of the fact that I am ok and doing a good job.

It got to a point where everyday it was a chore and a panic. I enjoyed doing the actual drawing and task but it all felt joyless. And to prove a point to my weirdo brain that I CAN DO IT.

Oh and the comparison.

Don’t get me bloody started. Unhealthy comparison and trying to rack up points against successful colleagues and friends. Why are they doing so well? What can I do? Poor little victim me, spying and counting and not actually being proactive. Gah, this fight is a hard one.

So I should listen to my body and my mind and just rest and chill the f out and do things because I LOVE doing them and ask myself why I am creating something, is it worth while or just adding more noise to a very very loud room? hmm. Still processing. These are just thoughts and feelings whirring around and needing a place to call home. For example this here blog. The moment I try and force myself into a bi weekly schedule is the moment I totally lose interest in it. I resent it and feel so blocked and angry. I then feel like I have failed because I’ve not kept to this crazy scheduling regime, because that is what I SHOULD do to become successful. There are so many rules that I enforce on myself. Why not just post when the bloody hell it takes me fancy because I am happy/sad/creative or inspired to do so? I am slowly letting my self to rest (and not quit) but to let it all go a bit and let it be and not to try and control and make these crazy schedules of things I know deep down I will never get round to doing because my body and my mind decided to be too busy trying to bloody wage war on itself. (hello multiple autoimmune / anxiety and depression).

So my point? We are all just bloody winging it innit? Even if it looks otherwise.

The end.

From the trying to make it-but not quite there yet- try hard- super creative- draws ok- blogger- vlogger- chronic disease fighter- sister- daughter- partner- dog mummy- sad lonely bitter- 30 something has been-………………..
SARIE XXXX

Stuck 

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So here I am. In bed with a cup of hot chocolate and reeling from the days events. I know having a good old moan on social media isn’t #inspo but I am feeling lost, stuck and rubbish.

Today I had to go under general anesthesia to do some intense procedures and tests to rule out yet more crap things that my body seems to want to throw at me. I don’t write this to be like, oh you poor thing “you ok hun”. I write this because having it all floating around my head and inside of me is quite literally eating at me.

I mainly wanted to write an update on how my work and illustration is going and I feel like not many illustrators or artists really share online when things are SHIT.

I feel like I am watching the world around me succeed and do well, and I celebrate it I REALLY DO.

DSCF0670But here I am left, days spent in bed, feeling awful about my abilities to create. Feeling like I am not succeeding or getting anywhere. Feeling like everything I create is pointless and just silly and amateur. I feel like a massive imposter and like my work doesn’t do or say anything and I don’t quite know how to go forward with that. I just feel like a massive failure in terms of trying this hard slog of being an illustrator. I have posted to my social media for two years everyday and feel like I am in the exact same position. It feels like no one is really willing to work with me or that I am indeed talented enough to find work. Also feeling like I have had the choice taken from me. I feel like I have been given the bad luck of the draw. I am yet to see what I am supposed to learn from this other than to give up?

I am struggling and feeling like I am fighting every day to make my mark. To be successful. To get published. To get clients. To get a little recognition for all the hard work I have been putting in. And it just seems to be going no where. I have been told that I can’t work. But this goes against what I want and who I am. I want to make something, be successful and be the best I can be. There are just so many obstacles in my way though, that it is hard to know where to start or how to begin. Even the baby steps I am making seem pointless and they are not adding up. People keep telling me it will happen and its just persistance and that pays off. But what I keep asking myself is when? When will I get lucky. I ask for little. I would just like to create everyday and work for myself in an environment that makes me happy and I get to do what I treasure and love. Why does this seem to come with such a heavy price?

I shall write a list of my worries and updates. And I would appreciate any advice there is to give with my work and what steps o can take. Because at the moment I feel shit, like a talentless joke. Like a comedy contestant on xfactor whose friends and family are too polite to say other wise.

I feel stuck in which direction to take things in. I feel like it is such a over saturated market to get into. How do I get my stuff out there? I constantly feel like there is some secret I am not privy to and also feel like a lot of creatives like to keep their tricks hidden as so not to get competition.

Over all I am tired of my health situation and all the unfair hold ups and being held up. I just am at the point of giving up really as it’s not bringing me joy and I feel blocked, stuck and in a loop of throwing all my limited energy at something I dear;y love only for it to fall on deaf ears.

How can I get better and how can I forfill my dream/goals?

Not to be overly dramatic but writing this has made me have a HUGE CRY.

Here are some things I feel:

-Everyone else is taking over the world and getting all these amazing chances. How? What’s the secret?

-What am I doing wrong?

-What if  I am just another creator trying to make it in the big pond

-What if its true that I am actually no good

-Why is everyone else super productive and confident an getting chances

-Is it all just smoke and mirrors, are platforms such as instagram and youtube just showing the best bits. Not these gritty behind the scenes sadness and panic sessions?

IMG_8682I would really love some feedback, even if it’s anonymous and even if it’s not kind. I would just love to get out of this horrible cycle I have found myself in.

I don’t have much energy left to fight anymore and after an awful experience working in a company where you were constantly made to feel like you were at the bottom of the ladder and there was no way of climbing up it and that you were/are a terrible designer and creator and are worthless. Well I am feeling that. I am feeling my body giving up on me. And I am just tired. I don’t want to take a break, I do want to push through. But what direction do I take? How do I get over this feeling that everyone else is doing it and I am still making baby steps. I still feel like I am at the bottom of the ladder and not good enough to “make it”.

It’s so hard when you are doing it alone and for yourself. I feel lonely here without any type of peers to cheer me on or give me feedback. I long to have a community round me where I can feel my best and work and get inspired and be able to create and get feedback.

SO  I always feel like there is a massive pressure to do something. To be someone and to be succesful. I have a HUGE fear of not doing what i always imagined, not being able to do what I always wanted.

So that’s my update, life you are a shitter sometimes.

 

Bits and pieces- week 18

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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!

The lost girls

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DSCF8170 DSCF8171DSCF8171 DSCF8172DSCF8169Ama de casa. House bound and house proud, tied to her home.

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la Marinera Grumpy nautical and lost at see, unable to see the horizon.

DSCF8189 DSCF8197DSCF8193Bubble gum pink, sugar and spice and not all things nice. This lost girl is forever trapped in a little locket looking pretty (grumpy).

DSCF8202 DSCF8203 DSCF8204DSCF8201The redhead. Firey and prone to having a bad temper, especially when made to sit in a traditional portrait frame. She is sulky but strong.

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DSCF8219 DSCF8220Cheerful and sunny. She is not of the sunny disposition and quite likes her own company and staying indoors thank you very much.

DSCF8143 DSCF8145 DSCF8146 DSCF8148DSCF8146Watery and light, always watching and feeling alone. Sad and lonely but always there.

DSCF8155 DSCF8158 DSCF8159 DSCF8162 DSCF8161This girl is happy living in the forest and being wild and free. Rosy cheeks and botanical hair. Wild and free.

DSCF8213DSCF8215DSCF8214 DSCF8215Lost in the wilderness, brambles and leaves forever camouflaged, nature grows in her bones.

DSCF8233 DSCF8234 DSCF8235 DSCF8237 glittergirl 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.

DSCF8122DSCF8121 DSCF8122 DSCF8124 DSCF8125This 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.

They have been listed on my etsy shop but are currently on a special summer flash sale over on my instagram. If you would like to purchase one here then they are around 15€ (around £11).

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.

My week in photos 17


Good things:

This week started by going to “the top”, whilst Borja runs I sit and watch the view with this chap. IMG_4285

A few new updates to my shop, some new things added.IMG_4288 IMG_4289

Daily life things like spaghetti and comfy patterns.IMG_4301 IMG_4306

Sketchbooking some idea’s. More on this in another post 😉IMG_4316IMG_4327

Felt very lonely and a bit lost this week. My remedy for that is to get my self out of the flat for a walk and an adventure. I need to listen to the warning signs and listen to when things get too much and get out and distract myself.

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A giant massive 8 kilo tortilla de patatas at my neighbours birthday party (convenient social events next door means I can see people and literally go straight to bed!).IMG_4334

This baby boys sleeping smile <3IMG_4272

Walking around Poblenou (love it here).DSCF8379DSCF3900
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Not much to say about this week that isn’t a repeat of last week and the week before that and so on. The treatment has left me really knocked out with very swollen glands and a very swollen knee. I have barely left the house. I did venture out around my barrio of Poblenou though and snapped a few of my favourite bits.
Next week I have the second round of treatment so I am expecting much of the same then. Heres to naps, sleep, comfy beds, puppy hugs and good books.

See you next week xx

A week in photos / Notes from this week 15

Well this week. Not much to say apart from the fact that I have been under such a big black cloud this week battling ugly thoughts, anxiety, illness and other goings on. This has made me feel quite lonely and isolated. So there. Thats all I am going to say on here as I don’t want this blog to be a weekly moan.

There has been some shining lights through the black clouds though. Like having the time to catch up on my Lost girls series and experimenting with different materials etc. Also Saturdays quick outing, to the print studio in Gracia to see a friends work (it was great). Through all this I have realised that I am motivated and a fighter, even if I don’t feel like one. Despite everything I keep going and I am doing well. So yes.

Next week will be treatment week, so a quiet hospital recovering one. Its probably what is needed. I also need to see my family, so will have to arrange that happening.

This weeks glimpses of light (light chasing all the time atm):
1. This message from last week really rings true this week. I should get these as tattoo’s just to remind my self (a la Casey Neistat’s “DO MORE” tatt).IMG_3992IMG_3995

2. My lost girls. I love drawing them and seeing their different characters and stories come to life. I often feel like a lost girl with a lot of stories so I guess this translates into my drawings. I have really enjoyed this week, and working on the tiny postcard size drawings. They will be for sale in my shop next week and through instagram. Watch out for them. IMG_4104 IMG_4097 IMG_4072IMG_4063 IMG_4062 IMG_4058 IMG_4054 IMG_4051 IMG_4050 IMG_4046 IMG_4001 IMG_4034 IMG_4031 IMG_4036

3. Spotting the little tiny details in life.DSCF8017 DSCF8015 DSCF8002 DSCF8019 DSCF8018 DSCF8039 DSCF8072

4. Spontanious adventures and stumbling across good things like Els Gegants.DSCF8026 DSCF8034 DSCF8036 DSCF8037

5. Gracia’s streets and getting lost in them.DSCF8006 DSCF8079 DSCF8099 DSCF8096

6. Random nice/funny things.DSCF8102 DSCF8108 IMG_4040

7. Rainy Barcelona is the best. Its been raining ALL weekend and its been GLORIOUS!DSCF8008

8. Inspiring places and people (even if it was so very crowded).
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9. Watching these naughty birds squawk from my balcony.
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THE END, see you next week 🙂

 

 

 

April favourites

dearaprilI know April now seems like a while ago, and it is. We are edging further into summer and further away from the cooler months. April has been a funny month for me with highs and lows. There have been little things that have made all the difference and I am going to list some of them below.beautyletteringHaving a skin care routine and putting on a bit of makeup is a ritual that always makes me feel better. Its not because I feel the need to or because I have to. Its something I enjoy, always have done and its something that makes me feel brighter and a bit better. Like I am looking after my self.creamfavouritesA few months ago I was in Sephora with a dear friend when I was testing some products. Something made my terrible sensitive skin flare up loads and it was like I had dipped my hand into acid and also it was so itchy at the same time and came up with a horrible rash that almost blistered. The lovely lady at the counter came to the rescue with this cream on the right. Crème Fraiche® de Beauté Enrichie. I don’t really know what the magic ingredient is in it. It smells wonderfully floral and has something else that I just can’t put my finger on. Once on the skin it was awesome and felt so cooling and soothing on my alergic reaction that I knew I had to buy it. I use it at night time and it leaves my skin so soft and calms any redness I get from the sun (sun alergy here). I was actually in Sephora looking for an eye cream so I knew the Nuxe one would be a good bet and it is. It makes me feel ready for sleep and so nourished.handcreamfaveI picked up this hand cream in Carrefour of all places. It was only 1.99€. Its so soothing and smells like honey and doesn’t leave your hands all sticky and greasy. I love the fact it has yoghurt and shea butter in too and its fairly natural. SO good for the price, I will definitely repurchase as I seem to use hand cream loads due to being a messy illustrator and needing to constantly wash my hands. lushfavesMy medication constantly gives me acne around my neck and jaw line. After a month or so of using these products with a hot flannel my skin has totally cleared up. I adore, love and worship Lush a lot, I love what they stand for and their killer products. These two are my very very favourites. Ultra bland is amazing for removing any trace (even waterproof mascara) and just feels so soothing. If my skin is particularly sensitive I will just cleanse with this and nothing else, not even a moisturiser and it seems to restore the balance in my skin a treat. Aqua Marina really cleans, soothes and always gets rid of any impurities. Its like wet clay with herbs when applying and seems to get deep down and dry out any nasties without stripping my skin. I love them both and they are both firmly in my skin care routine.styleandfashionletteringvintagearmyYou have prob’s seen this jacket in my latest OOTD post. I love it so, it been perfect for these in between days where I don’t want to lug around a massive coat but still need to have some warmth. As I mentioned in that post I like how it scruffs up my outfits a bit. Sometimes I can feel a bit too dressy and throwing this on the top makes me instantly feel more me. I got it in the vintage bit of Topshop.IMG_0216This top from Monki is wonderfully frilly and victorian. I love this style of blouse, especially when worn with Denim. Its silky and soft and you can’t really tell from the photo but it has tiny little dots embroidered into it. I love its flouncy sleeves. I feel all Alexa Chung in it, inspired from her series on Vogues youtube channel (something I am going to get to in a bit).necklaceThis necklace from &otherstories was gifted to me and I love it. I love its simplicity and the length and thickness of its chain. Oh and its gold <3dungareedressMy black Monki dungaree dress owns a large part of my heart. Its so versatile, comfy and just makes me feel like me, but a 5 year old me. I love it.toolsletteringpenfavouritesL-R: 1 & 4 Windsor and Newton Water colour pens. They are amazing double ended pens that when mixed with water give an amazing texture. I love brush lettering with them. 2. Is my trusty mechanical pencil from Muji. Its my favourite drawing instrument ever and I have about 5 and a million refills. Just in case. 3. Faber and castle 1.0 mechanical pencil I also really like this, more for going over lines and being a little bolder.instagramslettinginstafaves@bowieseye (the best name IMO!) I love Julia’s sweet illustration style and simple lines and oh the colours.   / @maiuki Naia and her cute (best dressed) daughter. Naia makes/knits amazing kids clothes. I want her life! / @tincanhomestead This couple are super amazing. Natasha of @nastashalawler illustration fame. They travelled the states in a VW van called WesVanderson (brilliant!) and they are now doing up an airstream. Her style is incredible and I love love this project so much. Watching the progress is so cool. / @rynfrank I have been following this lady and her illustrations online for years under the name Katt Frank. I recently discovered that she changed her name and had a bit of a rebrand. I love love her IG feed so much, so perfectly curated. I can’t wax on enough about how much I love her illustrations and lines. I adore them.

aprilfavourites

And the rest. Youtubes I have been enjoying. Netflix series and books.

  • Elly Pears Fast and feast days
  • This Joy Division documentary on Netflix has reignited my love for this band and brings back memories of my student days dancing and sweating in grotty northern clubs.
  • This series on netflix, Love. (are you sensing a theme yet. I’ve had a lot of tv watching time ok!)
  • Helen’s vlogs. Love them, she is brassy and honest and bold and so her.
  • This amazing series presented by the super cool mega babe that is Alexa Chung
  • IAN CURTIS IN GENERAL and this film.
  • I have been a fan of Sarra Manning since her diary of a crush/J17 days. Her latest book was read in a few days. Loved it.

So that was April. This post literally took a day to do. What have your favourites been? How was your April? I am off to bed now. Night (or good morning when you are reading this)