Adventuring in Delta

I love getting in the car and driving away from the city and going on an adventure. We didn’t have to travel very far, for we went to plane watch at Delta de llobregat which is just a few miles out of Barcelona (actually its where Barcelona El Prat airport is). Such a weird combination of industrial aeronautical, yet whilst being amongst a nature reserve. The landscape is absolutely beautiful. On the coast, you walk through paths of reeds, poppies and rivers. Beautiful abandoned houses and paths. Sea views and just the weird feeling of watching planes glide over. I love nothing more than just getting out and going on a nice long walk with my camera and enjoying seeing wildlife and nature. It felt like a perfect spring day.

Making things out of nothing.

On a cold blustery day in the Welsh/English countryside we found ourselves in this wonderful, worn little workshop. Tucked away at the bottom of a garden. Where a ginger cat ruled the roost and roamed in an out. A large old range stove constantly fired up and ready to go. Everything coated in a fine orange dust. Piles and piles of clay. Tools scattered. Projects ready to be created.

There is something about manual arts and crafts which always makes me feel better and more real. Making something beautiful out of quite literally nothing makes me feel myself and takes me back to the reason of being really. As cass as that sounds. I love from a lump of almost earth you can create beautiful objects that have use. I love that out of a sheep’s’ wooly jacket you can create clothes, out of a simple piece of cloth you can create a beautiful garment and out of a piece of led or ink on paper you can create a master piece. When nothing becomes something is quite magical. Thats the reason I make to create something out of nothing, to remind my self that thoughts become things.

Learning how to throw pottery is quite a task, it looks so much easier than it actually is. Its something I really loved doing, so much technique to learn. Its a craft I want to explore more and I am itching to find some studios here in Barcelona. I loved using my hands and getting stuck in, quite literally, I loved the feeling of making something useful and functional but beautiful at the same time.

In this studio, on a cold winters day, we learnt how to make little bowls with the help and guidance (and a hell of a lot of patience) of a skilled craftsman. Just being in this scene, in this studio, made me feel alive again. For its places like these that I do love the very most!

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.

 

My favourite places #3

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Step inside this wonderful decay and you will find treasure. We used to live right across the road and its a building that I always looked out on. Visiting it was always a treat and used to take me right back to the days of studying fine art at uni. The smell of turps and paint, the sound of buzzing minds and the silence that is creativity. I absolutely love the studios, each one so personal to the artist. I love peering into work in progress’s and things just waiting to happen. Its messy and old and looks almost abandoned. What was an old fabric factory on the what was once the main highway of Barcelona. This building bares its bones and houses magic. I love it a lot and I hope it always remains. One day I would love to have a place in a studio like this, in the meanwhile I can dream a little.

This is a little series I started on my blog to help me keep track of and share and celebrate some of my most treasured places. Places where I feel happy and that make me feel like me and places that I find super inspiring. Here are past places

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.

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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.

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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