A little catch up…

Its been a while isn’t it. If I could count the amount of times I have opened this little white box and typed those very same words accompanied by an apology and promises to write more. Promises to update and be more present. But life. It has a funny habit of getting in the way and makes it tricky to be super scheduled and here all the time. I want this place to be an enjoyment, somewhere where I record my best bits (and some bad bits too!). I mainly want it to be a place where I share my special bits and the stuff I wish to remember. A corner that is my own and can be what it wants to be. I have found out that I don’t deal too well with the added pressure and stress of having to follow the conventional rules of blogging/vlogging and posting on social media. And I like it that way. It feels more natural and me. So if I disappear I am just getting over health stuff and also just taking my sweet little time to do things MY WAY!

    What have I been up to?

Well I have been busy making a video every week (More or less). Just documenting my days and life with an autoimmune disease, whilst trying to illustrate and stay creative.
Here are some of my very favourite videos:

    What else then?

Well I have been living SLOW. I have recently decided to buy a lot less shit, and to be pescartarian. I will probably be writing about these two changes soon.
I have also been enjoying living in the beautiful hills of Barcelona and just taking each day as it comes. Exploring out and about and just being content with being here.

I have also been hammering away at getting my PORTFOLIO ONLINE! I will do another post in more detail but until then here is a SNEAK PEAK

I have also been out on many adventures with my doggy. Just enjoying being in nature and being quiet with nothing else to do but just to be in the moment.


I have also had treatment (that has knocked me for six!)


Been to a screen printing course (more coming soon!)


Cuddled with my boy

I have been doing bits and pieces of sketches. Some things I can’t show but here are a few bits.



I have had some lovely visits and some great exploring some of my favourite places.














So there you go, these are bits and pieces of my life (according to my phone!). Its been up and down and quiet and busy at the same time. I CAN’T BELIEVE ITS AUGUST!

Favourite places #4 Aixo


That wonderful serendipitous moment that you are out strolling, not entirely knowing where you are going, when you stumble across a beautiful little shop. Magical. I had just been out to get my hair cut and fancied a little exploration. I always find the best places when I unintentionally go out and look for them. And that’s exactly how I found this place.
I took these photos because I wanted to remember this little gem that you can find in Gracia. Aixo is a beautifully created little shop on Carrer de la Virtut, 14. It houses vintage furniture, an amazing photo exhibition and hand crafted gems. It also sells lovely objects from Hay. Which is fairly hard to find. I purchased my much longed for golden scissors and I love them very much thank you.
I love that the shop is small and quite typical of Gracia. It has little corners with beautiful pieces inside, I feel like every time you step in this shop you are likely to discover a new favourite. Belen, the owner, was super lovely and it was so nice chatting with her about photography and her furniture and shop.

I love the mix of old and new. Vintage against Scandinavian cleanliness. Those wooden handled ceramic mugs (heart eye emoji).

I would highly recommend a visit to this lovely little shop. Oh Gracia you have once again made me love you and have once again come up trumps with a little beaut of a place.

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!

My week in photos / Notes from this week 14

So this week. It started at the hospital, as most of my weeks seem to do. And ended in some sort of despair. My mental health has been really hit and shattered this week. I blame feeling so bloody useless and stuck and not being able to live the life I want to at the moment. Also I have had bloody enough of medication, hospitals, dr’s, pain, tiredness and being a hermit “recuperating”. At the moment I can barely manage normal life, I mean getting up out of bed and getting dressed. I have had a black cloud over my head and feel like I have been slipping into a black vortex that pulls me under at a speed unknown to man. I try with all my might to turn off the thoughts and feelings of not feeling good enough, the worthlessness and loneliness but it all gets too much. So after speaking with my darling sister and having all the tears I decided that enough was enough and that I would try and dust myself off and do little tiny things that make me happy. I know I need to get out and not isolate myself so much, and learn how to turn down the volume of these bad whirring thoughts a little. I need to avoid these massive gaping sink holes that appear. So that was fairly honest and open, I am really not sure why I insist in writing such personal posts but its what happens when I type in this white box. I am forever an over sharer.

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Monday 7.00 am MRI scan, the weirdest feeling laying in a noisy tunnel to start of the week. I was in there for ages, so used to them now. I nearly slept and actually was quite the mediative experience. My hospital is right on the beach which means I step out and have this view. Its like some sort of oxymoron. I like it though. MRI’s and the dye they use make me very dizzy so I always appreciate the fresh sea air and view. Repeat all this for Tuesday.

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By Wednesday I had decided enough was enough and ventured out on my painful puffy knee (I had some sort of keyhole surgery last week, where I had this weird radioactive liquid inserted to clean the knee joint). My knee is still the same as it was before but any way I NEED to get out and see the world a bit. Walks to the local park with my pup are everything as are pretty flower shops and green leaves.

IMG_3876Spying this message and I think this should be my mantra, this made me wake up a little and really think that yes, it is true and I can choose what happens to me here and now. I must remember this! I love whoever has written this everywhere.

IMG_3940 IMG_3920 IMG_3885 IMG_3883 IMG_3945To be honest not much time has been spent in my studio this week, in fact I have ignored it and not really had the energy to go in. Having a creative block and creative crisis also feeling like whatever I do is not what I want to create and uninspired. I think this contributes a lot to my emotional state and vice versa. I need to get in the studio and just play and let go a little. Its ok to have a break and be behind and not have everything so controlled and planned.

DSCF5467 DSCF5468 DSCF5471 DSCF5473 DSCF5472So by the time Saturday arrived I couldn’t wait to get out and have a little date day with my Borja. It was a very grey day, after having rained all night and the sky kept threatening to rain. My favourite kind of day. I took these photos to remind my self to continuously look up and see the beauty that surrounds me. Barcelona is a beaut of a city, it really is. The history that surrounds everything is quite magical. So Sarie, don’t forget to look up and appreciate everything a little bit more.

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IMG_3977DSCF5429 DSCF5428 DSCF5426This is one of my very favourite little pockets in Barcelona, it reminds me of a scene of a book and the atmosphere is so good.

DSCF5433 DSCF5441 DSCF5438 DSCF5443These streets. I love just exploring and being in them and appreciating all its beautiful chaos. I also love the mundane every day bits of life, like hearing voices, seeing people chat on their mobile phones on their balconies, washing drying etc. I also love the pretty bits like flags and lights.

DSCF5444 DSCF5446 DSCF5450 DSCF5454 DSCF5457Unintentional beauty everywhere. Appreciating this city much more these days.

DSCF5429 IMG_3979 IMG_3977 DSCF5469Also look at all the small beautiful details, that you will find if you look hard enough.
DSCF5473 DSCF5474 IMG_3975IMG_3966 IMG_3965 IMG_3964 IMG_3963 IMG_3947La Virreina is one of my favourite places in Barcelona. Just off the chaotic, soulless Ramblas you will find this hidden gem of a building that encases a beautiful (free!!) gallery. I love its grandeur and the fact its peaceful space. We saw a brilliant exhibition on social documentary of Barcelona. It made me think how many beings this cities buildings and landscapes have seen. How many stories have unfolded. It makes you feel quite small actually.

We had very good burgers for lunch. Love going on lunch dates very much. Also love a good burger and this one I can recommend. Bocoa burger, a new one to add to my list.DSCF5462 DSCF5463After lunch we strolled (hobbled) down to La Central. This has become a bit of a tradition to browse this shop on a Saturday. Its one of my happy places. I love looking at all the illustrated novels/comics.
IMG_3969 IMG_3973 IMG_3968 IMG_3967This original Keith Haring wall <3

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So what was a total bummer of a week actually turned out alright, and I think that is key. Finding what makes you happy and doing it, no matter how hard it might be to do. We all need to appreciate things, live in the here and now and think about what makes us happy. For me its about appreciating the small moments and snippets and not always wanting more. Its being happy with what I have and aiming to make things better but not always looking at what I don’t have and want and trying to constantly grasp at it in the future tense. Its great to have aspirations and dreams and all that but I do think its a bit of the millennial curse is that we are never happy with our lot and constantly having to better ourselves and not taking the time to breathe and appreciate our lot. SO here is me taking a conscious step to live a little more in the moment and the here and now. See you next week!