New Year, Same Me

So there’s the big cliche of making a new start in the new year.. Mines a little late.

January so far has been a right shitter. A whole bunch of bad stuff happened, and I’ve generally been a miserable cow. Now its almost out of the way I’ve decided to start trying to better myself, mentally and physically.

I’ve been working a lot more on my degree the past few weeks. Even though I’m shockingly tired all the time thanks to the M.E, I am finding that having a genuine, vested interest in the subject matter has made me actually want to do more. Its working well at the moment as I’m working part time. I finish at 2, come home, rest/nap for a couple of hours then pick it up in the evening. It’ll be interesting to see if I can cope once I have to go back to full time.

Wedding planning is coming along nicely! So we have the venue.. Which is actually at a bike rally hosted by my families bike club (fiance and dad are both members), we have the celebrant booked, and the registry office is booked. We want a big fancy bell tent for the weekend since we’ll be there from the Thursday to the Sunday/Monday, and I don’t want to attempt getting ready in a two man tent! There’ll be live bands, food, drinks and bikes. Super exciting. I was never interested in getting married so I’ve never had any plans for it. This is entirely for Chris. I’d be happy down the registry office with a couple of witnesses, but you can’t win them all.

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Another MASSIVE cliche I shall be partaking of, is losing weight! I’m joining slimming world with my Mum next week. I haven’t weighed myself since I moved out of my flat and back into my parents with Chris, and everyone tells me I haven’t put any on, but I feel massive and unhealthy. I imagine the M.E plays a big part of it, and like, the fact that I hate every single part of me, but I don’t want to be huge at my wedding. Not when there’ll be photographic evidence. Usually I can avoid ever seeing photo’s of myself, but I suppose I’ll have to see these ones eventually.

Birb Update! He’s still a twat. He’s literally obsessed with stealing any people food he can get his beak into, but I hear that’s not an uncommon trait. His feathers and beak are a lot better now. Much healthier. We’ve started sticking him in the shower with us whenever we shower, since his idea of a wash is sticking his face in his water bowl and flapping around. Its brought his green out beautifully! I doubt he’s ever had a proper shower before so it’s taking a little time to get him used to it, but it’s pretty funny. He likes to sing and wolf whistle, which is a nice little confidence boost when you’re nakey 😉

So those are my plans for Feb onwards. I just want to be healthier and generally happier. I mean, I;m not unhappy, just unhappy with myself.

Things will get better!

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iPad and Procreate

For those of you that follow me on social media, you should know by now that I recently got myself and iPad Pro. I did have a big, clunky Ugee tablet, it just didn’t work for me how I wanted it to. After speaking to a couple of my artist friends, I decided to invest in an iPad Pro. There are a few reasons the Ugee didn’t work for me. Firstly, it took up too much space on my desk. Secondly, I could ONLY use it at my desk. In my house I can’t always be at my desk just because other people need the space as well, so this limited time I could be drawing.

‘‘Why not use paper?’ I hear you yell. I just don’t like it. I’ve always preferred digital. The iPad means I can carry it around, draw whenever I want, and even use it for other things. I’m writing this blog on it right now.

now the 2nd gen Pro’s with the Apple Pencil rack up about 800 beans. I paid 319 for mine. How? It’s second hand. And from CEX so I traded in a bunch of stuff to go towards it as well. My old Ugee tablet, some old DS games, and a whole mess of DVDs I don’t watch anymore. Managed to save myself some money.

I would not however recommend using CEX online. They are terrible. Go in store if you’ve got something to trade. It took nearly a month for them to sort out my payment and things.

Anyway. Back to the iPad. The pencil is stupid expensive. Even second hand it cost 70 quid. But it is annoyingly good. It’s got a good weight to it. And the rubber tip gives just enough friction it really feels like you’re drawing. Really impressed with it. Only downside I can come up with is that there’s no way to see how much charge the pencil has until it dies. So that’s rubbish. But apart from that all good!

Procreate is also good. It’s 9.99 from the App Store. I haven’t done a lot with it yet, just a doodle and a sketch or two, but it’s fairly intuitive and nice to work with. When I have some time I fully intend so sit and watch some tutorials and download some extra brushes.

I drew this:

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Created in Procreate on IPad Pro

This was just a warm up using the basic pencil setting. I reckon without too much scrutiny you get away with this being ‘traditional’ art. It also automatically records time lapses, which is amazing, and really useful since I’m doing my degree in illustration and submit most things digitally. I’m sure seeing my work being done will earn me some extra brownie points!

All in all I’m pretty impressed with it. And I’m even more impressed with myself for getting it all without giving apple too much money. They don’t anymore. I’m a starving artist, not them!

Does anyone else use this set up for artwork? If so what are your thoughts on it? Are there any other apps I should be looking at to complement Procreate? Leave me a comment!

I’m the Whittlin’ (wo)Man!!

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m sort of in to wood work and wood crafting. Whilst my current living situation (fiance and I are at my parents :/ ) limits what I can learn, I try and learn as much as I can with the tools and space I have. If you’re here you should already know I do a lot of wood burning and pyrography. I’ve done this for years but have only recently started selling bits and pieces online. I’m very unsure of myself and have zero confidence in my abilities, so the fact that people are actually paying money for my work is awesome! Admittedly I don’t do an awful lot of it anymore. And my shop might get one new item every month or so, but I do it around work, studying for a degree in Illustration and having a (potentially) chronic illness. More on that in a later post.

Something I’ve always wanted to try, but have never gotten around to, is wood carving. My Uncle Ian is a well established and successful wood sculptor, and some of his work is amazing. Check it out here. We don’t talk very often unfortunately. He’s a busy man and has some very young kids so we see him maybe once a year. I’ve tried reaching out to him a few times about going to wood carving festivals with him, or sourcing good wood for wood burning, but I never get anything back from him. I know he’s not really a techy person, so I don’t take it personally. He’s just probably not seen my messages. But irregardless of all that, I figured I would just give it a go!

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So despite today actually being my fiances birthday, we went to our local Axeminster and got me a couple of knives. Chris grew up in the country so whittled as a kid and knows his way around axes and knives. He’s going to show me how to sharpen them properly, and what wood is good to use. He’ll also show me the basics and how to do it safely so I don’t immediately cut my fingers off. Chris is very skilled in, well skills, but confesses he lacks the creativity to actually make anything with them. He’s super supportive of me though, and thinks that me eventually leaving my job and crafting/studying full time is a great idea. I doubt I would ever actually do that though. Not having a guaranteed income terrifies me haha.

I’m looking forward to trying something new. And am hoping it means eventually I can expand the contents of my Etsy Shop to some hand carved pieces. I already have a few ideas for some simple necklaces and keyrings, but I’m trying not to get a head of myself just yet.

Progress may be slow, but I am still here. Still crafting. Still working. Still living.