August has been a necessarily slow month. After finishing my 100 Day Project and another big piece of work I decided to take a short break from drawing and painting, to catch my metaphorical breath.
But that short break turned into a longer one because my energy levels crashed and, as anyone with M.E will know, all you can do when that happens is rest, take care of yourself and trust that things will improve again.
Thankfully, I’m starting to feel better and in between resting and napping, I’ve done a tiny bit of work, mostly for fun.
I took a few of my botanical drawings and created a couple of new repeat patterns – one of wild flowers and one of kiwi fruit slices.
Then I decided to do something that I’ve been intending to do for a very long time. I uploaded these designs, along with 2 of my older repeat patterns to Spoonflower, and ordered some fabric swatches. Now that I’ve done that I’m able to make these 4 designs available to purchase as either fabric or wallpaper in my new Spoonflower shop!
The shop is a bit of a work in progress but for every sale of my designs I will earn a small commission. I’m hoping to add more designs to the shop over time so if there’s one that you’d like to be able to buy, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
During April for MATS Bootcamp we were asked to create a magazine illustration that could sit alongside a magazine article written by Beth Kempton the topic of Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese view that nothing is perfect, everything changes, that that’s OK – and in fact there is beauty to be found in that imperfection. Beth’s article, which was an extract from her book Wabi Sabi:Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, focused on how it’s helpful to accept change in order to be more resilient when change inevitably occurs.
It took me a long time to work out what I was going to draw for this assignment but in the end I decided to illustrate the bamboo that Beth referenced in her article. I also came across lots of examples of cyanotype photography online, which inspired the textured background and white leaves.
I don’t know if it was coincidental or not but around the time I made this illustration I kept coming across quotes and articles about accepting imperfection, including a quote from Stephen Hawking, which was on the front cover of Flow Magazine (issue 29). I think maybe this was something I needed to be reminded of and it was helpful to have it reinforced.
There’s one more assignment for MATS Bootcamp but in the spirit of being comfortable with imperfection, I’ve decided to give myself permission to skip that one and continue focusing on my current 100 Day Project, which you can follow along with on Instagram.
In letting this go I feel like I’ve given myself some space to think about and plan the next pieces of work I want to make. Is there something you can let go of that would help create space, either physically or mentally?
At the end of last year (and at least once before) I’ve shared a series of 12 photos – one from each month of the previous year. Here’s my selection from 2018.
Looking back through photos and choosing your favourites from each month is a nice way to remind yourself of what you’ve done, where you’ve been and how things have changed. Sometimes it sparks ideas of things you might want to do more of in the coming year. I purposely chose images that weren’t things that I’d drawn, as a way of stepping back from my sketchbook and looking at the bigger picture.
Could you scroll back through your photos from this year and choose a favourite (or 12)? What are they? Are there any pictures that you’d forgotten about?
In the same vein as beauty bloggers, and inspired by Frannerd, I thought I’d start sharing some of my favourite things each month, starting with a handful of the things I enjoyed during March.
- Winsor and Newton Flesh tint gouache paint
- The Making Obama podcast (and before this the Making Oprah podcast)
- Quinoa porridge
- The new Seawhite of Brighton Watercolour Travel Journal
- Season 1 of This is Us on Amazon Prime
I remembered the other day that at least once in the past I’ve created a blog post at this time of year showing a photo from each month as a sort of review. Although I haven’t made much time this year just for taking photographs I still had a lot on my phone and in my camera so I thought I’d share one from each month – most of which I haven’t shared before – to round off the year.
There’s also a little update at the end of this post so don’t miss that!
From midnight tonight (New Year’s Eve 2017) there’s going to be a big sale in my Etsy shop. Everything’s included apart from digital downloads, so the special deals I’m already offering on prints and cards will be discounted even further.
I won’t be replacing anything that sells out because I’m planning on creating some brand new products for my shop in 2018. You can bookmark your favourites before January 1st to make it easier to find them once the sale begins.