Articles · Misc · Uncategorized

Space alien- on loosing your sense of purpose+direction

30/07/2018- This post was written two years ago when I was working before uni and I thought that this would be interesting to post now, at age 20 when I have just completed my first year of university studying illustration and I am about to start the second year in September. It’s a bittersweet post overall because I was so low then, when  I wrote this and now I am studying something I love and I’m much happier in comparison. I haven’t edited this at all so its more of a diary entry than a blog post so excuse some of the phrasing and words.

Year 7. I had a very clear path that I was going to follow. College, University, Designer.

That path is still evident now at age 18, however I have discovered that one job is not enough for me. I have way too many interests, all of which I want to persevere with. Maybe not all as a major profession but there is no way I’m letting them fall through the cracks all the same. With all these interests, one can’t help but wonder if the path that I’m following is the right one.

Said path has taken a pit stop at the moment, as university is expensive af and I don’t have a lot of money (she says as a £29 pound jumper is being shipped tomorrow.) so a year long apprenticeship seemed like a good idea. Which it still is I think. By working in admin for a year I have a fall back plan if things go to shit creatively (a girl gotta eat) and by working for one company for 1 year shows to employers that I am committed and experienced.

However, part of me does wish that I hadn’t. Working in admin is hard. Watching your friends have fun without you is somewhat harder. Part of me feels like I’m missing out on the fun even though it’s still going to be there next year. Not to mention repetitive spreadsheet typing is s o u l  d e s t r o y i n g.

Admin has it’s pros- experience and tech savvy skills. However, 3 months in and I’m counting down until my contract ends. Not because the job is shit, on the contrary it is pretty good. Nice colleagues, no dress code, not having to stand up all day and smile constantly…it’s just not where I want to be.

It is the exact feeling I had towards the end of college, where everything seems too much and I just want to curl up and cry all day (admittedly, I have done this a la mental breakdown in the car on the way to work because I really can’t phone clients). Work is boring but what makes it worse is being so close to the next ‘chapter’ but unable to read it.

Last month undoubtedly was the worst ever. I woke up sad, I went to work sad, I left sad. Everything dragged and a two tonne weight was sat on my chest at all times. It took all my energy to get into work let alone function like a normal human being and talk. 9-5:30 felt like 6am-11pm and I counted down seconds like hours. Nothing was keeping me motivated.

Seizing the few days I felt happy helped a lot because I slowly worked on my hobbies and using them as an incentive.  I flooded my social media with artists and creators whose motivation rubbed off on me and I started inktober. Giving myself a sense of purpose and status motivated me to use my evenings and breaks in a creative way which mentally was a distraction to my job. It made me feel like I was working towards something great and slowly my ideas started to come back.

In terms of what I want to do, I’m still confused. There’s so much on my list of goals which I can’t even bring myself to write down, but by slowly rekindling my creativity which washed away with the tide, I feel like I’m a step towards achieving them all at a later date.

 

art · Articles

a review on inktober

This year, I finally remembered to join in on the manic art challenge that is inktober. And by remembered, I mean someone posted on tumblr the day before and I frantically drove to get a new sketchbook to ink in.

Inktober is an art challenge where for 31 days, you have to create 31 sketches in ink.You can use other mediums and of course a range of colours, so long as the main medium is ink.

DSCF1194.JPGAs well as uploading all my final sketches to instagram, I also decided to film all 31 paintings and upload them to youtube which, as I’m still editing all the videos, wasn’t the best idea looking back. I’m seriously behind on editing as it takes so long to compile them together, however I do think that this has allowed me to review my creative process and all the work I had put into the project.

As I’m currently working full time on my gap year before university, I haven’t got a lot of spare time, especially as I’m doing an apprenticeship so I haven’t avoided paperwork! By taking part in inktober I managed to give myself a routine- sketches during my lunch break and finishing off the sketch in the evening. This also meant I had something to focus on in my lunch break adscf1164nd felt more motivated afterwards as I was doing something worthwhile.

I also found that as the days passed I cared less about being ‘perfect.’ I tried out more poses and facial expressions which I might not have if I didn’t draw every day. By making art daily, I felt more confident in my skills and in turn, began to experiment more with what I was creating.

In turn, I also found that I felt more inspired as I was constantly thinking of new ideas and how I could create them on paper, and as the days went on my concepts also got bolder. I wasn’t just drawing faces and the occasional full body sketch, I drew dynamic poses. And as an artist, being able to develop your anatomical skills so that your paintings can get that one step closer to being exactly how you envisioned it in your brain is the best feeling ever.

Granted, most of my drawings used a reference and for my bts wings series which I did for a few days, in celebration of their new album, used their promotional pictures with a twist, I was still improving my skillsdscf1101 by being able to replicate real life subjects so that when I came to draw entirely from scratch later, I could map out facial features just that little bit more accurately.

I have also discovered things about my existing skills that I didn’t know beforehand. For example, I didn’t know that I could paint portraits in monochrome as well as I did when I painted my friend, Rania. And now I’m using that as a focal point for huevember (another art challenge) to further improve this skill. I’ve also discovered a new character in drawing. My sketch for day 10 was of a superhero who I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a story about (another hobby I’ve brushed under the rug for ages ;; ) and by sketching her, ideas about plots and other characters were spun into the web of her concept. And it also serves as a physical reminder, because for me, if I have drawn whilst thinking of a plot, or anything in general, I tend to remember it more.

One final thing that I also realised is that I can draw more difficult poses if I put my mind and hands to it. Take day 18 for example. I know that a person stretching and yawning isn’t really that challenging, but for me it is one that was difficult at first to map out i a way that looked ‘right’ in my mind. By working on it and changing certain elements, not just giving up and going with whatever I had turned out with first time, I managed to create a piece that was more active than my usual passive tendencies. Although the face isdscf1121n’t as expressive as I’d hoped, I still worked hard and I have the opportunity to work on that section at a later point as a redraw, because I know that I have the ability to do so.
In short, inktober has awoken my creative spark and pushed me to further improve my skills in a way that was fun and motivating and left me wanting to continue drawing every day, not wishing for Halloween to come so I could stop drawing.

 

 

Articles · education

The rise of the studyblrs

Back in the day, no-one liked revising and learning. Revision was left to the day before exams, and skipping lessons was a daily occurrence. Fast forward to 2015 and a new type of blog has surfaced on the leading procrastination site; tumblr.

Meet the studyblrs; bloggers who write (and photograph) their daily revision antics, top tips of how to revise efficiently and what supplies they love. Scenic pictures of notebooks, tea and flashcards flood the tag and questions about how to create the ultimate planner are answered by current students, from GCSE to university students and everyone in between, (hello to all the other A-Level students~) all sharing their positivity.

  
So what has sparked this uprising? Well, it’s no secret that an immense pressure is put onto all students to achieve top marks in order to get a well paid job. And with the internet, procrastination calls as we all try to remember countless facts and formulas. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has experienced a lack of motivation to do anything- let alone revise- at some point and if left, can seriously affect grades in the long term.

There seems to have been  a sudden, intense drive to succeed and do well, by our own means. To work hard, love what we’re doing and what we’re working forward. And it’s great. Every single studyblr has their own aesthetic, their own methods and their own goals to aim for, and every single one of them is inspiring more people to do the same.

I asked two (of the many) studyblr blog  admins, why they started their blogs and what tips they would give to those itching to revise better.

Ellen from “needforcaffeine” says it was the opportunity to help others that inspired her to create her own blog. ” quite often have people come to me at school and asked for help,” and when she discovered their was an online community which did the same, “need for caffeine” was born!  

“I want everyone to be able to learn to the best of their ability” she says “If I can help them to do this, I feel almost privileged in a way.” Many people in the studyblr community share printouts of organisers and compile master pairs of where to find online textbooks or articles for revision, as a way to help everyone get the best out of their revision. 

  
The three tips that Ellen shared for unmotivated students are;

1. Remember why your studying

“You’re not just studying so you can pass a test. You’re studying so that you can find a new cure, save someone from an incorrect conviction, to find a new kind of particle. Learning doesn’t end with a test result.” 

2. Ask for help when you need it!

As mentioned, lots of studyblrs make their own free resources for people to use and have their ask boxes open for you if you need help.

“I would always advise seeking help from your teacher if you need it and if that isn’t an option, you can often ask a studyblr for help (we don’t bite!), or else there are a myriad of resources online.”

3. Start a studyblr!

It’s so simple to start a tumblr and once you follow a few blogs, easy to navigate the site and find tips relevant to your studies. There’s always pretty revision notes being posted to the tag daily so it’s worth checking out.

“I personally take a lot of inspiration from the studyblrs around me, and the amount of effort they put in. Good studying habits seem to be contagious.”

Jools from “joolsallie”  started her blog at the beginning of her GCSEs to help her studies.

  
“My sister already had a study blog, and told me how welcoming and supportive the studyblr community is – so after stalking the studyblr tag for a few weeks I posted my first picture.”

She plans to study medicine in the future, as she has always been interested in how the body works. 

“I was also attracted to the variety of work within medicine – there’s so many fields within medicine, and every day will be different – never just a regular 9-5 working day.” 

The field of medicine is a difficult know, and motivation is key, which is something every studyblr is strivin to achieve or improve. 

 “The challenge of medicine also interests me. The fact that I’ll always be learning, and that it will be hard work to get there. But that just makes the job even more fulfilling and worthwhile.”

I’ve seen so many quotes about how our generation is the generation that can, the generation of the future and so forth, and I think you’ll agree with me when I say, it’s true. We all have amazing plans for the future, to be successful and do everything we want in life, despite being told our dreams aren’t “realistic.” Well if one person has done it before, why can’t we? And why can’t we do it a bit different? 

  
So, if you don’t have a studyblr, or you don’t follow any of them, I highly suggest doing so and you’ll see your motivation increase and find so many helpful blogs and posts to help you when your a bit confused as were to start revising.

Good luck with the upcoming school year and good luck with revision!

Jools’ tumblr; http://www.joolshallie.tumblr.com

Ellen’s Links; http://www.needforcaffeine.tumblr.com / http://www.youtube.com/needforcaffeine