I have had the pleasure of some fun projects recently that I'd like to share with you.
This is one of a series of flyers for herbalist, Ruthie Weaver I use the same format each time, but make slight colour and flower variations.
You can read more about Ruthie - http://www.cornwallherbalist.co.uk/
The next image was for life coach, Hazel Fernandez. She wanted a notebook for her clients that represented her positive outlook.
You can find out more about Hazel at http://www.positivechick.com
I also had the recent pleasure of designing a book cover for Debbie Stokoe.
This is the link to her book - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakened-Depression-Recovery-Breaking-Free-ebook
I've rediscovered how much fun Redbubble is! Ive started to upload some of my recent work and I love seeing what it looks like on different products. I have to say that I'm tempted to buy a load for myself! If you want to have a look then this is my URL: http://www.redbubble.com/people/glitterandearth
So for the mini bootcamp assignment we had to journal about five brave things we have done in our lives. So here are mine;
1 After finishing my English degree at Worcester my partner Darren and I bought a beautiful navy blue VW camper van and decided that we were going to live in Cornwall.
We sold and gave away lots of our possessions and hit the road listening to an audio book of The Hobbit.
I remember staying on an empty campsite in Crantock, close to Newquay, and feeling pretty wild and free. It was just before Easter and it was still pretty cold and windy, but within a couple of days we found work in a cafe and a room to rent above it.
Our adventure had only just begun though as we met some people who showed us how to do henna tattoos and we then travelled the UK, going to festivals and drawing on people. Exciting times!
2 Giving birth at home at the age of 39.
In a way it's strange to say that I was brave because it felt like the right thing for me to do. The thought of having to go to hospital scared me a lot more and I trusted that my body knew what to do. On the other hand having only gas and air was pretty brave as it was a pretty intense experience to say the least. Luckily everything went to plan and I had a gorgeous little girl.
3 Self publishing a book
While looking a 1 year old, I took part in the 100 day project where I I drew a fairy every day. The momentum of the project resulted in the creation of a book called Glitter and Earth: Tales of Magic and Wonder. There were lots of little moments of bravery, like okaying the proofs, ordering copies and having a book launch. Each moment brought up questions of self worth, "is it good enough' 'am I good enough' 'who do I think I am etc.' Not to mention the financial aspects of creating your own book which made me wonder what on Earth I was doing on many occasions.
4 Teaching a yoga class
I travelled to California with my family to take a Yoga for Surfer's teacher training course. It was an amazing experience, but it was also really challenging in many ways. I was worried about how Tabitha would cope without being with me for most of the day and it was pretty intense to find myself back in the ocean on an unfamiliar board after being out of the water so much. There was a lot of ego involved. I had to let go of my perception of myself and my abilities and learn not to care so much about proving myself to others.
The week of lessons culminated in me having to teach the class my own sequence of yoga poses on the beach at Trestles. Pretty much the whole week I had been having palpitations at the thought of it and having to speak up against the roar of the ocean was not a natural thing for me at all.
I was committed to doing it though and I actually really enjoyed myself! It freaks me out, thinking about doing it again now, but I do know that I can and the energy of that moment is still with me.
5 Being an artist.
This is actually the bravest thing for me. It's a competitive industry with so many talented people vying for jobs that it would be easy to give up. I create though because I love it and I have a desire to create beautiful things. I want to share the sense of magic that I feel. There is nothing secure or safe about being an artist. You are always growing and developing your skills as well as constantly assessing your own work.
However, there is a sense of adventure involved, not too dissimilar from when I moved into a camper van and travelled to Cornwall all those years ago. I didn't know what was around the corner for me, but I trusted that it was all going to work out okay. I like that feeling a lot. It feels like excitement and it feels like freedom.
What have you been dreaming about recently? I don't mean when you are asleep, but the day dreams of things you want to do and places you want to go.
I have been dreaming about Hawaii! It's somewhere I have always wanted to go - I love the aloha spirit, the nature and of course the surf. With Tabitha starting school soon, me and my husband have been thinking that we need to go sooner rather than later.
If we go next May then she will only miss out on reception and I think the value of travelling far outweighs indoor play.
So, we signed up to a house swap website and already have someone interested in swapping with us.
It made me freak out a bit because all of a sudden the potential of this dream turned into a real possibility and I was like 'it's so far! The flights are so expensive! We will have no money left!'
It's not much fun thinking about all the logistics, but I do know how amazing it will be. Traveling such a long way is a bit challenging (when can we start teleporting!) but life is made richer by these experiences.
I don't want to get more fearful as I get older and my worrying made me feel like a stranger to myself. I like adventures. I love to be inspired by new cultures!
This might be my chance and so I'm going to turn this dream into a reality.
How about you?
Today the sun came out and that was a big thing. It's been grey, consistently grey for far too long and even my positive outlook was beginning to feel the strain. It didn't last long though. I can now hear the wind howling outside my window and I know the washing that I optimistically put on the line earlier will most likely be lying in dogs wee by the morning.
I love the sun. It makes me feel instantly energised - like I want to run around, grab my surf board, do yoga and clean (!) all at once. So what did I do when the sun came out? I drove into Penzance with Tabitha to get some bags that my husband and I both needed for market. It was fun. It was a job that needed to be done at that moment and I was up for it. I love that feeling of action and completion. Job done! It's so satisfying.
So, I've been feeling a vague sense of inertia with all the gloom, but actually, thinking about it now, I've been pretty productive. It's like I've been pushing lots of different projects forward at once, so I haven't been patting myself on the back much, but hey! Today I finished the last of my glitter pictures ready for delivery to The Roundhouse and Capstan Gallery on Friday. I also sorted my unicorn screen print (third times a charm!) after getting pretty soaked washing it with the shower head.
It's been frustrating but it's done!
I've also been researching agents and publishers and have finally got a couple of letters ready to be printed out and sent off. This is a big deal! I know it's the beginning of a long road, but you have to take those first steps!
And all this pushing things forward makes me dream of that moment when someone says yes to me and I get to take things to the next level. And I know it will happen because I can FEEL it, in that kooky getting myself into alignment way. But I believe in all that and so that makes me feel like I'm doing something right. And I think that's the most important thing really.
I hate wishing away the present moment, dreaming about sunnier days - I know that right now is so precious and everything. The sun will come out again, spring is starting to bloom and life continues to unfold one small, beautiful move at a time.
It's so easy to read positive quotes and nod at their wisdom, but a lot harder to incorporate into your daily life.
I think it's interesting that hard work is supposed to be the key to success and happiness, but I am beginning to wonder if that is really true.
To begin with, success and happiness are two very different things and while they can influence each other they aren't necessarily co dependent. That is, you can be successful and miserable, or happy with no visible signs of success.
My happiness as an artist however can take serious nose dive when I feel as though I am making little progress. Sometimes this manifests as losing followers on social media, sometimes a lack of interaction and sometimes rejection emails from agents and publishers.
To be successful as an artist, you need to make money, you need to be liked...
But then I think it's all a matter of degrees. Making a living in a creative industry is notoriously difficult. To load your happiness and self worth on being successful as an artist is surely a path of torment? Okay, so that sounds heavy and that's not exactly me, but it does express something of my current state of mind.
The thing is though that although making art makes me happy and I work as hard as I can at it - sometimes I think I need a break! And that is kind of hard for me to get my head round.
Maybe winter has has something to do with it and being a mum to a will full conscious 3 year old. My time is squished into these little segments of opportunity and I feel as though I have to fill that time with illustration and research.
For pretty much three years now I haven't thought about much else than my daughter, my husband and making art. It's pretty intense and I'm beginning to realise that I need another outlet to fill my soul with joy and hope.
I listen to Abraham Hicks when my head starts to get a little unruly and negative and I find a lot of freedom in the knowledge that is imparted through Esther. I'd really recommend listening to her on You Tube, but what is really relevant to me right now is this idea of not being so effortful. That actually by letting go I will find myself where I need to go and that by enjoying the journey I will not only have more fun, but I will also attract the things that I want into my life.
In this respect my happiness will affect my success! By following my joy I will generate the energy and the opportunities that I am looking for in my career.
I am beginning to appreciate that it's about balance. It's all very well to keep drawing and thinking that I am doing all I can, when actually I need to research companies, contact relevant people, develop my ideas, my products, promote, upload, take photos and write!
Perhaps my happiness needs a little discipline too! I have a tendency to get totally immersed in one thing. As a kid I could only read one book at a time. To me it was a loyalty to the world of the author - I was 100% invested and to read anything else would somehow water down that world.
I still feel this need, but I'm beginning to think that it is too heavy a burden, that actually diversifying my interests, like the tributaries of a stream would actually be more beneficial to finding my path.
I shall let you know how it goes. I'm in search of my joy again - even though I know it's right here inside me!.
I'd love to know what makes you happy. Please share in the comments below and thank you for reading. 💕✨😀
So I'm back in Cornwall and my clothes are unpacked. It's actually felt colder here than in Poland! Inside my house anyway.... I've got a hot water bottle on my feet and I'm tucked up in bed
I am now trying to get my head around my next steps and so I'm researching publishers and agents as well as working on ideas for my own picture book.
I am enjoying playing around with a looser style and experimenting with different character designs. I learned so much on the MATS course and want to find my joy in my art. Of course I love creating, but there can be that awkward phase where you don't really know where your picture is going or if you are on the right track AT ALL! Not to mention technical problems that leave you wanting to rethink your whole idea!
I just want to practice loads! There are so many things that I see and wish I could sit and draw, but that can be tricky with a crazy three year old that needs both eyes on....
I'm not complaining, I just need to remind myself that there is no rush and that it's great to feel so inspired and motivated.