Sweet Sea Creatures

I woke up this morning full of beans and with a huge urge to create.

Things have been a little quiet for me in the last couple of weeks as I wrapped up uni for the year. Most of the time has been spent recovering with lots of sleep, yoga, and nourishing food.

I came across these lovely works by a super talented designer called minpin, who provided the inspiration for my sea creatures. I always loved the ocean – as a child I used to pretend the ocean was my real home and would play mermaids by myself when my family and I would take vacations by the sea. It was a magical time, the fish were my friends, and the seaweed underwater forest which concealed the secrets of the deep. Sharks and jellyfish were the villains to be conquered, and seahorses the unicorns, mysterious and silent.

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Starting with a blank slate with minpin’s inspiration as a sweet wallpaper hanging. And the delish gluten-free pancakes I had for breakfast. I wanted to start straight onto watercolour paper, but then decided to switch to my sketchbook instead.

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I’m starting out with two types of watercolours – my Reeve’s watercolours that come in 24 different shades, and the Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth colour wheel with the lovely jewel tones.

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The angry sea urchin is my favourite. I’ve always liked sea urchins, waving their spiky little arms when pulled from the rock pools. I’ve always felt sorry for them too – despite their spiky arms they pretty much can’t defend themselves very well or swim away.

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The hammerhead and his sting-ray friend. I like the way these two turned out, the hammerhead looking a little hungry with his happy sting-ray friend just floating by.

I’m going to keep adding to these – a seahorse, a sea turtle, and more sea urchin are missing, Maybe once it’s finished, I will run it through photoshop and make a pattern. I was obsessed with patterns in design school, creating a few of plants.

I’m looking forward to creating some more in the next few days!

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The Creative Life

I have a confession to make.

For a long time I have buried my creativity.

I have denied it. Pretended it doesn’t exist. Called it by any other name and left it waiting at the door, turning my back on it at every opportunity.

Something which not many people know about me is I have high-functioning anxiety, which wells up very quickly, and makes it very difficult for me to jump off the anxiety cloud when I’m on it and in full flight. I often feel it’s because my creativity isn’t being expressed on a daily basis. For the past 2 and half years I studied design – this was my creative outlet. Since graduating, I have felt an empty well. I no longer have had a regular outlet for this energy to go.

I feel my creativity as a giant winged bird which permanently sits between my shoulder blades. He is constantly in my ear, whispering to my heart the true purpose of what I should be doing – why do I refuse to listen to him? With every refusal he settles in more snuggly, and weighs on me more heavily every day. He is waiting for me to take the reins on my life, to pursue the things that I love in my life.

He is waiting to lift me up on wings, but I need to take the first step to get us there. And it is hard. I am afraid to fail. I am afraid I’m not good enough. But something has changed in me, something is now different. It is my creativity itself –  instead of knocking softly, is now pounding the door with its heavy and insistent wings.

On creative thing per day is all it will take to make a change. Watercolours. Illustration. Taking an unusual picture. Cooking a beautiful meal. I will pursue my dreams of letting creativity take the reins of my life, and embrace the life I feel deep in my bones I am meant to live.

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Pastel watercolours are my favourite and so much fun to play with!

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Pink! One of the best things about watercolours is the wacky shades the water turns when mixing the perfect colour. If tea came in this colour it would be happy days indeed!

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Working on my Fruit Series – I am planning a few more. These are inspirations for digital illustrations I am currently creating. Created using thick gouache for the background for a textured effect with thinner paint applied for the detail, these are my experiments in using gouache as I haven’t painted with these for a very long time. I am slowly recovering  old techniques as my hands familiarise themselves with my paint brushes again.

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If you want to keep up with my painting and creative journey, follow my Instagram  – Damselfly7.

Look forward to seeing you there!

The strangest person in the world

 

 

 

 

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” I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same way I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just strange as you” 

 -Frida Kahlo

Yes, I’m here.

Mr Brainwash!

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the creatively wonderful Semi-Permanent art & design forum in Sydney, and got to both hear Mr Brainwash speak, and see his ‘Life is Beautiful’ exhibition. Best known for his work with Banksy on the film ‘Exit through the Gift Shop’, Mr Brainwash, aka Thierry Guetta, is a passionate, creative, eccentric, and amazingly driven man, helping to inspire, encourage, and spread his ‘Life is Beautiful’ message to the masses.

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Days 12 -19 of 100 Happy Days

The last few days have been like wading through mud – difficult, and mentally draining. I found out what it’s like to  have your internet connection die and madly scramble to get another provider, get a huge migraine which left me rendered on the couch in pain, barely able to open my eyes, and then have to plug away on my first assessment for college which left my brain feeling like it had run a marathon.

Despite all this, there have still been glimmers of things to be happy about and be grateful for.

Day 12 – Working outside, with my favourite magazine on-hand.

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My favourite magazine of all time. This one is THE ONE. The one I think about as soon as I’ve finished the current issue, the one I read dozens of times over, extracting every last bit of information from, savouring each story, each little tidbit, loving the amazing design and photography scattered throughout.

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Day 13: Yummy tasty baby pumpkins – so cute I could hardly bear to buy one and take it home.

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Day 14: Shopping! Gone to attend to some serious retail therapy with a friend, I came across this jacket – oversize, ridiculously comfy, and a great neutral colour to complement everything in my wardrobe.

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These sunnies are my new crush. I tried them on in-store ( you can see the cheeky price tag!) and was smitten, so I swiftly bought them and now I wear them everywhere!

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The white skirt! The black top! What’s not to love – simple and classic.

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Day 15: I don’t know what it is about baby vegetables ( or fruit!) but this was just too cute. And I didn’t have the heart to eat it. So I simply buried it in the garden, to hopefully sprout some siblings for my garden salads.

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Day 16: Finishing my Notan collage. Notan is a Japanese art form where negative, and positive space play together and have a party – this just happened to be a party in the shape of a make-believe creature.

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Day 17: Going for a walk around town, wearing flip-flops, and a cartoon band-aid. When you’ve got a niece and nephews, it’s interesting to find what little odds-and-ends find their way into your life, especially when wanting to cover up a cut on your toe.

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Day 18: Playing with my favourite little guy. Gentle, wise, with an often sparkly and slightly crazy look in his eye, he is the reason I smile each and every day. He is an expert in companionship and cuddles, this year will be his 11th year with me.

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Day 19: Walking past this outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. I imagine many things these days, as I am in a bit of a ‘waiting’ phase in my life – waiting for the right job, waiting for my own apartment, waiting for a life partner. It’s tough, but it’s the imagining of the things I want in my life that are slowly getting me through.

Day 9: 100 Happy Days

Putting together my collage for Visual Communications class has been a process, but I am slowly making progress! I  love being a kid again and simply sitting, playing with torn paper, glue, and stretching my imagination a little to make the most of the bold patterns and colours I have chosen. I am hoping the finished product comes together well!

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