An Open Letter : Creativity Ft Life.

Dear Peeps,

This is an open letter to all of you who have struggled, who have felt like your voices haven’t been heard, that what you do isn’t of any importance or that nobody cares.

While i am a bit lack luster in life experience i do have a few things to share with my lovely readers and my fellow creatives. There is something to be said about being passionate about making something out of nothing, it’s appealing to make something your very own, something that is purely yours.

Some of you may have noticed that there has been a complete lack of activity on my blog lately, the reason being is that i was diagnosed with depression, which considering my chronic disease isn’t all that surprising.

I want to share these thoughts with you because i know that in this world there are people who just like me, get caught up in the angst that life can sometimes bestow on us, furthermore losing sight of the things that bring us joy, that bring us a sense of peace, a place that feels safe; like home if you will.

There is no shame in seeking help, or trying medication to ease the burden of your feelings. It’s a universal goal to achieve happiness. Some may define this as being successful. But what is success?

Some define it with having a family, a stable bank account, a job, a certain amount of likes or subscribers. I’ve always thought that being successful was being happy. I guess that’s where the lines of my personal definition of it are blurred.

For a long time i thought that in order to be considered an “artist” i needed to attend formal training in order to get the necessary skills. This IMHO is not feasible. Attending formal training paralyzed me creatively, with the negative rantings of a bitter mentor i found myself not enjoying the play or the process. I found it to be a chore. Now this for me was a rotten time. Being creative has been my therapy, my friend and something that has always been stable through out my life.

I refrain from using the term “Artist” now. Instead i feel that “fully fledged creative” suits myself better. The attraction to being creative does not solely rely on a canvas, it can be with anything, it does not necessarily involve paint, it could be writing, drama, dancing, accounting, literally anything. We are all creatives, some of us are guarded about that but it’s in each and every single one of us.

My idea of success is being content & creative.

I’m sure that there are many others out there who agree with the same sentiment. Not everything you do is going to be a flawless master piece. You are going to make mistakes, and may i suggest that instead of trying to cover them up, make them work for you. Creativity allows you to have that control. You make what you can of it, and if you don’t like it you can turn the page and start all over.

For those of you who haven’t been supported or feel like you have nobody, you will always have that special, unique way of doing your creative things your way. Regardless of what life throws at you, your rough beginnings or whatever is happening to you right now. You will always be able to control and create whatever you please. Express yourself and allow that to define you, not your past or other peoples opinions. Which is much easier said than done.

It is much easier to label yourself according to your profession, family, religion. But the true definition is what you think of yourself. I was asked several weeks ago to describe myself – I didn’t know how. I para phrased compliments i had received from other people, this while lovely is not who YOU are. Make a list of things you like, things you think you are and keep it close by. Believe me this will help you in rough times.

Share your work, find people who share the same passions as you and nurture it. While material possessions have a certain charm, you can never purchase the desire to create. Challenge yourself, talk with other creatives regardless of what craft they prefer, it’s an invaluable friendship that will benefit you both.

There is nobody else in this world like you.

You yourself are a master piece. One of a kind. Try to find your style, how to express yourself so that when someone see’s your work they instantly connect it to you. Try your best not to be afraid. Use that fear as a motivator to continue doing what you love.

Don’t be ashamed of liking things that are “uncool” love what you like, embrace it. Most importantly own it. Own everything that you enjoy regardless of other peoples opinions. Here’s a little secret, most peoples opinions are merely projections of their own insecurities, take it with a grain of salt, be polite and say thank you if necessary. You are not what other people think of you. You are you.

You are special, You are what you love to do.

For myself that’s creativity, and since your reading this i believe we are on the same page. Embrace it, hold it close to you, and try your best not to lose that magic and enthusiasm. There will be no better friend, nothing will ever understand you more than the passion you possess for being caught up in the moment when your work speaks back to you; when you see that concept you’ve been thinking about come to life.

We live in a world, where people are motivated for a variety of reasons. Some are fickle minded, some with the best intentions that go bad. If you are lucky enough to be one of those people who are connected to creativity, you are so very lucky to have a friend that you can call any time, that will always respond and will always be there regardless of the mistakes you make.

Value not only yourself, but your creativity.

Happy Creating and we shall talk again soon Peeps!

Love Kiley xoxo

Creative Problems : Peep’s Edition 001

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– ” I Have An Idea, But Don’t Know How To Start ” – 

This is usually what happens to me, i’m full of ideas, but i lack the confidence to see it through. Do not worry! You are certainly not alone in this process, think of it more like a right of passage then a problem to drown with several coffees.

When you are beginning to work on a piece or you have an idea and don’t know what to do with it. WRITE IT DOWN. Sorry for yelling but i can not enforce this enough. This is why i have so many journals and notebooks. Yes, i’m going to be bluntly honest not all of your ideas are going to be stellar, you will have some that you look back on and think. Why. Why on earth did i think that was a good idea.

The act of keeping a record get’s you into the habit of filing away your ideas, it is all dependent on what you want to do with your craft. If you are wanting to build a business out of it, this is something you are going to have to work on, Not to mention an excuse to buy super cute stationary to play around with.

Sketch it, Jot it, Scribble it.

Make it a priority to get them down, out of your head and onto the page!

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– ” I Don’t Know How To Journal ” –

Journaling is easy, and best of all it’s therapeutic.

When you hear the word journal, you probably think of it like a diary. It kind of is, but it can be anything you want it to be. I’ve been journaling ever since i could write and draw, and i can honestly say it is one of the better habits that I’ve picked up in my time. A problem i often hear is that you don’t want to wreck the book you brought to write in. I’m going to let you know right now, these books aren’t going to get it easy.

If you don’t know what to put inside your journal, here is my rule. Anything goes.

Literally anything.

The hardest part is picking out which format you like the best. I tend to just jumble them all together, and i’m completely clueless when it comes to having separate books for separate things, except when it comes exclusively for my writing.

My one and only piece of advice when it comes to journaling, is you do you. Don’t hold back and just let it all out on the page, be it in ink, washi tape or post it’s.

My preferred style of journaling, for the minute is hobonichi; but let’s face it an art student isn’t going to have the money lying around to get a real one so i opted to go the faux hobonichi route!

Here are some videos that just might inspire you, this is of my own journal that i have been working in for a few months now! Hopefully that will provide you some inspiration to start making your own!

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– ” I Don’t Have A Stash To Pull From ” –

Ah, the Stash. It’s both amazing and confronting, especially when you are just starting out.

For those of you who don’t know what a stash is, it’s essentially a collection of materials, ranging from pens to pencils all the way through to… well everything.

This is not essential for a beginner, i too made the mistake very early on that i need to have all of the tools on hand, use this time to explore creative avenues. You just might surprise yourself by using what you have on hand, and while all the extra tools of the trade are nice to have, it can’t beat originality!

A stash takes time.

You will find as you continue along your path of creativity you will accumulate a lot of stuff, and like me end up sleeping in a room that looks more like a studio than anything else; To me having the top notch materials is not a must for any artists or creator, having things that get the job done and an open mind are more beneficial then expensive paints, or that super fancy paper cutter.

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– ” Learn To Take Good Photos ” –

Yes. When you are creative i want you to think of one thing, and one thing only.

Ascetic.

It is necessary for you to find your own style, and to convey this particularly on social media you will need some great photo’s. I don’t mean to rush out and get the fanciest camera on the market. But i am saying it is worth your while to learn how to take a great shot. Think of it like meeting a person for the first time, you need to make a good impression!

There are plenty of helpful websites online that can teach you how to take a great picture.

This will be extremely beneficial to all of those regardless of intention when sharing your work.

If you aren’t confident in your photography skills i definitely suggest playing around, definitely think of how to present your work and yourself!

It’s all about Ascetic.

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– ” Do I Have To Share My Work Online ? ” –

Again this is all dependent on your intentions, and what you are wanting to do with your art work.

For myself i would say Yes, Definitely.

If you are looking into making a name for yourself, or even just locally it is almost mandatory to have online activity. Now this may seem like a lot of extra work, and i assure you it is. But the pay off of having a connection with your audience and like minded people; i believe will only encourage you further.

If you are doubting yourself and the work you produce you have a connection to people who enjoy art as much as you do, from all around the world, that can give you feed back and words of encouragement, even just a like on your work can change the mind set that we all seem to have of, my work is just not good.

This is also a great way to network with other artists, and in all honesty you will be better for it.

You don’t have to have a blog, you can set up an instagram or a pinterest, a tumblr, whatever suits you – or you could even have all of them!

Happy Creating Peeps!

K xx

Book Review : Anti Journal

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Hey Peeps!

Today you are in for a real treat, i had the lovely pleasure of communicating with the authors of the one and the only Anti Journal recently, and i am absolutely in love with this book.

This is a hard cover book full of prompts to spark your creative mojo, or in my case stoke the fires so that i can burn a little brighter.

For any other creatives like myself, you are bound to become stagnant at some point or another. These books are excellent to keep on hand to give you that boost of inspiration you need!

This can be likened to the ever popular Keri Smith books that become incredibly popular since it has been released, you just need to look up Wreck This Journal, and you will see how it has inspired and encouraged people to think outside the box, in my humble opinion this book takes it a step further.

Though i love and adore Keri’s books, this actually makes me think a lot more and pushes me out of the my comfort zone, i found with the Wreck this Journal that i, myself took the prompts literally, and it ended up appearing like that in my finished pages. With prompts that are more obscure, you are more likely to create something that you wouldn’t usually. This is what i needed to try something different and to discover new ways to create.

Art therapy is a brilliant tool to have in your arsenal when you are stressed, which is why books like these are also of good use to anyone!. Particularly when you are overwhelmed, you can open it up, turn to a page and let it out there. You are guided somewhat into completing your artwork, but you are able to get out all of that negative energy, or positive for that matter!

The techniques you learn in this book can also be applied to any other kind of journaling, be it an art journal, or a standard daily journal, a smash book, a midori, whatever your poison is!

If you are creative or if you aren’t this book is fantastic for rainy days, sunny days. Any day actually. It’s a you get in what you put in kind of book!

9 Out Of 10 Peeps

You can purchase the anti journal here.

Happy Creating Peeps!

Kiley xx

chronic i can do more-itis…

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Hey Peeps!

Well since i am getting back int
o the groove with my blog andYoutube stuff, i thought i would write a little bit about how things are changing in my life, and how i suffer with chronic i can do more-itis.

I say suffer because you are literally berating yourself for not doing enough in one day, even if you woke up in the wee hours of the morning, did two loads of laundry after staying up till 4 am in the morning to comfort a friend while you were attempting to draft up a blog post or finish off some other project you are working on. You still haven’t done enough. The opposite of this is the more common CBF moods.

My first day of uni is behind me now, and all i can say is OH MY GOSH. People really weren’t kidding when they said tomorrow is the first day of your life for the next three years. I haven’t made it through the first week of Uni yet, but i can already tell that even though i was slightly stagnant while i had weeks and weeks of time to do absolutely nothing, this is going to be a full on part of my life.

Which brings me to the point of this actual post.

It was during in the summer haze that i had conjured up thoughts and ideas of several projects i wanted to do, and posts and everything basically; However now that i have realized what a big portion of my time is going to be dedicated to study as well as managing my social life, and of course me time. Let’s just say the project per month is probably not going to happen. And by probably i mean not.

At first i went into a shame spiral. Which included numerous cups of coffee, several tears and a lot of super sad ballads that live on my ipod, reserved for such an occasion. One of the risks i realized that by wanting to do it all. Is that my work becomes half assed and not up to my standards (which can be questionable at times)

At the start of the year i really wanted to encourage myself to be more creative and productive. What i didn’t realize is that i am these things already, and that i really didn’t need to organize a project for each month, because i literally work on several at a time that aren’t related to each other in the slightest.

Which is why i am calling off Peep’s challenge. In theory it’s great. I just don’t have the time for it.

Future peep’s challenge, will now be referred too as Peep’s Projects.

This way i am able to actually execute what i want to do without it looking like absolute poop. Steaming piles of poop.

Happy Projects Peeps!

Practice Random Acts Of Art : IT HAS ARRIVED!

Hey Peeps!

This actually arrived nearly two weeks ago, but since i am recovering from being unwell, i quite literally only picked it up today, and to be honest rushed with it! So first off, massive thanks to Gretchen for being super kind and patient with me!

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When i opened up the mail bag, peeking inside i found of course the infamous case, that I’ve been reading about for well over a year now, along with a few little friends!

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Since i am reasonably unwell i was super glad to read the note from Gretchen supplying the instructions, because gosh i’m cloudy in the mind these days, along with the passport i also received a little wish box that had some lovely odds and ends inside it, although it kind of got destroyed in the post, it was still charming, but a little beat up! Thank you so much for thinking of me Sarah, it was a lovely gesture and the wish stone was my Favorite thing!

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The first thing i decided to do was to leave my page on the passport book, which i did… though it is probably one of the least favourite pages i’ve done in uh, well anything. I had a deadline and it needs to be met. So i just set aside 20 minutes to create something, and i also recorded it on video for you guys!

To continue the trend of leaving something in the bag, i am going to add an envelope with some journal prompts. I believe that journals are truly the greatest asset that we can possess, well for us artsy types anyway. So it is my random act of art to encourage people to journal.

While it may seem unoriginal given the limited amount of time, and my varying health i decided it was for the best to pass this little beauty on ASAP so it can have some much needed TLC!

If you would like to read more about the travel of the books click here.

Thank you Gretchen for such a beautiful project, and for including so many people! it’s truly been a lot of fun!

Peep xx

Living With Hidradenitis suppurativa : AKA HS

Hello!

My name is Kiley, and i suffer from HS.

I want to talk about this for several reasons, there’s very little known about this chronic disease, it is to me anyway; an invisible disease. Though i may look normal and healthy, people outside can’t know the pain and suffering i go through due to this disease.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a long-term chronic inflammatory disease, The cause is not well understood nor researched. It characterizes it’s self with recurrent boil-like lumps that become larger and turn into an abscess, which in turn burst open leaking pus and become difficult to heal leaving scarring in the infected area.

I want you to imagine what it was like when you had the worst break out you have ever had. Got it? Now multiply that by 10 and place it under your arm, your inner thigh, groin. Now imagine if that went on for weeks and months at a time, with and if you are lucky, a week or two of respite in between each flare up.

Now imagine going to your doctor with this. And being told there is no cure.

You feel hopeless, you feel like you have been failed. You feel embarrassed.

My experiences with HS, particularly in the last few years has had a detrimental effect on my life.

This disease is probably one of the worst (IMHO) that anyone could be inflicted with. Skin wise. You are living with chronic pain, Debilitating pain. I mostly suffer from HS under my arms, and in between my thighs where the skin touches. I’m talking you either can’t put pants on, or you can’t lift your arms to get a shirt on. Pain.

It has a massive impact on your mental health, you feel absolutely horrible, you suffer from malaise, you have to endure the mammoth effort of slapping on a happy face and getting on with your day.

For myself last year, just before i began study, i had a pretty bad flare up. Which puts into question my ability to be able to get to and complete classes, now luckily for me it subsided just before classes began, only to reappear two weeks later. I’m an art student, so having mobility in my arms is necessary especially when you are lifting your arms up to sketch using an easel. Last year was intense, the flare up’s happened a lot more often and were much more severe than i had previously dealt with.

I began having to skip classes because i couldn’t get myself dressed, because i couldn’t lift my arm to brush my hair let alone anything else. Which to some isn’t a big deal, but for me it was absolutely awful.

Now i had been suffering with it for some time before this, so of course i had been put on several different antibiotics, some of which did ease the lump, but essentially didn’t do anything. I was put on a different course of antibiotics every other week; this has been going on for years.

Last year was the first time i had to be lanced, After a flare up i had a lump about the size of my palm under my left arm. Now if i had of done my research before this i would advise against it. The actual lancing it’s self is absolutely horrible. You are to be injected with a local in the site. This was incredibly painful, it literally felt like someone was running a hot butter knife into an already tender area. I wasn’t told much about the procedure at all.

After being lanced, the trip home from the doctors was okay. A few minutes after returning home the pain kicked in, and my gosh it was terrible. The tears came, the frustration of having to deal with this horrible disease, knowing that this wouldn’t be the end of it and having to accept that there will be another flare up in the future. Became a little too much for me.

I had already been dealing with HS for years now. Without even so much as a sign of hope that i can get through a month without a flare up.

What they didn’t tell me about being lanced was the packing procedure. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s taking where they pack the open wound with gauze, essentially to soak up all the junk that was in the abscess. You have to do this every day. The first day was the worst, almost as bad as having the actual procedure performed. This goes on everyday for two weeks, though it got easier after that.

The only down side of this is that my wound was not packed properly. For the next three months at the lance site i would have constant infections, and could still feel that there was junk under the skin.

During this time, i was trying my best to get all of my Uni work done, and this is something that still bothers me to this day. I had explained to my teacher about my disease, he had taken the time to google it, and while reading it and i quote “This is a disease i am making up to get out of work”. This is a prime example of what i mean when i say, That HS is an invisible disease.

This year, i have already had a severe flare up under that same arm. Which is why i say lancing is not effective. This most recent flare up was about the size of my palm, and incredibly painful, after my last experience with getting lanced, i want to avoid it until it is absolutely necessary.

Having said that, my road of trying every single antibiotic under the sun is running short, with surgery looking like the only option to give me relief from this condition, which doesn’t even come with a guarantee that it works.

It is essentially like a merry go round of pain with intermission periods that last a few days to a week.

I want to touch on how it’s affected my life.

What i find most often when i talk about my disease, is that people down grade it to something like getting a single pimple, or a boil. Oh it’s just a spot, i’m sure it can’t be that bad.

It is that bad.

It takes a toll on everything that you do. From what you eat, to what you wear. To how you live your day to day life.

I’m currently on a high fat low carb diet, another attempt to curb this disease and three different kind of medications, not including the pain killers i need to take in order to get a bit of respite.

You have to change a lot just in order to manage it.

But what isn’t talked about often is the impact it has on you mentally.

Living with Chronic Pain is not an easy task, and though those who suffer with this are incredibly strong, It takes a toll. It impacts every aspect of your life, Socially you don’t want to go out because it’s embarrassing, it’s painful you feel like crap. Intimacy i can’t even fathom at this stage.

When you have a flare up it does take weeks or months for the lumps to completely dissapear, like i mentioned earlier, the worst break out you had times 10 and placed in one of those areas. You know it’s going to take weeks to go down, now imagine that another lump appeared right next to the first one.

That is HS. The cycle repeats.

It’s hard to feel good and happy when you are constantly battling a silent disease. You don’t want to be touched, you don’t want to be held. You want to be left alone, Because it’s painful and it hurts. It’s quite easy to feel depressed. When you have all of this on your shoulders.

It’s a struggle to sleep, I suffer from intense itching at night and when i am in the sun. This has led me to be indoors a lot.

It’s hard to get up and go to work or study.

It’s hard to do everything.

Which is my point of writing this post. You aren’t alone, there are support groups out there.

You are beautiful and the scars it leaves on your skin don’t define you.

If any of you have any questions about HS, please feel free to ask them. Even if you just want someone to talk too.

We are human, and of course we wish our friends who don’t have it could understand the pain we have to go through everyday, don’t expect them to understand. Unless you have it, you have nothing to draw on.

That’s what it’s like to have HS.

Kiley xxx

February 2015 : Index Card A Day Plus More!

Hey Peeps!

As i mentioned earlier in the year, i’m challenging myself to do something creative every day. I guess you could call this a self imposed challenge to make my way towards being more creative in general.

This month i am doing an index card a day, the point of this is to utilize materials i have on hand, that i have had on hand for a long time, but the only purpose they have served so far is to sit around and accumulate dust. I have acquired quite a collection of materials over the years, I have a horrible habit of saving things for special occasions that never come about. So i’m attempting to revamp them into new pieces.

These will be uploaded regularly for the next 28 days on my a board i made on Pinterest. You can find it here.

This month has already been a busy one for me, what with uni starting shortly and the spare time i have diminishing but of course that translates to, do more challenges.

Not only am i doing my own set of challenges for my project 365, I’ve also discovered another one through journaling junkie on Tumblr, which is relatively easy to be a part of, but what i absolutely adore about this particular challenge is that it enables you to connect with others who journal regularly; which for me is huge! Not to mention inspiring, it’s just a really beautiful way to get inspired getting a glimpse into other people’s journals.

Join us in her challenge here.

Happy Creating Peeps x