The Aftermath of Nanowrimo 2014

nanowrimo.org

Hey Peeps,

Since Nanowrimo ended I’ve been taking some positive steps in my writing. Now for those of you who don’t know what Nanowrimo is; it’s a writing competition where you challenge yourself to write 50,000 words over a period of four weeks. Not that huge of a deal right? Wrong.

I had signed up for this year hoping to win, reaping the awards and bragging rights that come along with it. After I reformatted my laptop, I lost everything; Including my motivation and creativity. I was reduced to staring at my flashing cursor that seemed only to be mocking me while I stared at a blank page for what seemed like hours on end. At the time I was disappointed in myself, and I’m not going to lie, I felt completely disheartened by the flop.

Every year, I fly by the seat of my pants. Writing improvised stories, with no real structure, depth or even a hint at plot. This year, instead of attempting to continue this trend, I took it upon myself to change up my pattern, so that in future Nano’s. I have a concrete idea.

I have been writing since I was young. Yes.  I started writing fan fiction. I never showed anybody, until my older brother’s friend asked to borrow my computer one day. He read them, and boy oh boy was I embarrassed; but the feedback I got encouraged me to continue writing; He said it was good. Now as a 12 year old, I was beside myself, giddy with delight. Someone much older than me liked what I wrote. I honestly couldn’t believe it, even now years later. Thinking back to that first compliment of my writing, makes my heart flutter slightly.

This grew to me writing short stories on a weekly basis, which in turn gained positive and negative criticism. I posted these on several sites, none of which I can recall now. Fan fiction for me, was a way to stretch my writing muscles without having to commit to creating my own characters. While it does receive a wrath online, it’s a great tool for those who are just starting to discover the power of words on a page. It’s also a great way to network with other writers, you become a part of a growing community of fans who adore the same characters you do.

Now I’m not going to sugar coat the world of fan fiction. I’ve read some that were absolutely horrible, though I’m going to remind myself, and everyone else. No matter how horrible, only offer constructive advice. (Even if it seems to be insincere)

After high school I stopped sharing my stories. I found that in those tender years, I lacked the confidence and the creativity to continuously churn out the stories like I did before. Perhaps it was becoming older, slightly more cynical that threw a spanner in the works.

It wasn’t until last year when I started up Yahpeep.com that I started to get my creative mojo back. In the writing sense; So this year when I failed, I was slightly disheartened.

Instead of wallowing in my negative critic, I indulged myself in the thought of writing a series. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Since my forte’ is predominantly chick lit, romance and tragedy, I can imagine that at the very least five people would read my work. (That’s how many friends I feel I can convince to read it at this stage.) I took it upon myself, to grab a pen and paper. Sit down. Think.

Yes I know it sounds a bit obvious, but I honestly haven’t plotted anything since I was a teenager. I have to say, that I’ve really grown from failing this year. Not only have I been able to see where I was going wrong, but I’ve also recognised, that by not planning, I’ve essentially failed myself.

So while I may have failed this year, I will most definitely look forward to next year’s challenge; I will be prepared, with my novel bible; that’s really just a spiral bound notebook I’ve had since 2010; More details on that later!

Huge congratulations to all the writers who hit the 50k, and those who didn’t but gave it a shot anyway!

Happy writing/creating!

Peep xx

BellaBox : November 2014

2014-11-18

Hey Peeps!

So I’ve been receiving Bellabox for the last three months, and i haven’t written or done an un-boxing purely because i wasn’t sure if i was going to stay on the beauty box subscription service. Since i am onto my third box, I do intend to stay on it for a while longer. I must stress, that i am in no way shape or form a beauty guru. But i do know what i like, and what products are good for me!

After the lack luster Birthday box, which was rather disappointing despite the hype from the company (Literally all you have to do is visit the BellaBox Page on Facebook to see the rage) In comparison, this box wasn’t too bad. Not everyone get’s the same products, which i’m okay with; and i’m always keen to try new products and have found at the very least one product i absolutely loved in each box. At 15 dollars a month, it’s worth it in my opinion.

This months box arrived on time, and they worked extremely hard to have it all packed and shipped out well before the last week of the month, which was amazing. It is good to see a company taking constructive feed back from it’s customers to produce a better service, and it most certainly will pay off for them in the long run!

Starting from the top left i’ll talk you through my box this month!

Boe Beauty Nail Enamel : Clear  ( Full Product )

I will readily admit, when i spied this in the box. I wasn’t excited. Purely just because it’s essentially a top coat. Though it goes on smoothly, and it does it’s job. It’s just not exciting. Last month i had also received a Kester Black nail polish in Ruby Red, while i wasn’t overly impressed by the brand (It took up to three solid coats to get the desired coverage without streaks) This will come in handy, and i definitely will use it. So at the very least it’s useful!

Coastal Scents : Revealed Palette Sampler 

I saw this in the sneak peek for this month, and i was incredibly excited. I’ve heard a lot about Coastal Scents, and i was absolutely dying to see what they were like. Though the sample is small, literally smaller than your bank card, the colours chosen are nice and compliment each other well. They are pigmented and creamy, easily buildable and blendable. I am impressed with Coastal Scents, and i hope that perhaps in the near future they will be readily available in Australia for purchase. Have you seen there palettes they are just gorgeous!

Salon Tan Professional : Wash off Spray Tan  ( Full Product )

Ugh. I probably won’t end up using tan, purely because i am very very pale. Whenever you mix tan with my skin it turns orange, Though the scent is quite nice, and it applies smoothly, this was a complete miss for myself personally; I just don’t care for tanning products.

LonVitaliate : 24 K Active Gold Mask

I had received these previously while i was subscribed to lust have it, and they are quite relaxing to use. I don’t actually know what their purpose is – but they do feel nice on the skin, and refresh underneath your eyes. Perhaps i’ll use it at some stage before my birthday this week to make my skin a bit nicer before my party.

Palmers : Multi-Effect Perfecting Oil

Intriguing, I’ve never used an oil before – and the sample size is quite modest. I’m excited to see how it feels.

Compeed Blister Medium 

Why?

While this box was a bit of a hit and miss, It was definitely an improvement from prior months, Definitely interested to see what they put in Decembers box that’s for sure!

K xx

Cutting Corners.

Untitled-3Hey Peeps!

So I’ve just finished a public art installation that was, to me; of mammoth proportions considering the time constraint. And i have to say, through out my time as an Art Student, nothing has been quite as satisfying as seeing the finished product.

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While it doesn’t look like an awful lot when it’s compacted into a simple collage, There was literally blood, sweat and tears involved. Crane making is intense, i kid you not.

The best piece of artistic advice i ever heard, was simple – but effective and a good mantra to have while you are busy working. I’ve had to say it to myself so many times lately, that i’m pretty sure when i am fast asleep i am whispering it into my pillow.

Treat everything the same.

Simple. Effective. To the point.

Yes, Creating finished pieces, can be draining. Mentally and emotionally, even physically, We literally put our heart and souls into our work, in the hope that we can convey some sort of message, or create something beautiful.

I have to say, during the crane making sessions i had at my little desk, the lovely spring sunshine floating through my window, seemingly taunting me for being inside. I had to remind myself to treat every crane the same.

Some were a bit messy, some just didn’t look right. But they were made with care, and patience. Which if i haven’t learnt anything through out this entire ordeal, is probably an asset.

In the past i have rushed my pieces of work, I’ve been extremely guilty of this, and it’s a fine line – between over working something, or under working it. ( I appreciate perfectionists and their dedication ) But i found the simple idea of treating everything you do exactly the same, worked for me.

I ended up cutting less corner’s. I took more care when i was transferring images. I took the time to enjoy the process, and i guess in this day and age, and especially with the pressure of shooting out finished work like no tomorrow. The process kind of get’s lost, and the fun get’s sucked out of your work.

Dead lines are not the enemy, though i tend to think my time management skills are more the cause of Artist Anxiety.

While it is okay once in a while to cut corners, you have to remain true to your vision and what you, yourself want to get out of it. Believe me the amount of times i have wanted to just cut the process time in half has been more times than I’ve had cheesecake this year.

Try your very best to avoid cutting corners, try to approach each piece you do with enthusiasm. Just like when you are tired, or unhappy it shows. This in turn will also show in your work.

While it might seem like a sacrifice to give up some fun time in order to prepare before a deadline, you will find yourself much happier if you slowly work at it, and treat everything the same!

K xx

Prompt : Collages ( AKA: That Damn Junk Drawer )

DSCF0711Hey Peeps!

As i was flicking through my journal over the weekend, i noticed that subconsciously, i create collages to fill pages. Hence the inspiration for collage this week!

Now when i sit down to create a one of these, i am usually using it more like a mood board, see what colors i am favoring at the time, what catches my eyes. A few months ago, i sat down and printed out images from my tumblr, and just spent an afternoon cutting them out before pasting them down in a blank sketch book with the intention to return to them again, and i probably will, but for now they are shelved.

In my current journal, i use clippings from magazines to create some kind of depth, or to just add something different from my usual jotting of notes and dot points, drawings.

Personally i think they are great to go back and look at, and really come in handy when you aren’t feeling inspired. They are just a cluster of images that reach out to you somehow at that particular time, maybe even a reference perhaps.

Book Keepers : You know that pile of magazine clippings you have collecting dust in the corner of your work space. Today i want you to dig them out, Tip the folder upside down, stand back, and pick out what jumps out at you. Using these, create a collage!

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Sketchy Keepers : Draw yourself. Done that? Good, Now draw things that you adore and love all around you! The above is one that i completed earlier, this literally took me about eight hours. Just a different approach to collage, but one that could be interesting none the less!

Art Journal : Create a collage using photos that you have stashed away that were deemed “unusable” use this as the base, continue building up your collage using odds and ends from your junk drawer, was-hi tape, patterned papers.

Shutter Bugs : We all have our work spaces, I challenge you to take the things off your desk, arrange them on the floor, and shoot. Do this with an artists eye, arrange them in the shape of the first letter of your name, or even in the shape of your favorite food!

Happy Creating Peeps!

K xx

Stress Vs Being Grounded

29_09_2014Hey Peeps!

So it’s that wonderful time of year, that the educational portion of the year start’s to wind down. But what’s this? A seemingly infinite laundry lists of assessment tasks to be completed in what seems to be a microscopic time frame.

I’m fairly certain we all get hit with that same sinking feeling, Yes. You know the one, where all of it suddenly becomes too much, and everything you produce is absolute rubbish, and quite frankly, just not good enough. ( Though it isn’t as bad as YOU think, and is actually fairly good )

For myself, i’m having to reflect on my work that I’ve done this year and compile it all into a folio; In preparation for interviews to hopefully gain a spot for next years bachelors of arts.

For any artist, it is almost painful to glance back at our work. Not because it isn’t great quality, but because we can see every single flaw in our “finished pieces” which by the way are rarely finished to our own standards. This in turn turns us into flailing artists that second guess every thing we do.

Stress.

Stress.

Stress.

While it is completely natural to be feeling overwhelmed at this point, it is that much more important to remain grounded. Which is why you need to be extra kind to yourself during this period.

When you are grounded, you are more capable of making decisions that have had a considerable amount of thought, and you feel comfortable with the final decision.

Your head is clearer, and in general you are much happier.

Part of it is time management.

Perhaps not watching that extra episode of the current television series that has captured your attention, in favor of reading or browsing other artist’s websites.

  • Ensure that you take the time to plan. Not planning means that you are prone to procrastination. While it doesn’t need to be down the hour, it would be helpful to at the very least keep a to do list within your eye line; so that you are constantly aware of what you should be doing and when.
  • Treat yourself to lovely tea breaks, bake some cookies – and just sit outside for a few minutes. Long enough to drink your tea, and to get some fresh air. Taking breaks will improve your mood in turn lending a better attitude to your work.
  • Sprints! These are an absolute god send to me. Set your timer for an hour and a half, turn that phone on silent. Work, like there is no tomorrow. After you have done this, treat yourself to a half hour break. Go for a walk, check your social media, do whatever your heart desires!
  • Study Groups. Working by yourself can be incredibly difficult. Having those extra people to bounce inspiration off – makes you feel less isolated and more aware of ideas that you produce.

For myself, the greatest thing i can reward myself. Is an hour or so of isolation. Sitting in my nook with my journals, and pondering about ideas, planning out the future. Makes me incredibly excited for the future. Because that is what we are all aiming for.

Be kind to yourself, and keep your eyes on the prize!

Stay Grounded Peeps!

K xx

Journal W/ Peep : Faux Hobonichi 001

If you want to purchase one of these just click!

Hey Peeps!

So i’m changing things up a little and Wednesday posts will now be about journals and my progress in filling them!

Now i spotted the Hobonichi on Instagram earlier this year and to put it bluntly i fell in love.

It’s a day-per-page diary in A6 size, with a minimalist grid layout. But it’s the many novel ways the diary is used that give the Hobonichi it’s significance. The word hobonichi means ‘almost every day’ in Japanese.

The only issue for me? The price.

It’s to me, quite expensive – so I’ve ordered myself a substitute and if i can stick to it, by doing something in it everyday, i will probably save up and get a real Hobonichi. At a fraction of a cost i am able to get a book that has the same grid lay out, but requires me to DIY my own lay out.

That just means ruling a line across the top, writing the date, the sequence of the moon and recording the weather for the day while Journaling about it below. Now i’ve tried very hard to journal every day, but it can be a struggle especially around folio time. But i’m keen to try.

While i haven’t gotten my hand on this book yet, it is on it’s way, and i’m excited to see how it in real life.

But for now i shall browse Hobonichi Love for inspiration!

I’ll do a review of it once i get it in my little hands!

Do you want a Hobonichi? Or Do you have one?

K xx

Prompt : Doodlez

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Hey Peeps!

This weeks prompt is all about doodling, Why? Well, seeing as though procrastination is high on the to do list for me lately, I’ve found myself to be doodling endlessly on the back of envelopes, perhaps this is some kind of stress relief, i’m not really sure, But i’m fascinated with doodle art and thought it would be fun to try!

Yes. I changed doodles to doodlez, makes it sound a little hipper! :P

Book Keepers : Try expressing your day through drawings instead of using writing, for inspiration check out hobonichi’s! Take advantage of colored pencils, felt tip pens, fine liners, colored paper and make it your own!

Sketchy Keepers : Pick a single color, Just one. Work with tones, cross hatching – if you do get stuck, have a go at trying zen tangles! They do take an awfully long time to do, but they look amazing once they are completed!

Art Journal : Try a different medium or style that you haven’t before. Draw inspiration from what you have seen throughout the day, perhaps a song that caught your attention, a news article. Try to incorporate the feelings of the day through color and pattern.

Shutter Bugs : Collect a pile of doodles, drawn on whatever is lying around; point and shoot. Mess around with the placement of them, include objects that describe your day!

Happy creating!

K xx

Be Mah Fwen!

22_09_2014

Hey Peeps!

So this is probably going to be a very honest, D & M kind of post. But i wanted to touch on the importance of having friends. Mostly because for the first time in a VERY long time i have been lucky enough to become very good friends with some beautiful people, and it’s been absolutely amazing.

Naturally i am a loner, I crave the serenity of my little nook, and being tucked up in my bed reading a book. But it’s really lovely to be able to share what i discover, and what i do in my little space with others. If anything it actually inspires me to learn more, and to create more so that i am able to share with them.

I’m going to be completely honest, i didn’t actually start making friends with people till i was 20, when i joined the LDS; Which i am no longer a part of. While i found the social activities kind of fun, when i left i felt absolutely nothing; I felt like i quite simply didn’t measure up. While i met a handful of lovely friends, who i am so honored to have in my life. The majority of the time i felt on the outside, not to mention when i was fellow shipped, it was the most insincere gestures i had ever experienced in my life.

I continued to make this effort for four years. Often coming home absolutely hating myself for not being up to par, or being able to relate to other people, or even participate in conversations. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you, it was lonely.

The effort i made to cultivate relationships within that atmosphere crumbled when i finally removed myself from the toxicity of the social gatherings, and eventually away from the church.

The year after that was lonely. People i thought were genuine, were not. The only contact i had was with the girls i still speak with today whom i absolutely love and adore.

A year after that, I’ve FINALLY managed to find new friends, which becomes increasingly more difficult as you get older. It’s much harder to see people on a day to day basis and build rapport – fortunate enough for myself. I have been super lucky to have met a new bunch of friends at art school this year, and i am so so grateful!

While it is peaceful being by yourself, It just simply doesn’t compare to being able to share things that inspire you with other people.

It makes me so very happy, and happiness is contagious. Being happy improves not only the quality of your life, but of others around you. We aren’t supposed to spend our lives alone, but to build it with others!

Make sure you contact someone you love today to say hello, or pay them a compliment!

It takes a few seconds to brighten someone’s day, which in turn brightens yours, and all around you!

K xx