Pictures & Pretzels

It's been some time since I've doodled over stuff in Snipping Tool (actually, on reflection, that's not true at all - see the bottom of this post where I've added a picture I took from Zoella's Instagram and doodled over recently to express my love of pretzels). I thought it would be fun to doodle some cute stuff over these scans, so of course I had to add a bunch of squiggly hearts to them. What could be better?

It adds such a nice little mini landscape. Actually, it kinda reminds me of old webcam frames, or ones you could add to pictures on your phone. Really great built in features. I miss them. I used to love making tiny collages (I think they were called mosaics) on my phone, pre-smartphone. It was a simpler time. A time of JPEGs nearly invisible to the naked eye. Ah, sweet memories.

It was quite relaxing to doodle over these. Therapeutic, almost.

Anyway, here's Zoella to communicate my pretzel passion:

Blue Blue Blue Green

I made some more blue/green paintings and honestly these colours always make me happy for some reason. They're very satisfying. I should probably get a new pad of nice quality paper soon. I'm used to painting on printer paper, or other low quality paper, and that's fine, but it is really nice to be able to paint on some thick, textured paper sometimes. It takes the paint so nicely, especially since I tend to work with quite watered down paint, which bleeds through printer paper quite a lot (I mean, everything bleeds through printer paper more or less).

Actually, it'd be good to get some coloured paper or card. I remember really liking drawing on brown paper (Primark paper bags are the best art material), so maybe I should try that again soon, but it would be cool to draw/paint on some pink paper. I want to get some ink, maybe I could get some colourful ink, or white ink to use on coloured paper.

Until then, here's a screaming dog:

A Perfect Song: Deaf Havana - Sinner

Deaf Havana very recently released a new album named RITUALS, and I love it, but in particular I'm hooked on the song 'Sinner'. I will probably include this song in my end-of-the-month post of five favourites, but I wanted to make a post about it now and talk a little bit about the specifics of what it means to me and why it hit me in that firework-esque way new songs sometimes do.

This post is illustrated by stills from the 'Sinner' music video.

This song has such an incredible feeling of release to it. It details this narrative of being a bad person, a 'sinner', and to me partly because of that religious connection it conjures up a picture of guilt and shame. The very first line of the song is 'I'm so pathetic for ever thinking I'd change' which quite clearly hints at that, but the song doesn't feel self-pitying. The lyrics, sure, are very focused on giving in to this inevitability of being an unchangeable person ('you can fall to your knees and pray / 'cause I'm a sinner now / and I won't be saved'), but the song's soundscape of buoyant choruses and soaring choir towards the end project this feeling of release. Of acceptance.

It's an exhilarating song to listen to, and it makes me consider the sheer level to which we gloss over our experiences, societally and individually. It gives me this feeling of being absolved somehow. It's so freeing to listen to a song that seems to acknowledge guilt in this way. It's such a deeply lonely emotion, inherently hidden away, but this song just blasts it open. It's so great.

I just love the combination of an acknowledgement of being a flawed and guilty person with a kind of almost celebratory resignation. Like you can know that you will never be a good or perfect person and let go of that. Those things won't wash away. So sing that chorus about it.

I love it.

Good Dogs & Ghost Bunnies

Here are some miscellaneous paintings and drawings from the past few days. I've been pretty into using a nice wine colour. It's so warm, so nice, so reminiscent of wine. Lovely. Here's a dog.

I've been drawing these round hands and feet a lot lately, and I think they're super cute. A less anthropomorphic dog can be nice to draw. The big paws. I like 'em.

This bunny sadly became less visible towards the bottom. I think it might be a ghost bunny. Fading in and out of the mortal plane. Please watch out.

This bunny, however, I do not believe is a ghost. But there is a beautiful sky to be seen. How nice.

And here we see a bunny who is mesmerised by the stars. This is understandable. Perhaps they will lead him somewhere.

Finally, here's a miscellaneous doodle:


It's kinda weird to me how we don't really see our own profiles much. The side view of our faces, that is. Yet I suppose that's one of the main aspects of our appearance, but I can't exactly picture it when I try to. It's not like I can really look in the mirror at it, so I only really see it in pictures, and they get taken rarely, I guess. It's strange. It's weird, but we really don't know what we look like exactly the way others do.

So that's the reason I took a bunch of pictures of myself from the side. I can forget about these and imagine myself as a confusing blob regardless, but it's nice to take a picture and be like, "oh yeah, that's what the side of my face looks like". What a fascinating blog post this is, about the side of my face. I love to document things. What a great time we're all having here.

Anyway, I've been having a nice time with some kind of working-on-stuff general routine, and I thought it would be cool to try to take some candid pictures of myself and my work space and stuff I'm working on to go along with that. I would say I'll try to do that daily, but honestly some days you just need to not bother with stuff like that. So what I will say is, maybe I'll do it on some days. I think it's a nice thing to do with some regularity. Just take some purposeless pictures.

It's funny, really, I think in a lot of contexts now we probably take less pictures that we might have done in the past, just because cameras are so accessible, and maybe we tend to take a picture for an immediate purpose these days - so there's no need to build up a bunch of pictures or be more opportunistic with them, perhaps.

It's an interesting thing to wonder about, picture-taking habits. Lately I've been really enjoying taking the time to make sure I'm doing a little bit of pen drawing, a little bit of painting, and of course a little bit of eating Magic Stars, throughout the day.

Having a mini slot of time to do different forms of making stuff seems to work really nicely, gets me some good material/pieces, and then I can take a break and scan stuff I made yesterday, and eat a sandwich and take some pictures. It's pretty fun.

This Final Fantasy IX NPC is me

I love looking for non-player characters in games that I feel truly represent me somehow, and imagining that I am perhaps truly in this world somewhere as a background character with a rich offscreen life. In Final Fantasy IX, I found this stylish NPC who looks like some kind of 1930s sailor woman, and I have decided: she is me.

Excuse me for the extremely tiny screenshot, but seriously, look at her. She has pale skin like some kind of dead person, possibly untamable blonde hair, and is wearing a cute bow around her neck, as well as what looks like a stripy top. Me. In some ideal life.

She's also lurking in a small, dark place. Similarly me. She probably has a multipack of Freddos hidden in her skirt. I bet.

I think it's really fun to think about NPCs and how much they add to worlds. I always find myself connecting with particular NPCs and I think it must say a lot about me, which ones I'm drawn to.

I love looking at concept art too, and these are such great examples of the eclectic look of NPCs in Final Fantasy IX. Character designers Toshiyuki Itahana and Hideo Minaba used such great design elements and shapes with the game's preferred character proportions, and I love the prevalence of kids and creatures for such a fun, diverse feel that made the environments feel so well populated.

Who is that mystery sailor woman in Treno? Who knows. But she conjures up so much perfect mystery in my mind. I love her.

Journal: Wiggly Colours & Collages

I've been journaling a bit lately with a bunch of colours and wiggly shapes, and pasted on paintings from a little while ago, and I just really enjoy the density and chaotic feel to these pages. They kinda remind me of going outside and just noticing all the things around you. There are so many things!

I love the feel of collaging and being able to make something busy out of whatever little things I have. I can paint the same thing, the same shapes and dogs and colours, a million times and then arrange them into something that's in some way cohesive later. It's nice to be able to segment out my creative process like that sometimes. So I can come back to something later and not have to give it so much thought or direct attention, but with that two step process meaning I can make something that feels expressive and fun without being demanding in the same way as something I'm completing in one sitting or stage.

They feel like tiny worlds, in a way. It's fun.

Here's a bunny: