Sleepiness & Cheesecake

I'm writing this at 23:04. A time when I am feeling the power of sleepiness pressing on top of my head like a big, insistent, fluffy pillow. The exact moment it hits 23:00 I know I should be asleep. My body is a strict clock and its warning shall not be heeded. But of course, I know that this is also the perfect time for me to write a blog post. Life is a constant battle between your body and your desire to listen to one more funky John Mayer song, in my experience. And John Mayer will always win.

I think, actually, I have hit on the perfect writing advice, which is to always write in a slightly altered state of consciousness. Those spaces where your brain whirrs differently, somehow, when you're up too late or too early. When you're in a different place. When you've had a glass of wine. Or, of course, when you've just listened to almost all of John Mayer's 'The Search for Everything' album.

I feel like a part of me is always a bit sleepy, and maybe that's the best part. I remember growing up, that often going to bed was my favourite thing to do. It was the time of pure relaxation. I would imagine an elaborate fantasy about riding a horse to heaven or something (I like to fantasise about medieval settings, and also being on top of a cartoonishly fluffy cloud, please don't judge me). They were the most beautiful and pure moments of life, lying in bed, slowly drifting off, thinking about having very long hair and a crown.

So I think in some way that imagination and creativity are tied to that. Sleepiness and drowsy contentment. I know that I feel like I can be a lot more creative and wild and free with creativity when I'm content, and/or relaxed. I think I make my best stuff when I can just float into it. Just ease into it like I'm gently pressing a knife into a cheesecake. I'm sorry, I had to get a cheesecake analogy in there somewhere. Please forgive me.

Spaghetti Dog & Glittering Darkness

Here are some friends. They like to look at the stars. Or in some cases, just stare blankly ahead while the stars exist around and above them. That's my hobby too. Just staring. Love to stare.

Got some nice colours here, and some nice wobbly lines. Everything should be just as wobbly as my thoughts, and as you should know, my thoughts are tiny jellies. Little wobbly jellies all over the place. It makes sense. I love a dark but rich blue. A brightness nestled inside the dark. That's why jewel colours are so great. They're that beautiful part of the night where there's still colour in the darkness. It's good.

And here we see the entangling of spontaneity and relaxation. I think I kinda talk about these things a lot, or include them in my drawings a lot. I'm just really into doing what the body wants, and revelling in that natural, inescapable drive to: 1. do fun adventurous stuff and feel alive, & 2. lie the hell down. I love thinking about those things all the time. The main elements, I feel. The big important things. And how they intersect is super interesting to think about. Like you gotta have some fun and exploration and delightful new experience time, but at the same time maybe you gotta nap.

I guess I'm also really focused on these concepts just because around me it seems like there are a lot of people struggling with work/life balance and what they're doing with their free time, and then fundamentally who they are as a person based on those things and what they make time for. Obviously, what you make time for can say a lot about you as a person, but it's also really entrenched in what your society and environment instils in you as necessary or most important. And people get caught in that a lot. So I think about it and assess it all the time. I think it helps.

Anyway, spaghetti is good. That's the profound statement I'm here to share. Thank you.

Making "Beautiful Eyes" | Rotoscope Animation Stuff

Recently I made a small animation to test a super simple rotoscope style, so I thought I would include some frames here and talk about it a bit.

I love how weird and goofy you can make individual frames. I was using some footage of myself and some of the eye and mouth movements especially look so funny when translated into hand drawn frames. One of them straight up looks like Alan Partridge, and I am thrilled by this.

I really like how this turned out in terms of the simplicity, because of course hand drawing each frame takes a pretty long time, even though I'm effectively tracing images that are pre-existing (although of course, I had to make those images in the first place, so there is time needed before you even get to the part where you're animating), but using a style like this allows me to make good use of my time whilst also retaining some of the quirks of hand drawn animation.

I think that in a way it works better than more complex frames would, in that there's a unique sort of expressiveness and a neat feel to these frames because of the white space and relatively uncomplicated lines. It has a floaty feel that I like, and the goofiness that comes naturally from drawing over expressions made while talking and moving is great, but also enhanced by a barebones approach to the drawings.

I drew them as quickly as I reasonably could, and in some ways I think that rush sort of added to this goofy and slightly surreal feel, which I really like (especially with the element of the four eyes portion of the animation).

There's so much about rotoscoping that is uniquely satisfying, and despite its ostensible rigidity and time consumption, I really want to experiment more with what I can do with it. It's so much fun.

My Cat Friend

Here I am hanging out with my friend Dodo, who is a cat I know. He likes to sit by me and lie down and maybe lick himself, and it's a nice time. Always a very relaxing and chilled out experience. He doesn't even want to write any tweets! Sometimes, though, I will do tweets about our time together. I don't think he minds if I tweet. He just doesn't have any interest in tweeting himself, which I respect.

Anyway, I know we all are very aware that hanging out with a cute animal pal is a great time and a very therepeutic and pleasant thing to do, but still every time I do it I think the sheer level of goodness that it brings me is understated, so I thought I may as well write this post about how nice it is. You know, just to be grateful, just to remind myself of this one true joy - and also so I have an excuse to post more photos of us together, because that also brings me great joy.

I don't know what it is about taking photos of yourself having a cool time, but I will never stop loving taking fifty photos of myself doing one particular thing. Like, I gotta document it, the thing that is happening, but it also becomes a fun activity in itself. Posing, making silly faces, positioning the camera, and in this case finding out what particular effects the Huji app has added to each image. It's a fan cataloguing/organisational process, it captures something about me and hopefully makes me look nice, and it serves as a precious reminder of a lovely moment. A pure delight.

Hang out with a cat sometime. Get a cat's perspective on things. It's a good time.

Autumn & Cycles

Here are some spooky creepy scans, all stretched and strange like all of my thoughts and ideas and intermittent desires for cheesecake. It's just about the best part of the year again, that time when the sky has the right amount of gloom and brightness. The colours are rich and earthy and clear, I can wear a jumper but don't have to walk around in a huge that effectively looks like I might as well have worn my entire duvet, and there's a nice calm feeling to everything.

That's what I want and need, and of course, the spooky stuff comes soon too. I am ready.

I feel like it's almost the time that most perfectly matches my psyche. Maybe that's just a meaningless idea, but I don't know, it's fun. There's a sense of belonging I feel with the autumn, like that's where I'm supposed to be somehow. The crunchy orange leaves make me happy, as do the cheesy plastic skeletons. And everything reminds me of that constant transition. The world moves, the leaves fall, the weather cools.

It's all this gentle whirling, and it really is like how it is to be a person. How it is to be always cycling through something. Thoughts and possessions collected, hair growing and splitting, shoes wearing out. All that stuff kinda makes me feel happy, and home. I mean, I did wear out my favourite boots recently, and that's a shame, but there's something about that cycle that makes me feel content.

Here's to autumn, and cycles of growth, and comfortable shoes.

The Perfect Light Bulb

Hello friends, here's a stream of consciousness. Here's the stream right from my brain. Here's all my thoughts as a puddle. Maybe you'll see your wobbly reflection in them, who knows, who can say?

I'm listening to one of my favourite deliciously loud and angry, yet somehow gentle bands - Hello Sleepwalkers. They have an exhilaration to them that I love, and that makes me feel  sort of released into the wind somehow, on an emotional level. I feel the same kind of thing when I listen to Pvris. It's just the right kind of passion. There's a swiftness in the sound that I like a lot.

I'm finally going to push One Direction out of my top eight artists on this week, and I'm excited about this. Not that I MUST ELIMINATE ONE DIRECTION or anything, no, I will always think their song Diana is a beautiful and rousing stadium style hit, but it's nice to see artists overtaking those that have sat high for a long time. I love the game of listening to an artist so much that they get up there in those ranks. They've made it. It's a nice feeling. I know I'm still far too invested in, but honestly you'll have to wrestle that broken website from my cold, dead hands.

Moving on to a Sad Thought™, I wonder how much other people feel like if others just knew everything about them then they wouldn't like them. I mean, I wonder how many people have that kind of secret insecurity that maybe if something was uncovered about them, that would be it. No one would like them, they'd be shunned forever. Proof you're secretly terrible, somehow. It's just an idle thought, rolling around like a loose ball bearing. Realistically, we know everyone pretty much has insecurities, and weird little foibles and worries. It's just a sad thing I'm thinking about. Sometimes I catch myself thinking that kind of stuff about myself. Not even truly consciously, but there's just this feeling like waves against the riverbank, of "that's right, I'm terrible". What's up with that? What's that about?

And howcome it's easy for me to pass over the flaws and strangenesses and uncomfortable things about people I like and love, but when it comes to me it's so easy to unthinkingly propagate this well of discomfort about myself?

It's as if other people can be these moving lights, blinking and changing in brightness and colour, sometimes turning off because there's a power cut (I might be taking this analogy too far), you know, they're always changing. The light is always different but the bulb is always the same, or something. But me? No sir, that flickering means you gotta change the bulb.

I just wanna be the perfect light bulb! Okay?!

But really, I don't know what that odd anxiety is about, or why the right kind of music can take it away, but I wonder how many people are doing that silently all the time. Also, sometimes breakfast helps. Thanks, breakfast.

Blippo Surprise Kawaii Mixed Bag ♡ Review & Giveaway・°☆

✶✵ This post contains items gifted to me for review purposes. ✵✶

Blippo have kindly sent me a new and exciting surprise bag of mysterious goodies to check out, and we're hosting a giveaway so you can win one of your own too!

This is a mixed bag, and features a mix of toys, stationery, and practical items. Here's a look at everything:

We have a Hello Kitty pair of scissors, a notebook set, bear charm, a panda eye mask, an ice cream fan, a small purse, nail gem stickers, a skipping rope, another fan, a crown headband, some hair clips & hair bands, a nail polish, and a flip out mirror. An interesting mix of stuff.

I think my favourite item has to be the Hello Kitty scissors, because they're so cute but also super useful.

I have a soft spot for the headband and skipping rope because they're such cute and quirky little items. I love the transparent rope. Does anyone want to go the park and play skipping rope games with me? Please say yes.

I also really like the flip out mirror in particular. It has such a satisfying flipping action, and of course who can resist a cute alpaca? Certainly, I cannot.

So now that you've seen the fun stuff in this surprise bag, it's time for the giveaway. Simply enter through the widget below to be in with a chance of winning your own surprise mixed bag of delights! Entry is open worldwide. Good luck!

Oh, and let me know what you think the nicest item in this bag is. I'm a fan in particular of the Hello Kitty scissors, but the flip out mirror and pink bear charm are pretty cute too! :-)