November begins

commission

Dear all,

Yesterday I got back from a short stay in another town, and today I have been getting back into creating artwork… I haven’t drawn much as of late, but since returning and looking through tumblr, pinterest and various blogs, I remembered that oh yes, I want to be an artist…

So I thought I’d make a blog post today with a few images of what I have been working on. Above is the family portrait commission which I mentioned in my previous posts… I think I’ve almost finished it, I’m just waiting for the person to reply to my message and let me know whether they are happy with it.

comic

And here is  little comic book page that I started, it’s for the computer game that my friends and I made for the competition. We have agreed to work on completing the original game, and decided that it would be cool to have each diary page drawn out as a sort of comic. This is page one of the diary… there are perhaps about six or seven pages, so I’ll be working on those next. I think I’ll shade this picture a little bit more too, and then it’ll be coloured in photoshop.

It’s good to be back and actually working on active projects once again; also I’m glad to have the commission as I need to raise money for transport for the Leeds Thought Bubble convention on 23rd – 24th November (it’s on for longer but my friend and I are only doing two days). I’ll have to make some new work as well for the convention… time is running out and I’m scared that I’ll end up bringing our team down with sub par goods… thankfully from the previous exhibition I have some stickers and zines which would probably fit in at the con. Just need to get even more stuff done! Today I ordered some felt squares from etsy and some safety pins too, so that I can create some felt brooches.

While I’ve been working I have been watching a couple of different anime series, including K-On, which was recommended to me by a friend, and another new one called Kyoukai no Kanata. I also downloaded the first season of BBC’s Merlin – an extremely cheesy series about the wizard Merlin and his daily struggles in trying to keep Prince Arthur safe from harm – think bad jokes, funny CGI and so on.

I think that’s everything for this update. Tonight I’ll be shading the afore mentioned comic book page, fretting about the convention and whether my brooches will look awful or not, and watching more Merlin. I will finish up this blog post with an updated to do list; I hope you don’t mind.

Oh – also – I applied for a job as a graphic designer and unsurprisingly I did not get it. I think I would do okay although my portfolio is in dire need of a renovation and I need to learn more about Adobe Illustrator. It was kind of the guy to consider me though!

To Do List

  • Finish up family portrait commission
  • Comic strips for the game
  • Contact friend about poetry/art book collaboration
  • Illustration for friend’s tabletop RPG campaign
  • Thought Bubble convention preparation
  • Arrange driving lessons – or – study theory first

Anyway, thanks again for reading. Hope you are all doing well. Feel free to share your recent art or link to your blogs or whatever =)

priorities

sktch

Hi everyone,

I don’t have many updates to give, except that I have been drawing a lot in my sketchbook (above) which has been going well, but I do not have many new polished pieces. I’m working on a commission to draw a family portrait with cats, and it’s taking a lot of my time… once that’s done I’ll post a picture of it and then get on with the other projects. Plus, I realised that I need to get a portfolio together ASAP. I do have a rough portfolio, but a lot of it is old work and I don’t feel like it is good or finished enough.

todo nun

an example of the to do lists all over my sketchbooks

Although my days are not always filled, and I wish I could see my friends more, I have a lot of different priorities at the moment that I’m trying to work through. Along with that I have the usual worries of will I have enough money. I thought, maybe I’ll post a list here of all the stuff I have to do so that I can work through it. For people who have followed my blog for a while, to-do lists are a frequent feature… I usually make at least one a day, and don’t always complete them. I think they help me with my productivity.

Priorities at the moment

  1. Game design projects – website, polish up first game (which means maybe making more animations for monsters, comics to intersperse the levels, etc.) and consider new game projects.
  2. Family portrait commission – I’m currently inking it all and shading. Next stop is colouring.
  3. Thought Bubble convention – need to sort out transport and actually create art for it!
  4. Illustration for a friend’s tabletop RPG project – I need to get started on this once I finish the family portrait commission … it’s probably going to be a digital painting but I’m not sure yet. Maybe a combination of traditional and digital.
  5. Collaboration with a friend who writes poetry – this is probably a longer term project as it will take a lot of work and sending things between one another.
  6. Applying for jobs – preferably weekday, part time if possible… I’m looking for a ‘normal’ job to supplement my art…
  7. Studying Japanese – I want to get to a level where I can work in a job like translation, but that will probably take a long time to get to that level.
  8. Driving – I have to learn to drive as soon as I can…

And eventually, I hope I can work on some more personal work, but it looks like that will be relegated to sketchbook work for now. I’d also like to create a comic, but that’s on the waiting list too. It’ll be great to finally be able to cross off numbers 2-4 soon!

sktch2

personal work will be on the back burner for the moment … is that what people say?

Oh, I watched a documentary the other day which had been recommended to me by friends. It’s called Beautiful Losers and it’s worth a watch. I suppose you could say it’s about subculture and a particular group of artists who would be described as ‘low brow’ … Watching it made me feel more inspired and motivated to create, perhaps it will be insightful for others too.

Anyway, hope you all don’t mind, I’m never sure what to put as the content for a personal blog… I suppose the purpose of this blog is to motivate myself, share with friends, share what I’ve learned and meet people with cool art and a similar mindset. Thanks for reading, anyway. I’m working 5-9pm at the takeaway tonight. I feel pretty overwhelmed with life stuff at the moment so I hope that if a customer is rude to me I won’t get super upset…

Elysia

sketch

I do some sketching when possible while at work. I got a new pentel brush pen which I’m learning to use.

 

Dear all,

It’s been a week and a bit since my last post; since then I have been getting back into my old job at the Chinese takeaway, covering a few days for the shop where I used to work, catching up with local friends, etc. so I haven’t had as much time as I would have hoped with my own projects. I have started one of my recent commissions, but I’ve reached a stage where my next sitting probably needs to be during a full day off.

Included in this post are a few little bits of drawing that I’ve managed to do in my free time. I have a bit less confidence in my work right now but hopefully when I have done a bit more sketching. I have some commissions, collaborations and ideas for a few individual projects to pursue.

A drawing of where I work.

A drawing of where I work.

I hope I can get to work on all of these things, but I must also work on my CV and apply to some more jobs. Working in the Chinese takeaway is nice but I’m anxious to make sure that I will have enough money to visit my friends and also take part in things like comic book conventions and so on. I also need to learn to drive. So much to do!

This is my 'help I've just finished university and don't know what to do' digital painting. I need to get back into digital art when I have time.

This is my ‘help I’ve just finished university and don’t know what to do’ digital painting. The face was really fun to draw, I’m happy with that part of the piece. I need to get back into digital art when I have time. 

My friend and I will probably be going to the Leeds Thought Bubble comic convention at the end of November, so I have to get some work ready for that, as well as money for transport and food. Luckily I have some zines and stickers left over from the exhibition which I can sell. I’d like to put my personal comics together and print them out to sell cheaply in a zine/booklet like format too. For my previous exhibition and university work I did create digitally printed books for the comics, but the production cost was too high so no one actually bought any! Perhaps if I create my own hand made ones I can charge a lot less and actually sell or trade some!

Blaaah, after writing this I feel like I have a lot to do right now. I’m trying to take everything slowly and progress at my own pace again… I hope that I can get everything done…

Elysia

exhibition … again

DSCF5033small

Hi all. Here’s my exhibition set up within the gallery. When I started taking these photos, my camera ran out of battery, so I bought some new batteries and took some videos and photos today. I’ll be sorting through them and then posting the videos and some better quality photos soon, for those who aren’t able to come along.

Also, today I completed another tattoo commission, so here are three scans of the tattoo design’s progress. It was really challenging to draw flowers, but I’m happy with how it turned out. My next commission is to design a t-shirt for a small local business/entrepreneur. I’ll still be working on the other project of designing a game (for which I’ll make a blog post soon) and also I still have the collaborative book project to start…

Art Update

Hi world,

I thought it’s time to update on all the different bits of art I have been doing in the run up to the exhibition. I have already written vaguely on what I planned for the exhibition, but I think I’ll post some more actual examples of my work.

The first part of my work involved making my own versions of magazines which we sold at the supermarket where I worked (up until Sunday 18th August). I drew my magazines in order to poke fun at and also expose some of the quite misogynistic attitudes encouraged in things like gossip magazines, where women’s bodies are examined for sweat patches, cellulite or extra body fat; general women’s magazines, which do about the same and reinforce gender stereotyping; lads mags (need I say more) and so on. Although I have to add a disclaimer here that I just made the car magazine for fun and actually have never opened a magazine about cars. Sometimes I exaggerated the text found in the various magazines, copied it outright (there are some ridiculous headlines in The Sun, for example) or gender swapped the photos in the magazines. For me, a part of this was a way for me to disarm the more unsavoury magazines, which make me feel uncomfortable in a normal newsagent/shop situation.

I also made some other zines which feature some drawings, advice, book reviews and so on.

tumblr_ms54vqXz8f1s4l6c1o1_500

I bought a couple of display stands from eBay and will be putting them up on a table for my exhibition. Also you may remember I drew a load of portraits of female role models, fictional characters, etc. I made these into stickers, which you can see in the most recent post. They have now been put into little coloured packets which will be displayed on the wall.

I cut them out again and left some of the waxy stuff on the edges so they would be easy to peel off.

There are also some miscellaneous sticker designs too, some of which I drew, others were cut out from the Japanese magazine, Zipper.

I’ve also been drawing on found bits of cardboard and old boxes, and I’m not entirely sure about how this will all fit in, so I will have to give more information about that soon! Since we have to explain how our work all fits together at our assessment, I’m planning on drawing out a diagram which explains the various influences and interests which have converged in order for me to create my current work. I suppose I could photograph it and put it on here. I know it might seem like something a teenage girl would do (doesn’t all my work seem like that, hoho?) but I get really nervous in my assessments, because the head of the department usually attends, so it would do me well to have some sort of prompt to explain myself.

Lastly, since I quit my job in order to focus on my art work, I’ve had a little bit more time to work on other things. Here are two commissions I’ve been lucky enough to work on. I also have a collaborative project to work on with my friend, but I am really nervous about my ability to create something that goes with her work, so I haven’t yet attempted it. Once I’ve dusted off the tattoo commission perhaps I will get myself into gear and start on the collaboration. Also, having been reading lots of comic books lately I am considering continuing where I left off on my previous comics projects. Perhaps after finishing university I can create a sort of autobio comic which focuses on the journey to becoming a paid artist. This is what I originally envisaged for my first comic book project but I ended up staying in education another year!

Other stuff on my post-uni to do list includes: a website, sorting out a shop (which is in progress), reading loads of books and learning to use Adobe Illustrator…

Anyway, I hope you all didn’t mind such a long post, I just wanted to make sure everything was up to date. Also my parents keep asking me to put more work up, so hopefully this will satisfy them. Perhaps after the exhibition I can make some posts featuring my friends’ art work in order to promote them, too.

Thank you as always for reading.

exhibition frustration

Greetings,

it’s again been a while, thanks to home trips and working on my exhibition. Unfortunately, my exhibition work hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. Recently I’ve been trying to create little trading cards of female role models and fictional characters (as mentioned before) through screenprinting. My tutors helped me expose the screens to UV light in order to transfer my photocopied images, but apparently the liquid emulsion used to coat the silk screens wasn’t working well, so most of the screens I tried to use failed. The fourth attempt worked, but I wasn’t aware about some of the details of screenprinting and some of the images got damaged =( so out of six attempts, one was ruined by me and the other five were just dodgy. I’m not sure when I’ll get to try again on exposing the screens, because my tutors aren’t often in the university over summer.

So, the problems with waiting around and then failing with screen printing, plus not actually knowing what I’m doing for the exhibition really… are my frustrations right now. I really hope things will get better. I don’t know if my idea will be loved or hated by my assessors, but I think I should just keep on going and hope. If they don’t like it, then maybe I won’t get such a good mark, but at least by then I will have finished and will be able to start on projects that don’t stress me out so much.

I think I should mention some positive things as well now, because a focus of this blog is to feel better. Lately I’ve been listening to Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast. It is a community radio station for a fictitious desert town, where all sorts of strange sci fi and H P Lovecraft style misadventures take place. It has some great characters and always makes me laugh. I have listened to all the current episodes (it’s ongoing, thankfully), so I really hope I can find some more podcasts to fill the void. I don’t think I’ll be able to find anything quite like WTNV but I’ll be on the lookout. Maybe I could find some audiobooks. Anyway, if you’re interested in any of the following things, I recommend you have a listen… start from the beginning, though. Here is a list: sci fi, conspiracy, the surreal, creepy stories, low but gently voiced narration, morbid humour, etc.

To end with a positive note on art as well, I have a lot of ideas for things I want to do post-university and I also bought a sticker making machine for my exhibition and also for creating cool stickers to sell online. I’ll be working on a proper online shop soon!

Thank you for reading, always, and if you see this Lise, I will catch up with your blog soon! Unfortunately have been too busy travelling, waiting around and having difficulties with art to have a proper read…

Take care all.

portraits

Hi all again,

It’s been a while… recently I’ve been getting even more extra hours at the supermarket where I work, so I feel like I’m slowly getting behind in my work. I’m not working tomorrow however so I’m going to try and work really hard. Above are a few of the drawings I’ve been doing lately. It’s for part of my shop idea which I mentioned in an earlier post. I think I will screenprint some small portraits of public female figures and make them into collectible ACEO (small sized original art) to be collected.

My exhibition work has morphed again somewhat as I was originally planning to make a supermarket kind of environment. Now I’m just making my own shop environment, including things that I like, so this will involve a lot more of my own personality. Maybe I’ll post my mini write up on here as we have to make a 100 word description of the work for our exhibition catalogue.

As for life related things, apart from working at the supermarket, I’m not sure what else to say. I’m eating too many unhealthy things and I need to change that. I bought some donuts today at work but mainly for the purpose of going to my friend’s till to chat very briefly to her…

Since I feel anxious about the future I’m going to write about things that I am going to do once I have more free time (after my masters degree):

  1. Finish learning to drive and take my driving test
  2. Learn more Japanese grammar

I can’t think of number three yet.

slow days

photo

My sister sent me this picture which I drew in primary school. I apologise that nothing has really come up over the past week and however long that I last posted… I have been steadily working on my exhibition stuff, so I have been producing a lot of mini zines both at work in the supermarket and when at home too. Lots of people have left the town as they’ve finished their degrees and have gone back to their hometowns. Fortunately there are still a handful of us left. Regardless of this I have been feeling lonely almost all the time as well as feeling unsatisfied with my work despite making significant progress.

Making art is supposed to be my passion so when I find myself feeling so restless while drawing I worry. I wonder if once I finish this masters degree the pressure will be removed and I will feel more relaxed. Maybe.

After this point in the post I actually wrote a super personal couple of paragraphs but then I realised it was actually making me feel worse so I’ve deleted those paragraphs. Instead I think I should make a list of short term, achievable goals that I can work towards to distract myself from the terror of the future.

  1. I want to make some cute trading cards and stickers to sell cheaply at my exhibition along with my zines. I like the idea of stuff being affordable for people, as well as having original drawings to sell.
  2. I want to make some fan-art of Adventure Time, various animes, Pokémon and other things to relax.
  3. I want to work more often in a communal space so that I don’t feel so lonely.

Over the next week I’ll try and work on these goals. Unfortunately I’m working nine hours (one hour of which is an unpaid break) on Thursday but apart from that I do not have any other plans during the week. I also hope I can sell some work to save up to maybe get some sort of mini games console because I’d really like to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Although I know this is just a phase I’m going through so we’ll see how I feel in a week!

a sketch from my work shift

Once more, thank you for reading.

postpost exhibition (summer begins)

Dear all,

so the exhibition has taken down. As I said, I did have a leisurely wander around to look more at the work, but I didn’t do the whole photo taking thing… luckily for those who are interested, there are loads of photos of students’ exhibition work on Vera’s blog, here and here. And again there’s some reviews and stuff on Siobhan’s blog too. Thanks for writing such kind and encouraging things about my work, Sivy!

Since my last post I’ve been doing extra hours at the supermarket and have also been feeling quite tired. I didn’t draw for a few days because I didn’t feel so inspired, but I have started drawing again and feel refreshed.

zines

While doing my extra hours at work, I attempted to be semi productive by drawing mini zines from a4  paper which I borrowed. I made one a day… I’m trying to make this a more regular thing as I think that it helps me to manage my mood swings during the shifts. Usually around late afternoon I start to feel bad – probably because it’s the middle of my shift and also I think it’s when I start to get hungry again. So drawing these helps me to stop thinking sad thoughts and focus on drawing, which probably means that I am less gloomy looking for customers. Below is one I did yesterday.

Today while I was at work, I forgot to pick up an a4 sheet of paper, so I found an old envelope under the till which I used to draw.

Now I won’t have work until a small 5 hour shift on Wednesday evening. For Monday and Tuesday, I’m not sure how to occupy myself. Since many people from my course have left university and I don’t have specific lessons to attend, I feel a bit lost. Fortunately there are still some of us left in this town so hopefully I won’t feel lonely. The next thing to do on my list is probably working out what I will do for the September exhibition. As you may know already, I don’t really enjoy planning art projects; I just like to do them and see what happens… but I suppose I will need at least a little bit of a plan, so I don’t drift off into obscurity. At the moment I am looking at the work of Cy Twombly and also rediscovering Jean Michel Basquiat…

I always feel awkward with words when talking about other artists, but I feel like in a way my recent exhibition piece was in a similar vein to Basquiat’s work (probably just because it contained really colloquial text scrawled as part of the image)…

I was about to say “I’m not sure how to end this blog post, so…” but I just remembered to write that at the end of last week I put loads of old work out on a table in the school of art and tried to sell some of it… I expected to make only £5 but made £101.50! So that makes me feel a bit positive about the future, even though it’s not really going to be a regular, consistent business.

photo of shop

Here’s a photo of my work in my shop! It was simple, not flashy at all, just little paper placards denoting the price. I liked having the shop. Artist Claes Oldenburg made his own ‘shop’ in 1961 Manhattan, which was a piece of art in itself… and it’s something I really would like to do. Creating a DIY style artists’ shop – possibly in a collective. Anyway, now I’m probably rambling a little. I’m going to end this now and read some blogs which I’ve not had a chance to read for a while!

Thank you for reading,

Elysia

PS: I forgot to make my to do list here.

  1. work on my Ladyquest zine submission, deadline late July.
  2. enter the Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize (wow, long name), deadline July 31st.
  3. enter the Rabley Drawing Centre’s sketchbook exhibition, deadline June 21st.
  4. maybe enter Jerwood Drawing Prize, deadline 17th June.
  5. Make work to sell in the CCS charity shop (a local thing).
  6. Make a print to enter Hong Kong exhibition, deadline 10th June.
  7. Apply for CAC residency.

post-exhibition

Hi all…

… so I thought I’d just borrow the photos off my instagram (let’s follow each other on instagram!) to show a little of the exhibition pieces I made. I will probably take a day next week to walk around the whole of the exhibition, taking photos, and then talk about some of my friends’ work and also some favourites too from people I don’t know so well.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll probably know that I worked on a project which involved drawing on lots of sheets of paper as well as completing two bigger drawings.

 So here are the two big drawings… I painted the frames white for the exhibition. The week before the exhibition, when I was framing the portrait drawing, I was putting the glass in and it got caught on part of the frame and shattered! That was very frustrating. I had to run to the framing shop in town to buy some more glass for £10 and run back to the school of art carrying the whole frame (heavy for me)… I’m very glad that the people at the framing shop were able to help me so quickly. In the end I was mostly quite happy with the way these pictures turned out, although one of them was mounted slightly to one side! It’s not noticeable to other people unless I point it out, fortunately. If you want, you can find better resolution images in my deviantART gallery.

As for the forty sheets of drawings, my friend helped me nail each sheet to the wall. Here’s some photos of me awkwardly sitting next to my work, hanging in progress, and complete. I thought it would take a LOT longer to put all my work up, but thanks to the help of friends it was all completed in one day.

So altogether for my exhibition I had forty pieces of paper with drawings on, two big framed drawings, and also a plinth with my digitally printed book. I had originally hoped to be able to sell my book at the exhibition, but as it was printed in full colour the production costs meant that it was unlikely to sell very much and also I did not have enough money to pre-order any! But anyway I suppose I am reasonably satisfied with having put up the exhibition. All the exhibitors, both undergraduate and post-graduate, are being assessed this week. Tomorrow I have my assessment at 10am, and several of us need to come in again on Thursday to be assessed by an external examiner.

Oh, I also wanted to share this photograph of a cute puppy who was present at the exhibition opening afternoon – I got to hold him!

 I’m not really sure why there was a puppy at the event but most people were pretty delighted to see this malamute-husky cross.

So, hopefully this week or next week I will be posting again with more photos of the exhibition – of other peoples’ artwork! I hope you all don’t mind my recent slack with posting. I realise that I have only done nine posts altogether since moving my blog over to wordpress. The infrequent posting is due to having been quite stressed out with the exhibition work, as well as working at the supermarket and maintaining a slightly pathetic social life along with that. After these two assessments on Wednesday and Thursday, plus having to print ten more etchings for a print exchange, my main focus over the three summer months will be to prepare for the final exhibition in September. I would like to say that, since we will not have any written assignments, I will be able to post more over summer, but we will see! I will try my best.

I also hope you all don’t mind the flat tone in which I write. I would really like to write with more emotion and flair but I am quite tired at the moment and you probably also know (from my work and writing) that I am prone to feeling bad for little reason at all, so that probably adds to it. Also I get a bit scared about revealing how I am actually feeling sometimes because family read my posts and I don’t want to worry them.

I suppose a good way to end this would be to briefly mention a few interesting and/or nice things that have happened over the past weeks.

  • Two people whom I lived with during the last academic year came to visit and see the exhibition. It was really nice to be reunited with them and I’m so glad that they liked my recent art too.
  • I met some new people while out celebrating the exhibition with my friends. One of them I had met briefly before. My good friend (one who visited) and I talked to this person for perhaps an hour or so and he was funny and we were amazed at how well he was able to talk about academic subjects while he seemed to be super inebriated.
  • My Japanese textbook arrived from white rabbit press in Japan. I’m looking forward to studying from it and I want to improve a whole lot more, because I still feel like a beginner!

I hope I can study lots over the summer and eventually progress to studying at roughly N3 level, a middle level of the Japanese language proficiency test. I don’t think I want to take any of the JLPT levels for a long time but I like to use it as a way for gauging what kind of grammar I should be learning.

I think it’s probably time to go now; I will likely walk home from the school of art after this, cook some food, maybe study, maybe play computer games (skyrim!) and plan for the next two weeks. As for plans for the next exhibition, I have a few but I’m not sure.

So, next time – photos of my friends’ work!

Good bye from Elysia