Chasing Chaos

I was thinking about LIFE (my favourite topic to obsessively think about all the time until I am gently sobbing into a tub of ice cream) and um, wow, that thing sure is hard to steer. It's so weird to me how my life is so up to the universe to control instead of up to me, in so many ways. I mean, okay, my choices and actions have repercussions, I get it, but you know that whole butterfly effect theory? A butterfly flaps its wings and that slight, small action can be a catalyst for a down-the-line tornado? That's life. Life is chaos. The butterflies are flapping me away from things, and towards things, and so on (can I blame a butterfly for that time I had a tooth chipped by a clumsy orthodontist? PROBABLY).

Here are some of the things I like to focus on in my life: my cuddly little lamb and messy journal.

I know this is a thing that we all have to deal with and let go of, but I suspect there will always be a part of me that wants to be 100% perfect, with a Golden Globe for just being me, and hair that never tangles or looks out of place in any way ever.

A cute drawing of me arguing with life (life is a bunny in this scenario).

I guess the way I deal with this "chaos angst" is to focus on stuff that I can do and be and embody right now as best I can. Like painting cute things and writing stream of consciousness ideas and thoughts and making some pasta. Those are all worthy endeavours. It's also so great and nice to learn things (how to say ride things in Norwegian, dinosaur trivia, how to make pesto) and push yourself to be a better person, a more knowledgeable person, or a person wearing a nicer outfit. Even if I kinda hate that I had to make mistakes and be my previous not-as-good self, it's a comfort to see improvement and to know that I can install all this new stuff in my brain.

Me hiding from life behind the lamb.

I just want to be THE BEST - but that's a road that never ends.

Journal: Chaos & Stick Figures

Here are lots of super colourful journal pages! I really enjoyed making these because it was all a very scribbly and rough and big process - of squashing paint together between pieces of paper, and sweeping arcs of the wrist with the chunkiest felt tips I own. It was fun.

I love mixing all the different types of textures together the most. All are me. Soft and smooth, scribbled and blunt, watery and slight. I love the way they come together.

I also love drawing stick figures lately. I'm not sure why I started drawing them so often, but I'm so fond of them as a fundamental of drawing. I must've heard so many people being bashful after drawing stick figures, but I love them so much. They have so much potential for characterisation and they're such a recognisable basic. I think we should take time to appreciate them.

I like to think that my stick figures exist in this fantastical domain of messy paint and scribbly lines. Their beautiful kingdom.

Another thing I really like is the aesthetic of lines and pictures blurred from water spilled on a page, or the moisture of wet paint seeping through from somewhere else. I like that particular look of dreamy decay. Water can be a pretty good art material itself!

Most of all I guess I like artistic chaos. I like a kind of organised destruction.

I love this journal. There's something about it, maybe it's the way the pages make that crinkly sound or something. As soon as I'm done with one page I want to fill the next one.

Tranquil Afternoons

It's clear by now that my main interests are wearing pyjamas and feeding birds. Preferably both at once (that's when I'm in my ultimate form). The air itself seems to have its own kind of domesticity when I go outside for a walk, or for some fresh air, or to see the crows fly back and forth between TV aerials. I always think I could live in all sorts of different places because I don't feel super attached to any one specific area or building or life, even. Maybe part of that is to do with living in London and experiencing how different all the boroughs and streets and pockets of life are, but I'm sure a lot of it is to do with feeling more connected to the external surroundings and the constant familiarity of the immediate outdoors.

There are always birds and branches. There are always clouds and skies and rain and sun. The air feels nice.  All that stuff feels most like home to me.

That's why I love going for walks, because it feels like coming home. It feels like being my most lucid self. In those moments I know myself in my simplest terms. Amongst the trees and local creatures (because I'm a local creature too).

I guess I also have a familiar feeling in familiar spaces, so that's what's echoed in all these different outsides - the pleasant domesticity of feeling like I belong amongst all the pigeons and semi-detached houses with red and brown roof tiles, and the bushes and mud and pavements, and the corner shops selling Space Raiders and lots of variations on Kinder eggs.

Outside we can all be animals, tracing our fingertips along lines in bark. Inside we can be curatorial. Building birds' nests of hot water and light coming through blinds and casting stripy shadows. Both belong to each other, but everything is formed of outside. Everything is a small part of the world.

Socialising with non-human animals always feels magical. Like when I when I would crawl into the spinney at my middle school and sit with the damp piece of wood that all the wood lice lived in. I loved watching them and just being with them and smelling the woody, leafy smells in there. I honestly felt a kinship with them and I wanted to stay in there all the time and become one with the insects instead of doing times tables.

Since I never really discussed that feeling of being in awe of all these tiny sensory elements of nature as a kid, it was as if it was a secret magic all my own. I would watch ants crawl up trees by the school fence and feel so delighted and gently impressed, and I would feel as if I had been offered a secret gift by nature, alone in a loud playground full of shouting and running, singularly separated to share my consciousness with the trees and the ants.

Those feelings have never gone away, and I have cherished them all this time as the best thing about living. If you ever meet me at a party, please don't be alarmed if I start crying because of a leaf or something. That's just me. I'm enjoying it.

Go watch some ants, breathe some fresh air, trace lines in the ground with your toes, run though the forest as if you're five years old, make mud pies and draw pictures, organise your kitchen, hang up a painting of a vegetable, look at a flower, make yourself a drink.

I'm gonna go drink a lot water and curl up under a blanket.

Tiny Troll

Here's a troll. I got him for 20p from one of those tiny mechanical vending machines you find outside shops. He's possibly the most beautiful creature that has ever existed.

This guy has given me some strong advice (as well as ceaseless fashion inspiration), and I'd like to express my immense respect for trollkind by passing some of it on. So without further ado, here is the best advice I have received from Mr. Troll:

  • Clothes? Unnecessary.
  • Show everyone your bellybutton and ask them to speak into it when they address you.
  • Shave your head and put candy floss there instead. Much nicer (and more delicious).
  • Try storing gems in your bellybutton.
  • If your hair comes off, just glue it back on.

Pretty great tips here, I'm sure you'll agree. Personally, I feel much more powerful and cool when I have a piece of amethyst in my bellybutton.

Full Of Heart

Paper props are pretty much my favourites for scans. I mean, it helps that they're flat, so they don't go all blurry at the edges, but it's also nice to add a simple cartoon element or some cute paper thing. It just gives my face a bit more personality to surround it with paper hearts.

This reminds me of that one Photobooth setting where hearts float around above your head. A nice analogue webcam effect for my scanner. It just goes to show that sometimes the simplest artistic or visual concepts are the most fun and cute.

Lots of love,


Diary: Spinach Dreams

Hi sunny pals! Here is my diary, this time mostly revolving around walnut cake (because Waitrose walnut cake is amazing). Please send me at least a thousand walnut cakes. I've also been watching a lot of anime lately and my new favourite is Toradora!

I've been eating a lot of pesto and spinach and I love them both a lot. Basically, I love eating leaves, and also cheese. I'm currently illustrating a thing for a future issue of Doll Hospital which I'm super excited about, and trying to use some of my more neglected art materials.

It's still pretty sunny a lot of the time right now and it makes me want to go camping or swimming, but it makes me want to sit inside and make a fort at the same time, so I guess I'm happy whatever. As long as I have spinach.

Scrapbook Of Treasures

I'm using up some paint lately in these blobs that I put together and press. I like the way they seep into each other and outwards. Glittery galaxies on paper.

I decided to dedicate my little red moleskine journal to a particular idea and vibe - one of encouragement and treasure. I decided to make it a scrapbook of tiny happinesses. So I can look inside and find the best things in there. I'm treating it as a precious object from now on, but I like that it started out as a normal journal. It gives it some pre-existing character that I think adds to this scrapbook concept.

I'm thinking of all the fun and cheery and inspiring things I can put in there. Promises and mood boards and pictures that I keep just for myself. Notes and pieces of glitter. Landscapes and dreams. Maybe I'll put some of these blobs in there too. A symbol of endlessly expanding colour.

It's going to be filled with all the most precious imagery and stuff that makes me feel most alive and capable. I might dedicate pages to my favourite musicians, or make monthly mood boards of good things, or tape in receipts for raspberries. Stuff like that.