How To Draw: 5 Tips For Creative Success

The pencil bug bit me again recently and I am really enthused about making pencil drawings at the moment. They are so soft and gentle and scribbly and I love the texture of pencil lines. They feel delicate and rough at the same time, and I guess I like all those sorts of combinations. Since it felt so nice and refreshing drawing with a pencil again, I wanted to put together a little mini guide for drawing. Let's go!

1. Chill Out

The super important first thing is to take a step back from your drawing ambitions and start to enjoy the shapes and textures and the whole process of mark-making. If you are able to enjoy the process itself, it will be harder to give up or get frustrated.

2. Copy Things

If you see stuff you like, copy it, copy it, and copy it again. Just make sure you don't post copied stuff online, and try to keep track of who and what you're copying. This is the best way of understanding how the shapes you like are made. Do it enough, and it will start to evolve into something all your own. Whether it's the way Tove Jansson draws buns, or the shape of Harry Styles' hair, copy it (as much as you can).

3. Study Anatomy

You'll also need to copy real bodies. No matter what you're drawing, it will almost certainly be helped by anatomy practice. This is not something something you will ever be perfect at, and it's something that can take a long time to get better at, but it is always going to help you a lot to keep going at it.

4. Try New Things

The main thing I took from formal art education (other than a great love of the phrase 'action stations' - liberally used by my A Level art teacher to cajole us into working) was that experimentation really helps you to grow creatively. The more things you try, the more things you might find you love. Drawing with bamboo sticks and credit cards was quite fun for me.

Here is a mini list of things you can try:
potato printing, food colouring, photography with an old phone, painting with your nose, collaging with hair, cutting up photos and sticking them back together, water and ink, limited colour palettes, challenges, using tiny or huge canvases

5. Be You

A lot of us have this idea in our heads about what art should be, or what worthwhile creativity looks like. If you're a blogger, you've probably come across these ideas in relation to blogging with industries and individuals confused about where to place us in the wider media field, and sometimes treating us like faddish hobbyists - even those of us who blog full time and attract impressive sponsorships.

If your art doesn't have a meaning to you, or it doesn't look impressively realistic, or it drips and bleeds unexpectedly, don't worry too much. Ultimately, art is about you and your expression. You might need to change your ideas about art and creativity to be happy with yourself as a creative.

Outfit: Cosy Moth

This is a pretty lazy outfit, but lazy outfits are some of the best. They carry within them the essence of my cosiness. Does that make sense at all? I've just reminded myself of the essence of wetness bit from Zoolander. Nice.

The amazing moth brooch was a Christmas present a couple of years ago, and I love how big and bright and ostentatious it is. And of course, I love that it's a moth. I wouldn't be mothcub if I didn't love moths!

I'm wearing a huge, thick lumberjack style shirt given to me by my mum, and a similarly huge t-shirt which I originally gave to Elliot as a present (it's from H&M's men's section). He did wear it for a while, but it was decided it was just too snug a fit, so I adopted it for my own use. It's a really good pyjama top and the material is really very soft and pleasant. I also love the gentle shade of blue and the fact that it's marled. It's one of the most pleasant tops to wear when I want to feel very relaxed. I tend to tuck big t-shirts into something like this simple tube skirt to avoid being drowned in fabric.

This sock length is probably my favourite sock length of all time. I love simple, patterned socks like this. These floral socks are from H&M and the plimsolls are from New Look.

I don't wear rings often because I find they interfere too much with everything, catching on clothes and so on, but sometimes they're fun. The tiny gold ring I made myself with brass wire, and I got the heart ring at a Rookie meet up.

My shirt is quite versatile due to its thickness and can be layered in colder months or act as a sort of lightweight jacket when it's warmer. It's another great oversized item and it makes me feel so cosy.

Lastly, these burgundy velvet plimsolls are a really simple, cute, and comfortable shoe. The velvet detail is really nice and makes them feel special.

Diary: Basically, I Am Garfield

It's "that time of the month" so today I feel like the most lethargic little jelly bean of all time and need at least twenty chocolate oranges hourly, such is the nature of the beast (the beast is my slightly dipped serotonin levels or whatever it is that makes me want to cry when I drop a spoon). I think you should definitely be given a free log cabin with a delightful fire and a jug of Pimms and the softest blankets known to humankind when you are menstruating. It's only fair.

The sun has been reminding us of its existence recently, which is nice. Hello again, sun. I have been trying to be super duper organised and work on art experimentation and writing and so on, but I have been somewhat distracted by lasagne (thanks to my boyfriend who I will henceforth refer to as Mr Lasagne). I have also been enjoying the delights of Ed Sheeran and Smirnoff Ice, as you will discover if you watch the video at the bottom of this post. I hope your week has been a pleasant one, and that you too were momentarily mesmerised by lasagne (or some other delight).

Who I Am

I haven't done a webcam post in a while! It always seems to be a long stretch between them. I like that though, it feels like a catch up for me.

Things happen and change a lot and I'm into self-reflecting on a tremendous level, so it's no surprise or great deviation that this year and I guess the events of the past year have had their own magical and unique effect on things. I am deciding again to grow my hair, I think (I don't like to be too definitive about it because I never know when I might change my mind), I should be leaving university, I'm blogging at a pretty consistent and prolific rate that feels comfortable, I'm experimenting and progressing with YouTube. I am doing okay and I am proud of myself and who I am right now. 

As far as looks and textural feelings/responses, I am pretty much a squishy little flower all ready to bathe in tiny drops of sunlight. I feel very light and fresh. I have had some delicious apple and mango juice and am thinking about my thin, baby blue cardigan. I wore it once as a skirt when my leggings started to feel restrictive. Versatile clothing is the best, and especially so when it is very light and portable.

I am taking a lot of comfort in the progress I've made in the past 6 months to a year, and whilst I'm scared about leaving uni, I have plans (both short term and long) and am really trying to concentrate on encouraging myself, because I deserve to feel confident and happy, always!

Spring & New Life

Here are some thoughts. A bit of a stream of consciousness amongst some recent photos. I'm feeling quite tranquil at the moment. Happy to just sit and be here.

The sun's creeping back into our lives like a sheepish old friend. The light is dancing on the walls, saying hello like a party. I am trying out old-new things. Wearing lighter clothes, remembering this time last year when I wore plaits in my hair and trying again, but this time a little better at it. A year ago I cut my hair short. Now it's almost back where it was - tougher and bigger than I ever remember.

Stippled walls are nice. I'm imagining if I had my own walls in this context. Texture is rich everywhere.

This dog is one of the friendliest creatures around me right now. People can learn a lot from dogs.

No matter what I wear or what I do with my hair, my face is the same, and my skin feels the same. Soft and flexible and covered in peach fuzz. Peach fuzz is a life philosophy. Push your earlobe around when you feel confused about your body.

The pigeons look beautiful in grey skies and dusty sheds. I like that I get to watch them living their lives, going about their pigeon days. I guess we all wonder what it's like to fly. I'm a little scared of heights, so I'm not too curious. They're always there, around me like everyone else is. Being around animals feels very different to being around humans, though. Sometimes I feel like I can understand animals and their priorities a bit more. In any case it's nice to be around them. They make me reflect on things in different ways.

I spent some time sitting in the kitchen, wearing a big, fluffy dressing gown and looking at the plants and everything through the window. Stuff just keeps being there. I guess that's like me. Whatever happens this year and every year, I'll just keep being there.

Outfit: Joy Division Tee & Bat Leggings

I wore this outfit to go hang out with my friend and eat sandwiches with her and scare her cat. Big t-shirt and tiny leggings are a staple combo for me because it's really lazy and easy but the relationship between loose and tights clothing kinda makes it feel put together. The Joy Division t-shirt (from my relatives' record shop) is a big favourite because I'm very fond of the band, but also because it's quite a heavy duty t-shirt so it kinda feels comforting. I've worn it to bed a lot so I've probably conditioned myself to associate it with sleeping.

The bat leggings are such a cute and simple print. They were in Tesco's kid's section around Halloween time, so I'm glad I'm lucky enough to be able to wear clothes made for 12 year olds. I love bats.

A Penny For Your Thoughts: 50 Thoughts

I want someone to donate a single penny to me. This is a weird blog post. Please bear with me. You know how people with fundraisers always say "if you all donated a penny it would make a big difference" or "every penny counts" or something like that? Well it is a very specific and pointless ambition of mine to receive a donation of 1 pence through Paypal. Don't ask me why. Well actually, do ask me why, that's what this blog post is about.

I think it's something to do with the image of someone, at their computer, chuckling to themself because they're about to transfer someone the actual tiniest amount of money possible. And then the other person on the other end of this exchange being all "lol got meself a penny". It's amusing in the perfect tiny way.

To incentivise the realisation of this weird dream (and possibly also to satirise the convention of artists & creatives providing free labour/content), I am now going to write a list of 50 thoughts (compiled across whatever length of time it took me to have them). That way you can consider yourself paying me a penny for my thoughts.

So if you would like to be a part of that, here is a button. If you feel like it, you can 'buy' my thoughts for a penny.

50 Thoughts:
  1. why do my thumbnails break so far down at the sides when all my other nails are fine and not so rude?
  2. why am I so hot and need to drink an entire lake right now?
  3. still can't believe I'm not in One Direction
  4. what if I could get paid for lying down and singing Backstreet Boys songs?
  5. I love dogs
  6. Top Gear would be best if it was presented by me and two clones of me
  7. smells are so cool, I love smells in general (not bad ones obviously)
  8. I want to steal all my bf's mum's cardigans
  9. Jedward seem like they would be fun to hang out with and give you a lot of compliments
  10. why are my feet always cold?
  11. how am I not a pop star?
  12. I wish I could live in the Sylvanian Families world
  13. I could probably eat pizza every day
  14. having freshly cleaned teeth feels really good (I wish they felt like that all the time)
  15. wow everyone is 2 cute for this world
  16. I want an excitable girl gang to dance to One Direction with, but I also want to be alone with myself and herbal tea forever
  17. Emma Blackery rhymes with strawberry daquiri - I wonder if she likes those
  18. imagine if you could buy individual Tic Tacs
  19. if I made my own feature film it would be about robot cats who have to save the world with sarcasm
  20. literally let me join One Direction and I will convince them a Steps cover album is the next step
  21. I want cookies with chocolate orange chunks in them
  22. WHO wants to purchase this scribbly cat drawing from me for £1000?
  23. I've just eaten but I think my stomach wants me to eat again
  24. maybe I should just exhibit a massive painting of Mary Berry tasting a cake for my degree show
  25. I wish it was okay to wear tights as trousers because they are so comfy on their own
  26. place one hundred thousand flowers in my hair and take a photo
  27. star jumps are very cool
  28. I think dark circles are really very pretty
  29. how do I become a professional bed tester?
  30. I quite fancy a Munchies Easter egg
  31. I want to be the new doctor in Doctor Who and my companion can be Avril Lavigne
  32. for some reason I am having a craving for those pizza baguette things they had at school
  33. I wonder what Pokémon I would be if I was a Pokémon
  34. I wonder what Pokémon Harry Styles would be if he was a Pokémon
  35. Phil Mitchell memes are my favourite memes
  36. please give me every lipstick
  37. new trend: wearing lavender all over your body instead of clothes
  38. love the soothing sound of a road drill to lull me to sleep... beautiful
  39. I might just listen to some Papa Roach, a nice bit of teen memories
  40. why did Cascada never release a Black Sabbath cover album?
  41. if tea was a person we'd definitely be best friends, until I drank that person
  42. I think I'm pretty cute when I wake up and look like I've slept in a bush
  43. some day I must command a gang of crows
  44. I'm the queen of egg sandwiches
  45. pointing is really fun, I just love pointing at things
  46. cats are truly amazing
  47. I wonder what type of cake best suits my personality
  48. if Coronation Street ever ends they should have Sephiroth burn the street down and look menacingly into the camera, backlit by the flames
  49. me, Ed Sheeran, and two pigeons should form a band
  50. UFO really means Ultra Fancy Otter