another little something i made at my ceramics class - a raku vase that i gave to my lovely mama as an early mother’s day gift. full disclosure: i found out that the vase doesn’t hold water well after taking this photo; the clay absorbs it & then it slowly comes out the vase’s base. you live & learn!
i’m pretty pleased to now have this print in my shop. i created this image last autumn (the message “hang out with some plants” can be found on the prints that will be given out by the project) for advice to sink in slowly, & i’ve been planning to create a poster of it as a way of offering a piece of larger art for a small cost ever since. finally, it’s on sale, costing £5/$7.50. if you’ve been looking to fill up some space on your walls with a lady wandering through some plants, then today’s your lucky day.
i’m in the middle of editing some photos i took of my screen-printing process - it’s kind of difficult to be the one doing the printing whilst using the camera! anyway, the above is one of the better images i got. it’s just as well i was only using black ink, as i am the worst at deciding on colours to use; ALL OF THEM is often a bad decision in hindsight.
i’ve been doing a ceramics class since the start of the year & it is so good. as someone who has always found working on things that aren’t two dimensional quite daunting, i’ve wanted to try ceramics for a little while; being able to add & remove clay at will is a reassuring process.
i’ve found that i sometimes spend less time on individual pieces when it comes to drawing - partially due to practice & intention, but at times as a result of impatience. i wanted to approach working with clay with more willingness to deliberate over what i’m doing, to not rushing things & to embrace spending time on a piece (as well as embracing mistakes - i consciously do this with drawing, & things that have obviously been made by hand are the best). perhaps i’ll even transfer this process back to illustration.
anyway, for now, here are a few pieces made with some techniques i’ve learned. it’s been fun to focus on the methods & on learning something, as well as making tangible objects (& a mess at times). i’m excited to see what comes next.
as mentioned a few posts ago, i took part in this year’s fun a day dundee, where participants are encouraged to do something creative every day for the month of january, culminating in an exhibition full of everyone’s work. i opted for drawing a dancing lady as my daily task, throwing a variety of shapes to a song you can’t hear (i like to think it might be this).
i’ve included a selection of my favourites above, but you can see the whole thing here.
a little something i put together for the nice folks over at creative dundee for their next pecha kucha night. i’d been wanting to try something like this visually for a little while, & overlapping plants with pencils growing from the ground ended up being the perfect chance to experiment. after working on a giant mural for the couple of days prior to making this, it was super nice to sit down at my desk, draw tiny plants & take advantage of the “undo” button in photoshop whenever anything didn’t quite work out.
i’d been hoping to sit down & write about this last weekend but the end of january/start of february have been so busy that this is my first “day off” for a few weeks - the main reason being a mural i’ve been working on for the UK restaurant chain zizzi. after submitting roughs at the end of last year, buying up materials & then spending a good few hours transferring those original ideas from paper to the walls of a corridor, it felt good to step back & see everything completed.
the restaurant, found in the building behind GoMA in royal exchange square in glasgow, used to house a bank & telephone exchange; two of the inspirations behind the interior design as well as my wall space. i’ve posted a few little sneaky snaps on instagram, but if you want to see the whole thing you’ll just have to head down there once it opens next weekend.
this post is slightly different for me, as i’ve deviated from writing about things that aren’t work-related over the last couple of years. however, the image above is related to what follows, so there’s a connection to my usual blogging.
christmas 2011 was simultaneously my best & worst christmas (in fact, i think christmas 2012 has trumped it as best as nothing bad happened). alongside all the good stuff on the day, my left ear randomly started ringing later in the evening & it continued to do so as i lay in bed that night. dealing with the unknown when the unknown is something i can’t control is quite the catalyst for my becoming an anxious wreck, so when i woke up on boxing day & the sound in my ear was still there, i began my decent into a week or so of fretting, not eating & basically solely looking forward to going to sleep, which was the only time i didn’t have to listen to the constant noise.
i could go on about the situation (the doctor’s predictively dismissive tone; on how i found comfort in sounds that aren’t usually enjoyable, such as the washing machine, the extractor fan in the bathroom and the humming of my computer at work), but after a while i realised that the best way to deal with the noise was to keep busy & listen to lots of music & podcasts. i’m not sure whether i simply got used to it or if the ringing did actually get quieter, but for the greater part of the year i thankfully didn’t really notice my tinnitus. in fact, it was mostly only audible when i was stressed out about something unrelated, & it usually quietened down again once i’d chilled out. i feel like i’ve been pretty lucky with the whole thing.
so why has it come to the forefront of my thoughts again? well, the last couple of days have seen the sound of the ringing being dialled up & the noise is also now available in surround-sound - joy! alongside the original ringing in my left ear, my right ear is now emitting a variation between two tones that are less likeable than the original (& i didn’t even like the old ringing to begin with). however, the increased ringing has coincided with (what i think is) mild tonsillitis that i’ve had since mid-last-week, & i’m hopeful that the sounds will fade along with my other symptoms.
anyway, since the start of last year i’ve wanted to illustrate my tinnitus somehow, but i’ve not been sure of how to approach it without just doing a drawing of me feeling sorry for myself. then, earlier today, i listened to the latest episode of this american life, entitled mapping, that had a story about mapping ambient sounds (the kind of sounds that i originally found some solace in when my ear started ringing). you can listen to the segment here.
throughout the piece, a keyboard is used to demonstrate the notes that are emitted from objects. & i realised that the noise in my head sounds a bit like a little keyboard, constantly playing the same note. & so, the above image formed.
the concept of the story - that sounds can affect the mood of a person - is a little disturbing to someone who has no control over the noise they’re subjected to. however, i’m focussing on enjoying the piece as an interesting story, rather than something to worry about. plus, i got a drawing out of it, so it’s not all bad.