How have you been?

Hello everyone.

I wanted to know how you have all been?

And, I’ll share with you what I have been doing! Mostly, I have been making a huge complicated mess of things! I’ve often tried having a blog dedicated to a single thing; like art or book reviews or wargaming (never video gaming though) and while I’ve been able to keep at it for a month or so, I never seem to be able to hack longer than that before I flip-change and want to write about something else.

It’s a mistake I keep making with the end and inevitable result being I come crawling back here with regret all over my face.

Which is what I am doing again now.

I’m facing it with that same resolve as ever though; I’ll just stick to things over here from now on. I honestly just need to repeat a mantra that I am a person of different levels and interests and trying to compartmentalise my life and thoughts is exhausting and far, far too time consuming.

So, if you’ll forgive the mess that I keep making, I’ll carry on here and pretend nothing happened and just blog everything under one roof because there is to much to my life and thoughts that just a single aspect.


Jenn

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Thoughts

The nice weather has got me thinking that I should be outside painting and enjoying the sun – but whenever I think about doing anything remotely art related I just think of all the canvas’ I’ve already got finished upstairs and how they’re gathering dust because I have absolutely no business knowledge or any ideas what to do with them.

The truth is, I enjoy painting, I enjoy doodle artwork, I enjoy furry fandom artwork and I enjoy writing. I don’t have the ability to focus on just one thing and stick with it for any real length of time without facing burnout and ending up unable to do any of these things for a length of time.

I think burnout is fine (or as fine as it can be) when you’re an established artist (or writer, or blogger or any other thing that can be established) But when you face it after a short length of time and you’re a noboby facing eviction from nowhere land, then it impacts you more. It hurts and damages you, knocks your confidence maybe?

Imagine, you’re just trying to get off the ground with a new venture. You put everything into it and then whollop, you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and just can’t seem to do anything anymore. It’s especially difficult when there is little to encourage you to keep going. Sure, you’ve got your cheerleaders behind you; your friends and family, that’ll support you, but other than that, reaching out feels like it’s next to impossible.

I’d love to have an art career, I’d love to be able to tell people that as well as a full-time Mum I am an artist, because right now I honstly just feel like a failure. I’ve no income and completely relying on my Husband for everything and despite is having the talk of ‘Thats what we agreed on’ I sometimes feel like it isn’t fair on him to provide for us on his own.

But… as with everything, it seems like art and selling is more of a popularity contest than anything else. You get popular on sites like Society6, more people see your work, you sell more. Your not popular. You’ve had it! You’re popular among the Furry Art Community, you get support and commissioned (Seemingly regardless of artistic merit) You don’t have the right friends, you’ve had it! To the point where I joked with someone that you need an ‘Art Sugar Daddy’

I know, I know, it’s mostly my own fault because I have asolutely no sticking power or dedication to keep something going. I don’t know why but I shoot myself in my own foot because as soon as I am ‘getting somewhere’ and talk to people I completely clam up and run for the hills as though getting close to people is a problem – which it really is, but thats a story for another time.

Thank you modern society values

I feel the need to rant, and I’m sorry if what I am going to rant about doesn’t resonate with you, but I feel like I need to get this off my chest.

I just want to say the biggest fuck you I can to those out there that think as a full-time Mum, I sit on my ass all day and do nothing! Being a Mum isn’t all luxury hot chocolates in cafes with other Mummy friends or lazing at home in PJs watching crappy day time television with the kiddo. Sure, it’s not the mega stress that I am sure a lot of women will lead you to believe either, but it’s still damned hard work and tricky as anything to get right. Or even feel like you’re getting right. Mostly it’s being tired the second your child is asleep, looking over at your partner wondering if you really know them anymore because you can’t remember the last time you did anything with them, just the two of you. But it’s a decent, wonderful thing to do which you only get validation for when you look at your child’s face when they’re finally asleep and down for the night.

And of course, everyone in the wider world has an opinion on both parenthood and the way that you are doing your parenting specifically. Judgement is rife! Honestly, people who work a ‘normal’ job will be resentful because you get to stay at home all day and do nothing without knowing how hard it can be unless they’ve been there themselves. 

But most of all, I just want to say the biggest up yours to those that make full time Mums feel like being a full time Mum isn’t good enough. Feminists that belittle women that choose to stay at home rather than pursue a career; believing them to be doing women a great disservice because they chose to bring up their children themselves. Heaven forbid a woman that wants to be a Mother rather than carry the flag of activism against a patriarchal society!

I once had a friend that believed everything wrong with the world was the fault of people that chose to have children. I didn’t understand this logic, but never questioned it until I had a child of my own – then I just labelled them as strange and moved on. If their parents didn’t have a child then he wouldn’t exist, if everyone followed that mentality then there would be precious few of us left in the world! 

It’s an odd and ugly world out there right now, people you don’t know pass glances at you for the choices you make and way to do everything in their power to say that their way is the right and only way to do things. This really isn’t the case. Sorry I don’t share the sentiment of most feminists, I love being an active part in my sons childhood. If that’s not the choice that you’ve made as a woman or as a fellow parents then that is comepletely your choice – but don’t make me feel like utter shit because it’s not ‘good enough’ in your little heads. 

Victory Not Vengeance

dsc02487For Christmas this year, I was very lucky to have been brought two tickets to go and see a group I love very much. VNV Nation. They are a group that I have treasured for many years and for some personal reasons too. So, my sister and I trogged off to go and see them at Manchesters Student Union Bar for one of the most personal and heart warming gigs I have ever been too (Not that I have been to many gigs, but hey-ho)

The venue was rather small, which actually really helped the gig feel a lot more personal. We had a good place at the back of the venue where we could still see everything and let the music flow – neither of us are the type to want to be barged about at a gig, it’s all about the music. What really struck me was how sincere the ‘Thank you,’ sounded at the end of a song, and the personal compliments to the crowd. They all sounded absolutely genuine, not a hollow, arrogant sort of ‘Thanks’ that I seem to remember from other concerts.

I am used to gigs having support bands playing first. Here, there was no such thing. It was all VNV Nation all the way! From start, right up to kick-out time. It was absolutely amazing, the energy was just sublime, from both VNV and the crowd – I think I only stopped bouncing to run to the ladies room.

There was a real sense of belonging, a connection to other people at the gig, even though we were a little removed from the main assembly. And I admit, it brought a tear to my eye when I heard Illusion being sung. And they played all the ‘favourites’ as well. Which was wonderful to hear. Beloved. Homeward. Chrome. Electronaught. All the ones that I had doubts about them doing (Because they might be a bit old) So I was just stoked.

It was a humbling experience and I am so pleased to have been able to be a part of such a small gig. I apologise for my ‘crappy’ photos, but I was there to experience the music and atmosphere not stand behind my camera – which brings me to another wonderful point. VNV have no qualms about being photographed or filmed, as long as you don’t use a flash or get in someone else way. Both points are backed up regularly by Ronan (The singer) who sees it as his job to get you to enjoy the show, rather than feel stuck behind a screen. Another humbling aspect in my opinion.

What more can I say, other than thank you VNV Nation for shining your light on me.

dsc02488

10 songs I am into right now

Okay, tricky list right now. I’m not really up-to-date and ‘hip’ when it comes to music. I have songs I’ve been listening to death for the past 7 years and still into! But here we go!

Lacuna Coil – Losing my Religion
Disturbed – Sound of Silence
Vitas – The Star
VNV Nation – Homeward
Lady Gaga – Electric Chapel
Hozier – Take me to Church
Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Silent Hill Soundtrack – You’re not here
James Blunt – Tears and Rain
Take That – Kidz

My tastes in music are pretty varied and I have added some links to youtube videos incase you’d like to check them out.

I just noticed there wasn’t any P!nk on this list, which makes me feel somewhat sad.

Plenty of religious references though. Hurrah!

5 ways to win my heart

Seeing as we’ve just seen the back of Valentines day and all the chocolates are now on special offer in stores, I thought this would be a good subject to to post about.

Another list from my writing prompt, but they seem to be a good thing to write so, here we go.

Flowers – You know, this is something that I think most women would like to be brought by their partners. I’m not a girl of expensive tastes and I don’t want to b brought tacky bunches of 24 red roses or anything lavish as that. A £1 bunch of daffodils are actually my favourites and I think it’s that fact being remembered that means more to me than the flowers themselves. Come at me with a big bunch and while I will still appreciate it, it won’t be the same as those daffs.

Fudge bars – Much like the above really, they’re my favourite little treat and they’re only 25p. Don’t bother with the massive box of chocolates that’ll only make me get fat, just get one of these for me every now and again and we’re good!

Drawings – I love it when people draw for me. Absolutely love it. I don’t care if you don’t think you can draw or if you’re the next Picasso! It means the world to me that you took your precious time to think of me and draw something. Time is the only thing in the world that we can’t get back, spending it on me to create something it just amazing and rather overwhelming.

Coffee and conversation – Actually, it’ll be more like a cup of tea and conversation, but how many people go to a Costas with the intention of buying a tea? Anyway, I don’t mean the fleeting conversation of ‘Hi, how are you?’ I’m not that great with small talk, I mean, lets go somewhere and have a deep and meaningful conversation. Or talk about drama or the things that are lighting up your soul right now! Speak to me about your passions and what you’re creating! Tell me all your silly little ideas for stories and I’ll tell you mine and we can tell one another that they aren’t actually silly and we can collaborate and make magic things happen! Honestly, I would love to do this more in my life.

Space – I can’t stress how mega important this one is! Give me time and space to be myself and do my own thing. I love the company of other people, don’t get me wrong, but I take a lot of time to recover from being around people as well. I need time to work on the various things that I have running over and over in my head. If I am tucked away somewhere working on something, the very best thing you can do is bring me a brew and leave me too it!

A little break

I just wanted to take a bit of a break from my writing challenge today – mostly because it’ll be a difficult one to write about – but I still wanted to post an update for the blog to attempt to keep things going here.

So I thought I would post a couple of sketches that I’ve managed to do this week.

They’re both out of my comfort zone really, the bust being a World of Warcraft character that I’ve been developing. I’ve not actually played any Warcraft since Cataclysm, but I always enjoyed the characters. She is a draenei/nightelf hybrid. And writing this blog post, I really should reply to the roleplay thread that I’ve got going on with her!

The other picture is for a friend of their UFC rabbit Kekoa and she was a fine fit for drawing a more dynamic pose.

I’m also going to leave my Patreon link here, it’s also at the top of my page. The whole idea of updating this place more often is to help me streamline where I post things online. I am mostly trying to cut down on procrastination time by cutting out some of the places I visit. Although I don’t want to make my art anything exclusive and only post it to Patreon, it would be nice to have a bit of support to say, ‘You’re doing good.’
So, I’ll be updating here, twitter, Patreon (obviously) and facebook – with the occasional art trade going into my dA gallery or sta.sh.
I honestly don’t know about leaving dA because quite honestly, it’s been a part of my life for 14 years (I think) and I’ve visited most days since then. I just don’t know if I have it in me to leave it behind just yet? It’s something to consider. I really need to have a long, deep think about some of the things I want in life and see if they marry up with the things that I can actually do.