Life updates and all that fun stuff.

The move into out beautiful new home went really well.

More or less as soon as the removals company got everything onto the lorry, we got the call saying that everything had completed on the solicitors end and we could pick up the keys for the new house.

All the boxes have been moved in and we’re currently going through the long process of finding a home for all our possessions – a much longer task than I had first figured; but seeing as my husband has taken the laddo swimming, I thought I would steal away a precious few minutes for myself rather than stare blankly at another box wondering where I could put it’s contents.

Already, I am feeling much more vibrant and ‘alive’ and I think it’s thanks to the fact that I can sit somewhere with natural light and where I can hear birds singing in the garden.

I feel really lucky that we managed to get this place – and we’ve already got some wonderful plans in mind for the garden as well as the house itself.

I’ll take some pictures and add them to the post tomorrow; really I’d like to share some ‘Before and after’ pictures of the house as we ‘do-it-up’ and make it ours.

While I was offline, I thought about the future of the blog – and how it has changed since it’s first conception all those years ago. Less and less is it about my Fangirling and the characters I love and adore. we’ve moved onto artwork now and how this place has become a hub for sharing my own art as well as that of others – which is something I would like to continue doing; but I’d also like to get a bit of focus on just the ‘daily life’ things that I’d just… like to share and write about. Like the house, how my garden is growing and my little family too; I’ll have to think about how to format it and have another little ‘play’ with things over here over the coming weeks and months.

Advertisements

A relapse.

I’ve had a bit of an internet relapse lately. I thought if I reintroduced myself to websites slowly, that things would be okay.

But, in actual fact, I don’t think they are. Spending too much time on them again. This time, I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve been enjoying the drawing prompts and getting ideas off other people, but I don’t feel like I am in control of the ‘moderation’ aspect of my internet use anymore.

Is it time to step away again already and just come back to this place? I feel like an alcoholic going back to the bottle. I enjoy it while I am doing it, but am filled with regret for it afterwards.

Either way, I feel like I am being controlled by things online again, so I’m going to try and just do some drawings – start on the next Primarch in the series, maybe just do a few small critter doodles and get on with life away from this-here-internet again.

Some self reflection

I took a step back from the internet – I’ve always had some sort of presence on social media – when my Husband finished work for the Christmas break on the 15th of December. I was using some websites pretty avidly in the month or so before this date and honestly, I was feeling like it was taking over my life (again)

The break has been welcome and now I am looking over my actions with hindsight I can see how badly I was using the internet and social media; I was in the grips of addiction. The decision to take a step back was both welcome and eye-opening.

I took a quick peep on my dA account while I was writing this post; as that’s the place that I have been most active and it’s all doom and gloom. People threatening to kill themselves over (honestly) the dumbest stuff ever and all I want to do is scream at them to get a grip! I think, in part, it’s because that now I am a bit older I don’t really feel like I fit in with the younger people on there these days. Where issues like, Apu from the Simpsons suddenly being outed as a racist character, seem to be more relevant and important to discuss than third world poverty. Or where the ability to pick and choose ones gender on a whim seems more un/acceptable than the so-called rape culture we live in. I am generalising for emphasis here; but these are the things that I was encountering daily on the wider internet. And also being labelled a stalker for reading the pages of another persons blog  – surely, that is what a blog is for? Reading?

Needless to say, it all just became too much and the decision to leave it all behind was a welcome one.

But, what am I thinking of now that I am in the midst of this break? I’ve used the internet to define a large part of who I am for a very long time. Websites, like DeviantArt have been the platform for my voice and my art for the past 14 years – longer than some of it’s users have been alive – so I have been left to do a serious amount of thinking. If I leave these social media sites behind me I know I will overall be happier and leave a more fulfilling life and I won’t be carrying around this addiction anymore. Yet, I would cut off some people I have known for a very long time, people I see as good friends and some of the only social interaction I get sometimes. I know I’d hear a lot less from some important people in my life – to the point where I doubt I would hear from them at all.

Do I stay in a place that ultimately isn’t good for me, but gives me a platform to express my creativity and gives me contact with people. Or, do I use the internet and the social platforms I have to keep in touch with people and express my creativity at the expense of my mental health?

I can see pros and cons for either side of the argument and I am thankful that I have enough time to ponder the conundrum for a while longer before the husband returns to work and I am left more or less alone with these thoughts.

I am thinking that there must be a healthy medium somewhere, but considering how the internet feels like an addiction surely using just one website (including my blog) is like an alcoholic or drug addict saying ‘One won’t hurt?’

Dear Future Jenn

Dear Future Jenn,

I know you’ll look back in a few years time and think ‘What the Hell was I thinking?’ You’ll be feeling guilty that you spent your spare time drawing, and it’ll probably be the only thing that you’ll really remember from this period in your life.

But, try to push that strange, guilty feeling of ‘I didn’t do enough,’ aside and try and remember a few other points.

Like, most of the time it feels like you’re in this alone. Sure, you’re married and have a loving, caring husband – but during the day it’s just you. Doing everything. On your own. There wasn’t anyone you can impose upon a ten minute walk away to get things off your mind, or hand Marcus over to play with for a while so you can clear your thoughts – it was just you and the house and the dog and Marcus.

Also, remember you went to baby groups three or four times a week to play with different toys and so that Marcus could interact with children his own age and start being a social little Mr. And, because of the choices you made, you got to be a part of that and enjoy that time with him. Not everyone gets to witness their child growing up and to personally take them to such places – this was a good thing for the both of you and don’t worry too much that you didn’t get close to any other Mums, you were there for your son during his formative years.

Remember that you tried to make the most of the time you had together; remember the trials and the anger and the guilt, but remember more that you did your best. Yes, you did a lot of drawing during this time, but that was a sort of therapy to you. You drew because it helped you to forget that you felt lonely and isolated – drawing for people online made you feel like there were people that you could talk too; even if it was fleeting it helped you too cope with the trivial day to day struggles that you couldn’t get off your chest any other way.

It was difficult enough, without you beating yourself up over it now.

Also remember, you wrote this on a particularly bad day in the best and worst month in the year, but you got through it again – it won’t always feel this gloomy!


Past Jenn

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

Bury Agricultural Show

I’ve been holding off on writing this blog post, mostly because I have been wondering how it really relates to my creative journey and my artwork. Yet, the desire to post and talk about this even has still been within me, so maybe it’s just through writing this post that I’ll find out?

Bury Agricultural Show is an annual even, hosted at Burrs Country Park close to where I live each year. It’s family orientated show, with a host of different events, animals and entertainment acts throughout the day. Although we didn’t spend that much time at the show this year, mostly due to a rather poor offering of things to look at. There was a good show of horses and people doing various things in the arenas, yet on the side of stalls we found the show a little on the dull side – which is a shame compared to previous offerings.

However, seeing the animals with my son was really sweet. He found particular entertainment in the chickens, ducks and sheep which are more on his eye level.

dsc02502

I think it was while we were at the show I realised just how important out-doorsy and naturey stuff is to me, and us as a family, while on our recent holiday we did a lot of walking around new places and we all had a wonderful time; even the dog who like all other dogs, loves his walks. So, it was here that I really started thinking about how I could get that important element into my artwork.

I am still yet to try out my most recent art idea for getting nature involved, but I have gotten a few elements in place so that I can start when I get a bit more spare time – I am hoping to get a start on something tomorrow and I am really, really excited about doing so, which I cannot tell you quite how amazing that feels. I am actually excited about art and creating something! I’ve not had that feeling in such a long time! Not about art at any rate. So things are actually starting to work.


Jenn

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.