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Looks like Photovember fizzled out for me; but I lasted longer than I thought I would.

It wasn’t for lack of enjoyment of taking photographs again, but more for the fact that it seemed so.. pointless. The aim was to introduce people to the world that I live in, but all I discovered that was I don’t stray much further than a 2 mile radius from my house. I go to toddler groups (where I wouldn’t take the camera anyway) and the local park; which, as wonderful as it is, I don’t think would make for great viewing for a whole month.

The other thing I realised was that I put more time and effort into drawing than anything else. It’s something that I rarely even think about posting up on here; unless I’ve not posted for several days/months and I really feel like I should post something. Anything!

Maybe I should change that, make the blog a hub for my characters and drawings as much as my deviantart account is?

I’ll schedule some stuff up and see how we get along.

I think there is some sort of ‘fear’ about opening myself up with my usual sort of art. It’s safe over on devArt, because I’ve been there so long and it’s what I know and the people I am friends with over there know me through my anthro/furry art. Here, it’s like opening up to the world; combining my ‘lives’ all together, but I think it’s time for me to do so.

Especially after realising that photography isn’t in me like it used to be – I draw this sort of thing very day, (more or less) and have done since 2003; so I really shouldn’t feel so concerned with opening up a bit more about it now. Who knows, putting it on my website might open up a few more doors for me.

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Where did you come from?

Beee CrazyIt’s been a while since I posted something that wasn’t a Space Marine picture, so I thought I would share what I have been up too.

It has mostly involved my characters Wars and Beee and their little project.

I’ve mostly been neglecting the two of them but somehow they have just made themselves heard and known again and I have been sketching them up again. Mostly through the help of internet “drawing meme’s.” I’ve had this feeling lately that a lot of my character artwork suffers from ‘same face syndrome’ so using the suggestions from memes has been a welcome change as

Angry Wars

well as a fun challenge. One that I am hoping to keep going with these two characters.

Though I did have a bit of a questioning moment while walking home from baby group today. What’s the point of it all? I’ve had these characters for over ten years now and I’ve not done anything with them other than draw them and have others from them for me. What’s the use in that? I’m not telling a story or making a political statement with them.

Then I came to the highly enlightening conclusion of ‘So what?’ What does it matter that their story will never be told; because I feel I lack the talent for webcomics (in both writing and artistic sense) So what if I never do anything with them other than draw them because it’s what I am currently enjoying doing. If that is only answering asks that I get for them over on their tumblr blog. I think these days there is too much emphasis on trying to make a statement or be special in some way, I think any level of fame would actually do my

Beee Sketch2

head in and put me off doing something – it would certainly take the enjoyment out of it! Look at that Aliens fanfiction I was doing. I got an amazing, blinding review on it; then couldn’t cope with the pressure of being ‘that good’ at the rest of the fiction, so I never bothered with the second chapter.

I think, as long as I am getting enjoyment out of something, then it’s worth doing. Why overthink things?

I am just happy that my boys have finally decided to come home again and give me another chance. If they only stay a week or so, then so be it. If they stay longer (which I really hope they do) then I’ll be all the happier.

Regardless, I’ll share the sketches and other artworks I get on here (if I remember) and use their tumblr for other details as well, like answering asks, sharing visual things that remind me of them and their

Scan 76world. You know, usual tumblr blog stuff!

I think the real test will be next week, as I am away from home. I find a change in location and company always changes the way you’re thinking, be it intentional or not. I have often found that something I was really into at the beginning of the week, or before leaving home, I am less inclined to think about when going back home. Different surroundings and company lead to different thought patterns.

Still, I hope you like what I have had to share today and I look forward to sharing a few more sketches with you all soon.

Scan 75
“Hey, Wars! Look what I found!? Can you believe I used to wear these pyjamas!?”

 

Home again

I am home now, from a vacation on the east coast. Staying with my parents is always wonderful – not only do we seem to pack so much into the time we spend with them, I always seem to come back home feeling refreshed (and I am sure they feel absolutely pooped in exchange!)

I sadly didn’t manage to get anything arty done while I was with them (Other than the start of a logo, which was shared in my previous post) but I did manage to get a bit of foraging done. They live on an absolutely wonderful coast line with shells, stones and other interesting looking ‘things’ that I am not even sure what they are. So, I am looking forward to having a play with some compositions on board in the next few days.

I also stumbled across another more formed composition idea, so need to get out the house and find some sticks!

I’ve also looked into setting up an etsy store – apparently, I already had one, so I am going through the motions of changing it all up so that the name fits with what I am doing now. It’ll take a bit more work yet, but I’ll hopefully have some paintings up on there to share with you all soon.

While I was away, I did a lot of reading, so I have set up another blog for book reviews. I thought I would share the link with you, in case that sort of thing interested you. I’d rather keep the two blog ideas apart. This will always be my main focus, art, but I enjoy sharing my thoughts on what I read also. So figured, why not!?

Also, I have been rather confused about what I have been sharing where as I’ve been trying to keep up with various places on the social media front. So, I have had to streamline and cut out a few of them. I am wondering if Twitter is really a good place for artists to share their works or if people have found Instagram more worth-while? I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on social media for artists. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?

I’ll update with something visual as soon as I can.

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.

The Scarlet Gospels – Clive Barker

Title: The Scarlet Gospelsimg_4359_zpsta3ssase
Author: Clive Barker
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Genre: Horror Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Hardback
Source: Bury Library

Buy the book – Amazon

Buy the book – Kobo

I honestly do not think that there was a book I have been more excited to read! Ever! I’ve been something of a fan of Lead Cenobite and his fellows for a fair few years now and was reminded of this books existence a few months back. It’s the official sequel to The Hellbound Heart, the novella that first introduced us to the authors vision of hell, and stars Harry D’Amour a character that I’ve personally never encountered before but has featured in some of Barkers other works.

So when I found out that the local library had a copy of The Scarlet Gospels, I couldn’t wait to get home and start reading it. The prologue (un)happily sets the tone and theme that the Hell Priest – Pinhead to the rest of us – is hunting down magicians in order to bolster his own powers and take over as the new ruler of Hell. For some reason he wants Harry D’Amour to be the witness his rise into his new position, a job offer that Harry refuses – probably because Pinhead didn’t ask nicely enough. Thrown into the mix is a collection of other characters and it is via Norma one of D’Amours friends that Harry becomes the reluctant witness. We’re taken on a masterfully written journey through hell. Which boasts of Barkers amazing imagination for the macabre.

The writing is two fold however. On the one hand we’re treated to this imaginative world of Hell. On the other we’re riding cliches and given some of the finest examples of lazy writing I have come across! The novel really reaches it’s peak when Pinhead reaches the centre of Hell and finds Lucifer. Instantly the fantastic imagination of Barker stops and we’re given the same cock-and-bull as pretty much any other setting in Hell. Fallen Angel, pissed off at daddy dearest, blahblahblah. It’s a real shame that in the end Barker chose to forgo his own creative visions for the more traditional Christian views of Hell.

I then come onto the lazy writing aspect. The human characters in this are without exception the flattest, most dull bunch I have ever come across. As a collective the work ‘Fuck’ is their favourite and resort to it in more or less every sentence they speak. I couldn’t get behind any of them because they just we’re worthy of rooting for. And I am still questioning a lot of their purpose. Harry himself was meant to be the key witness to all of Pinheads doings, and yet, most of the time he was lagging behind and not actually doing any first hand witnessing. As for the rest of them, they were so unimpressionable that I can’t even remember their names, much less want to talk about them.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, Barker must be praised for taking a most beloved creation and toying with him in the way that he has done. This is certainly not the Pinhead we know and love from the movies. He’s not out doing the painful bidding of his order, he’s out for himself and so much more magnificently evil because of it. To take what we know about Pinhead, turn it on it’s head and reclaim the character for himself was certainly a stroke of genius – and yet there is also a familiar feeling. When watching a Hellraiser movie, admit it, we all do it to see Pinhead! It’s the same with The Scarlet Gospels, the best parts feature the Hell Priest and I personally was left wanting to see so, so much more of him.

Was The Scarlet Gospels a fitting end for such a wonderful character? I was disappointed. The ‘last hurrah’ for the Prince of Pain wasn’t the journey I was expecting (NOt that I knew what to expect, but it wasn’t… this) Even if the trip through Hell was actually enjoyable, it was the company that went with it that made the excursion a trial more than a pleasure.

The general consensus is the first quarter of the book is amazingly brilliant and heading in the right direction for what a horror novel should be and what I felt like I was expecting from the sequel to The Hellbound Heart. Then somewhere along the line it turns into a heaping style of tripe with very little driving it. No wonder the book took me nearly 3 months to get through after the excitement of the first 100 or so pages had passed!

Quick Update

Feracil Bust
Feracil Wolfbane

I felt like revisiting an old(ish) character of mine lately. I made him up during my Masters in design and art direction – I couldn’t remember the name of the MA until I started writing this post – but somehow he stuck with me after I left the course and pops his head in every now and again.

I wanted to make up a plethora of new characters this weekend, but being away from home and spending time at the sea-side with my parents and other family members made this somewhat difficult. I couldn’t focus on the many characters that were in my mind, so they are still in the works. Yet I retained the notion that I actually want to begin to feel a bit more invested in my characters again. I feel like I have been keeping everything all ‘at arms length’ for a while now and it’s starting to feel somewhat damaging. I don’t feel like I am a good creator and feel somewhat resentful towards myself for making characters and then doing nothing with them!

I’ve not put any time or effort into writing anything with them or drawing much of them at all. Let alone commissioning anyone to draw them for me. Which is something that I have always enjoyed – seeing other peoples takes on my characters. It’s why I am always interested in doing Art Trades. (If you ever want to do an art trade, let me know!)

So, I had a few deviantart points and spent them commissioning an artist that I rather admire. They’ve drawn for me before – which is wonderful – and I’ve asked them to do something of Nathaniel and together (which I am excited about) and another something of Feracil, my werewolf hunter.

I will be sure to share the results with you here when I get them.

Maybe if I feel a bit more passionate about what I have created, I will generally feel more enthusiastic about a lot of other things that I have been approaching with a very ‘meh’ feeling in life lately. Who knows. But getting to draw and finish something feels like it is helping already.

 

Does the Camera tell the Truth?

51aVSGQI6ZL._AC_UL320_SR244,320_I’ve been re-reading my copy of Michael Langford’s Basic Photography recently. I’m not rushing through it at any fast rate as it really is a bit of a refresher course for me to fit in as and when I can.

My book is also the older 7th Edition – which is rather amusing seeing as digital media has come on such a long way since this book was printed.

The introductory chapter really made me think though. It speaks about the way in which photograpy has changed over the years. How it was originally seen as a very scientific and factual source of media. Every photograph that was taken was seen as fact. Truth. Everyone believed it. Of course, we all know that this isn’t the case any more. If anything, we’ve come to doubt pretty much everything that is shoved in front of us and anything that we don’t believe we shout; “Photoshoped” at. Even the simple portrayal of a figure we know has been altered after the initital shooting to make the model look even more attractive. It’s a known fact, and generally speaking no one want’s to see an underwear model showing off her stretch marks; that wouldn’t help sell the product.

The most recent thing I can think of for the camera to lie about is the existence of little creatures. Only the other day did I see a young girl and her father walking through the field looking for Pokemon on the new Pokemon Go app. (Where you use the camera to look for the creatures virtually while walking in the real world) The girl was somewhat confused when she could see the pokemon on the camera but couldn’t with her own eyes.

So I wonder. Is the camera still able to tell us the truth?

We can add a caption to an image and the whole meaning behind it can change. A point of view can alter our perceptions to an entire historical event.

What if the recent events were shown from another perspective? How would we feel about them then? And what would the truth be behind the photograph, the truth that we are being shown or did something else really happen?

History really is only written by those left alive to tell it.

I guess that also goes for the camera and it’s stories too.

Saigon execution Murder of a Vietcong by Saigon Police Chief, 1968