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It's been a while...

I've been seriously considering it for a while, but you know what? Let's just do it.


I'm going to set myself a target of writing a blog every month. I'll try to keep it art-based or personal (not too personal, of course), but I'll try to write something. Anything. I think it will be a good creative outlet for me.


That being said, I'm more of a painter than a writer, so a monthly goal feels a bit more realistic, I think! With that in mind, let's just quickly catch up!


Where have I been? Well, since my last blog post (all the way back in 2017), you've all missed:


Career-wise:

  • I had an apprenticeship in marketing.

  • I completed my apprenticeship and started working as a graphic designer.

  • I changed jobs a couple of times but still continue to work as a full-time graphic designer.

  • I continued drawing, but nowhere near the level of production I had as a teenager.


Personal life:

  • My brother almost died in 2019 from a motorcycle crash – that certainly put a lot of things into perspective.

  • I met my now-husband - we got married this year.

  • I've moved around quite a bit, and we're actually planning to move again soon.


Me and my Husband on our wedding day

And here I am – 25, married, moving soon, and trying to refocus on my artwork again. The times have changed a lot since I regularly posted art. DeviantArt was 'the site' to be on. Now, all my old friends have long since gone, and the site just doesn't have the traction it once had.


So many new platforms exist now, most of which I didn't know how to use a year ago, and people want videos or reels or shorts. On top of that, they want to know about the artist – who they are, how they work, a day in their life, their story!


Suddenly, a picture isn't a neat way to show your skills. Loads of people can do that – what's new? And that's not even scratching the surface of AI and all the other recent developments affecting the art world in general!


It has taken a bit of getting used to, but I think I'm getting there.



So, I recently got sick...

Just before my wedding in May, I struggled with a severe illness that totally destroyed my motivation for art and contributed to my burnout. I went from one extreme to the other: barely working on my artwork to doing way too much too fast. And boy, did it catch up with me.


Unfortunately, my health problems are ongoing. I have several issues that plague me, and most don't have cures, just management. Last year, I discovered I have a food nickel allergy – yep, it's a thing, unfortunately – and it leads to the worst hand eczema you could imagine. I also had incredibly low iron levels last year and recurring infections, along with gastritis. Most of these are mostly linked to me not taking care of my health, diet, and fitness as much as I should.


After my last bout of sickness, I'm trying my best to rectify this:

  • For eczema and my gastric issues, I've controlled reactions through my diet.

  • I've been taking gentle iron supplements and continue to take low doses now to keep my levels high. I also had to stop giving blood (an unfortunate but necessary decision).

  • For infections, I'm keeping an eye on triggers and have identified and removed some of them. Fingers crossed I got them all!

  • I'm also working on weight training as I've become a bit too inactive and gained some weight.


The left image (above) is of my hands last year before I had my exzema managed with diet. I was using steroids and the THICKEST creams. It made no difference. The right image (above) was my hand today after managing and lowering the nickel in my diet and increasing my iron. So there has been improvement in my health!



Setting myself realistic goals

While I can't 100% prevent another bout of illness, I can do something about burnout. I've been working on sorting that out for the past couple of months!


I have a new schedule for videos: two per week from now on. This gives me enough time to create videos and artwork at the same time. Before, I struggled to juggle both, which contributed to my burnout. I'll actually schedule videos in advance instead of posting them on the fly too. This will make juggling work and my videos less stressful than it had to be.


I've also invested in new tools. And by 'I,' I mean my husband helped fund video editing software for me. I'm incredibly grateful for his continued support and belief in my work.


My goals for this year are simple: find consistency in juggling my artwork, hobbies, career, and personal life.


I also really want to give all I can to being creative outside of just the desk job. I want people to know I'm still making things instead of thinking I quit because I don't want to share my work. So, I'm going to do that. I'm going to show my work to all of you, even if only five of you are watching and reading.


With that in mind, regular videos and posts will be coming back soon! I’ll be trying to juggle two projects at once each week – a realistic painting and a more stylised piece. Both will hopefully expand my skills with two styles I’ve been using over the past three years. I find it hard to focus on one exclusively so I hope juggling two styles will keep me (and you dear viewer!) entertained.


Fingers crossed this time I can keep things up till 2024 - that's the major goal for me!

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