There’s always something about the new year that makes you want to start something afresh on a whole new slate. This year, this sense of starting anew is particularly strong in me, as I made my closure for the old year, and welcomed the new one with a new outlook.
On the last day of 2017, I made this journal page:
It was a simple reflection page for the New Year, something I thought of when I while receiving messages to enjoy the last day of the year.
Four quadrants, two each for each year. For 2017, sad to see it go, glad to leave it behind. For 2018, uncertain about the future, looking forward. I wanted to reflect on the positive and negative of these two years, and I picked these four phrases because I felt like they best represent the thoughts I had for this New Year.
Perhaps because the reflection was so intentional, it felt really good to be writing down my thoughts down, unfettered, all the things that I did not manage to say in my journal for the past year. To me, this exercise was really good because it really allowed me to put 2017 behind (because so much things happened and I needed to resolve my feelings about them) and to look forward to the opportunities in 2018.
It was symbolic too, because as I finished the page, I decided that this would be the last page in this art journal, even though there was still a couple pages more that I could use if I wanted to. It just seemed like a nice way to end the year, to end this art journal which had been with me for the past two years. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked this art journal, and it’s my favourite yet, but I was so done with it, especially in the last year struggling with the negative emotions that I had. I felt like I needed to change, from being stagnant, because I have been struggling with my creative process – this is the second art journal I’ve done in the same style, so that makes it five years maybe that I have been doing it this way.
I’m desperate for change, and starting the new year in a new art journal seemed the perfect way to kickstart it all and to embody the whole “start on a new slate” idea. It’s not really a new year resolution, I think, not really, but it does represent the resolve and mindset that I have going into the new year. It’ll be more clear once I get about sharing the new journal I think. Just finished making it yesterday and haven’t got around to any pictures yet.
To all who are reading, hope the new year has been kind to you so far and here’s to a great year away for the both of us.
I’m trying to blog more regularly again (and it seems like I’m always trying to do that). I think I’m still kinda unsure of what I want to achieve out of this blogging thing, because it keeps changing and I keep having grand ideas that I cannot keep up with, but right now, I think it’s about me putting myself out there and not being afraid to show a part of me that I had been afraid to showcase for the longest time. With any luck, here’s to more art sharing in the year ahead.
Been a long time since I posted, but I’ve been in a creative rut for the longest time – barely anything created, anything written for so long. Words in particular, were difficult and it resulted in a lot of silences. I turned to music a lot during this period, but even then there was something missing, because how can you express what you want to express when you can’t put the words to it? A lot of things happened in the past three months, and I’m finally finally feeling more settled right now, and getting back into a groove, slowly finding my rhythm back.
Played a little in the craft room yesterday, just grabbing whatever colours suit my fancy and blending them together with gesso. Pretty much a mindless process, but I’ve always had a soft spot for colours and how they blend. Then I came across a line while reading and thought of writing out something similar to it. Unfortunately, there was a little accident in the aftermath when I saw it again today:
I had used a dye based marker to write the larger words, and somehow, the ink spread out overnight, causing the words to become all blurry like. I could still read it, but it wasn’t as clear as it was before, because it was supposed to be the focal for the page. But then I thought of turning it into a creative opportunity:
.. and rewrote the words using a white pen. It still show up too much, because it reacts with the dye based black ink, but I can see it clearer now. It also reminds me of balloons for some reason, and I like it a little better than before now. It also seems symbolic, because of what this page is about – to embrace things, say yes, and believe that it’s where you want to be now, even if it didn’t feel like it when it all started.
I’m still coping with new things and essentially a new life, but I really do enjoy where I am right not. Perhaps not the same kind of enjoyment as I would define it before, but it doesn’t diminish what it means to me right now. Even if it was kinda an accident that landed me where I am. Did I wanted it? No, not really – want seems like such a loaded word. But it doesn’t mean that I’m glad for it to happen.
In some stroke of funny luck, my phone died shortly before this post on hands-free photography was set to publish. Which actually means that the post is no longer relevant to me because I’m no longer using an Android phone and have switched to an iPhone instead. I do hope that the post content is still helpful to all Android users though!
I’m not a big big fan of the iPhone, and still isn’t after a few weeks of using it. Maybe I’m the odd one because I don’t think people don’t fall in love with Apple after using their products. That’s not to say I hate it though, but I do already have an iPad, so I really don’t need the same features that my iPad can offer me in my phone. But why did I pick the iPhone then? Well, Samsung note isn’t available (I’m a big big fan of the Note series) and I didn’t like the look of the new Samsung Galaxy. And the other Android phones just can’t seem to compare.
Here’s what I’ve been missing about my new phone:
A built in stylus.
The loss of it has never been so acute when I was out one day and my fingers itched terribly to have a stylus in my hand so I can write/draw something to send to someone. I do have my Adonit Jot Pro that I use with my iPad, but it isn’t really that portable with my phone (or so I feel). At least with my iPad I can just tuck the stylus into my iPad cover bag, but with my iPhone… not so much.
My makeshift tablet input.
I used to use my phone as a tablet input, through the VirtualTablet app, which is available only for selected devices. Granted, it doesn’t work that perfectly, but at least I have the option to make it work after some fiddling. Now.. I don’t even have the option to do so without paying for it. I tend to use the tablet input for photo editing on the blog, for drawing things like arrows. I did find another way around it, as you can see in the photos from the previous post, but it’s not a direct input from my phone to the computer, so the arrows aren’t as organic as I like them to be.
Here’s what I’m enjoying about my new phone:
I still stand by that the iPhone has a pretty decent camera. In fact, all the photos from the last post were taken by my new iPhone, and I find the colours to be a little bit more true when I have HDR activated. Of course, now I’m missing the voice-control function, but so far I haven’t felt the lack of hands when I’m taking photo, so that could mean that the focus of this phone camera is better than my old one. That, or I haven’t taken enough photos yet. Time will tell. But yeah, I think the photos I take now look nicer, so I’m a little bit more inclined to take more photos yay!
Um, I think that’s it actually. Wow, I guess I must be really not used to my phone. I hope this gets better over time as I use more of it!
After years of deliberation and even more months of resistance, I’ve finally gotten around to selling the stuff I make online. I’m now selling my stuff on Carousell, which is mostly a local platform where people sell things, old and used alike but if you like any of the stuff I’m selling, and you’re not from Singapore, feel free to email me at email@example.com to contact me and we can arrange something out.
You might notice that I’m not only handmade stuff on the shop. That’s because it started out with a few steps to overcome my own resistance, and selling old stuff that I no longer use/enjoy while purging my stash was a good way to start. It then evolved a little to selling the stuff that my mum didn’t want to keep in the house anymore, since a lot of people sell them on the platform as well. And then I finally finally got around to putting some of the stuff that I made. It’s not a lot at the moment, just some minibooks that I made, and painted tags from my stash. I’m planning to add more stuff, particularly handmade cards, which should give me an excuse to create them. I like to make cards, but I don’t send them out too often. Sure, my friends enjoy receiving them but it gets kind of funny just sending out cards again and again without any reply… Nowadays I mass send them on special days so I mass produce for that purpose too, which isn’t too creatively challenging if you ask me. But the alternative would be too tiring to make like 9 different cards for the same purpose within a short period time.
Really need to thank Jennibellie and the folks over at Journal Workshop for giving me this mental push and butt kicking to overcome my creative resistance for this May’s monthly challenge. But this is a start at least, as I’m one (baby) step closer to overcoming my creative resistance. I hope that this too would perhaps inspire you to tackle your creative resistance as well.
Lost on the road of life (and still in a slump).
With art journaling being my main source of expression, artistic or not, this means that I’m having difficulties putting things down into words or finding the things that can describe what I feel right now. I’m still managing to do some art, still playing, but heart isn’t in it, so it makes everything seems very shallow. I guess I’m too used to being able to write down/ramble about the things that bother me, that this sudden difficulty is making me stumped. Also doesn’t help that my current art journal has been pretty focused on journaling and writing. So far, I’ve just been doing backgrounds or trying to draw/paint/whatever from watching video tutorials. Hey, that’s better than no progress at all right?
Reading a lot (a lot) of fanfiction.
Admittedly, this is a guilty pleasure, because I just keep reading and reading and there’s no end to it, unless I force myself to stop. And that means the time I should be spending on other stuff is spent on this instead. I’m trying to limit myself here, but it’s a little hard. I have this habit of looking at stories of people who have followed/liked me, and there’s still a lot of backlog for me to go through, which is driving me crazy with the amount of clutter in my inbox right now. Note to self: create separate emails for different stuff, so I can compartmentalise better and stay saner (and done. *pats myself on the back*)
Taking the online classes I have paid for.
It’s still a pretty slow process, because I try not to binge watch the videos from the classes. I try to create alongside these classes too, to get the best out of it. So yep, the process is a little slow, but making progress all the same. My iPad is like my best friend now for all the online stuff as it’s a comfortable size to watch videos (and I can being it to bed, when I really shouldn’t).
New additions to the craft room-cum-bedroom.
I fell in love with the smell of candles when I was shopping at Ikea, and made a purchase on impulse. It’s been great catching a whiff of the smell when I sleep, when I wake up, when I walk into the room, because it just makes me so happy. I finally lighted the first candle today, after I bought the necessary candle lighting stuff so I don’t burn my house down. Funnily I couldn’t smell it much when the candle is lighted.. perhaps I need to light more than one at a go? I’m not sure, but the candle lighting stuff is making me really happy.
Trying to find something to blog about.
I’m still struggling to post regularly on the blog, but with the lack of story behind what I’m doing, there’s like a dearth of things for me to blog about right now. I’m going to do a spotlight on the pens I have soon, and have already started preparing for it, so that’s something to look forward to. I just bought 10 new pens recently – yes, you heard right, but that’s because I have a voucher for it. It seems funny spending all the voucher buying pens in a bookstore, but honestly, I don’t need to buy more books when I have so many unread books that I’m slowly working my way through. Pens make me happy so that’s a good justification right?
So that marks the end of this little update/filler post. But the post on the pens would be good, I promise. Till next time.
Hi guys, it’s been a while since I’ve updated and I finally got the energy and drive to update today. So massive massive update ahead, but also lots of photos to feast on.
My current status is that I’m officially unemployed for the past 3 months (wow how time flies). I should saw that I’ve been busy looking for a job, but that’s a lie because the time just consists of a lot of waiting. What this means for my art and creativity though is that my life currently consists of no structure, like I’m bobbing along in the great big sea. Since starting blogging, I found that my most productive creative days happen when I’m busy with other tasks, so I am now consciously aware that having momentum allows me to flourish best. Spending 3 months without any sense of structure and time though… not a good environment to be doing art.
Perhaps it’s the idea of a new year, or perhaps it represents the start of a new life as I leave my undergraduate life behind, this year, I’m finding it easier to start something new (fingers crossed I don’t jinx it). Not just something new, but starting anew, as I try for a past me that have disappeared into the wind in the past few years.
I’m taking up planning again, like those student handbooks that you are forced to buy when you are in school. I have to confess that I used to love them though, and each year my handbook get filled up with reminders and homework and crossing outs. It’s nothing fancy of course, but it didn’t matter because it’s functional. I’ve tried to use planners again during my university days, spending the time and effort to search for planners that would suit my needs AND look pretty. It’s not that much of a lost cause, but often times I find myself not using them, and when I try to pick them up again, I found that I actually didn’t like to use them. This time though, I’m heavily inspired by videos of bullet journals I seen (particularly this and this) so I decided to go simple. I had a B5 binder notebook that I used for German note taking so I decided to use that. And with some new inserts, my planner is thus born. What I loved about this (and probably why it worked so well for me), is that I can just throw papers away if I did something wrong or if I didn’t like it, which frees me from a lot of the stress and pressure I put on myself.
There are tabs that came with the notebook that I used to keep section separate, but the main tab that consist of everything to do with planning is a mishmash of things that goes by chronological order (of when I started the page, not so much what’s on it). I found that it doesn’t bother me so much, and it’s actually kind of nice to be flipping the pages back and forth, rather than just staying on one spread for the week and never needing to move away. It’s adds to the illusion of doing something too, because most days I don’t need to spend too much time writing in the planner. A few photos of how my journal looks:
I’ve also started a page on tracking my habits and I’m enjoying it so far. I have unfortunately gained (more than) a few bad habits and lost a few good ones, so I’m trying to get back on track by making them visible, and having a chart to mark off each day allows me to track my progress, and reminds me each day of what I have to do the next day/week/month/whatever. Some habits are easier to get back into than others though, like remembering to put apply face cream in the mornings and nights, and others doesn’t seem to get done at all (the habit that read “Post on My Craft Diary once a week” has been there since January). Yet others seem to have mixed success that I can’t seem to achieve consistently, like sleeping early or bathing early. Nonetheless, keeping track of my habits works for me so it’s something I’m sticking with.
A lot of my drive in picking up new habits come from the first piece of artwork I did this year. It’s a reflective piece, in which I think about the things I want to achieve in my life, and the things I want to keep out. It’s almost like my resolutions for the year? Though I’m not sure if it can really be considered resolutions because they are just big and broad aims I have while I’ve distilled them into workable actions that are manifested in my habit tracker. The piece if now hanging on my wall though, and it makes me happy to just look at the piece on the wall, if only because of the colour. Here’s how the piece looks on the wall:
And here’s how it looks at the background stage plus some details on the layers. As usual, you can click to view an enlarged image.
I may not be doing a lot of art, but it has not been completely bare these past few months. I did go on a few shopping sprees, so I have quite a few additions to my supplies. They’re mostly utilitarian though (like 3 different type of glues or blade refills), though there are some new yummy supplies that I’ve bought to keep that creative spark (mostly the inexpensive stuff like new pens or ink colours). I finally finally bought the set of paper bead roller that I’ve been eyeing ever since this video came out and it makes paper bead making so much easier. I promptly broke in the new tool by making beads out of scrap pieces of paper that has been lying around for years – that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone 😉 Here’s a look at the bead making process:
I’m also trying to reacquaint myself with the Jennibellie’s Journal Workshop community, and have been chatting with the creative peeps there occasionally. I may be very much out of it but it nice to have a place where I can just drop by, some place familiar where I feel comfortable, and Journal Workshop is just the place for those moments. I participated in the last art swap too, and I think it’s been almost two years since I last did an art swap. We made some paper flowers for the swap and I really liked how these turned out, with the embellishments and all. Hopefully my swap partner would like them!
My main project now is my Japan travel journal, which I started in December and then stopped because I got busy during the holidays (Christmas & Chinese New Year). I started picking it up again a couple of days back, and then somehow fiddled with a camera and video setup. In a stroke of brilliance, I found a set up that works, and doesn’t take too much time to set up, though the setup is rather amusing.
I use a short table as a temporary work for this project, because I bring out a lot of materials that wouldn’t fit on my usual workspace. You can’t see in this photo, but surrounding this table is an arc of supplies and things I would need for the travel journal, with just an empty space in the middle where I can sit down. Because my craft room is also my bedroom, I used my bed to help in the camera setup, and added cardboard boxes and even my pillow to prop up the selfie stick to a appropriate height. Nothing fancy, so hopefully this means that I might take more videos in the future! I also posted a video of a short flipthrough of the parts I worked on these few days on my instagram which you can view below:
As you can see, I usually go off on a tangent while I do things, even when I have definite plans. But it’s not a bad thing, because it usually end up being productive, like a new burst of energy to do things. While editing this post, the tangent brought me to create a stamp with the My Craft Diary logo, and it’s pretty easy to add to the images, so that’s a success. *Does happy dance* Have been wanting to do this for a while, but I was finding it a drag to learn how to do it. I did it on Photoshop before, but gimp is a little different and I’m not particularly familiar with the programme, so Google was the best way to go. I think that’s all the updates I have for this post, and hopefully, this marks the start of the habit to post on the blog once a week. Thanks for stopping by.
Being a somewhat studious student.
My last semester of university life, and I’m both dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time. I’m somewhat proud of myself that I’m being somewhat studious this semester, compared to the past year and half, in which my interest for being studious went downhill since exchange. I can’t really tell if it’s me, or it’s what I’m studying, but I’m really feeling the hardworking vibe, though compared to most people, it’s probably still not that hardworking. But at least I’m feeling good about it, and also proud of myself. Of course it helps that my grades so far this semester have been very promising, so that probably kept my morale up for studying.
Listening to classical music again.
I’m a classically trained musician, and I play the piano and occasionally play the double bass in the orchestra. Ever since university started (that’s years ago), my piano playing generally because weaker because I had less time and incentive to practice or simply touch the piano. I got to play more double bass though, because I joined the school’s orchestra, until I reached a point that I burnt out, and didn’t want to deal with classical music in any form during my free time. I’m happy that I have moved past that, and can genuinely enjoy listen to classical music again during my free time at home. (It also helps that my family is away on holiday and I can blast music from my computer and have the music just surround me.) I think the message here is to take a break from things when you feel like you are not enjoying things as much as you used to, even if it’s something that you love. It helped me refresh myself, and stopped myself from hating the things I used to love, because it was bringing me a lot of emotional distress. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 & 5, Schubert symphonies. This video of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 also made me stare wide mouthed at the screen, but it was so thrilling to listen to.
Playing games I used to play as a kid (or younger anyway)
I’ve been (re)playing several version of the Pokemon games that I played before – Emerald, Diamond, Y. I really love Pokemon, and the only ones I never played is Black & White and Black & White 2, but I’m hoping to convince my friend to lend me her copy of the game to play soon. I’m really trying to enjoy the game now, and really explore using Pokemon I’ve never used before, which is an interesting and refreshing experience. Right now, I’m eagerly waiting for the latest version to be released, and also baiting for time to buy my own copy of ORAS, if and when I overcome my economic sense. Of course there’s also the latest hype of Pokemon Go that I’m playing on and off. There’s also Yoshi Island, which I love but never gotten around to completing because I don’t own it (my cousin did), so it’s nice to go back to what I missed when I was younger.
Craft products that recently caught my eye
I have been trying very hard not to look at new products, because my wallet will complain. But recently saw this new frame punch board by WRMK and I’m just so awed by it, mostly because I’ve been hoping for an easier way to create frames for scrapbook and stuff. While browsing through the Simon Says Stamp website I also saw these layering stamps by WRMK, which I felt was pretty cool, particularly the CMYK colours, even if I’m unlike to purchase them. I’m also contemplating actually investing in embossing powders, which I have been putting off because it’s not really my thing, since I don’t do that much cardmaking. But I think just the white and clear would do great for some techniques, without going all out into embossing.
Some crafty videos to share
I recently started subscribing to Shayda Campbell and Kristina Werner on YouTube. Shayda does illustrations and lettering on her channel, which is something I like to look at and hopefully learn. It’s rather different from the channels I have subscribed to so far, so it’s going to be a refreshing change. Kristina is a card making enthusiast that many people should be aware of if they are in the scene. I’ve known of Kristina and her works for a while now, but resisted subscribing to her because I didn’t want to subscribe to too many cardmaking channels. I have this uneasy feeling regarding the cardmaking industry, because they are always coming up with new products, particularly stamps. Maybe it’s my geography training kicking in, but I can’t help but feel like it’s wasteful to be always chasing the newest products, when older products also work well (in a practical sense). Anyway, I started following Kristina because of her letterings and envelope videos, which is something different from what I’m used to. There’s also this video from Jennifer McGuire on getting more out of your acrylic stamps by using the back of it, and this video that I randomly clicked on that showed new ways on using the WRMK envelope punch board, which I own. It’s always good to get new ideas and ways to use your tools and get more out of your money!
Hope you enjoy this little sharing on what’s going on in my life and the things that caught my eyes. Maybe I’ll keep a shorter interval to posting the next currently post. Until next time!
Recently feeling in a little bit of a rut again, not least because deadlines for school don’t leave me with much time for craft. That would be a legit excuse/reason, except that never actually stopped me from creating something before. If I am to be really honest to myself, then I need to admit that I actually don’t know what I want to create and thus have not been creating. On other days, I might have just sat down, pull paints out and slap down some colours, but I’m restless so I don’t feel like doing it (or maybe my subconscious is reminding me of the troublesomeness of washing up after the paints).
Maybe saying that I haven’t been crafting is too much of a stretch, because it was only last week that posted about the digital art I created. I guess what I’m really lamenting here is how I haven’t been working on my art journal much. Art journal for me is a very therapeutic exercise, as they often come from deep inside me, rather than the random drawing/art that I have created as with my digital art. I often use my art journal to pour out my thoughts and feelings, and just write streams of unconsciousness. Sometimes, the process helps me start anew, as I leave everything behind in the journal pages. But even if that doesn’t happen, I still feel lighter before I start, and I can attempt to move on after verbalising it and having done something about it.
I will share a page that I did a couple of weeks ago, after a round of restlessness. It was something simple, and I purposely took some time with it so I can enjoy the process longer. I know most people prefer fast and quick art journal process (or at least that’s a common rhetoric I’ve seen), but I personally prefer spending a little bit more time on my art because it makes me feel more satisfied and doesn’t leave me hanging, as have happened a few times
I tend to get a perpetual need to consume something creative when I’m in a restless rut – blogs, but most YouTube videos. It’s often a sign of restlessness when I’m watching recommended videos from YouTube when I run our of videos to watch on my subscription list. It’s not exactly healthy, because I’m constantly consuming but not actually producing anything in return. Sometimes I find some good ideas or it sparks inspiration of what I can do, but I don’t do it because I’m restless. It’s kind of a waste of time spent watching those videos, that could otherwise be more inspiring when I’m in a better state. I’m still figuring out how to go around that.
I started off this post as a pondering, but as I write, I realised I’m more rambling than anything. Sigh. Well I still need to get this out there, and maybe I can move on from my rut. Hope you aren’t in a rut too, but if you are, you have a kindred spirit in me and here’s to hoping we will get out of it soon.
It’s been a while since I posted. Mostly it’s a combination of not having anything to post/not feeling inclined to post either because they aren’t that nice to be posted, or they are too personal to be posted. Still trying to work my way around the personal part, but that’s another story for another day.
Today’s post will be on my thoughts on taking photos. This came about mostly because I just returned from a holiday to Japan a few weeks ago, and made me realise certain things about me taking photos. But first of all, a quasi-quote that I stumbled upon yesterday. Well maybe not yesterday, but I wrote it down in my book-of-things-I-read/heard-that-needs-to-be-written-down, and I came across it again yesterday:
There were two ways in which this quote struck me.
Of course there is the literal meaning of the quote – that you will love the photos you take, if they are photos of things you love. In a rare moment of non-procrastination, I got started on my travel journal one week after I came back from Japan, which meant that I had to sort through my photos and look for the ones that I want to add to my travel journal. For the first time in a very long time, I could barely find any photos to include in my journal. Which is a shock, because I am usually indecisive in choosing photos, because I like so many of them (yet can’t include them all at the same time), rather than the opposite. It’s not that I didn’t like Japan, but during my travels, I was finding it difficult to really enjoy it and often I had to force myself to enjoy the things around me, rather than letting my heart wander to other places I rather be.
As I look at my photos, it occurred to me that this translated to the photos I’ve taken. I was taking photos to remember the places I’ve been to for mere documenting, not so much because I had strong emotions to the places I’ve been. It came through in the slipshod-ness in which the photos were taken too – photos taken in a rush, just snap and go, rather than focusing on getting the right composition, or checking the photos afterwards to see that you actually got a good shot. Of course it would be a exaggeration to say that I hated the all the photos I’ve taken (though there were some that came pretty darn close, made worse by the photo quality). It was just that I felt more of “oh let’s take a picture of this place just to remind myself I’ve been here” rather than “wow this place is so wonderful I have to take a picture to preserve the memory”. It was really a lesson learnt, on taking the right photos, on spending time, and to immerse in the surroundings. (Though I have to say I’m only 2 days into my travel journal, and perhaps the remaining 7 days or so might prove to be different. I hope.)
The second thing this struck has to do with my daily photo taking habits. I might have mentioned in an earlier post before (I can’t remember), but I struggle with taking daily photos. I like the idea of Project Life, the whole documenting everyday moments, but I find it hard to justify whipping out the camera daily for that purpose. In a way I find it sad that I don’t find my life interesting to be taking photos like that, compared to the people I follow who always have something to document every week, be it just a good meal or a gathering with friends. Sometimes, I even find it hard to find something to scrapbook about, because most memorable moments aren’t crystallised in photos. It’s been an ongoing problem for me so far, when I get the urges to create, but have no idea or nothing to create. Uhm what’s my point in bringing this up? I don’t think there’s a point actually, just that I wanted to bring up what I felt with regards to this. Sigh.
I’m still as passive as ever, and output is pretty much slow or non-existent. Haven’t been absorbing much too, if my backlog of YouTube videos is anything to go by. Have been doing random stuff lately too, and the photo above is just one of them, slapped together within 5 minutes or so before I need to leave for my dental appointment. Despite the short amount of time put into it, I really liked how it turned out though, likely because I really identify with the subject matter. Maybe I’ll talk more about it in a future post. I’m not sure. But it feels good to have the keyboard under my hands and hearing the clacking of keys as I type away.
After an unintended 2 months long hiatus, I finally feel the drive to be back. There’s not much to say about the hiatus, except that I haven’t done a lot of art during this time, and I hardly wrote anything as well.
Which brings me to the topic at hand: of having multiple outlets of creativity. As you might (or might not) know, I engage in several creative activities: art, writing, music. A friend asked me about the progress in my writing the other day, and I had to embarrassingly admit that I had not made any progress since the last time he read them. It ended up with me lamenting about how I have no idea why I can’t find the energy and drive to write when everything is already vaguely in my head. But then he made an acute observation and link that I never realised: the reason that I didn’t have the creative energy to write is because I’ve been spending all my creative energy for the past 2 months on music.
And he’s quite right. I spent a lot of time thinking about music, on the bus, on the train, walking to the bus stop, any time that I don’t have to focus particularly on anything. It’s like I have this finite creative budget and I spent it all on music, leaving nothing for art or writing. Now that I am aware of my creative budget, I start to consciously spend more time thinking about art and writing, and actively trying to use up a fair portion of that budget. And it’s working, because I have since churned out more writing (if you would include this blog post as well), and I have been catching up on my backlog of YouTube subscriptions.
I still won’t say that I’m back in the full swing of “things”, whatever that might mean. I use to write and do art every single week, but that was during the period when I had little to no focus on music. Right now, I have music practices every week (though that will stop soon when concert is over next Saturday), while I write and art sparingly. I have yet to find a balance on all three of them at the moment, but I think I’m making some headway.
Is spending all my creative budget on one outlet of creativity a bad thing? I would think no. Even though I couldn’t produce anything substantial for my art and writing, I didn’t feel the sense of frustration that comes with a dry spell. It was merely a “I don’t really feel like doing this today even though I know I haven’t done it for a well.. Oh well I’m ok with not doing anything until the next time I feel like doing something.” In fact, it felt great to be buzzing with all these different outlets of creativity, because they somehow feed each other without you having to do anything. I’ll take this anytime over a creativity dry spell.
One interesting thing I noticed about my art is that most of them are done for art sake, rather then for something deeper on an emotional level. Journaling is always an important part of my art journals and scrapbooking, but it’s something I have not really done for these past 2 months. Going directly into art is something I have not experienced in a long time, so I’m embracing it as it comes, and just really enjoy the process of playing around without any specific aim or endpoint in mind.
Here’s two recent art that I did:
One was a painting I did following a step by step guide which I got for free during my last Spotlight shopping trip. I couldn’t follow it completely because I don’t have the brands/colours they suggested, but I tried to mix the colours as best as I could. Another lesson in colour mixing! It’s not a good quality photo because I didn’t have intentions to share it online then so I just haphazardly snapped it and sent it over What’sApp to a friend.
Second is an unpolished quick sketch I did on my phone yesterday, just because I felt like it. Took me about 15 minutes to do it, barely any time taken out of my day but it turned out great anyway (at least to me). Haven done any digital sketching for a while and I was very pleased that I even did something at all.
I hope you enjoyed this little update and chat on creativity budget. Now that I learnt something about my creative process, it becomes easier to work with it rather than work against it. In case you are wondering, I’m going to post my monthly Instagram updates pretty soon, though as I’ve said, there wasn’t much arty stuff going around these past few months.