Day 22: Masculinity
I don't want to say too much about my ideas behind this illustration, as I hope it will speak for itself. And although a very complicated and intricate topic, I hope it will be interpreted in different ways by different people.
The subject I wanted to explore in this illustration is men in our society, what it means to be a man today, how we (our society) has shaped them, put pressure on them, and in many cases left them behind. Yes, there is a much greater awareness of mental health in general these days, but, when suicide is THE highest cause of death in young men, we have a HUGE problem. Granted, no one has an exact explanation for this, but my theory is quite simple: men, typically, do not talk about their feelings, emotions, and problems, any where near as much as women, if at all. The age old 'boys don't cry' has gotten completely out of hand, and has left in its trail an extremely bitter taste. Then add on top decades of pressure to act a certain way, suppress a load of stuff, and 'rise to the top'. A toxic concoction which can (sometimes) result in breakdowns, violence, and unhealthy levels of anger and aggression as well as lead to (some) men growing up to be unhappy and frankly, a bit lost.
Two great books, exploring issues of this sort are:
'How Not To Be a Boy', by Robert Webb and 'The Descent of Man' by Grayson Perry
Both books explore, analyse, and explain, these complex issues better than I could, so instead I did this....
Day 18: Studio Ivy
My illustration today, on day 18 (!!) is inspired by the every growing Ivy in my studio. It is super low maintenance, and yet continues to grow and grow, slowing taking over some shelves and a corner of the studio. If you like this, you might like the one I did on day 4 of my studio Orchid here, which sadly has now perished... hopefully to return next year!
Day 17: Music
I really do not know where I would be without music, and I don't know how I would create anything either. Sometimes my favourite thing to do, is go for a walk with really loud music in my ears. It usually gets me back in the zone and feeling inspired!
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” - Victor Hugo
Day 16: Keep on Going.
For anyone trying to follow their dream, stick to their goals, pursue their passion, get their dream job etc etc, KEEP. ON. GOING. That is THE only way to succeed.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ―Nelson Mandela
Day 15: Art makes the world a better place
I am now half way through my 30 day challenge! You can read more about my idea for setting this challenge in the first place here.
Today I have used some hand painted ink typography that I had planned to use in my illustration on day 12 or day 13 , but once I started to layer it up and compose it, I realised it wasn't going to work and would be far too busy. But I really liked this type, so decided to use it by itself today instead!
Day 11: Black Lungs
I don't want to say too much about this illustration, as I hope the image should speak for itself. One thing I will say, that I have thought about for years now, is that I think if we, humans, could open our front body up like a door and see everything inside, I don't think we would do half the things we do to our bodies. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe we are inherently designed to neglect facts and self destruct.
I think smoking will become illegal in the UK when the amount it costs the NHS out ways what the government makes from tax on sales of tobacco and cigarettes. But not sure that day will ever come.
When asked what surprises him the most in a recent interview, the Dalai Lama offered this insightful response: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Day 10: Toxic Thoughts.
Toxic thoughts, lead to toxic words, which lead to toxic actions....
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” - unknown
“Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.”
- Charles F. Glassman
“Learn to forgive others so that you can release yourself from being held captive by the very negative thoughts around you.”
- Stephen Richards
Day 9: INK.
Quink ink is in my top 3 out of my favourite things to use for drawings and paintings. I have used it in every illustration of my 30 day challenge so far... It is so beautiful to paint with and is really lovely to build up layers and create inky marks with.
My 3 favourite things to use are: Pencil, quink ink, and watercolours. In no specific order because if I had to choose just one I'm not sure I could...!
See more of my work on Instagram here and facebook.
You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge HERE.
Day 7: Messy hair days.
Woohoo, I’ve made it 7 days already! Hope you are enjoying my daily illustrations.
This is basically what my hair looks like most days, and along with a good ‘comfy’ jumper, as illustrated. I do often think I’d like to one of those people who have perfect hair every day, where they actually have a style of some sort. But then I remember maybe I don’t quite care enough to do that every day, and anyway I have been told I suit my hair ‘messy’… which I’m still not sure is a compliment! What I am looking for is an easy way to have nice hair, that suits me. Often when I wear it down and straightened I just don’t think does much for me. Queue: My new heated rollers! Hello curly, bouncy, natural looking hair. Thanks Babyliss.
Day 6: Dancers in pencil and ink
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
Day 5: Dancers in ink
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Last weekend I went out dancing for the first time in a while. Dancing to loud music with a whole crowd around you is so immersive it makes it easy to get a little lost for a while, in a good way.
I did loads of sketches for this illustration, which made the final stage of composing it in Photoshop quite hard work as there were way too many options, I probably could have created 10 more versions. But I stripped it right back and decided that simple was best. However, I did do one other version, which will be tomorrow's illustration. I thought they were both quite fitting to post at the weekend when I'm sure lots of people will be out dancing. Or I hope so anyway.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”
- Martha Graham
Read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here.
Day 4: My studio Orchid.
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them"
- Henri Matisse
Illustration created with Parker ink, watercolour, pencil, and composed in Photoshop.
You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge HERE.
Thanks for following my work!
Would love to hear if you are setting yourself any daily challenges?
See more of my work on my Instagram HERE.
"These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs."
―Anton Chekhov, "A Day in the Country"
Day 3: Grown your own.
Today’s daily drawing is… tomatoes! Haha, random. Being a big plant lover, that currently lacks an actual garden, I have slowly built up a substantial collection of house plants and thrive on keeping them alive... some better than others I should add. And I have talked about wanting to grow my own vegetables for a while now, but my current situation doesn’t exactly lend itself well to that…. I don’t have a garden and I live in a top floor flat…and in Scotland, which doesn't bode well for any fruit or vegetable that needs a lot of sunshine.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
So earlier this year I went ahead and decided to start with a couple of things anyway. Queue – my tomato plant! The one in question grows big tomatoes. It has taken months to grow. It is in my living room, in a sunny spot right by the window. In Scotland. And guess what, it worked! It grew tomatoes and, eventually, they turned red from green! I was seriously excited when I got to eat my first one. AND, it was WAY tastier than anything hanging about the supermarket. Growing plants and watching them grow is, for me anyway, satisfying in a very humble way that helps instil some sort of gratification and makes it slightly easier sometimes to put things in perspective and be proud of even the smallest of achievements especially when it feels like others things in your life aren't quite going how you want them to. Even if you start with something small, I think it is a way to help yourself to slow down sometimes and take time to nurture something.
Dream goals = to be self sufficient and grow loads of fruit and vegetables!
WHY am I drawing tomatoes?? Read more HERE.
Follow my work on INSTAGRAM HERE
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”