World Introvert Day 2020

World Introvert Day 2020 | Artwork ©Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

Introversion and me

Yes, we introverts have a world introvert day, every year, on 2 January. A quite appropriate date as it falls right after the hustle and bustle of a busy Christmas/New Year/Holiday season.

In a society that values extroversion, introverts are often misunderstood and their own set of personality traits overlooked. We’re judged as shy, anti-social, aloof, even arrogant, and just plain weird.

Introversion is not the same as shyness, social anxiety nor depression, though both introverts and extroverts can experience these conditions.

If you’d like to know more about introverts, here are links to two good articles:
IntrovertDear.com – What is an Introvert?
VeryWellMind.com – How you can tell you’re an introvert.

I was brought up in a family of rampant extroverts, where extrovert traits were very much valued. So, to try to fit in, I developed an extrovert mask. This mask still slips on when I’m in situations and circumstances that require me to interact with people I don’t know, or where I feel vulnerable emotionally. People often think I’m an extrovert because of this mask.

However, the real me, the vulnerable me, is quite introverted.

I like people, but in small numbers. I much prefer spending time with just one or two people where the conversation can be less social fluff and more meaningful.

Yes, I do tend to sit at the back or at the edge of meeting or gathering. I like to observe and listen and become comfortable before I engage (if I ever do). Even with regular meetings with people I become familiar with it can still take me a long time to interact. It can take me even longer to drop the extrovert mask so they can glimpse the real me.

After social interaction, especially with large groups of people, I can be completely drained of energy and need plenty of alone time to recharge my batteries.

Indeed, if I have a lot of social interaction in a short space of time I can end up with an ‘introvert hangover’ – deeply tired, headachy, emotionally drained. If that happens, I need an extended period of time to recover, which often includes copious naps and binge watching Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings/Hobbit! In serious cases a healthy dose of Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra is required!

You see, interaction with my own inner life, my creativity, with books and music energises me. Social events, particularly noisy and crowded ones, will drain me of energy and become torture for me.

One-to-one interaction, or being with a small group of people in a calm environment can, however, be energising as well as tiring, especially when the conversation is about life, the universe and everything.

Us introverts do need, and value, people in our lives, just not all at once! Social interaction is just as important for us as for the extroverts, though our preferences for social interaction are different – less small chat, more meaningful conversations. And those of us who are self-aware recognise the need for the right balance between social interaction and alone time.

Extroversion-introversion is a continuum, a spectrum, and we all show aspects of each archetype. However, I know my introvert traits outweigh my extrovert traits fairly considerably.

Just as a fun-fact, it’s estimated that extroverts outweigh introverts by six or seven to one across the world.

About the artwork

Yesterday, I had a lovely time drawing entangled borders to use for quote projects, just like this one. Today, I kept the drawing in black and white and added a pretty background to the drawing and typography.

I used Uniball Unipin pens and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper to draw the designs. To put the artwork together I used Affinity Publisher to do the typography, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to put the artwork, typography and background together.

Entangled Garden drawing

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Today, I have another entangled drawing for you to enjoy. I worked on it over the past couple of days. I think it’s taken me around six or seven hours to complete.

Because of all the floral and botanical motifs I’ve called it an Entangled Garden. A garden that has grown from my intuition and imagination.

I’m enjoying drawing these kind of illustrations at the moment. I really do have a fondness for botanical motifs, but also for arches and patterns inspired by Romanesque and Gothic architecture. There’s also some influence from Zentangle patterns too.

I’ve not added any shading to increase depth and dimension. There are places in the design that could benefit from a hint of shadow. However, I’m happy with it as it is.

As a drawing, it is a bit too fussy with intricate details to work as a coloring page as far as traditional media are concerned. However, I do know some colourists who would love the challenge of colouring a design like this!

Having said that, this kind of design, with less details, would be perfect for my next coloring book which I do need to start work on soon. I need the cover done for the publishers by the end of this month. So, I can take inspiration from the drawings I’ve been doing recently, though I do have some other ideas rattling around my brainbox too.

I used Uniball Unipin pens, along with ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. The size of the drawing is approx. 7.5″ x 10″.

I added the background colour and texture digitally, after removing the dots from the dot grid paper.

Entangled flora

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

One of the nice things about being between contracts is being able to indulge myself in art. It’s also a chance for me to do ‘comfort art’, art that is in a familiar style that I don’t often do.

This is an example of ‘comfort art’. Art that is soothing to do, is intuitive and surprising in how it turns out. I start with pen and paper (dot grid in this case), and just start with a single motif. I then let the design grow from that point, organically and intuitively.

There are always sticking points where I want to give up as it doesn’t look right, or I’m not happy with what I’ve just drawn. However, I’ve learned to persevere past these points and the end design is usually one I’m happy enough with.

There were many sticking points in this one, some of which I thought were going to be shatter points.

Although I’ve deemed this illustration ‘done’, as I reflect on it now, I can see places where some added line texture would help the design be less homogeneous in places and would add some contrast.

Also, some shadows would help add dimension to the illustration. Having said that, colour would really bring the drawing to life too.

For now, though, this design is finished. Whether I work some more on it remains to be seen.

I used Uniball Unipin pens to draw this design, along with ClaireFontaine Sketch dotgrid paper. The only things I did digitally were to scan the design in, remove the dots of the dot grid, and add the background colour and texture and watermarks.

Art washes…

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Art really does wash the dust of everyday life from my soul. That’s why it’s something I do nearly every day. Creating art soothes my soul, my emotions, my mind. It helps me find balance when life has me all topsy-turvy. It helps me find the touchstone of contentment that now resides inside my chest, within my heart. I know that if I can’t settle to doing something artsy, then I’m seriously out of kilter.

I finished this drawing this morning. I think it’s taken me around 6 hours to do, give or take an hour or so. It’s a little smaller than A4 in size (6.75″ x 10.25″). The design was drawn with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens (F and S). I added shadows with grey Pitt Artist Brush pens.

I was rather clumsy with the shading in some places, so I took advantage of digital tools to smooth and blend the grey out.

My final digital task was to add a background texture to the artwork, which also added some colour. I do have a bit of a thing for grungy, distressed backgrounds.

On the whole, I’m pleased with this, though I must admit I didn’t think I was going to be so, especially with the heavy-handed shading really bothering me.

Art washes from the soul …WIP

©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

This is my current work in progress (WIP), where drawing is concerned anyway.

I’m sure I’ve used this quote before, but I stumbled upon it again and it seemed appropriate I should used it again.

I’ve often blogged about how one of my self-soothing, self-caring activities on days where life has overwhelmed me is art. And so it is the case at the moment as I recover from a tummy bug and from a busy time during November and into December too.

So, I printed out the quote, along with some framing lines, using Affinity Publisher to do the typography, on a piece of Bristol Paper from Frisk.

I’m using F and S Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens to draw the design and a grey Pitt Artist brush pen to add some shadow to the design.

I’ve added the coloured and textured background, along with my watermarks, digitally.

I’m almost half way through this drawing and it’s taken me around two and a half hours so far.

My other main WIP is the New Year coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. These should keep me busy for the next day or so for sure.

New Year coloring template

New Year coloring template (c) Angela Porter – Artwyrd.com

Today, I seem to have a lot of my focus back. I’m still not 100%; my appetite and taste buds are still way off, but my mind seems to be a bit less fuzzy.

That means I’ve been working on a colouring template for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group to celebrate the incipient calendar changing celebration.

Here is a section of the template, which I’ve been working on colouring. The gold background is just a temporary thing.

I used Affinity Publisher for the typography in the centre of the design. I then used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to draw the design and to start colouring it. The template is in my entangled signature art style.

I’m enjoying adding colour to this design; this is a good sign that I’m recovering from the tummy bug that has laid me low for the the best part of a week now.

If you’d like to download a copy of the colouring template, you do need to be a member of the facebook group – it’s free to join and the template is free to members!

Of course, I’ll be posting my coloured version of the template to welcome in the new year.