Inktober 2018 Day 30 ‘Jolt’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 30 JoltI decided to use mongrams with dangles to form today’s prompt ‘Jolt’ for Inktober 2018. I also wanted to use a bright colour scheme to jolt eyes awake, perhaps.

I started by sketching the design out on Clairefontaine Grafit dot grid paper. I scanned the sketch in then inked it in and coloured it digitally using my trusty trio of Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Pen and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I have absolutely no idea what the designs in the dangles have to do with the prompt ‘jolt’. They just came to me as I was drawing them out, and today that’s good enough for me!

Inktober 2018 is almost over and it’s perhaps time to reflect on it all.

It’s the first time I’ve taken up any art challenge, apart from contracts for work that is. I thought it could be a bit of an onerous thing to do, time consuming and so on. Well there have been days where it has been a bit like that, but I’ve also had days where it’s been a relatively quick process too.

I have enjoyed having a daily prompt to get the creative juices flowing and to encourage me to draw every day.  Not that I don’t draw everyday. However drawing with a prompt is different for me.

Well, I do draw with a theme, such as when working on a book. But that theme is the overarching focus for a series of illustrations. To have a different prompt each day and without the drawings having to fit to a particular size or format and just for fun is something that is different.

It’s had me thinking outside of my artsy box at times, at others it has let me draw styles that don’t usually make it into my books. With that, my mind is working on what I can do with these kinds of images. My mind is working on that…slowly.

I have been wondering if I’m going to take up another challenge in the coming month(s) and I’m not sure about that at the moment. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment!

I certainly have some ideas listed in my BuJo to think about and work on in the coming days/weeks/months.

It’s been a good thing to do, this Inktober thing, and part of me is sad to see it come to an end.

Will I do Inktober 2019? I don’t know. It will all depend on what’s going on in my life in a year’s time, but if possible I think I will.#

Just a reminder, my book about how to design and draw dangle designs and monograms – ‘A Dangle A Day’ – is available for preorder

Inktober 2018 Day 27 ‘Thunder’ revisited

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 27 Thunder small

Much happier with my Thunder Kitty!

Re-drawn and coloured digitally. I used my usual digital tools – Microsoft’s Surface Pen and Surface Studio along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Thunder Kitty had to be ginger! I couldn’t resist some rainbow stars and raindrops either, as well as adding to the dangles on the original sketch.

Nice way to spend an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon after having had a sleep – I really was exhausted after the stress for me surrounding the craft corner at the coffee morning, doing the craft morning and an evening with people, as lovely as all the people were.

The introvert me likes spending time with arty crafty projects.

Inktober 2018 Day 28 ‘Gift’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 28 Gift small

Day 28 of the Inktober challenge and I’ve done another kitty dangle design, with a rather surprised looking kitty in a gift box with a party hat on.

How cute would this be as a greetings card for the human of a kitty?

I sketched the design in pencil on dot grid paper then scanned it into my Surface Studio. I then drew the design using a pen brush and the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. After drawing, I added colour and texture as well as a bit of a drop shadow.

This image makes me smile just a bit. It was a nice thing to do this morning. I’m tired today.

Yesterday, I was absolutely shattered after the Hallowe’en Coffee Morning and being in charge of the craft corner. The little monsters (read little darlings dressed up in their Hallowe’en finery) kept me nicely busy and they seemed to have a lot of fun making pumpkins on glow sticks and paper pumpkins and other things. I had a lot of fun too.

At the end of the morning, it was lovely to have some help to clear up; thankfully my plans on using glue dots and double sided sticky tape and paper fasteners and staples rather than glue sticks helped greatly with this. As did the washable marker pens and the like.

I came home and had some lunch and then slept. On waking I had time to have more tea, shower and get ready to pop out in the evening.

As lovely as my couple of hours out were, I was glad to get home. It was really chilly last night here in South Wales. The cold got into me even in my short journeys; I chilled right off in the morning too. So, today my hands and feet are a tad achy and stiff with arthritis.

Using the Microsoft Surface Pen on the Surface Studio certainly helps my finger joints – so little pressure is needed. The pen is a tad weighty, but it’s rather well balanced so I can cope. On days like today I could do with a slightly thicker barrel, so I need to find some grippy things that I could slide on my pen for days like this.

I do want to work on my sketch of the viking kitty that I did for yesterdays’ Inktober prompt. I need a quiet day of self-care today. Not only was yesterday a busy one for me in terms of interacting with people it was also the end of British Summer Time and the clocks went back by an hour some time during the night. This means we got an extra hour of sleep, in theory. In practice I slept the same amount of time! The change in the clocks will cause confusion for a while I think.

I am an introvert, though people seem to assume I’m an extrovert. I learned at a young age that I had to be loud and seemingly outward going like my very loud brothers to have even a chance of being noticed or listened to (that didn’t happen often). I have a fairly extrovert mask I wear when out and about and with people, until I get to know them and then the introvert can relax and come out. I like people, but I also recognise that I need alone time to recharge my batteries. Being with people both lifts me and drains me. So, today is a day for some quiet time, before I have to head out this evening for a couple of hours to be with people again.

 

Inktober 2018 Day 26 ‘Stretch’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 26 Stretch

If there’s one thing that kitties know how to do extraordinarily well it’s stretch. So, that just had to be the drawing that went with todays Inktober Prompt!

And as it’s Friday, that drawing had to be a dangle design too.

I really do need to work on my kitties in different poses – this one’s head looks a little strange, a little flat.

But, part of the inktober challenge is to draw without editing.

I did use a pencil to sketch the dangle design out on dot grid paper from Clairefontaine. After inking it in and erasing what I could of the pencil lines it was scanned into GiMP. I use gimp to remove the dots of the dot grid and then produce a transparent background.

The drawing with a transparent background and no dot grid I then plonked into Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and added some colour and texture as well as a drop shadow.

I kept the colour palette fairly simple so I had a more cohesive look to the design.

Even with the problems with the cat’s head, I think this is cute – I couldn’t resist adding a sleeping mousie on the kitty’s tummy.

Of course, Friday is #dangleday and my book about drawing dangle designs, monograms and more is available for preorder. It’s called ‘A Dangle A Day‘.

Inktober 2018 Day 23 ‘Muddy’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 23 Muddy colored

Day 23 dawned slowly for me today it has to be said and I’m still trying to get my brain out of the sleepy fugginess that I woke with around 5am. Far too early to be awake.

Still, before I head out for the day – a trip to Worcester with my friend Liz – I wanted to get Inktober done.

The first thing that came into my head when I read the prompt for today (which is muddy) was the buddhist quote about lotus and mud. I had to look it up – thank goodness for the magic of the google!

After hand lettering the quote (hand lettering is a bit better today, but some of the word spacing is a bit iffy) I turned it into a dangle design! (Quick plug – My book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available for preorder should you fancy some guidance and ideas on drawing your own dangle designs).

Had enough time to chuck the scanned image into GiMP to remove the dot grid and any remaining pencil guide lines and then to create a transparent background. This was followed by a quick visit to Autodesk Sketchbook for the image file so I could add a coloured background and my watermark.

I have enough time to write this blog, do the other social media stuff before diving into the shower and heading over to Liz’s to start the day’s jolly journey to Worcester (which no doubt will appear on my other blog – Curious Stops and Tea Shops).

The quote speaks to me both of the feeling I get when I meditate, but also about my journey from the mental and emotional ill-health of cptsd towards a healthier state of being.

Inktober 2018 Day 22 ‘Expensive’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 22 Expensive

Clumsy hand lettering again, but it is practice…always practice.

The pattern is rather bare and sparse of detail today too, though some colour would help with that for sure. However, I wanted to limit my time spent on Inktober today so I have time to turn my attention to other things.

I did draw this digitally surface pen on virtual paper on the surface studio screen.

#createdonsurface #inktober #inktober2018

The peace referred to is peace of mind and having peace of mind is priceless and so important.

Part of my CPTSD is the shame and embarrassment that accompanies many, many traumatic experiences throughout the whole of my life. The emotional flashbacks cause me to relive these traumas and the shame I feel about so many events, many I can’t even remember as the mind dissociates from the event, but can’t seem to do so from the trauma that’s stored in the emotions and body.

Add to that the belief I grew up with that I was always, always to blame for everything that everyone else did, even if I had no part in it, means that I can slip into the self-blame mode quite easily where I go over and over and over something trying to find out what I did wrong and what I can do to not make that mistake again. That’s even when I did nothing wrong or even had anything at all to do with the event being picked to pieces in this way. Even when I wasn’t even present for the event. It’s the root cause of my hyperperfectionism. I worry constantly that what I do is never good enough, even when the objective evidence is to the contrary.

So, for me to let some clumsy hand lettering remain. For me to show a piece of work that I’m not entirely happy with is incredibly difficult, leaves me open to the self-blame thing and shame and embarrassment, yet still I do this.

Why? Well, it’s nice to show that along the way to a finished drawing/artwork that I have stages where things aren’t so polished, that I have things to work on, even though I do tend to work intuitively.

Although I may be hypercritical of what I create and see every tiny flaw – real or imagined – in it, having others look at my work and comment and/or like it with either positive or constructive comments helps me to get glimpses of how others see my art. This then helps to stem the hypercritical self-blame and self-criticism by providing objective evidence that the inner critic isn’t always right.

So, even though the hand lettering isn’t right. Even though the drawing is bare of colour. Even though I can see flaws with the drawing,  I’m able to put this here, on instagram, facebook, twitter so others can see what I’m doing.

I also show my imperfect work to show people that we all make mistakes, we all start as novices and have to practice, practice, practice some skills to improve them, and this can take a lot of time. Hand lettering is difficult for me at any scale other than tiny.

It’s also so I can show that even though I don’t do wonderfully well at something, I don’t give up easily with it, and neither should you.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to persevere with something that I have no skills at such as silver smithing, which I have tried and am an absolute nightmare at! However, the experience of silver smithing led me to trying other ways to create jewellery and led me to my experimenting with textiles, wire, beads and so on to create unusual jewellery. This is something I’ve not done for years.

However, it was part of my creative journey. It gave me some peace of mind at the time I was doing it.

Peace of mind is so important. That’s why I’ve spent years in therapy in one form or another, with EMDR providing the biggest steps forward in helping me to release the stored trauma so it doesn’t return and cause problems.

This is my past. My present is I have a choice about what I do or don’t do. I’d like to think I’d make choices that will cause me to keep my peace of mind, losing that little I’ve gained would be a price to high to pay .

 

Inktober 2018 Day 20 ‘Breakable’ and Day 21 ‘Drain’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 20 Breakable and Day 21 Drain

Yesterday’s prompt ‘breakable’ got turned into ‘broken’ as that’s how I felt yesterday and still feel today in terms of creativity and inspiration.

Drain definitely became drained as that is how my brain feels at this time. I’ll be fine soon enough.

I don’t know what’s caused this, other than the icky-sickyness I’ve had for a day or two. Not as bad as Thursday night, but it seems to have left me shattered and more than a little bit ‘meh’. I seem to have slept well, but I still feel incredibly tired at the moment. Me being tired for no particular reason usually means something has overwhelmed or stressed me in someway that causes my mood to plummet which results in me feeling tired and usually tearful.

So, today I wanted to catch up on yesterday’s Inktober prompt and do a quick one for today.

And they were quick. Hand lettering practice. Making a list of things I can do for self-care when I feel this way. For me to recognise that I need some time out is a step forward in terms of me looking after myself and my mental and emotional health. Making a list  of things I can do for self-care is also a first I think.

For ‘drained’ it almost counts as a dangle design. I did draw some cute monsters and my white cat there with expressions that show I feel (even though I have a smile on my face and a bright and sunny disposition when engaging with people). I’m not sure the drunk looking skull applies to me – I just think he snuck in there just to lighten the mood a tad.

Sheesh, I really do need a lot of practice with hand lettering! However, these are just quick ‘sketches’. No colour. No fancy-schmancy designs or line patterns. Just the basics, including smudges, mistakes, pencil guide-lines that haven’t been fully erased…

Now, if I were to adapt/edit these to include in my Bullet Journal I would add colour, a few more dangles to the drained design…and perhaps a border full of intricate designs based on flowers and hearts.

It’s a big if though…maybe I will, when I feel up to it.

Today, though, I’m working through my directory of reference designs and patterns seeking out inspiration for the work on my latest Entangled book for Creative Haven. I’m also editing the collection and redrawing them so they can be housed in a new folder as the A5 filofax I was using is now full and I really want to put them on A4 sheets in a ring binder in poly pockets.

Doing familiar work like this is soothing to me. It also has the benefit of allowing me to practice my drawing skills. It lets me workout which patterns I really am likely to use and which can be left to one side in the A5 filofax. As I go through them, one by one, some jump out as being good ones to use in a template for the Entangled book, others for a different project. It also gives me a chance to try out different pens, or use pens I’d not use for any art/illustration/drawing project but I like to write with or use for things like this.

That nasty inner critic tells me I’m wasting my time. My kinder, gentler voice to do with self-care tells me I’m not as it’s helping stir up the cauldron of creativity inside me. As I re-visit and re-draw patterns/design elements they float to the surface and the potential for variety in my work is re-charged as a result.

The kind inner voice, self-talk, tells me if it soothes me when I need soothing, then that’s good.

The nasty inner critic says I’m procrastinating. Maybe that’s true, to a degree. But I’d rather take some time out to do something different, something that will stir up my creativity and recharge inspiration rather than plod on with unsatisfactory work for the book.

The kind inner version of self-talk is winning out, and that is a good thing for me! And a positive change.

What do you do when you need some time out to take care of your emotional and mental well being?

Inktober 2018 Day 19 ‘Scorched’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 19 Scorched

Watch me.
I will go to my own Sun.
And if I am burned by its fire,
I will fly on scorched wings.
-Segovia Amil-

Today is Friday, so as well as being #Inktober 2018 day 19 it is #dangleday.

I had a pretty rough night. I woke with intense pains in my abdomen and had a very upset stomach and nausea. This plagued me for a couple of hours. I eventually got back to sleep, but have woken really tired and feeling wiped out.

I wanted to do Inktober and dangleday, but knew I needed to do something that was relatively easy to do, something that would brighten me up, and something that would require a quote today.

A quick hunt around and I found this quote, which resonated for me and it needed to be included in a mandala design that would symbolise the sun but also have wings and hearts.

For I think that my own sun is my heart and the self-love that I’m working on achieving through therapy and other work. It is the true nature of me; not the self-loathing and low self-esteem and lack of confidence I have. It is through believing in myself, not in the messages I’ve had from others throughout my life from as young as I can remember, that I will find my own sun, a sun that will allow me to fly even if it’s light scorches my wings. However, I think the scorching will be more of burning away the final vestiges of the limiting beliefs about myself that were imposed on me by others from a young age and beyond.

I think I know what I’m trying to say, but the tiredness I’m feeling is making it hard to think or communicate.

Now, onto how I actually created this.

I did it digitally. I used a Microsoft Surface Pen to draw and hand-letter the design on the screen of my Microsoft Surface Studio in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I did make use of the symmetry tool as well as the tool that allows me to move things around so I could align my text properly.

All the lines are drawn as if I would on paper. I coloured the mandala as if I were coloring it on paper, but the dangle I did use gradient fills for.

Layers allowed me to add a drop shadow and a background gradient easily. I also used a brush tool to add some texture to the background.

The background really needed to be a glowing blue sky; blue being the complementary colour of yellow/orange/orange-red so it helps the mandala and dangle to glow against the sky.

I only added one single, simple dangle made up of golden hearts and beads. You see, dangle designs do not have to be at all complex; sometimes less really is more!

I intend to spend the rest of the day taking it easy so I can recover properly from the bout of icky-sickyness I had last night.

Oh, before I do, just a reminder that in my upcoming book ‘A Dangle A Day’ (available to preorder) I show you how I design dangles and give lots of examples for you to use, adapt and the confidence to design your own. I also have some simple hints and tips on hand lettering, bullet journals and more.

Inktober 2018 Day 18 ‘Bottle’

Angela Porter Inktober 2018 Day 18 Bottle

Not just one bottle, but several!

This was a fun one to draw – Faber-Castell Broad pen on paper. Scanned in to the Surface Studio to clean it up and print it out so I could colour it using Chameleon Color Tone and Color Tops marker pens.

I added some highlights with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen.

I’m a bit later than usual posting the Inktober image today. I had quite a few errands to run today, including a slightly worrying recall to the opticians for photographs or my eyes, even though I only had them done around 4 weeks ago. It wasn’t pictures of my retina and optic nerve the optician wanted – it was images of the front of my eyes due to me having a wobbling blood vessel in one.

I had planned on popping into the opticians as I’d managed to drop one pair of distance glasses on a tarmac floor and had chipped the lenses (which I’d had for less than a week!) and so needed to have replacement lenses. That was the easy part…

They had trouble getting the camera to work to take pictures of the front of my eyes, so I have to have the process done on Saturday when I pick up my glasses with the new lenses in as the optician will have set the camera up. If it still won’t work, she’ll inspect my eyes with a ‘slit test’ I think it was.

I’ve never had such thorough eye tests/examinations before. I’m well impressed! And it’s with Specsavers! I’ve never had an optician comment on my differently pigmented eyes before either – one eye is mostly a light brownish-green with a small wedge of brown, the other is about half brown and the rest the same light brownish-green  as t’other eye.

Someone I met a long time ago described me as having ‘mutant eyes’ and asked if he could use them for a character in a sci-fi book he was writing. I didn’t have a problem with that!

Oh, they have no effect on my vision at all. It’s just a different level of pigmentation that has been, as far as I know, always there.

I also found out this time that my optic nerves are tilted a bit more upwards than is usual but it doesn’t affect my vision, just something noted of curiosity.

Perhaps this is why there’s an eyeball or two appearing in my latest drawings!

Anyways, my eyesight functions very well, apart from the need for glasses as I’ve aged. I’m sure the wobbling blood vessel isn’t anything to worry about either.

I’ve also ordered some beaded ‘chains’ to attach to my glasses so they don’t fall off my nose when I’m looking down again!

So, an unexpectedly extended visit to the opticians along with some shopping in the local town put me all out of sync today, but if nothing else I got my Inktober challenge of the day done!