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.

Saturday Morning Mandala

Mandala 14 Dec 19 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

It’s another day, another new dawn, and I needed to do some art to self-soothe. When I’m like this I nearly always draw mandalas.

Carl Jung, the psychotherapist, asserted that by drawing mandalas, we get a view of what is going on in the unconscious (subconscious) mind that we are unaware of. He also recognised that drawing a mandala gives a window into the current state of mind and emotions, it also allows ordering and healing to take place.

Yesterday’s mandala and today’s are quite different, but drawn for the same Yesterday’s mandala and today’s are quite different but drawn for the same purpose. To soothe my overwhelmed emotions, and it has helped in doing that..a bit, anyway.

I’m not entirely sure how I’d interpret my own mandala, however, but I’m sure that plenty of people will read a lot more into than I will.

Never give up on hope

Artwork ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I woke earlier with the need for some self-caring, self-soothing art and a mandala is the only thing that does that at times.

I created a background using various shades of pink and red Distress Inks (Worn Lipstick, Abandoned Coral and Candied Apple). I scanned it in and then drew the mandala digitally.

I needed pink as a soothing colour, so I chose a monochrome (more or less) colour scheme for the mandala.

I knew I wanted a Star Wars quote, and I chose this one from The Clone Wars. I feel a Star Wars marathon coming on later today; something else that I find soothing.

First, though, I want to get some work done on colouring another illustration for the Spectacular Sea-life coloring book. This is yet more self-soothing.

Fading

Fading © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I wanted to try out an idea I had, and it’s worked out fine, I think. Mind you, I’m not thinking well today – I’m experiencing an ‘introvert hangover’ from being in a large group of people last night. I come across as quite an extrovert to people, but that is a well practiced mask and to keep it up is rather exhausting. It’s also tiring to be around people with all the noise, various emotions, and just the number of people there.

I have a couple of things that I need to get done this afternoon, and I also need to take care of myself and this ‘hangover’ of a headache and tiredness. I really need a good amount of alone and self-caring time. Maybe when I get home this evening I’ll manage to do that.

Anyways, the arty idea I had has ended up as a rather ghostly, faded design, which actually describes how I feel at the moment.

I like the softness of both the contrast but also of the lines that form the mandala. I do have a bit of a thing for grungy backgrounds at the moment. The texture really appeals to me and I like the contrast between the more orderly mandala designs and the chaotic grungy-ness.

Evening Mandala

Evening Mandala ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived home from EMDR therapy feeling very emotionally drained, fragile and vulnerable. Creating art is one of my self-soothing activities, particularly mandalas.

I’d downloaded a pile of new backgrounds in the past couple of days and wanted to make use of a chalkboard background. It was so dark I knew I needed to make the mandala full of light and colour.

This was a somewhat symbolic choice as my long journey to recovery from CPTSD has been about bringing light into the dark places of my trauma damaged psyche. EMDR has helped me turn the dark into light in terms of my mental and emotional health.

I really enjoyed creating this mandala. Usually, I work with black on white; here I started with colour – the abstract ‘flower’ ring close to the centre. I wanted the colours to glow against the darkness, so I chose lighter shades of aqua and violet. I even added some glowing golden seeds or pollen grains, which is also metaphoric for the personal growth I’m going through in my healing journey.

I then used a white, chalky pen ‘brush’ to draw patterns inside this ring and around it. I decided the white was too plain, so, to break up the white, I blended soft colours into it.

Finally, I added the ring of mushrooms. These had to be my favourite colour – purple. I added some dots to the mushroom caps in lime-green, which is kind of a complementary colour to purple. My last step was to add the stylised foliage behind the mystic mushrooms.

This mandala really helped to soothe me, and it was a pleasure to create. It gave me a break from Inktober and other work that’s ongoing too.

Talking of Inktober, I will be getting Day 29 done later today; I have some things that need doing first.

Oh, the mandala was created digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface Pen on the screen of a Microsoft Surface Studio (the digital analogues of pen and paper).

Inktober 2019 – Day 23

Inktober 2019 Day 23 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Frog skull, Morchella (morel) fungi and Abundies tangle pattern from Inktober prompt lists by Instagrammers @book_polygamist @nyan_sun and @havepen_willdraw.

I decided I’d use the frog skull as a framework for some tangle patterns. It’s not so easy to pick the skull out, but it is there in the centre of today’s illustration.

I felt the need to add some mandala rings around the design, though I’m not sure that was such a good idea. Still, Inktober is about drawing and reflecting on what is created rather than aiming for something complete, polished, perfect. This reflection on artwork is what leads me to improve my art. Inktober also pushes me just a little to try different styles of drawing.

So, I’m not so happy with today’s offering. But it’s good enough.

So, Angela, how are you today?

Tuesdays are often post-therapy self-care days. I certainly need such a day today. I am absolutely exhausted after yesterday’s very emotional session.

I didn’t do any EMDR, but there were discussions about some issues that had arisen for me in the past week. One of which is preparing to leave therapy sometime in the near-ish future. This is both a good thought and a sad thought. Also, it has to be my decision when to leave therapy. Making decisions is not easy for me.

Some of the time was spent talking about the book I’m reading ‘Will I Ever Be Good Enough?’, which is about the daughters of narcissistic mothers. There are some issues from that which will need some working on before I leave therapy.

I came home from the appointment absolutely exhausted. I stopped off at the local Sainsbury’s for some tea before doing some shopping, as well as to wait out the crazy rush-hour traffic. I kept nodding off as I sat in the cafe.

When I did get home, I put my shopping away, got another drink and went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. I managed to stay awake for a couple of hours before the exhaustion overtook me once again, and I retired to bed.

I slept well; however, I am shattered today, as well as being emotionally drained, fragile and vulnerable. Even though I feel like this, that gentle contentment is present within me. Indeed, it was present during the emotionally distressing moments in therapy yesterday.

So, today is a self-care day, starting with my Inktober drawing for today. I’m just about falling asleep as I type, so I suspect I’ll have another mug of tea and then return to bed to sleep some more.

Believe

Believe by Angela Porter 2019
Believe © Angela Porter

About the art

I’ve spent an hour or so creating this small design; the paper is 4″ (10cm) square. It’s been an enjoyable time. I needed to spend some time warming up my pen skills before returning to drawing the October colouring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

My first step was to use a Tombow fudenosuke pen to hand letter ‘believe’. I wanted to make sure that the word stood out from the rest of the design, so I used a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen to draw two ‘auras’ around the word.

The rest of the design flowed onto the page, starting with the flowers to the top right of the word. I used a variety of nib thicknesses in the drawing. I used quite a few of my favourite patterns and motifs in this design; this makes the drawing quite soothing for me as I don’t really have to think and concentrate on constructing the design elements.

Once I was happy with the design, I decided to add some shadows with some grey-coloured pencils. I’m not satisfied with this at all. The pencil ‘leads’ were too hard to get a soft line. In future I need to remember to use a 2B or softer graphite pencil and some kind of blending tool.

I am happy with the design though, apart from the bit I let spill out to the edge of the paper. I also need to note that I’m happy with my hand lettering here too! Using fudenosuke pens with flexible tips for drawing has allowed me to develop the pressure control I need to complete the brush lettering. The brush nibs on the pens are quite small, so the contrast betwixt thick down-strokes and thin upstrokes isn’t as noticeable as with a broader nib, but all the same, I’m still quite happy with it.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this little panel. It could become the top layer of a greeting card, or frame it and hang it. Perhaps I may add it to my BuJo. It could, of course, end up amongst the piles of artwork I have stored away.

Why did I choose the word ‘believe’?

It’s something that I’m working on – believing in myself. Believing that I deserve better in life than what I grew up with and unconsciously seek to replicate to try to get a different outcome (one of the features of CPTSD). I am beginning to believe that I can turn the negative beliefs I was taught as a child into positive beliefs about myself.

Part of this is believing in my art, believing in my self-expression and not looking to others for approval and validation of what I’ve created. I want to believe that it’s enough to create art that makes me smile, and hopefully other people too. There are plenty of artists in the world who make social statements, political statements and thought-provoking images with their art. I’m not one of them. I just want to add some prettiness and smiles to the world.

Sometimes, part of my art may have quotes that are thought-provoking in them, but the art is, I think, pretty.

To believe that I am the opposite of what I was brought up to believe myself to be (which wasn’t very nice).

There’s so much more I could add here, but I’d need to explain it, and I’m not up to doing that in public. Maybe in the future I will, once I’ve overcome those negative beliefs about myself.

So, Angela, how are you feeling today?

I believe I’m feeling quite content, though that tiredness has sneaked up on me once again. However, there is that contentment there, and that’s a good thing.

I believe I’m feeling quite content, though that tiredness has sneaked up on me once again. However, there is that contentment there and that’s a good thing.