Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

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Oh life 14.09.2018

Friday, September 14th, 2018

I am midway through doing my makeup on this Friday morning. Hair wet, old California baggy jumper on (looking on fleek) but I couldn’t wait any longer to put what has been buzzing about in my brain for a few weeks into words.

This next bit will be hard to write. Shouldn’t have started my makeup yet… Here goes.

On the 22nd of July 2018 my lovely, beautiful Grandma passed away in her bed surrounded by her three loving daughters, my dad and my uncles. She left this world surrounded by love. And my god she was well loved. She is still loved.

Okay that was the hard bit to write. I think.

I still cannot believe she is not with us anymore. I have thought of her everyday since. She is constantly in my mind. Her warm face. Her super soft hands holding mine. Her warm lavender and pink cardigans and her wonderful body shop white musk smell (a body mist my sister would always buy her for birthdays) Gosh I miss that smell.

Emotion is such a huge part of life. It is how we connect with others. Sometimes it is uncontrollable. Sometimes people have trouble expressing it. I have no trouble. I cry at literally everything.

My Grandma’s funeral was an emotionally draining day. I still feel drained from it even now. Correction it was a ‘Celebration of life’. Her life. That sounds more uplifting doesn’t it? What a life she had. A long life filled with years surrounded by family, knitting and love. I spoke at her celebration of life. It felt right to. I would have regretted not saying how much of an impact she had on my life. Through tears and several pauses of not physically being able to get the words out, I managed to read the letter I had written to her. I think it is the one public speaking occasion where you are allowed to be a blubbering mess and not really look at anyone. I did it for her.

Death is devastating. Something we cannot control and that is inevitable for all of us. Sorry that sounded very morbid… but it is isn’t it? I have had a lot of thoughts recently about life and how preciously short it can be. How we can be here one day and gone the next. Just like that. My Nan was a part of our weekly lives. We would have endless meet ups at her little flat and eventually at the home she was welcomed into. I wouldn’t have done anything differently and I am so honoured to have known this strong, independent woman. To now not have that connection with her is upsetting to say the least.

My hair is currently air drying into a bush. Nan would not be impressed! Must apply makeup and sort out the birds nest on my head before I continue…

**Time passes**

Okay…hair and makeup done. Where was I…

So I wanted to write this post about life. Its a funny thing. That is what has been buzzing around my head of recent. How strange life is. How we are here, how we live, how we die. If we were to really think about all of it I think our minds would explode. My mind keeps going to a place. A place where I don’t really want it to go. I keep thinking of my Nan just before she died. What she would have seen, how she would have felt. At peace? I hope that was part of how she felt. My Mum and Aunties had placed a photo of my Grandad and Nanny in front of her so she could look at him. I can’t imagine it. That final release of life. That is such a huge moment. As huge as it is to enter this world. It all leads up to that moment. Everything is let go of and yet remembered and held on to. Loved ones, memories. That is life. That is what is important. How you live it, what sort of person you grow into, who you surround yourself with. This is what will fill your heart.

I have begun to appreciate beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I always think skies with huge stormy clouds and bright orange and yellow sun beams can look very God-like. I am mostly in my car speeding along when I am looking at these sunrises, heading to work at stupid o’clock in the morning. Aretha Franklin blearing out from my speakers and the cold mist hanging over the rolling hills near my house, the warm glow of the sun greets me most mornings and makes me think of my Nan. Hoping that she is witnessing these beautiful views from wherever she is. I think how lucky I am to be in the position I am in. I don’t have a lot of money (no surprise there being an artist!) but the love that surrounds me from the people I have in my life means much more to me than I could ever put into words. I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing people that are important to you. Or telling them that you love them. This isn’t going to last forever. So why wouldn’t you say it.

My attitude towards life has changed so much in the past few years. I totally get the fact we are all on our own journey and we are not going at too slower pace of too faster pace. We are going at our own pace, and if that makes you happy then my god you should keep doing what you are doing. I know life can be no plain sailing, I don’t think it ever is for anyone. We all face battles, some are luckier than others. How you deal with those battles can shape who you are and how you will be remembered. I could have a lot of money and be in a well paid job but I might not be who I am as a person now. I am proud of who I am and how I approach life. It is my approach and it might not be the same as yours or others but it works for me and I can actually say (on the whole excluding some emotional moments!) I am happy. I am alive and living life as best I know how.

I feel I have said a lot in this post. The idea for it has been creating thoughts in my head of what I could say for a couple of months and I haven’t felt ready to type it out or write it down until now. I will probably go away from this and realise I have left something out or forgotten something about my Nan I have wanted to say so may be adding more to it later. But at this moment in time I am glad to have shared these thoughts with you and I hope you can take something away from these words. (If you are still reading thank you for sticking with me!) I want these posts to be about subjects I really care about and think a lot about, as I do think an awful lot!

So I will end this post by raising my well loved ‘moo’ mug full of tea and saying ‘Cheers everybody’ as my lovely Nan always used to do. This is it. This is life. So we better start living it.

Thanks for reading x

 

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Tattoos 30.07.2018

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Tattoos. They are definitely thought of as a marmite situation when it comes to individual opinions on them. As you might have guessed I love them. Always have and always will.

My mum found a photo of me recently from when I was about 7, I am covered in facepaint and have musical notes painted on the tops of my arms so I think I was always destined to have tattoos…

I always wanted one throughout my teens and admired those who did have them. It took me until my mid twenties to finally have the courage to get one. My newly single lifestyle led me to get my first tattoo, a bumble bee on the top of my foot. I remember my dad saying it was a celebration of my new found single life as an independent woman. And that made me feel great.

I remember not being quite sure of what I wanted tattooed on me, I doodled something on the morning of my appointment and now it is on me forever but I couldn’t be happier with it. I went to the dodgiest part of Reading to get it done with my best friend holding my hand. We have never returned since… You always remember your first tattoo, much like a first love. It holds great purpose and reminds me exactly how far I have come in a short space of time. It was the start of many more tattoos, all designed by myself. My body, physically and mentally is a constant work in progress, and so are my tattoos. I have some on my arm, shoulder and collar bone. Some on my legs and of course on my foot. I will be adding to these in the future, I have so many ideas of what I want on my skin. The thought of adding to what I have already just seems right.

Now I understand this topic wont be to everyones taste. I respect that. Everyone is not going to love everything you do, that’s just a part of life. As long as it makes you happy and you’re not hurting anyone, what else matters? I love the fact that my artwork will live on me forever. I want to be a walking illustration. I draw the line at tattooing the whites of your eyes…I think that might be too far.

My top tattoo studio of choice at the moment is ‘The Black Rabbit Collective’ in Newbury. I happened to come across it on instagram one day as I was scrolling through. I can highly recommend this place. I feel it will now be my first choice for when I want to be tattooed. To have a look at their work follow the link below. I will also link Lee Rose who has tattooed my last five pieces. She is boss. You will find her link below also. I find her very sympathetic towards my illustrations – wanting to position them perfectly and taking the time to do so. What she does is a real art, and I admire it. I feel, like a lot of other topics nowadays, tattoos are becoming more accepted, even in the workplace. Something about the present day with everyone sharing more and talking more about everything can leave me feeling very uplifted. With all the bad in the world we need to hold on to that.

So heres to the next tattoo (or three which I have already designed!) I am looking forward to covering more of my skin…sorry Mumma!

Wigmore out.

The Black Rabbit Collective – click here
Lee Rose tattooist – click here

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Shopping is my thing 21.07.2018

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

It has been (oh my gosh) six years… six years… since I finished university. A lot has actually happened in those six years.

I ended a long-term relationship, ending a engagement… I learnt to drive! (That is huge for me…) Bought my first baby car (with a little help!) I moved in with my best friend, met my man best friend (Matthew) met his beautiful, loving family who welcomed me into their home and lives! Bought a house with said Matthew and bought my first sunflower plant which I have managed to keep alive after the first week of owning it! So much can happen in six years. Cannot believe it.

I also spent a good chunk of that time applying to jobs, bossing the interviews then dealing with the rejections, picking myself back up and applying to more. Starting your career. My god what a hard thing to do nowadays. Through it all my job as a barista in an independent coffeehouse has been constant, in the background, steady and loyal babes. I have earned my living through this.

I had a brainwave a few months back. You know what? Fuck job searching. Why work my bum off making someone else rich when I can do that for myself. And so the dream of making something out of my illustration work began.

In the past I have always shot myself in the foot where illustration is concerned. I never believed I could make a living out of something that I loved doing so I never tried in the first place. Whenever someone asked me what I wanted to do I would reply with, an illustrator, feeling embarrassed like I would never actually achieve that goal. But why not? Why cant I make a living out of it?

So here we are, I am nearing my thirties and I finally know where I stand. I know what I want to do. It has always been illustration and it always will. So even through all the blood, sweat and tears I know I will face in the future I am certain of where I want to be heading.

I have been producing like mad over the past few months, in between working and well just living life really. But with this blog post I would like to officially introduce the opening of my online shop. Selling all things created in my studio (our second bedroom, at my tiny desk!) All the work is very close to my heart and has been created with a real love and passion for all things created by hand.

Totes original. Tote bags are huge at the moment, saving the planet one bag at a time. I have created one off original hand printed tote bags. So whichever one you own will be completely unique. There will be more to come of course. Badges are available too, I love a good pin badge.

If you can please take a look at my shop and tell your friends I would be eternally grateful!

Heres to all the handmade babes out there! I join your club with great honour!

Wigmore out x

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Mental health 05.06.2018

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

After having never really understood mental health I feel nowadays it is becoming more socially accepted to actually talk about it and for people to admit they have mental health issues, I believe the more we can talk about it the more we can help those who are suffering and to let them know they are not alone.

I use to work with someone that committed suicide quite a few years ago. I won’t go into details but at the time, of course it was awful. It was such a gut wrenchingly sad way for him to leave this world. He suffered with depression and in the end I think it all got too much. Suicide seems to be a very private, personal moment that I know some people will think of as selfish. I believe those who choose to take their own life to have huge courage. Such a huge decision for someone to make. It is beyond words.

I have this vivid memory of him striding down the street, long twenties style overcoat floating in the wind, being carried along swiftly by his long legs. I always thought he looked as though he had been born in the wrong era. Maybe in another era he would’ve found the happiness he wanted, but whos to know. I didn’t want this post to be solely about suicide. It is a massive subject which I find myself thinking about sometimes. I just wanted to touch on it as male suicide has had a lot of press recently and it’s comforting to know that it is being spoken about. Not just suicide but any side of mental health. I have watched a lot of mental health youtube videos recently, I have read about it a lot on social media too so I just wanted to write a few words about my view on it and also for those who are feeling low or stuck in a rut I have a few tips that I have put together in the hope it might help at least one person.

I have never really thought of myself as someone who struggles with mental health. All my life I have just put up with how I feel and got by as best I could. I find it hugely refreshing that mental health is spoken about much more freely these days, which I feel is the future. I think I do suffer with it but I can control it. I think we all suffer with it in some form. I am so grateful for where I am and I have worked hard to become who I am. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and definitely a lot of tears… If you think about it the mind is such a hugely powerful thing. Which I think some of us just cannot control sometimes. I am by no means an expert on depression or mental health these are just my thoughts and findings but I understand it can be completely complex and different for everyone.

Now the following tips unfortunately might not be able to help someone suffering with depression, I will try and list some organisations that I have heard of at the bottom of this page for anyone looking for professional help, but for those who cannot seem to shift a low mood I have a few pointers that have helped myself out when I am at a low point. I actually decided on these tips after being in a funk this morning – my mood has improved since doing a few of these so I thought I would share. Here goes…

Play some music…loudly

Okay yes, do keep the neighbours in mind but nothing makes me feel better than turning on some of my favourite music loud and singing at the top of my voice. Music has always been a great escape for me and I have always preferred it loud. I have only in the past couple of years really started to appreciate music and what it can do for the soul… what got me going today was Aretha Franklin (with the royal philharmonic orchestra)

Have a shower

Get clean, get dressed, do your hair and make up, put on your favourite outfit. Make you look like you. I can’t recommend the shower enough. It is an uninterrupted 10 minutes of your day where you can just have a moment to yourself. Shave your legs, armpits even your nether regions if it makes you feel fresh then do it I say! You will feel much better afterwards. Instant refresh.

Go for a drive

What did I do before I drove? Now I get in my car and just drive, sunroof down (watch out for any build up of rain water…no? Just me then!) Music, again, loud but sensible loud you know? The freedom of driving is enough to lift anyones spirits. If you don’t drive, get out for a walk (I should really do that more…) plug in your headphones and just walk, around your local town or village or into the countryside. There is something to be said about being in nature. Fresh air, birds singing and bees a buzzing. There is nothing better than being near nature. It is good for the soul.

Talk 

To family, friends, someone at work. If you are having a tough day chances are someone will be able to cheer you up or put some words of wisdom your way. Everyone has their tough days so you will be rare to find someone that has never had something hard to deal with. Share with others. We are different in our own ways but it is amazing how similar we can feel, it is something we will never realise if we don’t pipe up.

Hug someone

Okay maybe not a total stranger but a loved one, a good friend someone you work with. Human contact is hugely important in day to day life. Putting your arms around someone can be a huge comfort. A physical act of kindness to make someone feel loved and appreciated. Isn’t that what we all want?

Pret a manger

Okay this one might just be for me, and of course there are other food and drink chains available but come on! Get down to your local Pret, if you have never been before what have you been doing with your life…? If I can’t tempt you then check out their instagram here.

If Pret is not your scene (btw their soya lattes are boss) treat yourself to your favourite food, chocolate bar or buy some new clothing or a new plant. Something small that will make you smile. It really is the little things.

Change your scene

Even if it is just out into the garden, a change of scenery can go a long way. Or you can. Getting head space from whatever is troubling us can help hugely.

Step away from the social media

We are all guilty of it. Scrolling endlessly through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and comparing our lives to others. Stop. This is something I never seem to learn. I think if social media was in our lives less we would all benefit from it. But unfortunately it seems to be here to stay. Step away from it, when you are feeling low, and do something different. Read a book, go out for a coffee or dance in your pants just escape from it as much as you can. Social media is like marmite, I love it but it can get sticky and consume everything in its path.

Of course it is easy for me to write these tips down, actually putting them into practise is another thing entirely and something I struggle with too when I am feeling low. Life isn’t meant to be rosey all the time. We are meant to have difficulties and our low days so that we really appreciate the good days and the good moments. Its a battle I feel I am constantly fighting, reminding myself everyday how lucky I am to be who I am and to have the people in my life that I do and to have my health. It is a constant work in progress.

I realise too these tips won’t simply cure depression. Even though I wish it could be that simple. If you are suffering with mental health the best advice I can give you is to seek out help. Talk. Talk to anyone that will listen. It is the first step to take. Here are a few helpful links;

The NHS website has a huge list of helpful links here

Mind is an amazing mental health organisation.

Anixety is also a huge part of mental health which I haven’t really touched on but here is a useful link for anyone suffering with this.

If you know of any other useful organisations please leave a comment below so that others that might read this can follow any other links.

I hope these ramblings have been of some comfort for you if you are going through a difficult time. Please comment below with your views or experiences, lets start a discussion.

Thanks for reading. Wigmore out.

 

 

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Be kind to yourself 30.04.2018

Monday, April 30th, 2018

I know it has been over a month since my last post…have you noticed?? Maybe not… but for those who have I am back. I have finally got my bum into gear and have made time to create. I think it has been where I have been going wrong all these years. I have never made time for my artwork. I have worked, non stop since I was 17. Always earning, making money to pay for rent or food, just about getting by but never actually making time for what I want to be doing.

I love making other people happy, maybe that is why I am best suited to customer service…but doing this can take its toll. So this post is a sort of update/chat about life and how I am trying to be good to myself, to be kind.

I am very fortunate in the fact that I have a recently new advantage at the moment. I have a partner who is supporting me whilst I am creating new content. Some for my website, some for me, some for potential clients. I have never had this opportunity before, to actually have a couple of days where I sit down and just draw. Seems the most simplest thing in the world right? But to actually have an allotted time to do this has been unknown to me. Never before have I been left alone for the day to focus on my artwork. I feel it is a real chance to discover my style, which I am evolving everyday.

So I should probably explain since the middle of April I have cut down my hours at work (part time barista part time wannabe illustrator) so I now have extra days to myself to create. It seems blindingly obvious now but I have never thought to do this before. Perhaps because I needed to earn money in my early twenties to live which I think anyone will agree was fair enough.

I am writing to do lists for the first time in my life. I have always kept everything in my head and worked through it somehow, probably missing things off that were forgotten along the way. I am finding such pleasure in crossing things off these lists daily, and actually getting shit done!

This freedom has seen my creative block disappear, which I have previously written about, and a new found confident illustrator appear. I now have a bright orange notebook for lists, creative processes and ideas to be jotted down in.  It is becoming invaluable to me. Now if I am ever stuck for ideas I consult my orange notebook, it has all the answers.

I am listening to A LOT of podcasts, I have a new found love for Desert Island Discs (I know, its okay I am 30 next year..!) listening to greats like Dawn French, Dustin Hoffman even Russell Brand has been hugely inspiring for me. I feel like I am learning more than I ever have sat at my desk hunched over a drawing laughing (or crying…) at a podcast. I would highly recommend a listen to anyone. They can be a huge comfort and listening to the stories can be fascinating. Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’ has also become a favourite of mine. She interviews more greats such as Stephen Fry and Gok Wan. Listening to other peoples life experiences is massively up lifting. To know that these famous individuals that we look up to and that have sort of ‘made it’ if you like have also had heartaches in their lifetime.  I can feel my life and processes becoming enriched due to listening to these podcasts.

I am making a conscience effort to be kind to myself. The podcasts are a good start. Eating well is also important (poached egg on toast in the morning, thank you very much). Cups of tea are important and of course that first cup of coffee in the morning. Enjoyment in the moment is just as important as the work we do.

One day we will be out of time, so make the time now.

Be kind to yourself.

Thanks for reading.

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Block 12.03.2018

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Creative block. It is the worst. It snowed a few weeks ago causing myself and Matthew to be stuck in doors for four days! I found it such a great opportunity to produce some great work for my website, and even though after the second day cabin fever was beginning to set in…I persevered and really enjoyed the four days of just solid drawing. I had loads of ideas and when I put pen to paper all my ideas came to life. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t go anywhere, that there was no pressure to be anywhere, maybe it was this that helped the creative juices flow. I felt happy with just getting up every morning, going to my desk getting out my sketchbook, plugging in my music and starting to draw.

Struggling this week, maybe because its a Monday or maybe I have just lost my creative flow this week. I get moments like this. Moments of self doubt in myself and my artwork, moments where I panic and scream in my head, “WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!” I thought maybe writing about it would help. So here we are. Maybe its the lack of chocolate this month…

Writing about it is actually quite therapeutic. My thoughts here in black and white (I’ll realise I’m being a fool at the end of typing this). Maybe I am hoping to make sense of the goings on inside my head.

I know I shouldn’t but I sometimes find that I am comparing myself to others around me. Thinking, ‘oh my god, they are younger than me and they are already so much more successful than I am at this age…!’ I shouldn’t do it. But I cannot stop my brain sometimes. I have phases of worry; worries about who I am, if I am doing the right things and acting the right way…Does anyone else do that? Are we doing it because we are only human? I have to remind myself that every life is different and we don’t all face the same challenges and life experiences.

Is everyones idea of success different? I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw this quote (instagram somewhere I am sure…) but I found a random screenshot on my phone. It goes ‘At the end of life, what really matters is not what we have but who we are; not what we got but what we shared; not our competence but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Be kind, be loving and start with yourself ‘ whoever wrote this, you have hit the nail on the head basically. It is easy to get distracted by other sometimes ridiculous feelings, as long as we refocus back to what is really important. So that is what I am trying to do today. To focus back on what is important in the hope that this will regain my creative flow.

Creativity can be affected by my mood, I can’t just sit down at my desk and start drawing if I have had a bad day. I have to be in the right frame of mind and have an idea of what I want to produce. I have rare moments of opportunity to do my drawing – maybe thats part of my problem. Maybe I need to make more time for it. I get very caught up in everyday life, working and seeing the people I love. I forget to set aside time for myself sometimes. Time to do what I want to do. Its a vicious circle really and I get myself into it now and again. Like with everything, all the self doubt I feel at times, I am the only one who can change that mindset.

I want to make a living from my art but I have always been so unsure of how to do it. I have spent years trying to figure it out and still I am none the wiser. I want what I do to be taken seriously, to be appreciated and to be rich from it. Sorry that last part isn’t true! Haha, I mean it would be nice but just to carve out a career from my talent would be great. It is hard work, harder than I ever thought it would be. I look at other illustrators and think, ‘How did you do that?? How did you become so successful??’ I read about their journey to “success” and it always seems to be that they stumble onto the right path or they just got lucky and met the right people. I hear that a lot. I don’t know what the answer to all this is really. When I figure it out I am sure I will jot it down in another post. But you could be waiting a while. In the mean time if you have any bright ideas, let me know yeah?

This post has sort of been all over the place really. Sorry about that. Thanks for sticking with me if you still are…That was a little insight into the mind of Beth. I’m off now to make corned beef hash with Matthew.

Thanks for reading.

Wigmore out.

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