Posts Tagged ‘Illustrator’

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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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Careers 07.01.2018

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

Back again. I had such a positive response from my first blog entry, such lovely comments and lots of views for my website, I did enjoy writing it. So much so that I have found myself at my computer beginning to type. I have been thinking for the past few days, since my first post, what I could write about next.  I have not written anything at that length for quite some time. I can just about manage a few lines for an Instagram post or writing down orders at work – that is about as far as my creative writing goes these days so it was refreshing to be writing about my thoughts for a change.

So here we are again!

I am currently sat with blanket and laptop on lap…log burner roaring and Matthew shouting at his Fifa game. It has been a productive weekend, working, cake making (it is in the oven as I type!), food shopping and Pret a Manger going.

I have actually made time for this blog post (which I am quite impressed with), I better start getting to the point.

Careers.

I thought this would be a good topic to start with as work life is quite a huge part of our lives. I wanted to share my views and opinions on the subject, and a bit about my experiences to date.

I use to think your job said a lot about who you were as a person. I had it in my head that if I did not have a high flying career no one would want to know me, I would have nothing to talk about. I use to feel embarrassed if anyone would ask me what I did for a living. Ashamed that I had not really got very far career wise, thinking that others would look down on me. I have discovered in recent years this is so not the case.

I struggled for years since finishing university, graphic design degrees do not really amount to much once you get out into the big wide world…about a million other people are trying to do the exact same thing as you are and there just are not enough jobs to go around. I guess it does depend on if you are shit hot at graphic design.

I have since discovered that I am not.

I chose graphic design as a course, I believed it was the right route for a steady job after my studies. It has not turned out that way unfortunately. There is no real route or career path for a creative. I feel luck has a lot to do with it and right time, right place sort of thing too. I could say I regret going to uni, but I met some great people and I produced some of my best work. I sometimes think I should of done an illustration course but whats done is done, I cannot change the past. I have to move forward with what I have and what I have is illustration. That is my calling in life. It has taken me 27 years on this earth to finally realise it but I now realise it. I always knew art was the only thing for me, it was all that I was ever good at at school, I was never the academic type. Which I am fine with, I love working with my hands and literally I think I could draw almost anything that was asked of me!

So after 5 years of not knowing what the hell I was doing, looking at job after job. Having interview after interview and rejection after rejection. I finally feel like I have an idea of what I am meant to be doing. I went through a real stage of self doubt and I guess you could call it a form of depression. The job hunting bug consumed me in the 5 years after university. It was all I thought about (amongst other things of course) but I felt really worried about it, like I would never make any progress with it. I was desperate for a design job. I felt very insecure and unhappy with myself, I was not enjoying life. It was the classic thing of just existing and not really living.

There is a quote in the film, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ where Steve Carell’s character says about Marcel Proust which always sticks with me, “French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he is also probably one of the greatest writers since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh…gets to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides all those years he suffered, those were the best years of his life, ’cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn’t learn a thing…” I like to think there is some truth behind those words.

It was not until the summer of 2015 that things started to change for me for the better. I had just got out of a long term relationship, I lost 3 and a half stone in a very short few months and so I was newly single and ready to take on the world…My confidence changed, I felt strangely liberated. I got my first tattoo, learnt to drive and really started living. The job hunt (or anything else…) was not consuming me anymore. It is more important to do what you love than be stuck somewhere which makes you unhappy. I cannot stress that enough. I live by these words. Life really is too short.

I work in a coffee shop, it is not the most glamorous of jobs granted but I am earning, what I really want to focus on now is my artwork. I really want to push myself this year and get certain things done. If I cannot find a job working for someone else I might as well work for myself. I guess what I am trying to say through all these ramblings (and congratulations if you are still with me reading this you, deserve a medal) is that it is okay to struggle and to not quite be where you want to be yet, I believe it is all part of the journey and it will make you into a better person. I will spend this year mostly drawing and creating new works of art. I am not out of the woods yet, far from it in fact. I will have to put in a lot of hard work this year. So if anyone needs me I will be hunched over my desk.

I want to finish this post with something my lovely dad once said to me, “Always draw with purpose” (good old Nige) he was right, and my god do I intend to.

Thanks for reading.

Oh, and by the way. The cake sunk.

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