A Sort of Belated B-Day Post

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I went to the beach for a b-day picnic and the sea was gone, so we spent the day splashing in tide pools.

This month is almost over so it might be a little late for this, but I’ve done a b-day post 2 years running and to don’t want to break habit. June is my birth month and usually I make a special little post to celebrate it, but this year time sort of slipped away. I was drawing a new chapter for the comic strip I Collab on over on Mangatoon (click here for a link to it) and wanted to get it finished and posted as soon as possible, which took up a lot of the free time I use for art and blogging. (If you’re following the comic strip-Finding My Own Way, a new chapter should be up on Mangatoon very soon).

Last year I made a “Silly Things That Life Just Wouldn’t Be the Same Without” list and wanted to keep that sort of personal post thing going. So, after searching the far corners of my brain for a post idea, I’ve decided make a “getting to know you” type post (after realising I never actually made a proper one for this blog) and share 10 facts about myself, so you all can know a little more about me. So, before I ramble on any further, I bring to you:

10 Facts About The Things I’ve Seen Blogger:

1: My name is Kelly. Thought I’d start with an easy one (10 in a big number and it might be hard to reach). Some of you might already know this but Kelly is my actual name and Nel is a nickname I use sometimes.

2: I’m a huge night owl. Night seems to be the time where I come alive the most. During the morning and day, I’m usually not very talkative and kind of slow moving like a sloth, but at night I spring to life, have a load of energy and can get very chatty.

3: Anime preference. When it comes to anime, I’m very much a grazer and like to take my time with a series. Genre wise, I like Shounen, adventure, psychological and horror anime more (any sort of anime that gets you to really think or is mind-boggling). With the exception of a few anime (like Hal, Little Witch Academia and The Garden of Words) I’m not very fussed in romance or cutesy pink fluffy anime (shoujo) (strangely though I do like otome games and romance manga).

afp-519400037-4_34: Celeb crushes. Most people have a wee soft spot for someone famous, which is pretty harmless. I have 2, they are Leonardo DiCaprio (I swear that man is increasing in handsomeness with age) and Min Yoongi (a.k.a Suga), he’s so unbelievably cute.
(It was too hard to choose just one pic of Suga!)

5: A huge secret of mine is that I hate the taste of potatoes. Out of context this seems like a weird secret to keep, but I live in Ireland and for some reason most people here have a strange emotional attachment to potatoes (I’ve witnessed grown adults cry over potatoes, which really doesn’t help the whole Irish stereotype thing). Admitting you don’t like potatoes to other Irish people is a huge no no and would lead to me having to go into hiding. Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration that probably wouldn’t happen. If I didn’t eat the disgusting flavourless claggy mush that is potatoes, my family and friends would just assume I was seriously ill, had developed an eating disorder or food phobia or was on my death bed and would become really concerned and want to take me to see a doctor urgently. I don’t want to make them worry unnecessarily, so I just choke some potatoes down every day and act like I’m enjoying it. Also potatoes are a staple here and I can’t eat beard or pasta (I have a wheat and barley allergy), so without potatoes my diet would just consist of vegetables, eggs and the odd bit of meat or fish (oh and chocolate and coffee, can’t forget those) and that’s probably not enough to stop me dying from malnourishment. Anyway, enough potato talk and on to the next fact.

6: I might have a bit of a coffee addiction. When I don’t have coffee for over 12 hours, I get really bad migraines, start to feel sick and become incredibly moody. To be honest I suffered from migraines before I became a coffee drinker, so at this point I’m not sure if the migraines are because of coffee withdraw or if the coffee keeps the migraines at bay. Either way without coffee, I don’t feel too good.

7: I’m naturally very quiet. I go hours without talking sometimes or making any sort of sound. This can come off like I’m extremely shy or snobbish sometimes, which is only half true (sometimes I feel too uncomfortable or stressed out to talk in certain people’s presences, so don’t unless absolutely necessary), but most of the time it’s just because I’m content and don’t really have anything be say. It’s not that I’m unsocial, I can start up a conversation even with a stranger. It’s just that I prefer to listen and don’t mind silence, so go quiet a lot.

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8: I love drawing Pokémon. I love doodling in general but Pokémon, I find myself doodling them a hell of a lot. They’re just so cute and some of them look really cool. When I’m thinking really hard, more often than not, I’ll end up doodling a Pikachu, Oddish or snorlax in the margin of the page.

9: I’m learning Korean because reading subtitles makes me sleepy and learning Japanese was too hard. This is a bit of a compromise and bit to do with my fascination with writing systems. Anyway, reading subtitles makes me feel very sleepy, but I really like watching anime, J and K-dramas and films which creates a dilemma between watching the shows I like and falling asleep. So, to solve this I decided to try to learn Japanese to eliminate the need to read subtitles. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult and got really confused and lost with the reading systems, so tried learning Korean instead (which still isn’t easy but its more manageable). I can only understand about 10-20% of what is said in a K-drama or horror, but on the bright side I really enjoy learning Korean and writing really random things in hangul.

10:  I always laugh at dad jokes. There’s just nothing like a good old dad joke to lift the spirit and I am the type of person who will laugh at them, even if they’re not funny. The cheesier the joke the better. It’s more the irony and cringeyness of the joke that I laugh at, than the joke itself.

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you’d like to share a fact about yourself, feel free to do so in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.

As always Thanks for reading!

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One last photo of Yoongi before you go. Love his gummy smile.

Suffered for Art and Learnt So Much

thumbnail_20180816_175727It’s not just a dramatic title, in this little art adventure (more like misadventure) I actually did suffer trying to better my art. But more about that in a bit, I’d first like to tell you all why after working so hard to master acrylics and Gouache paint, am I now messing with soft pastels. Well, kind of for sentimental reasons. Firstly, away back in the day my mother was really into art and her main medium was pastels. So, I thought it might be nice to try my hand at pastels and learn a little more about it. Secondly, my mother gifted a set of soft pastels for my birthday a few months ago and I wanted to use them before she started to think I didn’t like them.

As helpful as having a parent that also into art sounds, sadly I can’t ask my mother for art tips. Our styles are miles apart and so very different and we draw completely different things. My mother creates mostly things with flowers or landscape pieces (which I’m terrible at) and as you all know, I mostly draw characters (which my mother is rubbish at) and animals. So, as you see it would quickly become an exercise in futility. Therefore, I teach myself by experimenting (messing around) with art supplies and learning what works or by watching YouTube and to be honest soft pastels had a very steep learning curve.

So, getting back on track I give to you what I learnt from suffering for art:

Don’t breathe in the dust and soft pastels are probably not suitable for asthmatics-
This wasn’t the first thing learnt from this experience, but was the most important lesson and explains why I suffered. So, to emphasise the point, don’t breathe in the dust that’s created by soft pastels. I wasn’t aware of how dusty or dangerous this medium could be and accidentally breathed in the dust and near coughed a lung up (but luckily, I always keep an inhaler close by). So, art responsibly and don’t half kill yourself like me. It’s probably best to wear some type of dust mask while using soft pastels.

thumbnail_20180816_150530Try not to drop the case of pastels-
If dropped the pastels break into pieces. Looking on the bright side, I will repeat what I tell my nieces and nephew when they accidentally break their crayons. “Hey, at least there’s 2 of those colours now, which makes sharing so much easier.”

thumbnail_20180816_151344Soft pastels are really hard to control-
Due to their unusual shape it is incredibly difficult to draw even the basic shapes or thin lines. Not to mention it’s also rather difficult to predict what will happen when the pastel is blended or rubbed. Drawing a character with these would be way beyond my soft pastel skills, so instead I decided to create a bit of an abstract nature themed piece.

thumbnail_20180816_152103Soft pastels are incredibly messy-
Merely holding a pastel and applying it to paper will cover your fingertips in pastel dust. Also using your fingers to blend or rub in the pastel is a really bad idea. Your hand will quickly become unrecognisable (I would share a photo of what happened my hand but it was too gross. It looked like old mouldy cheese).

thumbnail_20180816_153450Drawing with pastels is a little like painting with acrylics, except it’s a lot harder-
You can lay down the basic plan and colours of your drawing like acrylics. However, unlike acrylics you can’t prevent colours mixing or looking muddy, by waiting until the paint is dry before adding another colour. With pastels the colours always have the possibility of blending and muddying. Making working with more than one colour really difficult.

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Keep trying until you create something you like-
Despite choking half to death on rainbow coloured dust in the beginning, I kept going and eventually made something nice. Not bad for a first attempt, though if I hadn’t feared choking on pastel dust again, I could have keep going even longer and made something better.

Pastels are actually very difficult medium but they’re also a hell of a lot of fun-
I have a new-found respect for pastel artist, soft pastels are so hard to work with. It must take so much time, skill and effort to create something amazing with soft pastels.
Pastels are a lot of fun to mess around with, so I would like to try to master them. However next time I’ll use better judgment and wear some type of dust mask.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little art adventure and as always,
Thanks for reading.       

Woohoo! We Are One

thumbnail_16c87587-abbb-4ec9-8ec7-c9a6767a629cAs you’ve probably guessed, I’ve found away around my little digital drawing situation (a busted wrist won’t stop me from drawing hehe) and can now illustrate posts as normal. Just in time too, because this month is the first blog-versary of this quirky little blog. When I first started this blog, I didn’t know if it would reach its first blog-versary, but it did and it’s been so great.

Why has it been great, you ask? Well, it’s really all down to you guys, of course. The community here on WordPress is so amazing. Everyone is just so supportive and kind (no one has ever been mean, about my super sh** drawing skills). We really do have something special here on WordPress. So, for this reason, I’d like to take the time to thank you all. Without you guys, I probably wouldn’t have stuck around this long.

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Got you all a little flower, to say Thanks

To make this month a little bit special, I thought it would be nice to create a few posts marking the occasion. Starting with something, I’ve always been a little too afraid to do. An Ask Me Anything post, which will be a Q&A type post, where you guys get to ask me basically anything.

For this I’m going to need a little help from you guys, in the form of some Questions. So, if you could leave a question or 2 in the comments below, that would be awesome and I would very much appreciate it.

This post will be for you guys as a little thank you for supporting my blog. So, no question is too random or too weird. I’m pretty much leaving myself at your mercy and if I get enough questions, I’ll create this very special Q&A post, for all of you guys.

Thanks again for all of your support and I’m looking forward to your questions.

Without a Bubble (No.11 Final)

thumbnail_20170716_205942Stuck with my twisted protector, I was forced to learn to live with this demon.

thumbnail_20170716_205954Eventually, I got that demon to, give back what took from me and for a time, we could live without destroying each other.      

To see the previous drawing of this series, click here.

To view this series from the start, click here.

This is the end of the Without a Bubble series. I hope you all enjoyed it!

This wasn’t easy for me to share, so I’d like to thank you all for your support, throughout this series. It was very much appreciated.