Blog birthday vol. 3 – A week in the life of a blogger

Blog birthday vol. 3 - A week in the life of a blogger

3 years ago today I published the first post on the blog Imelda Green’s. Of course not under this domain and not in the same form as these days, but I am still very proud to say that I’ve been posting more or less consistently ever since.

I had originally intended this blog to motivate me to create art regularly – just like some challenge. During those first months of planning however, I had no idea that I would meet blogger buddies who would later become friends or that I’d learn so much about social media marketing, but I knew from the first moment on that maintaining a quality blog beside a day-job would mean lot of extra work.

I attended a blogger event in Budapest this October, where one of the guests asked: how is it actually possible to create high-end material while doing a day-job, if it takes so much effort (as it was enphasized how much work it takes to create good quality content).

So today I’m celebrating my blog’s 3rd birthday by giving you a little insight into how a week looks like in the life of a blogger (& illustrator). October was a rather busy month round here, so I chose to describe the last week of that month, as it gives you a fairly good idea of how these busy periods look like. You’ll see that I’m the type of blogger who likes to plan everything at least a month in advance (preferably more), so no unexpected event can interfere with my posting schedule.

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Feeling the fear…

Feeling the fear - how to get over fear as an artist

I’m looking at my to-do list: I should paint, try new techniques so I have things to write blog posts about and take pictures of. But I should also cook, clean my apartment, and I haven’t met my best friend in ages. Plus my cat can’t wait for me to play with him a bit.

This is more or less what my inner monologues sound like when I procrastinate. There’s an endless number of excuses why I can’t sit down to my desk and draw the first line, but of course it’s not these – indeed important but not crucial – tasks that stop me from painting. What stops me is fear.

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New medium #4 – Masking fluid

A series about experimenting with new techniques - masking fluid for watercolor.

My ‘new mediums‘ coloumn is returning in a little irregular way: I didn’t experiment with a completely new technique, but I was trying out a supply made for watercolour artists: masking fluid.

Those working with watercolour will know that with this technique it is kind of impossible to paint white surfaces. If you want white, you need to leave the area blank and the white of the paper will give the colour. But sometimes this is quite difficult: let’s suppose you want to paint a swirl of snowflakes in front of a dark sky. This means you’d have to paint around all the millions of tiny flakes… Great… Well, it really is great now, because masking fluid solves the issue.

What is this section?

One of the conclusions I drew from the illustration workshop was that I’ve become a bit lazy: I am not experimenting enough with new techniques, I am happy in my bubble of watercolours. Of course, there is nothing wrong with dwelling deep in one medium and learning all the secrets but if you don’t get out of your comfort zone you miss a lot of fun. So I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog: I’m going to try techniques that are new to me and tell you guys about my experiences.

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The times when I’m not creative…

How to get over artist's block - a personal story.

The most frequent answer to the question “How to be an illustrator?” is: practice every day – and you can believe me, I have typed this question into Google gazillion times. But what happens when you just can’t?

The past couple of weeks have been rather difficult for me due to some personal changes in my life and even though I’m a really active, productive person, often I just spent my time doing passive things like reading or watching something instead of painting or writing. And I am neither a lazy, nor undisciplined.

So what is it like when you just can’t ?

Professional creatives actually deny that there is such a thing as ‘inspiration’ and I tend to think along the same line: if I stimulate my brain the right way, then ideas generate themselves. However, I can’t say that I don’t know the feeling of being ‘uninspired’, but in my case this ‘uninspiration’ mainly refers to the slightly depressed state when I don’t even have strength to trigger my creative radar.

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New medium #3 – Pen and ink

A series about experimenting with new techniques - pen and ink

What is it that crosses the architect’s mind when it comes to ink? Hatching, university, descriptive geometry… To put it shortly, my experiences are rather horrible, not to mention that this technique is somewhat similar to graphite pencil drawing, which is another thing I’m not friends with. Last November, however, I had no option but to give it another go with black ink at the illustration workshop and BOOM! I’ve been using it ever since.

What is this section?

One of the conclusions I drew from the illustration workshop was that I’ve become a bit lazy: I am not experimenting enough with new techniques, I am happy in my bubble of watercolours. Of course, there is nothing wrong with dwelling deep in one medium and learning all the secrets but if you don’t get out of your comfort zone you miss a lot of fun. So I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog: I’m going to try techniques that are new to me and tell you guys about my experiences.

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New medium #2 – Lino cutting

A series about experimenting with new techniques - lino cutting

I first met lino-cutting at an afternoon class in primary school. I immediately fell in love with it but stopped working with it right away, as this technique is fairly complicated and also a little dangerous (at least for children). I came across it again during the illustration workshop that I took part in last year.

What is this section?

One of the conclusions I drew from the illustration workshop was that I’ve become a bit lazy: I am not experimenting enough with new techniques, I am happy in my bubble of watercolours. Of course, there is nothing wrong with dwelling deep in one medium and learning all the secrets but if you don’t get out of your comfort zone you miss a lot of fun. So I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog: I’m going to try techniques that are new to me and tell you guys about my experiences.

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New medium #1 – Aniline paint

A series about experimenting with new techniques - aniline paint

One of the conclusions I drew from the illustration workshop was that I’ve become a bit lazy: I am not experimenting enough with new techniques, I am happy in my bubble of watercolours. Of course, there is nothing wrong with dwelling deep in one medium and learning all the secrets but if you don’t get out of your comfort zone you miss a lot of fun. So I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog: I’m going to try techniques that are new to me and tell you guys about my experiences.

Aniline paint and I go back a long way. It tricked me years ago, pretending to be aquarelle-paint. When I realised at last that I’d been painting with aniline for years I became so angry that I stuffed the set at the buttom of my drawers and only got it out a few weeks ago.

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Behind the scenes #3 – A visit to the art school

rajziskola_blog0_en

To put it simple, I am not a great fan of art classes in institutional circumstances. I have had some really bad experiences at university and during those years I was simply incapable of creating any form of art, it all started once I was left well alone and I could paint at home whatever I liked and with whatever technique I chose.

This is one reason why it is such a great step for me that I took part in an illustration workshop last November at a local art school in Budapest. Around here  there are not many opportunities to learn illustration specifically, so when I came across the ad I just knew I had to put aside my worries and join. So, from the middle of November, a group of us got together every Wednesday for 4 weeks to learn a bit more about illustration.

What’s happening in the witch’s brew?

Probably the best thing that happened to me during these 4 weeks was that I could put aside my prjudice: art classes do not exist for the sole reason to ruin your confidence. Our instructor, Réka Holló-Szabó has been working tirelessly to figure out which technique suited us best and gave us encouragement in that precise field.

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Why say yes to handwriting?

Why say yes to handwriting

I am currently sitting in front of my laptop typing out this blogpost about the benefits of handwriting at such speed that my keyboard is nearly on fire. Not that I’m the only one… According the alarming results of some research, handwriting is on the way to extinction and some states in the US have completely stopped teaching cursive writing at school. On that side of the globe handwriting is becoming so attached to the past that it’s starting to become trendy again as something ‘vintage’. Bizarre, eh?

Or perhaps not so much… The same way as the value of handmade products grow fast in a completely automated world, we start to recognise again the benefits of handwriting.

Are you meditating while writing the shopping list?

Meditation is, in essence, focusing your attention fully and completely on something. While we take the pen in our hand, smell the ink and feel the texture of the paper we slow down and write ‘bread, milk, cheese’ in a lot more mindful way than if we tapped these words on the smartphone. Drawing the letters stimulates the mind the same way as doodling – it’s only our culture that attaches meaning to these forms.

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