7 Gripes of a Small-Time Artist

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Let's face it - whether we paint, draw, knit, sew, sculpt - creativity is hard. As much as we love it, hobby or otherwise, there are times where it just plain drives us mad. As an artist myself who would desperately love to do nothing else for a living, I'm all too familiar with the frustrations it brings. Of course it has its moments where it's all worthwhile and rewarding, but there's a large portion of other moments that people don't often get to see - and it's this careful curation of success over perceived failure that can cause misunderstandings about our creative processes. Unfortunately I have at least one of these thoughts on pretty much a weekly basis but hey, I'm not alone - right?...


November: The Periwinkle Ribbon

November is stomach cancer awareness month. Last year on her birthday, I wrote about losing my mother. It was, and still remains, the most difficult and painful experience I've ever gone through - 'life changing' is utterly an understatement. I realise in the very few posts I've written about my mother that I've never mentioned the type of cancer that took her life. In the above post I wrote that it was a story best left for another time, and perhaps now the time has come to shed a little light. If this saves even one life, or even just encourages one person to be more vigilant about their health, my job is done.

If somebody asked you what the symptoms of breast cancer were, you'd most likely be able to give them an answer. Even as you read this, you can probably think of a few of them. Thanks to many high profile campaigns from the likes of Cancer Research UK, the most telling signs are now very well known and lives are often extended or saved completely. Without a doubt this is both great news and fantastic proof that such campaigns do work effectively, and do prompt people to regularly check their bodies and see their GP about anything untoward.

If I asked you what the symptoms of stomach cancer are though, truthfully (without googling anything), would you know what they are? I didn't. My mother certainly didn't. And now she isn't here anymore.



The Bleakness of Blog Breaks

It's October. The deadline I gave myself to fine tune and write new content, and ultimately come out of my blog break has been and gone, and I've done barely any of the things I had in mind. At first I told myself to just enjoy my free time for a couple of weeks, then crack on with what I needed to do ready to bounce back larger than life. As time went on however, I felt less and less like throwing myself back into writing and occupied my time with far less productive things which, while enjoyable, haven't exactly helped. The problem causing the most reluctance I think has come from what I've noticed about blogging and social media while I've not been so focused on my own, and to be honest it's a bit of a downer.




I've been thinking for a while now that my blog's come a long way in the past year, and is now very different to how it started. Looking back on my first few posts, while I enjoyed them at the time, they feel like very sterile and impersonal beauty blogging (that's absolutely not a dig at beauty bloggers fyi; those posts of mine now simply feel like I was posting what I thought I should or what I thought people would want to read). Those early posts feel very average and run-of-the-mill compared to some of the posts I've made in the last few months, which in contrast are very personal, powerful and honest, even at the risk of disagreement with others. I started out incredibly safe, and have gotten braver and, hopefully, a little more different.

I've said so often on Twitter lately that I will sit down and I will blog on this day and that day, as I've been very aware that new content has yet again become infrequent and people are losing interest, but it's just not happening. This year's posts and last year's posts are far too mismatched and inconsistent in subject matter and post quality, and I think on some level that's stopping me from posting more regularly - I have no established 'theme' or 'niche' because not all of my posts fit into the same one. The direction I've started to take this year is the one I want to carry on following, and the most fitting thing for me to do is a spring clean. In summer. D'oh.

Basically, I'm going to be spending a little time binning posts I don't feel fit in anymore, polishing those that can be rescued and tweaking the overall presentation of A Tiny Mew. Everything will stay online and readable for the time being, however changes going on behind the scenes mean there'll be no completely new content for a little while - definitely no later than the end of September. I just don't believe in adding pages to a book that needs a few chapters to be trimmed out.

Please bear with me, I'm aiming for some fab new content very soon xo


A Note On Shock

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Life is a really funny thing. Except, at times, it's not actually very funny at all. It only seems to be the bad experiences that offer us the more sobering perspective, and that's a poor payoff for the mixture of overwhelming emotions that come with them. We've all pictured a certain scenario in our head at least once, and been able to somewhat predict how we think we'd feel about it - the death of a loved one, losing a treasured possession, being turned down for a job we really wanted, a long or life changing illness, cutting ties with a lifelong friend. If we ask ourselves or anybody else how these things would make them feel, most would probably provide the same answers - sad, disappointed, angry, frustrated. They're all natural, well known responses that we come to expect and know how to deal with should these events ever occur, and luckily this helps towards making a recovery. What I've personally come to learn though, speaking from very recent experience, is there are some things and feelings that you have no idea how you'll react to until it happens, and one of those feelings is shock.

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