Monday, 29 February 2016

February 2016

February just seems to last forever, doesn't it?

So over cold and dark at this point, but getting through.

I spent an inordinate amount of time in early February drawing Hollywood stars of yesteryear...

These were part of a project to decorate a Los Angeles halls of residence, along with some other quote-based posters.
I find it kind of annoying because they could look a bit like a photoshop filter, but each one actually requires layers of painstaking abstract tracing to produce the final result, and (to float my own boat somewhat), it’s far from a simple process. I really enjoy doing them though, so it was a fun job.

Here are a few of the final posters...

I figure I can probably be open about it now, since I’ve told most people who need to know… I’m looking for a new job. Not out of any dislike of my current job, more the increasing realisation that it might be time to get out of Brighton. Mostly for financial reasons, but also because change is healthy and good and I think it would be a positive thing in terms of both my geographic location and my day-to-day work.

There was a renewed burst of intensity in my applications at the beginning of the month (and associated despair/desperation/anxiety), because we thought Alex might lose their job. But fortunately, just yesterday they signed a contract for another year, so we’re okay for now… But my intense sympathy to all who are insecure or losing their jobs because of the government’s horrific, ridiculous local authority cuts right now. 

We had a nice houseguest in the form of Tom, a friend of Alex’s from Sheffield. Continuing the slow persuasion that maybe Sheffield is a place I’d like to live.
Also, this tortilla lasagna/taco torte. SO GOOD. (A vegan adaptation of this)

Explored a new bit of Brighton I’d never been to before (and it’s times like this that I wonder whether I am ready to leave). Heaved myself up Elm Grove to stunning views across the allotments to the rest of Brighton and the sea, then back down Bear Road through the most amazing cemetery. Huge and sprawling and old and full of hidden valleys and buildings and monuments… Such a beautiful place, which this attempt at a watercolour doesn’t really do justice. (Watercolours are hard)

Having been applying for loads of jobs and becoming increasingly despondent that none of them were right for me anyway, I stumbled across the DREAM JOB* (*Well, from what I can tell). The challenge was that a) they wanted more than just a PDF CV/Portfolio, and b) they were going to close applications ‘as soon as we’ve found the right person’. So I flung myself into making an exciting multi-part thing to send them. Since I’d been on such a roll with these portrait illustrations, I decided to create a couple of personal ones, of two of my favourite musicians, Tokimonsta and Daedelus.

(I later found the job advertised elsewhere and they’d actually set a deadline of March 4th, so now I wish I’d spent more time and rushed less, but I was so worried I’d miss my chance! So now I wait, although I suspect they’ve had a lot of amazing applications, so I’m not getting my hopes too high.)

Temporary solutions to life-stress.

The main problem I have at dance class (aside from my terrible coordination and poor timing) is my inability to remember the choreo. I feel my my dancing would immediately improve about 200% if I could just remember what the hell I was doing.

This year for lent I’ve — as usual — given up crisps, chocolate and biscuits… But also this year, all forms of takeaway food, which is arguably the hardest challenge because I bloody love getting takeaway at least once a week, often more… plus buying lunch out two days a week. Still, it’s good for my health and my bank balance. I can’t wait for the end of March though.

Sometimes you just want to make a big elaborate den and hide in it, you know?

Got to go on a tram, got a free delicious lunch, ran some good training, and had loads of time to listen to great music. And the sun shone ALL DAY!

Charity shop finds so exciting they’re worthy of a drawing!

We decided to have a breakfast party at work, so we all bought in loads of tasty breakfast treats. It was GREAT. I ate 4 crumpets, a muffin, and about a litre of fruit salad.

I love Vegfest. A big conference centre packed with people, loads of free vegan food samples, and all kinds of weird new vegan food innovations. Previous years I’ve taken Alex, which is a terrible idea because Alex hates crowds and capitalism. This year I had a great companion in the shape of my friend Harriet — we both got similarly excited about similar things, took advantage of loads of buy one get one free deals, got to share two different lunches, and generally had a whale of a time. Here was my ridiculous haul.

Ugggh guys I got carried away. I was so excited about the new Cass art shop that’s opened in Brighton, so I went to take a look. There was a REALLY enthusiastic sales lady who followed me around and wanted to talk about all the pens so we talked about all the pens and she persuaded me that these Windsor and Newton pigment markers were great. But when I went to try them out, the senior sales lady came over and was like ‘um, you can’t test them’, and I was like ‘what?’ and and she said they’d only let me test two colours they had out (green and yellow, what good is that?! I wanna see the colours I’m going to buy!) then she was like ‘okay I guess you can try a bit’, but by that point I was feeling so awkward I was like ‘no it’s fine I’ll just buy them’, while stupidly forgetting to check whether they seep through paper, which they do, massively, rendering them basically useless to me. Plus when I actually got them home and tested them in the kind of context I’d want to use them, they’re pretty rubbish for shading, the nibs are a bad shape, and they don’t even blend that well (which was at least partially why I was sold on them). I bought them as a replacement for my grey shading Tombow brush pens which are running out, but this was a bad choice. Booooo gullibility.

Anyway, onwards. February feels like it's gone on forever. I'm looking forward to a (hopefully) less stressed March.

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