Wednesday 30 July 2014

Time for a Selfie?!

Hello my dears, i've spent the last few days pondering what to write about on here and I wasn't really planning on posting anything this week but yesterday and today I worked on a new Candy Doll illustration, so I figured I might as well post that.

So, meet the latest Candy Doll...

Yes she's a candy coloured girl with pastel pretty hair and a princess dress but you may also notice that her pose is that of someone taking a 'selfie'. (in fact, it's based on THIS selfie by the very gorgeous Missi Mouse)

Now i'm going to assume that when I say 'selfie' you all know what I mean. In today's world it's difficult not to pick up on trends flying around the internet and selfies are a phenomenon that i'm guessing you'll have heard of or seen on many occasions, or at least once or twice.

For example, here is a 'selfie' from my own instagram profile, note the camera phone clutched in my hand. (I should warn you, you're going to see a lot of my face throughout this post so if you are personally offended by my face, then bugger off. Leave now if you want, either way it's happening)

In simple terms a 'selfie' is a picture someone takes of themselves, usually reflected in a mirror or by dangling their phone/tablet in front of their face. You don't have to be alone in a selfie, you could snap a photo with your pet, spouse, family or whichever random celeb you've managed to corner, but i'm pretty sure for it to qualify as a selfie YOU have to be in the picture as well.

Now i'm not a big selfie poster but I do occasionally partake in the odd one when i'm feeling happy. I recently spoke to some people i'd never met who had heard of my work (it's a small island) they commented on the content of my instagram and one of them said 'I went to follow you but it's all pictures of you!'. This got me thinking because A) it is so NOT all pictures of me and B) so what if it was?!

Like many artists and creative types, I use social media to promote and sell my work but sometimes it can be good to remind people of the person behind the drawings, I follow so many incredible artists on Instagram and you can guarantee that every so often they'll post a snap of themselves. I also follow dozens of people who work in so many other areas and they ALL post regular photos of themselves, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends and family. In an age where people can share photos of anything and everything, whose to say it's wrong for them to share a photo of themselves.

There are mixed opinions about the torrents of selfies now populating the pages of virtually all the social media sites but personally I think they're a great idea! Hardly new or novel in existence, people have been taking selfies since cameras were invented (see for yourself HERE), so why should they come under fire now for snapping the odd shot of themselves.

As someone who really dislikes having her photo taken, I seem to have no trouble snapping ten pictures of myself posing and pouting in my bathroom mirror. Which is what makes selfies such an appealing form of expression, you are in complete control of the outcome, so it's a very personal thing to stand there and scrutinize yourself and snap a photo of what you see.

Instagram is a great platform for sharing things with the world, i regularly share snaps of my products and creations, books i'm reading, lovely scenery or my friends and family. but I don't think there should be any shame in posting pictures of myself.

For me selfies are a way of sharing my face with the world, or inflicting it upon it, either way sometimes it can be nice to post a shot of the face behind the online profile. If i'm having a particularly bad day, i'm more likely to shun social media but if it's been a lovely day and i've had a smile on my face then sometimes I like to share that smile.

I have low enough self esteem as it is so I think in some ways posting the occasional photo of myself on my instagram or twitter gives me a little boost in the confidence department, which is something I think most of us could do with from time to time. Even if nobody even sees it, just knowing that i've had the courage to share a photo of myself with the world is enough of a boost. Obviously it's even nicer when friends or family (or strangers!) post positive comments or hit the 'like' button.

I don't have many days where I feel truly good about myself, so you can guarantee that I must be having a brilliant day if it warrants a spontaneous selfie!

I first joined instagram in late October 2012 (when I got my iPhone). The very first picture I ever posted was related to Ghostbusters (obviously) but the third photo I shared was a selfie. My first ever proper phone selfie to tell the truth. I took it the Saturday before Halloween, standing in a toilet cubicle at Tesco, because as you know I live a very glamourous and exotic life.

Now I can't remember exactly how I felt or what I was thinking at the time but i'd just been to the cinema with my best friends to watch Ghostbusters so I was probably fizzing over with happiness. I'd dressed up in a big red polka dot swing dress with red lipstick to match + sparkly devil horns (because I fail spectacularly at all Halloween costumes) since that weekend lost of people were dressing up to walk around Douglas, so that was my contribution. And obviously, I felt that I needed to share that with the world, hence the selfie.

I remember getting teased a bit by some friends online, nothing bad but people seemed amused that i'd taken the time to post a picture of myself. So now (all this time later, I know...) it got me wondering why we make such a big deal of it?! It's not a crime, feeling good enough to post a picture of yourself smiling like a dork.

There shouldn't be anything negative about trying to boost your own self esteem from time to time so i'm not sure why so many people feel bad about posting a snap of themselves. You should just do it! Feeling bored? Go ahead and pull a daft pose in the mirror. Do you love your new outfit? Share a pic. Are you having a good day? Share your smile. Did your hair look amazing today? Share a photo so everyone can see how strong your hair game is! Don't be ashamed of yourself, show the world how awesome you are.

This is the most recent 'selfie' from my instagram. I'd had a really nice day out with my family, i'd worn my favourite red lipstick all day and when I got home I was trying to find a new home for my Betty Boop figurines. My lipstick was still neat so I decided to have a go at imitating Betty's famous pout. It's a silly picture, it was frivolous and totally unnecessary but it was FUN. So I posted it.

Now I know what you're probably thinking, crikey Jade you're posting a LOT of photos of your face, you must really love yourself and i'll stop you right there because NO. As i've mentioned, I have a lot of issues with self confidence and self esteem, I tend to have a very low opinion of myself but I am occasionally granted days when I don't feel so self depreciating, these days are few and far between so when they do appear I have to grasp hold of them and ride the wave of confidence. If that results in my shamelessly posting a photo of my own face then so be it, it's better than hating myself constantly, which I usually seem to do.

Anyway you'll be glad to know that that is the last snap i'll share today (hallelujah!) I seem to have forgotten the point I was trying to make but I think essentially what i wanted to say was don't be ashamed of sharing photos of yourself, if you feel good about yourself then let the world know.

I can't help but wonder though, do YOU post a lot of selfies or are you utterly camera shy? If you have access to a camera phone or tablet with a camera, I think you should go and post a selfie. Maybe not right now, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. DO IT! No regrets.

and on that sickeningly positive and upbeat note, i'll bid you all adieu.

If any of you do feel brave enough to post a selfie, please do link me to it in the comments below, I would literally LOVE to see your faces. It would fill my tiny shriveled heart with eternal joy.

So until next time, that's all folks. Thanks for making it to the end of the post, that means you managed to wade through my garrulous ramblings. WELL DONE!

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Hello there my dears, I failed spectacuarly last week by somehow managing NOT to post a blog at all. For this I apologize, it wasn't a great week and every time I though 'ooh I should probably go do a blog' I found that I had absolutely nothing to talk about.

So naturally I just didn't push it. I mean I could have made stuff up and told you a fantastical tale plucked straight from the dizzying depths of my overactive imagination. But I didn't.

Anyway, i'm here now and guess what?! I DREW something again! Big news, I know.

If you're a regular reader of my inane ramblings then by now it probably goes without saying that I am a massive geek and a total fangirl (I declare this with pride, I feel no shame for my lifelong obsessions with books/movies/tv shows etc) so when I popped Netflix on in the background and sat down with my pencils and paper thinking 'hhm I think i'll draw a new Candy Doll type girl today' the result ended up turning into something completely different but nonetheless still kind of girly and eventually kind of awesome.

Despite having seen it at least 100 times (probably) and owning more than one copy of it on DVD, for some reason I once again opted to watch 'Ghostbusters' on Netflix.

So this is what I ended up drawing...

Now you're probably sitting there thinking... why? And that is a very good question which I will try to answer for you now.

Firstly, because GHOSTBUSTERS and secondly because, GHOSTBUSTERS.

Come on give me a break it's my favourite movie and this is the first time i've attempted to draw myself a proper Ghostbuster (I drew the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man once, and of course my Adventure Time crossover HERE) and since I can never seem to pick a fave from the Movie and I was never sure of all the characters in the cartoon, I invented my own fearsome redheaded (busty) buster ready to kick some supernatural ass!

She's a Rookie buster, still in training, learning how to catch ghosts without burning faces off or destroying buildings. Although she might have got a bit more than she bargained for with Slimer, I think he's taken a bit of a shine to her!

The blog upload kind of massacres the colour quality but it really pops, I tried to post it on my Tumblr blog but to no avail as apparently the wifi router at home hates me today with a vile burning passion because it took me about 2 flipping hours to upload everything for this post. I'll be quiet now.

So as well as the movie (obviously) I was also inspired by some of the brilliantly amazing GB Pinup girl shoots I saw over on Ghostbusters News so I thought it could be fun to have a go at one myself. So she had to be sexy (of course) but still dressed in the proper Ghostbusters gear ready to wrangle some ghosties! 

I had to wriggle a few things around (the patch on her arm is on the wrong side I think, but it's an illustration not a 100% accurate representation, so please calm down Ghostbusters fans, i'm sorry!) but she was still tonnes of fun to draw. 

here are a few of the shots that inspired the illustration, each one is linked to the corresponding post over on Ghostbusters News with full info about the photographers and models and so on.

And that's just a few examples from some of the shoots on the site, aren't they brilliant! I have a feeling that my next cosplay project might have to be a Ghostbusters costume, as authentic as possible, or maybe I can drag in my current cosplay alter ego and form some sort of Mary Poppins Ghostbusters hybrid?! we shall see...

So yeah that's it, a new drawing, at last. It's been a while since I drew a girl not covered with tattoos or multicoloured rainbow mermaid hair. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those things (obviously!) but it was fun to draw and colour something a little less pastel princess and more ghostbustin' goddess! 

Anyway that's all I wanted to share with y'all today since I have nothing else to tell you about.
I read some more books and marathon-watched a few shows online, which was about as exciting as it sounds.

So on that delightful note i'll sign off, see you all next time, hopefully!

Cheerio folks

Thursday 10 July 2014

Doodle Tote Bags

Hello my dears, hope you're all fine and well this sunny Thursday evening. At least, it's sunny here, obviously I can't be sure that it's sunny wherever YOU are.

Lets stop talking about the weather.

So yesterday morning I got a sudden urgent need to draw something, anything, everything!

This happens to me from time to time and I usually just scribble out something halfheartedly on a nearby sheet of A4.

However this time paper and pencils didn't seem to hold the solution, nor did sketching out a design for a new painting, so instead I sorted out some plain cotton tote bags (that have sat unused in a box for well over a year) and thought i'd have a go at doodling straight onto the bags instead of anything else. Like the walls.

This was the result...

Now it's not the first time i've drawn onto fabric, nor will it probably be the last, but every single time I sit down to do it I somehow always forget how much FUN it is!

I mean yeah it's true that the pens dry out super fast and the slightest nudge sends the line wavering into a wobbly mess but still, there's something very gratifying about drawing on fabric. To me anyway. I don't know maybe it just felt good to be drawing anything at all.

I tried not to over think the  drawings too much so tried to work on them quickly before my mind could talk me out of it or come up with some other spontaneous scheme.

The first design I drew out quickly turned into a bunch of Sailor Moon doodles. Yes i'm still very much stuck in Sailor Moon mode, and I don't think i'll be leaving the obsession behind just yet, especially not now that I have the new cartoon to watch (which is utterly brilliant by the way).

Then I took a break because my wrist was protesting achily at the unexpected need for it to actually do something other than turn a page in a book or pick up a fork.

THEN I came back to my desk and drew out another 5 designs. After which my wrist really REALLY wasn't happy.

Next came a very sweet design, as in the doodles are so sweet they'll rot your teeth! Everyone loves cakes though right?! I know I do. And sweeties. And DONUTS! So this was probably the easiest one to draw.

Next there was a Summertime themed bag, lots of fun Summery type things. I'm not much of a beach fan (growing up on an island has forever lessened the excitement that a beach and the sea usually instills in people. I see the sea several times a day and I went to school opposite a beach. I like them, but I do not love them) but I was obviously thinking of lazy days on the sun drenched sand when I doodled this one.

After that it was a slightly less cluttered one, simple but nice (probably my favourite in fact) a slightly 'Sailor Larry' tattoo inspired bag. The text was the most fun bit to do.

 Then after another break for water and sweeties, there was a slightly Lolita inspired bag. I'm currently re-reading Lolita so it seemed like a good idea to throw in some bits n' bobs from the book (and the movies) and this doodle was the result.

And last but certainly not least, I drew out one of my 'dolls', in fact she was one of the first ever 'Candy Doll' girls I ever drew (way back in 2012) so I thought it might be nice to plonk her and her judging stare onto the side of a bag.

The bags were super fun to doodle on and since each design was different, it didn't get too boring. In fact i'd probably have carried on decorating more bags if i'd had any!

Anyway, all of these 100% unique and one-of-a-kind work of art tote bags are now up for sale in my Etsy shop.

Y'all will probably think they're too pricey, in which case oh well, I guess i'll just never sell any! You see, as much as i'd like to slap on a super cheap bargain price, I drew each one by hand, literally until my hand ached, they took about half-an-hour each!

That's three hours altogether, three hours I could've spent reading or staring at the ceiling.

Well they're there anyway, and if they don't sell i'll just have 6 nifty new tote bags to shove all my books and stuff in. 

To sweeten the deal, each bag comes with a very sepcial handmade limited edition ribbon rosette and matching button badge.

If you've been a long-time admirer of the Candy Doll girls then this is your chance to officially become one of them by joining the Candy Doll Club.

The rosettes are super sweet and perfectly candy coloured! They look great on the tote bags but if you still want a limited edition rosette (and badge) for your very own self, they're available separately HERE.

Okay so that's that. Recent spurt of creativity. Not much else to tell.

I seem to be getting worse at finishing these posts so maybe I should end on a song!

Don't worry i'm not about to start serenading you, but here's a video of a new-ish song I really kind of like. The lyrics are brilliant and it's impossible for me to not love every scene of the video as it is SO VERY VERY VERY candy coloured!

If my Candy Doll girls were real (which they are, obviously...) then I think this is what they'd listen to. A Candy Pop pop song. perfect

so until next time, cheerio folks, thanks for reading!

Thursday 3 July 2014

In the name of the Moon...

Hello dearhearts, here I am, back again. And guess what, today's post is going to be about a drawing that I did! That's right, I ACTUALLY drew something!

But not just anything, oh no... I drew something so candy coloured and eye achingly sweet that it deserved its very own blog post.

I drew...


But obviously I drew her as if she were one of my Candy Doll girls, so she's totally fierce, looking fresh to death in her kick-ass uniform and is utterly slathered in tattoos!

Sailor Moon is the ultimate Magical Girl so i'm pretty sure that it was only a matter of time until i felt compelled to draw her. I guess it was sooner rather than later though.

 I'm not going to pretend that I didn't have absolute HEAPS of fun working on this piece. I spent so long working on it in fact that I started to neglect other things, so had to give it a break for a day or two.

Initially I was just going to draw her without any tattoos or anything but then I thought... nah! That's not as much fun. To me anyway. So I suppose she's a kind of 'Girl Gang' version of Sailor Moon, hence the shredded gloves to show off the inked arms!

I sat down one day about a fortnight ago and thought 'hhm, I want to draw Sailor Moon'. So this was the result. It's hard to tell without zooming way in on the illustration but every single one of the tattoos is linked to 'Sailor Moon' in some way. You'd have to be a fan of the show and the characters to spot them all, but they're there.

For those of you not familiar with the magic that is Sailor Moon, it's a Japanese creation, originally a Manga first produced in 1992. However my first experience of the world of Sailor Moon came from the Animated series from the mid 90's.

Sailor Moon was probably the first anime I ever saw as a kid, in fact I first saw the cartoons in Spanish during my annual visits to Andorra. I didn't have a clue what the characters were saying (at that point I was years away from even starting Spanish language lessons) but I would sit enraptured, glued to the grainy TV watching the adventures of Usagi and co + their senshi counterparts unfold on the screen before me.

I remember later visiting a toy shop in Andorra and spotting a bunch of 'Sailor Moon' dolls. Back then I was obsessed with any dolls that had brown hair and green eyes (the closest to my own hair and eye colour) so it goes without saying that my favourite Sailor Soldier back then was Sailor Jupiter (in fact, I might have to draw her as well at some point).

She even had green in her uniform and back then, aged nine-and-a-half, green was my absolute favourite colour ever, so show me a doll with brown hair (and a fringe/bangs not too disimilar to my own) green eyes AND a green skirt and well... lets just say my parents had difficulty dragging me away from the shop that day.

I look at them now and wonder what I was thinking, but at the time I was desperate for one (or several). I'm sad to say that I never got the doll. Or in fact ANY 'Sailor Moon' doll. I feel that my late 90's childhood self definitely missed out on swathing her bedroom with Sailor Moon merch. But alas, until I build my time machine, that'll never change.

So instead, my twenty-three-year-old self got this.

Yes. I bought another toy to add to the collection crammed onto my desk. BUT HOW COULD I NOT?! Don't answer that. I don't need you to judge me, I can do that all by myself.

Ignore the blu-tack shoes, but look she also comes with swappable faces (not creepy) and hands and wands and stuff! She is actually brilliant.

Sailor Moon herself + a little Luna as well (Luna is the cat, in case you didn't know. And honestly if you didn't know, you should just go and educate yourself and watch Sailor Moon already. Go on then!)

I had to get her. I mean, I just had to, you know. Look at how badass she is! She'll beat you up if you mess with her!  

Fighting Evil by Moonlight, winning Love by Daylight, never running from a real fight! (that's the theme song by the way i've not just gone barmy, not completely anyway). 

For now she's perched on the desk (on top of my Washi tape collection) along with all the other funky stuff that seems to be gathering around me day by day, you might be able to spot her if you look carefully...

Back to the illustration for a moment though, in case you were wondering 'why now?' it was massively inspired by the Moon Crisis show, which is this totally brilliant tribute art show about to launch in Anaheim, CA (on Saturday). I've been keeping up to date with all of the new pieces via their instagram profile and if you want to see some truly BRILLIANT Sailor Moon inspired art then i definitely encourage you to go have a look (here).

Sadly I found out about it way too late to submit a piece but i'm excited to see the full collection once it's open to the public, not that i'll make it out to Anaheim myself of course, but i'm hoping lots of photos will be posted on their facebook page. + if they decide to do another show next year i'll definitely try my best to get a piece entered for consideration.

Also, my timing isn't a coincidence, very exciting things are afoot because on July 5th a BRAND NEW anime series of Sailor Moon is due to begin! (cue extreme fangirling), this is a HUGE deal, like a really massive deal. Okay i'll shut up and pop the trailer below.

and on that magical note, i'll say my goodbyes.

so until next time, cheerio folks!

ps - what's also exciting is that fact that EatSleepDraw one of my favourite Tumblr art blogs featured my Sailor Moon candy doll this morning on their site! So this really seemed like the perfect day to run this blog post!

pps - totally forgot to mention it above but you can also get prints and bags and phone cases and stuff with my Sailor Moon fan art on, check the stuff out here and here.