Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Coolmas ♥

Hello my lovelies, Happy Xmas Eve to you wherever you may be + whatever you might be up to this evening.

If you celebrate Christmas then i'm sure you'll be spending Christmas Eve doing something festive or just relaxing with family and/or friends.

As has become tradition in recent years, I decided to have a go at a festive themed illustration. I only just finished it today, hence the Xmas Eve blog post. It's not as overtly Christmassy as some of my past designs, but here it is anyway...
She's a bit of a cool chick, hence the blog title. I drew the hair aaaaages ago, but I couldn't think of anything to go with it so I figured a christmas jumper + kilt style skirt might work. + the pattern in the background was 100% made just for this piece. I tried plain snowflakes but it didn't look right so I made more work for myself and came up with this simple little pattern instead.

There's a surprising amount of detail in this one, the Jumper has a woven fabric texture and the stripes on the skirt took quite a while to do. The hair always takes forever to edit as well, believe it or not but it's the most time consuming part of any Candy Doll illustration.

She's got a little bit of attitude to go with her ironic festive jumper + green ombre tipped ends, she's too 'cool' for Christmas. I don't know maybe she's just not that into the holiday season or something. You'd have to ask her yourself.

If she's not really feeling it this year, then she's not the only one.

This year I've been really struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. I'm not sure why as i'm usually the kind of person who starts playing Christmas music and wearing festive jumpers non-stop from December 1st onwards. But this year it just never happened, I kept waiting for the Christmas buzz to hit, but it never did. This isn't the first time this has happened, a few years ago I was going through a rough patch and I barely celebrated at all. I refused to put up any decorations or wrap any gifts. It wasn't a great time but I thought I was past all that now. 

Apparently not. This year there's been no excitement for Christmas; for Star Wars, yes, i've been excited like you would not believe, but for Christmas... no such luck. 

decorations in the Strand shopping centre in town
 Before you start having a go at me about being ungrateful etc, i'll just stop you there because no, that's not at all what I mean.

I just think there's a lot of pressure at Christmas time to be terribly cheery and happy and FESTIVE! It's a time when you're supposed to be merry and bright, spending days with those closest to you and doing all the typical christmassy things. In the UK that usually involves copious amounts of alcohol, chocolate and cheesy television. But my family isn't really like that, i'm not sure if it's because both myself and my dad have Aspergers but we've just never been the sort of family that sits around watching TV together for hours on end. In fact we don't spend much time together at all, but that's fine, that's just how we are.

my Christmas themed vintage troll brooch
Take today for example. I've spent the entire day in my room drawing and editing + reading and listening to the 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' score on repeat. The only times i've left my room were to get a cup of tea and walk up to check the post. My dad spent the morning in the garden before spending the afternoon watching TV by himself. And my mum... well i'm not really sure but it probably involved coffee and facebook. But like I said, that's just us, regardless of the time of year. 

I don't usually feel any pressure to get my family in one room and spend time together, I love my parents more than anything but at Christmas time I feel like there's something wrong with me for not wanting to do what 'normal' families do during the holidays. 

the christmas tree in town
Usually I don't give any of this a second thought as it's so normal, but at Christmas it seems to become all the more apparent and I know it shouldn't bother me in the slightest, but it DOES, so I get all conflicted, should I make more of an effort or not? Most years it's the former, I go all out, christmas music blaring from my room, decorations everywhere, trips out to fairs, family shopping excursions and the like. This year it's the latter I think. 

decorations in Coventry City Centre
I'm just not feeling it for some reason. It may as well be any other day of the year. Don't get me wrong, I might not be running around singing carols and throwing glitter, but I still LOVE getting presents for people, choosing gifts and wrapping them up. But this year i've been struggling finacially and it's gotten me kind of down because I can't afford to buy my friends and family the sorts of gifts I want to. It's silly I know, and gifts aren't the be all and end all of the festive season but still.

It's a daft thing to get low about but my mum arranged all of our xmas gifts earlier and it upset me to see the tiny pile of gifts they each have from me. All I can think is that next year I have to get a job so that I can give them a better Christmas. 

she'll read this and come and tell me to stop being a daft sod, but I can't help but feel guilty. My family all do so much for me, it upsets me that I can't treat them to heaps of lovely things.

my 'christmas' outfit
and on that note I have NO idea what my original point was. I went off on a tangent there somewhere, so it's probably best if I call it a day. 

thanks for reading, I'll try and get another post in before 2016 starts, it will probably be Star Wars themed, so i'm just warning you now...

Merry Christmas to YOU