Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Trip to Broadstairs

 Such a pretty landscape :) You don't have to travel far really to find a lovely place. I went to Broadstairs the other day with my dad and brother, Jacob, as we don't live with our dad so its nice to make a day of it :) Broadstairs is a little seaside town in East Kent which is about 60 minutes from where I live (West Kent).
 Its one of my dads favourite places apparently, he kind of wants to live here. I can see why, its really pretty and quite peaceful. Theres a tiny beach full of colourful boats and beach huts....I hope you don't mind all my landscape photos :)
When I took this photo of the boats with the buildings in the background I suddenly thought 'omg i've painted this before' and I remembered its the background to a photo of me as a little girl I painted for my final major project during the Spring! Kind of a weird feeling, like i'd stepped into one of my paintings...
 Unfortunately its one of the paintings i really didnt like when it was finished, i kind of messed up a few things and couldnt be bothered to tidy them up as it had already taken 3 DAYS to complete, but nevermind. I much prefer the original photo :)
This is apparently the Bleak House from the Charles Dickens novel and the tv series..
and my dad looking out to sea (:
my brother :)
 We also had icecream in a world famous restaurant called Morellis where they do amazing gelato (italian icecream) it was extremely yummy. Although I am on a calorie-reduced diet I did manage to squeeze in a lemon gelato ice cream which happens to be one of my favourite flavours of ice cream/sorbet EVER. Its also extremely hard to get hold of...
Then we all had a cup of tea on the beach, it was rather windy so excuse my rather wind-swept hair ><
And by this point as you can see from the sky, serious rainclouds were on there way. As we were driving home on the motorway, the rain got so bad the wiper blades couldnt keep up so we had to pull over...
I like this photo as you can see my new Geo lenses quite well. I mentioned that they were only 14mm ones as opposed to the 14.5mm ones I wore previously, as I felt the 14.5 ones looked too bug-eyed on my already big eyes >< But from this photo the slightly smaller circle lenses still look pretty big, so I'm really glad I got these lenses !
But regardless of the changing weather and such it was a really nice smiley day :)
I saw a really cute boat in the harbour too called 'Happy Days' which i felt was quite relevant for the day...
 I think that might just be my favourite photo of the day. Well anyway, aside from onland, there was also something interesting to look at offshore! Out in the distance in the sea there is a windfarm, which I thought was awesome! Loads of people complain about them but I think they're really beautiful to look at, and especially at sea, with all the boats around them I think they're kind of mysterious and futuristic.
And another sea picture...check out those waves hitting the harbour! A car had parked right up against the edge and was getting soakedddd...I got the impression they parked there deliberately.
And lastly, we took a long walk along the beach, which mildly ruined a pair of canvas shoes i have, but it was a nice opportunity to sign our names in the sand :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Summer doodling

Hello again :) so for once this Summer I'm going to talk about my work! Which seems hardly ever lately, I've been so lazy. Being out of art university on my holidays obviously leads to laziness...however I have tried to make an effort to do a little bit of art work. I've most been working on getting all my work scanned in to my Illustration site "Burbles" and trying to get that out there generally... Well anyway what i have managed to do is experiment with my illustration work. I have a strong habit of trying to get things totally perfect and in proportion and realistic, especially with my paintings, however those things are not really needed nor relevant when it comes to illustration. So against my strong will to make things look 'realistic' I've been drawing these:
Out of all the doodles I've done this summer, this is probably my favourite one. Its quite a nice, clean graphic, especially considering it was my first sort of attempt, I wouldnt mind printing it onto a tote bag for myself! I used fine liners in 0.1mm to create this on thick white paper so the ink wouldnt bleed, before scanning it in. I based the characters and general idea on Japanese fashion idols from Amo to Kumikki....Its a style of drawing that I'm working to develop right now and create graphics from, which I may use for other things in the future :) such as the tote bags I mentioned.
Someone I know said this looked like a sex doll :D I kind of laughed, its so true.. slightly creepy as this was drawn as a school girl in seifuku uniform. However it was just another experimentation in the same illustration style I was using before...this time with Sharpie pens, pencils and coloured fine liners to colour the images. I used a bit of white gel pen too to highlight a few things.
And the rest of the body...not sure I like it D: I didnt really want to make it look realistic as I usually do with my other works, but I'm not overkeen on the style so I'm going to develop this. Illustration can be kind of hard, as you have to struggle with the balance to create something edgy and different, but without making it look too photo-like, which I have a strong habit of fucking up....I'm just not very used to not making photo-like illustration.
And finally another one (without the body). I like this one better :)
Anyway, hopefully soon I'll improve this style and upload some more of my work when I can be bothered....

Monday, 2 July 2012

Weight Loss so far :)

This is a post I've kind of been looking forward to talking about for a while, as its something I'm quite excited about :) In recent times, probably the last 6-12 months I've attempted losing weight and not really had much luck at all....
Since I was 13 I've been a UK size 8-10, and roughly weighed around 8 stone, but since 2009 my dress size stayed the same (thankfully) but my weight shot up to 8.5 stone. In the last 2 years or so its gone up again to 9 stone, my clothes STILL fit me, but when I took a BMI of myself I was medically in the overweight category. 9 stone may not sound like much to the average person, but bare in mind I am 4'11 (150cm) in height, and 9 stone on my frame does not sit well in my personal opinion. I was still happily fitting in to size 8 clothing, but I felt that I could do with losing a stone to feel better about myself. Unfortunately I felt like there was a whole style of outfits out there I liked but felt too fat to wear, for example sleeveless tops :/ It was a bit depressing but I decided to change that.
Earlier this year I bought and started taking some of Adios Max pills for a little while. They apparently speed up your metabolism, but I found that all they did was make me feel extremely hungry which kind of destroyed the whole point to losing weight...as all i did was want to continue eating :/ So they were crap basically.
I then tried Holland and Barretts "Fibre Diet" pills, which I think worked MUCH better. Not only were they good for you because of fibre suppliment and supporting healthy digestion etc, but they reduce your appetite! Thank godddd something that works. These were perfect for those days where bordom would lead to snacking, and it finally curbed that. Fantastic, HEALTHY stuff.

Aside from a little vitamin help to curb my food cravings, I also began doing weights. My mum had a personal trainer for a while, and according to her weights are probably more important than cardio for losing weight, because the increased muscle mass burns fat not only when you're exercising the muscle, but even when you're asleep or standing still. So in other words it not only tones  your body but it speeds up your burning of fat. My brother does weights and owns some dumbbells, so I borrowed his 2.5kg ones and began doing 100 dumbbell curls on each arm everyday for a couple of months. Eventually I gained enough strength to progress to 4.5kg dumbells, and began exercising with these. And they so far have made my arms look more toned, a little slimmer, but more noticeably they've made my shoulders and collarbone more defined which I am really happy about.
 As you can see from the photo, I totally went out there and bought a sleeveless top, which I had an array of insecurities about previously...but i think my arms/body look slimmer here already thanks to the weights.... :)
 So now onto cardio exercise...the other important aspect to losing weight. This, is almost as important as doing weights, but you have to be realistic and careful not to hurt yourself, so I planned a safe route and got myself some proper trainers! Otherwise you can injure your joints... I've only been going running for a couple of months, I'm still not very fit and I can only do a mile at a time, but I do it in 12 minutes and a good part of it is up hill! On average my mile run burns around 90 calories, so its definitely added to my weight loss. And now onto the most difficult part - FOOD.
cute little meal huh? In total I am having between 1200-1300 calories a day. Throughout the entire week! And I've been very strict about it. If I go to a restaurant, I will look up the calories on the internet first to check which meals I can eat which keep within my calories. You'd be surprised how many restaurants now have their calories listed on the internet!
Aside from this, I find that brown bread, boiled eggs, vegetable soup and sticky rice are really great for filling you up, as well as being healthy carbs. Its also really important to try to drink only water, or tea with semi skimmed milk, and to avoid fruit juice at all costs (one glass of orange juice has the same ammount of calories as a bag of crisps).
So thats all my tips for my weight loss. But now for the results of my weight loss so far.
I've been dieting for exactly 2 weeks.
 Monday 18th June I weighed :
57.6kg /  9.0 stone
Waist Measurements: 67cm / 26.3inch
Belly Measurements: 85cm
Hip Measurements: 90cm
 Thigh Measurements: 59cm
* drum roll  *
Monday 2nd July I weighed :
55kg /  8.9 stone
Waist Measurements: 65cm / 25.5inch
Belly Measurements: 83cm
Hip Measurements: 87.5cm
 Thigh Measurements: 57.5cm

I have lost 5lb in weight and a total of an inch off my entire body in just two weeks :) I'm so pleased and glad that my diet and moderate exercise is working. I have a further 9lb to go til I reach my goal weight, which I am hoping to lose by the end of Summer :)


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Meredith Bardo

Today I am featuring an interview with an awesome artist from Chicago, known pretty well in the Tumblr world as Meredith. At just 16 she has already achieved countless followers and her popularity continues to grow online with her daily postings of illustrations. Her work is a favourite of mine, featuring perfectly simplistic illustrations of nostalgic subject matter and a little teenage angst, relating to her own love of 80s culture and music.
 Tumblr is a pretty interesting place for discovering new talent - receiving up to 68.4 million posts a day and 16,422,942,720 monthly page views - it’s become increasingly popular and possibly the latest forefront to the artist world. However sometimes behind a screen we don’t always get to see or hear about the person behind the work. I was a little eager to hear more about the girl who signs her work rather modestly as ‘DITH.’, and self consciously uses a photo of herself with her face covered by a red sheet of plastic on her About Me page.
Thank you for accepting my interview! First up, why don't you explain a bit about who you are, what you do, how long you have been doing it....
Im meredith bardo, a 16 year old living in the chicago suburbs, im going to be a senior and man i really hate my school. i draw during class, mostly math haha, and at home and at the library and behind a dumpster because its just really fun and blah blah. and ive been drawing seriously for about two years. 
Describe yourself in five words:
 i am a sass master
When did you first become interested and drawn to illustration? 
i always enjoyed drawing since i was a little kid (badly might i add) but a defining moment would be when i went on flickr and just discovered the whole illustration scene and just wanted to be like these cool artists and began to be serious. 
What past experiences do you think have contributed the most to where you are now? 
  Probably just my family and parents being really supportive of what i want to do in life. just little things, like my mom maybe buying me a book about artists or my pops paying for an art class. i mean i still would have the same goals if my parents didnt approve but it really gives me a better outlook on things and just knowing theyre there to help.
You often have mentioned that you draw in school lessons. What reception to this do you receive from your teachers and classmates?
 honestly my art class was one of those classes that people get sent into if they dont have enough credits and only three people in it were passing. but despite it being a blow-off class, it was really fun. my art teacher was so awesome and we would have rad conversations on how he hated my music taste or he would just go into these long-winded stories about zombie . and i actually learned alot from him too,he gave me really meaningful advice and a whole new perspective about art.
What is your general process to creating your illustrations? 
i find a reference photo, normally ill just stumble across it and like it enough to draw it, sometimes i add words, other times i dont and sometimes i just draw something for the purpose of getting my words out. and i also enjoy doing patterns on clothes and things just because its relaxing!
 What do you parents think of your work? And are they aware of your internet success?
 as i said, my parents are really supportive and they say im talented, but i mean c'mon theyre my parents of course theyll say that haha. and my dad will casually mention stuff from my blog sometimes which is a bit awkward because i have no idea how he found my url .. 
What are your five drawing items of choice?
super awesome black tipped 03 micron pen (my prized possession), cool colored sharpie pens, colored pencils, my eraser that resembles a mustache (its fab) and the super light 5h pencils because i find them easy to erase 
What is your greatest inspiration behind creating your work? 
people, mainly how they look, their expression, clothes, ect. and of course other artist, they inspire me just to be creative too.
Aside from art, do you have any other cool hobbies, skills or interests?
i have this deep deep love for 80s music, clothes, hair, style ect. new wave is my jam and i literally spend my days watching bad 80s movies, sobbing into my pillow about the fact that im not molly ringwald or that i will never marry robert smith. its a hard life ..
As an artist, what is the best advice you have ever received?
at NAPD, one of a schools representatives told me that i had a style and to just focus on developing it, i have been for a while now and i can just feel myself improving and getting better every day and its a really nice feeling.
Do you see yourself in an art career in the future? Or do you wish to pursue other goals?
 im really pretty dead-set on going to an art school and having an art career, i cant imagine doing anything else. which is of course scary because i know its going to be a difficult road but im willing, because its something i really really enjoy man.. 
Meredith's tumblr is at http://ohaymrdth.tumblr.com/ so go check it out :)
Thanks for reading!

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