Tuesday, 18 February 2020

BACK IN BLOG


Return of the Blog. The Blog Awakens. The Empire Strikes Blog.

However you want to brand it... it’s me. I’m BACK.

Earlier this year, I conducted an experiment. I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and a whole host of messaging apps off my phone. Just… to get some peace. It was weird at first. Then it was OK. Then it was hard. Then it was OK again.

I’m now using social media once or twice a day, but it was great to break the spell of hyper-connectivity. Some time to reflect on technology and my life.

I remember when THE INTERNET arrived at our house. Excitedly my family gathered around an awkward laptop to marvel at this invention, the height of human technology. What did we watch? We watched the hampster dance. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the hampster dance but it’s a bunch of GIF hamsters spinning around in circles, set against a white background with a catchy little ditty. This, my stepfather proudly told us, is it. This is what it’s all about.

We cranked the Logitech speakers until the dial-up dropped out.

And swiftly into the web we fall. Scattered over the internet you will find various stages of my development. Little parts of me in unanswered Yahoo emails, abandoned Neopets, frozen Bebo profiles, comments on Weebl and Bob. Somewhere along the line Blogging was a thing, and then it wasn’t. Somewhere ELSE along the line, we decided we were OK with our data being sold to shady third parties. We decided we’re OK with every second post a sponsored ad. We decided it’s OK our lives are an endless stream of notifications. We decided we’re OK with fake news, fake butts, fake connections.

I mean it makes sense. All those amazing services were never going to be free, duh. But I’m wondering how much value they add. Is my schoolmate’s dad’s dodgy opinion really worth those relentless baby monitor ads? Is my brother’s 90th meme for the day worth the sale of my personal data? Do I need a reminder of my ex-boyfriend’s birthday? For every friend I keep in touch with, I have to suffer twenty impossible models I’ve never heard of, selling me a lifestyle I don’t even want.

I dunno, maybe we’ve reached a point where we could just…  talk to each other. Without all the BS.

In saying that though, I like to share art and see what others create. The internet is awesome for birthing ideas – both good and bad. So, I’ve decided to breathe life back into the old blog. I’ve poked around and it’s working OK, bit dusty but she’ll be right. In social media terms, think of it as the quiet bookshop next to the rowdy nightclub. It’s not quite the Hampster dance but it will be fun. I promise.


For posterity's sake. The closest I could find to the Hampster dance.



Sunday, 10 December 2017

FLAPPY HOLIDAYS!

After selling many a sloth Christmas card over the years, I felt it was time to expand my Etsy empire and introduce a new critter to the collection. I've been a closet penguin aficionado for most of my adult life, and it seemed like the right time to get out there and paint some penguins!

Gentoo Penguins - my favourite kind!

These smart little birds are so much fun to draw, although it did feel a little odd painting ice and snow during the sweltering Melbourne heat! In saying that, we do actually have penguins here in Australia, so perhaps they are more seasonally appropriate than in the Northern Hemisphere! I love visiting the colony of Little Blues who hang out at the end of the pier in St Kilda. 

A collection of different penguin species. Bottom centre is the Little Blue penguin - a native to Australia!

After getting all of those penguin paintings out of my system, it was time to put them into context. My long-suffering boyfriend endured an afternoon's worth of corny penguin jokes, suggestions such as, "I'm Dreaming of a Black and White Christmas", "Rockhopping Around the Christmas Tree", and, "It's Toboganning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", were all met with appropriate groans. In the end we whittled it down to two jokes which have been given the Pencil Party treatment and turned into cards:

Those Gentoo penguins put to use on a corny Christmas card!


And some cheerful Emperors catching their Christmas dinner.

You can p-p-p-p-p-p-pick up some for yourself online, just head over to my Etsy store Pencil Party to spread some penguin love this Christmas! 

Penguin food - bit different to Turkey eh!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

THE LION AND THE DENTIST

Animal lovers, please be warned, this post may contain distressing images.

For the past few years my boyfriend and I have assembled various gory matching outfits for Hallowe'en: last year we were fifties movie-star zombies, then there was the well-dressed-dripping-with-blood dead couple, and before that it was Sailor Moon plus Clown (perhaps that one was not so well thought out). 

In the spirit of Being Horrible People, this year things got a little bit... topical. 


Image: Wikipedia


Oh, Cecil. You were such a beautiful lion. You set the standards of majesty so high that no lion will ever hope to compare. With your glorious mane and steely demeanour and your face of fur...

To be fair I had never actually heard of Cecil the Lion until some rich wanky dentist shot him, but it turns out that a bunch of people really really liked him, and they got super upset.

The dentist in question (it had to be a dentist! It couldn't be a cobbler or a janitor or a candlestick maker. It had to be a dentist) was an American called Walter Palmer, just your average balding dude with obnoxiously white teeth. A quick google search for his dental practice would leave one wondering how Dr Palmer ever earned enough money for the plane ticked to Zimbabwe, let alone the $45,000 forked over for the privilege of shooting an arrow into a large and popular cat. 


Actually, Dr Palmer's alcohol problem seems to crop up a few times in his reviews.



Ouch. Zero or minus zero? Is that even a mathematical possibility? Well if it is I am sure Dr Palmer deserves it. If not for his shoddy dentistry, then for his wandering hands and penchant for laughing gas rape:


(Srsly though, abuse is not funny and if this actually happened you should probably speak to the police).

  
Say, you don't think any of these reviews could be in any way associated with that unfortunate lion killing episode, do you?



I LOVE YOU KEYBOARD WARRIORS.

It's not all doom and gloom though #zebralivesmatter #notalldentists


I digress.

As part of my lion-slayin', over-chargin', booze-swillin', dentist outfit I thought it would be fun to have a few of those cute "I Sat Still Whilst The Dentist Poked Shiny Objects Into My Mouth" stickers that they give to kids. Only... wouldn't it be great if those stickers were lion themed?

Behold...







(Personal favourite)

Safe to say the whole thing went down pretty well. Bring on next Hallowe'en.

BONUS IMAGE: Cecil the lion waiting for a bus.








Wednesday, 25 June 2014

ANIMALS IN GOUACHE


I don't clean my palette very often.

So over the past few months I've picked up some gouache paints and some faux squirrel hair brushes and I. Love. Them. Mostly I've been working on cards for my Etsy store (plug plug plug), and a lot of these have included animals. Here's a selection:








Sunday, 22 December 2013

COSBY SWEATERS AND DOGS

Are what I have been drawing lately. Merry Christmas!