Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A little life update...

Hey lovely blog followers- a very Merry Christmas to you all!

 I thought i'd give you an update on how living at home is treating me....the prospect of moving home aged 25, after years of living on my own, was something I found extremely daunting. I was worried that I would feel like a failure having given up a "good"fashion job, like I would lose my independency by living with my parents and that having no job would mean I completely lacked direction which would end in me spiralling into a depressive state(drama queen that I am). I am happy to say that, after living back at home for almost 2 months, none of the above has happened. I think it was quite well timed actually as I've almost been able to treat it like an extended Christmas holiday.

I have really loved spending time with my family, not doing anything in particular...just being around them. I had such an amazing and fortunate upbringing thanks to my lovely parents and they have created an environment of safety and chaotic peace(anyone who has visited my family home can vouch for this). My family home is completely real- no pretences and no facades. We get annoyed with each other, we cuddle, we shout and we laugh and there's something really soothing about being in an environment where you are completely known and understood. While I've been away from home I have taken all of this for granted, communication with my family has been lax-partially because talking to those at home when you're away makes you more homesick. This seems to be quite an emotive little paragraph so while I'm at it I'm going to give a little shout-out out to my parents- Mama and Papa Burns, without whom I would basically be screwed.


Anyway enough of the festive induced emotion and back to my little life update....

In my first week at home I tried working part time in a bar, adamant that I had to earn some money and this was the easiest way I could figure out how to do that. I lasted for 10 whole hrs, in which I was given only two ten minute breaks, and then I quit. Some of you may think that I gave up too soon, which is a fair point but I don't like feeling like my life is going backwards. I did the whole waitressing thing from the age of 16-22 and I just couldn't justify quitting a well paid job in Brussels to be a waitress. I have complete respect for anyone who can do bar work full time but it was definitely not for me.

Instead, with the encouragement of my amazing parents, I decided to design a range of Christmas cards(I've included photos of them below). I actually really enjoyed creating them and seeing rough artworks turned into final products and they actually sold really well- particularly the animals! It's the first time I've sold anything to people outside my family and friendship groups and it gives you a certain type of satisfaction knowing that people are buying things from you because they love the products and not just because they love and support you!
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As anyone who knows me will be aware, I'm a bit of a gypsy and love to travel- in fact I get a little bit fidgety if I stay in one place for too long. When I made the decision to quit C&A and life in Belgium, I knew I would need a weekend getaway to ease me back in to life in little old Lancaster so my friend and I booked a trip to St Moritz(Switzerland) as part of her hen party/wedding preparations! It was AMAZING! We were staying in a small village called Celerina, just 5 minutes from St Moritz and I can honestly say it was the most beautiful and peaceful weekend I have ever had. It was just before the busy ski season so most shops and restaurants were closed making it extremely quiet. The scenery there was absolutely breathtaking, there's something about untouched white snow and blue sky that makes your heart feel so happy! We went to the top of an alp and made snow angels(because I'm mature like that), flagged down a train at a teeny tiny request stop, got lost in a Swiss alp pine forest and had the most amazing food in a local restaurant while it snowed outside......it was basically like being in a film.! Obviously I took a lot of photos so I'll share a few of them here...

Post Alpine adventure I signed up to have a stall at a local Christmas market in the building where I have my studio which was also pretty successful!I was so ridiculously nervous at first with the standard "what if no-one likes/buys anything", "what if it's a waste of time" type doubts that I was actually physically shaking with nerves but I took myself into a corner and gave myself a fairly strict talking to and returned to the stall. I got some really great feedback about the artworks I had and sold quite a few of them, I've also had some follow up artwork requests which is great! Prior to the stall, I managed, quite miraculously, to find a local screenprinter where I got some of my designs exposed onto screens so that I could print some tote bags I had bought on ebay. I was even able to print the bags myself, which I absolutely loved. There's something about printing your own products that gives you so much more fulfilment than sending designs to a distant factory.  Here are a few photos of the stall and artworks!

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Here are some of the new artworks I created for the tote bags and framed illustrations. All of my illustrations(including the Christmas cards) are hand drawn and then digitally cleaned up/re-coloured. When sitting on the stall and talking to customers it came to light that a lot of people don't realise that all of the artworks are my own and completely hand drawn, so I'm trying to make a point of letting people know in future!

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As well as the new artworks, I re-coloured two images I'd worked on a while ago. I've been trying to start adding a bit more colour to my artworks as I have a tendency to leave them all black and white. The good thing about digitally re-colouring images is that I can always alter the colours depending on what the customer wants.

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In other news....I am starting to look forward to my travels to Ghana a bit more now as they are only 3 weeks away. I have started getting my vaccinations and there is nothing like being treated as human pincushion to make you realise what you're embarking on. I haven't really had chance to get excited yet because of how busy I was in the lead up to the stall and Christmas celebrations etc but I'm hoping the excitement will kick in over the next few days.I'm also now completely penniless- who knew vaccinations could cost almost as much as the flights!

I've also put my plans of a mobile van boutique on hold until I figure a few things out, so this is something I will probably look into more post Ghana. I'm trying out a new lifestyle(which my mum hates) where I don't plan, I just go with it. It seems to be working out okay, I've always claimed to be the type of person who is on a non plan plan.....now I actually am, I have no post Ghana plans at all and I'm actually quite fine with that.

I'll post again soon x

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