My Hair Is A Disaster

Look at this. Look at all this hair. This is the longest my hair has ever been in my life so far, and that's really fun. I love having long hair, but the longer it gets, the more tangly and lank and weird it gets. Granted, I haven't even trimmed it in two years, so I'm not surprised by the split ends, but they don't actually bother me. I'm more irritated by a problem located on the back of my head.

This is my biggest hair issue, and I wonder if it has been there for my whole life, hiding back there, since it's only due to videos and blog photos that I've noticed that the back of my head consistently looks like a very sad, abandoned bird's nest. This seems to happen no matter how much I brush my hair or try to shift my parting. I just don't understand what's happening and I can't figure out if other people have experienced this problem or if it's just me and some kind of chemical disposition I have towards gross-looking hair.

I have no idea how to deal with this in any way other than committing myself to updos for the rest of time (and hey, if it comes to that, fine, I like ponytails and pinning plaits to my crown), but I'd like to understand just what the hell is going on here.

I'm also slightly concerned that the lank and length make me look like a bit of a meek gremlin in general, but I can accept my underlying gremlin-ish qualities for the sake of having hair long enough to make cool ropes with. I do, however, plan to carry out some hair experiments in the hopes of increasing my hair knowledge. I'm going to monitor the back of my head and see what I can do to affect its horribleness. I'm also going to try some hair masks to see how they affect the overall quality of my hair. I'm pretty sure everyone is guarding a secret vast hair intelligence, and I'm going to infiltrate this world. Beware.

I Have A Thousand Hearts

I've been feeling all dreamy lately and I've been drawing dreamy stuff in my journal. I really like drawing arms and hands for some reason. I think they're a really pleasing shape to draw. Maybe I just have a morbid interest in cartoonish detached limbs. I'm not sure.

I love all these pen colours so much that every time I use them I'm in this perpetual state of colour-based wonder and awe and I'm starting to think the sun has seeped into my brain and pooled in my head somehow, because I feel so sunny. I see happy little things everywhere.

I get this feeling like I am bigger than myself, like I'm part of every piece of light and intrinsically connected with the world in some way. Like I'm indestructible and miniscule and broken into tiny pieces and scattered across a sunset all at once. Sense of self makes no sense. I think deconstructing my sense of self makes me feel stronger. I am a person but I am also just a culmination and focus of time and energy and chemicals, and a part of existence itself. It calms me a lot to think that. It also calms me a lot to draw hearts and flowers, and to look at cool pictures of insects online.

Life & Dreams

I've been thinking about life and goals and patterns and routines and things like that, and especially about the ways in which control exists in our lives as individuals. There's so much of our lives that we can't control and it's so weird to know that living your happiest and best life is about knowing how tight to hold onto different things, and knowing how to be swept along by change. I love the idea of time travel, going back to 1996 and being me (then) before I was me (now). I dream about alternate realities that I've made myself, filled with white horses and fireflies. I dream about heaven and afterlife and magic and mysticism in secret pockets in my life because I need an escape from the lack of power sometimes. And then dreams become so big and so plentiful that they become their own kind of power.

Dreams are a kind of magic, whether they are impossible fantasies or real goals. If you aim for number one and you end up number seven, well, you got a number. And maybe you'll realise that you like the shape of a seven better after all. I fill myself with more and more dreams all the time, and the more dreams I carry, the more I feel that I'm turning into a dream too. There's an acceptance of myself within the creation and acceptance of endless possibility.

I want to do and be so many things and so many ideas. I want to travel and drink wine in different countries. I want to speak German and master every complicated plait and cute plait-related hairstyle in existence. I want to see Depeche Mode perform live. I want to high five Dwayne Johnson. I want to sing a duet with Dodie Clark, Tori Kelly, or Bruce Springsteen. I want to make someone laugh until they cry. I want to have picnics and watch sunsets. I want to draw comics for magazines. I want to paint the biggest painting in the world. I want to have adventures - even if an adventure is just scribbling a sun and eating a strawberry.

Life is best when you aim for every fantastical dream and live for the beauty and adventure in wherever you land. Life is best when you can find the tiny adventures in every crack of the road.

Adventure Scrapbook & CV Of Good

Recently I've been thinking lots about different kinds of journals and photo albums and scrapbooks and commonplace books and diaries and stuff like that and I love that there are so many ways you can preserve your memories, thoughts, ideas, etc. I'm so into the idea of focusing on the coolest things in your life and celebrating your life while you live it as much as you can, so I've been thinking about new ways I can do this lately and I came up with the idea of making a CV of all the things I'm most excited about as they happen. So, for example, so far in 2016 I can write on my "CV of good stuff":
  1. Visiting Iceland
  2. Illustration for Doll Hospital
  3. Finishing Cowboy Bebop
  4. Interning at Penguin
  5. Releasing Knife EP
  6. Watching Dodie play
Keeping a list like this reminds me of all the great things I've already done this year and it reminds me of the opportunities and fun possibilities that are floating all around me like fireflies all the time.

So that's one thing that I think is great (and it's not about comparing yourself to others, but appreciating the things you've enjoyed, even if they're meaningless to other people). Another thing I really like is scrapbooking some pictures and painting all over them. I almost feel like I should be gluing macaroni to these pages, because that's the feel, and I like that a lot. Probably just gonna eat all my macaroni and use paint and stickers instead though.

This is a nice way to keep a visual reminder of the adventures you have or the things you care about, and I feel like embellishing pictures somehow enhances those memories and feelings. It's like a ritual. It's like making a shrine. And I guess that's what it is - it's a shine to yourself and your life. It's a way to decorate and appreciate your own happiness and adventure. It's really important to me to be able to catalogue and remember and look at my little adventures and accomplishments and the things that make me feel happy and human, and doing that in these visual ways is so useful and fun!


Once again I'm in greyscale. I like to simplify myself down to a colourless rectangle with a shallow depth of light. It's calming to be grey, somehow. There's a stillness about the lack of colour. A serene, moonish feeling.

I wonder what it'd be like to be the moon. Like, if the moon had thoughts and feelings about being the moon. I wonder if it would be peaceful, or lonely, or tormented. I guess it can be any and all of those things as this thoughtful moon is a moon from my imagination. But I think I might like to be a moon like that.

I guess the grey takes me to some place like that. Some place where I can be a little moon person. Serene in the black sky of my scanner world.

Video Games & Totoro

After the starters for Pokémon Sun and Moon were announced, I decided to load my old Pokémon X and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire saves because it had been so long since I'd played either of those games, and there were lots of little things I'd forgotten about, like all the glorious fashion choices they brought in for X and Y. I like the little cropped hoodies. I do not like the lack of good hair accessories. More hair bows, please!

Suddenly I really miss video games (and character customisation, which I live for). I haven't really played anything much for a long time, and I miss all my old worlds and cities and towns and responsibilities. I've stopped caring who moves in and out in my Animal Crossing: New Leaf town, and actually I think that's a nice way to play the game. You get to meet more animals and not worry about it. As long as Blathers is still there (my beautiful sleepy owl) I'm fine.

I thought I'd make a couple of quick scanner collages just because I think it's a nice showcase of a few things that are nearby right now, and also it's a nice representation (and extension) of my current journaling style (and if you notice I used to spell it 'journalling' - I've decided to switch over to the more commonly used spelling and that's okay because language and spelling are a journey, or something). Scanning some stuff that's around me occasionally just feels right. There's usually a Totoro in there somewhere.

Diary: Classics & Aliens

This week was: fun walks in the sun, reading alien-centric literature, watching X-Files bloopers, eating many raisins, seeing four different cats, starting to read Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, experience a strong desire to listen to Depeche Mode and then doing just that, and dying my hair red.

I've been reading a few of the Penguin Little Black Classics, because I love how small and portable they are, and my favourite so far is Goethe's "Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings" - I like this because it is essentially a list of thoughts. I am a big fan of both lists and thoughts. Sometimes I myself have both.

My main book focus at the moment is Cranford (which I already like just one page in), and I want to go through the Penguin English Library list and read my way through some of those classics. The cover designs are really pleasing and make me a little bit more motivated to read them. I also really want to re-start The X-Files and power through all the episodes, as I've been watching them in quite an erratic way and missing out on lots of them, so it'll be nice to go through them all in chronological order. Those are my plans, alongside rapidly fading my hair back to its natural colour again over the next couple of weeks, and attending a little YouTube meetup this weekend.

Journal: Fun Photo Album & Depeche Mode

I painted some colourful blobs and glitter all over Depeche Mode because y'know, they look a bit gloomy - they could use some glitter.

I'm closing in on the end of this journal and it's looking pretty chunky now, with pages satisfyingly thick with paint and collage. One of my favourite things to collage every so often is personal photos, because it feels like being a kid and making a macaroni frame. What's a photo album without glitter and scribbled hearts?

I really want to do more pages like this one because there's nothing better than revelling in cute little moments of your own life and romanticising yourself and the things you care about.

There's also some pages of green and yellow paint because sometimes when I'm done painting I have leftover paint and I get to make something quick and cute with it. Good.

Tiny Adventures & Bravery

I've been thinking about inspiration and adventure and life and I realised there are some things I'd like to do that I avoid or am at least very tentative with because it concerns a process that feels kinda private (like talking to a camera) or it involves working with someone else (like posing with someone for a photo). I also realise that when I make the extra to do those things despite any feelings of discomfort I may have, I never regret it. Sometimes I don't end up with the result I wanted, but I never feel like I've wasted my time or posed an inconvenience to other people. I might feel a little embarrassed, but I think that's worth it for a creative pursuit that I'm excited about, and to involve people in that a little bit.

I see and come up with lots of fun little ideas that involve a little bit more effort and perserverence and sometimes planning than usual, and I really want to be able to just go for it and do the things that make me happy and be unapolagetically creative. It's rewarding to make something happen when there's an obstacle to it.

I also feel like it's a question of artistic honesty too, in a way, because when I do these things that take a little bit of embarrassment or extra arrangement they feel very genuine. If I'm pushing harder to do something than usual, it means I must care about that thing, so there's a unique kind of satisfaction. And I love when I get to make and share those moments and ideas. It's the greatest thing ever.  So I'm going to focus on making more of those tiny adventures happen.

Never Giving Up

If there's one thing I've learned about learning, and getting and being what you want, it's to never give up on anything. The only way something 100% definitely will not happen is if you don't try, but if you keep trying to become a cyborg squirrel nurse, if it never happens you will still probably have gained a lot of robotic/nursing/squirrel knowledge and perhaps some related opportunities. You might know loads of squirrels by the end of it that have adopted you into their family and invited you for dinner. And you might have a cool cybernetic arm that makes delightful memes at the touch of a button. Life is unpredictable in its gifts and coincidences and rewards, but the more you go for stuff, the more other stuff you will inevitably find as a result of the chain reaction of living.

So do your best and try the same thing again and again until it works, and experiment with slightly altered methods of doing everything from brushing your teeth to welding to sculpting custom penguin-shaped toilet bowls. Do everything and anything. Say yes to as much as you can and say no when your instincts tell you to. Do weird things and be decisive when you suddenly have thoughts about eating biscuits in the middle of doing something. You go get those biscuits, and then read seven Wikipedia pages related to biscuits and learn what the word for biscuit is in a few other languages (keks in German, keksi in Finnish, suchar in Czech). 

Me thinking intently about biscuits.

Be determined and diligent, never give up, and indulge your pleasant and inconsequential whims frequently (especially about biscuits).

Pink Fade

The transparency of skin is cool. Like, I'm pink because of blood. Why is pink considered a colour of softness and sweetness when it's a watery echo of violence, hurt, life, pain, and ultimately life force? Pink could just as easily be a marker of rage, or strength, or bloody sacrifice. To me, pink has an ethereal quality. It transcends its place within the body. It's not skin, because skin is ghostly see-through layers and yellowed, mottled pages and deep, rich browns. Pink is a calming of the blood and a shifting of perceptions. It's care and gift-wrap and ribbons in your hair. It's being and becoming a kind of softness that is impenetrable and exclusively yours.

I have a lot of colour associations, really. Pink is a meeting between harm and care. The place in the sky where the sun meets home.

This pink reminds me of sun-faded posters, and that's what I aspire to be. The sun fade of a grown up in a decades old t-shirt. The fade in a film photo. The comforting, unmatched fade of a prolonged and reliable base level of contentedness. That's my dearest wish and hope, to keep it and nurture it. That beautiful pink fade.

Personal Truth

Reality is a funny thing in that it hides itself. It makes itself a secret. Its malleability is hidden behind a sheen of constancy and alleged truth. We're so sure of things, because we have to be, but how can we be sure of anything? We're all carrying around our truths, like swaddled babies. Our truths are all so different, like our ice cream flavour preferences and our genetics.

We all have dreams sometimes that feel so completely real while we're inside them. I had a dream the other night that I cracked an egg and it was filled with blood. I've had multiple dreams about all my teeth falling out like jelly, or about being tangled with endless, shape-shifting bodies. Sometimes I have nice dreams about meeting dogs or eating spaghetti, so it's not all creepy body-horror stuff and social transgressions (how many years after leaving school can you expect to stop dreaming about being naked at school?), but regardless they are a fascinating insight into the brain's processing of what it knows, or whatever it has collected.

I get this feeling like all of my life is a dream. I mean, I know the difference between my dreams and my waking life (when I'm awake at least, and not counting daydreams), but I've gone through so many cycles and phases of shifting perceptions about so many things in my life. I've grown up. I've realised things. I've completely changed opinions and attitudes. My truth has grown into a completely contradictory truth, over and over. So I guess my truth is relative, and shifting. Everything is real, and nothing is real.

Spooky Paint

Hi, it's me with my cool painting. Check it out. It's like splatters of thoughts left to run wild through the forest. Or something.

I just love scanning my face alongside a painting like this, or a paint palette. They seem like natural companions.

They also can look nice and spooky on a scanner bed with a body part, or allowed to shift around and recede into the darkness a little.

See, this is one of the things I like most about making compositions with the scanner. Darkness becomes an important dimension. Any three-dimensional object will be forced to blur and darken at the edges. The scanner world is very small.

Nice and spooky and gently confusing.

Diary: Eurovision & A Big Sketchbook

I've been watching a lot of cartoons this week and it feels so pure and fun and nice to finally see stuff like Gravity Falls and Over the Garden Wall. I really understand why they're so popular now, they're wonderful and super creative little shows (and Over the Garden Wall is so perfectly spooky as well). It's so nice to be able to watch something short and a little bit weird and so lovingly made.

Of course, this week was also the week of the Eurovision Song Contest, so that was the focus of my weekend. I really felt that this was a good year. It was very strange to see Justin Timberlake take part, but it was really fun. My favourite entry was Heartbeat by Justs from Latvia.

I started painting in my A3 sketchbook this week and it feels weird to be working on such a relatively large scale. I love working small and being super portable, and even insular, but it's also pretty satisfying to paint like this. For now I'm just painting indiscriminate colourful backgrounds which I'm planning on collaging over or otherwise coming back to, so in a way it's more like preparing the sketchbook for use than actually using it, but I always love painting for the sake of painting.

I'm in such a good mood because I came off the back of my weekend feeling really ready to try lots of things and paint a lot and my head got all filled with ideas about good food and suncreen-scented adventures. I guess I just feel really sunny and content and capable. This is probably in large part because I've been thinking about the things I've achieved already this year and all the potential future fun things that might exist. I feel really focused on all that good stuff and it fosters such a pleasant mood and attitude and sense of capability!

Journal: Kaleidoscopes & Sunsets

I made a little bit of spooky, black and white collage in my journal, which I naturally followed up with bright, sunny, orange pages of old paintings, matching the weather. There's something about torn edges around figures and eyes and fingers. Torn up people and parts.

So the torn edges and muted, matte greys segue into bright, bright colours, chunky pens, and fuzzy brushstrokes. It reminds me of a kaleidoscope. I wish I had one to look through. They're always so magical. One of the coolest things a person ever made, I think.

There are some odd little pieces here, almost forgotten afterthoughts to the big eye on the previous page. But small doesn't really mean forgotten, or snuck in, just the little pieces collecting themselves together. They're just as important. They twinkle.

Whenever I doodle with biro it reminds me of being on the phone and compulsively scribbling things on the back of an envelope. The messy, quick, thin lines. Satisfying in their tinyness. I like dotting around the page and drawing little crosses. Making a biro galaxy.

And then comes the orange and yellow glow. Fire. Sunset. You've got to keep a sunset in your journal somewhere.

Sun Bun Clubhouse

The sun is shining and I decided to stick some paintings up in my room, because it's been a while since I decorated and it needs a little something new. I'm not going to cover the whole wall in one day though, like I usually do. This time I think I'll build it up slowly so it can be more of a representation of a timeline. Usually I take a section of wall and cover it as much as I can, which means that they can be quite specific and uniform in appearance. I want the rest of the wall space to evolve and grow so that my bedroom can be more of a clubhouse of cycling ideas and stuff. I want to print off some cute dog pictures for it or something. Stick birthday cards and notes up, and fun pictures from days out. I want it to be more like the inside of my journal, I think.

I also really like my white blind and the way it mutes sunshine but lets it through. I love all the light in my room! I really want to get some nice, light-coloured and possibly patterned bedsheets, and I want to make a blanket fort and hang up bunting and string for hanging pictures on. I am possibly too ambitious about it, but please send me approximately a hundred pastel coloured blankets just in case.

I'm trying to think up lots of fun little creative projects to do, and redecorating my bedroom or otherwise doing something to change the way it looks is always fun. I like changing things because it makes me feel super snug and excited to sit in here and do fun things when I'm surrounded by things that make me happy. It makes me more eager to sit and watch fun movies and eat biscuits and write in my journal all at the same time, and it makes me more eager to set goals and plan picnics. I still gotta make my space and my time and my mind the best they possibly can be, so if that means spending some afternoons selecting the best pictures of cute dogs online, then let's do it!