Tag Archives: artist

Fantasy Art & Gnomevember

Gnomevember is something I found whilst using WordPress reader and looking for the tag “Fantasy” as I love to do every day.  I am really glad I found it and I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t think it should be just an artist thing – I think it should also be used for writers as well, write a gnome story for Gnomevember, but of course, because I am both an artist and writer, I shall be trying to do them both throughout the month, if I have time along with NaNoWriMo.

I also learned that there are other months too, MerMay, Junicorn, Smaugust and Orctober. 

Now you’re probably wondering what are you talking about?

Well, where I found all these delightful things, simple, here https://rachelillustrates.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/gnomevember/ Gnomevember aims to get fantasy artists concentrating on gnomes throughout the whole of the November month, a gnome a day.

MerMay simply concentrates on mermaids and mermen.

Junicorn obviously concentrates on unicorns and so on.

It’s all in the spirit of Inktober and NaNoWriMo creative kick up the backsides.  It’s to get you doing something every day, working as a team to motivate each other, which helps not only to increase your creative social circle, but helps make you more productive, more regularly and get you into doing some of your art each day.  I think it’s wonderful and we should invent something for every month of the year, as we all, even professional artists and writers feel very sluggish sometimes.

I think there should be a Dracember (a dragon a day month for December).

I also think it would be cool to do one off days, not whole months.  Perhaps Howlaween, making sure you create a werewolf or a wolf for Halloween, either as a story or a piece of art?

Anyway, get visiting Rachel’s website, the link can be found above and get stuck into Gnomevember.

 

 

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Anne Stokes Aracnafaria

Anne Stokes is one of my favourite Gothic artists; if I had money I would try and decorate my house with more of her work.  As a Christmas present in 2012 my nephew Carl and his daughters gave me a 1000 piece puzzle of Aracnafaria, one of Anne Stokes masterpieces.  I finished the puzzle in just 10 days.   I am so proud of it, it’s still wrapped in cling film around a board that I had intended to use as a backboard in order to eventually frame it, but I have never got around to doing that and it’s stored on the top of my wardrobe.

As an artist I aspire to do work as great as Anne Stokes, however, in my own opinion it’s just an airheaded dream, because I am nowhere as good as Anne Stokes and I specialise mostly in what I think are cartoon dragons and animals.

 anne-stokes-spiders-1

 

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elusive inspiration

I will be talking more about what inspires me in the future of this blog, because there are a lot of wonderful things out there that fills this creative mind of mine right up.  A lot of things that take my interest seem to be almost unheard of, music, artists, fashion experts etc.  It seems to me that I like the obscure or the famous that aren’t that famous enough to be a known household name.

I think it’s a shame that some people who inspire me aren’t known more.  I think it’s a shame that even I find it hard to find their works.  Also, not all people who inspire me are famous – not all people who inspire me have say – published a book yet, or sold a piece of art.  But there are some who have made it into their local newspaper for producing good art at big social events, but aren’t well known in any other form.

I like the elusive people, but I wish they weren’t so elusive.

 

 

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The Artist Way & The Cosmos

I believe a lot in cosmic ordering and I have been trying to learn myself how to use cosmic ordering to my own advantage for the last two years, by reading various books on the subject to get a wide view point from many individuals who use it.

Julia Cameron uses some of the techniques of cosmic ordering in her book “The Artist Way”.  I have been reading the artist way for a while now, because I think it helps with my creative recovery, despite some of the tasks she sets before me, being brushed under the carpet as for me; they are impractical for my way of life.  Such as the artist break, I never go anywhere on my own, let alone go on holiday by myself, I wouldn’t want to; however, the occasional trip to a local café or the library with a note pad in tow, is something that I do enjoy from time to time, so the artist date isn’t ignored entirely.

Another thing I ignore in the Artist Way is the week in which she says that we should avoid all kinds of reading, do anything but read.  I am sorry, but I don’t do reading deprivation.  If I am not reading stuff online, I am reading magazines, newspapers or books.  I have never ever experienced doing without reading – for me, like silence, it would kill me.

I can live with a rule such as – internet deprivation, but reading deprivation, dream on baby.

Also, by using the rule of reading deprivation, I can’t do those precious morning pages she wants me to, I can’t do my art, because in order to do my main form of art, I need to write and with writing comes editing and what is essential when editing a writer’s work?  You’ve got it, reading!

I won’t stop writing any more than I would stop reading.  I wanted this book to help me write more, not encourage me to stop what I feel are essential habits for me to work.

Anyway, getting away from my point a bit; The Artist Way contains many techniques similar to other books for cosmic ordering.  In my opinion she assists in that she helps us identify why we are not as successful in our chosen artistic careers as we would have liked to have been.  She delves deep in our sub consciousness, digging up long forgotten memories that helps answer how we’ve lost our path.

I found out that I lost my original creative path by using her techniques, by remembering that as a child I had a huge interest in fashion and drawing, but I was pushed away from this and put into writing.  Everyone had agreed for me that writing was my talent and to Hell with any other talent I might have.

I have trained in psychology and social sciences in the past and I have used some of the techniques learned there, with various self-help books, cosmic ordering stuff and I have realised that a lot of my current pitfalls as an adult, is not self-inflicted but are actually reactions against something happening that I didn’t like when I was younger.  When I was little I loved fashion and loved drawing dresses and playing with Barbie.  However, I didn’t get my own Barbie doll until I was around 11yrs old.  I wasn’t encouraged because my mother was a tom boy and wanted me to be the same as she was.  I noticed by the time I reached around 8yrs old I became a very obese child, but I didn’t give up on the whole idea of fashion and drawing until I was around 10yrs old and each year I was getting bigger and bigger.  Then it finally happened – when I was around 12 I told my mum that I would love to go into fashion when I am older and she simply said to me “with your weight, you’d be eaten alive in the fashion industry, you won’t survive”; so with that I thought lose weight or lose the dream, I tried to lose weight but every time I had an interest in fashion again, she’d bring out the doughnuts and McDonalds and remind me that it’s a foolhardy dream for someone so large.  Every time she gave me a treat and I ate it, she said it was my fault I wasn’t thinking about my dream, that I should have more self-discipline.

So by the time I was 14 I had literally totally forgot my dream.  I remembered it because in The Artist Way, Julia asks us to think about people we are jealous of and identify why.  I happen to be jealous of a lot of young girls I know who are professional dancers and are in the fashion industry.

When I realised the reason for the jealousy, I was then asked to search deep as to why that would affect me.  I remembered it all lead to fashion.  I also realised this because my favourite non-fantasy and non-horror movies and TV shows, happen to be focused around fashion.  “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mean Girls”, “Are you being served”? “101 Dalmatians” any shows featuring Gok Wan, and so on!

I am not someone who follows fashion though, don’t get me wrong.  I am someone who likes to start off the trends and I usually succeed.  I don’t like to fall into a normal fashion concept, I like to develop my own, I believe in having a bespoke fashion sense and a bespoke home, to match who you are, I believe people should show the world exactly who they are as much as possible.  I think it attracts more genuine people to you.  I am more comfortable with speaking to someone who dresses in alternative fashions, whether they are punk, Goth, witch, or Hell’s Angel, than someone who seems very conservative.  Because to me, those conservative people are hiding themselves for some reason, or have a narrow concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not; I don’t do shallow people.

I am learning about the true me through doing all of this.  I am happier for it and luckier too.  In the Artist Way, Julia Cameron has asked me to do another task recently that is to make a collage of everything I love and everything I want to attain in life. 

This for me is something that I used to do and those things did come to me very quickly.  I got out of the habit of having a collage when I moved in with Paul as I could never work out where to put one in the house that I would see regularly and that wouldn’t raise questions with Paul’s family and our friends.  Recently Paul has suggested that I forget other people’s opinions and do what I want around the house.  So I will.

I am going to enjoy pinning things up on my collage, I am also making a scrapbook collage as well of more personal, secret things.

But the main impersonal things will be put into two locations around the house, so my sub consciousness can soak it all up, and help make it happen through the cosmos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Music & Art October 2016

I cannot work in silence when I am writing; I need music all the time.  For me, silence can be painful and headache inducing, as much as having television on in the background is also another disturbance and headache waiting to happen.

There are only two times when silence suits me without invoking a headache; when I am walking in nature, woodlands, pathways next to canals and fields etc., or being driven somewhere by car.  I dislike conversations in cars, I don’t like talking, and I like to zone out and forget I am in the car because I tend to feel sick when I acknowledge I am in a car.  I can imagine other places quite easily when I am not spoken to and in a car, this therefore makes it difficult for my body to realise it should be sick.  I also cannot read in a moving car, but I am perfectly relaxed at reading on trains and in busy cafes.

Travelling on buses and in cars makes me tired as well as daydreamy and any more than an hour in either and I am asleep, unless I am very tired or woke up early on the day, I tend not to sleep on trains, I love trains, I have a passion for them which has certainly rubbed off on my son Henry.

We take regular trips on trains just because; we are trying to get into a habit of going on the Severn Trent valley steam railway every couple of months.  I like to look at the scenery around there, the river Severn is the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t say much because I’ve only ever seen three rivers personally up close.

Music therefore is a very important tool for my writing.  I like listening to instrumental music mostly, such as that found from Nox Arcana, Apocalyptica, classical music, but sometimes I will listen to lyrical music from all styles and eras, such as Patsy Cline’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round, Movie Soundtracks, Kesha and many others. 

If it weren’t for music I don’t think I could be as emotional in my writing as I am with it. 

When I was little I had no imagination, seriously.  I didn’t find my imagination until I was around 9yrs old, I remember teachers from the couple of schools I was allowed to go to complaining that my stories were too realistic and that I lacked imagination.  I was browbeaten by them to develop an imagination and my mum helped with that – by the time she was finished with me my life was destined to be a writer from the age of 11.  It was decided for me and I have to admit I fell into it.

I am not saying for one moment that I don’t enjoy writing, I do.  But a writer’s life was chosen for me, not something I found I wanted, it was literally thrusted upon me.

When I look back through my therapy and my creative recoveries, I have noticed that when I was a child I had planned to be a mother or a teacher and that I had a huge interest in art and fashion.  I had quite vain thoughts as a child, but all of this was discouraged out of me and by the time I was 16 I had forgotten the art life I had wanted for myself and writing took its place.  I know writing is an art form in itself, but I meant painting, sculpture etc., all those other art forms were discouraged simply because my talent lies in writing, not drawing my mum often told me.

I was thrilled when my cousin Shane bought me oil paints for Christmas one year, my mum dreaded it and didn’t encourage me to continue, despite the good painting I did of some obscure Aztec ancient god.  My dad was proud of it, but she looked at it as an expensive past time that she wasn’t looking forward to smelling.

Since living with Paul, he believes I have talents in both but my main skill is writing simply because I don’t practise art enough.  In fact he is right, because I practise less than two hours a time approximately once every couple of months.  Whereas writing, I am practising almost every day for over an hour.

A lot of the time I just draw with pencils or a biro and never colour it in.  When I do really good drawings I am scared to paint them, because I tend to ruin good sketches with painting them wrong.  I have done excellent work that was ruined by paint.  A large African elephant in the Sahara, when painted, all the excellent detail was destroyed and it became cartoonlike, yet it was coloured in with watercolours, watercolour is my main medium. 

I do chalk pastel art too, but again, I am frightened to preserve it, as I tend to over spray and my work is literally washed away.

I am self-taught in both art and writing. 

Music is vital for me to work, this is the primary reason why I can’t work when my son is awake or at home, his noises drown out my music a lot.  He also wants the TV on all the time and that drowns out the music too.  Unlike most writers and artists I don’t like isolating myself in a room alone, I like to be around people, particularly people who respect music and respect the fact that I am working – a child can never do those things, they don’t understand; So, reluctantly I have to work around him and this is something I am dreading when I become professionally published – my time then has to work around the editors I am appeasing and for me, that’s going to be a nightmare.

 

 

 

 

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INKTOBER 2

copyright belongs to Tina Cousins 2016

copyright belongs to Tina Cousins 2016

My tribal maze like face, was done before Inktober if completely honest, but thought it would be nice up.

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Inktober

I am not just a writer, I am a self-taught artist too; since being a self-taught artist I have loved to paint with watercolours primarily landscapes, dragons and birds.  I only have three or four artist friends who solely concentrate on artworks, half of them are fantasy artists and because of this I consider myself pretty much isolated from the art community, therefore I had no idea that October equals Inktober in the art community and I had no idea what Inktober meant.

On the fourth of October my best friend Erin Cooper (fantasy artist at Shadowind Studios) asked me what I have done for Inktober?  “What’s that?” I asked her and she explained more to me.

She has done a lot of work for Inktober and I told Erin that I didn’t think I would participate because I am revving myself up for NaNoWriMo and I don’t think I can afford to go out and buy some ink especially for Inktober until after Christmas, by which time it would be too late.  She said that I didn’t need to go out and buy anything special, it’s not strictly doing art with artist ink, it is anything that has ink, like a permanent marker, a biro etc., which I must admit relieved me.

I have done some pictures with a bic, small ones that could comfortably sit inside a fifty pence piece.  But I won’t scan them to put online because they are on the sides of some important notes, password books and ideas.  I will do more on fresh pieces of paper tonight though.

I have so far, drawn koalas and two people together, a snowman, a tribal maze like face and the devils trident.

I plan to draw another snowman, a frog and perhaps some other tribal maze-like faces.

 

 

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Realise you are published if you have a blog

Just sit and write if you want to be a writer.  Guess what?  When you publish anything on your blog you are a published writer, did you know that?  As stupid as it sounds, I never knew this until a friend told me this online earlier today.

Yes, anything you put on your blog is considered “published”, so you must congratulate yourself right now for being a published writer already.  Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t fully understand the ways that the internet can assist someone to actually make a career for themselves.

If you have followers, you shouldn’t look at them as mere readers, they are your fans and you should take care of your fan base and make sure that they don’t get bored by waiting for new material for too long.  All of this has been said to me by a good creative/artist friend, things I had never thought of myself and believed them.

I am motivated by the fact that I have hundreds of followers, I am very sad for them that I’ve neglected to give them more material that they obviously loved enough to follow my blog.

I feel ashamed of myself for letting them down.

The wakeup call I got from my friend today has made me realise how popular I am and how much I have succeeded just by simply having a blog.

It is my duty to my followers (my fans) to give them regular new material as often as possible.

As a writer we are entertainers, it is our duty to keep our fans entertained, if we fail to do this, we fail them and even more so ourselves because we will then lose that vital fan base.  So keep your blog active.  This is something I am definitely going to do now and this awakening is so important to me that I am seriously thinking about printing this post out and putting it on my wall next to my desk!

I hope that this post has helped other bloggers realise how successful they’ve become too, without realising it.

 

 

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Erin Cooper, Artist and Friend.

The below links will take you to the work of a wonderful fantasy artist friend of mine, Erin Cooper from Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShadoWind?ref=pr_shop_more

http://www.zazzle.com/shadowind_erincooper

http://shadowind.deviantart.com/gallery/

She is the artist behind this websites banner and as you can see her skills in fantasy art are extensive, beautiful and an inspiration.

Erin is able to captivate any image I request of her for my work in more ways than one. In future, I hope that she would be considered as my illustrator for books I might have published – though I am an artist myself, Erin’s skills far outweigh my own.

I first found Erin online in a spiritual forum back in 2005 and we bonded almost instantly on so many levels, spiritually and artistically as well as forming a long-distance sisterly relationship that still goes on to this day.

We are each other’s rock and we have both been through so much together.

A lot of my writing and art wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Erin, purely because Erin is the first proper artist I’ve ever known (proper as in, have actually sold art). I say that a lot of my writing wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for her, because we talk online a lot about my stories – we talk like we are the characters to one and other and she helps feed me another point of view. This is something we have never tired of, to us, in our conversations, if we were ever overheard or read, people would think that the things we talk about are real and would probably have the both of us locked up.

It is hard to find someone like Erin who actually talks like this long-term with me. My husband Paul does this with me a lot too, and I used to have four other friends who would do this, but they got tired of it after so many years. Erin however, has made it her mission for my written worlds to be as real as the real world to her and this I thank her for.

Erin has helped me grow in confidence that I am capable of producing my own artwork, she has given me hints and tips and videos of how to sketch and paint effectively and even how to market my work on zazzle and etsy.

I highly recommend you contact Erin for commissions; she is very dedicated to her work and will work tirelessly to produce whatever work you desire from her, outside of her livery duties.

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The eye of God

Tina Cousins 2015

Tina Cousins 2015

 

The eye of God, done in watercolor.  I am getting into watercolor art quite a lot lately and this is one of my pieces; I hope to add more art in future, but this is the only thing out of the nine currently finished pieces I have which I could actually get away with calling a fantasy piece.

Some people might call this the eye of Horus or perhaps the eye symbol of the Illuminati and various other secret societies, but whatever you think it is, I hope you like it.

 

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