Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Are you lonesome tonight?

I bought light-up novelty glasses for New Years Eve tonight. I'm staying home and not doing anything though, so I'll probably wear the glasses while watching TV. I wrote a really really mopey post before but I actually feel much better now and I won't be posting the previous one. It's 7pm and I'm going to have something to eat and work on some illustration things and try and make my dog wear the novelty light up glasses for fun. I actually did get invited to do things tonight, (don't worry parents, I do have friends) including dinner invitations and invitations of company and a crazy party 3 hours away on a friend's country farm. None felt right so here I am. It's okay.

New Years resolutions are for suckers so I don't have any. I'm just gonna keep doing what I've been doing and celebrate the positives when they happen. I wrote my list of 'good things that have happened this year' but I'm going to keep it private like some other personal things that are going on at the moment. I'm a bit down in the dumps but I'll be okay. I've learnt that when you lose something you have to make time to mourn it before you can be okay, so I guess I'm in that stage at the moment. It's not fun but it's healthy and necessary and something that can't be rushed but also can't be dwelled upon. You know that tumblr-esque saying that is probably an important proverb or something: "This too shall pass" well, it will you know. There's a reason it has like seven million reblogs.

I always remember my first boyfriend when I was seventeen said something in a really downer emo kind of way "time doesn't heal anything" and I disagreed wholeheartedly. As time goes by things become more distant, dream-like, unreal. Time allows you to look back with retrospect - your mind distorts distant traumas, blocks them out, puts them away for them to come out and play only at moments of vulnerability or sadness. I love the healing power of time because it pushes things so far back, so far that you can't even touch them - so you're able to continue forging on into the horizon where you'll be met with similar experiences of pain and brilliance. If time didn't heal anything we'd never be able to float on, in the words of Modest Mouse - a song I discovered about the same time my teenage boyfriend and I broke up. We'll all float on okay. I did, and I will again, and again and again and again.

Happy new year.

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Random Crap" The Christmas Edition

Christmas is over which now means the year is rapidly coming to a close, as in like, hours and minutes are passing by and we get closer and closer to both an end and a beginning. I'm looking forward to dedicating a night, perhaps even New Years Eve, (if I'm not persuaded/lured into a social engagement)  to being alone and reflecting on 2013. Each year I write down the good things that happened during the past 12 months, and then I write down a few goals and things I'd like to do in the next 12 months. It's satisfying and provides a good solid feeling of closure. I am looking forward to doing that and of course to that wonderfully cliched feeling of beginning again with a fresh slate.

Christmas Day we had everyone over at our house and it was stressful but a success. I finally relaxed after everyone had left, to be honest, and relaxed on Boxing Day - I slept until 1pm which is odd behavior for me but it felt pretty brilliant. I think next year I want to like, go to meditation classes or something, or learn how to meditate and actually do it often, because I think it would be really beneficial for me and my head space. That's something for the aforementioned list.

Today I went shopping with my little sister and it was pretty nice. I was going to go alone but I actually think it was nice to have the company of family because you don't have to like talk the whole time or be enthusiastic when you're not. I took her out to lunch at Jungle Juice and we bought shoes and stuff together. I don't often do things like that with my sisters and should probably do it more often you know like be a nice person and stuff.

This afternoon I worked at home on some paintings and drawings which I really enjoyed. You know when you have those moments and it's like, MAN I love art! Like I forgot or something. And I had these two little canvases that I was working on at the same time, and it's like, they started as the same white thing and then I have this power to transform them into things that are completely different. I love that you can't make two of the same painting even if you tried. It's so special.

Anywho I'm rambling rambling, here are some pictures.

Christmas morning "I woke up like this" (just joking)
I worked at Mum's shop on Christmas Eve and she had the most beautiful Dahlias.

My sister bought me these Kinki Gerlinki earrings for Christmas!
My Nanna is the best and bought me a light-up, glittery bouncy ball!
Dad got my Mum this amazing butterfly! Little cousin asks "how does it breathe?"
Card from my 7 year old twin cousins. HILARIOUS. Yes I 'accepted' the present, but had to confirm who 'Mum and Dad' were.
My two beautiful cousins doing a performance for us all in the front garden.

Monday, December 23, 2013

I love you like XO

I'm finally in a much more cheerful mood, and, dare I say it, I have a sliver of Christmas spirit. The other night I was working at home while watching the Lady Gaga and The Muppets Holiday Spectacular, and it was legitimately really good and made me smile and laugh. I have all of the old Muppet shows from the '70s on VHS and just love them. The best (well, my personal favourite) is when Linda Ronstadt sings Blue Bayou with the little frog muppets. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the more contemporary Gaga muppet show as I flip flop on Lady Gaga a bit, but this really was great and I do think she is a good performer. Watch her sing a duet with Kermit here, if that's your thing.

Hmm anyway, we're having Christmas at home this year, and all of my whole family are coming over. There will be about 25 of us for lunch and we've got a marquee outside and various other extravagant unnecessary additions to our regular home and garden. Because my Dad is a garden designer and my Mum is a florist they want everything to be beautiful and perfect and it will be, no matter the struggles undergone to get there! I'm looking forward to Christmas Day, when I'm sitting down and relaxing with everyone, and when I get to give my presents to my family.

Yesterday I went shopping with my Dad and little sister and bought so much stuff and went all over town. I really enjoyed myself actually, it's like tradition that I go super last minute Christmas shopping with my Dad because he's always so busy. It's the most fun going really last minute because there's a nice feeling of unity in the air or something. Around Christmas everyone seems to be at similar stages of their life and are really open and chatty. Lots of sales assistants spoke to me and my sister and were like "Are you sisters? You look so different!". One sales assistant was so distracted and chatty that she accidently charged us 35cents for a bra that was worth like $60. It was a small victory against the corporate man you know and a funny story.

Tomorrow I am helping my Mum at her shop because it's Christmas eve and she will be busy. Then back home to finish cleaning everything within an inch of its life before people come over the next day! All my buying and wrapping is done, and everything is waiting under the tree. I painted my nails gold glitter and am feeling rather festive.

The ultimate tape for gift wrapping
A quick studio stop in
Some of my wrapped presents!
A kool bag on Brunswick Street
Me this morning in my new shades from Opening Ceremony. How could I not buy!? 
So many tinsel at Arthur Dailys 
Me and my 60s LOVE badge :)
Jon Campbell tea-towel, a gift for a family member
What Soda thinks of Christmas
Also, I did a work for Nasty Gal that will be printed in their Hip Hop colouring book. I got to work on Missy Elliott! Here is an image of the work:

So fun! Also, this is like a 'Save the Date' for you if you live in Melbourne. I have been invited to run a Drop in Drawing workshop at the National Gallery of Victoria on the 5th of January from 2pm-4pm. We can draw together and chat, and, it's free! Put it in your diary if you have a diary. I will post more details soon!

Hope all your Christmases are merry.
Love Minna

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On not having the Christmas spirit

Usually I'm really into Christmas but this year that is not so. As you know I've been unwell, stressed, and a whole lot else that will sound too trivial should I reduce it to words on a screen. This year's been so crazy so I guess it makes sense that it ends in a bang, and in some ways should really have seen it coming!

I got a diagnosis for my unexplained illness and have been on tablets to combat that, however the tablets have made me even more unwell and I've literally been in bed for the past 4 days. I've had to call in sick to work (which I HATE doing, and think I've detailed that here before) and have watched more TV than I would personally condone. It's frustrating. I think because it's Christmas too, I have this feeling like I'm missing out on a bunch of things, which I am! and I haven't seen anyone socially in like forever ever and I haven't done a single speck of Christmas shopping, not a speck, not even a pack of Ferrero Rochers, not nuthin! The only thing I've done that's vaguely Christmasy is optimistically making Christmas cards for my colleagues at work thinking I'd be able to come in today. Not so!

You probably haven't noticed but I've had a bit of a self initiated break from blogging the past 10 days. In fact I've taken a bit of a break from the internet too. I need to do that every once in a while, most definitely. I think everyone does. However, something which I've wanted to say for ages, is that I intend to keep this blog going indefinitely, as long as my enthusiasm for it is still there, which it is. I love the idea of this blog going for my whole life or something. So yeah that's in the back of my mind, incase you were thinking oh Minna hasn't posted for 10 days maybe she's never gonna post again. You're not gonna be that lucky anytime soon!

Anyway back to not having the Christmas spirit. Well I don't have it and the closer I get to the day the more I don't have it, and the more I sort of can't wait for it to be over. Everyone is so stressed, and stressed people stress me out, and I haven't been able to go shopping for my family which is what I love doing the most. I'm hoping to overcome this sick shut-in phase over the weekend which will be good, and perhaps I'll feel a bit more Christmassy when I have some gifts for the people I love and get to sit down and wrap them with that cool patterned tape that is really trendy these days and fun wrapping paper.

Then I think again that sometimes you don't have to have the Christmas spirit because it's just a day of the year that everyone makes a real big deal about and as long as you're happy and relaxed and well then that's all that really matters. Wrapping myself in tinsel and sleeping next to the Christmas tree isn't going to make that happen. The hype won't give you the warm fuzzy feeling. Christmas doesn't make you feel good, what makes you feel good is that fact that you get to have your family and friends around you and you can make dumb jokes together. It doesn't matter what you do or where you are or what you eat or who gave who what, as long as you get to make dumb jokes and laugh with your family or equivalent. That is honestly all I want and I think that's all anyone wants.

I'll be back with pictures and more optimistic updates soon, maybe tomorrow? Maybe not. But I'll always be back at some point, heh heh heh - or should I say, ho ho ho!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Smile a while

Long time no blog because I'm tired, I'm sick and I have so much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.

I don't know what's up with my body so I'm getting a bunch of tests done to find out what's wrong and hopefully fix it. Constantly feeling ill, nauseous and like I'm going to vomit is ultimately unpleasant and unproductive. Massive over share but I dun care. Mix stress and having too much on with feeling ill like this and I get really upset and monumentally frustrated. I have stuff to do, but I can't do it. Nothing is more vexing.

All I want to do is bury my head in the sand like an emu, turn my phone to airplane mode and focus on getting better. Not only is that all I want to do, but I know it's what I have to do. Unfortunately right now that is literally impossible. I don't go to school or uni anymore, I go to real life, and in real life you can't really call in sick for like two weeks because it's what you need physically and emotionally. You have to suck it up. You can't like not meet deadlines because you didn't feel well. In this day and age I think what we need is like a prerecorded message that people get if they email or call or text you in times like these like: "HEY, YOU. Minna needs some time out right now, she'll get back to you when she's up to it, so stop ringin', texting and emailing ya hear me!?" and everyone will be like hey, that's cool, no worries, I understand. Because everyone has times like this I reckon you know, when the year's coming to an end and everything just gets a bit much.

I keep having dreams with whales in them, which is symbolic of perhaps how stressed I'm feeling or something. The a few nights ago when I actually ventured out of my house to hang out with some friends, we played a game of Pictionary and Daniel had to draw 'Moby Dick' and I had to guess and I did, so that was another whale that came into my life. Since then I've really liked the idea of reading Moby Dick again and not stopping half way through. I think that would be relaxing.

To be totally honest, right now I'm actually watching the end of Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous which is a good bad movie. Those are the things that I find most relaxing. Blah.
Some pictures from the past week: pre-bedridden and post bed-ridden!

I put this temporary tattoo on to boost morale!
I did this Elvis series on Rookie too! http://rookiemag.com/2013/12/love-me-tender/

And, this illustration for Emily's piece 'Changing your mind' on Rookie today :)

That's all for now, sorry for the mopey post, I'm sure I'll be back to normal soon.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Vale Martin Sharp

Today I woke up quite early, and found out via Instagram that Martin Sharp had died. I immediately looked across at the poster he made featuring Bob Dylan that I have hanging next to my bed, then over to my vinyl copy of Disraeli Gears that you may recall came into my life only a week ago, and I felt really sad. I've been a long-time fan of Martin's and this year was privileged to be included in an exhibition alongside his work. At the time Jon Campbell (who was also in the exhibition) and I discussed our longing to meet Martin in person, but at the time it wasn't possible for either me or Jon to make the flight to Sydney for the opening because of boring life commitments such as work etc...

Disappointed that I had potentially missed my last and only opportunity to meet Martin, I decided to try and find his email address so I could at least send a dorky fan note that let him know how relevant and inspiring his work and whole career has been to me. I started composing something that had a subject line that read 'Email from Minna Gilligan, fan of yours and fellow artist in Graceland‏' and it was totally ridiculous and embarrassing. I didn't send it. And now it's too late and not that he was short of fans or was desperate for my approval or whatever, but I just really wanted to let him know how much he made me believe that I can be both a 'fine artist' and 'commercial artist' and still be relevant in each field, and how his psychedelic work spun around in my mind as a teen and inspired my love affair with the '60s and '70s.

My work (left) and Martin Sharp's work (right) in the exhibition 'Graceland' at Damien Minton Gallery in Sydney.
Thank you Martin.