Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cry Baby/Keep Smilin'


Amazing Girl Scout/Girl Guide blanket from the 1980s at Savers
Terrible/good coaster
Lusting over a lighthouse
The most Wes Anderson-ish book I've ever bought
Rather mindless doodles
Smileys
Nothing much to report tonight! I've been busy the past couple of days working on a bunch of last minute stuff for Rookie. I kind of actually love having like, a few hours to turn something around, I get a kick out of it and, like everyone, it's usually how I make my most interesting (not necessarily best!) work.

Other than that I've been in the office at work work, I gave my dog a bath, uhm... I told you there wasn't much to report. I was featured on the Instagram blog today, actually, you can see it here: http://blog.instagram.com/post/87015655157/user-feature-minna-gilligan. I got to mention my favourite instagrammers! I chose my buddies Petra Collins @petrafcollins, Brodie Lancaster @filmmefatales, Beci Orpin @beciorpin, and, my favourite Instagram account @thefamilyacid, which is a family's personal archive of photos from the 1960s-1980s. I would definitely recommend a follow.

I've started thinking seriously about my next upcoming exhibition, which is going to be held in a hotel room in the city in August. The whole idea really, really excites me. I feel happiest when I can think about my work right in the forefront of my mind, with nothing else pressing or vying for space and attention. This does not happen organically often, that is, I have to learn how to make it happen. I am getting better at being able to stack and shuffle things in my mind from importance to insignificance. Sometimes it's easy, other time it's impossible.

I'm going to totally inhabit the hotel room. My mind is going crazy with the possibilities. My problem though is that I can get stuck thinking so much about a whole bunch of brilliant things to do but not beginning with enough time to actually do them. I need to be way more organised with my realities. I get so caught up in fantasy.

Here are the two pieces of mine that went up on Rookie today:

To accompany a piece on The Fault in Our Stars by Hazel

The above illustration I made to accompany a very important article on Rookie today by Nigerian activist Foyeke Oyedokun. You can read the article here: http://www.rookiemag.com/2014/05/dont-mess-with-our-girls/. Foyeke reminds us that the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls have been missing now for OVER A MONTH, and how it's still super important to continue pressuring media and governments to fight for their freedom.

I'll admit that sometimes to me, it feels like the 'hashtag cause' kind of thing is perhaps a little irreverent. But, ultimately it is a successful and powerful way to have our voices heard globally, and to raise awareness about things we feel passionately or care about. This is why I encourage you to post the above illustration of mine on whatever social media you choose with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls. I made the illustration bright and colourful to catch people's eyes, to make people want to share it, and ultimately to be symbolic of hope and positivity.

Till next time X

Friday, May 23, 2014

Well it all comes down to you

I am the queen of trusting my gut instinct, and, up until now I've been lucky, because what my gut tells me to do has generally been in line with what my head knows I should do. However most recently I've been getting mixed messages and I'm wondering which way to go. My head is smart and tells me to do the things that will be the best for me in the long run, even if they may suck in the present time. I know that they are the right things to do. My gut has always gone in that same direction, the practical, safe and not making waves route. Now that both are conflicting, I'm feeling pulled in two directions (can't think of a more exciting metaphor) and now I understand a whole bunch of movie/TV plots on a whole new level, you know, like why Rachel got off the plane or whatever.

Going with your gut when your gut is in contrast to your head is to "fly by the seat of your pants" as they say, to work it out when you get there, to see how things pan out... which is something I've never, ever been able to do. That route is the road less travelled (definitely for people like me), and it's scary but rather tempting because of the endless glittering possibilities it presents but of course here I must note that all that glitters is not gold when you go with your gut.

To go with your head is to "be on the straight and narrow", having calculated all risks and all possible outcomes of a circumstance or exchange, and to go down the path with the least risky outcome, sparing people's feelings, stopping things before they go too far, drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink, going home early if you have work the next morning. I've been that person for as long as I can remember and it's the territory that I know well. Every action I carry out is a result of the workings of my head. I could count on one hand the times I've truly made THE gut decision, knowing full well it's probably not so smart and not so good in the long run. The thing about the gut decision though, is that I've always been glad for the experience - good or bad, once I'm back on a relatively straight path again, and it's by making gut decisions that you learn the most about yourself in different and less than comfortable situations.

I'm pretty sure I made a gut decision tonight. I could physically feel myself pulling between head and gut, or, well, head and heart - because I think the gut feels what the heart's saying you know. They were both telling me the different outcomes, one where everyone involved would get out early and relatively unscathed, and the other where I didn't know anything except how I felt in the here and now.
It's scary and probably stupid but it was what I wanted in that second, that moment, and to live with the possible consequences is something I'll take in my stride. I made that decision for me, and if a gut decision is selfish, I've made enough selfless head decisions to balance that out, and, been on the receiving end of enough poorly made gut decisions to warrant me making at least a couple in my lifetime. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Jailhouse rock looks
Drawing last night


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spend Thrift











I've been totally ridiculous with my clothes shopping lately. The Romance was Born sale was so awesome on the weekend, and as promised, above are the pictures of the stuff I bought. I also bought a Sleeping Beauty dress for my sister to wear to her 21st party. The best piece, by far, are the rainbow jeans. Luke Sales told me that the print is an original painting by Alia Penner, an artist I love, and in my opinion they're totally perfect. The only thing is, I can't off the top of my head think of an occasion to wear them... maybe they can just stay in my wardrobe and be worshipped.

Recently, I also joined this amazing Facebook group for selling clothing in Australia. Most of the members are local gals from Melbourne, and I am absolutely obsessed. People post stuff really often, and at least once a day I'll see something I really want... it's so great but also terrible because it's so tempting to buy stuff all the time! I've already bought two things, the Antipodium bomber jacket pictured at the top of this post, and a pair of Romance was Born jeans that I'm yet to receive in the post. I went to buy a great pair of silk pants today, too, but I was kind of relieved to find out they were sold - the only way I can control my spending!

For most of my life I shopped exclusively at Op shops, mostly the Savers store near my house. I would try and recreate outfits I saw in the magazines I read at the time, mostly Vogue, Russh and Nylon - and now, even though I do still shop at Savers, I can sort of afford the actual clothes I used to covet so desperately, and it's so exciting for me I just can't resist. That said, I do look out for a bargain, I rarely pay full price for new stuff that I buy because I'm super sleuth-y with waiting for something to come up on Ebay, or for a discount code or whatever... I'm still thrifty (ish...) even if I'm not shopping at thrift stores.

Hmm I'm not too sure what else has been happening other than me spending all my moneys... I had a much better weekend than my week last week when I was rather miserable. Saturday and Sunday I was mildly social and wasn't feeling too under the weather so was happy to hang out with people. I finally got private health insurance so I feel like an adult. I've been working on Rookie yearbook stuff, busily to always quickly approaching deadlines! Yesterday I did two paintings, washed my bedding and cleaned out my cupboard resulting in a big bag of stuff to go straight to the Op Shop. All of these things felt very cleansing and good for my soul.

I came across something that felt very odd indeed, the above ancient looking mobile phone, mine circa 2004. I remember wanting this phone so, so badly and thinking it was so remarkable to have a camera and a colour screen. Holding it in my hand now, it felt so obsolete and devalued, nowhere near as special as it used to feel to me. It felt small, boxy and foreign. I laughed at the cover I had on it, a *fake* Roxy cover that I bought from the local shopping centre after saving up for weeks. It was weird to feel nostalgic towards this object, because on one hand it didn't feel like that long ago, but taking a photo of it on my iPhone and uploading that photo to Instagram, made it feel like it was.

I can't find the charger for the phone so I am really bummed that I can't turn it on and check out what's left on there - old text messages, extremely pixelated photos, recordings, etc. I might even see if I can find one on Ebay... that's a dangerous place for me to go right now though, ha.

That's all for tonight, gonna go to sleep and dream about clothes...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sandcastle Disco




Hello dear readers! It is currently Saturday night at 9.30pm. I passed up the opportunity to go to a double denim themed party tonight (I know, I know - an opportunity like that doesn't come up often enough) and I'm in bed, wearing as usual a rather odd combination of pajamas or more accurately titled 'weird clothes I sleep in'. I'm warm, my dog is sleeping next to my heater, and it's nice. My mind is occasionally tugging with mild wonders about the happenings of the party, but mostly I'm happy to let it rave on without me.

This week was really busy and a little stressful. Thursday was a crazy day that I sort of enjoyed but mostly didn't. In the morning for work I went to the media preview of Italian Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria. It was a rather civilized way to spend the morning, and I enjoyed getting a first look at the exhibition. I especially enjoyed the floral still lives (above) but the majestic and biblical nature of most of the other portraits I found a little... dare I say it, repetitive. That's especially close-minded of me considering the exhibition included works by the likes of Raphael... I think perhaps I just wasn't in the mood. I liked hanging around with my small group of 'co-workers' though, (four of us) and we got a crustless sandwich lunch together in the Tea Rooms later on.

Unfortunately then I had to leave, to go to a specialist Doctor's appointment which I was equally dreading and looking forward to. It turns out that I have to have a PROCEDURE in the hospital soon, albeit a *routine* procedure, but I'm scared because I have to go under anaesthetic and fast for a WHOLE day and night before hand. I'm also looking forward to it being over as it will hopefully provide some answers as to why I have a whole bunch of boring niggling health problems that have been hanging around forever. So needless to say I'm super down and out about the whole thing to be honest. When you have niggling health problems, just like DOING stuff becomes difficult and it's hard to enjoy yourself in any other vocation other than sleeping you know. But I am so conscious again that my health problems aren't life threatening therefore not the most pressing of issues compared to other people on this earth, including people close to me; but I've said it once and will say it again - if something is debilitating in any way, shape or form, then you're entitled to change it - maybe I just don't have to talk about it so much, ha.

Despite being super down and out after my Doctor's appointment, I decided to make another journey into the city to go to my friend's exhibition opening at Westspace, which, by the way, made a total of 4 hours traveling that day and wasn't really helping the situation. I was glad I went though, because it's just like Penny Lane says "Go to the record store and visit your friends" because everyone was there and it was easy to chat and I even had a few laughs.

Friday I had work again, and that night I met up with my friend to finally see The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I thoroughly enjoyed and was the perfect escape from my mind for a couple of hours. So that was lovely. Afterwards we got dinner and a couple of drinks before I finally headed home to literally collapse.

Then, cut to Saturday morning, unfortunately not to the perfect Wes Anderson-ish forgotten hotel room, but my own bedroom, where I woke up early to finish a work for Rookie before deadline. After that, I knew exactly where I was headed, and that was the Romance was Born sale on Brunswick Street. I just sold a painting, so I was definitely in the mood to spend at least a decent portion of that as yet un-received payment. That I did, but I haven't photographed anything yet so you'll have to wait until I can be bothered doing so. I finally met Luke Sales (1/2 of Romance was Born) in person and that was somewhat of an honor having been fans of their label since their inception. Surprisingly I didn't make too much of a fool out of myself, either, so hallelujah!

Dad bought me these snacks for my 'journey' today, to 'keep my strength up'. I appreciate him wanting to look after me and my general ill health, even though it's funny and I don't know how much energy I will reap from a piece of Juicy Fruit gum...
Now, it's a thousand times past my bedtime. Here's an illustration I did for Rookie that's up today:


And, what is possibly the best song ever and rather on-topic if I do say so myself:


Goodnight x

Monday, May 12, 2014

Just for me

ME for a change trying to get a good headshot for the Melb Writer's Festival where I look smart and pretty ya know
At Daiso again, I am obsessed
New badge, from the Best Western uniform in the '70s, resting on some new knitted dresses I bought too
'70s lunchbox I bought from Savers, I love it!
An amazing '70s quilt at Savers that I didn't buy because thoughts of all the dust mites living in there turned me off...
Barbara Cartland
A box with stationary in it
Doing work on the floor this arvo
I had a pretty nice weekend this weekend, albeit busy. Lots of socialising on Saturday in between dodging the rain, I caught up with a couple of different people and ended up going to the opening of 'Lifestyle Concepts' at Daine Singer that afternoon. It was fun! On Sunday I helped my Mum out at her florist shop, because it was Mother's Day which is pretty much the busiest day of the year for florists. I was so tired by the end of the day, I haven't done customer service stuff in so long and it's exhausting. I've been spoilt sitting at my own desk all day not having to talk to anyone.

I've had this thought more recently that worries me slightly, as I've started to work on new stuff for upcoming exhibitions (in August and September, incase you were wondering) and it's a thought that perhaps, my work will stay the same, thus becoming uninteresting for the people who look at it, and for myself. My biggest fear is that I will get stuck in one way of making, and never make anything challenging again. I think I will feel fresher when I move into my Gertrude Studio in December, but in the meantime I sort of feel like I need to shake things up a bit. I mean, I understand that my work will always harbor a similar aesthetic and *vibe* but with each exhibition I have, I want it to be better than the last. I don't want plateaus, I don't want continuously good, I want my work to be consistently BETTER. I guess that's complicated because *better* is only defined by my own idea of it, but I guess my own satisfaction seeps through to how others perceive the work, maybe. Eh it's complicated. Basically I don't wanna have déjà vu each time I buckle down and make work for an exhibition. I want it to feel different and come from a different place. Then, I'll be charting uncharted territory, thus challenging myself and making something that stands alone from what I have before.

Another thing that's been on my mind from the past few days is an odd dream I had, that I recounted very early in the morning in the notes section of my iphone. Here is what I wrote (unedited)

Dream where I was in like St Andrews* or somewhere in an old country house that was weatherboard and rambling and it was hot, I think, and a beautiful day. The house was on top of a hill looking out over a forever valley and other hills. We were staying in the house, and it happened to be infested with snakes, one in particular that was bothering me - a silver python that was curled up next to a bed, the silver was sort of flaking off like gold leaf or something. I didn't want to disturb this snake. We had signs outside warning of the snakes, particularly signs that said 'NO DOGS' because the dogs would get bitten by the snakes. There was a little dog running around outside that I was trying to get back, when I looked out over the valley, and it was so green and beautiful, but very Australian green like a dusty green, and I saw a black stallion rearing in the distance. I commented on how beautiful that image was, like a postcard, and then it came closer and I realised that Frank Sinatra was riding the horse and he was in black and white and he looked like he looked in that photo I have of him when he was young and wearing that sailor hat. It was odd that he was in black and white and I rushed over saying "Oh god, it's Frank Sinatra" or something, and that's all I remember...

* St Andrews is small town near me where I used to go to Pony Club and ride my horse when I was growing up.

Hmm. That metallic silver python has stayed with me, as has the image of the black stallion rearing.

Till next time I guess! x

Thursday, May 8, 2014

This dream is all that I need cause its all that I ever had

Now get this work.








Rather long time no blog, not intentionally, it's funny how it always seems to be a week between posts without me even counting the days. I don't altogether know what to write about this time round, it's been a long time coming with me jotting random excerpts from my life in the notes section of my phone.

Some examples of these things are:

* Thinking about how I always surprise myself

* That blind hope that the *one* for you is just like aimlessly floating around there somewhere, waiting until you bump into each other. This image of someone that you have without you even knowing they exist. How meeting someone brings them into existence because otherwise if you never knew they existed and you never had any encounter with them, did they really exist?

* My intense and often debilitating sense of empathy - something I've always wished away - became something I never want to lose.

* Grimes 'Oblivion', and how recently I've been like catching taxis home late at night and alone, and trains late at night and stuff, which my parents despise me doing - and the more I do it, the more hyper aware I am about being a girl alone, what I'm wearing, the endless possibilities of things that could happen to me. In an interview with Grimes I once watched or read, she said that Oblivion was about a time where she became obsessed with this idea that someone was going to come up behind her while she was walking home, and like, hit her over the head or something. I thought about this article by Jill Meagher's husband, Tom Meagher http://whiteribbonblog.com/2014/04/17/the-danger-of-the-monster-myth/, about his idea of the 'Monster' that Grimes feared, and that my parents fear, and that well, I don't fear, but he's on my mind. A friend of mine said that you'll never understand feminism until you know what it's like to walk home alone at 2am or something along a deserted street as a woman. You always have the company of the lurking monster, whether he's there really hiding in the bushes, or whether that rustle was just in your imagination - he's there in your mind.

And, at risk of going on a rant, I consider going home alone, late at night on public transport inhabited by men and taxis driven by men a 'risk'. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to do it. It means that every time I do do it, and I get home safely, I won, a small victory, but one nevertheless.

* When I was in a taxi going home the other night and I saw this smoke billowing from a like industrial chimney and I wondered what it was doing on, you know, because it was really late, but I didn't care because it was beautiful and I was really aware of it catching the light and looking tactile rather than nothingness.

I think this phase of 'growing up' that I mentioned in the last post (by no means the final phase...) is good for me because I'm broadening my circles and horizons and all that crap. I'm doing the normal stuff I probably should have been doing since I was 16. Occasionally venturing out of my comfort zone and then going back in. Each time going further and further.

At the moment I'm anxiously waiting on an important yay or nay email, so I guess I'm try to distract myself with these changes in habits, getting butterflies again when I thought I never would, talking about stuff I'd never thought I'd talk about with people I'd never thought I'd talk to. I feel like someone else, sometimes, not the me I've known my whole life, and I think, I think that's a good thing. As long as I'm happy, I'll say in my head, repeating it how my parents used to say when I was little "no matter what you do, as long as you're happy, it doesn't matter" I mean, a kind of contentedness, anyway. I see happiness as unbridled elation, and I see contentedness as calmness, satisfaction, at ease with your choices and situation. Happiness is when you get a text message that surprises you with a sweetness that you've never experienced before in your life, and you realise some things you've been missing out on. It doesn't last, it lasts maybe half an hour and fades before you can even catalogue it in your mind as a something you can go back to, but it definitely existed.

I'm getting all abstract now, ha ha. Back down to earth. I really wanna find a really really warm amazing coat, that is like a hug and a bed at the same time. I'm always so freezing in winter and I'm way too old to be freezing all the time - it was okay when I was young, ha, but BRR.

I have work tomorrow, I've been really busy at work lately which I like because it makes the day go fast. Haven't had the time or energy to do much else in between a small bit of socialising and a small bit of replying to emails and a small bit of illustration work. Gonna see a couple of friends over the weekend, help my Mum at her florist shop on Mother's day, work on some art stuff, relax. I'm looking forward to it.

Here are a few more pictures of stuff:

My new Kenzo bomber has changed my life in a fierce way
DAISO new obsession, I can't believe I hadn't been before now!
Lady Petrova's partner bought one of my paintings as a gift for their 16th anniversary. I made this card to go with it.
Dreaming Soda

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Clutter

My whole life, my mind, very being and existence is so intensely cluttered. I often justify this by thinking that I need such an environment in order to make art and to thrive, but now I think perhaps it is a crutch that I lean on to make my physical and mental spaces feel safer, more cushioned - to crush out anything I don't want to look at or think about with more stuff on top of more stuff. I wake up in the middle of the night so often now, and I have a song turning round and round in my head, faster and faster. Someone's face, looming deadlines, a tinge of guilt, of uncertainty, excitement, loneliness, all at any one given second, lying in bed alone late at night or early in the morning with my eyes wide open.

I'm going through another stage of 'growing up' at the moment, I think, and I'm starting to realise that my cluttered environment is not one that is easily sustainable or good for my well-being. I have a lot of physical clutter in my physical spaces, but the most worrying of clutters I have is the clutter in my mind. I am going to really make an effort to try methods of meditation and relaxation in the coming weeks, months, I guess when I get around to it... but I know I need to get around to it soon. I'm struggling again with my physical health, my same old stomach troubles plus a nasty throat and sinus infection. Again, I always feel weird telling people that I'm not feeling well, or that I can't do stuff because I'm not feeling well, because a) in relation to other people's much more serious health issues mine are truly insignificant in comparison. b) because it really bothers me to have to admit that a seemingly mild yet persistent and unpleasant physical problem is debilitating me to the extent of missing out on things like hanging out with friends and actually enjoying myself for once and c) because I ALWAYS SEEM TO BE SICK y'all must be getting tired of hearing it!

In conclusion to this rant, I feel like de-cluttering my mind and finding like that ""inner peace"" or whatever that crap people rave on about might be the answer for me feeling better mentally which will help with feeling better physically. Hell, even if I can sleep through a whole night it'll be worth it. If I've said it once Grimes has said it a million times "GIRL YOU KNOW YOU GOTTA WATCH YOUR HEALTH".

More clutter below:

Me last Saturday night before I went out, AGAIN, I know

You cannot ever beat the feeling of buying a new lipstick

Smiley stickers

Trying to decide what to collage on my tambourine

Ended up going with cut-out pictures of hands

Amazing images in a '70s Yoga book I bought

Jump From Paper sent me this amazing backpack! This is me wearing it disappearing into 2D realms...

Yoga and Glen Campbell

Tavi sent me this and bloody made my day

A broken flour sifter thing at Savers
At the wholesale flower market with my Mum

Pretty much killed me dead when I found this