Life update

Published Categorized as Life and Stuff
Still life drawing of bananas

So it has been a while! Here’s what’s been happening.

Photo of Mr Almost 2
Photo of me at 36 weeks pregnant

Mum life

My last post on this blog was a few weeks before my son was born, and he’s now an energetic almost-two-year-old. I’m just a few weeks (or less) away from having our second baby, and about to go on maternity leave again. It has been, and will continue to be, an intense but joyful time for our family with our house taken over by toys, grubby handprints, and a seemingly never ending spread of sand everywhere. Parenting doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for other stuff, but I’ve accepted that this is just this short stage of our life and try to enjoy it as much as possible!

Photo of the last brush lettering workshop I ran

Workshops still on hold

I’ve had some people ask me about brush lettering workshops – and I’d really really love to get back into doing them! Logistically, running workshops in 2020 was a nightmare I wasn’t willing to dive into (especially whilst pregnant and very low on energy). Since I’ll be going on maternity leave for all of 2021, sadly it’ll be some time still before I can kick this off again.

If you want to pick up lettering as a new skill, take a look at my list of other excellent Perth creatives to learn from, or you can buy my worksheet packs (either physical or digital/printable) in my online store. You can also always send me questions by email or on Instagram – happy to answer and guide you where I can! Maybe later in the year, once I’ve gotten into the swing of being a mum of two little kids, I’ll look into doing remote workshops – is that something you might be interested in?

Phot of Side Project magazine issue 5

Side Project zines available for free*!

From 2014-2016, some friends and I released Side Project, a quarterly printed zine about making things, living a creative life and fitting it in around all that other stuff. I still have a few copies left, which you can get super cheap in my shop!

*I’m just charging $3 to cover the cost of shipping, but if you’re ordering another physical item from my shop I’ll probably slip one in there for free as a bonus.

This little magazine was such a labour of love, and it was so much fun interviewing Aussie creatives (many of whom have gone on to do amazing things), making crafty tutorials, and seeing our work in print. Issue 5 even has a brush lettering tutorial!

Trying different arty things

Like a lot of people I’m sure, 2020 wasn’t a particularly prolific year for me creatively. Global pandemic and other crises aside, I was also pregnant for a lot of the year, getting used to working full time again, and just generally really tired. Things started picking up towards the end of the year though, when I really felt the need to do some art to deal with stress, and now I feel like I’ve gotten my mojo back (right before having a baby!).

I wanted to try out a few different things instead of jumping back into lettering though. I’ve mostly been exploring digital painting using my iPad and Procreate app with some oil painting brushes, but also playing with real paint and also a wreath making class. Part of me wishes that I’d done more of this kind of thing throughout the last year, but I think that I needed that bit of a break. Digital art is going to be the easiest for me to pick up and put down quickly in the small pockets of spare time I have over the next year or so, but I’m hoping to later put time aside to keep messing with real paint, ink and brushes, and start doing some calligraphy again too.

Photo of sketchnotes, done with pen in a notebook

Website, UX and sketching

You might not have realised, as it’s probably been a long time since you’ve visited this site (if ever), but I’ve revamped to a new theme which is easier for me to edit. I’ve also been doing some thinking about my “personal brand” and how I present my work to the world, which I try to revisit every so often. Until a couple of weeks ago, this site was all about setting myself up for a career as a freelance lettering artist, specialising in brand design and content – something that I aspired to years ago!

These days I work as a User Experience designer, working on the Bankwest app and online banking (amongst other things). It’s interesting and challenging, and creative in more of that problem solving and communication kind of way rather than visually. Over the past few years, this has meant that I can support my family with a stable job I enjoy, whilst exploring my creative hobbies in spare time without any pressure to monetise or promote them. It’s worked well for me, and I’ve long let go of aspirations of freelancing, so I’ve changed up a few things on this website to reflect that.

I’ve also been meaning to add a section for my sketchnotes and other sketching fun for ages, but my old website theme was just too difficult for me to do that! So now it’s in, and I’ll be adding stuff that I’ve done over the past few years and hadn’t gotten around to posting. I’d love to do sketchnote workshops someday too.

2021 is probably going to be another low-key one for me online with so much going on at home, but I’m hoping I can keep this creative energy bubbling away for any bits of time to myself I can find. It’s not relaxing so much as it is engrossing and inspiring – but I can definitely do with a bit of that in stressful times.

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