I’ve eyed the book before, and whilst lunching in the London Review Bookshop cafe (which is friggin’ awesome! All the lunches are beautifully tasty and just damn beautiful) decided to grab a copy. It was the right decision.
I started it yesterday while making a cup of tea at work and finished it on my commute home this evening. It’s wonderful. It’s full of concise, useful advice that really resonated with me and likely will with you, if you’ve ever tried to do anything – creative or not – but some times find yourself a bit stuck.
The key to all of it (probs a bit obviously) is showing your work.
I’ve realised, I’ve been hoarding (as per page 73).
I’ve been working on a few things, but didn’t feel like I had anything post worthy, so tried to save it… All this has done, is lead to me showing bugger all and leaving average-eye-con barren and empty for all those checking back. Again, I’m sorry.
I started writing a post on ‘mermaid hair’ but was poorly motivated when it came to finishing it. Having read this book, I realised why. It’s bollocks. If it was any good, writing it wouldn’t have been such a struggle and I would have published by now. The bits of it that came easiest are likely the most useful so here is all I have to say about mermaid hair.
– the bleaching
I’m all for DIY but bleaching your hair can go horribly, hideously, wrong… Witnessing my mother accidentally dye her hair a brilliant shade of orange on more than one occasion has taught me one thing – I’m brave but I’m not that brave – if I fuck it up, I’m not sure I could live with it. So I left the bleaching the capable hands of my hairdresser. Once your hair is light enough, it’s a canvas for whatever rainbow shades you desire – but the better the bleaching, the better the end result.
That’s it. After it’s been bleached, you can do whatever you like with it… I did think of recommending a bunch of after care, but everyone’s hair is different. I was quick to find products that worked for me, so don’t have a whole host to review in detail for you. All I can say is don’t assume that the products you used pre-bleaching, will continue to work as well post bleaching. You might have to ditch old favourites and try something new. Other mermaid wisdom: hair oil. Which ever kind you go for, it will change your life/hair for the better. Just don’t go nuts with it. The trick is to start with a little – add more if you feel it’s necessary – it’s way too easy to pile it on and make your hair greasy.
The final thing I should mention – DON’T try to go back straight to brunette from blonde. I knew it was a bad idea. I KNEW you were supposed to go red beforehand and though nahhhh, it’ll be fine. It wasn’t. My hair was green. So if you’re going to brunette from blonde, and aren’t paying your hairdresser to do it for you. Go. Red. First.
Now that’s out of the way, what’s been happening?
In August I made my first forte into crowdfunding. It was terrifying but worth it. I used the website Trevolta to help bring Kenta over to the UK for my birthday. Asking for help is no easy task, especially monetary help. Putting yourself out there in any way can leave you incredibly vulnerable to criticism and when there is money on the table, people can get nasty.
In the weeks leading to up to my birthday, it became increasingly apparent that we couldn’t afford the flights between us. I decided it was worth the risk and went for it. By way of reward, I offered good vibes and art. I was astounded by the response – totally floored. 15 of my friends backed the campaign, raising nearly $900 towards his flights. The insane thing? The majority of money pledged was done so with no reward selected. My friends, you crazy, wonderful, amazing, exciting and inspiring people. I love you dearly. You know this but now the world knows it too.
I managed to raise additional funds by selling ALL THE saleable THINGS in my wardrobe/house and our savings covered the rest. He spent a glorious 10 days here! LOOK AT OUR HAPPY FACES!
So yes. Kenta was here to see me turn another year older. Believe it or not, I’m actually 28. Yes I’m serious. Really.
When I first started average-eye-con I made a conscious decision not to mention my age. I know I look younger than I am for the most part and as style blogging seems to belong to the young and the beautiful, I didn’t want my age to go against me… Fuck it!
It’s very strange. When beginning the blog, I stated that the only thing I was good at, was being myself. Yet, in exploring the world of blogging and taking in hundreds upon hundreds of new influences and inspirations, I kind of lost myself… I’m beginning to think now, it’s because I wasn’t including you in the process.
I wanted to bring you only end results, beautiful shiny things. It doesn’t work like that, no-one gets a beautiful, shiny thing without lots of huffing, puffing, sweating and stressing beforehand. It takes, time, effort and energy and I’m happy to admit that. So I’m going to endeavour to keep you in the loop more. If weekly posts here (and yes, I will return to them) aren’t enough and you’re really curious, you can follow my adventures on Instagram.
One of the other reasons why I’ve felt a bit lost and have struggled with motivation, is because I’m actually dealing with depression right now. It may sound tired or trite, you might roll your eyes, write it off as attention seeking or you may wonder what I have to be depressed about… The truth? I’m not ready to go into it, because I don’t think I can share anything helpful on the topic yet. Me whinging about it isn’t going to make either of us feel any better but, when I’ve figured things out a little more and can offer something useful? You’ll find it right here.
In the meantime, I will share with you every touching and inspiring thing I have found, that has made me feel less alone. While I might not know how to improve my situation right now, I do know that isolation is not helpful.
You may feel stupid, or scared or worthless but there is someone who you can go to about it. It might take a while to realise who that person is but when you do, trust them. Trust that they’re not going to try to force a fix on you and will listen. It is incredibly hard to take that first step towards opening up. I chose my GP as the first person to really talk to about everything and man, he got the full works. Once I started, everything tumbled out at once; words, tears… Snot. Like. So much. I was grossss but meh. It wasn’t pretty but I felt so much lighter afterwards and having opened up to one person, it was easier to open up to the next one and the one after that.
On the other hand, if you know someone who is depressed, they come to you, and you don’t know what to do about it, that’s ok. DO NOT PANIC. Not even in the face of snot and tears. You don’t have to have the answers, you don’t have to say you understand and you definitely don’t have to try to cheer them up. Admitting to someone, you don’t know what to do but that you’ll be there anyway will make them feel so much less lost. You might be clueless on how to progress, but at least you’re clueless together. For me, realising I have people around me who care enough to listen has helped loads. Once again. I love my friends!
ANYWAY. Enough – I’m writing too much. What else.
Following Kenta’s visit I did shoot some stuff to share with you, but it took a while for the images to come back. Chris is – as always – super busy, what with him being a mentalist workaholic and I didn’t like to pester him. He was doing amazing work for the Oxford Corsetry Convention, working with stunners like Threnody in Velvet… I know riiiiight! Luckyyyyy. But yes! He has since sent me a load of stuff and I’ve not got it out to you yet. Soon my kitties, soon.
I’ve gained a short block fringe which I was really excited about but then I realised I would have to make an effort to make my eye make-up symmetrical and got less excited. I did my make-up the first day and haven’t bothered since… I’m still not sure if I like it (the fringe, not the make up, that’s okii).
What else? More life. I gave a presentation as part of my work’s monthly ‘#MetaBeerTalks’. Oh yeah, that’s right. I have a day job – I work full-time as an Office Manager for a small software development firm. The staff are referred to as cats and my official title is Office Genie. I kid you not.
So yeah, I hate public speaking but I did it anyway! You can read about it here if you like. Then I went and did another one, even though I still hate public speaking! Yay T^T and you can read about that, here… They deal with ‘people’ and ‘recommendations respectively, looking at them largely in the context of the broadcasting industry, marketing and application design, but perhaps you’ll find it interesting. Feel free to hit me up and let me know!
I bagged my first styling gig. It was a lot of fun and following that, I hooked up with Strange Clothing Company and produced, directed and styled their lookbook. Photography by Chris, make up by Eloise Wilson? Dream team! We’re just in the process of going through the photos now. It’s so exciting! The models – the lovely Cervena Fox and dapper Roy Brackpool – did a fantastic job. We’re looking forward to sharing!
With the Strange lookbook out of the way, I made a start on the reward pieces for my Trevolta backers. The first piece up? Adventure Time!
Eee, I made a squishy cuddly Jake! I love it and can’t wait to finish it and present it to its new owner. I’m using the rewards as an exercise to try mediums I’m not usually very comfortable with. This? It’s in watercolours… Next up, acrylics!
The last thing I have to share with you – art-wise – to prove that I’ve not just been sitting idle, is a little project I’ve started under the heading “my warpaint is sharpie ink”, inspired by the lyric from the Kimya Dawson song ‘Loose Lips‘. Pretty much as it sounds. I’m customising stuff with a sharpie (and occasionally a biro) to A. get into the habit of drawing/doodling/etc more regularly, B. Get into the habit of drawing without planning too much and C. To make cool shit for me to prance about in… Fair?
I’ll be sure to post in detail when each piece is finished ^___^… In other news, I’ve been watching far too much ‘Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘ and am trying to start less sentences with the words ‘no’ and ‘but’.
So kitties. I’ve been rubbish but I endeavour to be less rubbish in future. I hope this missive finds you well, much love.