Category Archives: Random Observations

Finally finished a drawing!

It may have taken me far longer than I want to admit, but I think I may have actually finished a drawing! I have a book full of half finished pieces that I have ideas about but never really get around to working on them so they end up just sitting, waiting for some inspiration. I decided to try and redraw something that I have already done as it will be easy but then somehow end up making a whole new piece based off of the original but tweaked somehow.

I still have plenty of ideas of little things that I want to try and I do have to admit that the starting idea of this drawing wasn’t mine at all. It was based off of an excellent YouTube tutorial I watched over a year ago on a channel called Peter Draws. Watching that showed me that I could pick up a pencil and try something new as he showed me how to build up the sections to create what eventually becomes a finished drawing. I am very grateful to that video channel for getting me to even try drawing.

As with all my drawings though, I went wrong along the way at some point but owned my errors and turned them into features rather than focusing on how it didn’t work out properly. The thing that I find most interesting about this process is that when I show people my drawings they often pick out some of my “mistakes” as their favourite features. These unintentional additions to the drawings seem to become focus points that achieve something I wasn’t even trying. Other times when I get stuck I end up just staring at the paper not knowing where to go. I cant see what the final goal should be and then end up not doing anything rather than making a wrong decision. At times like this I swap the pencil for the pen and stick in some permanent lines. These lines are things that I cant come back from and then force the rest of my decision making. Often these lines are just what I need to get a bit of a plan and move forwards as the limitation of my options actually helps me rather than hindering.

I don’t want to get too deep but sometimes I think this is kind of a metaphor for life. We all sometimes get stuck and don’t know where to turn or what to do. The number of options that we now have in life is staggering and we can often end up not making any decision rather than making one that is wrong. The harsh reality is that despite what we have been told my the media, we cant do everything in life. What we can do though is something.

Lots of people don’t do anything because of fear which is the same as me looking at my paper. Drawing in a line will exclude many of the things that I could do with that drawing and vastly limit its potential outcome but it has to be done. If I abstain from making a decision then I will just sit there looking and never doing until the day the ink dries in my pen and I sit back to look at the blank paper with dreams of what could have been.

My drawings are not perfect but they are the best I have and much better than they were before I ever picked up the pen and made something happen.

I guess what I am trying to say is for all you people out there on the fence is to go out and take a leap. It might be the right one, it might be the wrong one, but sitting there deciding isn’t going to help. I spent years not taking action because I wanted to wait for the perfect plan and the secret I eventually found was that there is no perfect plan at all. All the people I have met in my life who have done amazing things never had a perfect plan when they started, they just tried something and went from there. So get out there everyone and go do somethings.

Who knows where you will eventually end up!

Lackadaisical posting

I think I need to apologise for my resent posts, or more accurately, my lack of recent posts. It seems as if I haven’t written anything in quite a while and that is because I haven’t! The post I published last was actually written a few weeks ago and I have been so busy that I’ve not been able to publish it when I wanted to.

Busy… but busy with what? Well that is the question that I really need to start asking myself as for all the time I seem to have been busy and not had time I don’t seem to have really gotten anything else done. It isn’t even as if I have just spent my time sat watching TV or movies as I really haven’t, the time just seems to have slipped away somehow. It is as if I put it down somewhere and forgot what that somewhere was and now I sit here typing this, trying to recall what I have done over the last few weeks and the answer is “not much”.

With the new job there has been a lot for me to do at work lately and by the time that is all done on an evening and I’ve eaten dinner etc. then it seems like it is time to reset and carry on again, a cycle I very much need to break!

Over the last few weeks I have at least started to get some new things in place to start having as much fun as possible and actually plan out some of my free time. Since I get weekends off (as long as things don’t go terribly wrong!) then I need to start thinking about what I want to be doing and what I really enjoy, otherwise what is the point in my little adventure if I am not having fun!

The first thing on the agenda for the man who now has a job, house and (company) car is to get back to the gym and try and sort out my fitness. This has culminated with a membership to Les Mills and me purchasing a quite expensive sports watch in an attempt to make it force me to make use of it. To be honest I am actually happy with the watch I got (the Fitbit Surge if anyone was wondering) as it tracks things like my steps per day, calories burnt, stairs climbed and heart rate and updates it all to my app account so I can keep track of things. I know that a lot of people think that it is a load of nonsense but to me having figures I can work against and try and improve on is really important and I need it to keep me moving in the right direction. Another week of the general fitness stuff and then I am going to start looking at getting to some of the classes that they do and then also getting myself back to Jiu Jitsu as I have missed training quite a lot in the last few months.

It seems like I say this a lot but this really is the edge and I need to start making moves to either back away from it or take a leap. Either way, standing here and looking isn’t doing anyone any good!

Drawing progress

I’ve been doing a lot more drawing since I have been in New Zealand and have really enjoyed the relaxing process of sitting down with a pen or pencil to just see what happens on the paper. I don’t know if I can really even call it drawing as I am more tracing lines made with a compass but I still enjoy it.

A lot of people have commented on all of it so I thought I would  show a bit of a break down on the process so you can all see what is involved and how it all started progress and take shape.

Drawing the lines based on circles.
Drawing the lines based on circles.

 

It all starts with a simple circle. The first circle in the centre is drawn and then another 8 circles are drawn off of that, all the same size. In this instance I decided to do on an bit of an over / under pattern on the lines to give it a bit more of a flow.

Deciding on line fitness
Deciding on line fitness

 

I decided that the line needed to be a bit thicker and made marks as to where my lines would stop and how wide they would be.

start thickening the lines
start thickening the lines
Finished the thick lines
Finished the thick lines

 

I thickened all the lines before getting ready to colour them in.

Filling in
Filling in
All black and starting the finer details
All black and starting the finer details

 

After colouring in it was time to start adding on finer detail which i did in most parts to mimic the same contour lines of the original drawing.

Finished Drawing with fine details
Finished Drawing with fine details

 

I seemed to miss a few pics towards the end as I got tired and forgot but basically I started free-styling it and just deciding how to use up more of the space.

I think I am happy with the overall outcome of it so Just need to work on improving it next time. Maybe even do a much bigger drawing with this as the centre. As soon as I get settled I think I will get myself an A3 Notepad and try doing some bigger drawings. See how it all pans out 🙂

Goodbye old friend.

I am sad to announce that last night, Thursday the 4th of June 2015 I said goodbye to my favourite hat. Well actually I wish I had a chance to say goodbye to it but the fact is that I left it in the back of a car, never to be seen again. It was my favourite hat in the world and has served me well over the last 4 months so I am sad to see it go.

To be fair it was probably time for me to move on as it did have months worth of Asia sweat in it. I had just hoped that I could say goodbye on my own terms, laying it to rest in a box somewhere or maybe even having a little funeral pyre.

I now feel quite naked and vulnerable 🙁 I am sure I can survive this though people so don’t worry.

Music – The instant mood changer

At the start of today I wasn’t in as good a mood as I have been up until now. I don’t feel ill but by the same token I don’t feel great, which isn’t good when the weather is a bit poor. It is about 16 degrees here today which doesn’t sound too bad but is is also really overcast and windy which are not a great combination. It means that sitting by the lake to look at the view is a pretty chilly experience even with a jacket on and so I have been resined to coffee shop for a little while (quite a step down from my tree office!). That being said I would still much rather be cold and windy here than sat in an office looking at the same 4 walls for hours so I guess I am kind of winning.

At the moment I am trying to take some time to figure out what I am going to do moving forwards and where I am going to go. The lack of time I had to organise in the UK before leaving meant that I was going to do all my planning for NZ while I was still in Thailand. This didn’t go exactly to plan as I met some amazing people in Thailand and ended up spending time with them being social instead of planning (something I will never regret as they are all amazing people). That being said it has left me with a bit of a gap in a plan and now I need to do some thinking to decide what I need to do next and where to go. I am thinking that I will head down to Dunedin and then come up the east cost of the south island and plan my route from there but now I need to decide on some specifics on when to go and where to visit. The funds are holding up quite well due in part to the amazing hospitality of CB and Audrey as an air bed on their living room floor is much cheaper than even the cheapest hostel.

While trying to rack my brains about what to do I was starting to stress myself out a little bit about getting a plan and figuring things out when I turned on my laptop to start getting online. As I sat here in silence staring out of the window I remembered that I had lots of music and mixes saved on my laptop that I could play as I started working away.

As some of you know one of my favourite types of music is Liquid Drum and Bass. Although there are specific tracks that I like the things that I really love are the hour long mixes made by various artists using their own tracks and other peoples. There are maybe 6 or 7 mixes that I really love and listen to over and over again. It may seem quite repetitive but this is the music that helps me focus and concentrate. Unlike listing to a CD of your favourite band etc. where you would get distracted by the lyrics and start singing along liquid Drum and Bass has a more melodic and beat based rhythm to it. It is something that I can listen to for hours without actually thinking about it too much. The music just drowns out the world but at a tempo that picks me up and gets me into the right mood that I need to be at. I have listened so some of these mixes maybe 50 times each over the last few years which, when I say it out loud, seems crazy but it is something I love. The predictability of knowing what is going to happen means that my brain can focus on the task it is doing while still getting driven forwards by the music. Knowing the flow of the tracks also helps me to get an idea for the passage of time as I know how far along I should be by the time I hear a certain track or change in the tempo. For me this is the best thing to listen to when trying to achieve any sort of thinking work on a computer. I don’t expect a lot of you to really get what I mean by that but I also know that some people will be reading this nodding along in agreement (Cunni and Padd especially) who know that the only way to produce some quality work in a short space of time is to stick on the headphones and crank up the music.

The moment the music started I felt my mood instantly shift. The hairs on my arms stood on end and it was if my brain clicked back into alignment. I am now ready to start taking on some challenges and get back on track, whatever those tracks may be.