28 January 2016

Chill out

A lot of my time is spent at my desk, I have a love hate relationship with that space. I enjoy the fact I work from home I really do but as a messy artist you can imagine my annoyance when I live in that space! Anyways I always make a point when I am in my space to get dressed in something nice. More recently comfort has been top of my to-do list, Baggy t-shirts, jeans and layered jewellery is the way forward. I have had these BDG jeans for over a year now, they were once skin tight so I avoided wearing them as I figured Boyfriend jeans weren't meant to be that tight. I only ever wear them around the house paired up with my favorite tee or jumper. 

This beige beauty is from H&M and its the comfiest jumper I now have in my wardrobe. When I was a little bigger I avoided wearing jumpers as they made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, but learning to layer them and mix them with things I would never of worn before has turned them into my staple item. I love the jumper because the sleeves are rolled up. Just perfect for lounging around and painting.

22 January 2016

A little tour of my art studio and new collection

My work has happily taken on a whole new feel, I am working heavily in Gouache which alongside watercolour is just my favorite meduim to work in. I wanted to share a few snaps of my studio space and what I surround myself with. Every three or so weeks I change my space up, keeping it fresh and inspiring. Its all about colour, fauna and pattern. So chuffed with my new collection dedicated to my mother, Botanical love fuses my love of bold colour and line with inspiring quotes whats not to love about that? You can receive 50% off all prints and work with the code "flash50" which is supper exciting over in my shop Ella Masters Studio.

16 January 2016

What I am reading this week

Since the start of January I have done alot of underground traveling and instead of jamming my head phones in my ears I decided to start reading a little more. This week I am reading two books (I'm only going to share one today) It will probably take me a little more then a week to complete them but my first book I want to share is "How to worry less about Money" Written by John Armstrong. 

I have the biggest anxiety about money, I would probably go as far as saying its the biggest and I'm all for trying things that will help me lessen my anxiety. I decided to give this book a whirl as it approaches your anxieties at the root cause, all of us probably want to be making more money, be financially secure and happy when we approach or think about money. I'm sure you're thinking I bet there is a free Youtube video out there that would help more, I'm the kind of person that likes to re-read, high light and take time over learning new ideas, so this book seemed to tick all those boxes.

It gets you thinking a lot about yourself and why your triggered to worry or why you worry about something in this instance its money. Also it approaches the subject in a different way about, how we relate to it and the meaning we attach to it. It is very wordy, I'm not quickest reader and I found myself really concentrating, which I guess is a good thing as you want to make the most of the book resources. There are a few illustrations and images and truth be told I am only half way through, but from what I have read I have enjoyed taking notes and really thinking about why I do worry about money. Don't worry I won't share with you the inner workings of my mind!I am slowly breaking down a few ideas I have (personally) related to money which is great. Not to sure this is good for a "before bed" read as it might get your mind thinking about life a little more then you probably should before you nod off. It's good for a travel read or taking a break.

The book itself is from The School of life and I think they have a variety of self-help style publications that I'm sure are well worth a read. 

14 January 2016

sharing loss on social media and moving forward

When you have a following online, my number isn't a crazy amount but I have loyal readers and followers across my network, who have become use to seeing my life through photos and words, loosing mum was an odd situation to process, how do I share this. I had never really had to deal with sucha loss. This was a tough one for me to write, as a lot of you would be aware, I lost my mother at the end of September, it is still somewhat raw. In the last four months I have flitted between my social media accounts be it twitter, Instagram or here on my blog, it has been rather tough whittling down my thoughts so they aren't overly depressing. My blog was always a place for me to share my inner most thoughts, feelings and creative outlet. But suddenly I felt like I couldn't share how I felt with the world and I'm sure this is normal and you're probably thinking "really Ella this shouldn't of been your top priority at this time." It was hard to change a habit of a life time. Instgram was more instant, I didn't have to share many words or the reality we were facing.

 I made a conscious choice to Instagram a photo from the morning I'd watched my mother fight for her life, by the time I shared it on Instagram it had been made clear to my family, mum wouldn't pull through, in a lonely moment walking from her bed back to the waiting room I decided to document this moment, between having hope and loosing it. It felt natural and at the time I was somewhat detached from my feelings, all feelings other then heart break and if I'm honest I didn't want to feel alone. Believe me I wanted to tell the world the horror I had faced that morning, how dare you share your lovely snaps of happy selfies and beautiful coffee art. How dare you not know the heart wrenching hell I had been through, but I couldn't summon much more then "send your prays" I'm not even religious but in those moments I just wanted things to be normal, I didn't want to feel alone. I didn't hate anyone for living their life on that somewhat normal morning, my mums death was no ones fault.

We spent three long days by mum's side and the heart breaking truth was we lost her at home, probably when I was telling her I was there and it was going to be ok, we realised no one was going to give up on her if their was a chance, so three days of no sleep and knowing the end result but still having to face sitting with her, talking to her and holding her hand was unimaginable but we did it. People rarely want to hear a sad story, they want you to put a happy spin on things, they want you to tell them everything was going to be ok, believe me I wanted that more then anything. On several occasions I got the poor nurse to check if mum's eye had moved. She reassured me every time it wasn't possible, but she still checked. Death isn't nice and to face it head first with no comfort was tough, but that's the thing we are tougher then we realise. 

Afraid I'd forget how this felt I shared that corridor photo and over the following days and weeks I naturally shared how my heart felt. My mum was a major part of my blog and what I did everyday. She was the reason I was working so hard, she became a major advocate of my online work and blog also as my occasional photographer I'd shared 5 years worth of our trips, days out, interestsdrawing adventures and shopping  . If I hadn't shared these photos on my blog years ago some of them normal, mundane moments my blog wouldn't be what it is today, so in the midst of loosing my mother I decided to carry on doing what my lifestyle blog was about, my life, documenting and sharing my photos for me has become second nature, I decided to share more personal moments like the funeral and such on my facebook and not across the interner as I took into account family and friends.

In this time away from sharing all my thoughts on social media as I found I didn't want to depress my readers or followers with my upset I took to journaling my moments, I can not recommend this process enough, I keep my journal with me at all times, I even brought a special fountain pen to write with, making me feel like it's something important to my healing process. I treat it like a therapy that has become second nature for me.

I hid from my twitter for a while as I felt alienated from my followers/people I was following,  I still kind of do. It's such a fast paced platform I didn't have the effort left to keep up with it. Soon after mum passed I didn't want to read about all these joyous things people were doing, I didn't want to watch a video about a Lush haul or how you're succeeding, selfish I guess. I had realised very quickly that the world moves on and you're the girl who lost her mum, why should anyone care, its not their place, they have their own battles to fight. Many other people have been in my situation and so many more will after me. It doesn't change the effect it has on you and your story. I have learned that sharing your failures, heart break and loss online helped me realise I wasn't alone. Everyone's loss is different,  my mothers death has pushed me to create work, I have had many emails, comments and converstations with people who have told me they wouldn't be able to get out of bed if they had been in my situation. Don't get me wrong dragging myself out of bed is the hardest part of my day. If I stay still too long thats not good for my heart or mind, so you find things to do. 

 I have shared my work online as a sort of creative nod to my heart break, the more work I share the sadder I probably am. My work load has tripled in the last four months to keep my head, hands and heart busy. Being vulnerable and sharing your loss online for me is similar to sharing your creative work, we put ourselves out their hoping that someone will give us praise, love and hope in ourselves and in our future. 

If you are suffering a loss, heartbreak or aren't feeling yourself don't be afraid to hide this. Share what you feel comfortable with, its your space and your words can heal you and others and subsequently if you want to keep it to yourself, there is nothing wrong with that. Everything takes time. I seek comfort in my art and my blog, I mainly love photographing mundane everyday moments, I find comfort in that.  Take the time for yourself, I spoke about using my journal to help me process my feelings, but I have finally fallen back in love with reading. It transports my mind and stops me worrying about silly things that I can't change. Putting your feelings into something positive be it learning a new skill, dancing about to loud music or like me, drawing can really help you produce something of joy from something so awful.

11 January 2016

getting out

There will be days were just existing is your best coping mechanism and I have had a few of those in the past few months, for multiple reasons so I decided that the best way to get myself out of this lull was by giving myself fixed targets. In the past I suffered occasionally from agoraphobia so forcing myself to step a foot outside my house for my own well being was the only way and believe me its hard and I'm never one for letting myself down. I gave myself a reason for leaving the house, simple things like an hour at gym, visiting a friend or heading out to buy myself a bunch of flowers. It has progressively made me realised I now much prefer being out of my house then in it. Being among people has helped me deal with a few of my stresses the last few months.

I love taking the time out of my schedule to sit somewhere and watch the world go by, I love my journey to the gym, I enjoy sitting in a chilled cafe, drawing people and listening to their stories. Its simple things like that can give you a little boost when you're having a down moment of just copying and existing taking yourself out of your stress and living in the moment I find has really helped me make sense of my place recently.


9 January 2016

More practical resolutions

I decided this year that I wouldn't really set myself any new years resolutions as too often I just feel pressured and find them too much like a burden when they are reached. So I have decided to keep going just as I am with my work and my art and along the way pick up some new skills. I dabbled a few years ago with tattooing and silversmithing these are the two new skills I would love to hone this year and take my career to a whole new level. 

I received a Tattoo machine as a birthday gift two years ago, so I decided to get a few add ons and get to work playing about with it, learning how it all works. Don't get me wrong I know apprenticeships are for a reason but it's early days and I have spoken to a few of my tattoo friends and they're all for me learning this new skill don't worry I won't be asking anyone to be permanently scarred by me just yet. I'm sticking with my trusty fake skin and doodling to my hearts content.

Above is my first ever attempt at shading I'm rather pleased with it and I feel a load more confident after spending a few hours getting use to the new weight of the machine and allowing myself to learn. As someone who has around 12 tattoos dotted about my body I love the prospect of being able to develop  my skills to the point I feel pretty confident. So it's nice to start the year developing myself as an artist and being able to use do something with all those years of drawing tattoos on paper and if I learned anything from 2015 is that life is too short not to give something a shot!

Resolutions I find are things I write down as would be nice to do but I won't beat myself up if I don't complete them, good to not be so hard on yourself but at the same time I think I need to be a but less afraid of failing and a bit more proactive. Have you given yourself things you'd like to get better at in 2016?


7 January 2016

Valentine custom portrait illustrations

So a few of you may have seen over on my instagram I have 50% off over in my shop at the moment this also includes 50% off my custom portraits which can be brought here
these have been my favorite things to paint and the customers just love them. You can get 50% off with the code"happynewyear" this will run out by Friday 7th January so snap one up for Valentines day now perfect gift for your love one, This is one I create for the lovely Adrienne and Clayton.
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