Twenty fourteen.

my2014 sml

 

This year’s been the toughest yet. But I started thinking that maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be if you want to level up in life. For me, 2014 was a year marked by loss. But because I lost things I get to get new things! The year ahead promises new opportunities and an entirely different lifestyle. I’m starting a new job, a new cat moved in, and I’ve even made a few new friends. I feel truly optimistic about the future for the first time in a very long time. And I am leaving everything that hurt or hindered me right here in 2014.

2015 Manifesto:

  1. Be really brave.
  2. Cultivate creative habits. Draw everyday.
  3. Rather count on a small amount of good people than a good amount of small people.
  4. Move more, moan less.
  5. Grow lots of plants.
  6. Listen more than you speak.
  7. Recycle and read everything you can.
  8. Grow up not old.
  9. Go back to school.
  10. Make the life you want! Fuck office hours!

Movember 2014.

movember 2014 sml

As a citizen of Snor City I felt a sense of responsibility to participate in Movember, but alas, my estrogen kept interfering. I am mighty proud of all the lip lapas I’ve seen on the streets though and would like to say to all the fine gentlemen who abstained from the blade for this honourable cause, well done guys! Feel free to keep the fur all year round, there’s no ride like a ride on a moustache.

Heroine Mary.

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I’ve been obsessed with the local band Lark for a very long time. Today’s doodle is from their song Heroine Mary.

The fear of the blank page.

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“Soos fyn wyn in ‘n bladsy bad sy” – Breyten Breytenbach (Ek dink… ek gaan moet check, Google weet ook nie.)

It’s the scariest night of the year and everyone’s getting silly with spandex, make-up, ketchup, bells and whistles. In honour of the horror holiday I decided to write about a monster I believe is rampant in the creative community. The fear of the blank page…

Some days on my way home from work my mind wanders and I think of so many things I wanna draw. I get so excited by the time I get to the sketchpad I’ve started salivating. Then I choose a weapon, be it pencil or pen, I open the book, I lower my wrist, and then something inexplicable happens… I freeze up with fear. Suddenly I’m crippled by the sheer emptiness of the space before me. So I check my phone, or light a cigarette and channel flip, you know just to normalise. A cup of coffee later, I’m stuck hovering the pen just above the surface of the paper. This can go on for hours. Sometimes I even get my dishes done in between! But eventually I smudge chocolate in a corner or I nod off and a I awake a minute later to find a mysterious squiggle in a random place. And like magic the curse is lifted! The secret to beating the blank page is simply being brave and making your mark. And if you fuck the page up anyway, paste a pretty picture over it or use it to line the budgie cage.

Take care tonight, avoid people dressed as sexy cats, light a candle so the dead don’t get lost, and remember, it’s all in your head.

Spider season.

spider

It’s the day before Halloween! So I thought it apt to discuss one of my many phobias. While others are rejoicing about the recent rain, I’ve been staring at the windows with the Doom can clinking in my trembling hands. After the first serious storm all the creepy crawlies wake up and decide to visit the inside of your pillowcase. I’m constantly on edge. Not even a dust bunny escapes my super tuned reflexes. If it moves, I kill it. I can’t be friends with people who “catch and release” spiders, that fucker knows where I live now?! Kill it with fire, sage the space, say a holy incantation, touch a button, turn anti-clockwise twice and jump on the ashes 6 times, that’s the only way you get rid of a spider.

Every child needs a monster.

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Halloween is such a cool holiday and it’s right around the corner! You get to dress up, get drunk, watch cheap movies, eat candy, and you’re allowed to tell flat out lies and call them “scary stories”. Sadly, Halloween is terribly neglected in South Africa, and children are warned about  the dangers of hell, devil worship, and diabetes instead. But sometimes celebrating the silliness of witches, ghouls and ghosts can neutralise instead of encourage fear. Today’s doodle is a quote from a short story by Nataniël, which illustrates the difference between having a fear or a friend for life.

“When a child learns how the world works, he becomes scared, said Grandfather. He needs his own monster to fight the others. They have been giving children monsters in every fairytale since the beginning, dragons, eagles, geese and bats, creatures that can protect them and help them escape.

From what? Said Grandmother.

You know what happens, said Grandfather. You know what they do to children. Teachers, strangers, people they know, parents, uncles. Better you have a monster when you need one, than a demon at my age. You know what happens.

It took me many years to find out what happens. But since that day I have loved my grandfather, he might have been a little alcoholic, but he gave me the monster that has been my protection to this day.”

Nataniël, When I Was 8, When I Was, 2008

In my oom se agterplaas was daar ‘n hond…

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“Dis die goed wat ons voer wat ons wil opvreet.” – Die tannie by die posbus.

Ek het nog altyd Nataniël se stories en humor geniet. Omdat dit Maandag is dink ek dis gepas dat ons almal bietjie lag en ‘n paar wyse woorde hoor terwyl die hele donnerse werk week ons terug staar. Byt vas, trek aan asof jy deel is van ‘n proef, en vergeet van jou pos vir vandag.

 

*ek sien die video mag nie hier speel nie, so kyk maar die storie op YouTube. (It’s worth it!)

Sharing.

nataniel1

 

No one hides their insecurities as well as they think they do. And normally people see right through the strange and crazy things people do to “seem normal”. But the truth is everyone feels what they’re feeling differently. Schopenhauer said: “…the difference in individualities is incalculably great.” Even if you can see right through someone’s act, no one knows what trauma caused that person to wear leopard print leggings, or why she cries in cat food ads. Kindness (or mercy!) is severely under valued in our society. With the rise of trolls, critics, blogs, discussion forums, and memes, we all think we have the right to judge what someone else has put out there. To ridicule or scoff at another user’s honesty is a trendy past time. But just because we don’t get it, doesn’t make it less meaningful to who ever’s experiencing it.

There is a kind side to social media. I have been berated for wearing my heart on my sleeve online many times. But to be honest, I’ve received sincere feedback when I’ve felt really alone, and a tweet was more like a desperate plea sent out in to the universe. Stephen Fry thanked his Twitter followers for their support after his suicide attempt in 2012 and on Facebook a friend saved the life of a suicidal teenager from the other side of the Atlantic! Status updates are supposed to be personal, Facebook itself asks me how I’m feeling?! It doesn’t ask: “What competition are you entering today?” Why aren’t we allowed to say I feel like shit? My advice is to keep your FRIENDS on Facebook, the people who really care. The rest just find your ups and downs amusing.

You can not possibly know what battle is raging on their side of the screen. Why not reach out instead? I have experienced the healing power of a few kind words first hand and it’s a bit like magic for a sad soul. Post pictures of your kid eating peas, lament over the asshole that broke your heart, TYPE IN ALL CAPS, or connect with other people who cry when The Cure plays. Isn’t connecting what social media is all about? How can you connect if you’re not “sharing”?