This series is kinda self-explanatory after the title. From top to bottom the cards are The Empress, The Moon, The Sun and The World. I’m going to be gradually working on the rest of the major arcana before I start on suits. I’m focusing on my own style more so than cluttering the cards with too much symbolism, I feel like my style has enough detail as it is and you can generally get a better vibe from a card when there aren’t 800 things going on in the background.
My reasons for this project are really more personal than anything. I’ve always found tarot and pagan mysticism fascinating since my early teens and the stories, aesthetic and mystery have always really appealed to me. Hence, I’ve always wanted to design my own set of cards, and since I’m not creating art for school/uni deadlines any more I figured this would be the perfect time to meet an old goal and ultimately motivate myself to progress in my illustration style.
After Flicking through my unedited photos from BWC I found a few more with potential, which I’ve uploaded above. I need to get a little better at using the light settings on my camera and move away from auto ISO. At the moment I’m doing a fair amount of editing, mostly on photos that are too dark or cloudy. I can’t help but feel sometimes that I set myself too many tasks at once and end up with nothing done, but I suppose that’s to be expected when you have multiple creative hobbies and are a master of none.
Ironically I still really want to start re-learning an instrument and get into filming and video editing as well. It will be paramount to pace myself over the next couple of months if I’m going to get anything finished (as opposed to starting a hundred things, getting burned out and finishing nothing).
A few more sketches and portraits before the year is up! I’m considering making a calendar at some point with various floral portraits (one for each month). Usually they are drawn almost exclusively from my imagination, but sometimes a feature or two will be based on a celebrity or blogger I follow and some of them are drawings of friends surrounded by flowers. I like to think my style is becoming more consistent despite this. Another goal I have had since my teens is to design a tarot deck, but that’s seventy odd cards and I think I’d get squirrel brain and end up doing another project instead. For now I think I’ll focus on getting twelve floral portraits (that I’m happy with and don’t mind publicising) together. Recently I’ve also been thinking of taking up embroidery because I’m poor and would like some leafy/flowery clothes to match my personality, so I’ll probably end up impulse buying a cheap embroidery kit soon. Who knows, I might even get good at it and post some photos on here.
A collection of some of my favourite expressionist paintings from over the past few months. Expressionist painting is something I became interested in quite recently, in the past year in fact. I had never paid it much mind in my teens and earlier 20’s, because I was far more focused on drawing; But a revelation occurred to me while I was tackling some of my more toxic internalisations this past year, and i started to see more beauty in the abstract and disorderly. No longer did I need fine controlled monotone lines or hyper-realism to arouse my interest and emotions.
I was once a sucker for skill and technique, with one too many ideas about how art *should be* drilled into my head in school, now transformed to what I like to call a “do whatever” artist.
“Never draw from your imagination” was something that was used to scold me previously by classical-conforming art teachers stuck in the renaissance period; It had slightly put me off along with criticism from a (in retrospect) jealous and projecting ex-boyfriend who was insecure about his own creative work, (I’ll leave those horror stories for the campfire), but back then I put it down to depression and creative block. A lazy escape from dealing with my pent-up anxiety of being valued as an artist.
One day a couple of months ago, I had sort of an epiphany after being attacked by some very aggressive women in a scummy London night club. After a night in the ER with head injuries I sort of snapped, booked a holiday to Japan (with money I didn’t really have) and started thinking about ways I could make myself happy and whole. I think I just decided I didn’t really like the way I had been treated previously by people and I was going to start making my own rules about how to go about doing things. I went to the local budget art and craft store and bought armfuls of tubes of acrylic paint and some big bargain canvases and sat myself down in my garden to vent.
After the first painting I felt good. After the second I felt like I was on to something. Each painting so far has been mostly, if not completely unplanned, I just sort of channel whatever I’m feeling into strokes and colours and then it all sort of comes together. No training, no technique, no rights and wrongs. And because of this, when someone criticises my work (as people will when you share on any public forum, but more so if you live in a dead-end town with a lot of bitter people who don’t really want to be there) I don’t feel down about it. I don’t think “I’m doing everything I’ve been asked and I’ve tried so hard, it’s still no good.”
I feel good enough from the process that the end result is up to interpretation, and if people are unimpressed that’s fine, and I maybe feel a little sad for them for not fully knowing the freedom and beauty of creating without constraints.
Some of my graphite portraiture sketches from the past year.
I started drawing portraits and characters from a young age, Over the past few years I have begun developing a style that focuses greatly on detail, and has a running floral theme also. This style has mainly developed from drawing the things, people and styles that I like. The process of drawing curly hair and repeated floral patterns are very relaxing to me personally, which is nice because I have a tendency to get very frustrated with my own abilities as an artist. I find that building up from small details allows me a sense of control over my work that I don’t find in working the other way around and adding the detail last.