illustrated moment

making sense with words and pictures


6 Comments

My quiet blogging voice

im quiet voice

Hello, hello, hello…

It’s been a while…How many blog posts have started with such solemn words?

I want to throw my boring excuses at you – yep, how work has taken over my life, how I’m concentrating on my survival skills of eating and drinking during my ‘free’ moments – but let’s face it, those are such lame excuses, because absolutely everyone is busy, and they still manage to lead an exciting existence.

So I’m going to offer you a hot cup of virtual tea and a seat across the table from me – let’s talk.

Does blogging ever become difficult for you?

Sure, sometimes you have zero inspiration – nothing excites you enough to write it down – but sometimes you have great ideas yet something inexplicable stops you from acting on them. I have been having moments like these, and I am beginning to understand why…

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: every blog has a particular voice.

Some are humorous, some are cynical, some are informative but most are unique. The author usually has specific way of interpreting a situation, and when they write they reveal a part of their thought process. They begin to bond with the people they interact with, through comments and likes, and before they know it they establish their blogging voice.

My voice on this blog is informal – I like recounting parts of my life with you, just as I would if you were sitting opposite me and we were having tea – maybe that’s why my writing is not very awesome…hmm…

When I learn a lesson I write a post, not because I want to teach you the same lesson like a cruel governess, but because I’m sharing a piece of my heart. When I observe something interesting, I want to tell someone about it – and so my wonderful readers become my best friends who hear all about it.

Having such an informal take on this blog has been tremendously helpful when I’ve had to deal with the dips in mood – especially on rainy days! However, when your usual voice is lighthearted, very-unserious and plain gibberish at times, you can find yourself being very quiet when Life requires you to be less Sesame Street and more Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

That’s what’s been happening with me. With exams hurtling towards me, I’ve had to eat into my free time in order to stay on top of things, which has caused my absence from the blogosphere – imagine a sad pouting face…

I’ve not been able to work on my extra-curricular projects, which bring me so much joy (because I love procrastination so much!) – and that has been super frustrating. I’ve gone from being creative and bouncy to a really sad nerd with my head buried in heavy textbooks.

But I’ve decided to raise my blogging voice – I’m raising it at myself and the shouting is quite therapeutic – so bear with me if the upcoming posts are…different…to what you’re used to seeing here. I’m going to need your epic support in the coming months as I try to regain some balance to my life!

Looking forward to our next chat – a bit too excitedly!

 


6 Comments

A sweet reunion!

immmmm

My beautiful people! Can you believe it has already been an entire week since I have posted? Me, neither!

Well, I have been very busy getting excited about illustrated moment and illustrated health (the family just keeps growing) – I have been working on new videos, new posts, and a new header image for this blog. You see, I design my own and usually I have my dorky illustrations but one day I got lazy and decided colourful circles would be enough – now I am embarrassed and ready to remove the shame!

The new video has just been uploaded to the YouTube channel and I have also placed it at the bottom of this post for your entertainment! I would really, really, really appreciate it if you check it out – this is a project I’ve been working on for a while and rolling it out finally is making me a little nervous. Thank you so much in advance!

Oh, I want to warn you all about something – if you have clicked the follow button or subscribed with your email address to this little blog of mine, I will be getting in touch with you shortly – I know that sounds really creepy (accept my apologies), but I have previously written about my desire to reach out to you because I draw so much encouragement from all of your comments and so much inspiration from your great blogs, and I think it’s time to say a proper hello! If you haven’t yet subscribed to illustrated moment but you want to get in on the action and be a part of the virtual group hug, which is about to happen (I sound crazy) – then fret not my friend! Just click the follow button at the top-right of this page!

Here’s the new video – I hope you have a wonderful day!


6 Comments

Is my time really in my possession?

It’s no secret that I have been on a roller coaster of highs and lows as I battle the stress that future exams inject into my life. Whereas our American neighbours across the modest pond that is the Atlantic Ocean have their ‘finals’ in the April/May portion of the year, over here in the UK our torture is more prolonged – and my personal exam-doomsday is scheduled for a couple of weeks in June.

In an effort to become a super-efficient studying machine I dedicated an entire evening to formulating my revision timetable for the next 7 weeks – yes, 7 long weeks of every single minute being accounted for – so unnatural.

Now that I am out of options, with no acceptable reason to procrastinate without risking epic failure, I have become more possessive over my time. Gone are the days of mindlessly watching every possible show on Netflix (because my free trial happens to be over…not because I have impeccable self-control to give it up voluntarily), I am currently fixated on making the most out of every hour in the day. But such focus (yeah, right…) comes at a price my friends and family are finding a bit too expensive. Firstly, my phone is severely neglected. There’s no energy left in my brain after a day of crying over confusing textbooks, to reciprocate the attentions of those who love me. Although I don’t do it intentionally, I’m not sure everyone else understands that. Secondly, I don’t do anything ‘fun’ – but again, I don’t think that everyone believes me. I spend every waking moment either actively studying or thinking about studying – by any standard, my life is super dull. Thirdly, what little time I get to myself is so precious to me that I turn into a growling beast trying to protect it. The usually relaxed version of me has run off, leaving behind an uptight, frustrated and unstable version of a human being.

When you don’t have the luxury of time, any time holds a tremendous value. I’m trying to stay optimistic, after all, if things go well I will be having a very enjoyable summer being my wonderful (oh, and modest) self again. But my plans would be in jeopardy if I don’t take this period of time seriously and try my best to focus. For the moment, my time is used up with activities which are really necessary but not really what I would like to do, which means that my time isn’t really mine. However, every so often I get to steal a little time for myself, and that is when I want to rest and relax – and in order to do that I have to become possessive and protective over the short spells of sanity I get. You honestly can’t blame me, can you?

 


Leave a comment

Robot vs Human

If you’re a student you will have deadlines, assignments and examinations. If you’re employed you will share similar pressures, along with targets, evaluations and the prospect of promotions. No matter who you are, Society provides us with a huge picnic basket of mental burdens.

Working hard has become equal to success in our minds, and many of us are guilty of letting the pressures of Life get to us more than necessary. As children, we begin school and soon learn to put our toys down and compete with our peers. As teenagers, we are subtly expected to ignore the emotional rollercoaster our hormones hold us hostage on, so that we may achieve good grades and a good foundation for our future. As adults, we are taught to do as we’re told and be rewarded with money for bills and material goods.

If we do everything perfectly and follow the instructions impeccably, we would be no different to a well-built machine. A planet of robots. But, that is not the case in reality.

As children, we are most joyful when we play with our action figures and create portraits of loved ones out of dry macaroni. As teenagers, we are most peaceful when we are socialising and having fun with friends. As adults, we are most content when we are loved and surrounded by family and people who became family overtime. In short, we are human beings. The prospect of creating, thinking and discussing excites us, and provides fuel for a fulfilled life. Our jobs and our studies shouldn’t be our primary reasons to exist, but they should be seen as the perfect way to learn new skills, achieve new goals and enhance the development of our souls.

We could never function like robots – it’s just not in our nature. We would consist of a badly wired circuit, with sparks flying all over the place, inside a metallic box, devoid of character or personality. It is our human nature to strive to be the best, to compete and desire to win, to want everything and still want even more. We are the perfect mix of an emotional living creature and a rational, hard-working and enduring machine of intelligence. That, is the definition of our nature.


Leave a comment

My battle with Time

I feel like I'm being held at gunpoint!

I feel like I’m being held at gunpoint!

In my very first post I stated that I wanted to inject a bit of creativity into my life. I needed to return to old hobbies and interests – drawing and writing – to boost my motivation for everyday reality. Posting on the illustrated moment blog and working on the storyboard for the upcoming videos has been so much fun, and a much needed change of speed to my usual daily routine. I have even found myself studying with more enthusiasm than before! However, it’s not all fine and dandy. I still have a To-Do list, longer than my arm, of all the things I must do, and I want to continue posting more articles and pictures. Despite there seemingly being 24 hours in a day, I always feel like I’m running out of time. It’s as if Time holds me at gunpoint and sadistically reminds me how inefficient I am.

It may sound childish, but I think a timetable or a schedule may help me out. I feel like designated timeslots for everything may be the complete opposite of spontaneous creative flow, but I have to try it. It’s no secret that we all would rather spend time reading, writing, drawing, TV-zapping or internet-surfing, than to concentrate on work and studies. It’s also no secret that long-term happiness comes from the achievement and development of skills and opportunities in both our professional and personal lives. With both aspects of my existence being so important, I think it might be time to find a more proactive solution to my problem.


3 Comments

5 things you shouldn’t do when you’re studying

Procrastinating is an innate human behaviour. That’s my opinion based on the highly commended science I made up whilst I was meant to be writing an essay. The ability to distract oneself from studying is something we all master early in our schooling careers, and whilst there’s an infinite number of things students shouldn’t do whilst studying, I thought I’d just list 5 of them for your education and entertainment.

5 things you shouldn’t do when you’re studying

1. Pretend like you can study with a movie/TV show in the background

Ninja-kick your TV in the face!

Ninja-kick your TV in the face!

Come on, we have all done this, and some of us still do (guilty). We think that we are mega-uber-awesome at multitasking and sit in front of the TV or computer with a textbook in hand, supposedly working. Sorry to burst your bubble but it just doesn’t work! You probably have a unique set of excuses when someone questions your very bad habit, I know that my favourite one is “…but I work better with something interesting to keep me motivated whilst I study“. Whatever your excuse is, that’s exactly what it is – an excuse! There is nothing more distracting to our brains than your favourite TV show or an action movie, and there you are…practically handing yourself to unproductivity. Having anything on in the background means you work slower than you otherwise would, and that you reduce your enjoyment of watching TV or ze vonderful internet. For all my fellow students out there, physically switch off your distractions, work hard for a set time then sit back, relax and let your eyes feast on the entertainment. Thou shalt not pretend any longer!

2. Sitting at your desk, daydreaming

Focus!

Focus!

Oh, here’s another sin we all commit. Whatever you’re working on becomes dull, drab, boring…you start yawning – maybe you should take a nap, you look at the time…maybe you shouldn’t. You think you may be hungry, you are the stomach-growl whisperer. What should you eat? And you don’t realise it but you are lost in your own thoughts, metaphorically salivating over dreamland pizzas and burgers. Daydreaming by the desk happens to all of us, and sometimes it’s not such a bad thing. It can be refreshing to think about something other than your studies for a couple of minutes, and then return with new motivation and inspiration. However, the problem is when we run away with the unicorns and become lost in our thought bubbles. You waste time at your desk, inactive and unproductive, when you could just finish off your task at hand and then go enjoy yourself doing all the wonderful things you would have daydreamed about! When you catch yourself getting a bit tired, a little bit too bored with work, just take a minute to stand up, shake it off, stretch like a lion (the roar is optional) and get yourself psyched to get one more thing off of your To-Do list! Hocus focus!

3. Become convinced it’s time for a deep clean

Don't let yourself become a cleaning zombie!

Don’t let yourself become a cleaning zombie!

I am definitely a victim of this one! When it’s time to do work, my mis-wired brain thinks what I actually mean is “let’s clean the whole house“. I don’t just dust and tidy superficially…oh no, I reorganise and dig up history! Needless to say, this is a very time consuming form of procrastination, and if you let yourself get OCD about it, you could end up cleaning for several days! I don’t have any tips of how you should get around this one, apart from just don’t do it. Your brain is trying to think of every other activity you could do instead of working – it’s not like it would tell you to get and clean if you were watching TV or about sit down for dinner right? You can tidy up once your studies are complete, and then enjoy your squeaky clean room – but let’s face it…you wouldn’t think about deep cleaning unless you were about to sit down to type that essay!

4. End up on YouTube

internet coma!

internet coma!

I do it. You do it. Everyone does it. Once the computer is switched on you will be on YouTube. You might be incorporating point 1 with this (pretend like you can study with a movie/TV show in the background). Unless you’re watching one of those super useful education videos, which are explaining in human terms how you should go about finishing off your homework, yes unless you’re doing that…you’re just wasting your time. YouTube is great entertainment, one can spend hours on it just clicking through the related side videos – before you know it the clock reads 3AM. Unfortunately, there is no room for YouTube when you should be working hard! It’s the mother of all procrastination methods, because there is never an end to the chain of videos you can watch. I once watched a video where a very nice man rescued abandoned dogs, and came out of an internet-coma 2 hours later! It’s a habit we all do, if you have a favourite site (mine is YouTube) you switch on the computer, open your browser, type the first letter and your computer is so lovely to remember your addiction on your behalf…and there you go…that’s valuable study time out of the window! Don’t do it. Don’t. You know you are the weaker one, and you will be sucked in by those pesky psychic recommended videos! Close your browser and focus. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder and videos funnier.

5. Frown

NO FROWNING!

NO FROWNING!

Maybe you’re studying a really hard topic, it’s tough, difficult and impossible. Maybe you’re working on something frustrating, it’s tough, difficult and impossible. You don’t realise it but you’re probably frowning. Stop it! Learning and studying is the mastery of life…not kick-starting the ageing process. By relaxing your face you will prevent those painful headaches and may even feel calmer whilst you are working away. It’s important to let work get you down, it is just another aspect of your life and you will overcome it to achieve great results. Be proud that you have gotten this far and feel inspired that you have the good health and energy to tackle it’s challenges. Try to be interested in your topic of study, read a bit more in depth to find something about it that really pulls you in. Remember that everything you learn adds to your existence. You will have something new to add to a conversation with friends, colleagues and teachers. You may stumble upon something unexpected that you would like to pursue further. Who knows? Try to keep an open mind, willing to learn and have fun. However, if what you are working on is so very much so so so dull, just remind yourself that once adrenaline kicks in about a day or two before your deadline, you will be on fire and complete it in record time!