illustrated moment

making sense with words and pictures


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My skills may be cheesy but my message is important!

Hello wonderful people!

I thought I’d share my new video with you all – yes, it’s still as cheesy as the first few.

Unfortunately, my extremely limited animation skills only help me get so far, but I do really enjoy making them!

This video is on the topic of baby bluespostnatal depression and psychosis, which are all difficult challenges new mothers and their families can face following pregnancy. It may not be the most attractive or optimistic thing to consider as parents-to-be or parents-in-training, but it is crucial to be aware of all the realities of pregnancy and the tremendous changes it can cause, both physically and mentally.

I hope you all enjoy it and share it with anyone who you feel may benefit from a little pep talk!

 

 

Have a fantastic day!

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Creativity creates creativity

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Are you as excited as I am to see the days lighten just that little bit – signalling the approach of warmer seasons?

This winter has been going on for so long, and when you’re forced to commute to work in the dark hours, things can quickly seem bleaker than they really should be.

But I can’t complain – I have been feeling quite excited lately with the realisation that this is (hopefully!) my final year at university – before I enter the big adult world of paid employment and taxes. I enjoy the sense of progress, as I’m sure you do too! There’s nothing more satisfying than being close to achieving your targets, giving you the opportunity to dream more realistically about the future waiting for you.

I admit illustrated health has been unintentionally paused until the summer months. This is a fact which makes me sad – along with enjoying the sense of progress, I’m also a big fan of multi-tasking – but the reality is that my current workload is dictating my life. I cannot wait to get back to creating cheesy videos (which I hope you all enjoy!).

But I haven’t completely stopped, I’ve created a shop on Etsy to sell greeting cards with even cheesier health-related designs! Creativity creates creativity, and that’s what I’m banking on – by refusing to give up the part of my life where I can draw, make and write, I’m hoping that as the following months intensify with stress due to upcoming exams, my imagination will be a healthy escape.

I’ll leave you with a couple of links: for an occasional tweet check out the illustrated health twitter account, for all the slow work I do in illustration and selling of greeting cards head over to my Etsy shop!

In the meantime, know that I miss you all!


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The Illustrated Moment Award

illustrated moment award

In honour of illustrated moment blog’s first birthday an awesome award was created.

The aptly named The Illustrated Moment Award is awarded to those among us who brighten the blogosphere by making the effort to build a supportive and wonderful community.

I wanted this award to be an opportunity to tip our imaginary hats to some of the loveliest bloggers on WordPress – and to kick-start the festivities here are the first two winners of The Illustrated Moment Awarddrum roll please!

The winners are: Moderate Mama and A.PROMPTreply!

Both have been amazing readers of my blogs (including Illustrated Health – my attempt at making healthy living and medical knowledge fun, fun, fun.), and have gone above and beyond to support my amateur efforts at documenting life in writing and drawing.

Every blogger wishes to have an interactive audience to share their work with, and both Moderate Mama and A.PROMPTreply have made blogging that much more exciting by leaving thoughtful comments – filled with encouragement and their unique insight – and they have impressive blogs I can’t get enough of!

So this award is my thank you to you both!

Let us get to know you more by answering some of the following questions in your future post. Don’t forget to post a comment with the link to your post, so we can all witness your majestic acceptance of the most awesome award on the internet!

The five questions for you to ponder over are:

1. Why did you first start blogging?

2. Which post did you have most fun writing?

3. Everyone has a favourite memory – which ONE word would you choose to describe your favourite lifetime moment?

4. Do you have a blogger in mind to nominate for The Illustrated Moment Award? Introduce them to us!

5. What’s your spirit animal?


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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!

 


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On a cellular level

How have you been?

I’ve been fine, thank you very much. This week has been a busy one, but productivity does feel good – so I can’t complain much! I have completed yet another animated Illustrated Health video, which I hope you will all enjoy (just go to the bottom of this post to see it)! This video is about the difference between healthy and cancer cells in our bodies. Cancer is a disease most of us have experienced the devastating effects of – even if you haven’t been afflicted by it, most of us know someone who has. My aim with Illustrated Health is to create awareness about different diseases and conditions, but also about how our bodies work – because let’s face it, if we become experts on our own health, we are bound to care much more about it! And cartoons make anything and everything more accessible!

On another note, I spent majority of the week procrastinating on the purchase of a pumpkin – and then I spent the eve of Halloween moaning about not having a pumpkin. Unfortunately, I sometimes become that person. But I did get dressed up for the occasion, and I decided to become an angry looking granny…how original, I know!

I hope you have had a wonderful week!

Enjoy the video!


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How to be a writer in 10 easy steps

im writer

I am here to give you the only foolproof method to become an awesome writer. Following the steps below will ensure that you can sit in a swanky coffee shop, your laptop open in front of you with a hot beverage at hand, without looking like a fraud. Being a writer is the dream – you are employed full-time by your imagination and your creative fire – that’s why you need to take note of the 10 awesome steps on how to become a writer:

Step 1. Google something unrelated – do this for several hours at a time

I may call it research but the rest of the universe seems to call it time-wasting – whatever. Whether it is reading the news, checking out blogs, or watching videos – “research” is a key part of my writing process.

Step 2. Turn the kettle on and wait impatiently for that water to boil

Let’s face it, when you have to wait for something your mind becomes very work-orientated. Suddenly that mental to-do list you had been waving off into the distant parts of your mind become the top priority in the world.

Step 3. Switch on your computer and psyche yourself up for the intense work ahead of you

Again, the “waiting-focuses-the-mind-on-work” theory comes into play, along with the fact that you’re anticipating pure productivity to occur if only that computer would hurry up and start!

Step 4. Brew your tea

This is an important part of the process. Science has yet to prove that hot beverages increase productivity by 500% – but just trust me.

Step 5. Add some milk to your tea

I’d like to say this step is optional, but that would take away the Britishness of it all.

Step 6. Add a spoonful of sugar to your tea

To achieve perfection.

Step 7. Wait for your tea to cool down enough to not scald your tongue

An important part of being a writer is talking to yourself and anyone who would listen to your writing plans, this is why you should pop your cup of tea on your desk and patiently wait for it to become drinkable.

Step 8. Sit in front of your keyboard and complain internally about how hard being a writer is

Just as I am doing now…in my own special way.

Step 9. Write a few paragraphs following a moment of inspiration

Oh that spark of inspiration is invigorating, isn’t it? In an instant your mind is set on productivity fire and you type faster than lightning and you smile to yourself in pride.

Step 10. Feel quite chuffed with your hard work and return to step 1


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Simplify the complexified

im simple

 

Life is complex – BAM! Too much philosophy for you to handle right there!

It’s naturally curvy, with its delightful ups and eye-rolling lows. It’s a journey each and every single person has to trod along, regardless of the weather. Now why don’t we put all the metaphorical talk to aside? Let’s have a heart to heart.

I am currently in a place in my life where I must face some hard truths. It’s not all sad – after all, a serious reflection should be scheduled in every so often to keep life on a positive path – but it’s still a challenge. Having worked as hard as I did at school before the summer break, my mind was craving the freedom of a timetable-less life. Once the last exam was sat, and the final results were delivered and celebrated – I just couldn’t stop smiling at all the potential projects I was so eager to get on with!

I wanted to kick-start the illustrated health videos, I wanted to get back into the wonderful rhythm of blogging again, I wanted to finish off a book I had started writing the year before, I wanted to sew and knit, I wanted to learn a language, I wanted to create, invent and energise. As you can see, my brain was on fire – but I was okay at that point. When I discover a new project (whether I create it from scratch or it pops into my head one night and nags my soul until I give in) my heart beats that much faster. I tend to fall in love with my numerous projects, caring so deeply for each one to the point of slight insanity.

So off I went to animate videos, blogging, writing a book, and attempting all the things I had been eagerly awaiting. Unfortunately, I have come to understand the real meaning of stretching yourself too thin – instead of feeling energised and excited, I began to feel disappointed and frustrated – because I was trying to do 100 things at once, with the same level of enthusiasm and my efforts weren’t producing the immediate results I wanted. So I moaned and whined for a short moment.

Then I decided it was time to face the music. I made a list – yes, I made a real list, handwritten on some paper. I placed all of my great project ideas onto it – without a priority designation. This piece of paper got messy – by the end of it all you couldn’t decipher the language used beneath the energetic scribbling – but it was my solution.

I decided right there and then that my main focus would have to be this blog and Illustrated Health. Given that the summer is officially over and I’m now in the final year of my studies, I won’t have the luxury of time and energy to throw around frivolously. Some sacrifices had to be made, although they are only temporary, because believe me when I say that I will be creating an even bigger list of stuff to do for next summer!

My little moment had me thinking how complex life already is – we all have so many responsibilities upon our shoulders, and yet we can find even more things to add to our load. Creating, investing, learning and exploring are not bad things – they are wonderful things – but we must do them at the right time. We all want to enhance our lives, living it to the max, embracing it with all our might – but sometimes keeping it simple is the best thing we could do, to ensure that our efforts are fruitful and our hearts are content.

And with all that, I wish you a wonderful day!