I have just finished my M.A in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art and thoroughly enjoyed it. I consider myself an illustrator with a four days a week job and I have an unhealthy addiction to sugar which I am trying to curb. The following entries are my drawings and musings. All images are copyright of Kerina Strevens. Please contact me on my website kerinastrevens.co.uk.
Typical. Just when I can enjoy the snow tucked up inside all warm and happy, it decides to snow but doesn't lay. I feel cheated. You can bet if I had had to go out and do something, it would have snowed so violently I wouldn't have been able to get out of the door. That's life though. I enjoyed watching the snow come down for a while. It always reminds me of the song we used to sing around Christmas time when I was in primary school, 'Snowy flakes are falling softly, covering all the world in white'. We don't see so much snow these days. We seem to get wet, dreary winters that are a real drag to get through and breed germs and diseases that the cold would otherwise kill. Not that I'm a fan of the cold, but it does have it's uses!
I've had a nice gentle start to my new year and I'm back to work tomorrow. I started doodling about again this week and messing around with a little bit of colour. I've been trying to tidy and organise working spaces as I have a tendency to work with everything at hand and that leads rather quickly to clutter. Along with my love for magazines and books it can all get a bit out of hand. I don't want to end up like those hoarders you see on tv where people have to walk through towers and walkways of junk! My saving grace is that I get to a certain point and then have to have a massive clean up as I'm not a great fan of clutter. I just don't see it when I'm working. We are entering the period of time in the year that I find most difficult. I really don't like January and February. November is always busy, December every one puts up lights and looks forward to Christmas but January and February are just dark and gloomy. I spend all my time watching for any signs of spring starting. At least February is a short month and by March the plants are beginning to bud and shoot. Well, we've marked off one week already.
I hope you all have a better year this year than you had last year. A very happy new year to you all. I ran this little idea out quickly today as I've been lazy over Christmas and I haven't done much. I've given myself some goals that I wish to achieve in the new year. I don't like to call them resolutions but it's something along that line I hope. I hope to finish this next year minus a kidney and my cousin Rachael, to finish with an added kidney. I wish to get my business really moving. I want to draw more and be generally more productive. I have to lose some weight. I'm going to be busy but at least I'll be enjoying it. I'm so glad I got rid of the job that was dragging me down in 2016 and I passed my masters degree. We lost a lot of famous people and a lot we were sad to see go. It's not been too bad for me all said and done and staying away from political things. Let's hope and aim for a better year. Happy new year!
I'm a little early here, I know. I don't think I'll have much of a chance to post in the next few days. So happy Christmas everybody, I hope you all enjoy a good one. I lino cut my cards this year in a vain attempt to save a little money while building up the business. I don't think they look too bad. I think I'll have to try a bit more lino cutting in the new year, I have a lot of resolutions to make for the new year but I'll save them for next week. They're more about pulling my socks up as I've been coasting through December a bit. You won't hear me say that in many other years. I think I'm making up for the madness that I endured last year.
Have a very happy Christmas.
I was doodling thinking of deep thinking this week. I'm into my festive period of watching every version of the 'Christmas Carol' that I possibly can at present. I really love that story. Charles Dickens didn't write better, in my opinion. I do feel a bit sorry for Marley though. Nobody ever came back from the grave and warned him that his chain would be that immense. When Scrooge changes his ways, does that mean that his chains don't get any larger or that they can be shrunk in some way? Does Scrooge change completely or does he need reminding every now and again that he's changed. In the story, he was quite old and set in his ways.
I always like the Christmas lights and some of the expectation that goes with this time of year, however, I can't stand the pushing and shoving and selfish crowds who are all trapped in their own little hells trying to make a 'perfect' Christmas. Whatever their interpretation of that is. The waste too. When I worked in the shop we used to watch people every year, pushing trolleys full of mountains of food that would end up going to waste, because unless it was for a party, there's no way four or five people could possibly get through that amount. Just waste for wastes sake. A real shame, in the proper sense, when some folk have to rely on food banks. In fact, the story of Scrooge is more relevant in our generation than it has been any time since the Victorian age. Except, I think that selfishness is much more hardened in people now. They feel justified sneering at anyone needy and seem to wear their ignorance and selfishness as a badge of pride. We live in a very sad and sick society.
I sat and drew RJ cat with a sharpie in the back of a work diary today. You'd think that I did'nt have thousands of sketchbooks hanging around ready to be drawn in, but I couldn't find one to hand when I wanted it, so the back of the diary with a sharpie pen it was. How spontaneous. This week I have been lino cutting for my Christmas card. It made me realise that I was out of practise. I must practise more. It's been grey and horrible this week and I have been retreating to my daylight lamp to draw and to get a fix of daylight as me and the winter don't really get on that well. It's been a very quiet week but a good week for sorting out and organising. That is that for this week.
I have heard news this week that has dampened my Christmas spirit a little bit. It's made me think though, about how hard this time of year is for some people and how we should make the most of everything that we have. Apart from this news, I have been gently easing myself into the festive period. I had a great session at a care home and we had a lot of fun and I've had the Christmas tunes on. December is going to be a bit of a lull month for me as a lot of the homes had the whole of their Decembers booked up before I'd really got started with the business. I'm planning and booking for January now. One thing I am really grateful for is that I have managed to leave my old job before all this Christmas madness and it means I should be able to enjoy Christmas this year and I won't be getting gradually more and more harassed until I have the big, two days off. I haven't felt so pleased for a while. I'm looking forward to a Christmas with the family, which is much more likely now I don't have only two days to do it in. I really can't believe that everyone has become so scrooge-like now that even boxing day is being touted as a work day. Give shop workers a break! If you expect them in every day for prolonged hours (like my firm did) for the whole week coming up to Christmas, then you can at least expect to let them have at least two days to recover. Also, if people have Christmas day off, then some people agree to go in for extra pay on the boxing day to sort the shops out, as they're still devastated from pre chistmas. By opening on boxing day, you're effectively denying someone Christmas because of an all consuming desire to shop. It's nonsense. If you're that obsessed by shopping you really need to find something to do with your life.