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.
It's been quite a week. I graduated from Anglia Ruskin with a Master's in Children's Book Illustration. I enjoyed it so much I wish I could go back and do it all again. I'm missing my friends already and it was really lovely to see some of them on Wednesday, however briefly. It was also lovely that my Mum could be there and that my sister Anna, came all the way up from London to be there too. Since I started the course three years ago, I've moved house, swapped companies that I worked for and then left the job altogether and started working in a completely different field. It's been an interesting few years and the changes have been needed. I now have to organise as a lot of things have been left during the rushing around bits. My bedroom needs a real good tidy. That's now my main job for the foreseeable future, around booking care homes of course. Onwards and upwards.
I haven't had a chance to do anything other than doodle this week. I thought I would mention that I am changing horses and after one more shift at work, I am hoping to be self employed going into care homes and delivering art sessions with 'Creative Minds'. www.creativemindsan.co.uk
I have no idea how this is going to work but I will give it my best shot. All I know is that I have been getting slowly more and more unhappy at work and that I had to do something to halt that slide. The people I have worked with have been great but the actual job and working alone a lot has finally got to me enough to not want to do the job any more. I'm no sales person and I don't think I ever will be. So, time to try something else and see where we go with it. A busy week next week and I have my graduation on Wednesday which I'm feeling petrified about
What a week. I didn't catch a cold last year so my body decided I needed to have a really bad cold to compensate. I was completely knocked out for the most of last week. Couldn't go to work, had to reschedule care homes. It wasn't flu as I managed to get out of bed but it was worse than the usual cold that you normally just work through. I'm still recovering. I'm hoping it's out of the way now as this month is due to be madly busy. I think from this point on I'm in run mode. This is my last week at work, then I have my graduation, I have more tasters to do for care homes and also dentist, flu jab and probably optician and some things which escape me at present until I get hold of my diary. Five more working days! Just want to get on with bringing in the changes now. My one regret this week, is that I haven't really done any drawing. I spent three days asleep and the rest of the week trying to catch up with everything that I'd missed. At some point I should actually have the time to begin to indulge myself by drawing again. The drawing above was done for the 'Showing Journal' last month . In other news, I had to bribe Flo the cat with fish after trying to put a flea solution on the back of her neck. She wouldn't even stay in the same room as me for half the day. Fortunately, we had fish for tea and she can't resist fish, so we soon made up again as she couldn't bear the thought of not having a good bit of my fish.
It's been a very busy week. I've done two art sessions in care homes and really enjoyed them both. Not large groups but enough to be able to chat with folk and be there to suggest things. I think the residents have enjoyed it too and I have been asked to go back to one home but the activity coordinator was ill at the other place, so I'll have to chase that I think. I have made a start though and got over the fear of going in all by myself and organising things. Work was very busy too. I'm just working my notice now, so I have a couple more weeks to go and then I'm free of the stress of all that. I think I've found it difficult this week as I caught a cold and it's been dragging me down quite a bit. Today is the first day I've had free for a while and I was supposed to be at a meeting today. Again, because of the pressures of everything else, I haven't been able to draw much but I did manage this little sketch of a rabbit in pen as I have an idea mooching around at the back of my brain trying to come out in some form. Happy birthday to my friend Linda, I hope you have a really lovely day.
Another sketch book drawing here. I'm still trying to draw children. I should hopefully have more time to do it, probably in the new year, now. Life continues at an extremely fast pace, when I'm not trying to sort out bits of the new business, I'm at work, working off my notice and usually rushed off my feet. Most of the customers say they're sorry to see me go. I've worked in that building now for nearly fifteen years, so it's a fair amount of water under the bridge and high time I was moving on and trying something else. When I first started working there I was paying off debts that had built up. Once they were paid off, I enjoyed having a little bit of money and being able to relax a bit financially and have little luxuries. The time has come to try something new though as I've felt unhappy for some time and I've had very itchy feet. Another three weeks and life changes and I start a new adventure again. Monday is a big day and Wednesday probably will be too. I'll let you know next week!
It's been a tedious week but it's gone now and I'm glad. It feels good to be moving on and I already feel that little breath of freedom. I handed my notice in this week, with more than a little relief. I go on into some instability but I prefer that to being stuck. I'm happy to step out and give this venture a good go. It will hopefully be different, interesting and critically, less stressful.
The drawings are a couple of pages from my sketchbook of my youngest niece as she was playing when they came to stay this weekend. I want to be drawing more like this and practising this sort of thing. I will have to manage my time a little better and organise myself. That should be possible in the near future. There is no let up in the pace however and it looks to be hectically busy well into October at the moment. I just have to hold on with it and then gradually the pace should slow and I'll be able to start relaxing and enjoying things a bit more. Really looking forward to it.
The photo above, is a photo of the fields we have behind our house and the drawing I did a little while ago and have somehow added snow to, though I can't remember doing it or even why I attempted it. I've not had time this week to sit down and draw for various reasons. It's just been a mad week and I've chased my tail a bit. Work has been just as mad as my personal life and trying to take breaks is nigh impossible when I'm working by myself. If I do manage to get away for a break, I end up with whingeing people when I get back and I'm never gone longer than half an hour. We're not even anywhere near Christmas yet either. I'm dreading that already. We'll have to see what happens. At the moment I really feel like I could do with a week off as my stress levels are quite high. For those of you not on Facebook, I got a DNA test done to determine my ethnicity. It's absolutely fascinating. I'm 46% of Great British genes, 39% of Western European genes (so French/German/Swiss), 7% Irish, 5% Scandinavian genes and I have traces of around the Spanish area, around Italy and Greece and around Finland and North West Russia. My family are English as far back as anyone wants to go so it's nice to know all these other cultures have a part in my make up and that my ancestors travelled a bit, though admittedly, not as much as they could have. I don't think many of them could have been a big fan of the warmer climates. It explains my fair skin. With genes like that there's not really much of a chance of getting a tan. Fascinating stuff.