#Lent2015

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It’s that time of year again, when for some reason I decide to take part in giving up something or other for the sake of Lent. For those of you who know me you know that I’m not overly religious at all. My main purpose for doing this is to test myself. I think it’s good to restrict ourselves sometimes, I think it makes us appreciate what we have. Knowing that you can have something and choosing not to, also makes for good willpower training. I’ve always been the type of person that wants more so this is good for me.

Anyway, I was toying with giving up chocolate or alcohol. The first year I did Lent I gave up chocolate with my now wife. Then the next year giving up alcohol, that was pretty hard too. Last year I did chocolate again, only slipping up when someone unknowingly gave me a chocolate filled cupcake!

This year I have decided to give up meat. This is a big deal for me as I love my meat! The challenge is going to be hard but I’m ready to do it, now all I have to do is work out what I’m going to replace meat with to make sure I still have the same intake of protein.

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Pop Pop Bang

I love this video from Anna Burns and Thomas Brown. They describe what they do as “film, photography and pyro.” I’m sure you’ll agree its pretty cool.

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Yogi stu

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As someone who has experienced back problems in the past you can imagine my total unhappiness at suffering a slipped disc in my neck recently. Six weeks ago I woke up with a pain in my neck that gradually got worse, to a point where I had shooting pain down in my arms and numbness, even now I have a numb thumb. Previously I have suffered quite bad sciatica as well as having a fusion between two of my vertebrae.

I have decided it’s time to do something about this. I know that my little boy will only get bigger and heavier and I want to be able to always pick him up without feeling pain. To me it’s not just about getting ripped, anyone can go to gym and lift weights, and I’ve done that before. I want to start deep down with my core, starting slowly and working my way up; it’s not so much about looking muscly but more about strength, balance and inner peace, looking after myself.

I have decided to start yoga, along with my wife who has some experience in a yoga/tai chi style class. I’ve been looking for a way to strengthen my core ever since I suffered badly with sciatica last year and although yoga is a vastly female populated scene I feel this is what I need and hope to eventually work my way to incorporate calisthenics once I have built up a healthy flexible body. I also feel yoga will be an all round positive experience that I can use to enhance my life.

I will be posting regular updates of my progress and hope to see a change by this time next year.

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Thought provoking

After speaking to someone I considered a friend last night on a huge social media platform regarding Movember charity donations it got me thinking more about charity and life in general. He questioned whether it was worth anyone’s time to try and gain donation for charities that in his words was almost entirely spent on admin fees and ended up going into the pockets of the people not intended to benefit from the charity. He questioned whether money was the answer to fixing something. He made me doubt my morals and the way I live my life.

He may have been right, money may not be able to fix the big C word and other causes, but it’s my opinion that if I can donate and help to raise money and awareness for a cause I believe could affect me at any time in my later life then I’m doing a good thing.

The conversation made me realise that maybe I’ve been pushing too hard for donations and that maybe organisations like Movember have turned charity into some sort of competition where you are ranked on how much money you raise, is it right that we raise money in this way?

This got me thinking even deeper, if there were no charities to raise money for deadly diseases including the big C how would people react? Would everyone train themselves up to be a professor of biology in the hope of one day curing these deadly diseases themselves? Is it enough to just be giving money to charities or should we be doing more, and if so, what?

With regards to the money I’ve raised so far which isn’t far off £500, I believe that it was the right thing to do and I believe that through word of mouth and social media badgering I have helped to raise awareness of a charity which I feel is doing a good job.

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Daddy, daddy Stu

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It’s been 9 days since our new arrival, I’m now a proud daddy to George and although I’ve caught up with my sleep, Mrs M is still coming to terms with the sheer lack of sleep that having a newborn brings. Things are a bit up in the air at the moment and whilst it’s nice to have time off I literally have had no time to do any design in between changing nappies and trying to comfort our screaming addition. To be honest I don’t mind at all, I don’t want to miss anything with this little guy, he’s the cutest.

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Positive saturday inspiration

I have a friend who the other day showed me an email that her father has sent to her, it was written very well and of a dry humour, it got me thinking, I don’t update my blog nearly half as much as I need to to be reaching the type of people I want to be reaching. I want my blog and my creative work to inform and to add to the creative world and so here’s todays post…

As the day draws to a close and I find myself having to turn down the brightness on my iMac every 15 minutes, I think back to what i’ve achieved today. It’s not been one of the most productive or creative days i’ve ever had but I have done a few bits; i’ve removed a newly fitted door and given it a coat of paint, i’ve done some exercise, iv’e cleaned some of my manly tools and i’ve experimented with repeating patterns in illustrator thanks to a video I found on youtube the other day from Sew Heidi, check out this really really quick pattern I created:

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Although I haven’t done a huge amount today, the saturdays where my wife is working is usually spent wasting most of the day watching youtube videos and/or procrastinating over creative bits that I want/need to do. Today was an exception, I feel content that what I have done is a step in the right direction.

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy just lately and I wanted to offer some tips/advice, I don’t know what it is really, but if I was talking to myself in the third person this is what I would say:

Always try to be positive, there are going to be days when you’re feeling low and slightly worthless. There are always going to be people that can do things better than you, better designers, better thinkers, people with better ideas than you. Don’t let them get you down, think positively, what is your thing, what can you do better than anybody else you now, what are your strengths? You may be unsure of the the answers to these questions but finding out what they are should be fun. Always try, never give up.

Well there you go, not fantastic advice but I hope that someone reading this can benefit if only slightly.

I’ll be posting on a more regular basis now that i’ve decided to give up procrastination as well as alcohol for lent. I’m definitely looking forward to a nice cold beer in a couple of weeks but hope that I never have to share a room with Mr Procrastination again!

Good evening all,

Stu

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Graphic Tees

I’ve always wanted to design tshirts. Ever since I entered the world of design i’ve always wanted to design them and sell them. Whether it’s a viable business option or not (possibly not) i’m determined to make something that someone will buy, I just love the idea.

bambooA while ago I created a Big Cartel store for my tees and have only just got round to adding a couple of designs that i’ve previously done but never tried to sell them. I am working on some new designs which I hope my readers will like or know somebody who will. Incidentally, I would love to know what you’d like to see on a tees or what you think would sell well, please leave a comment below.

Both my tees are on my Big Cartel shop HERE priced at £15

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