#inktober2018, and my first book!

It’s been a while since my last blog post! Lots of things have happened personally and professionally which have been very exciting, but detrimental to blog writing. My partner Chris and I got engaged! I’ve had some exciting ideas for new projects, and am currently on a trip to Barcelona and London for dancing! So there are many different things happening at the moment.

The first book I’ve ever illustrated ‘Baby Days’ by Nicola Philp has been published! It’s been a goal of mine for a really long time to illustrate a children’s book, so to hold the hard copy in my own hands was very rewarding. 

I’m very proud of the work I did for Baby Days. It was a very steep learning curve, and I’m so grateful that Nicola put her trust in me, despite my inexperience. It’s definitely opened my eyes to my weaknesses, and areas I can improve upon. I learnt so much, and it’s made me even more excited to keep pursuing this creative career. While there were several times that I felt a bit overwhelmed, overall I’m so happy with how it all came together.

if you’d like to purchase a copy just follow the link below! 


With all the other things that were going on, I was also very proud to get through #inktober for the first time! I had attempted to do it last year, but gave up about half way through. So to finish it this year was a good feeling.

It was a great test of my time management skills, especially with everything else happening during October. It was also my first year using the official ‘prompt’ list. This was an added challenge, as there were some days where I really wasn’t feeling the prompts, but I’m glad I persevered. These are a few of my favourite images from the challenge.

So that’s been everything happening with me lately. Exciting things ahead, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Part-time Long Distance

My boyfriend Chris is away on a work trip at the moment. He works on a travel show, and often has to go on trips for 2-3 weeks at a time. He’s not the only one though, I’ve been on several dance trips interstate and overseas without him. Unsurprisingly, we miss each other a lot when these trips happen. We’ve been dating for almost three years now, and while it’s no fun being apart from each other, we’ve come up with a few ways to make it easier.

We use our whiteboard to write messages to each other. It’s definitely one of the best things to come home to.

Last year I made a zine about missing him while we were apart. I’m not the best at expressing myself, so it was a nice thing to show how I was feeling through my art.

But by far my favourite thing is Little Chris and Little Annabelle. These guys started out as a bit of a joke, but now it’s turned into a thing, where we take them with us whenever one of us leaves town. Chris is a lot better at taking funny photos with them than I am.

Anyway, Happy birthday dorkface!!!! Love you lots xx

Enjoy the rest of the trip and I’ll see you soon!

Swing Dancing

Recently I made a few images about one of the best things in my life - Swing Dancing! So thought I’d write a little bit about how I got started in it, and what it means to me.

I started swing dancing at the very end of 2011. I was at a charity event for work which had a swing dance performance. It looked very cool, there were lots of flips and amazing moves. But after their performance, the dancers all hung around, and they kept dancing to the DJ’d music. It looked totally different from all the other partner dancing I’d seen. They were fooling around, and making each other laugh. I’d only ever seen serious dances like ballroom and latin which didn’t appeal to me. Swing dancing looked FUN.

I went to my first lesson, where they were learning the Shim Sham (a swing line dance. Like the Macarena, or Nutbush). It wasn’t really what I thought it would be since I was dancing by myself. After the class they showed what they’d be doing the next week, and it was partner dancing, so I decided to come back.

I’ve been dancing for 6 years now, and it’s become a huge part of my life. I love that it’s based on improvisation, and on connection with your partner. I love that there’s a big emphasis on fun, and doing what feels right for the individual. There’s a freedom to express yourself, and communicate that to the person you’re dancing with. When you’re dancing with someone, it’s just you, your partner and the music. Like you’re in your own little bubble. It’s such a great way to feel present in the moment, without worrying about the past or future. I also love that there are so many different types of swing dances, and even after years, I still feel like I’ve just reached the tip of the iceberg. There are still lots of things to explore.

Since I started dancing I’ve become more confident in myself. Confidence in my own body, and the things it can do. I feel like I have better relationships with people, and I’m more comfortable expressing myself to friends. I’ve met so many different and wonderful people through the community. Almost all of my friendships and support network now, are people I’ve met through dancing. 

If you think you’d like to try it, there are classes all over the world! In Melbourne there are several dance schools, the two I’ve learnt from are Swing Patrol and 1929 studios. I highly recommend giving it a go! It’s a great way to meet people, be active, and have fun.

Swing Patrol: https://mel.swingpatrol.com

1929studios: http://1929studios.com 

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