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Motivational Spirit

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 2 tags: july, lifestyle, motivate, motivation, NaBloPoMo

After a month of not being connected to the technological world, I found myself disconnected from the creative one… Time to get motivated!

When my internet finally came back on earlier this week, I was expecting a huge influx of work to come pouring out of me. Sadly that wasn’t quite the case. A lot of the work I have to catch up on has already been paid for, which is obviously pushing me harder and harder to complete it, but I don’t have that wonderful creative drive I do for new projects and new challenges. So, this week I endeavored to snap myself out of it!


Not only do I have a lot of work to catch up on, but convention season starts up again next week and I need to get my head back in the game. On top of all that, I finally have the resources I need to research my creator-owned project which was meant to be well on its way to completion by now, but due to the upheaval of June, is running ‘behind schedule’ (I say ‘behind’ I actually factored in a ‘just in case month and half’ but it would have been nice not to have to use it). You can see some of the inspiration I have been gathering for this project over on my Pinterest board, which I will obviously be adding to over the coming weeks.

My partner has just started a new job which is playing around with our hours and body clocks slightly, but this morning I managed to get up bright and early with him and start my day properly. I got my tickets booked for London next week (we’re going to see Baby Metal), transport and accommodation sorted for London Film and Comic Con and caught up on a whole bunch of e-mails before 9am. I almost instantly felt a huge weight off my shoulders as the logistics for next week were finally sorted and I could get back onto catching up on commissions.

My boyfriend and I are actually looking to move out later in the year (we both still live with our respective parents – living the dream – I know) so looking at housing and rental accommodation is definitely an incentive to get in the working spirit. I also took the time out of my day to just sit and meditate, which I never really take the time to do, but it definitely helped me organize my head a bit more and banish all of those nasty niggling thoughts of money worries and ‘starving artist stress’. Tomorrow I intend to get back to the gym as I have only managed to go once this week and that is definitely not good enough. I am hardly a gym bunny, but just a simple walk and sweat can really make a difference to me waking up in the morning and me stewing inside my own head.

One of the main things I have learned about being freelance is that it is very easy to work all the hours in the day if you let yourself – and that is NOT healthy. I’ve tried to make an active change in my work day (even if it is much longer than your average 9-5) to try and take some time out for myself. I never eat lunch at my desk anyway (hardly good for the artwork is it) but I try to take an hour for lunch anyway now, even if that is not all spent cooking/eating; I try to get out to the gym or for a walk at least before I start my day and I take more regular breaks just to stretch my legs and walk around the garden or play with the degus. I’m hoping this will pay off in that I won’t feel so fragged at the end of the day, but only time will tell. Until then, just keep on swimming!

Just a couple of shots of my garden. Pretty happy with how my plants are coming through. The roses are particularly impressive as they were just thrown in the clay soil underneath my house before I even moved there. They were a bit under the weather when I moved in (aphids mostly) bust seem to be doing much better now. There is something about taking a walk out amongst greenery, or tending to it that makes me feel a lot better.





July NaBloPoMo Challenge Begins

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 4 tags: july, lifestyle, NaBloPoMo, personal, work

In a bid to try and blog more regularly I am taking on the NaBloPoMo challenge for the month of July…

Since my internet went down on May 21st (Yes, thank you BT, it was down for one month and 6 days altogether), I have been suffering a somewhat strained relationship with my computer. I use the internet every day for a variety of reasons from the social to the professional. I gather reference, update my online stores and website, download brushes, textures and fonts for Photoshop, research costumes, facts and characters, book conventions, hotels and order prints, business cards and merch… and (of course) update all of my social media… Aside from actually drawing, the internet itself can be a full time job for me.


Needless to say, the last month has been a little bit stressful. My bouts on the internet were limited to my mobile phone (when I actually left the house and had signal), the limited time I could spend in my local library (I say local – it’s still half an hour drive away – did I mention I live in the middle of nowhere?) and taking my laptop over my parents’ and partner’s houses. As a freelancer I tend to work all the hours I can and this can often be at what are considered ‘antisocial’ times. I start when I wake up and end when I literally can’t concentrate anymore – so having to limit myself to library opening hours and parents’ sleeping patterns was a bit of an adjustment. Annoyingly this meant that certain projects and commissions I hoped to complete in June took a lot longer to complete – if I managed to complete them at all (If you are one of the lovely people who has been so patient with me over private commissions – THANK YOU!).

But, here is hoping that July is the start of a new lease on life as far as work is concerned. The wonderful thing about all of this is it has really put things into perspective for me as far as organizing my time and using the facilities I do have. I have a better organized schedule; I’ve allocated hours of the day for specific jobs and I think I can safely say that I am ready for a solid month of hard work and ‘re-calibration’.

So in the spirit of getting things moving forward (and showing appreciation for having my internet back up and running) I have decided to sign up to the this month’s NaBloPoMo.

Those of you aware of my blogging history will know that I have a love for blog/writing challenges. I signed up to the amazing NaNoWriMo in 2008 and once upon a time undertook a blogging challenge (inspired by Julie/Julia) to watch the New York Times list of 1000 best movies ever made in one year! It was because of that blog that I ended up working in HarperCollins Publishers as it really helped me hone my social media skills and online writing. Sadly it was because of that exact same job I ended up abandoning the blog as I had no more time to watch films once I started working there. But hey, one day I may get back to it.

NaBloPoMo challenges you to write your blog every day for a month. I know a lot of amazing bloggers who do this already without any issue, but for me it would be a great exercise in organizing my time effectively as well as a good way to get to know more bloggers and comment-ers in the process. They do give you a theme that you can work with, but it’s mostly just for loose inspiration. July’s theme is ‘Decade’, which I suppose is appropriate considering it is my birthday month so I will be thinking a lot about age and time anyway.

Luckily I have a very busy month planned including my birthday on the 17th (and my mum’s), two conventions, traveling to London to see Baby Metal in concert, a secret screening at Cineworld, seeing Phil Jupitus’ new standup in the Sherman Theatre, watching Monty Python Live (also in the cinema – I’m not that lucky to get tickets to the real deal) and the start of a brand new Dungeons and Dragons Campaign with some good friends… So I doubt I’ll run out of things to talk about with you guys.


Until then I am going to go and organize my schedule for this week. I have a lot to catch up on and some fun new artwork heading your way ready for London Film and Comic Con on the 11th July. Not to mention updates on my progress on Cirque Du Mort! Speak to you all tomorrow!

How will you all be spending July? Anyone else taking part in NaBloPoMo? Leave a comment below and get in touch.