Tag: art

It’s Summertime!

It’s Summertime!

And I’ve not got Lana Del Rey’s sadness. Ha, funny joke.

I’ve got lots of plans for this summer. The last couple of weeks I’ve been highly motivated, been in a very good mindset, so I’ve got lots of ideas about how I’m spending my summer.

I know I’m setting myself mini projects, to expand my skills, as I’m starting my 3rd year of my illustration course next year, and I really need to up my game.

I’m hopefully going to do up one of our sheds and make it into a sort of studio.

Got stuff planned with friends (for once).

And of course I’ll be working back at the kennels, but I may be doing a wee bit of volunteering at the Sea Life Sanctuary that’s about 50 miles down the road.

I’m home now, finally, which I’m glad about. I’ve just been so ready to be home and get out of my Dundee mindset. I’m usually so high stress in Dundee, because my senses are completely overloaded by the city. When I’m home, it’s much quieter and calmer and I feel a lot less anxious.

Anyways, check out my Facebook page to see more updates on my illustration/artwork- hopefully I’ll be a bit busier on the page than I have been of late: www.facebook.com/ecbarkerillustrator/

Please enjoy the delightful image of Nigel Thornberry,




Today, I realised something, that I hadn’t really noticed in the past.

My flatmate (M) came into the kitchen, while my other flatmate (H) and I were just hanging out. He came in to tell us to make sure we left the extractor fan on in the bathroom till the walls were completely dry, and that someone had turned it off just there. I told him it was me, because it’d be on for ages and I thought it needed to be switched off.

He didn’t insult me. He didn’t turn it into an argument. He wasn’t nasty in any way. He simply said, “Okay, well you need to leave the extractor on till the walls are dry,”.

In my head, it felt like a personal attack. I immediately felt as though I needed to defend myself. I started to rise to those feelings, and at the same time could feel stress and anxiety and, well, anger, bubbling up inside me. It made no sense. I had no reason to be angry, which just made me feel more stressed.

Thankfully, at that moment my Mum phoned, and I made a hasty exit.

But later on, I couldn’t help wondering what would’ve happened. Would I have given way to the anger and go on the defensive? Would I have changed the subject? Or would i have accepted what he said on moved on.

And it became apparent to me, that the third option would not have happened. And in most situations it doesn’t. When people say something to me that maybe I don’t agree with, like in the past when H told me that I should’ve left the kitchen when I had an hour long phone conversation with my Mum so that her and boyfriend could make and eat their dinner, I seem to take it as a personal attack. I can’t accept it, or brush it off, or ignore it- I feel this need to defend myself, or change the subject as quickly as possible, so that the situation de-escalates. Even though in reality, it hasn’t escalated at all, and someone has just made a totally normal comment or request.

It could be that is because of my social anxiety disorder (SAD). My SAD is essentially caused by a deep and intense fear of rejection and abandonment from friends, to the point where I find it impossible to talk to many people, because I fear their rejection so enormously.

But I worry it’s something else, something more. The more I consider these things, the more it begins to seem as though something else is going on. I need to know.


I Can Feel It Coming/Stained Glass

I’ve not been writing consistently on here lately and I need to get back into it, because it does me a lot of good.

Tonight I am feeling something building in me, I don’t know what, but I can feel myself expanding inside my chest, and I don’t know why. Nothing has happened today that has stressed me out particularly, but I can feel that later I will likely have a major period of dissociation or possibly a panic attack. I hate knowing that it’s coming, because I don’t really know what to do about it. I’ll probably watch a teen comedy because that usually helps. I don’t know.

On a different note, today I did some stained glass making, which was great, even though my hands are a bit shredded now. I love glass art, it’s so beautiful. I love all the colours. To be honest, I just love colour. It’s so interesting.



Gorillaz has been one of my favourite bands since I was fourteen. I’d always liked them, but about a month before my fifteenth birthday, I suddenly became really into them. That seems to be the way with me, one minute I don’t care about a band and the next they are the most important thing in my world.

First I got Demon Days, then borrowed my Dad’s copy of Plastic Beach, and later bought their self titled album. I was never a huge fan of The Fall, but I do have a couple of songs off of it.

My obsession with them was a huge. Over the course of a few months, I drew dozens of Gorillaz drawings, and literally listened to nothing but their music. I watched interviews, listened to the biography- my life revolved around it.

Gorillaz was the first band that I was really into (excluding Chumbawamba, which was on of the only things that stopped me crying when I was a baby). Before that, I’d never bought a full album, I’d only ever had 1 or 2 songs by each artist on my iPod. Like with many of the bands I’m into, I gradually forced my brother into loving them (he always starts out hating them, and after a few weeks he loves them too). When I came home from school I’d just sit for hours on end, meticulously copying screen grabs from the music videos.

I really was obsessed.

The mad obsession phase lasted about a year, and was followed by Kings of Leon in 2013 (don’t listen to them at all anymore), Cage the Elephant in 2013 (they’re my all time favourite band) and My Chemical Romance in 2014 (still love them). After that, my mad obsessions became less mad, and I started to appreciate music at a slightly healthier level. Except soundtrack, because I’ve always been bonkers for that.

So you can imagine my excitement this week, when Gorillaz released four new songs and announced a new album. I came very close to tears.

As you’ve probably picked up, I do have an anxiety disorder, and just general issues with my mental health. Although I’ve always been quite high anxiety, it only really kicked off properly in 2012, and in the five years following my mental health has really been through the mill. Gorillaz has always sort of carried me through. My love for them, one of the most powerful loves I’ve experienced, came from a time in my life where I was extremely happy and before things really went downhill. I don’t think I’ve been that happy since, except possibly summer 2015. But whenever I listen to them I get a sort of tingle of joy from my fifteen year old self. They help me to feel a bit more sane, and a bit more like I actually exist. The joy I had in that time and the love I had for Gorillaz was so powerful that I can feel the aftershocks still, and probably always will, and that is a sort of proof to me that I am real.

The likelihood now, with this new music, is I will probably regress to my fifteen year old self, except maybe slightly less obsessed. Gorillaz Phase round 2. I am hoping they do a tour, and if they do I will pay any amount of money to see them, because it is that important to me.


Woah-Oh I’m Halfway There!

I don’t even like Bon Jovi (sorry Harley!).

No, I’m halfway there because I’ve final created a design I’m happy with for the backs of the cards for the artist book project. So all that’s left now is to finish the faerie illustrations (not too many left, just the stupid bloody deataigh dragon and a couple of others) and create the map. And I love making maps and drawing/painting faeries, so I’m feeling pretty chill. Everything’s good.

Aside from the fact I’ve felt quite nauseous all day and was almost sick earlier (my throat is still sore from the acid stuff that came up) that is. I don’t think I’m coming down with anything (hopefully), i think it’s just I’ve been stressing, and it’s taking its toll.

But I can relax a wee bit, this project is in hand, the Future Cameras project will PROBABLY  be okay (we’ve got a group presentation thing, on the 31st, but I don’t think the actual sketchbooks are due till the 24th(ish) of April. The essay is going to be my main focus this week, because even though we’ve got the “Natalie Project”, that’s not officially due till the 24th of April as well, so if I crack down with the essay and learning my lines everything will be FINE, so long as I don’t have a tummy bug.

Below is the final design for the backs of the cards. It does look a tad wedding-y, but I think once it has the image on the front it will be fine. I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out. Obviously at the bottom it’ll have the actual coordinates, I just need to create the map first!


Faerie back tree 7 FINAL