Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Like climbing a mountain

Today everything I do feels like climbing a mountain without legs. I'm sure some really driven, talented person has climbed a mountain without legs, but I'm not that person.

I try to work. My assignments are as fun and creative as they can possibly be. Nothing to complain about there. Still I feel more tired, exhausted and unfocused than I ever have in my entire life. Yes! Drama! It's not dramatic really, more like watching the life of a snail in slo-mo. A snail desperately trying to work it's slimy tail to move faster but it doesn't work, because it's still a snail, and it's doomed to be slow.

Unlike a snail, I'm able to work quite fast which is good since every 30 seconds I lose focus on what I'm doing and have to spend about a minute obsessing over how lazy and awfully irresponsible I am before I can go back to doing my job. As far as I can remember I've never failed a deadline at work. Always completed every assignment and been happy with the result, but during the process it's an endless battle with myself and my brain to actually accomplish this. Nothing comes easy.

I'm proud of myself that I manage to work like I do, but I'm starting to doubt I can keep this up when it feels this difficult. People with my problems (ADHD, general anxiety disorder and other things) rarely have the energy to work full time. At any other job I would probably have given up ages ago. I'm able to keep doing what I do because I have such a passion for it and really love my job. It's still a struggle and  think I'm getting worn out.

I had to vent this, get it out of my system. I'll keep working, keep doing my best to be awesome at what I do and not get burnt out in the process. Tiny ADHD-pony in my head tells me to be strong, but it's ok to be tired.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Invisible sickness



I put my dolls up on small shelves by my workspace today. They've been packed away in boxes for so long. I'm also priming a canvas with gesso to prepare it for sketching and acrylic painting. This all might seem really ambitious but the honest truth is that it took me hours of lying in bed with a bad feeling creeping up on me. Not because it's very difficult to do it, just because whenever I try to sit down to be creative at home I feel like such a total failcake with no ideas, no energy and nothing to motivate me. The world starts to feel dark and scary and no matter how much tea I make or how nice the music I listen to is, I always end up back in bed again with my head in the pillow.

I'm really scared that I might be falling back into a depression again and it's even more scary that I can't really pinpoint what it is that makes this happen. It's happened before during different periods of my life, about once a year, or if I'm unlucky, depressions that last for more than a year. I actually read two year old blog-entires of mine to find clues of how I beat depression last time it came around like a wet old dog to choke my happiness with it's demanding ways. 

I hate this state of mind, and I really really wish I could just shrug it off. But I guess it wouldn't be labeled as a sickness if it was that easy to get rid of. I've got help from medical professionals so things are under control I guess. I just had to vent this fear and make it less scary. If I write about it it's out in the open, just like I would have written if I had a sore throat or a stomach flu. I'm sick. I'm sick with sadness even though it might not be visible on the outside.

Ok, to end this blog post on a completely different note.... My neighbor is playing Spice Girls on the highest volume possible right now. Whoever that person is, s/he's got an odd music taste. Before this it was the Lion King soundtrack blasting through the speakers, though my wall.



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekend Wishes!



I haven't made a Weekend Wishes post in a very long time. I don't know exactly why, but it might be connected to the fact that I've hardly been blogging and almost taking no time at all for creativity at home. Now that I got the inspiration back to hunt down cute items on Etsy, I just had to made a really long list of the things I stumbled upon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Trolltale

My friend Lise has started her own Etsy shop! She makes super cute wrist warmers perfect for these times when autumn comes creeping in. If you're worried about the chilly feel that usually comes right along with autumn you should really check these out to help keep you warm and cozy.

Speaking of Etsy, I stopped selling my own stuff there because I currently don't have anything to sell and no time to make anything new. How sad! Well, I might get back to it eventually.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

No air

I was going to have an entire evening of free creativity and feeling good, calm and happy. This is what I made. Stuff didn't turned out as I wanted them to.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blackout

I want to tell you about a game called Blackout, created by Deadline Media and released 1997. It will be quite a long read so I want to apologize for that, but this game has been haunting me since my childhood. It's not sold anymore and there are barely any traces of it online. Nobody I know has played it except my younger sister who sat with me as I tried to understand it as a kid, much too young to play it.



It is set in a worn down european city where the player takes the role of Gabriel, a schizophrenic individual with no knowledge of his past. You wake up in a completely bloodied down apartment next to a headless corpse with flies buzzing around it. The miniature doll world and the blurry imagery makes the whole scene bizarre. In this scene you walk around in the apartment which is in a complete state of chaos resembling the hellish world of Silent Hill. You have a blackout.

You wake up in the exact same spot as before, but the radio is playing a pleasant song and the apartment is clean. It feels sterile and even the pale light resembles a hospital. It should have felt safer, but it's not. There is something eerie and unsettling about it. You walk out and leave the apartment, take the shoddy elevator down to the street where you meet a neighbor approaching. Here too the stop motion animation and creepy puppet faces make the whole scene bizarre.


After this scene the game can take on make different paths depending on your choices. When I played this game there was a bug that make me unable to save my progress, so I always had to re-play everything from the start. I still didn't experience the same story more than once.

I vaguely remember that you took the subway to different parts of the city. The harbour, a downtown area, a posh neighborhood with fancy apartment buildings. Everything was equally dark, muddy and unsettling. There was a brothel where you could choose which prostitute you wanted to either talk to or have sex with. They'd tell you different stories about who you were, since you have no idea yourself.
There were bars you could go to. One of them offers you to order "the usual" which you have no idea what it is until you receive it. The bartender obviously knows you but you don't know yourself. You visit a fortune teller, an old blind lady with glasses covering her eyes. After she tells you about your dark past she removes her glasses, revealing black holes straight into her skull. You black out again.

There are many more memories I have about the game, but they are so distant since I haven't played the game since I was about 11 years old. I once wrote to the writer of the game, a man named Michael Valeur. He was happy for my mail and replied, explaining the vision to create something different I quote: 

"For me Blackout was a very special thing, because it holds all the ambitions there was in the ´90s for making interactive art. We want something else than Doom (which was big at that time) - and I remember we talked about; "To much Schwarsenegger and to little Kieslowski in the game business". I was very inspired of art from eastern europe - espescially Prag - and the whole tradition of using puppets."


The use of puppets and miniatures for a game is something I haven't seen done seriously in a game... Ever. The idea is so amazing and unique and gives the game a feeling a 3D world could never accomplish. The game feels like a David Lynch movie in so many ways where nothing is true for sure and everything leaves you with a feeling that something is wrong.

The mechanics of the game were unique too. During the game you get different dialogue options that throughout the game somehow makes a psychological analysis of your character. In one scene you are confronted with a gang of thugs threatening to beat you up. You have four options and only one will save you from pain. There isn't a pre-determined path, instead you have to make the choice that fits the other choices you have made previously in the game. I had no idea about this when I played, so I got to suffer for it.


The game was originally released with a novel that explained the story from another characters perspective. I sadly never got this novel since I bought the game in a collection box with other games. I wish I could read it, and understand more because I feel that I'll never be completely satisfied until I get to play through this game for real and understand it all. I never got to the end and the game only works for Windows 95. Who has one of those these days? Besides, I don't know where the CD's are and the game can't be found anymore. I guess it will remain a mystery unless the original developers somehow re-release the game on a new platform. I hope and hope for that day to come because I want more people to get to experience this old, eerie, unique game. If you have any more information about this game, or have played it yourself, PLEASE, I want to talk about it with someone. Consider me obsessed.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Snail Mail Love!



I'm really no good at checking my mail. I mean my real life mailbox now. I just walk right past it, eager to get into my apartment and relax. The mail rarely contains anything other than advertisement or bills anyway, but today was a massive exception! Elysia sent me all these neat things from a press fair un the UK and it's a wild mix of cute business cards and little artworks that I can't wait to pin to my huge wall of inspiration and cute. Some are too pretty to pin though so I'll find frames instead. I really need to decorate my home so this was very welcome.

Other than fulfilling the need of pretty things, it was pretty amazing to just sit on the carpet on my floor and open one tiny envelope after the other and find more and more things to look at and friendly, honest words to read. I remember I got a similar package of awesomeness from my friend Soe and I feel like I have to create one myself. One for each online friend I have because they are some of the best people I've ever met (even if I haven't met some of you face to face) More snail mail and cute little gifts for everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Magazine feature

I learned today that my image has been featured in the DeviantArt section of Fantasy Artist. At first I got all confused and kind of annoyed since nobody told me, but it all cleared up when I found a comment on my site that it would be featured. I must have forgotten or just not realized it was a real magazine and then moved on.

The image featured is "She calls the Crows" and that particular image got a lot of attention so I think I just rushed through reading comments and didn't understand properly. But this is great! A small but nice feature and I'll see if I can get my hands on this magazine today.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pale Ale

"A titillating, neurotic, peroxide punk of a pale ale. Combining attitude, style, substance and a little bit of low self esteem for good measure; what would your mother say? You probably should just leave it alone..."
-Trashy Blonde (A beer bottle description)


During my vacation my family decided I should learn to drink beer. It's sort of an adult thing I just haven't gotten around to since I've had other things to drink instead, and drinking in general isn't something I think about as a project where I have to learn new things. Anyhow, I learned to sort of like the taste and I read this description of a beer bottle today. It gave me images of a character that I had to draw while listening to swedish punk band Asta Kask. It felt nice but now I have a headache.


I've been reading several books this vacation, all of them with rather messed up, decadent main characters. It's very far away from my own soft hearted and sensitive personality so it really sparks my imagination. Who would I have been if not for my social anxiety disorder? Probably a rather messed up, decadent individual with way too many mistakes to count.

Just like back then

 I've had a perfect week of vacation at Öland, an island off the east coast of Sweden. We went, me, my mom, sister and the boyfriends of said sister and me. We rented some rooms in a house right by the sea. It was unbelievably close. While standing on the balcony we could have almost jumped straight down into the sand if we were a bit more brave and had stronger legs.

We used to go to this island every single summer and easter when I was a kid and the place looked exactly the same. It's so calm and beautiful and I've really gotten to relax. In the evenings we bought food to prepare on the beach and ate while looking at the sunset. It's almost laughable how good it all was. If it had been a movie I would have prepared for a catastrophe to happen at any moment just to ruin the perfection.

Well, there is always something when it comes to me. I've been sick with a horrible cold all week long and barely had any energy. Coughing, aching and sneezing all over the place. I had just gotten better from my last vacation, and now this! Well well. I won't let that get me down. I've been reading and enjoying the calm all week.