Aston Martin launch, Edinburgh. – continued –

The second illustration I created for Aston Martin, Edinburgh, last year. See more details and the first illustration in the previous post here. Below are pics of the final illustration and a few photos from the actual launch night.

Aston M 02 close up - H.Sharpe

Watercolour - close up - H.SharpeEvent 01Event 02Event 05

10847830_776051825800251_7103502113698623830_nIMG_2646Aston M in situ

Aston Martin 02 - 72 dpi H.Sharpe

Prints available here.

– Holly

http://www.hollysharpe.com

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Room for imagination = creating space to unleash your creativity.

Yoga sketch - Holly Sharpe
Recent drawing, idea I hope to explore this year, to somehow express my love of Yoga through my work. Pic from my Instagram.

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

I know what I want to say here, but I have so many thoughts, ideas and words jumbled up and going around my head this morning, (well in reality, I have that most of the time, it’s just slightly muted sometimes, and it seems to switch off, or at least fade A LOT, when I am drawing = bliss) that it might take a bit longer for me to get it all out… hoping you’ll stick with me till the end though!

*Before I go any further, I want to stress, that all these words are my own, but I am not claiming to be discussing anything groundbreaking either, as most of it is an accumulation of things I have read, watched and listened to – and from their formed my own opinions on how I currently feel. I also want to say that this is how I feel, or think right now, it is not set in stone and maybe I will look back and cringe that I was ever so honest, but I’d like to draw your attention back to this first entry where I try to explain why I wanted to start this blog in the first place, and if nothing else it helps me put some of these nagging thoughts and musings in my head, into writing! *

What I want to try and talk about is the importance of creating space, physical and psychological space. I am usually directing my words at creative people, but in fact, I think more and more companies and intelligent people out there are realising that everyone can, and should be more creative. Just because you don’t draw or physically create stuff, does not mean you cannot or are not creative. In most jobs and in day to day lives, things would be improved a lot if creativity were encouraged more, if the option to fail was encouraged and therefore people would experiment and take risks a whole lot more, in theory… The problem is there is a lot wrong with, or to put it better, there is a lot of room for improvement, when it comes to the education system, in this country anyway, and my understanding of the US is similar. Sir Ken Robinson does a phenomenal TED TALK on this, ‘How schools kill creativity’ believe it or not it’s from 2006, he is extremely likeable, engaging, and speaks a whole lot of sense. It is hard not to become passionate about what he is saying.

Along with a lacking education system, we are now living in a society that never wants to give you a second to just be. A moment to reflect. With advertising, brands and general consumerism constantly being forced in your face, probably without you even realising it most of the time – at least in cities anyway. And technology meaning most people, in most modes of transport, queues (lines) for the till or a bus or whatever, are glued to this little rectangle that in many ways is the essence of how far we have come, and demonstrates what humans are capable of, smart phones are incredible, I am not denying that, but must they take over our lives, must they dictate what we do every time we have a spare second, or minute. I have read and listened to a few things this past week which talk about this obsession we now have with smart phones, which makes me think that there is going to be something of a revolution, or perhaps just a revelation, about how we are using our smart phones.

It is only since listening/ reading about people talking about this more recently that it seems to me that a lot of people don’t really daydream or let their thoughts be left without interruptions…? I feel like I have spent most of my life daydreaming and people watching, so I find this almost incomprehensible. I know that I don’t have the right balance either, as it probably isn’t healthy to be caught up in daydreaming so much either, but I still think it does wonders for your imagination, and therefore for your creativity and in developing your own intellect and ability to form your own ideas and opinions.

Since quite a few people have asked me how I stay inspired, it makes me wonder, do you ever just daydream? Do you ever just sit and be with your own thoughts. Do you ever go for a walk and not take your phone, and not feel the need to share it on facebook, or twitter or whatever. Do you? Maybe you do, and that’s great, you still have a grasp on living in the real 3 dimensional world and not the one that dampens your ability to think for yourself, to imagine, and to generate your own thoughts and opinions on something before something you have just scrolled through has changed your mood or your feelings towards it. The point is, we need to (in my opinion) channel stimulus from inside us to really grow creativity, rather than always relying on external stimulus. And if we don’t create space for this to happen naturally in the first place, then we may loose the ability altogether.

Another point on creating space, which I think is important for everyone, but possibly even more so for any one that is self employed and/or a creative. It can be all consuming ‘sailing your own ship’, as I seem to keep putting it recently. It is wonderful and exciting and extremely overwhelming and draining all at the same time to work for yourself. This is exactly why it is so important to take breaks, by that I mean lunch breaks, a break to go for a walk or an exercise class, but also longer breaks – a holiday! I know a lot of freelancers, and people that work for themselves only dream of this, but I honestly think that you will be more productive, proactive and focused if you force yourself to take a proper holiday. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean going away somewhere – although in an ideal world the further you can get from your normal everyday surroundings, the better – but just a proper break where you try not to think about your work, and definitely don’t do any work, no emails, nothing. Only by switching everything off – which is why I hope the whole mobile rant, along with the breaks thing have now tied in…. – can we really let out minds wander, be free, and work their magic.

Phew, another long one. If you’re still reading, thanks! Happy to hear your thoughts on the above, or on anything I have raised really.
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Email: hollysharpe@live.com

– Holly

Why not to compare yourself to others.

Ben Lomond
Me and Ben Lomond last year ^

Social media is a great thing in many ways, and I use it for my work a lot and it has helped me a lot. However, it also has a LOT of negatives. It is crazy how much time people spend wishing away their lives scrolling through Facebook etc. Aside from time wasting, the main issue I have with it, and have heard discussed here and there is the envy and jealousy it creates. Wishing you looked like someone else, wishing you lived somewhere else, wishing you had the fame or life of someone else. We, as humans, are naturally compelled to get carried away and indulge in these feelings of wanting and wishing. Which does nothing and doesn’t help anyone. What we need to remember, is that everyone’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc, is a tiny, tiny, edited version of their life or work. Everyone has ups and downs, rainy days and grumpy days, yet their social media profiles probably don’t represent this. As much as it is important to have aims and goals we want to get to, it is also crucial that we don’t spend our lives saying ‘when I have this’ or once I have done this, or live here, or have lost this weight or have this much money, I’ll be happy, and instead remember to pay attention to what we already have, rather than always looking forwards. Otherwise you might wake up one day and wonder where your life actually went.

And on a side note, it is always best to assume that Photoshop HAS been used on most celebrities/ models in most pictures you will see in most places, because it usually has.

I don’t know where I read this the other day, but it said, ‘Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle’. I think this puts it quite succinctly. It is completely futile to compare your ‘success’, your journey, or whatever, to someone else’s. Think about it, there have been so many points already throughout your life when one small decision affected a big change. So much is up to chance, hurdles you faced in your personal life that they didn’t, priorities you chose that they didn’t. Alain de Botton touches on this idea, and puts it across a whole lot better than I ever could in his extremely watchable (/listenable) TED Talk here.

My ideas on and behind this blog, and the majority of my posts on social media have a positive thread, or should do, throughout. This is intentional as this is how I want to come across, this is how I want to inspire and engage others, it is also how I want to be more of the time. (Having said this, a few people have pointed out that a lot of the girls in my illustrations looks sad, -blog post coming on that point soon.. – so maybe this counteracts all of this anyway…?) However, I wanted to share these words with you to make sure it is understood that my career, my situation is not always rosy. Perhaps it can comes across as if it is when I post about this commission or this break through or another ‘uplifting’ quote. But I wanted to make sure that people know I am human too, I have ups and downs like everyone else. Creating art is one of my coping mechanisms for sure. As is yoga, and people, of course. It is hard to remember that a lot of people that follow me and my work, don’t actually know me, or have never met me. So it is hard to know how people picture you if they only have written words and posted pictures to go by…

Anyway, point is, we are all only human, doing the best we can do and that is all we can do.

Thanks again for reading,
Holly

And if you would like to follow me on the aforementioned social media, here’s the links:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr.

Motivation 2015.

words - find a way

Procrastination is not your friend. I am fairly well acquainted with it and I know there are very few occasions, if any, when it could be seen to be a positive. I remember years ago reading a fairly generic article where various woman shared their best one – liners of advice and the main one, well, the only one I remember is so simple, but for me, so perfect – ‘Just do it, then it’s done’. It just made me think, if I could just apply this to so many things in my life, I would surely be more productive and most likely less distracted. Like with all those little things that niggle at the back of your mind – phone this person, email someone else, fix this, buy that, do this, do that, go here etc etc Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure we all have them… don’t we?! I go through phases where I get better at applying this to my life. If I need to fix something or email someone, I try to do it straight away. It is amazing, if a tad pathetic, the relief and satisfaction I seem to feel after dealing with these small, but irritating things, that simply just need to be done. So, I am writing this for myself, as a reminder, as much as I am for anyone else that perhaps needs a little push. If you want to be more focused, productive, and generally achieve more in your day, week, month… tick off those little, but necessary things on your list first, get them out the way and then you will hopefully be more focused with less distractions at the back of your mind to get on with what you really want to be doing. This could, I suppose in it’s own way be seen as procrastination as I have read people advise that the best way to be productive is to tackle the hardest/ biggest thing on your to do list first, otherwise you just circle around it all day and find other things you could be doing first. Perhaps this is the best tactic, I’m sure different ways work for different people. But the main advice in both is to start, take action… like, now!

Continuing on this thread, after receiving another email earlier from someone asking how I came about a certain commission, or client or how I did this or that, it made me come back to something which really gets me excited and motivated and realise that it is something I want to do more of this year – I want to motivate you, I want to inspire you and I want to help more people see that they are not fulfilling their potential and that they are so much more capable of so many things if they only put their mind to it. The more I give out this sort of advice, the more I question it… perhaps I’m wrong and not everyone is capable of what I think, maybe I should be more careful when I tell people to quit the job they hate, and have done for years, to take to the road and travel with no particular aim but just because they had a strong urge to. Maybe not everyone is strong enough to deal with the aftermath, the struggle to then help your reality take shape. Or maybe not enough people have even tried? And that is why more people don’t. If you are surrounded by people who just accept things as the way they are, and think they have no choice in the matter, then it is less likely that you will question that in your own life. Without trying to waffle too much, once I get into this I could go on for a whiiiile, here are my main two points, I think.

1. Question everything.

Ok, maybe not everything, but ‘question most things’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. All I mean is, if there is something in your life that you are not happy with, don’t just accept that there is no other option, feel sorry for yourself and continue with it. Question it.

It really is my belief that most people have an option, everything in their life was and is a choice. Once you accept this, it gives you control back, it’s exciting! What would you change if you could? Well guess what, you can! I know some will think I have my head in the clouds, but the reason I am close to 100% sure of it now, is because I did it, I changed things I wanted to, and I try hard to keep changing things that I am not happy with now.

2. Action is key.

Whatever it is you want to do, whether it be loose weight and get into shape, learn a new language or quit your job and do your creative thing full time/ freelance, you need to do more than think and talk about it. Obvious yes, but it is in our blood to talk the talk and so many people convince themselves that they mean it and will get around to going to the gym, or eating healthy, or looking for a new job, but it seems much rarer that people actually take action and do something about it. Which we have all done, and the reason is that it takes effort, and confidence and courage. But it feels amazing when you even take one small step towards it. My advice, is start with one small thing. What tiny step can you take towards your goal? Do it. Then figure out the next small step… you should congratulate yourself after each small step, because it is a lot more than thinking and talking about it. For example, if your goal is : to loose weight/ be healthier. Don’t be unrealistic, start with something achievable like, no snacks between meals. Or no snacks every day apart from Friday. Then maybe your next step could be to eat more veg every day. Then maybe your next small step – after you have kept up the previous two for a little while – could be to do 15 mins of exercise every day, or take the stairs instead of the lift (elevator) everyday, or do sit ups every other morning.

Ok less about vegetables, but I hope you get my point, if you can apply that method to whatever it is that you want to do, it does make it seem more achievable and therefore you are more likely to stick to it longer than a week.

This may be stating the obvious but actually I think sometimes when things are written down, or said out loud, they all of a sudden become so much clearer and therefore easier to put into action.

I don’t believe that January is the only time to make changes and resolutions, but it is as good a time as any, so I hope this has helped some of you feel a little more motivated with your goals or resolutions!

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!
Holly
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