A glass asylum with just a hint of mayhem

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Art is hard. It takes time, energy, materials, printer ink...and yet it is by far the most rewarding subject to take at school. To be able to create projects, develop concepts, and even (sort of) have your art displayed in an exhibition is one of the best paybacks you can get for everything that you put in. You can physically see all of your hard work and effort, and to me seeing finished pieces means much more than just grades written on a sheet of paper.
I have definitely not felt this way about art for the whole of the two years I have been studying it. My first project saw me too scared to attempt anything other than a few faint pencil drawings; my paints watered down so much they made my canvas wrinkle and sag. The second was not much better...I worked sporadically on random concepts, producing half-finished pieces that had the potential to make sense, but with so little preparation work, just didn't. I was lost in a world of refining and developing that I didn't understand, and felt I wasn't able to participate in as I wasn't as skilled as my peers. I began my third project tentatively, not wanting to make the same mistakes as before, and corner myself within a difficult theme or idea. It was a good idea to be careful, however I was so careful that I did next to nothing and cried to my art teacher the day before the exam as I had no idea what I was supposed to spend the five hours doing.
At that point I decided I was never, ever getting myself in that position again. Art does not have to be about technique or skill - at least, not other people's techniques or skills. A project should explore your interests, your skills, your ideas. You should be able to showcase the aspects of art you like best, and are most confident in - not what everyone else is doing, or what you think you should do because it seems 'arty'. With this in mind, I finished my third project with a sudden boost of optimism and creativity, and used my experiences and love of textiles to produce collage/tapestry patchwork wall-hangings based on works by Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry. For the first time, I was actually producing work, and at the pace I should have been the whole time.
This time, my fourth project, I have tried my utmost to maintain the pace of my third project, and I feel as though finally I have found the way I work best. I managed to twist the theme 'Order and Disorder' into a concept that appeals to me, and have spent the past weeks working on pieces that I actually like, and enjoyed making. My art exam (which began today - I have five more hours tomorrow) was the first real exam for me, and the first I have ever been so prepared for. For the first time, I found myself actually enjoying creating artwork again, and it was great. I may not be working on the next Mona Lisa (I'm making textile Moths, inspired by one of my favourite artists at the moment Mister Finch) I like what I'm doing, I know how to do it, and no one else is doing anything similar...so I don't have the need to worry about my work looking better or worse than anyone else's. Basically, art can be really great, you just need to find your own style (and not worry about not being that good - I'm planning to take it for A-Level and I'm definitely not the naturally arty type).


























I wore this outfit on Saturday, to go grocery shopping (I never actually say groceries but 'stuff' or 'food' doesn't look as nice written down). The shirt is from Pop Boutique in Covent Garden, the skirt from a market in Oxford, coat from River Island, tights from H&M, socks from Topshop, and shoes from Rokit. I bought the bag for £3 from Clobber in Bournemouth, and the glasses for £5 in Camden (although I had my prescription put in at Hoxton Market).























I can't quite believe how quickly the year is going. My exams are starting, revision is becoming increasingly more important (and more desperate) and summer seems like the near future instead of a far-away dream. I am more excited than I ever have been - ten weeks of complete freedom; no work, no stress, nothing to do except hang out with friends, eat ice cream and fruit (I am obsessed with fruit and it tastes even better in summer) and explore all the places I won't have time to explore once college begins in the Autumn. I have booked tickets to go to Reading festival (school tradition) and can't wait to just have time to be spontaneous again, and not have to stick to plans and schedules all the time (side note - I have never grasped whether schedule is supposed to be pronounced sKedule, or SHEDule?).


























On yet another topic, I recently moved into the little spare room in our house and made it into a workspace, as my art materials and notes are currently taking up the entire living room. It is at the top of the stairs and has two big windows looking out over our and our neighbour's gardens, giving it absolutely perfect natural light almost all day. It's quite un-decorated at the moment as I'm focusing on work, but I love the little yellow-y aesthetic it's taken on already.







I hope you are all having a good week, and if any of you also have exams I hope they go well! As usual a little reminder that you can still vote for me for Company Magazine's Style Awards under 'Best Teen Blogger - Under 18' by clicking here and following the instructions. Thankyou so much,

Ellie xo

32 comments:

  1. Your tights are so fab and I am beyond jealous of your ultra mini skirt. You look like you popped right out of the sixties. Your glasses are amazing too, they really suit your face and hair :)

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  2. Loved this post, alot in it that I can relate to, school and art wise! I adore art and am going to art college next year to study it, but have always hated art class in school as I find it so limiting. Love that you've managed to put your own slant on the curriculum!
    Also that outfit is fabulous, I need those shoes! If I saw you wearing that in the street it'd make me want to speak to you haha!
    Also I need those shoes in my life.

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    1. thankyou! I totally agree, you sometimes feel like you can't do everything that you would like to. x

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  3. I did art GSCE too. I loved the 10 hour exam! good luck with the other five hours. I'm sure you'll do amazing x do you get to listen to music during it? in love with your skirt and your tights btw. p e r f e c t i o n

    aida

    http://sunshinesuperwoman.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's a lovely exam! much better than the others hehe! Yes I spent the time listening to old Bowie songs!

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  4. love that bag and skirt- looks super good with your glasses <3

    http://secret-hipster.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. cute!
    xx
    daniella
    simplybeautifulelegant.blogspot.com

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  6. I can relate (somewhat) to what you're talking about. I also often feel dissatisfied with myself and my work. I'm bent on creating a comic book, but for the longest time, even though my sketches were cute and everything, it just wasn't what I was looking for--and certainly not anything I would put use today! However, in the span of a little over a year, I've somehow managed to create my own style and it's still not perfect, and it's still not even that good. But that's okay, because I've learned to sort of get over it and continue practicing. I love your outfit; particularly the collar on that shirt. And you are so incredibly lucky to have your own workspace (whereas I can't even get my own room) and you've decorated it so beautifully, too.
    xx Tessie, knoxmysox.blogspot.com

    P.S. I've always thought it was sKedule, but it's a weird word anyway :).

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    1. Thankyou so much! and same, hopefully we are right!

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  7. Hi Ellie,

    What a great outfit! Vintage is my passion too :).

    I love your blog. It's really interesting! Well done and keep it up!

    Elena x

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  8. the room looks so pretty! I love this outfit so so much! I was about to say how much I adored the coat, but then I saw the skirt, top, shoes and tights so yeah. I love it all! I'm glad you've found your style and good luck for the other five hours! xxx

    thisisfrom-matilda.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. I love your room! You should show it off more on here! Oh and thanks for doing the interview with me-I'd love it if you mentioned it on here :)
    http://criticallycouture.blogspot.com/

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    1. thankyou hehe I plan to show it more! x

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  10. This is eerily similar to the post I wanted to put up on my tumblr but it wasn't working today, I too had my art exam today but it was my final alevel exam and it takes a lot out of you, five hours of just working on one piece can get you consumed in your own head for too long. Good luck with art a level, its fun and hard working and really rewarding in the end.
    hope to meet you at Reading festival, its going to be brilliant

    x x x
    Rosie

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    1. oh my that must have been so stressful! I hope it went well. <3

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  11. I have literally fallen in love with your blog! I'm really new to blogging and this may be a daft question but any tips on how to get (any) followers? your style if perfect by the way, and you seem like a really lovely person. I had my art GCSE today and, this is slightly odd, I'm actually making textile moths for 'order and disorder' too! Good luck with the exam :)
    Claire x

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  12. Oh my god, Ellie! I'm so glad you're so confident in your art now and your post could not have had come at a better time - I'm kind of on a similar wavelength as well. Good luck with your exam tomorrow!
    x
    glitterdaiquiri.com

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  13. it can feel SO GOOD when you finally find confidence in something that you're doing and start finding it rewarding! your outfit in this post is so on point and your new workspace looks brilliant.
    bella x
    http://sincerelyisabella.blogspot.com.au

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  14. love long little posts like this that really give an insight into your life, they aren't boring and I hate it when people are so precocious about it, but the way your write it is so interesting and lighthearted, I really feel you about the Art. The textiles moths sound like such a wonderful idea, would love to see them when they're finished! Also the room is so cool, I wish I could laze about with my revision in a seperate room, it seems so relaxing and helps to relieve the stress and blur of life and revision.
    Imogen
    www.eloquenceandflair.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. thankyou so much, it's so relieving to hear! xx

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  15. love your bag, goodluck with the rest of your exams!x

    cultkid.blogspot.com

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  16. I am always overjoyed to click on a post that has it's photo-heavy content balanced with text-heavy content. I love getting these little windows into people's lives and learning more about them instead of just what they wear. Your writing is killer and I just adore reading what you write. Dynamite post as always.

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Thankyou so much for your comment! I read each and every one and will try to answer any questions or queries as quick as I can ♡♡♡