This month I’ve Been Mostly…

…Not quite keeping up with my weekly blog posts! After a couple of house moves, and trips away from those houses, setting up the new Story House HQ office in the new flat, I’m now back into the rhythm of working and will be back in the swing of weekly blog posts.

Until then, this is what I’ve been up to over the last month –

1.  Visiting Toronto

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Mr Story got a last minute job in Toronto, and I went along to keep him company for a week, taking advantage of the hotel room, waffle breakfasts and swimming pool, as well exploring the city during the International Film Festival. I had a brilliant time. We ate incredibly well, from rich, spicy, Thai curry to Kimchi fries and some of the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. We were taken to Fresh by a local, and it became my instant favourite. If I was a famous with my own chef, I think I’d nick one of theirs – it’s exactly the type of amazing tasty, veg-packed food I’d eat at every meal, if I had all the ingredients and time to hand.

While Mr Story was working, I explored the city. I went to Kensington Market, got lost in the best possible way amid streets and streets of vintage shops. I walked out west to Ossington Dundas, to explore, and drank the perfect milky spiced chai latte. We headed out to the Greek district, where the street signs are blue and white, to eat Spanakopita and fresh croissants. I spent Friday night at the 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling, held at the university. It’s been going since 1978, and featured a series of storytellers, telling their own fictional stories and recounting myths. I was expected some of the truthful tales, as featured at The Moth in New York and Spark London, but instead the range of myths came from Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East, or penned by the speaker. It felt very much like a community evening, with everyone knowing each other very well, and hot drinks and cookies in the interval.

2. Drawing Cavemen

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While looking for ways to spend my evenings in Toronto, I came across Toons On Tap themed life drawing. I walked up the street in the evening, and settled myself in with a drink, unpacked my paper and pencils, surrounded by other artists, and spent some hours drawing a brilliant model, dressed in wig, alternately posing with a spear and bones. With a touch of jetlag, the concentration, and some rather intense background music, I did find myself rather zoned out by the end of the evening, but a refreshingly rainy walk back to our room woke me up again. Perhaps the point of travelling and visiting other places should be to do lots of new things you’ve never done before, but in this instance, I really enjoyed being in a different country, working and concentrating in a room full of other people. There’s something about a shared endeavour that is really enjoyable, in the same way I imagine that playing music or dancing with a group of people in another country allows you to join in, as if you’re a local.

Strangely, last weekend there was another Caveman themed life drawing event, with Art Macarbre, so I found myself attending two sessions, thousands of miles apart, in a rather short space of time. If I need to develop any caveman characters, I definitely have some sketches to be getting on with!

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3. Having a Birthday

I had a excellent birthday, mostly spent eating! On my actual birthday, I ate out with different lovely people for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I followed that with an official day of cake, photos, and enormous quantities of bubbly, and some excellent friends. We chatted, drank, took ridiculous photos, listened to music, and ended the night playing Cards Against Humanity. The leftover cake kept Mr Story and I going for another week, even with me pressing boxes of cake into his hands to take and share with his workmates.  I became decadently used to one type of cake for lunch and another for dinner, so I definitely feel like I celebrated the full period of my birthday successfully! Even if I did need to even it out by surviving on pure crisp vegetabley Summer rolls and rice noodle salads for a while afterwards!

4. Inktober

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I’ve been trying to concentrate on drawing more away from the brilliantly erasable pencil and digital drawing, and work more with brushes again, so I’ve been getting involved in Inktober – concentrating on use of ink by producing lots of drawings in October. I went to draw out in St Pancras station, so I need to work on a few of those to put them into ink to catch up. I’m hoping to move on from outline to, and work some more with washes, before Inktober is out. Keep an eye on my facebook page for updates.