Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

☆ Scary? [Illustration Friday]

This painting didn't turn out to be what I invisaged.

She didn't turn out to be all that scary...

more sad than anything else I think....

Lunch Anyone?
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch

...maybe she is sad that everyone else is scared of her? or that her lunch got away?

Happy Halloween everyone, I hope the goblins and witches are not too scary.

Typically Australians don't celebrate Halloween, although it is more common to see halloween stuff in the shops now, and we were caught by surprise here today with six pint sized trick-or-treaters and not a sweetie in the house. We had to make do with glow sticks. What a disappointing house we must have been!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

☆ Masquerade [IA Challenge]

It's funny how closely the challenges from Inspiration Avenue are mirroring my life at the moment. Synchronisty in practice perhaps?

This weeks masquerade, had me thinking about masks and the face we show family is different to friends, is different to strangers, and is different still to our online family and friends.

I've written before about how light I feel when the mask isn't on, how hard it is to take it off, so I have been thinking a lot about this again.

But I also thought about how sometimes that mask actually becomes part of us. You know the old adage - fake it till you make it? Put that confidence mask on, or the brave mask, or the creativity mask, and perhaps it will be so normal that the masquerade becomes true.

Dreaming of the Ball
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
Do you find your masks helps you? or have you relinquished your masks? Does any one really truely hang up their masks?

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

☆ Creative Projects

I am writing this watching the most fabulous documentary series - one born every minute, so I am slightly distracted. I love this documentary - it makes me laugh, it makes me grimace and it makes me cry.

It makes me realise how lucky I am to have such beautiful, if not testing, children.

But this is not what I wanted to write about today. (Although I would definitely recommend watching - but perhaps not if your expecting - unless your braver than I was!)

I wanted to share some of what I have been working on.

I am determined not to leave the hand made christmas presents to the last minute like last year, so I have started the planning of the art case,

And the little book of big ideas, and princess fiona plushie

And last minute fingerprint trees, for my brother and future sis-in-law who tie the knot next weekend (whoot!!)

So it been a busy week so far at casa de mac, tomorrow I have promised bean that we'll make play dough and mermaid rocks.... It will be an adventure for sure!

What have you been up to this week? Have you been creative or gone on an adventure?


Monday, October 24, 2011

☆ Fuel [Illustration Friday]

Inspiration is all around at the moment. Last week I looked more closely at my own inspiration thanks to the IA challenge.

Saturday morning, after I had read my IF email alert I went out for a walk.

I wasn't really thinking about the prompt. I don't really think about much at six in the morning, especially before my coffee, but when I came home Bean said to me 'Did you take your rabbit with you on your walk?'

My what??

I repeated what she said back to her to make sure I heard right (because yes - still before the coffee) and she said, 'Yes. Did you take your rabbit for a walk?'

So I answered 'Yes. And I enjoyed it very much.'

Thank you Bean for the fuel for thought, the fuel for my inspiration. I love you more than hokey pokey ice cream too.

Walking with Rabbit
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
So what fuels you? What give your soul nourishment? Who or what inspires you?

Have a great week

Friday, October 21, 2011

☆ Whats your Inspiration?

Over at Inspiration Avenue the question 'what's your inspiration?' was posed.

At the time I was part way through a new painting, thinking about inspiration, who or what inspires me, and I realised the painting I was working on was actually inspired by a song.

Inspiration is such a personal journey. Everyone's muse is different, and so I started to think about what am I inspired by? And my answer - pretty much anything!

Ok, ok so I know that is so vague, but it is kinda true.

My inspiration comes from songs, from books, from the light hitting a building or a field, from my daily walks, from my children, from movies, from my husband, from my garden, from a drive in the car, from the summer storms, from the internet (OMG pintrest!), from travelling....

This piece was inspired by the song 'Jar of Hearts' by Christina Perri

'Jar of Hearts'
©2011 Kirstin McCulloch
Mainly though my inspiration comes to me when I don't think about it. I don't read a book or listen to music, or go for walks, or travel to find inspiration, it just comes.

But I think I have to do all these things, I have to read, listen, speak and observe, to be exposed so that I can be open to receive it. And I believe that is the key to inspiration - you have to be open to the muse squeaking in your head.

How do you encourage your inspiration? Do you actively seek it or do you let it evolve more organically? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

☆ Working for Family [and a work in progress]

I have lots of projects in the works at the moment. Lots of work nearly or just completed. Some of which I can share with you soon, some will have to wait until after my client - well my brother and future sister in law, approves the final image.

Have you ever worked for family? I used to work for my uncle in a market research firm, and I hated it. Hated the daily grind, hated the pressure of needing results now, hated the sick feeling in the stomach when a human error was discovered. I escaped overseas and I left on a late twenties gap year with Mr Mac.

And I never looked back.

And I think I swore I would never work for family again.

It was a pleasure doing this project for them, but now I have a jittery, nervous, nearly sick feeling - will they like it? Is it what they want? Well the only way I will find out is if I press the send button on the email sitting in my drafts folder!

I just need to gather up my courage to do that. (Maybe a glass of wine as well?)

So work in progress...

She's looking a bit zombish but it is a bit of an experiment. We will see how she turns out and share the results


Monday, October 17, 2011

☆ Scattered [Illustration Friday]

"The vermin scattered once she pulled her gun"
'nuff said.
SCATTERED. Makers and ink ©2011
Have a great week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

☆ Fear

This weeks Inspiration Avenue topic was fear and this was such a hard topic to illustrate.

My fears are not really of physical things. Well I'm afraid of spiders, but I really didn't want to illustrate a big hairy huntsman.

I fear big things like losing my family, my girls being hurt, as I am sure most people do. I am afraid of living my life blind, of not fulfilling my dreams, of regret. And I fear an itty bitty black spider that lives in my bathroom.

When I was little I had a stuffed tiger named Tiffee. Tiffee went everywhere with me. To the dentist, to my first sleep over, he was my comfort, my shield for anything I feared.

I still have Tiffee. Although he is much worse for wear now. No more cuddles for me - he just might not survive it!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, October 13, 2011

☆ Tuning In instead of being tuned out

Do you ever feel like you have so many ideas, so many plans, so many to do lists that you don't even know where to start?

I have ideas for creative projects, plans for a handmade christmas (thank god we don't celebrate halloween or thanksgiving in Australia, or there would be more plans and ideas!), things that need research, trying to organise my shop......Gah!

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed, I just stick my head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, but instead of sand, its usually a book. I tend to tune out. I tune out of life.

But recognising the pattern is the first step to change. And this weekend past, instead of becoming overwhelmed, and opening a book, I sat down with my stack of notebooks (the pile is growing I kid you not!) and ignored that awesome new book I had just started reading, and planned.

And I feel calmer. I feel organised. I have a plan. I have tuned back in. And I know that the plan will change, life loves to throw spanners my way, but thats ok to.

Little something I am currently working on...

How do you cope with being overwhelmed?

Have a great day

Monday, October 10, 2011

☆ Contraption [Illustration Friday]

A really hard prompt this week for Illustration Friday. If I had some time to spare I would have loved to do a huge steam punk scene with mechanical elephants and giraffes.

I have got to get me some of these.

Have a great week

☆ A Wish....

 "...whatcha say from the heart has power. 
That a spoken thing or a wished-hard thing 
takes a shape in the heart and becomes real."
(Adrian Phoenix - In the Blood)

'A Wish'
Watercolour and Acryllic ©2011
I am so taken with this phrase. I have had it on a sticky note for years now, and then I stumbled over it in an old sketchbook, and I knew I needed to illustrate it.

What is it you wish for from deep in your heart? And has it come true?

Have a great week.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Inspiration Avenue Challenge [Owl]

I have been following the prompt over at Inspiration Avenue for a while, wanting to join in, but feeling reserved and hesitant about committing to doing a piece.

This week however the prompt was Owl.

These odd little creatures have been following me around this year - at first for Bug's birthday [here] and for an ATC exchange [here] so I couldn't resist.

mixed media ©2011 
Have a great weekend

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

☆ Work in Progress

I have been bitten by the productivity bug lately.

I feel more centred, calmer, happier when I create every day.

I can process the day, leave it behind, be a better mother, wife and friend.

A new sketch to share with you.

Have a great day

Monday, October 3, 2011

☆ Hibernate [Illustration Friday]

One of my mantra's this year has been staying present, but lately I have been neglecting it. Ignoring it.

I hear it, that little voice in my head - 'stay present' it whispers, but then I roll over and tell it to shut up. I am too tired, I am too busy. I have been hibernating. Going through the motions, living by route.

Last week Mr Mac's brother was rushed to hospital with what they later found was a brain tumour. They operated and he is now on a long road to recovery. And after days of worrying we are now breathing a little easier.

But the thing that this really brought home to me was life is not to live by route.

I don't want to miss a minute of my girls growing up. I don't want to miss a single moment of love with my husband, I don't want to feel disconnected from family and friends, and I don't want to miss the joy of creating art. I don't want to hibernate.

I will slip up - I'm sure everyone has those days, but I will not let it continue for days, until weeks and months go by.

Hibernate - mixed media ©2011
Have a great week
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