Art, Blog Stuff

Where have you been?

1 October, 2013

“I just noticed you haven’t been blogging!”
At the risk of indulging in some navel gazing and completely turning away those of you who hadn’t already written me off, I thought I might make a low key comeback by interrogating myself and asking why I haven’t been blogging.

When I wrote about fatshion blogging and the sticky web it is weaving with brand partnerships and how it is mirroring fashion in mainstream media, I got a lot of flack. People didn’t want to have these tough questions put to them and accused me of ruining the fun, personally insulting them, and being a no-fun hack. It wasn’t a particularly enjoyable experience and I gained little from it. I don’t even think fatshion bloggers paid much attention at all, because at this stage I still see that pretty much every blogger, even the ones just starting out, are going for brand appeal. In my mind, success as a blogger was breaking through to mainstream media and increasing my audience, and the way to do that was to participate in a culture I did not agree with – ergo I could never be successful as a blogger.

My decision to drop the sponsorship and advertising meant far less content. My financial situation meant far fewer new purchases, and in turn my outfit posts dropped as well. At the same time, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on medication; as easy as it is to say that the medication affected my ability to write, I can’t fully pin the blame there. We bought a house, and that meant even more financial struggle. My focus changed to figuring out how to make money as a person with disabilities, and a person who has self-taught skills and a fairly rigid set of values. (I am, if not anti-capitalist, definitely a doubting capitalist.) I wasn’t going to get a book deal from blogging because I was saying things people didn’t really want to hear, my audience was dwindling, and I’m not actually a very good or disciplined writer.

Watercolour self portrait of myself posing and taking a selfie with my phone. Hand drawn text says "Selfie princess".

Watercolour self portrait of myself taking a selfie with my phone while looking insecure and posing. Hand drawn text says “Selfie princess”.


A watercolour and ink self portrait as I beam rays of coloured lights from my eyes. The background is very heavily patterned with doodles.

A watercolour and ink self portrait of me staring ambiguously, beaming rays of coloured lights from my eyes. The background is very heavily patterned with doodles.


After five years of focusing on fine art, I decided to review my situation. No one was buying my original art because it was too expensive for the small circle of really lovely people who populate my audience, and I was struggling with the gallery system due to a lack of social skills and ongoing mental health problems. If no one has ever destroyed the troubled artist trope for you before, please allow me to do it now. Mental illness is a barrier to success in the art world. There are a number of artists who deal with illness and have found success but by far, the majority do not ever get there. So I needed to reconfigure my product and tailor it to my lifestyle. I already had Fancy Lady Industries so it seemed natural to expand! And for the last year that has been exactly what I’ve been focusing on.

Running Fancy Lady Industries has been full time and then some. I sketch, design, trial, produce, and put all the products together; I document my processes; I take product photos and write descriptions; I run the shop; I pack orders; and Nick and I promote on social media. I’ve been able to develop my stock and my business on my terms, and it is incredibly fulfilling and meaningful work.

Three Instagram photos of a decorated plate saying "Full as a goog"; a self portrait of myself making a fairly unattractive face; a sketchbook page with a drawing of a naked me playing ukulele and text saying "My mascara isn't waterproof".

Instagram photos of a decorated plate saying “Full as a goog”; a self portrait of myself making a fairly unattractive face; a sketchbook page with a drawing of a naked me playing ukulele and text saying “My mascara isn’t waterproof”.


Three Instagram photos of my niece Emmerson; my lilac/ pink ukulele; earrings and other accessories I made for Fancy Lady Industries.

Three instagram photos: my niece Emmerson; my lilac/ pink ukulele; earrings and other accessories I made for Fancy Lady Industries.


Oh but I have had time for other things that aren’t especially interesting on a former fatshion blog! I’ve been taking care of my brain, playing ukulele, sewing, gardening and decorating my house. I’ve been drawing and painting as well, but for me, rather than for ~fine art~. I document all of this on Instagram and Twitter, and see little reason to repeat myself on this blog.

I’m still trying to figure out where definatalie.com fits in. I don’t write as much anymore because I have lots of stuff to do, but I have also lost a lot of concentration and word-finding ability on Lamotrigine (the med I take for bipolar). I don’t believe I need to shut down the blog because I hate the idea of never writing again, or never posting another photo of myself wearing clothes. I still believe representation of fat bodies is important! This will never be a daily content blog in the foreseeable future, because I see little value in an obligatory blogging schedule when I have naught to say. You will see me now and then when I have something I need to elaborate on. That’s the value of blogging in the current sphere of social media. You get my quick quips on Twitter, off the cuff snaps on Instagram, largely unedited rants and other things I like on Tumblr, but here on my blog you will be able to consume something longer, and a little more considered. (But probably still kind of inflammatory/ provocative/ charming?)

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  • Annie Nonimouse

    I have found your posts to be, consistently, well-written, engaging, and thoughtful. Your last post (the “controversial” one) was very enjoyable to me as I had not considered all of your points, let alone in detail. I enjoy your outfit posts because of the care and apparent enjoyment that shines through in them. In fact, I even (especially) enjoy your slice of life posts (I hope Muffy is well (and Nick, obviously)). I only engage through a reader, on my phone, due to limited access so I don’t read your other sources but please know I look forward to your posts and will follow more fully should Internet become available again via computer for me.

  • cabbagemedley

    I REALLY loved that post about fatshion blogging and brand partnerships. You’re great.

  • I loved your post about fatshion blogging and brand partnerships as well! (And I’m a fatshion blogger who struggles with the contradiction between my anti-capitalist values and my desire to buy ALL THE PRETTY THINGS…) I think you got a lot of flack because….it hit a nerve. And I wish that more bloggers had listened and really thought about your criticisms.

  • I find it’s just the saturation of social media options that makes it hard to blog. As you said, you post pictures to Instagram and thoughts on Twitter and random tidbits of interest to Tumblr and and and. There are just so many bases to cover that you run out of content. I’ve never commented here before, but I’ve followed your blog for a bit. From back before I all but ditched Livejournal as it was just another outlet that I ran out of content for. I enjoy your outlook on things and even if you might not say thing as often, appreciate when you do.

  • Fluffy Cat

    I was happy to see a post from you, in whatever the form. I found your post about fatshion blogging to be really engaging and eye-opening. Sometimes blogging waxes and wanes and that’s okay, and I’m glad to see whatever new things you feel inclined to write/post/photograph.

  • You are absolutely my idol. I don’t mean to sound egotistical and bring myself into this, but we have so much in common and I wish so much that I was as talented as you, because I’d love to be doing what you are. Your fatshion and branding post made me decide that it’s not something I’d be interested in, if it was offered to me. This sounds weird, but you’ve had such an affect on my life even though we’ve never really talked, because as a bipolar fat girl who likes to draw, I really look up to you and what you’ve done.

  • I have only just started doing a fashion type blog, after having a personal one for years, what got me going originally with the fashion blog, was the temptation of possibly getting free stuff etc if I made it that big lol. But only about a week or so later I thought what the hell, I need be doing this because I want to, not because I want freebees….. and from then on I have written about what I like etc. Yes I talk about certain websites but that is because I like them or in the odd case hate them, but because I want too talk about them. I want a blog that I can write what I want, not one that is dictated by companies. After reading your post it reassured me that what I was doing was right for me. I am doing the fashion blog in the hope that others might read it and get something out of it, especially for those that are on the voluptuous side, and they realise they don’t have to sit at home scared to go out or get dressed in some nice clothes. I read a lot of blogs that get paid for their posts, if I see they have been paid in whatever form, I tend to only skim through those posts, if I read them at all. And your blog, is one of the success blogs where you don’t need advertising and freebies to get readership and respect :)

  • Marina

    Hey Natalie! Just wanted to say that I look forward to your content, whatever it may be. Love your outfit posts and self-made clothes. Really really love any/all art and crafty items you create! I think that art comes in many forms and I enjoy everything from basic sketches to necklaces. It’s all art. Look after yourself first and foremost! Keep on keepin’ on. <3

  • Jen Pitch

    Hey Natalie :)

    Life always ebbs and flows, and just because right now you’re a little too busy to work with your blog, doesn’t mean it has to be gone forever. Take your time – you have to work on YOU.

    We’ll be here when you get back though ) xoxoxoxo

    Jen @ Seraphim

  • Celeste

    You are disgusting. Enjoy moaning about your life do you? Pathetic and disgusting. And a face like a bulldogs arse.