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Free Stuff

Art, Mental illness

~tortured artist feelings~

11 September, 2012

Illustration with purple clouds and the text “I’m so sad. What do I do with all this sad?” written in orange and surrounded by rain/ tears.


I’m really fed up with the tortured artist trope. People have said it about me since I was a teenager, and while it’s true that I am kind of a bit artistic and also depressed as fuck, the latter does not positively affect the former. If this were the case I’d be a lot further along in my artistic practice and career.

My craziness has affected me to the point where I can’t leave the house most of the time, let alone go to ~cultural events~ and network with local art people. Making connections is incredibly difficult for me. It’s not that I’m shy, I actually really resent being called shy, it’s that I am overcome with panic whenever I try to do certain social/ professional things. When I say panic, I don’t mean butterflies in my stomach. I sweat. I don’t perspire. Sweat rolls down my face, I get flustered, I forget how to form words and I get disoriented and dizzy. People don’t tend to react favourably towards a leaking, bumbling mess, and so I end up compounding panic with the fear of looking ridiculous. And so on and so forth. I only found out there was a name for this a few years ago, and it’s called Social Anxiety Disorder.

So I don’t go to art events, I don’t hang around with arty types, and I rarely get to immerse myself in discussion and critique. It’s frustrating. Every few months I descend into despair over my worth as a person who creates things, in addition to my worth as a human; but it’s balanced out by hypermanic episodes of frenzied sketching and creating. So it’s ok I guess. My psychiatrist says I might have Bipolar 2. I was put on Lamictal (lamotrigine) and for the first time I felt almost balanced, but now I am experiencing very familiar depths and all creating has halted.

This is my life since 15 and from now on, and that’s very difficult to come to terms with. I don’t wish to receive advice when I talk about my health (I want to emphasise that mental health IS health), I just think it’s important to talk about it instead of feeling ashamed. I try to talk about it, but it’s a struggle, because people’s responses pretty much always fall into one of the following:
* unsolicited advice (try this diet! meds don’t work!)
* redundant platitudes (chin up! be positive! it could be worse!)
* conversation terminated awkwardly (and usually the relationship)

So don’t do that. Thanks.

Illustration with text “Jam sandwich club” surrounded by jam splatters, a jam sandwich, jam donut, jar of jam and jam on a crumpet. A faint piece of bread is in the background.

What I am trying to do is be gentle with myself. I have started to learn ACT techniques, and it’s challenging remembering them but I’ve made a start. I wrote a list of steps I want to take towards sorting some of my drawing feelings out, and that made me feel less hopeless about my creative situation. My plan is to focus on research as well as technique, and to draw every day. Even if it’s simple.

So that’s what I’ve done for the last few days. I hope I can keep it up. These vector illustrations aren’t super slick or fully rendered but they’re something.

Illustration with two roughly cut out photos of manatees that look like they’re about to embrace with “Manatee hugs” above them.


People seem to like this one. You can download it to use as a desktop picture if you like!

Body Image

No diet talk; a badge for your blog.

18 November, 2011

So, it should be no surprise that I completely object to participating or being submitted to any kind of diet or weight loss talk. The way I see it, 99.9999999% of the world around me is a space where diet talk is not only normal but an insidious disease festering inside the relationships between women folk that masquerades as bonding.

In an effort to make it even more clear that I do not want this kind of self esteem eroding, multimillion dollar marketing scam bullshit infecting my life and this blog I’ve been working on a graphic for websites and blogs to use to proudly declare NO DIET TALK! This is a way for those of us who are made uncomfortable and triggered in conversations that centre around diet and weight loss to feel a bit safer, and I’m hoping that the graphic is spread far and wide.



Right click and save to your computer friends, then upload to your website!
These are all transparent png files for optimal stencilesque radness and to fit in with a wide variety of site designs. The white graphic has a black background added in with CSS, it will look great on most dark backgrounds.

I’m releasing this graphic in a few different colour variations under a Creative Commons Non Commercial No Derivatives license which means you can share the image and post it where ever you want on the internet, but you can’t modify or use it for commercial means.

I’m going to be making up brooches with this design too, so stay tuned!

Here’s some further reading on diet talk and why it sucks:
The anti diet-talk mantra by Sonya at Lip Mag
FAT: The Dirty Word by Mary at A Merry Life
Trimming the fat from “fat talk” on The-F-Word
Dear Dieters; A Letter to People at Work by Marianne at The Rotund

Free Stuff

My, how far we have come

30 November, 2009

December desktop demo

I hope desktop number 12 finds you well, it’s the culmination of a whole year in my creative practice and a milestone of commitment for me. At the beginning of the year I had the idea to do monthly desktops on a whim but I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it because I have learnt so much and used the exercise as a way to explore my own visual language.

People have asked me if I’ll continue doing these desktops in 2010, and you know what? I probably will. I’ve thought about doing other regular and ongoing projects, but none of the ideas I’ve come up with have really been as practical and useful as monthly desktops! Thank you so much if you’ve used my desktops throughout the year, I always feel an odd mixture of pride and embarrassment when I see them on people’s computers and phones.

I have done a special limited release desktop for Blanket subscribers only this month. If you subscribe, I hope you enjoy it, however if you don’t subscribe go and grab December’s issue because there’s an interview with me in it!

December desktop - 1920x1200
1920×1200

December desktop - 1680x1050
1680×1050

December desktop - 1600x1200
1600×1200

December desktop - 320x480
320×480 – iPhone

December desktop - 240x320
240×320 – mobile phone

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

Doodling in the margins of November

29 October, 2009

November desktop demo

The jacaranda trees are blooming here and they always remind me of being in primary school. We used to collect the least squished flowers from the ground, thread them on twigs and present purple wands to our teachers and mothers. I remember all my exercise books so fondly, and how I’d doodle in them all through high school and university (even now!) November’s desktop is just a little indulgence in childhood, really… and a reminder that everyone should doodle!

November desktop - 1920x1200
1920×1200

November desktop - 1680x1050
1680×1050

November desktop - 1600x1200
1600×1200

November desktop - 320x480
320×480

November desktop - 240x320
240×320


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

Hello October!

29 September, 2009

definatalie.com October desktop demo

Thanks to Nick for giving me the idea for this month’s desktop. Moustaches with curlicues! To download one of these wallpapers, click the link to go to the flickr page where you’ll have to go to “All sizes” to download it and pop in to your background.

October desktop 1920x1200
1920×1200

October desktop 1680x1050
1680×1050

October desktop 1600x1200
1600×1200

October desktop 320x480
320×480

October desktop 240x320
240×320

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

Ah September, just in time…

31 August, 2009

September desktop demo

September is a month I always seem to look forward to, and not for any particular reason… it’s just that the weather is nice, friends have lovely social gatherings, people sing songs about September and it’s all just rather agreeable, really!

To download one of these wallpapers, click the link to go to the flickr page where you’ll have to go to “All sizes” to download it and pop in to your background.

September desktop - 1600x1200px
1600x1200px

September desktop - 1680x1050px
1680x1050px for widescreens

September iPhone wallpaper - 320x480px
320x480px for iPhone

September phone wallpaper - 240x320px
240x320px

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

August desktop – enabling obsessive icon sorting since January ’09

30 July, 2009

August desktop demo

For this month’s wallpaper I listened to the people, namely Mem, who asked for the little sections back so they can compulsively sort their icons. I admit I hadn’t been doing it because I completely forgot – one month I totally left out the calendar too! If you can forgive me for being forgetful, I can give you a desktop with 100% more little sections for your desktop icons than last month’s.

To download one of these wallpapers, click the link to go to the flickr page where you’ll have to go to “All sizes” to download it and pop in to your background.

August Desktop 1600x1200
1600×1200

August Desktop 1680x1050 (widescreen)
1680×1050 – widescreen

August desktop 320x480 (iPhone)
320 x 480 – iPhone

August desktop 240x320
240 x 320

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

I’m in denial, right? It can’t be July already!

1 July, 2009

July desktop demo

For most of the world, it’s been July 1 for a fair wack of the day but I’m skidding under the door Indiana Jones style for the rest of the globe… here’s July’s desktop!

To download one of these babies, click the link to go to the flickr page where you’ll have to go to “All sizes” to download that sucker and slap it on your background.

July desktop 1600x1200
1600×1200

July desktop 1680x1050
1680×1050 – widescreen

July desktop 320x480 -iPhone
320 x 480 – iPhone

July desktop 240x320
240 x 320

You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

June wants to know what you’ve achieved this year…

30 May, 2009

June desktop demo

June is serious business. In Australia, June is the time for stock take and if you are an employee who has to do end-of-financial-year activities (like my husband!) it really sucks. Even though I have a creative job, I am feeling the pressure… I’m in the middle of setting a business up, and also fielding enquiries and doing lots of work within my creative practice – which I run like a business as well. Sometimes I just want to run away and forget about everything for a few hours, and I guess I get these sort of visions in my head. Sort of like Mary Poppins on a carousel in the Red Queen’s garden.

To download June’s desktop, find the one that suits your resolution and click on the image to go download the original size:

June desktop 1600x1200
1600 x 1200

June desktop 1680x1050
1680 x 1050 – widescreen

June desktop 320x480 - iphone
320 x 480 – iPhone

June desktop 240x320
240 x 320

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(

Free Stuff

May 2009 desktop – it’s getting chilly!

30 April, 2009

definatalie.com May 2009 desktop demo

I’m not sure where you’re from in the world, but May is generally one of those in-between months and you can never really predict what the weather is going to be like. Fortunately right now in Brisbane there’s a cool nip in the air that takes the edge off the strong sunlight. I have a bunch of felt that I bought for random purposes, and this month I thought it would be nice if I played with it a little bit in Photoshop! The lettering for May was inspired by the marigolds in the gardens of the homes of my childhood. They are such bright and welcoming flowers and make me feel warm looking at them.

I’m proud to offer the following desktops, including wallpapers for a couple of phone resolutions too since that went down well last month! Follow the links to flickr and download the resolution that’s perfect for you.

May desktop - 1600x1200
1600×1200

May desktop - 1680x1050 (widescreen)
1680×1050

May desktop - 320x480 for iPhones
320 x 480 – iPhone

May desktop - 240x320 Sneak peak
240 x 320 – Check it out on my Samsung u700

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
You may not upload this desktop to other websites, nor may you use it for any other purpose than to wallpaper your desktop. This also means it’s uncool to alter it and reupload it somewhere as your own work. Soz :(