Browsing Tag

housekeeping

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?)

Blog Stuff

Check out my press kit!

27 November, 2012

definatalie.com press kit 2012 (click to embiggen)

About a year ago I was designing a serious press kit. I was going to get advertising and sponsorship and I would have pretty things and shoes and it would have been SO GRAND. I never finished it because it didn’t feel right and I’m glad I didn’t go through with it. I know I would have lost the trust of plenty of you, and without you I’m just writing to myself.

It’s worth mentioning that I do not have anything against bloggers with press kits who are in brand relationships and earn stuff off their blogs. It’s just not something I feel good in my soul about.

My favourite part is the bio written by Lillian who is the most hilarious person ever.

Mr. and Mrs. Natalie’s parents were walking down a path on a warm summer day in Brisbane when they saw a fat fruit swinging from a mysterious tree. They approached it and it burst open revealing a fancy baby. They clutched the baby in their arms and named her Natalie.

Some years later, Natalie had made a name for herself in the worlds of art, blogging and radical fat positivity. She has a cute dog named Miffy and lots of fancy experience doing fancy things and also of sitting at home belching glitter bubbles in her garden.

Have you entered the Fancy Lady Industries giveaway? There’s still two days left! Get entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Stuff

Blog Housekeeping.

31 July, 2011

If you’ve been to my site in the last few hours you might have noticed that I’ve shuffled a few things about on definatalie.com. The most significant change is that I’m now using the conventional reverse chronologically ordered layout rather than the magazine style layout I’ve had for some time.

I made the change for a few reasons, most of them to do with accessibility. A magazine style layout limits the amount of information readers can see at a glance and necessitates a lot more clicking. I don’t like clicking a whole lot, so it didn’t make sense to force my readers to! While magazine themes appeal to my need to group information and present it clearly, it doesn’t really work for blogs and if I were to have a useful magazine-themed blog I’d have to undertake far more code tweekery than I’m capable of to make it work.

The layout switch was also important to me because I don’t update my blog as regularly as I used to, and the latest posts in the highlighted categories on the front page were remaining static for far too long. The layout didn’t easily show readers what the freshest content was, and isn’t that kind of what blogging is about?! Readers were having trouble finding new stuff as well as old, so I’m hoping that the new layout will make that easier. Every post displays a hyperlinked category now, and I’ll be tidying up my unwieldy category list so I can display it in the sidebar too. For now you can see the most recent posts in a select number of categories in the top right of the sidebar, those are the categories I post in frequently.

In the latest layout I’ve also increased the font size of the body text, changed hyperlinks to a nice blue colour, included links to my social media places in the sidebar, and listed my blogroll in full on every page. The footer has a little blurb about me, some popular posts I’ve written and a search bar.

I’ll probably be tweaking this layout for a while because there are still things that bother me! One major thing is related to image descriptions, as descriptions appear within the image caption on the site but for those who view my blog posts via an RSS feed those captions are unformatted text indistinguishable from the post text. Nick thinks I can’t hard code an italic tag in there, but I’m going to see if I can figure it out!

I’ll be doing some more research on accessibility and web pages to make my blog as easy to read as possible while still looking cute and reflecting my own personal style. I felt it was important to switch out the very limiting magazine theme as soon as possible based on my increasing discomfort and feedback on my survey (thank you!) I’m also going to write up a page on accessibility so that new readers can gain an understanding of why I incorporate image descriptions, animated gif warnings and other things into my blog.

Come on and check it out!

Let me know if there are any significant obstacles to easy reading of definatalie.com for you and I’ll see if I can make your experience better. I truly believe that the Internet can only benefit from more involvement and consultation when it comes to accessibility, and I’d love to be able to enhance access for my readers because youse are GROUSE!

Art

New Work

21 November, 2009

Ok now it's done!

I am drawing my arm off lately for lots of people, but the other day I had a day to do something for me. This piece is bigger than I usually draw, but as a result I can’t scan it without doing bits and stitching them all together. I don’t have the time or patience right now!

International Superheroes

This is the artwork for the cover of a book being put together by the “International Superheroes of Drawing, Illustration and World Domination” group. Big title = lots of lettering, horah!

I am struggling to keep up with my inbox at the moment, and I’ve just discovered that a whole bunch of emails have been marked as spam, so I’m trying to go through everything to catch up. If you’ve emailed me lately, hold tight please and thank you!