Hobby Corner: August ART Edition

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Hey peeps, so I wanted to do something a little different and talk about hobbies other than reading. I KNOW, it’s weird, right? Well, when I think about what my other hobbies are, I seem to always to defer to the usual: writing, drawing/art, and playing video games. Each have been a huge part of my life almost my entire life, and I can’t see myself without any of them in my life at all.

How is it going to work? Well, I’m going to be introducing a bit of different things to the blog once a month that will include artwork, poetry, writing (which I’ve already introduced), video games, anime, etc. Whatever my hobbies are, that’s what I’m going to talk about that month! It’ll become more detail and focused on certain topics and other things after the initial introductions are out of the way, but for now, I’m just going to talk about why each of these hobbies are so loved by me.

So, for this month I’m going to talk about ART!

Now, for those who don’t know, I love to draw. I always have, so I can’t really pinpoint a time where it really began, BUT I can tell you that my love for drawing grew after my introduction to manga in sixth grade, around the age of eleven or twelve. I loved manga and anime styles, and my friends who introduced me were also very much into them.

As I got older, though, and continued to take art classes every year throughout my schooling, my art began to improve more and more, but I feel like I’ve reached a sort of plateau when it comes to certain styles of drawing – my style – and though I’m okay with that, of course I’d like to improve still. In fact, I love art so much that I took AP Art in high school (and got a 0 for the AP score, but an A for the class, oh well) and I minored in art in college.

The picture above on the left was drawn using only charcoal pastels. I’ve always loved drawing flowers, especially roses, and when I have a model to use it makes it much easier to draw. The picture on the right was drawn free hand, but I did use a little help from online sources for the placement of the hands.

I know my strengths lie in still life, pencil, pastels, and charcoal. My favorite medium is in graphite pencil, with charcoal being a close second. But I also draw digitally.

I love drawing and creating cute chibi characters for people on other websites or just for fun (I did a whole bunch when I was still on Gaia Online, which is where the above pictures were drawn for: people on Gaia). They’re the easiest to me, especially head shots, and I just have a special place in my heart for this style of drawing.

I haven’t drawn much since I graduated college, though. I’ve been in sort of a rut since having to work full time, but when I participated in the Biannual Bibliothon, I did a challenge where I let a character take over my channel and I chose be Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury and paint three paintings.

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And it was marvelous.

The paintings didn’t come out spectacular, but it was the first real kind of art I had done in a long time and it felt amazing. I had a blast! And I’d totally do it again, too.

Being able to touch and hold paints, paintbrushes, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks, tablet pens, and more just bring a whole other level of happiness into my life and I don’t know why I don’t just do it more.

I think having hobbies that you love and cherish are important, especially when they’ve been so part of your life for as long as art has for me. So pick up that paintbrush, get those colored pencils, and make art!

If you want to check out more of my work, you can visit my deviantART account. I don’t post a lot any more, but I might start doing so if I pick it up more again.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you like to draw or paint or do any kind of art? What’s your favorite style and medium? What are some of your strong points? Are you better at still life or creating from your imagination?

Remembering Why You Blog

So I wanted to talk about something that I think is extremely important: remembering why you started blogging in the first place. I got this idea from Jeann’s post on Happy Indulgences about how, as readers, why it’s important to remember why you started blogging in the first place.

And so, I wanted to talk a little bit about that.

Why I Started Blogging

Because I love books. I love to read and be taken to places I’ll never go, have never been, have traveled to before, and can only dream about. Books are amazing, wonderful gifts granted to us, and I think that, as readers, we can sometimes take that for granted when it comes to blogging.

As Jeann said in her post, “Reading is a passion, but by pressuring yourself to keep up with the long TBR, it can become a chore.”

I think that we sometimes it can be difficult to remember that when it comes to reading, it truly is about the passion and love for it. When people get ARCs or review copies or even buy a crap ton of books, they can often feel overwhelmed by that pile and lose sight of why they started blogging in the first place.

And Sometimes, I Forget That

I’ve mentioned in several posts about how stressed I am when it comes to reading, or how hard it is to keep up and read as many books as I can in a month.

I’ve been told many times (directly and indirectly) that it doesn’t matter how many books you read in a month as long as you’re reading. Heck, I think I’ve even said that before – and it’s true! As long as you’re still acting on your passion and love for reading, it doesn’t matter if you read one book in a month or fifteen.

And I think when it comes down to the blogging side of it, I forget that it’s okay to not always have a review every week of a different book. Yes, sometimes I disappoint myself, and I’m sure that’s inevitable, but I’m still putting out content about the things I love and care about. I think that’s what’s most important.

Sometimes You Need a Push

I think that it’s good to be reminded once in a while about why you started blogging in the first place. Was it to “get big” and well known? Was it to share your passion and love for something? Was it to just journal for yourself, but on a more public platform? I think that remembering just why we started, we can reflect back and see if we felt more successful before or after any changes may have taken place.

For me, personally, I did it to connect with others and get my own opinions out into the world. Yes, I’ll admit that part of me did want to get “followers” and whatever, but after I started to really get into it – especially this year – I discovered how much I just loved talking about anything and everything that had to do with books, reading, hot topics, and the community.

I found that, even if I didn’t get a lot of people looking at my content, it was okay because I still was happy with what I put out, and I think that’s the key.

Reading Is a Passion

If you’re a book blogger like I am, then you probably love books. I’ve always loved reading, but I never really understood and fully grasped that love until just this past year. I have read more books this year than ever in my life at one time, and I find that amazing.

This community has brought so much joy and happiness to my life, and I think I forgot that for a while.

As Jeann also said, “Whether we blog, bookstagram, booktube, tumblr, or whatever, WE’RE ALL READERS. We are a community of people who are passionate about books, and we should be appreciating how each and every one of us contributes to the love of reading. There aren’t enough people in the world who appreciate reading as a hobby, so it’s important to love, enjoy and appreciate it together.”

I sincerely hope that you remember why you started blogging and why you chose reading as your passion. It’s an amazing and wonderful journey we’re on together as readers, and I hope that we can all enjoy it together.

Let me know your thoughts on this subject. Why do you blog? What first motivated you to begin your blogging? What motivated you to read?