Drawing empowers me with confidence. It is a reminder that I have the freedom to channel my creative side, whilst expressing my inner thoughts and feelings. It provides a sense of accomplishment every time I complete a new piece – for me, this is the moment when the thoughts in my mind fit together perfectly, like the pieces of a puzzle. Through my art, I can show people a different perspective of the world and know that I have contributed to a persons day, whether it be through a passing glance, a read of my post or a comment on my work.
What I love most is how impactful art can be for different people. Art speaks to anyone, at any level – it overcomes language barriers and can be interpreted by those who struggle to comprehend words. I would be lying to myself if I didn’t acknowledge that art is for the people. It’s the wonderful comments on my blog that motivate and inspire me to keep on creating content.
Happy New Year to everyone, thank you for your continued support on this blog and may 2021 provide some much needed light and happiness💫✨
I was thinking about what to draw next and took inspiration for this artwork whilst re-decorating my room. It all happened when I came across a dream catcher, which I felt the urge to add to my existing collection. (I’ve always been a fan of dream catchers and have often contemplated getting one tattooed on my skin).
Dream catchers typically comprise of a wooden circle, covered by thread, which is woven in an intricate pattern and finished with precious items, such as beads and feathers hanging from the bottom of the circle.
The Dream Catcher originated from native America and is thought to have been invented by a tribe, with the purpose of protecting it’s young from being harmed. The concept of the dream catcher became more prevalent, as tribes began to expand across the country and tribe leaders could no longer watch over the infants of the tribe. Consequently, in the absence of tribe warriors, dream catchers were woven by maternal figures, such as mothers and grandmothers and were hung above a cradle to protect infants from being harmed in their sleep.
Originally, to make the dream catcher, two spider webs were woven into the circle of the dream catcher. Spider webs were used, since their properties are such that they tend to trap and take hold of anything that comes in their path. Using this logic, it was thought that the spider webs in the dream catcher would trap any harmful elements in the air and provide a form of protection. This explains why the thread pattern in modern dream catchers happen to look similar to that of a spider’s web.
Also key to note, is the circular frame and how it represents the constant flow of life; through the way the sun and moon orbit the earth in a continuous loop. Similarly, the number of different points on the dream catcher are thought to symbolise different meanings. For example, a dream catcher with 5 points is thought to resemble a star, whereas a dream catcher with 13 points is thought to represent the 13 different phases of the moon.
In modern times, the dream catcher is said to have the purpose of catching good dreams and filtering them through the feathers to the person below. This is in addition to protecting that person from incurring bad dreams, through the motion of catching them in the ‘spiders web’. Now dream catchers can be seen across a variety of items including jewellery, phone cases, home decor etc. and are made from various different materials.
About the art: I decided to draw the classic dream catcher but with an added twist, through combining the semi-circle of the dream catcher with a floral pattern. I then added in some detail using lines and dotting (‘stippling’), to add shading and dimension.
I was glad to find an excuse to use my new sketch pad and drew this only using a pencil and some fine liner pens (0.3, 0.8 and 1.0 thickness). I am pleased with the result; in hindsight the only thing that I would have changed is that I would have used a circular object to draw around for the outer ring of the dream catcher, instead of chancing it freestyle, as I did above.
What would you like me to draw next? Comment below 🙂🕷
Wow…1,000+ followers!! This is truly an unexpected milestone and one which I am struggling to comprehend – I didn’t expect to receive 100 followers let alone 1,000. (In fact, I vividly remember my first post, which was some 3.5 months ago and had accumulated a total of 0 views), so thank you all so much for the continued love and support.
To me, growth is about more than obtaining followers, it’s about engaging with the community and gaining new ideas about the world from different posts. After all, knowledge is power and reading is healthy for the brain! It also just so happens that WordPress is a free library, which is home to a diverse range of subjects and perspectives 😜
My blogging story:
From my relatively short blogging journey, I feel that I have learned a lot. At the start of this journey, I had expected to meet a community of like-minded artists and soon realised that perhaps WordPress wasn’t the right platform for me. In essence, I should have stuck to the likes of Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Deviant Art, to showcase my work and meet other inspiring/upcoming artists.
Instead, I was discovered by a poet and writer, who followed me and was the first person to leave a nice review under one of my posts. I was humbled by her act of kindness and reciprocated the gesture, by supporting her work in the same way that she did mine. Soon, I came across a wonderful community of writers, poets and lifestyle bloggers. By that point I was sold to WordPress and now looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Thanks to each and every one of you that makes up the 1,000 follower count. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the amazing community of bloggers who have supported, uplifted and welcomed me with open arms.
Top tips for WordPress growth:
So here are my top tips for seeing growth on the platform, without having to pay for an upgrade:
Ensure that you have completed your website and have a website title. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than having ‘site title’ at the top of every blog post! I personally found that once I re-designed my website, people wanted to visit my website more often and took more time reading my posts.
Like/comment on people’s posts and engage with people. Bonus points for commenting. People are likely to reciprocate on your posts and other people who haven’t discovered you, will see your comment and ‘visit’ your blog, increasing website traffic.
If you see that someone liked your comment or post and they seem to be an interesting blog, give them a follow. They will likely follow back, as they are initiating an interest in your personality/content!
Use relevant hashtags on your posts. This will attract the right audiences to see your posts, even if they don’t follow you.
Don’t neglect your blog. If you don’t post regularly that’s fine, but make sure that you continue engaging with people, via their blog posts on a regular basis.
Monitor your website/blog performance using analytics. (See below).
Measuring website traffic using analytics:
One of the many benefits of using WordPress, is that anyone can receive web analytics to assist in measuring the performance of their website/blog. Best of all, this is completely FREE to access and requires no upgrade.
The analytics feature allows website owners to see how many views they are receiving across the different blog posts/pages on their website and make the necessary tweaks to improve performance. Below are my website analytics:
In totality, I’ve received 9,290 views and my website has attracted 3,212 visitors. Below is a breakdown to show the views on my latest post:
This is based on my latest post ‘I Spy with my Little Eye’. It’s been 18 days since I posted (I wrote this in advance of posting) and I have a total of 737 views, 383 likes and 422 comments. The breakdown includes the number of views per week. I posted on the 2nd September, hence the weeks 10th August – 30th August have 0 views. The first week after posting has seen the best views, as expected. Between the 7th – 13th September, I took a mini break from WordPress and the impact that my lack of engagement has had is apparent, with less views during this period. However, upon my return, the views have increased again, emphasising the importance of having a presence and interacting with blog posts.
It’s also interesting to see where my viewers are coming from. According to the analytics, there appears to be a global spread, with viewers coming from different continents around the world. A deeper look into my blog analytics shows that most of my viewers come from India, followed by the U.K. and USA. However, this can change from one day to the next, as sometimes I’ve seen that the U.S. has taken the second spot and Canada has made an appearance.
What would make this even more interesting, is to be able to see what cities/states viewers are most concentrated in. This feature doesn’t appear to be available yet, but is useful, as it would enable the tailoring of posts to suit the interests of different audiences. For example, some states in the U.S. are quite religious, so I could look to incorporate religions references into my art.
Well, that’s all from me. Thank you for reading and happy blogging! 😊
**Please note that this will be my last awards related post. From this point onwards, I will continue to remain grateful for any nominations, however I will not reciprocate with a follow up post. This is to allow for focus on the artwork on my blog. Thank you for your understanding.** ~~~ A few days ago, I received a nomination from “Introverted thoughts” for The Outstanding Blogger Award, my first nomination in this category. This was shortly followed by my second and third nominations for the Liebster Award, from Parth and Dakshali Gupta. [Edit: Today I received another nomination from “Mae Flower” for the Sunshine Blogger Award]. I am humbled and greatly appreciative of their kind gestures. As always, I continue to remain grateful for the support of my fellow bloggers, whose wonderful words motivate and uplift me.
First and foremost, I would like to thank “Introverted Thoughts” for the nomination. Introverted thoughts has a beautiful blog, and her webpage is neatly organised with written work including thought-provoking articles that detail on a range of topics, from watches to nursery rhymes. If that wasn’t enough, there are also other categories on her page, consisting of exquisite pieces of poetry and some wonderful book reviews – if you are a fan of Harry Potter, her page is a must-see! Introverted Thoughts isn’t shy of a collaboration or two, so if you enjoy collaborating with other blogs, I would not hesitate to contact her. Introverted Thoughts is the most kindest soul, who writes with her heart and is very supportive of other people’s work too.
Secondly, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Parth. I am very glad to have had the opportunity to come across his blog, as I can confidently say that we quickly became very good friends, despite living in two different continents! Parth uses his blog as a means of communicating lovely and uplifting thoughts, in the form of poetry. If ever you are in need of a positive perspective on life, his blog will fulfil those requirements and take it a step further. Parth writes about a variety of topics including God, karma, finding your smile and ways to prevent anxiety and stress. Like myself, Parth has been around for a short period of time, so please check out his page and support his work:
Thirdly, I would like to thank Dakshali Gupta for her kind nomination. Dukshali is truly talented and puts her heart and soul into writing such beautiful poetry; I feel truly blessed to have come across her creations. Dukshali writes poetry in both Hindi and English, on numerous subjects including love, nature and flowers, life and inspiration. Her words are motivating, speak volumes and resonate well with the reader. Please give her blog some love and check out her page, I promise that you won’t be disappointed:
Finally, a big thanks to “Mae Flower” for my first Sunshine Blogger Award nomination. Mae Flower is genuinely a kind person who loves to write and hopes that her blog will inspire people to see the good in everything. Mae Flower loves the odd quote and isn’t afraid to post these onto her site. Her writing focusses on life and positivity and almost resembles a diary format, where she discusses her typical week, summer goals and much more.
This post will focus on the Outstanding Blogger Award, as I have done a previous post on the Liebster award.
1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (Very important: see why in step 5). This award was created by Colton Beckwith. https://coltonbeckwithrpc.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/the-original-outstanding-blogger-award/ 2. Answer the questions provided. 3. Create 7 unique questions. 4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator nor the blogger that nominated you can be nominated. 5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!
So, below are my answers to the questions…
INTROVERTED THOUGHTS QUESTIONS FOR HANNAH:-
1. What is the most useful lesson that someone has taught you/that you have learnt? – Good things in life do not come easy; one must put in the work to achieve what they want. The process of doing so, allows us to learn from our mistakes and better ourselves. Never give up on something if you really want it.
2. If you could eradicate any one evil forever, what would it be? – Selfishness/greed. The idea that people will put themselves over others, often for the sake of money or achieving social status. This can lead to lying, committing crimes, being unfaithful and ignorance towards other people’s feelings and needs. It has also bought about racism, sexism, wars and destruction of our planet and its creatures.
3. What is the funniest experience you have had? – I once mistook a stranger’s car for my dad’s car, opened the car door and actually sat on the passenger seat. Suddenly I saw that the driver was someone completely random, who looked very confused, so I apologised and got out of there!
4. How would you describe yourself in three words? – Friendly, passionate and hard-working.
5. What advice would you want to give to new and upcoming bloggers?– *Go for it, blogging has many benefits. For instance, it has helped to express my thoughts and articulate myself better, in addition to being able to connect with different people around the world. *Be original, people should like your content for what it is; don’t be afraid to write from the heart, even if your blogging style may seem “different” from others. *The people that I have met through this platform are genuinely some of the kindest people I know, so don’t be afraid to reach out and tell someone if you like their work or if you would like to do a collaborative piece.
PARTH’S QUESTIONS FOR HANNAH:-
1. What are your hobbies? – My hobbies include travelling, reading, watching documentaries, listening to music, art, playing the keyboard, exercise, yoga, cooking, fashion and interior décor – and now blogging as well! I love meeting new people and making friends.
2. Why did you start blogging? – I wanted to use my new-found time during the pandemic to learn different things and develop myself as a person. On my list of things to do was to produce some artwork and improve my IT skills, by creating a website from scratch. I also received a few positive comments on Instagram about my artwork and was given the suggestion to put my art on a website. Thus, I decided to join the WordPress community.
3. What life lessons have you learnt from your parents? – Nothing in life is free and we must work hard to earn the things we desire in life. To be kind and treat others how we would want to be treated. To be honest and truthful. To be content with little, appreciate family and value education. To be open to criticism and learning new things from others.
4. If you have two tickets for a World Tour, who would you choose to go with? –My sister, we are very close and I consider her to be my ultimate best friend. She’s hugely into music and won’t stop singing!
5. What type of food you like? – I am quite the foodie; I love a good buttermilk chicken burger, Thai curry, pasta, falafel, Nachos, quesadillas, grilled chicken beyti kebab and Nandos (British people will understand that one). Brunch is my favourite meal of the day, I like a good egg and avocado sourdough toast or waffle. Dessert-wise, I have a weakness for a chocolate fudge brownie served with chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream.
DAKSHALI’S QUESTIONS FOR HANNAH:-
1. Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? -I am an extroverted introvert (or ambivert). When I was younger, I would have definitely said that I was an introvert without any further thought. However, with age, I have become more confident and while I enjoy my introverted musings, I definitely gain satisfaction and get more out of a conversation, when I can have a healthy contribution towards it. I still enjoy listening to others and getting to know them too; no conversation should be one-sided. These days’ people are surprised when I tell them that I am an introvert!
2. What is your favourite movie and why? –10 Things I Hate about You. It’s the ultimate combination of teenage/coming of age, comedy and romance. The best thing yet is that it was made in the 90s, so it has an incredible soundtrack. It also has references to Shakespeare and “The Feminist Mystique”.
3. Who are your favourite bloggers? – I love all of the bloggers that I have had the privilege of getting to know. Each style of writing and friendship is unique and I honestly would be torn if I had to choose between bloggers.
4. What’s special about the country you live in? – I live in England, U.K. We are known for having the Queen, Harry Potter, Shakespeare and many classic reads. As well as, its universities (Oxford and Cambridge), drinking plenty of cups of tea, pubs, fish and chips, the Big Ben, red buses, black cabs and the Beatles.
5. Favourite destination outside your country?– I love Italy, for the many beautiful cities of love with wonderful views, food and fabulous weather. I also really enjoyed seeing Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, I just remember being stunned at the views, as they are some of the best that I have seen.
MAE FLOWERS’ QUESTIONS FOR HANNAH:
1. What are your main goals in life? – To travel the world, find a life partner and eventually start a family, live a long, healthy and happy life, to have an impact on the world by contributing towards something that will bring about good change, and finally to feel accomplished in my career knowing that I am good at what I do and have achieved career progression.
2. Would you rather take a vacation on the beach or in the mountains? – That istruly a hard question for me. Although I do love the beautiful views that come with a mountain, I think that I’d opt for the beach, since this is a vacation related question and I do love my holiday strolls along the beach!
3. If your room was on fire and you had time to save one thing, what would it be? (Besides pets or family members, etc.) – My artwork. Sadly I can’t save my massive wardrobe of clothes 😦
4. What is something you would like to learn or wish you were better at? – Languages.
5. If you could travel anywhere in the world for free, where would you go? – I would love to take the time out to see Australia, New Zealand and Asia; specifically Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka and see more of India.
I nominate the following bloggers, as these are some of the blogs that I have enjoyed visiting and reading. Apologies if you have already received a nomination for the Outstanding Blogger Award. The decision is entirely yours regarding if you wish to participate, and if it’s a yes, then I cannot wait to hear from you and read your answers! If I haven’t nominated you, then by all means feel free to nominate yourself. You are more than welcome to!
Which mood have you been sporting throughout the pandemic? The oh-so-cool chilled out vibe, the scared/stressed out look, the simply unhappy one, or a combination of them all?
Like many, I have experienced a combination of these moods…in fact, I experienced my own emotional journey whilst completing this artwork! Drawing faces has never been a strength of mine, but I persevered with this project, because I wanted to set myself a personal challenge and learn some new skills, as a part of my on-going art journey. It is safe to say that after numerous attempts, countless pencil sharpenings and a significantly reduced eraser, I am finally happy with the end result. Hallelujah!
About the artwork: Pop Art has always been a style of art that I have enjoyed – it’s bold, fun and punchy.
Pop Art was invented in the USA in the 1950s and became a more prominent movement in the 1960s. It was part of the beginning of changing attitudes and moving away from more traditional forms of art. Unsurprisingly, this form of art paved the way for modern contemporary art styles such as feminist art, abstract art, minimalism and an increased use of facial expressions.
In the US, Pop Art came about as a response from many young artists who felt that art should capture what they experienced in their everyday lives – for these people, the sources of inspiration came from pop music, advertising and of course, comic books.
Pop Art was also widely used in wartime Britain, to increase morale and encourage people to sign up to the army and take on bigger roles elsewhere. Pop Art was further used for academic purposes, often serving a role in conveying messages of irony and parody.
Top tips: Feedback from the comments in previous posts has shown that the top tips feature in my blog has been found to be helpful, so I have included my tips for this particular art style for you below: –
*Pop Art is known for being bright and bold. Do incorporate colours that are bright or provide a statement, such as yellow or red and do not blend colours together, to achieve a “bold” look. Feel free to use a combination of pencils, as well as coloured pens and paints for strength in colour. *Add definition to your art piece, by going over all lines using fine liner pens and use a slightly thicker fine liner pen for outlining shapes. *Pop Art incorporates stippling (use of dots), particularly within faces to add colour. The background of an image will usually contain dots and stripes; stripes can be used as a tool to support facial expressions and emotions – see the lady on the bottom of my artwork for reference. *Pop Art faces will usually have big lips and eyes and less detailing on the nose. *For text, use block letters and surround the text with a cloud or banner of colour. *Fill up those blank spaces as much as you can!
Where to place this artwork: Place in the bedroom, living room or a small, empty room to add style, attitude and plenty of personality to any setting!