life stuff / writing

You are such a big wuss, Cathy!

I’m a wuss. It’s completely pointless telling me to get a grip and get on with it. Because I am indelibly wuss-ish. Wuss is written through me like a stick of seaside rock. And this week my wussishness has reached epic, Game Of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, X Factor Final proportions.

Let me explain.

As regular GHB readers will know, I am an illustrator. It’s my day job. I draw more often then I write. I draw every single day (365 days a year, even Christmas) but, I’m ashamed to admit, sometimes find that I’ve written nothing but Facebook posts for a whole week. So, when I do have a book to write, I can find it quite hard. That blank computer screen and that blinking cursor are horribly intimidating, in a way that a piece of blank paper and a drawing pencil never are for me.20140612-092032-33632492.jpg

But, this week, something unusual happened.

I have been doing a lot of painting recently. Portraits, mostly. I have a new, slightly bigger studio, so I can now splash paint about on canvases without destroying all my computer equipment.20140612-091045-33045725.jpg

Then a friend, who knew I’d been splashing a lot of paint about, told me she’d seen massive canvases on sale at a price not to be missed and I dashed over to snap up as many as I could. I bought four. They were so big they only just squeezed into my car. Huge. Enormous.

That’s when the epic wuss-ness set in. I mean, look at this!20140612-091756-33476218.jpg

That’s a lot of white space to fill. Intimidating or what?!

I’ve been trying not to look at it. It’s behind me now. I have my back to it but I can still see its scary whiteness out of the corner of my eye and it’s sneering at me, whispering, “Come on you wuss, you big scardy-cat, you’re a rubbish artist, paint something!” It’s quite a bully, actually. A nasty thug in canvas form.

And I just invited 4 of them into my studio!

What am I going to do? Any ideas, GHBers?

Is there anything that you are an epic wuss about? If you spill the beans and own up I’ll promise to show you the painting… when it’s actually finished.




22 thoughts on “You are such a big wuss, Cathy!

  1. I’m..i hate BUGS! I really don’t like them, even more, I’m TERRORFIED of daddy longlegs. They freak me out so much I leave the room when one is like, across the room from me.

    On canvas, I’d say paint a Dalmatian, or a Labrador puppy with it, like, playing with it or resting on its paws. 😀 In my story, those two dogs are best friends. 😀

    • Eww, bugs! For a long time I had an irrational fear of birds (incident with grey parrot at Bird World and long story) but I’m over it now. Though Trafalgar Square gives me shivers.

  2. I’m very intimidated with anything to with numbers. People dash off a phone number to me, and I hear the first two numbers and after that it’s all a blur. Then I know with a sinking feeling that I’m going to have to get them to repeat it to me about four times, and I’ll hear the irritation in their voice. And for MONTHS now, I’ve been dreading invoicing for something. But the company I’m invoicing need some sort of very specifically broken down figures, and I can’t understand what they mean. I’ve had two tries at it, and I’m apparently STILL doing it wrong, but I can’t figure out what they want… so I put off attempting it again, glancing occasionally with dread at the paperwork on my desk, and mutter, “I’ll do it tomorrow”. And then I don’t. Yep, I am a number-phobe. (There’s GOT to be a fancy proper term for that, hasn’t there?)
    PS With the enormo canvas, you could always go minimalist and make a statement! A teeny-tiny smiley face in the middle? Ha!

  3. Arguments. I can’t think – I can’t breathe – I go all red. And if possible, I LEAVE! Re. that big canvas, hmm, what about an enormous Durer’s rabbit sort of picture of a close-up of the fur of a sleeping cat … yes, I’d like that!

  4. I know you’ve already starteed painting but for in future, LS Lowru used to get daunted by a big empty canvas too so he used to paint the whole thing white before he got started, that might help 😀

  5. Oh and instead of getting writing straight away you could draw a small comic strip of the scene you want to write. That way you’d be doing the drawing which comes naturally but incorporating a little bit of writing in the boxes?

    • That is the best idea ever! It’s actually what I’ve been doing on a collaborative project with GHBs Jo Cotterill. She’s writing and I’m imaging/comic stripping. But I hadn’t thought of the same technique with my own books. They are illustrated, of course, but I love the idea of dialogue written in speech bubbles. Thanks Faolan. X

  6. 1. Try drawing some (complimentary) portraits of people you care about, then either hang them up inside your house or give them away as presents. It might be cool to try some pop art portraits.
    2. Draw big pictures of characters/ scenes in your books. They’re good for keeping yourself, promoting your books/illustrations or even giving away as big competition prizes (postage might be costly though).

    • You must be psychic, Brianna! I’m doing portraits of my nieces and last week I painted Esther, the heroine of EVERYTHING IS FINE AND OTHER LIES I TELL MYSELF. Spooky! X

  7. I hate conflict, I’m a conflictophobe! I’d rather bottle it all up & hold a grudge than tell it how it is and risk an argument or upsetting someone who’s opinion matters to me. Can you put that in a painting?

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