Wadda Month!


What a month indeed, a long long month jam packed to the brim with learning and a smidge of self neglect.

So, the good news is I finished my course! All boxes ticked. I am super happy about that because to be honest it’s the first time I have actually completed higher education. So, HEH! Big pats on the back for me.

It got a bit scary there for a while. I had an assessment module, “using advanced features of computer applications” which induced a lot of yelling at my computer, a lot of standing up and walking away and mostly tight muscles around the old shoulders and brows, and mostly a lot of me saying, “I don’t think I’m gonna make it, I don’t think I can pass this one ( too much left side brain work for me to be honest).

As a person who has almost completely avoided anything Excel, this was a struggle! But I managed to pass this boss battle assessment, after rummaging through UH-LOT of articles, images and video how to guides, I found a handful of people and tutorials that really worked for me.

The two other assessments were easy as pie in comparison,  I completed was a super fun design assessment where I was required to design a unique deck of cards. This assessment was extremely inspiring, My deck was called Historic Heroines – the girls they didn’t tell you about at school.

I am excited to announce that the Historic Heroines concept is a project that will come into fruition overtime.

Did you know there were 7 Female Pharaohs of Egypt? no? nor did I until I started research for this project. I am all about giving recognition to those who deserve it, but who don’t get the acknowledgement, so I am soooo flipping excited for this project.

Here, enjoy a sneaky peaky.  

The other assessment being Photography, which I don’t love. I don’t love at all. I don’t hate looking at Photography, especially if it is someone else’s photography, but it just isn’t my Jam, so if I can avoid another photography course I will.

I spent the week after completion trying to catch up on some things that got put on the way side during that time, but I think a lot of that time was spent winding down from the energy I had been living through for those few hectic weeks.

Now since I promised that this blog would hopefully be helpful for others like myself who are starting out in the business of creativity, I guess I do have some helpful tips regarding this past month.

  1. Schedule Time to relax.

I know everyone says it, but seriously, allow yourself some down time. My biggest problem while I was doing this was that I was trying to use every single hour of the day to study and complete tasks.

Burn Out is real kids! Even if you love what you’re doing, you can still burn out, and you’re not going to do anything properly as long as youre enslaving yourself.  I can count on one half of my hand how many nights I slept properly. This led to me fumbling and messing up, and waste time on fixing needless issues, I even made a quick call to the poisons hotline because I accidentally doubled up on my medication because I was running on empty and just performing the motions.  

Insomnia is a major issue for me at the best of times, but when I’m stressed, I really lose control of my ability to sleep. I will definitely be writing a blog post about sleep tips for the busy mind very soon, but 1 hour before bed is NOT enough time to wind down.

So, like my dad always said, ‘haste makes waste’ you’re not going to do anything properly if you are unable to function properly. Slow down, be kind to yourself and make your time spent on tasks count.

2. Write a tasks list and stick to it.

Seriously this is the most useful thing I can do for myself.

 Write it in point form before you start work, and cross it off as you go. I read somewhere that if you do the smaller tasks first, you will utilize your time better.

 there are a couple of reasons you should do it like this, one theory is that you save time doing it this way, and give yourself more time for the larger tasks. But the thing I really get from this method is, after you have crossed off a bunch of stuff from your list you have a sense of achievement and I don’t know about you, but this makes me more adamant on completing the rest. The sense of accomplishment for me personally is really rewarding and addictive which motivates me to continue to tick the rest of the boxes.

3. Always ASK!

Not asking is one of my major self-destructive habits. I have this extremely opinionated part of myself who always tells me that I am inconveniencing people or behaving selfishly by asking for help. You just need to ignore that jerk, take a deep breath and ask someone for help.

I was getting pretty damn close to my deadline and I still had a heck of a lot of work to do. I needed to wait for feedback before I could move onto the next task. I paced my house a few thousand times then finally had to tell myself if I didn’t ask for help, I wouldn’t meet the deadline. If I didn’t meet the deadline, all the time, effort and money would have been spent for nothing.

 I emailed my facilitator, explained my problem, asked if she could help me, and she did! Honestly if I didn’t ask her, I wouldn’t be telling you of my success now. Its always a good idea to thank those that help you by the way, I find a lot of the time people easily forget this, you don’t have to give them your first born, but acknowledging when someone has given you their time and attention is the right thing to do, and so often people don’t do that.

The next time I need to ask for help, or a Question I shouldn’t think of how I’m inconveniencing someone ( after all they can always say no) but I need to remind myself of how I willing I would be if someone asked me for help. Its time to start creating healthy helpful parts of my thoughts and ditch the little snarky Debbie downer ones.

4. Just a quick one before you fall asleep from TMI, prep your food! It saves time, money and guilt. Just spend a Sunday cooking nice healthy things, freeze them in lunch boxes (reusable please) and defrost them each day. Its just one less thing to worry about, especially of you’re like me and still have to feed your little clan.

I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive and patient with me, I have been slow moving starting this illustration thang, but I figure, do it all properly now and the rewards will follow. You can’t be half arsed with your dreams can you now? And as a thanks here is a cheeky pic of my lovely friend Corz I managed to squeeze in between assessments for her birthday.

Couldn’t afford a real Raptor so I drew her one instead.

Until Next time


Hot Panic


Last night I woke at midnight with the feeling of panic swelling in my brow. And this wasn’t the usual ADHD Insomniac anxiety, as in the usual over thinking, idea generation, same bar of a song over and over in home-made techno. This was a heart pounding mind throbbing, breathless Red hot panic. But i do need to point out, I DIDN’T think I was having a heart attack this time, and could talk myself out of it this time, So it’s not all bad.

To break it down for you, I quit my job about a month ago to start my illustration career. which was Seriously the best thing i have ever done. No regrets!

Renewing licences really wasn’t my thing, and now I’m living my best life with beautiful people surrounding and supporting me, The most amazing feelings of accomplishment each day, learning about me, and who I am, its honestly so healing!

So why the panic?

Trust me for the past few weeks I have been strutting around the house, dressing in my most gorgeous creative outfits (okay not all the time), doing my makeup every morning (most weekdays), feeling like a BOSS (which I totally am… technically) Believing in myself, having WAY TOO MUCH FUN when it comes to posting orders to my clients. I have been learning how to create my own fonts, drawing all the dang time learning how to to entrepreneur the heck out of myself. Then last night it all dawned on me in one super-sledge WOMP, upside the side of the face! A month has gone by and I have made a total of $65, I had a whopping big winter bill reefed out of my bank account, the kids (and me, if I’m honest) never stop eating! And I already had to dip into my back up fund.

I knew I would have to, but the reality hit me hard.

Not only that but after begging for an extension on my course, and the TAFE granting it, I haven’t been very successful in actually completing my two assignments that I promised myself I would complete within the month.
instead I have been swanning around the internet revelling in the fact that while I certainly couldn’t call myself a FULL-TIME illustrator. I am an illustrator… who is making an average of $65 a month. Hence the panic.

So, I guess the fist step is to remember the ever-helpful words of Douglas Adams and remember “DON’T PANIC” in big friendly letters.

Yeah that always helps doesn’t it. 

Me- “Don’t panic Ainsley.

Also, Me- “OH silly me! I hadn’t thought of not panicking, that is such a simple solution to my problem! Except that it’s not.”

Okay but seriously, “Don’t panic” Can work. its at least a distraction. I can focus on the words and by the time I have figured them out , remembered my favourite moments in Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy, and then thought about what a lovely voice Stephen Fry has, I have distracted myself from that heart pounding, stress attack.  

The next thing I did was get a rather fancy notebook, which was free in an issue of FLOW mag, (SCORE!) and I wrote it all down. All of it! Every single worry that woke me in an utter panic. All. Two. Tasks.

I managed to embellish the list a bit into bullet points to make it look worth the debilitating fear of failure I had experienced a minute earlier. I didn’t pull it off.

After that, I lay there in the dark watching the remnants of light from my lamp dance across my retinas and planned to get up first thing and complete the damn assignments.

Of course, when I looked at the assessments, it wasn’t that hard at all and I had mostly finished it anyway. What the flip was my problem? What am I afraid of? Who bloody knows? Is my answer.

As someone who has only really known about my ADHD for less a year it’s been amazingly helpful in so many ways, to understand more about my past and present, how to gain my best future, and also to be okay with medication and all the great things it has helped me to achieve In 6 months. But I still have so much to learn about ADHD and how to find the best way of managing it.

I have learned however that the incapacitating procrastination is a part of it, and I might not have a valid reason to dawdle when I have a task, but I am beginning to see the blockages, and how best to deal with them when they occur.  

So, after all of that, I guess I should welcome you to the Blog of an illustrator and student who happens to be learning about her ADHD and how to turn it into her super power. Welcome to the ride.


Big Gun

The First Day

The First day

I see it all the time, people quitting their jobs so that they can live a life that serves their purpose, I have given inspiring speeches to friends and work colleagues about living life “coz you’ve only got one!” and only one month ago I was beating my head against the Figurative brick wall trying to fashion a way of cramming all aspects of my best life around a job that drained the soul from my body.

But after a very compassionate talk with my support Steve ( Best kind of support you can find!) I came to a decision to hand my notice of resignation in and look after me for a change.

So how did it turn out? Who knows? Today is the first day of living my purpose. Today I am attempting to build this website and I have to say I have a very tense spot on my shoulder as I am typing this.

I have spent years putting my whole self into the projects and businesses of others, so now it is time to believe in my own creations. And I hope to help YOU find inspiration, clarity, and confidence in yourself during my journey.

I will post as much as I can about the steps, great, good, frustrating and down right hair pulling in hopes that along my road to full time illustration I can help others wade the depths of starting out as an illustrator, without that judgemental tone that I see in so many blogs, that sort of thing just solidifies Impostor syndrome. This Creative world welcomes all of us, there need not be in competition between kindred spirits, just a need for unconditional support, sharing and Learning.


“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

― Paulo Coelho