Friday, 25 November 2016

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this (ironically), but I have a very bad memory. Horribly bad. Have-to-think-for-a-while-to-recall-what-I had-for-dinner-last-night bad. This tweet is a good example of it, actually.

Anyway, due to my horrible memory, I forget what happens in most books I read - which I guess isn't that strange when you read as many books as I do (55 this year!), but it still makes me sad when I look at my Goodreads and see that I've rated a book 4 or 5 stars, and can't remember what I loved about it. 

That's where these posts come in. I've decided to start writing about the books I read, and talk about why I did or didn't like them, so I can always come back to these posts and be reminded of why I felt a certain way about a book.

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville:

It wasn't until I was halfway through this book that I realised I was reading a heavily revised edition. The book I own is a mere 169 pages compared to the usual 600+ this book is supposed to have. I couldn't even find the edition I have amongst the 1963 editions listed on Goodreads, which really makes you wonder how many editions there are altogether. The one I have isn't even that old, I'm pretty sure it was printed in 2007, so I'm not sure why I couldn't find it. I have a feeling it may be one used to teach younger students, as the writing was very big and there were a lot of pictures.

Even though I don't know what I missed reading such a short version, I still enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if I would have liked it if I had to read over 600 pages of it, but if I ever find a longer edition at an op shop I'll be sure to pick it up and give it a try. This book really makes you think about greed, obsession and revenge; how you can become so engulfed in something that it takes over your life, no matter the consequences. For Ahab, those consequences were fatal, which he either refused to admit, or he was just so blinded by his hatred that he didn't think about what could happen. This book definitely reminded me to not hold onto grudges, and that hate is an emotion that my body and mind do not need.

A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby:

I own three books by Nick Hornby, I've read two of them so far, and I've been disappointed both times. I just do not see all the hype about him at all. The first one I read was High Fidelity, and I expected a lot more from that, especially considering it's on the Rory Gilmore Challenge, but I was greatly let down. I had lower expectations for A Long Way Down, and I was still let down - or, more accurately, I was unmoved. This book didn't make me hate it or love it.

I assume this book had a deeper meaning to it, to make you think about life and what it means to be alive etc, but the characters just didn't do it for me. They were either rude or boring, and the drug habit of one of them was just not believable. The fact that she could so many drugs, and then stop doing them, and be completely fine - no hangovers, no withdrawals, nothing - just wasn't feasible. I didn't mind Maureen though. In fact, wanting to know how her life turned out was what made me finish this book.

Girl Online: On Tour, by Zoe Sugg:
I'm weary about reviewing this book as I know I am not the intended audience for it. If I were a pre-teen/in my early teens, I would have loved this book - but, that being said, I actually didn't mind it. I read the first Girl Online in one day (they're very easy reads), and nothing about it really stood out to me, but I felt that On Tour had a stronger story with more unexpected turns. I also felt that, especially towards the end, Penny really grew up as she had to deal with some serious things happening in her life, and realised that her life was not going to be a fairytale.

I also do quite like Penny's character, as she loves photography and blogging, just like me, and she struggles with anxiety, just like me. There's something nice about reading about a character that you can relate to (you know, except for the fact that she's 16 and has a 'rock star' boyfriend). If you're going to read any of the Girl Online books, you just have to accept them for what they are: fluffy, young adult books with a protagonist who thinks and acts like a 16 year old girl, because that's what she is.

Marley & Me, by John Grogan:
My gosh, this dog sounds like a handful! This was mostly a nice and heartwarming story, although there were some parts, especially in the beginning, where I felt they were a little too violent and cruel to Marley. This book is a good read if you love animals, and/or have had a particularly misbehaving pet before - but beware, if you don't currently have a pet, you will be desperate for one by the end of this book. I'm very lucky to live with my boyfriend, who is also my best friend, but as he works a lot of nights I do get lonely, and during those times I really wish I had a furry companion to keep me company and demand attention.

Whilst none of these books ended up blowing me away, I was still able to take things from all of them, and appreciate them for what they were. Being able to cross Moby Dick off my to-read list also feels pretty good - although I will keep my eye out for a non-revised edition - and I've owned Marley & Me for so long I was beginning to think I'd never read it, so I'm quite happy now that I have.

I am trying to read as many books as I can before the year is over, but as December is set to be quite a busy month for me with work, seeing family, and getting ready for Christmas, I'm not sure how many books I'll be able to tackle, but I'll try my best!

Until next time,
Indya xx


PS. After writing this post and taking all the necessary photos, I realised that I also read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this month! I'm only just beginning the Harry Potter series - after owning all the books twice over, and for quite a long time - and I am actually really enjoying them. However, I am not looking forward to reading the ridiculously long ones, so don't expect to hear my thoughts on the entire series anytime soon.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Not going to lie, for a moment I thought I was the smartest person ever when I thought of the name for this post, but according this tag on Instagram, at least 15 other people thought of it before me. Boo!

Anyway, I used to photograph walls with street art and/or interesting pictures of them, or even if they were just particularly bright and colourful, quite often, and I miss doing it. I miss when I used to take more notice of my surroundings, as I feel that was when I took my best photos, so I've decided to start sharing some of my favourite wall photos in hopes that it will inspire me to start taking photos of them again.

If you're from Melbourne, you may recognise some of these pictures as many were taken in Hosier Lane and Prahran. I love the bright colours and the incredible detail in some of these pieces, they really help brighten up the city. If you know of any street art hotspots within or around Melbourne, feel free to let me know where they are!

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 18 November 2016

I have written quite a few art-related adventure posts, and I can't believe it took me this long to write about the National Gallery of Victoria. As soon as I discovered its existence (which wasn't until 2014, when I moved back to Melbourne), I immediately fell in love and now visit it nearly every time I go to the city. I have hundreds of photos from my various visits, which you can find scattered across my Instagram and Tumblr, but in today's post I'll try use the photos from my last visit, which I organised so I would have brand new photos for this post.

There is so much to see at the National Gallery of Victoria. There's a lot of historical art that is permanently on display, but as I've seen them a million times, I tend to only take photos of the temporary exhibits now, which is mostly quite modern and contemporary art. During my last visit I saw a lot of paintings that have been on display before (the ones in the first three photos), which surprsed me as I wasn't aware that they 'recycled' work in the temporary section, but I was more than happy to get some better photos on my camera of said pieces, rather than the ones I previously took on my phone.

The second marriage, 1963
Artist: David Hockney

Texture 4 & 2, 2013
Artist: Mika Rottenberg

Untitled (Layers of stuff building over time), Untitled (In his studio the artist
has no social responsibility), Untitled (Problem) and Untitled (I fell down), 2014
Artist: David Shrigley

I first saw David Shrigley's work in a 2014 exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, and I've loved him ever since (feel free to browse my David Shrigley tag on Tumblr to see more of his pieces). His work can appear simple at times, but that's modern art for you, and I love it for what it is. I also love how relatable David's work is, and, sometimes, how bizarre.

To change, to confound, 1983
Artist: A. R. Penck

It's difficult to write a post about a place that's always changing. There's always new things happening at the National Gallery of Victoria - and the best part is admission, and most of the exhibitions, are completely free. There is also a restaurant, a cafe and a gift shop that is filled with books, prints and other art-related knickknacks.

Some exhibitions also have "kid versions", for lack of a better name, that are usually titled '*exhibition name*: For Kids', which will be separate from the rest of the exhibition, and will feature lots of interactive and hands-on activities for children to partake in. Sometimes, throughout the gallery, there will be a few things for people of all ages to partake in, too.

I really do love the NGV. It's big, ever-changing, and, most importantly, free - and it's a great place to pop in for a look if you have some time to kill while you're in the city.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Monday, 14 November 2016

I have kept journals for as long as I can remember. My love of writing came to me quickly, and I'm not even sure why. I didn't know any writers. No one that I knew seemed to enjoy it like I did, but that didn't stop me from keeping many diaries throughout my primary school years (which, thankfully, don't exist anymore). I wish I kept a diary throughout high school, as I went through a lot, and it would be interesting to look back on, and use that material for my poetry (did I mention I write poems? I don't do it as much as I used to, but I still have a great love for poetry).

Anyway, I've always loved documenting things in my life with my writing (and photography), but sometimes I feel like a diary entry is either too much or too little for an event I want to remember. For example, if I had lunch with a friend after not seeing them for a while, I would like to make a note of it, but it seems a bit pointless to write "Dear diary, today I saw [insert name]. We had lunch at [insert food place]. It was nice." - that's where my art journal comes in.

I like doing "summaries of the month" in my art journals to remember the little things, like lunch dates. On these pages, I'll write the name of the month at the top and decorate the page will little pictures and notes that are relevant to that month. I'll post some examples below.

If only one or two things happen within a month that are worth noting, especially if I have some sort of memento from it, I'll often do a page dedicated to just those events. Not every page in my art journal is dedicated to a certain memory, though. Sometimes I just feel like making collages, which is another thing I've been doing since I was a pre-teen. Some of my older collages, that are in my first art journal, are much more simplistic and less colourful than my newer ones, but I'm still happy with the overall look of them.

My first art journal features more drawings and doodles of mine than my current one, since I have become a lot harder on myself over the last couple of years, which really took the fun out of drawing.

I do still keep a regular journal, as writing will always be my number one love. Besides, there are just some things that a picture can't say, and there's where words come in, but I love keeping a art journal for days I'm feeling inspired to create, rather than just document. 

My art journals are nothing compared to the masterpieces that I've seen online. Some people are just. So. Talented. It's not fair! But I've just got to keep in mind that, as long as I had fun doing something, it doesn't matter what the outcome is - and you should remember that too.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 11 November 2016

I used to have reservations about openly admitting that I still like Pokemon, but then I left school and realised that a) a lot of people my age (and even twice my age) still like Pokemon, and b) anyone who would tease me over something that I like isn't someone that I want to be around anyway - and, by now, everyone in my life should know that I love Pokemon. If not, surprise!

Going through all my Pokemon things was actually a little upsetting as I remembered all the Pokemon things I once had (the original Red, the original Gold, FireRed) that are nearly impossible to find now. Still, I love all the things I own, and I love that they're always coming up with new things to bring out.

Most of my Pokemon items are displayed on a set of shelves in my office, behind my desk, which you'll see in the photos. I also have one Pokemon shirt that I forgot about when I was taking these photos, but I found this picture online of it.


I've spent quite a lot of money on Pokemon things, but I've been watching it my whole life, so I don't think I'm going to get sick of it anytime soon. I am still very much a child at heart - those who know me in real life can certainly attest to that - and I don't think I'll ever change. Then again, I don't see why I should.

Until next time,
Indya xx

Friday, 4 November 2016

Whilst the National Gallery of Victoria is my favourite gallery that I've visited so far (and I am only realising now that I haven't written a post about it yet, I need to get onto that!), I still love other galleries too. I am always up for a chance to visit a new place, see new pieces of artwork, and learn the names of artists that I hadn't previously heard of.
pieces by Evelyn Coleman, Vernon Ah Kee, Dane Lovett, Chris Bond and Ilya Milstein

pieces by Elizabeth Newman, Janet Burchill, Alan Young, Peter Atkins,
Sandra Eterovic, Kate Daw and Sarah crowEST

That being said, this particular gallery I found by accident. I was actually looking for a library, and I happened to walk into the wrong room (yes, singular. This was a very small, one room gallery that took me a whole 5 minutes to walk through). A perfect example of a happy accident.

Congratulations, 2016
Artist: TextaQueen
Women: The Longest Revolution, 2016
Artist: Katherine Hattam

I love the atmosphere of galleries as much as I love the art. I love seeing the clean, plain walls decorated with artwork. I love how neat everything is, and how well-lit the rooms always are (unless a specific exhibition calls for minimal lighting, which is always interesting, but does not help when I want to take photos), which always makes the artwork stand out.

Hang In There Baby, 2016
Artist: Alice Lang

The Anxiety of Painting, 2016
Artist: Angela Brennan
Left: Untitled, 2016
Artist: Benjamin Aitken
Right: The Sounds of Earth, 2016
Artist: Peter James Smith

I have a list of galleries around Melbourne that I wish to visit - the Heide Museum of Modern Art is at number one, I am dying to go there! - but I'm sure I'll see most of them eventually. Once upon a time I was desperate to move out of this country and live somewhere in Europe, but I've come to realise how much I love Melbourne and how lucky I am to live here, so I don't think I'll ever live anywhere else - which means I have plenty of time to visit all the galleries I want, both big and small!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

I have been dying to start these posts since I began this blog, but I really had trouble thinking of a name for them. These posts will be much like those "Friday Favourites" and "Wishlist Wednesday" posts that a lot of bloggers do, but I wanted mine to be a little more broad than a wishlist; I want to write about anything that I am currently loving: food, clothes, TV show, writers, artists, etc. Anything that makes me happy. That being said, I am dedicating this first post to some awesome female artists, since there are so many out there that inspire me.

1. Elora from Elorasaurus.
I first discovered Elora on Instagram when she released her Pretty Guardian Cry Baby Sailor Moon enamel pins a few months back, and everyone went crazy for them (which is understandable as they are gorgeous. They're currently sold out on her Etsy, but if you browse her Instagram you'll find plenty of photos of them). I hadn't started collecting pins at the time, but I loved the design so I bought a 4x6 art print of it, pictured above, instead.

Since then, Elora has added a bunch more pins, prints and other items to her Etsy, and is set to sell more Sailor Moon-themed pins in the near future (which I have been saving up for!), but honestly I also just admire Elora for who she is. She's kind, talented, and loves cake (according to her Instagram bio), vintage items, and art . She is my dream best friend.

2. Kayley from Kayley Draws.
The decision to follow Kayley on Instagram was one of the best decisions of my life. Every single post of hers is adorable and uplifting and just so sweet they could give you a cavity. Not only is she a sweetheart with amazing hair who owns an adorable pug, but she is also an awesome illustrator and pin maker.

Pictured above is an example of the custom 2 person portraits she does (which is high on my wish list! I really want to get one of Daniel and I). She also does custom 1 person portraits and blog headers, as well having a range of gorgeous prints with cute pictures and uplifting words (one of the greatest things about Kayley is her positivity) available on her Etsy.

3. Annya Karina Marttinen.
Aside from having a name that rolls off the tongue ever-so-satisfyingly, and an Instagram feed that even the world's most revered photographers would be envious of, Annya also has an Etsy account filled with her beautiful artwork on prints and postcards.

Annya states on her Etsy account that her artwork is inspired by the little things: quiet moments, vintage fashion and the comfort of home - which makes sense once you browse through her illustrations and notice that warm, at-home feel that they give you. They personally make me think of autumn and hot chocolates every time I look at them. If you're a self-confessed bookworm and/or bibliophile like myself, you'll be pleased to see that many of Annya's works feature piles of books and/or bookshelves as well.

4. Mel Macklin.
Mel Macklin's art is spectacular. Breath-taking. I'd even go as far as saying it's ethereal, which is a word I never use because I don't feel that anything truly suits it's definition, but that's how much I admire Mel Macklin's work. The above photo is of her "The World Can Wait" print, which is inspired by Sailor Moon, so of course it's my favourite. According to her Instagram, Mel is from Melbourne just like me, and I can hardly contain my excitement knowing that someone so talented comes from the same city as I do.

Over own Mel's Etsy account, you'll find countless cards, stickers, prints and even jewellery of her gorgeous artwork that draws inspiration from a range of things such as Alice in Wonderland, ballet, Adventure Time, mermaids, Sailor Moon, The Wizard of Oz, her love of animals, Strawberry Shortcake, The X-Files, and much more. You won't need my convincing once you take a look at her work though; her pure talent and attention to detail alone will be enough for you to fall in love with Mel and everything she creates, all on your own.

5. Wasted Rita.
Rita is very different from the artists I've listed so far, but still one of my all-time favourites. I resonate with her above piece, called "Move, bitch", so much. That's why I love Rita's work; it's honest, real and incredibly raw stuff. I particularly love her pieces that are a play on words and phrases, which inspired me to do my own mediocre doodles and word play.

Anyone who is uncomfortable with swearing and/or graphic sexual references should approach with caution when researching her work, as those themes pop up a lot in both her words and her illustrations, but she also has plenty of funny, relatable and motivating pieces as well.

6. Becky Helms from The Pink Samurai.
In a perfect world, Becky Helms (it feels weird to call people their real names when I'm so used to referring to them as their Instagram and/or blog handle) would be my best friend. Or my cool older sister. Or both. I thought that I had a lot of stuffed toys, Pokemon items and shelves filled with things I only ever look at and never play with or use - until I saw Becky's impressive and almost scary collections.

Not only does Becky love everything cute, pink, Sailor Moon and/or cat-related (just like me!), she also designs super cute badges, pins and stickers that are available in her shop. The "Magical Girl Gang" pin pictured above is high on my wishlist!

7. Able and Game.
Okay, technically Able and Game is run by a woman and her husband, but as Anna is the one who designs the cards, so I thought it'd be okay to include them in this list. Anna and her husband Gareth (I am just noticing that their names start with the same letters as their company... perhaps it's a couple nickname or something?) are from Melbourne, and they make cute n' quirky cards and stationary, as well as a few other random pieces.

In their Etsy shop, Able and Game have cards for lots of different occasions, as well as cards that don't seem to be aimed towards any specific event, but are unique enough to be interesting all on their own. They also have a selection of cards that are a play on city and suburb names within Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Some are cute, some are funny, some I just don't understand at all, but that's what makes Able and Game so wonderful. They're unique, not afraid to take chances and, ultimately, just want you make you smile.

8. Liz Climo.
Liz Climo is not only an animator for The Simpsons, she is also a children's author and illustrator, as well as a comic artist. The above comic, of Rory the Dinosaur (who has two books dedicated to him) and his dad, is my absolute favourite, but honestly I am yet to find a comic of Liz's that I don't enjoy.

I am pretty sure the first comic of Liz's that I ever saw was this one - and if it wasn't, it was certainly the first one that was engrained into my mind. I love the pure innocence of it, and that's what Liz's comics are about. They're wholesome, funny, feel-good stories that will leave you wanting more.

9. Lady Crappo.
I'm not sure if Lady Crappo calls herself an artist, but I certainly consider her to be one, and an amazing one at that. She has a whole blog dedicated to nail art that she does on her real nails with tiny paintbrushes - while dealing with a hereditary hand tremor!

Each design she does is as breathtaking as the last, but I particularly like the piece above because of its detail. I couldn't do something like if I had hours and hours to do so. She has a few tutorials on her blog, tips on nail care and how to clean your brushes, and explains the reason behind her unique and memorable blog name.

10. Mirrors Me.
MirrorsMe, whose real name I do not know, calls herself a "doodler" in her Instagram bio, but her works are so beautiful and detailed, I personally don't think they fit the definition of "doodles".

The two posts above are a few of my favourites out of her recent drawings, but I don't feel that these truly show off her skills. I think that these three posts are more accurate representations of her talent. One thing is for sure: she must be incredibly patient - and right-handed, surely. I'm left-handed, and I can't imagine being able to draw incredible drawings like these without ruining them with the side of my hand.

Until next time,
Indya xx

(P.S. I have no affiliation with any of the artists I mention, nor do any of them know me or my blog, I just really admire their work!)