Friday, November 12, 2010

Needful Things

Today I bought a desk lamp for the studio. I can't quite believe that it took me this long to do this.
It cost me ten minutes and fifty pounds in Argos, and it is actually really pretty - heavy black metal with pleasing joints, it looks like a friendly robot. And I CAN SEE WHAT I AM DRAWING.

Light at Last.
I also put a radiator on the desk, another beside the chair, and Simon helped me to sling a lamp on a cable across the ceiling, to be suspended from big hooks as needed. Clever construction.
I got some drawing done, although the paper felt a bit damp. It really is getting cold. But I refuse to worry. I'll just keep making it more comfortable and warm.

I slept late, because I felt I had to - I noticed my writing had become a bit incoherent and my drawing a bit wobbly, and I felt like crying for no reason. I was just very tired. It's hard, changing my life around in so many ways, and keeping track of what needs doing - I want to have more time to go into town and make use of London, for one thing, and I want to get my room to a point that it makes me happy to walk into it, and the studio to a point where I can just sit down and start drawing any time. Tomorrow I will paint my bedroom shelves, and have some prints framed. It's strange, last year I would never have paid for framing, I'd have done it myself... I'm starting to feel strangely grown up, paying people for things I don't have time for. My life used to be all time, a big bag of assorted time... now it's a big bag of assorted work. Brilliant work, but nevertheless, it confuses me sometimes.

I started having little silent chats with my comic characters while I have a rest on the sofa, or before dragging myself out of bed, and they are very reassuring. They seem to be much less tired than I am myself at the moment. It's good to think they know what they are doing, and I just need to keep putting them on paper. They've become my friends. Especially Wolke Daune, the white sheep, who sometime tells me to stop, have a cup of tea and look at my calendar and see that actually there's a bit of space somewhere so I can go and buy a dressing gown after all to make my mornings happy, for example.

I managed to merge all my digital calendars into one, thanks to gcal, and to get them all up on my android phone, and for the first time I can really see how much I am taking on because it's right there in stacked up coloured stripes across the days and weeks. And I can spot the places where the stacks are too fat, and move appointments and mark days out for life things rather than work things. It's great to have a smartphone, it really helps. It's also been good to be able to deal with my email on the move - in the post office queue or waiting for my desk lamp in Argos, in fact. It even watches over my 20 minute power naps and the assorted pills I need to take. And at night, if I can see a planet through my window, it tells me which one it is. It's great. In fact, have a list of apps I've found useful, after the jump, if you like.

My favourite android apps so far...

  • Google Sky Map (hold it up to the night sky and spot constellations, or see where the sun is underneath your feet...)
  • Astrid Tasks (have your life organised by a miniscule squid. better than it sounds.)
  • ASTRO (back up all your apps)
  • c:geo (there's treasure everywhere)
  • Barcode Scanner, and ShareQR (for making and reading barcodes)
  • Blogger-droid (blog on the go)
  • Dropbox (hooray, dropbox on the mobile!!!)
  • App Protector (so no one else can easily access my dropbox with my phone)
  • Lost Phone (to lock or locate lost/stolen phone remotely)
  • London TFL map (is the tube running today? At all? Where to?)
  • Rail Planner Live (...and the trains?)
  • SlideIT Keyboard (makes typing on screen suddenly almost quite possible)
  • Twidroyd (for Twitter)
  • Pillbox Alert (for antibiotics and suchlike annoyances)
  • AlarmDroid (for gentle morning wakings, and power naps)

...and of course google maps, to navigate me around the place. And google talk and all other useful things Google.
And, yeah, okay, Fruit Ninja.
I'm really happy I didn't get an iphone. It's good to have all my stuff stored on the web. Google calendar actually changed my life, I think. Or maybe just made it more stripey. I like it, in any case.


Rae Wetherill said...

It gives me hope for the future that you, a professional illustrator, uses sainsburys basic hairspray as fix instead of something posh and exspensive! Unless you actually use it in your hair and not on the page, then I apologise :)

Viviane Schwarz said...

Hairspray generally does the job... I just need it to stay in place until it's photocopied at the moment. But I've never had problems with it yet, except some of my artwork smells of lavender because I bought some cheap scented stuff from the corner shop in a hurry...