Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Directions

So, as some of you know, I have had difficulty maintaining a blog with any regularity! That's not really an issue for me for the most part since I do not really keep up or participate on any social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram etc etc. I've always thought that, as a creative maker of things, the best course of action/promotion is to just make more things. Explore new ideas. Better my skills. Try new techniques.

But, I DO love to write and to share what I am creating. . . so I am going to make a more concerted effort to tie my blog into my shops for the first time so that customers/visitors in all of my Etsy and online shops, as well as the wonderful blog friends I have already, can keep up with what is new and what I am creating going forward. I felt this was especially important since I am taking some definite turns of direction for the year ahead in 2016.

Up until now, for the 6 years I have been creating and making my living thru Bewilder and Pine, Shadow of the Sphinx and My Antarctica, I have just allowed myself to drift from idea to idea all the while building a world within those shoppes that, at this point, I feel is now ready to move in very definite directions. But, when creating 7 days a week to meet demand for fairy houses, Kemetic statues and amulets and custom pieces of all sorts, I have often let the larger picture go due to those demands or just going wherever my heart takes me without much direction. (And I have a lot to say about that in the coming year!) This, inevitably, leads to the larger, more involved projects being started and then left to sit while the day to day creative work goes on.

What I feel I need to do now is to begin to build the world of "The Bewildering Pine" in more complete stories and finally accessing areas I have yet to explore too. I've been wanting, for a few years now, to move towards complete storytelling and world building in "the Pine" and away from just creating individual pieces solely for the shoppes. After another wonderful holiday season that saw my shops pretty much depleted, I decided the New Year would be the best time to start anew.

So I have a very "big picture" idea for Bewilder and Pine. And for Shadow of the Sphinx,  I think it means just less undirected exploration and more focus on really refining the style I've created without allowing that shoppe to take away too much time doing projects that require a lot of planning or learning new techniques right now. And for My Antarctica? Well, I have not created any new digital art for four years but I DO have an idea for a series of very abstract future-scapes, rather sci-fi-ish, involving some of my miniature work and the watery-coloured backgrounds I love to combine digitally so much.

I'm planning to write at least two blog posts a month, one on the first of every month with new ideas, progress on the larger project of world building and sneak peeks at what's new and what's to come. One perhaps on the mid-month as well to just talk about what I am doing and where things are in a larger sense as well as telling more internal stories about how I got here..

I am changing the whole way I go about creating and listing for the shops, doing it in batches instead of a piece a day or so and this will also give people a chance to see ahead of release what is coming.

And I do, truly, want to talk a lot about the lifelong paracosm of my world. Why I created it, where it comes from, and why I strive so hard to keep as much of the "adult world" around us at bay and keep my inner world so simple and undisturbed by that outer and, in my opinion, equally illusionary world.

Here's one little story to leave you with:

My mother who is in her 80's just recently had her bathroom floor redone. With the exception of replacing the base carpet, this had not been done in over 50 years. When the workers were done installing the tile, she asked the one worker if the floor extended all the way under the heater (she is a real worrier about anything causing a fire!) and when he ran his hand under the baseboard heater to show her it had plenty of clearance, he knocked something over. . . and he pulled it out. . . and it was a tiny little model train figure. It must have been mine when I was a child and, likely, during one of my many world building endeavors around the house, I put it there at some point and never took it out again.

It has, essentially, been "standing guard" there for probably 35 years or so.

She had to call me right away to tell me and I was glad she did. That little piece of myself is something I strive to find in everything I make. And those earliest days of world-building are what I constantly wish to reclaim in my world, and in my daily life, with each new opportunity.

Now as I look around the studio, I see that it is filled with new pieces that stand guard just as that little figure has for all these years back home.

And, inside, all the memories and nostalgia of that time remain undisturbed.
Always on watch.
Always near.

So this year, in short, I plan to do more world building and less order fulfilling. :)

Tomorrow I will post the first monthly update and start redirecting people here from the shops. That post will be focused on the first of my ideas I am trying to finish and formulate for the year ahead. A little remote set of islands in the world I create called Kitsurada and the Legend of the Foxgoyles who protect and defend it's citizens.

I hope that it will provide a glimpse into the larger world I create and an inspiring poke into the possibility of the worlds, perhaps yet unbuilt, around and inside of YOU!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a creative year ahead!

PS: As for custom work. . . in case one might get the impression that I do not enjoy it, here is something I made for a client this holiday season that I absolutely loved every moment of!

Enjoy and . . . BELIEVE!


  1. Your work is very inspiring Nicolas. Not just this, but your writing too. I feel very drawn to read every word of each post you write. There is so much depth there, and finishing reading I just want to read more. So, I am happy to hear you will be posting more of your writing. Happy New Year, dear friend. xx

    1. Thank you Louise! It's hard sometimes. . . I am so content in my inner world and though I do want to send more out, I find myself so insulated in my creating. . . but I will be posting much more this year and will, hopefully, open new doors with the writing too! : )

  2. Wonderful to hear from you on my blog, i have been meaning to stop by yours, i love the new items you are working on, (as always!) and am glad to hear you will be concentrating on more writing. To answer your question on the muses, no i haven't sold them yet as i closed down my etsy for the last few weeks, and i do plan on making more, maybe custom ones, just need to get around to listing it as custom. But that would mean slowing down on this complete compulsion to quilt and read quilting books at the same time, and i am enjoying that too much to quit and refocus, soon though. As i always get sidetracked at some point and come back around to the original thought. I hope to read more of your new writings soon.... Take care

    1. Ohhhh I know exactly how you feel! :) And actually this year I hope to listen to that muse quite a bit more. So many projects I often put aside to do custom work or restock the shops and I feel like these other ideas that I so want to sink into have been pushed aside again and again. . . so we will see. :) And I want one of those Pale Muses when your shop reopens.

  3. Thank the gods you're going to blog more. I stop by once in a while and scrunch up my face into something very troll-like when I see you haven't written anything new.

    1. Oh we cannot have that Nichola! Though I do love creating a good, scrunchy troll-like face. . . but only in clay!! Yes, I'll be around much more. A lot of restructuring going on this last month to allow for it and other creative bliss!

      See you soon again!