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Welcome “you, who so well know the nature of my soul,” as Edgar Allen Poe once wrote – you cannot imagine how honoured and humbled I am to receive you here [no need to worry, I don’t serve Amontillado…]!

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Let’s start our relationship on the basis of truth and be honest with each other: You probably think you don’t have a clue about the nature of my soul [and couldn’t care less, for that matter], and you are sly enough to know that when I say “you”, I cannot possibly mean you.

Wrong.

Deep down, beyond all that divides us, we know each other – because we are so much alike.

You and I, we

  • seek to tap into the wild, the raw, and the beautiful within us, even when it scares us
  • long to fully step onto the path that we are constantly being called to
  • are tired of our guilt, our doubt, our excuses, and are ready to allow transformation [sort of].
  • want to overcome resistance and bring forth the gift that only we can give to the world – tackling one day at a time
  • know that getting out of bed and doing what is meaningful to us is harder on some days, but we try to get up anyway
  • want to feel alive, turned on, sparking & radiating with passion a personal mission that is so important to us that it is stronger than our tiredness, our facebook feed, our desire to binge watch an entire series of Once Upon a Time…

You and I, we want to feel good enough. Because when we do, we start living the lives we crave! Because when we do, we make the world a better + happier place!

And we know: The only person, who can make us feel that way, is ourselves.

You are reading this because our paths have crossed and we are given this precious time to walk together and share what we have learnt along the way with each other.

This is the place where I share my journey and do everything I can to be a fantastic assistant-passenger on yours! (Click here if you agree, but don’t know where to start)

 

Happy Birthday Charlotte Bronte & Thank You For Jane Eyre | #TakeMeHomeThursday // Illustration

ay before the Kindle even existed and e-books were generally unheard of, my Mam had given me a game for my Nintendo DS that deepened my love affair with 19th century storytelling.

The name of the game was “100 Classical Books”, and I spent my daily commute to Munich for school with Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters. And, while I love Jane Austen and Charles Dickens – it was particularly the Bronte sisters that stuck with me.

Reading The Professor, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre [amongst others] deeply resonated with me back then – and today. Where Austen is often ladylike in her subtlety, humorously ironic and pleasurably romantic, the Bronte’s are angry, shockingly passionate, and demanding.

My sixteen year-old self, was particularly drawn to Charlotte Bronte and her “poor, plain, overlooked governess” (Harman 2015, 227), who makes for a very unconventional heroine.  After reading Claire Harman’s book “Charlotte Bronte: A Life” recently, my love for Jane and compassion for Charlotte has only deepened.

May I present to you my piece “Jane Eyre” (2017) 

Illustration Artist Art by Cat De Pillar victorian illustration steampunk aesthetic jane eyre charlotte bronte

“Jane Eyre” (2017) by Cat De Pillar | Click Here To See Print

I am a firm believer that every creator leaves parts of themselves in their creations that transforms their work into little time capsules. Their emotions, their thoughts, their experiences, their favourite colours and smells – through their work we are able to experience little moments of life, even after the creators have long passed.

What has always appealed to me in the character of Jane Eyre, was her strength as a woman to stand for her own opinions and decisions, but also her willingness to believe that she was worthy of love – even if she could not boast of beauty.

Like her heroine, Charlotte and her sisters believed that no matter how horrible and humiliating the outside world was, “it was preferable to the state of feminine inertia” (ibid., 87).  I think many women can appreciate that point of view even today.

That’s why, for Charlotte’s birthday today on the 21st of April, I wanted to do something in not only her honour, but in appreciation of the woman she created: Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre was the first fictitious woman I consciously was aware of who expressed her rage and who’s anger was allowed to “rush through the narrative of her life like the storm winds […]” (ibid., 226). As a woman who was unable to honestly express her anger and true emotions for a very long time – she is a great inspiration to me.

However, after reading Charlotte’s biography, I also know that she carries the ghost of Charlotte within her: The suffering, the misery, the defiant anger at the world and the role of women in it – the hope for a life lived in alignment with her vocation.

It’s all of this – and so much more that I cannot express – that I want to acknowledge and appreciate today, and with this illustration.

Happy Birthday Charlotte, and thank you for the heroine that has accompanied me ever since I tapped on your book on my Nintendo DS.

If you are a Jane Eyre lover as much as I am and want to take home a print, then have a look in my Etsy Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/526292623/charlotte-brontes-jane-eyre-illustration?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Let’s Draw // “Earrach (Spring) 2017) Speed Painting // Art Blog

ey there lovely!

I’m really proud that I managed to create this Let’s Draw video for you BEFORE spring is over, and show you the making of of my latest piece “Earrach (Spring)” (2017).

 I truly love making these (Let’s Draw) videos for you, so if you like them, let me know in the comments below + share with me any video/post ideas you’d like to see me do in the future. [*singing Britney Spears “’cause I’m a….SLAAAAVE for you”]

I have written about the meaning behind this piece and invite you to have a look, if you are interested in some more details about it. You can read about it in this blog post. 

Also, if you want to snatch a print for yourself – I love you! – you can get spring as a “take-away order” in my Etsy shop!

For those of you reading this before Easter, I want to wish you a wonderful time with your family and friends [+ some quality alone time with all the chocolate]. If you are reading this at another time, then I hope you have a fantastic day 🙂

Lots of love,

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3 Ways To Channel Your Inner Fangirl & Why You Should // Video

Hey awesome you!

How are you? Let me tell you, it’s so great to have you here and I really hope that you enjoy this video I made for the Fangirl in you and me. However, this is not only a video on a topic that is important to me, but also a little teaser for my upcoming gift to you: A 5 day video series for creatives struggling with doubt and low self-esteem.

If you sign up for my newsletter until the 11th of April 2017, you can snag my current gift – a guided meditation + free illustration – before I remove it to make space for my new gift. 

When we look at the OED definition of the term “Fangirl”, we come up with something that isn’t all to flattering. In fact, I am pretty sure that the word “obsessive” is a red flag for most of us [am I the only one thinking of the girls who fainted when they saw Justin Bieber their favourite youtuber?].

Thus, while many of us might not consider ourselves Fangirls [or Fanboys], at least not in public, I’m pretty sure you could come up with a couple of situations in which you are – if not obsessively, then at least passionately – already channeling your inner Fangirl. Think The Walking Dead, Mass Effect, Cookie-Dough Ice Cream…

It’s for this reason that I decided it was time to create this video, as I believe that the Fangirl is not appreciated enough and that this aspect of our personalities needs to be encouraged. That’s why I not only offer you my take on why it’s important to channel her, but 3 ways you can incorporate her into your life that you might not have considered, and that will take your fangirling to the next level.

I’m ready to redefine the meaning of Fangirl from someone who is “obsessive” to someone who cares deeply about not only enriching her own life, but supporting those who are creating the things she loves. You with me?

Of course, this list is by no means extensive [particularly because I wanted to keep the video short], which is why I would love to know

  • How you channel your inner Fangirl, and
  • What you would add to the list

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to look at my videos and work, and sending me so many emails with your thoughts and suggestions.

I very much appreciate your presence in my life,

bear hug and lots of love,

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SPRING REMINDER: BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF | #TAKEMEHOMETHURSDAY // ART

s you might have gathered from my recent update, I’m very much aware of spring erupting all around me right now and the changes it naturally brings with it.

There is an excitement in everything and everyone; spring is abuzz with barely restrained energy. It’s like a horse impatiently pawing the ground in anticipation of a race.

And that’s where my newest piece of artwork ties in.

May I present to you my newest piece:  “Earrach (Spring)” (2017).

Earrach Spring by Cat De Pillar Artwork about spring and the magic of motherhood

“Earrach (Spring)” (2017), by Cat De Pillar. If this piece and her message resonate with you, why not buy a print and taker her home? 

All in all, I am astonished by how peaceful this illustration turned out, considering the amount of BBC documentaries I watched on the “Hidden Killers of the [Edwardian, Victorian, Tudor] Home” I’ve watched….
In the following segments I will tell you

  • About the background of the piece
  • About some of my thought processes behind its composition
  • Where you can get her for yourself

1 // Earrach – The Potential of Spring

Earrach is the Irish Gaelic word for spring. Even though this time has various religious connotations, it was important to me to make this piece about spring itself, without tying it to any specific faith.

For me, spring stands for hope and growth, but also vulnerability.

 There is hope when we notice how strong the sun is becoming; when the first burst of buds start peeking out from dry bushes; when everything suddenly looks less drab than a week ago.

There are examples of growth all around us that encourage us to grow as human beings as well – on a conscious and unconscious level. I’m a firm believer that humans cannot exist independently from nature and that even the most convinced urbanites among us intrinsically sense that something’s up this time of year.

As nature is getting ready to burst into bloom and dazzle the world – don’t many of us feel like doing the same?

But with this hope and growth, I find there’s always an element of vulnerability present. While the days are longer and the buds grow stronger, everything is still delicate; fragile. Spring gently promises us rich summer spoils – but it still needs protection and support.

A harsh wind, a cold night – it’s so easy to break the stem before the flower can bloom; it is so easy to be discouraged when we are only starting out on our own adventures.

It is this energy of absolute potential that my piece is about – with the gentle reminder that we still need to gently coax it out of its winter sleep and nurture it into being.

While I invite you to forge your own bond with this piece – and any piece of art, for that matter – here are some thoughts that I had as I set out to create it.

2 // Some Thought Processes in Detail

While Earrach’s posture is peaceful, the fabric of her dress and her hair seem restless. This is a metaphor for her deep trust in the magic that will soon unfold, while everything around her is getting ready for it.

The pattern on her dress has opposing messages. On the one hand, we have leaves that look like they are falling to the ground suggesting that everything in nature is still in the state that autumn left it in – brown, lifeless, bare. On the other hand, there are little branches carrying leaves and small blossoms, suggesting that spring is already on its way. The colour of the fabric is reminiscent of winter and the bluish hue of ice, but it is already tinged with green.

The flower blooming in her hand is glowing with the energy of life and is a symbol for all the beautiful life – nature and otherwise – that is coming into being at this time. The world is renewing itself and the old is not replaced, but expanded by the new. However, and this knowledge lies within her loving gaze, this new life relies on her care and guidance.

In addition to spring, it is particularly the archetype of the mother that I relate to this Illustration, because who else nurtures and coaxes the potential of life into the world more than a mother, the maker of worlds?  

For this reason I would like to dedicate “Earrach” to my Aunt Caoimhe and her baby girl Cadhla.

3 // Bring Earrach Into Your Home [see what I did there? 😉 ]

and invite everything she means to you into your own life on a more conscious level. It can be a powerful step to surround ourselves with the images and objects that remind us of who we feel like inside and the thoughts that are important to us.

Maybe “Earrach (Spring)” could help you do that?

If so, why don’t you gift yourself [or someone you know] a print of this piece? 

An artprint, while such a seemingly unimportant object, can have the power to connect you with you. It can help us remember – visually and emotionally – where we want to go and how we want to feel, when our hectic lives often make us forget or go numb. Imagine heading for your first hit of caffeine in the morning – second guessing yourself about the path you’re currently on, and beating yourself up about all the things you haven’t achieved yet – and then you see your print of this piece. For a moment, your negative spiral is interrupted by the associations you have with this piece of art. You might smile to yourself as you remember that doubt and feeling vulnerable is a natural part of the growth process and requires you to slow down and be gentle with yourself. You might, for a second, just stop beating yourself up and head into your day with a more positive, kinder attitude towards yourself and your achievements.

Not so unimportant after all, right? 🙂

I also think this piece would make a beautiful baby shower gift that focuses on the magic of motherhood and serves as a message of empowerment to a mother when she might feel overwhelmed, or worried about the new role she is preparing for.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my piece, as well as the subject, and want to ask you: What are you surrounding yourself with that makes you feel really good, and what does it remind you of?

Lots of love to you and I wish you a great day!

 

 

Focusing On Art & Finding My Own Path // Full Moon Update

Hey there party people, I hope you’re ready for an update!

I know it’s been a while, but I am back + I’ve made this fancy-schmancy video, where I tell you a little about what has been going on in my world. I know that it says “Full Moon Update” while the full moon has been gone for so long that it’s almost the full moon again – BUT – I explain why in the video.

Before I bore you, let me tell you who might find this update interesting:

Creatives who struggle with “being productive” and who feel pressured to create under a schedule and according to “best practice” systems. Artists who secretly believe that art is not “real” work (oh, the pain of the paradox!). People who want to feel a little less shitty about their own hang-ups, by seeing that we’re all just works in progress.

Once you’ve watched the video, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I talk about, but also: 

  1. What content would you look forward to in your inbox?
  2. What would you love to know or see more about from me?

With all the changes happening in my life right now, I really want to make this space and my relationship with you a priority + the content I share relevant to YOU.

I send you lots of love and a big hug,

Cat De Pillar Signature