Musings of a Serial Dabbler



mini half-head is tired and full of regret


such useful: every home needs a shrunken half-head


If you’re confused as to what you’re looking at, that’s entirely understandable.  Be confused no more as I explain presently:

A few years ago, I thought that I wanted to make lovely, strange, stop-motion animations, using resin and silicone puppets and detailed sets a la Tim Burton. So I began researching how to make silicone molds and casts so that I could begin making my characters and creatures. It got off to a good start; it was challenging but fun, and I had bazillions of plans bouncing around my head like ping pong balls. Alas, the materials were SO expensive, and the “trial and error” thing too weighted on the “error’ side of things for me to be able to afford to keep going without compromising my ability to pay rent and eat. I had to postpone my animator plan…..and unfortunately ( but not surprisingly, considering my history) never went back to it.

The half face that you see above is a silicone cast of a little pointless sculpture I made using modelling clay. It was my first experiment with trying to get some sort of fleshy colour, but I didn’t mix the pigments very well, (as you can see by the little white “scars” he has there) and the mouth colour is very messy. But I wasn’t too displeased with it as a first attempt, and it was a fun learning experience.

So, ok.  But why am I showing you this? Initially, because I noticed this half-faced fella in my craft room the other day ( I could never bring myself to throw him out), and finally got an idea of how to use him in a creative project. I won’t ramble on about said idea. I’ll get to the second reason instead:

I’m a Serial Dabbler. I don’t “specialise” in anything. I’m interested in many things ( too many things, it could be said), and, as a result have dipped my toes into many subjects. This results in a person who can do many things passably, but not one single thing brilliantly. This has been, and at times, still is, a source of extreme frustration to me. I’d LOVE to have a solid direction in life; something to concentrate ALL my creativity and energy into. But realistically, I’m never going to just suddenly stop being fascinated with all the things I’m fascinated with. That’s not gonna happen. Furthermore, if I’m honest, I really have zero desire to limit myself to one mode of self expression. There’s no way that would suffice.

I’m well aware that I’m not the only one with this dilemma. There are many of us “Serial Dabblers” ( or “Scanners”; “Experimenters”; “People Who Can’t Make Up Their Damn Minds”- whatever you want to call it) out there. We probably all face similar frustrations and confusion. I haven’t found an effective way to deal with this dilemma, so I don’t have any suggestions to offer those who also fall into this Serial Dabbler category. And, whilst what works for one person won’t always work for others, if you’re one of the fortunate people who have figured out a way of managing a herd of crazed interests, please feel free to comment regarding what’s  worked for you. I’m open to handy hints!

In the meantime, I figure all I can do is try to accept that this just happens to be the way my brain operates. And really, is it all bad? It sure makes life interesting. You learn a lot. It expands your mind; gives you an insight into- and an appreciation of-  things that were once a mystery. Sometimes you’ll meet someone in X occupation, and be able to have a great discussion about it with them because you researched that very subject years ago ( just before you realised you needed to research Y, instead ). That’s kinda nice. Or, maybe, while out window shopping, you’ll see a jacket you like but can’t afford, but because you dabbled in fashion design years ago, you’re able to go home and make a similar jacket for yourself, for a quarter of the price. Or just be able to fix something yourself instead of paying someone else to do it. Maybe the insomnia inspired trawlings of “Instructables” or “Make” Magazine will lead to new knowledge regarding a project you were stuck on, ( which you will still not complete, because now you’ve discovered what you really need to do is build a guitar, make some shoes, create a cake that  looks like James Baxter from “Adventure Time”, and learn electronics). Or maybe, instead of finishing your own project, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learnt along the way to help someone else finish theirs instead. Maybe you’ll end up finishing all your projects….just.. after about 20 years or so.

If there’s something I’ve noticed in life, it’s that some things that make  very little sense at one time, somehow manage to make perfect sense later down the track. Maybe the whole “I can’t pick one thing to focus on” dealy will be one of those things. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t know. Maybe instead of seeing incomplete paths as Dead Ends, I’ll be able to see them as scenic stopovers on my journey to who-knows-where as we hurtle through space in pointless circles on our little Earth ship. And when I zoom out and look at things that way, it probably doesn’t matter as much as I think it does.



L8 E-star


Easter is never a big deal for me, but I’ve always liked the idea of painting eggs. They’re just such an aesthetically pleasing shape, and I love the idea of having nests full of strange beautiful eggsicles perched throughout my house. But the egg-blowing process always looked so involved and time consuming, so I never got around to it……..until now. This year, with my creativity gone walkabout in all the areas that I need it right now, ( it’s always the way) I finally got around to trying the egg emptying/drying/ painting process, just so I could feel like I was being *slightly* artistic, and… somewhat less melancholy.

Materials:  egg shell, foil, acrylic paint, food dye, paint pens, patience, mini nebula vibes from the E-star Universe

There are a few more that I’ve not yet finished ( I had to wait until I could buy el cheapo acrylic paints due to my good ones taking far too long to dry), which may or may not be blogworthy upon completion. Just like this post, they certainly won’t be super relevant insofar as the now-in-the-past E-star holidays go, but time always moves differently in my universe 😉 ( plus, there won’t be any bunnies or fluffy chickies, so hopefully they can just be ‘Art” )

Anyway ( god, I say that FAR too often), I’m really hoping to feel more inspired ASAP. I only feel half alive ( but 100% terrified) when the creative ideas recede. On the upside, I’m trying to learn some things on the piano* ( things which are way beyond my noob skill level but which keep me interested precisely for that reason), and fantasising about somehow acquiring a hang drum ( again…when will I learn that they are far too expensive for me?) so as to upgrade from my steel tongue drums ( which are honestly quite lovely anyway) and becoming the next Manu Delago. So I guess that’s good?

*old and dusty keyboard. But hey- beggars can’t be choosers!

something in the air…


There must be something in the air at the moment, because no less than three of the blogs I follow here have posted today about the subject of depression and the associated crappy feelings that occur when it begins sneaking up again.

I won’t go into vivid detail about my own stuff right now. Those who know, already know. What goes up must come down, and I have to admit that I’ve had a good run of silly moods over the last few weeks, so this crash was inevitable. It will end, and I will be OK. The real me lurks somewhere in between the amplified neon version and the washed out sepia one. She’s elusive, but I know she exists. I will stop calling myself awful names, and I will feel positive and clear again, as I have done before. That knowledge helps already.

The artwork above is not new; I drew this a few years ago. But it does accurately illustrate how I’ve been feeling today ( ie. GRRR!), so here it is! People who have perused my art page will have already seen it, but most likely many won’t have done- especially if they’re “read it from the reader feed(er)” kinda people. So hopefully this will be new to one or two humans out there.

Sending a massive cyber hug to anyone feeling low at the moment. ( And yes, I know; a cyber hug is about as useful to a depressed person as an offer to eat a beret is to somebody suffering from vertigo. However, I’m hoping that my cyber hug has a touch of magick about it, and will somehow- on its way through the ether to you- convert into a real live one from someone lovely. )


sad sketchy sunday


It took a lot of effort to convince myself to draw today. I no longer seem to derive any joy from it, which is a shame, seeing as I used to do quite a bit of arty stuff ( here; let me prove it).  Where does that passion and enthusiasm go, I wonder? Well, actually, I don’t wonder. I know very well that it gets swallowed up by the ravenous parasite that is Depression. It’s the reason behind my inability to reclaim/retain enthusiasm for anything for longer than 5 minutes, and also the cause of the dust on my guitars, the withdrawal of my friendship from others, and the panic that my options in life are running out; the day  the last ship sails- leaving me behind for good- rapidly drawing near.

Pardon the Debbie Downerism in this space which I generally reserve for the convenient escapism of nonsense and absurdity. I’m not sure what I’m hoping to achieve from it save  the vague chance that it will prove relatable in some way, thus somehow providing for myself -and the people who do relate- some sort of reassurance that the experience isn’t purely a solo one.

Anyway, this drawing may not have been any fun to do, but it is nice to have some sort of evidence of having made an effort. When effort is possible, it can’t be too bad. Sending my love to anybody out there struggling with similar. Lord knows we’re only really allowed to exist on The Internet ( and then, only in certain shadowy corners) , so the least we can do is acknowledge one another on this one safe bullshit-free corner we seem to have here.



Hexagon Garden


(First Infrared pho toes- using a filter. Hard not to get grainy results. Apparently can get better results from a modified camera. Must look into that at a later present time ( as well as , y’know, maybe focusing BEFORE placing the filter on? Embarrassingly stupid and obvious oversight is embarrassingly stupid and obvious. My brain works in mysterious ways..) . But whatever. This is still fun, and the pics – although utter shite as photography- are still interesting as images, so i’m not too discouraged. Colours modified, obviously)