In which I ruin my friendships by giving everyone big eyebrows

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that in April I decided I would deviate away from my normal Vogue magazine drawings to attempt my hand at illustrating some friends (tweet proof below for you slackers who missed it though lol, I just noticed the grammar mistake in it so I guess I’m the real slacker for not proofreading before sending it out):

After posting this tweet, every couple of days I would pull out my sketchbook and attempt to draw a picture of someone who I had talked to. It was my little attempt to show appreciation to some of my friends for being so great to me (definitely not all of them – if you don’t see yourself here it’s only because Dave visited in April and ruined my drawing mojo) and a way to challenge myself to move a little outside of my comfort zone. And today is the day I show those illustrations (and so find out if I have any friends left).

I know, that’s a bit dramatic. Surely I wouldn’t lose any friends over these illustrations? But I have to say, there has been a trend with the feedback for the ones I have shown so far (and this doesn’t include the Snapchat message from Kelley which mentioned a similar thing):

Whoops, I seem to have a thing for big eyebrows.

But hey, eyebrows have got a lot of attention lately, right? People draw them and feather them and all kinds of things. Surely my big eyebrow faces aren’t a bad drawing? And it’s not like I just limit them to friends: I even draw myself with these big things (they’re so big they’re even visible through my bangs in my drawings).

Illustrations of Friends || Self-portrait || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Haha, oh well. It is what it is. And like it or not, I can’t promise you these big eyebrow drawings are changing anytime soon. So any friends out there I haven’t drawn, the warning remains: if you never want to be illustrated with some big eyebrows by yours truly, stop talking to me or remove all selfies from the internet. Otherwise, who knows when my motivation for another friend month will appear and whether you’ll be next. Muhahaha.

And now, the drawings featuring some of my favorite people on the Internet (along with a few little notes about why they’re so great):

Friends || Kelley @ Oh, the Books! || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Kelley: Crazy cat lady, co-blogger from my Oh, the Books! days, ampersand lover, tarot reader, creative, unique, and best friend

Illustrations of Friends || Joséphine @ Word Revel || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Joséphine: blogger at Made of Mint, reader, sporty, photographer, super smart, and needs to bake something and send it to me

Friends || Inge @ Of Wonderland || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Inge: Blogger at Of Wonderland, Harry Potter and Disney fangirl, lover of sloths, advocate for mental health, writer, whimsical, supportive

Illustrations of Friends || Maraia || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Maraia: Guest blogger at B√ľechermonster, Bookish Games devotee, patient, understanding, another fool who fell for international love

Illustrations of Friends || Stacey @ Pretty Books || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Stacey: Blogger at Pretty Books, Tumblr all-star, traveler, caring, all around book person, one of the friends I miss the most from London

Friends || Iris @ Eat Train Read || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Iris: Blogger at Eat Train Read, blogging buddy!!!, book lover, exercise addict, hardworking, inspiring, reliable, and fun

Illustrations of Friends || Topaz @ Six Impossible Things || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Topaz: blogger at Six Impossible Things, poet, editor, actress, award-winner, peaceful, raw, magical, supportive, honest

Illustrations of Friends || Asiya @ Literary Head || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Asiya: blogger at Literary Head, writer, sass enthusiast, sneaky, fun, unique, caring, confetti spreader

Why Can't We Be Friends? || Victoria || Illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Victoria: An actual real-life friend, old co-worker, kid at heart, sunshine and patriotism, better at “girling” than I’ll ever be, a trooper

Illustrations of Friends || Sian @ Sian Blogs || by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Sian: Blogger at Sian Blogs, newest internet friend (whether she knows it or not), creator of A Film Club, explorer, inspiring, honest, brave

For more detailed explanations of why I chose each friend, follow me on Instagram! I’ll be sharing one a day for the next week or two, talking about why I appreciate each person so much, and encouraging you to check them out. All the love for all my friends!

There you have it! A small glimpse into some of my friends, why I love them, and their very big brows (which are totally accurate, I don’t know what you’re talking about). If you see someone you don’t recognize, make sure to click the links in their caption to check out their twitter or blog. And let me know what you think of the drawings and if the thought of me drawing you terrifies you. You have to lie and say you love it even if you don’t, because that’s what friendships are for, right? haha. Also, how are we liking the attempts at putting more effort into photos and maybe doing flatlays? Yay or nay?

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Want more of my madness? Don’t forget you can follow me elsewhere:
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Or, if you’re interested in my last art¬†post:
Growing and identifying as a creator

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Motivation, that elusive beast… until you find a friend at least!

Okay, can we take a moment to appreciate my rhyme in today’s blog post title before we continue? Motivation, that elusive¬†beast, until you find a friend¬†at least?¬†I didn’t even plan for it to happen, it just did, and it works so well for what this post is about: using buddies to inspire you to finally get shit done! (Go me!)

Okay, moving on…

Motivation, that elusive beast... until you find a friend at least! | Five reasons friends are great when your thoughts on a task move from excitement to frustration | post and illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

Friends who are as blind as I: click on the photo to be able to read/zoom the text.

Wanting to do it but lacking motivation

I feel like we’ve all been there – whether it’s as bloggers or creators or gym-goers. We have the things we need to get things done, we know we¬†want to do it, and yet we just can’t get ourselves to actually¬†put it in action. Somehow, what starts as motivation and excitement for what’s to come slowly drifts into this feeling of impossibility.

I mean, look at this blog. I’ve planned launching atypicalnarrative¬†since… November of 2016? I had the design done, knew what content I wanted to create, had plenty of ideas, even had a stockpile of drawings to pull from. But for some reason I kept feeling like I couldn’t do it. I would have moments of inspiration where I would work of things, but then it would all fall away and I would end up putting it off for another day.

It took me four months to publish my first post and, I’ll be honest, my main motivation was the fact that my good friend Josette launched her blog: Made of Mint. I had one of those “shit, if she can do it so I can!” moments. (And here we are, two months later, already struggling to keep it up.)

But hey, you know what that made me realize? Sometimes the best way to get things done is to brings your friends along for the ride.

Friends to save the day

After I published my first blog post, I realized I needed something (or someone) to help me keep things on track. I took to Twitter to request a blogging buddy and Inge and Iris both volunteered. We came up with a set time, an hour or so on a certain weekday, and devoted that time to motivating each other, discussing our thoughts, and getting shit done.

And you know what? Best decision I ever made for this blog. While I did have a lapse in content this past month, I am finally back on track after reaching out to Iris once again for our weekly blogging sessions (we took a hiatus while Dave was here).

You see, having a “blogging buddy” (or writing buddy, exercising buddy, etc.) is great for so many reasons:

Motivation, that elusive beast... until you find a friend at least! | My current blog buddy and motivation trapper: Iris @ eattrainread.com | post and illustration by Asti @ bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

my current blogging buddy: Iris @ Eat Train Read
(and her cat, Fury, of course)

  • Schedule: Setting aside a certain amount of time each week to dedicate towards what you want to do is so, so beneficial.¬†Knowing that Iris and I are¬†going to each devote a¬†certain¬†hour Mondays and Wednesdays¬†towards blogging automatically puts me in the state of mind of getting things done.
  • Accountability: Of course, sometimes it’s tempting to just shrug your schedule off because you’re not feeling it. This is a lot harder to do if you have a buddy. Even if you can’t actually devote that hour as you intended because other things get in the way, it’s a lot harder to abandon it completely because you know the other person is counting on you. (For example, this week Iris had to work on an essay so couldn’t devote our hour to blogging, which was fine, but she¬†still made herself available to chat with me¬†which meant I still felt¬†supported.)
  • Soundboard: Sometimes its nice to get feedback about a post before publishing it into the wild.¬†Whether it’s struggling with what to write, worrying about a controversial or taboo subject, or just wanting someone to proofread, it can be great to have a buddy around. While Iris and myself don’t actually trade posts that often, we do often talk about the content we’re creating and share our general thoughts on the matter.
  • Motivation:¬†Obviously this is a reason, otherwise this blog post wouldn’t make sense. Beyond the internal motivation that comes with having a buddy, you get external motivation as well. I love that when Iris and I are done with our hour we usually mention what we’ve accomplished and congratulate each other, even if we didn’t do all that we wanted. It helps you recognize your successes instead of obsessing on all the things left to do, which can sometimes be difficult depending on your state of mind.
  • Inspiration: I mean, geesh, without a blogging buddy I wouldn’t have this post, would I? haha. But no, even beyond that, you may find that your discussions with your friend may help you come up with something new that you hadn’t thought of.
  • Friendship: Lastly, and I think this is one of the best things, having a partner working with you towards your goals really helps build up a friendship. I considered Iris a friend prior to this blogging buddy business, but I feel it even more so now that we’ve worked together towards our goals.¬†We devote two hours every week towards working together and¬†I enjoy the chats that go with it – even when they go outside the blogging realm. ‚̧

I mean, I think you get the gist. Having a friend working with you towards accomplishing the same goal makes capturing the elusive beast of motivation so much easier. If there’s something on your list that you’ve wanted to get done but haven’t found the time/motivation, consider asking for a buddy online.¬†I highly recommend it.

(And now, back to our regular schedule of nonsense content because this whole “tips/advice” post makes me a little squeamish. Since when do I feel able¬†to recommend how to do things to others? I’m no role model!)

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Want more of my madness? Don’t forget you can follow me elsewhere:
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What do you think? Has anyone else had success¬†wrangling their motivation with the aid of a partner?¬†What kinds of tasks do you feel you need help getting done? If anyone is looking for a¬†yoga, C25K, or art partner, let me know. While I’m working on sticking to a daily schedule in which they’re included, I’ve been pretty hit or miss on my own so far.¬†