Confidence VS Creativity

So, it’s got to the main crucial part in my whole degree… my FMP. An FMP is a final major project and it’s the last ever project I will do at university. You will then potentially show future employees after you leave. To me, that sounds scary.

I’ve been studying fashion graphics (which is basically fashion and graphic design combined) for three years now. I have enjoyed myself throughly on the course and I have definitely learned skills I never thought I had or could have. One of skills being digital illustration. My mum is very good at drawing and so is my uncle, so I’m guessing that’s where my creativity comes from. I love showing off the work I’ve created and proud of to people who follow me on social media, people I know and see day to day and professionals at interviews for work experience/freelance.

However, I am not that confident. To be honest it scares the living life out of me the need to be confident about ideas. I’ve never been that person in class that puts up their hand first to answer a question in a full class and I am definitely not that person who voices their opinions to a massive crowd. I have grown to be OK with that and accept it as part of me. This isn’t a blaming game but I do think school and the people who constantly used to tear me down and rip me apart have played a major role in shaping me to be this person. Of course, my anxiety isn’t exactly the biggest help either.

With my confidence not being the best, it effects the way I create for my degree and other pieces of work. I am never, ever confident with my ideas and every time I submit a piece of work I worry for hours and days about if it could of been better. I’m sure lots of people have this too but I will not rest about it. I always don’t think I’ve pushed myself to my full potential and this is probably the main reason why I feel this way. I want to ask for people’s opinions on things more and I want to ask for help if I’m stuck on something but my confidence just won’t let me.

I absolutely love seeing people do their best and do well. Nothing makes me happier and I am 100% routing for them. Yaaassss!!! But with everything I have, I just wish I could do the same for myself. Instead of sitting there for hours comparing myself to creatives I see/follow online and creatives I see on a daily basis, I wish I had the confidence to say “IM GOOD TOO!”

This lack of confidence is something I’m going to try my absolute best with in the last four months of uni – yikes!! I want to be able to leave my degree after being so proud of what I have achieved through my FMP and actually show my full potential and not hide back on ideas. Not to let my brain win when it tells me “don’t do that someone else would have done it better” or “your idea is rubbish, you share that everyone will laugh” I want to come out of this degree shouting my opinions around and not have those awful feelings after. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

At the end of the day, I am my own worst enemy. If it doesn’t change now, will it ever in the future? Will I get that dream job with no confidence? It’s time to make some changes

Follow my graphic design instagram if you’d like, it’ll be updated with my inspiration and development as well as personal projects along the way. Who knows, there could be more creative posts on here in the future!


Drawing for BFRB awareness week

This week beginning Saturday 1st October to Friday 7th signifies BFRB awareness week. BFRB stands for Body Focused Repetitive Behavour and Trichotillmania is segmented under that. If you don’t know what Trichotillomania is then a quick overall from what I’ve dealt with is that it’s a compulsive urge to pull out your hair. For me it’s my hair on my head but can be hair from anywhere on the body. It makes you feel so small and weak. It ruins your self confidence. It ruins relationships. You can read more of my story on my blog and I’m hoping to share some stories off the side for this week. 

For me one of the ways, when things are getting pretty bad is I like to distract myself through art. I study a degree in graphic design, fashion graphics and it involves a lot of creativity. I like to draw illustrations then ‘destroy’ them with colours that represent how I’m feeling. This week I’ve found things pretty hard and have been so upset, so one evening I made use of drawing. 

I thought I’d let you in on the thought process for this drawing. The girl I drew is just a random person that developed as I drew. I added splashes of red over her eyes to signify how the bad times take over whilst I’m experiencing it. I used blue as a calm colour to say that although it’s there now it won’t be forever. There’s only a little blue as at the moment I don’t 100% believe that, it will change though. I put rainbow sploges in the background as a reminder that things will be OK. We go through the rainbow of emotions when we’re feeling like this and even though it hurts now we will move onto the next colour. I put the black over the mouth to signify that although the majority of the time I want to speak out, most times I don’t because of fear. I’m sure some of you will relate. The eyes and mouth had a drop shadow behind them to show they are the parts that show the pain more. 

What kind of things do you guys do I would love to hear. Keep a look out for my post throughout the week on BFRB awareness week! 

Happy two years Southampton

Grab yourself a cuppa, this one is going to be long. Today marks exactly two years ago I made one of the biggest decisions and done the biggest thing I’ve ever done; move over 100 miles away from my family and friends. 100 miles away from home.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-51-46I still remember the run up to going away. I remember every time I went to go and visit my nan. She would have added an essential thing you needed to have when living on your own which I would never of thought of. You know things like medicine – of course you’ll need that at some point unless you’re supernatural and immune to all illnesses, if thats the case please give me your secret. My nan still does that to this day, tops me up with the stuff that I will need but may not already gone out to buy it or wouldn’t necessary bought with a food shop – thank you nan! I really appreciate it.

I also remember my going away meal. The meal where my family got together for a little goodbye to uni and I bought my good friend Shannon along. It was the weekend before I went and I remember then it kicking in that my family won’t just be down the road. That if I needed eggs to bake cakes I wasn’t able to just run to my nan and steal two eggs and instead have to go to the shop and grab six eggs and waste four because I don’t like eating eggs on their own.

However, it meant that I was about to start to gain my own independence and that was exciting. I was about to have all the freedom I possibly could have, not that I didn’t have that before but even more so now. It meant that I had to grow up, quickly. Hell did it smack me round the face as soon as I got there. Once I had grabbed my fob (I was staying in student halls first year, as many people do) and unloaded the car of way too much of my belongings into my room I’ll be living in for the next ten months, grabbed a food shop and saw my dad off which was hands down one of the worst times – ever, I headed back to my room and sat on my bed thinking, what now with tears down my face. Even now when I say bye I always cry, there’s something about your family leaving you down away that is just so so sad.

In my first year I’m not going to lie I got homesick a lot. To the point I wouldn’t leave my room and just lay in bed feeling sad. I missed the whole different lifestyle I had at home which I didn’t realise I had until I moved away. I would call any family member as many times as I could just to talk to them. I didn’t even meet the people I’m currently living now, who lived down my hallway until a few weeks in. Not every one has an experience like that but because I feel like I’m such a family girl, it hit me hard. Looking back on that to now I don’t get it nearly as much. I’ve finally got round to thinking in my head, I’m only a three hour train ride home, it’s not that bad. Besides, it’s so much nicer to go home and see my family after a long while, it feels more… special?

It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I have a mental health illness which is triggered majorly by anxiety and depression. It was life changing moving away from home and battling with that. It’s made me more aware of how to look after myself more and it literally is just me here, to look after myself. If I’m sick and I don’t have medicine in, I have to go out and buy it and still make my dinner and get through the day. This is probably one of the biggest thing’s I’ve learnt. I have had an overwhelming amount of support for this, however. Last year, just after I had started my second year I went to seek help with dealing with anxiety and the way it was making me feel from the uni after advice. It helped me a lot. I’ve wrote about it in a blog post here.

All in all I have learnt a lot about myself. I have a stable job here now, I’ve been passing my university projects and now going into third year and I have my own little uni family. I know more than two people now, I know all the great coffee shops and take aways and I now have people down here who look out for me. I have no idea, how I’ve made it this far without going home… especially after them first few weeks, but I battled through it and still going now. It’s been an adventure for sure. I still haven’t left Southampton and gone anywhere else down the south coast, that is still on my list to do, as well as go the Isle of Wight.


A massive special thank you to the family and friends who listen to my rants constantly. Who listen when I have something I’m finding difficult and just need to speak it out. Those who give the most invaluable advice and those who check up on me to see how I’m doing. Those who call me for hours and hours because I’m feeling alone and those who text me to make sure I’m OK. I appreciate it so much, so so much. Genuinely. If you have just moved to uni and feeling alone, down, don’t really know what to do.. please please do message me. I would so love to help you and give you tips.

I’m lucky now that I can call Southampton my second home and I’m proud of myself.

Digital Illustrations – What I Use

The degree which I study, if you don’t know, is fashion graphics. In September it will be the final stretch of the degree and I’ll be heading into my third and final year – scary. I still remember my very first day at uni trying to figure out how to get there from my halls – as if I didn’t know the way.

I also remember my first day of opening up Illustrator in a technical lesson and absolutely hating it. I had come from a creative media course at college and only ever used Photoshop and Indesign. Everything, in the beginning, on Illustrator was so complicated compared to the other programs. I bet the first time I opened up Photoshop I felt the same, hmm. I used to dread every lesson, for the lecturer to say ‘today we will be using Illustrator’ – my worst nightmare. The more I went to the lessons however, the more I got used to it, and before I knew it I had excitement for the lessons. The whole process of learning something new was exciting me to the point I used my free time to expand my skills in learning how to use Illustrator more.

(It’s crazy to think that this was the first ever drawing I did and was created on Photoshop – how? Using the pen tool on there and my latest drawing which IM SO PROUD OF on Illustrator using the paintbrush tool)

The more I developed with actually drawing illustrations on Illustrator the more my poor mouse pad on my laptop got worn and used until it quite literally didn’t work anymore. It was so good on my behalf, that it happened near Christmas because I was able to ask for a Wacom tablet as a gift. I was so lucky to get the Intuos small (I’ve looked everywhere online to find it to link and I can’t waahhh). I wanted to develop my illustrations more and I knew this would be an investment to getting me to do them more and to develop.

At first it was a weird but cool experience. I really, really enjoyed experimenting. It is literally like drawing on paper but on your screen with the advantages to Illustrator. After just a few uses I found it so so much easier to draw with. Once you get over the whole co-ordination of the watching the screen to drawing – you’ve got it! I’ve been told by numerous people that the best way to use Illustrator to draw is by using the pen tool, but I find it so much easier using the paintbrush. There are a whole range of different paint brushes on Illustrator which I have only recently discovered because I’m still only learning, which are incredible. Using the paintbrush tool also helps get my style across a lot better as well. My Wacom tablet has helped me so much in progressing and I genuinely don’t think I could ever do illustrations again without it.

Here’s a trip down memory lane of a few of my illustrations I’ve done since starting uni. This is crazzzzy to see how they’ve come along…

And finally here is a video of me illustrating in action…

I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you’d like more creative posts like these let me know.



Newest plans

Summer is here – finally and hasn’t it been a hot one these past few days. Although I think I’ve only spent a combined hour in the sun actually sitting in it this past week I’m loving it. The sweaty nights however, not so fun. Any how, during this time I have been making plans. Plans which can lead to big big things potentially in the future. If you know me or read my blog before you will know I love goals and setting targets to reach.

Around this time last year I spent my summer from uni learning how to do fashion illustrations properly. With properly I mean developing how to draw them/shading/colouring and learning both programs Photoshop and Illustrator. I had an Instagram account which I’ve now merged into my own blog/personal/graphics account where I posted solely illustrations I created everyday for two months. They usually were celebrities or influencers and sometimes got reposted by these people which gave my account more exposure. I had people message me asking to make graphics/illustrations for their blogs/personal use and I never felt ready. I just needed that little extra time before I was ready to do them.

Well… I’m now ready. I have to complete 100 hours of work placement this summer for me to be able to complete my degree, I know right.. pressure. I have already tried out an internship and felt it wasn’t for me. I have also applied for many and the ones I really want haven’t got back to me – I can’t wait to graduate and apply for junior graphic designer jobs. I am soooo ready. I feel like making illustrations for other people will not only possibly help me get these hours to complete the degree but it will also help gain more skills, as you know the saying practice makes perfect and all that.

I’ve decided for now I will only be doing digital illustrations until I magically come into more money as I don’t have the £’s this summer to make physical prints, but maybe that could be something to do in the future.

Here are a few of the recent illustrations I’ve done and I’d be happy to create ones to anyone who would like one at a small cost.

Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in happening and I’ll see if I can make it happen.

Tweet me at @charnicolelucas or you could always send me an email: where I’d be happy to discuss with you further!


Life, uni and art.

I did it, I have finally completed my second year at university. In my first year, with homesickness after moving away I wasn’t sure if I’d even make it to second year, but… here I am sat here in the house I’m living in at university saying I’ve completed it and boy am I ready to start my third and final year!

I’m not going to say it was the easiest breeze through second year, because it wasn’t. In both aspects of personal and educational ways. It’s 100% true what they say, second year your work in your degree steps up a lot. I was just about getting away with doing my three month long projects, in just over a month in my first year but second year has really made me work hard. There was no time for last minute projects everything had to be done to a schedule – as much as I could do anyway. There has been advantages of second year to first year, one being that I never knew how to properly use the programs we use in first year i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Premere Pro, Muse etc.. I had only used these at basic level in my diploma. I now feel so much more confident on these softwares, and have now been Adobe Certified in Photoshop after taking an exam, yay! I love learning new skills and then feeling that ‘Yay I did it!’ feeling after. I can’t wait to learn these programs in a deeper level.

This year not only did my degree work step up, but I had to balance a job on top to be able to pay bills/rent etc. It is only a weekend job and not for many hours at all, but when you were used to leaving your work till the weekend then not having them anymore, that made a huge difference. I had to learn how to utilise my time in the week as much I could.

If you’ve read my blog before, you would know that I’ve become more open about mental health, in hope that it would either help someone who’s suffering the same or raise awareness to people who may not know what it is to go through it. I’m going to admit, I struggled this academic year with mental health, battling it away as much as I could. In my first semester I had just started a job and if you’ve read my blog posts before you would know that me and change do not go hand in hand at all. My anxiety rocketed and I started having panic attacks that were waking me up in the middle of the night. I can say now, that because I’m used to my job and nothing is new anymore the panic attacks have settled down and not as crazy as they were, unless I have a dramatic event coming up such as interviews for internships etc, as they usually flairs up a bit then. I now know how to control them more with having experience with them. I still get anxiety at work a lot but because I’ve experienced these before I have ways to solve it myself, and know how to get myself out the situation and take a few minutes to chill out and know what triggers it and sets it off. There are times however that it comes on when I least expect it and there are still times in daily life which get me. I suffer from anxiety outside of work and on more of daily tasks, but that’ll be in another post. Anxiety is one of the underlining issues of Trichotillomania for myself.

In my second semester, I found out some awful news that shook me up, and of course that started everything off again. I noticed I wasn’t focused on my work as much and I didn’t want to be down at university anymore, I just wanted to be home. I did, however, turn my graphic design work in units as a way to get out emotion, especially a project which I did a lot of photo manipulation. (That project in the unit got a 1st! YAY! but overall the unit got a high 2:1 – boom!)

*Images in original state not owned by me. The artwork from these images are done by me and owned by me.*

I love the fact that I’m able to portray my feelings and emotions through the means of art within my degree course. I love the way that art doesn’t have to be a certain strict answer and can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the person. Sometimes it could be a scribble sometimes more in depth but its art.

I have a lot to thank for art. Art is literally my happy place.

Internships/Work placements – My thoughts/experience.

Lets start with the fact that this post is very lengthy and completely my own views. I have discussed my views a lot on social media about work placements/internships. I have particularly expressed my irritation of work placements which you have to work for free. I one hundred percent get that work placements/internships can be highly beneficial for the fact you get (or should get) experience in the industry which you are hoping to professionalise in. That experience you will gain should let you see what it is like to work in the career you’re hoping to go into as well as getting to maybe make contacts, gain additional skills and be part of a team.

I’m an aspiring graphic designer. When I’ve finished my degree I’m hoping to go into the advertising part of graphic design. My dream has always been to work for huge high end brands creating pieces for the outside public space as well as digitally through the mediums of social media. Now, I know I’m not going to get there overnight. I will have to build my portfolio up and get my work out there to get recognised. I also know that experience is definitely vital to get to my end goal.

Now, what I do not understand is that the majority of the graphic design internships/work placements, especially in fashion graphic design are unpaid (to be quite honest I’m not sure about other career paths as I’ve never researched or looked into them). I know the fashion industry is a hard industry to break into and that you have to put your whole heart and soul into it. What I don’t understand is why, we as interns, are not paid at least the minimum wage. After all, we are fresh eyes for a company with brand new ideas which maybe a company hasn’t thought of before as well as creating content for a brand. Whether that be research done for them through creating mood boards of ideas for a brand to maybe even designing actual prints for fashion pieces for a company, a promo video for a company or a look book.

The majority of internships/work placements do however offer expenses paid, which is usually 9/10 travel and/or lunch. I’ve been looking personally into internships/work placements within London as this is usually where all the bigger opportunities are. I recently had an internship/work placement which I stayed a total of three days at. This was because:

  1. The interviews. I went to a few interviews before I took this interview which I had to pay for from Southampton. Each day in travel alone cost me £34, maybe more if I had to get a train from Southampton in peak hours, as usually I have to reschedule my interview times to afternoon because of this – annoying for both the company and me.
  2. Getting to the place for the internship/work placement. I was lucky enough to stay with a friend for a week in London which I will forever be grateful for, but not everyone is as lucky as that. I did however have to pay £30 for just the train fare from Southampton to London and back, and thats with a railcard. I know the majority of you are thinking that isn’t expensive but the internship/work placement would have been six weeks long. That’d be way too much money, never mind the cost of getting from Waterloo to my friends and around London for the whole week. On top of paying rent back in Southampton monthly, bills and food. It was way too much as a student with barely enough money to pay rent every month.
  3. Then there is food and general living costs whilst being there. I was lucky my internship did pay for lunch, but there was of course food in the evening and mornings. I wasn’t going to let my friend make me food every morning/night. She is in the same position as me as a student and it just wouldn’t be fair on her.

All in all, the whole cost of doing an internship/work placement was a major downfall as well as other issues which I won’t talk about on here. The whole internship/work placement just felt like it wasn’t for me. I did, however, learn quite a lot considering the time I was there for. I learnt how to connect with companies, how to produce a look book/make a look book and made an Instagram video for their social media. I, however, felt like I needed a more design based focused internship/work placement within a bigger company, so there was more opportunity to learn from others as that is the whole idea of one.

I was so grateful for the opportunity I had with this internship/work placement, and one thing I’m super grateful was the lessons I learnt along the way in just the small few weeks.  I’m on the look out for another one, which pays. They are however, far and few between but with each one I find I feel I could fit in I apply for. They are out there but as you can imagine they are very competitive, but who doesn’t love a little competition? I’m not just gonna apply now out of panic to make my 100 hours for my degree, for any one that I see.

Have you had the same kind of issues with and internship or work placement? I’d love to hear about them if you did!

Speak soon