• Naseem Syed

‘Take Care’ by Rose Ashley


I'm a stay at home mum who continues to try and do a little bit of illustrating when I can. I mainly focus on portraiture but I'll give pretty much any subject matter a go with drawing and I love trying a huge variety of mediums. I mainly work in pencils, watercolour/gouache, poscas and markers but I'm always up for exploring new materials.

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why?

I'm some respects yes. I feel more anxious as I haven't seen my family in ten months. I'm certainly struggling to adapt to the restrictions in place as I miss my friends and family very much. Otherwise, I think it's allowed me to consider how much I do actually crave socialising, even though I always thought of myself as someone who could go for long times without seeing others.

What made you smile or brought you joy in lockdown? Can you explain it?

I tend to go through a lot of obsessive periods with certain media (particularly music and webcomics) and being stuck inside for so long kind of forced me to explore a lot more stuff I hadn't tried to delve into before lockdown. I started reading a lot more varied webcomics and even managed to read three horror ones in the span of a month (I am usually very terrified of horror ha ha) so that was a big achievement for me. These three webcomics were actually all written by the same author and were ready excellent -very emotional and I felt better for reading them. I discovered a lot more music this year too, and even had online friends suggesting music to me, which was lovely. Good music and connecting with others who love that music really evokes feelings I can't compare to anything else. It's very wholesome.

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why.

As I said before I think I'm more anxious ha ha! It's been a wild rollercoaster of a year. If anything I'd say I'm more political because of the anger I've felt with the Tory government's gross mishandling of the pandemic. I'd also say that I think it's made me a bit more aware of how my own thoughts make me feel. You do a lot of self reflection and you criticise yourself a lot when you have so much time by yourself. But I have been learning to be kinder to myself.

What is the story behind your hand art?

I suffer with eczema on my hands, it becomes worse with stress and anxiety. Evidently I was cleaning more during lockdown, but the stress of everything exacerbated the situation. My hands couldn't have a break to properly heal tho - my son home, the anxiety with the virus, the everyday cooking and cleaning, and trying to find some solace in creating in my sketchbook. Our hands show more about us than we think. In my case, that my mental and emotional state is having an effect on me physically, and the strain of being a mother in many ways.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for allowing me to take part! 💛

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