2005-08-11 � Master of my Domain

Prepare for Lift-off

Today is a historic day. Did you know that? Today is the day I finally got my own. real. life. domain! It is melaniefordwilson.com and there's nothing much on there (yet) but I've clicked to it four times already this morning, just to admire the page full of potential!

Wow. I somehow feel like solemnly declaring "Today, I became a woman" or something. This is a milestone, this makes it official. I am Master of My Domain.

Soon, I will be kissing Diaryland away and roosting my blog over there. It will be an all new blog. I'm not taking any of my archives with me. I've been suffering major blogger's depression (Thanks Liz for the link.. and the poetry!) anyway and I think a fresh start is just what I need. I feel like I've doodled everywhere there is to doodle over "Wee Me", in all the margins, on every page, both sides, on the front, on the back and down the crack.

But the big news is I'm finally going to have a proper on-line portfolio. Like the real live professional illustrator I really, really am. Or at least the real live professional illustrator i hope to convince you I really, really am.

It's a big step for me. I know it sounds kind of lame, but I've been using my lack of a real on-line portfolio as an excuse, a crutch for a really long time. An excuse for not pushing my career to the next level. And it's kinda scary. Even though I've had my own freelance "studio" (and by studio, I mean spare bedroom housing my computer, five million paper samples, too many books, burgeoning boxes full of "inspiration", my drawing table and an ever growing pile of art supplies) for seven years now, this sort of feels like starting again. Like I'm just hanging out my shingle for the first time.

I'm not hiding behind any coy pseudonym anymore. It's my real name and my real "face" I'm putting out there. O, worry not... "Wee" is such an essential part of me that you have no need to worrying about her disappearing altogether. And the wolf, of course, will live with me as long as I draw breath. But... it's time for Wee to grow up a bit.

This blog started almost accidentally... in almost complete secrecy (the Handsome Guy was the only one in my "real" life who knew about it for more than a year) just as a bit of a "larf". We had just relocated from Calgary here to the Greater Toronto Area and I was kinda at loose ends for the first time since graduating from art school. And I had this brand new spanking computer. My old computer essentially bit the dust whilst (whilst!) in transit and that kind of sparked my newly discovered interest in the wild wild web. I had had internet access on my old Mac, but the thing was so utterly ancient and had so little processing power that I would surf for three minutes and my whole computer would crash with exhaustion. It was just too frustrating. Suddenly with my new Mac, I could navigate at will, for hours and with ease. With all my design applications open, even! Astounding.

So when Wee and the Wolf, began I was actually a newbie to the Net. One day. I stumbled across Loobylu and that totally changed my world. I was inspired, like a million others I'm sure, to map out my own little corner of the net. I read thru her archives and discovered she had started at Diaryland and thought I might give it a whirl too. And thus the monster was unleashed...

I had no idea anyone would ever actually read it. It still astounds me that you're even vaguely interested in what I have to say. But after almost four years, I find my voice has changed quite a bit, evolved. And I need to put some of the energy I've been putting into my little space here in Diaryland into my career.

I'm not sure exactly what form my new blog will take. I'm as curious as you are to see! maybe it will be just more of the same, I don't know. I know that some of my friends use their blogs as more of a "marketing tool" to solicit new work, spark interest. And it works superbly for them. Though I've grown more conscious of the fact that some of my "clients" are aware of my blog now, I've never really thought of this journal as a professional tool. It's been more personal to me. I don't think I will even link my blog to my portfolio, not at first at least. I dunno. I'm still ruminating on that. What do you think? Do you think anything I write (or have written) would in anyway compromise me professionally, or prevent you from hiring me as a illustrator (particularly for the children's market) if you were in a postion to do that? Tell me what you think! I'm all ears.

All I know is that it's time to move. Here we go!

Meme-ries, like the corner of my mind...misty water colour memories...

Okay, Penelope just tagged me for that idiosycracies meme that's been circulating everywhere and it's making me crazy. I mean you'd think this would be sooooo easy for me, given that I am riddled with more quirks than Michael Jackson, right? That's what you would think. But the thing is... first, I've confessed so much weirdness about myself over the course of this journal, that i'm at a loss to come up with anything I haven't already told you. And second, I have myself so convinced that my weirdness is completely normal, that I'm actually unable to determine what is wacky anymore. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Hmmmm...

So aftermuch consultation with the husband (an expert on my various idiosyncracies), here's what I've come up with.

1) Okay, I kinda sorta believe in fairies, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, mermaids, gnomes and leperchauns and all that stuff you completely got over when you were like six. I mean, I know they aren't real... I'm weird, but totally and completely sane too. Nonetheless, I kinda sorta believe. Not like really but more than a person of my considerable fossillization should. Let's put it this way, if you lifted your pillow one night as you were rolling over in bed one night and spotted a twinkly little toothfairy leaving a quarter under there, I'd probably would be alot more okay with it than you would.

2) This one is completely disgusting... but I save my gum. Like my ABC (Already Been Chewed) gum. In little piles all around the house, everywhere. It's completely repulsive. And embarrassing. And I know it. But I do it anyway. In fact, I constantly have to patrol myself, lest someone catch me out. Someone other than my husband, who has sadly resigned himself to finding wads of gum stationed atop his alarm clock, stuck to the side of the tub, perched beside the kitchen sink. I know, I know... Gross! This is so like one of those things you probably could have lived without knowing about me.

3) And similarly, I have this compulsive repulsive attraction to really ickity things. Like zits, or stray back hair or ear wax. I'm always disappointed if the Q-tip remerges as virginal as it was going in. So much so, that I might start eyeing your ear canals, assessing their potential to colour the end of my Q-tip. Fortunately, unless you're married to me or a blood relation, I will wisely restrain myself and allow you to pass with your ear canals unmined.

4) Sometimes, when I'm in a particularly sunny mood, I will make up and sing stupid songs about anything in my path... dog turds, billboards, ants, or most frequently, my dawg. I sing to her pretty much incessantly. One of her favourites is sung (badly) to the tune of "Hooked on a Feeling". It goes like this... "I'm hooked on my doggy/ she's not a little froggy/she is my Finn-Finn girl/ and she's got me loving her..." At which point, Finn finds it necessary to try to shut me up with a vigourous tongue wash.

5) I have these faces I make at myself in the mirror when i apply make up. I can't help myself. Really, I've tried. I mean, I've tried really, really, really freaking hard! But I just can't not do it. People think it's hilarious. Jack calls it my "make-up face". Also, when I'm trying on outfits and trying to assess them in the mirror, I always stand on my tippy-toes. Jack thinks this is adorably stupid. The make-up face and the tippy toe thing may explain why I hate looking at myself in the mirror if anyone else is around.

6) I know I was all about how I can't come up with anything, but once you're on a roll....so here's a bonus quirk. I can be almost insanely detail oriented, but in the strangest way. Like the whole room could look like a bomb detonated and monkeys could be swinging from the light fixtures and I won't notice, and yet I will become completely obsessed with rearranging the shelving unit so that it looks like a magazine spread or will pick every stray dog hair or lint ball off a sofa cushion, but not notice that the carpet hasn't been vacumned in nine years or that I knocked over a glass of grape juice and it is spreading a vivid stain all over the rug. Jack puts it this way "While Rome was burning, Mel was rearranging all the forks in the silverware drawer according to tine length and frequency of use..." (probably while completely ignoring the wayward spoons.) Fortunately for me, my clean freak Virgo husband excells at big picture hygiene.

In return, I tag Liz, Otter, Breana, Brianna and Bluepoppy.

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