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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Drawings, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Elephant Sketches and New Projects

I've been hugely busy, and at the moment my life has been turned upside-down while I explore new horizons that lie before me, but I'm also slowly getting back into my work routine ... with exciting projects coming up that I'm already in love with.

I'll elaborate on those projects (that will be incorporated into my coursework for next year as well) a bit later on, but here's a hint:

 

Illustrating-for-Children

 

I'll just add that it's something I've wanted to do for years but never quite had the confidence to tackle before ... It's going to be a lot of fun!

With that in mind, I enrolled in a couple of online classes as refreshers and also to learn something about the practical side of illustrating children's books. I've just started on the first one, Picture Book Illustration: Animal Characters by Eric Johnson, on Craftsy, and have been sketching elephants for the first class. Still need to do more drawings and still need to learn a lot more about them, but here's a bit of a start:

 

Elephants-by-Floating-Lemons

 

I'm also being reminded of how grounding and therapeutic just having a pen, pencil, or brush in my hand is. I've missed it these last few weeks. As it is, I shall be moving house very soon so things will get slightly chaotic once more, but I'm sticking to my art therapy - I need it.

Cheers.

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2. Space Cat Portraits

Today I drew people as Space Cats, as part of the Galactic Fete at Creation Space London.
I especially enjoyed drawing families - I asked them to do a space pose. 







I managed to forget my drawing pen, so I had to hack a writing pen by adding a pipette I happened to have in my brush roll as a reservoir for drawing ink. I also cut a nib from a beer can and used some correction fluid and a toothbrush for stars.


Well, that was fun.

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3. Twins

I'm having a lot of fun doing portrait commissions.
Here is a matching set of twin girls.

Get a treat for someone while I still have the time to draw these! Once I'm getting into the next big picture book project I'll be too busy...

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4. GET A PORTRAIT!

You can now commission me for portraits, as long as you're happy to be an animal in it.



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5. School visits

I had a few wonderful school visits recently...

In St Christopher's School I helped with a project where the kids made their own picture books. I did a day of tutorials, some sketching and in the end made a whole dummy book on stage.
They had a biology lesson in the gym, handling exotic animals, which was great fun to draw.





 In the Haberdasher's Aske's School for Girls I visited for a day with Alexis. We read them our books and drew monsters together.


Very important to have a party stomach. 
modular beasts.


It was awesome.
Thanks everyone!



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6. ELCAF: Catifying The Public!

I did portraits of people coming to ELCAF today.
Here are some cool cats who turned up:










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7. Painting for fun today






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8. A Merry Christmas Alpaca from Floating Lemons

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a fantastic New Year!

 

Merry-Christmas-alpaca-by-Floating-Lemons

 

This alpaca is one of two that friends of mine are looking after at the moment. I've taken some creative liberties with proportions and perspective, but I'm sure they will forgive me for it. They are sweet, playful, and perfect for wishing everyone a warm, woolly Christmas and a friendly, positive, wonderful end of 2014. Have fun and be safe! Cheers.

 

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9. just a little green

These are my Day Three sketches of the Post Three Sketches in Five Days challenge.

Today I chatted with Koosje Koene, one of the founder members of Sketchbook Skool, on Skype, and we caught up on all sorts of things that had been happening, for both of us, since I went to Amsterdam last year to film my classes for Sketchbook Skool with her. It was good to talk. You know when just chatting with another person who has the same interests and passions as yourself can give you a boost? It can be uplifting and, well, the conversation left me feeling all inspired. So, it felt fitting to post these three sketches, that I made whilst I was there, in Amsterdam with Koosje, today.

If you are unaware of Sketchbook Skool (is there anyone who hasn't heard about it yet?), well, it's this online school where all the tutors are sketchbook artists from around the world. An eclectic mix of tutors who are pretty much obsessed with creating sketchbooks. In fact, there's no pretty much about it, they're totally obsessed with creating sketchbooks. And, that includes me! Yes, I'm one of the tutors on the 'Seeing' course which starts on Friday. Still time to sign up. You can do that, and find out more, HERE.

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10. Lions






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11. can't talk now I'm sketching a band

Here's another sketching opportunity that came my way recently, I got to go into a studio to sketch band. A local band, including a couple of members I know. I realised that I've never actually been into a studio before. I could have spent hours, days, in there drawing all the equipment.
 I have some larger drawings that I made in my Moleskine sketchbook, but these drawings I made in a cheap little pretend Moleskine that was about a quarter of the price. I'm not somebody who moans about the Moleskine sketchbooks being expensive. I actually don't think they are. Or, at least, for me it's well worth the price for the amount of time, effort and love I put into filling them. But, there is something to be said for these cheaper sketchbooks. You're less precious about them and about wasting the paper which gives you the freedom to make different kind of drawings. More sketchy.

Anyway, here are some sketchy sketches. And, here, if you are interested are the band, Sharma. If nothing else just check out this first track. I think they're good. Really good. You can watch them HERE.

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12. Shark and Lobster - a diary sketch book of character development work

One of my first books was Shark and Lobster's Amazing Undersea Adventure - a tale of Shark, who is afraid of Tigers, and his best friend Lobster.
It was very hard to write - I had already written one draft years before when I was still in school, and now I had to learn how to rewrite and edit and make a picture book story of it.
One thing I did then, which I've kept up since, is make a diary for my characters to see what they got up to and who they actually were.
I did find out a lot about Shark and Lobster this way, almost none of it made it into the book, but that's not the point of character development work.

I thought it would be nice to stick it on my blog so that you can see how I work (or how I worked when I was starting out in 2001 - I've gone lest wistful over the years, but my approach is still very similar).
Here you go!





















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13. one of the issues of working with marker pens

That is all.
Bugger.

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14. I AM HENRY FINCH - The Making Of (well, my bit)

"I am Henry Finch" seems to be doing well since it was published earlier this year, it's getting good reviews and I keep meeting it in bookshops. - People have asked me about illustrating Alexis' texts, how we work together seeing that he is also an illustrator and I am also a writer. So I thought it would be good to write this MAKING OF.

So, first of all Alexis wrote the text - I had asked him to write something about finches because I like them. Then he showed it to me.

I could see the book straight away. It made me laugh a lot. It was pretty much perfect.
At the first few presentations, people weren’t sure about the philosophical aspect, whether it would get across to small children. I was sure that it would, and kept crudely fingerpainting rough illustrations on my ipad. “Look, look, this will be awesome!” I insisted, drawing more and more beady-eyed lumps with stick legs. The monster was just a wild scribble, and the night paint-bucketed in. I drew a picture of a finch thinking of himself, and Ben Norland, the art director, laughed and said: “Oh, I think I see…” so we started working on it. After that it seemed like every week there was someone else who saw the latest version, went “Oh I see…” and started laughing.


I think that moment is heart of the whole story. A finch, hardly more than an anonymous scribble, sees himself and realises that he is somebody. His thought is identical to himself in that very moment. Truth, but no meaning, no future, no past… he could stop there. It’s a perfect moment. But he goes on, and that, I think is the greatest thing he does: he keeps thinking when he doesn’t need to, that’s what leads to all the rest.


I wanted the finches to be all the same but every one unique, that’s why I used fingerprints. Henry is always printed with the same finger, actually, and no one else has that particular print. While working on the book I started to recognise my friends’ fingerprints. I fingerprinted everyone who came to the house or the studio for a few weeks to get a good collection - I needed big thumbs for finches in the foreground and daintier ones for the background, also different shapes for different moods. Finches change shape a lot. I used to keep finches myself, so I know. I love finches more keenly than any other kind of animal, I think, they are amazing little creatures, brave, resilient and funny.



The linework is drawn with my favourite fountain pen. I always carry that one.



The beast is painted in watercolour because that’s how I instantly imagined it. I have a fear of marine invertebrates which I know most people don’t share. I figured that referencing them, I will be able to feel scared enough myself to draw a convincing monster without making it so frightening that small children will hide from the book. - Its internal organs are a mixture of drawings of sea creatures and cross sections of the human inner ear. It’s just a particularly odd-looking organ, the inner ear, and it amused me that the beast has one in its guts.
The actual design of the beast is a collaboration with Alexis - we spent an afternoon playing a drawing game with watercolour blobs, and I assembled the parts that seemed right.





I put a lot of little interactions in between the finches so that the book would be fun to look at even if you don’t follow the text, and tried to make the more conceptual philosophical pictures accessible enough that each one could be discussed separately, in simple terms, without the text. The page where Henry understands the circle of life pertaining to his part of the world is supposed to be like a little story in itself, but one that you can grasp in one moment, like a thought. Comics are great for that, showing any amount of time presented as one moment, and not even linear but as we experience it - everything interrelating. The rest of the book is paced in a linear manner, mostly by page turns, but on that spread you can spend a moment or an hour, see all at once or follow the threads, say “It is!” or speak about everything you see.

click to make bigger!

I am very glad about the way this book came together. If I hadn’t been so excited that I fingerpainted those hurried digital scribbles on the spot and made someone laugh with them, I wouldn’t have known to keep the art this simple. If Alexis hadn’t been doing workshops turning blobs of watercolour into creatures, I wouldn’t have thought of making the design of the beast into a drawing game. - Working with Alexis makes these accidents easy because he really knows how to improvise.

I hope that people will like Henry Finch as much as I do. I had him tattooed on my arm, to remember what I learned. Keep thinking, keep listening, speak, because You Are, and It Is.




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15. Observational Sketches

Here are some of the sketches I've recently been doing.
I do a lot of observational drawing using a fountain pen and a portable watercolour set.
I tend to draw people as cats.


Icons of Elegance performing at Jamboree

Audience
Supporting act

Audience






Hot Dogs in Shoreditch

Posh birthday party at the World's End Pub

Piccadilly Line from Heathrow


Wapping, a cold Spring day
Board game testing

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16. flowers in her hair....

©the enchanted easel 2015
and a few new drawings...underway.

{it's been a crazy couple of weeks....new drawings, commissions and my lovely little lily (see pic below) all trying to get done at the same time. busy, busy, busy....and loving every single second.}


lily...in progress
©the enchanted easel 2015



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17.

There's an Opera Flashmob happening in London, and you can be part of it...



The amazing Katherine Kontz devised a new piece for the Tête à Tête opera festival. I drew the poster for it and I'll be participating in some way or other... will you? Sign up if you want to be come a part of the art.


An invitation to bring your rolling suitcase along and embark on a musical journey of boisterous wheels and beatific voices in sunny King’s Cross. Prepare for a dose of flip-flopping holiday fun!
Read more here... It'll be great.

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18. Anti Austerity Protest: SKETCHES

I went to the Anti Austerity Protest today and took my sketchbook.
The march started at Bank. Here are some people assembling and wondering if they are in the right place.

Here they worked out that they are in the right place. 

Still at Bank. The streets are closed. The athmosphere is friendly. Drumming, chanting, leafletting.  Every few minutes a sudden cheer goes through the crowd, not sure why.

Lots of families here. The crowd is starting to move.

There's not much police, surprisingly. Much less than I expected. A lot more protesters than I expected... really a lot.

Some surreptitious tagging going on at Bank. There's the first helicopter.
The chap in the background is inviting people to join the Socialist Party, I think.

Moving into Fleet Street.
There's an overwhelming amount of groups. Goths against austerity, Chefs against austerity (here in the foreground). The blimp is tethered to a fire engine crewed by the Fire Fighter's Union. Lots of local groups turned up to protest about hospitals, council housing and assorted public services (there's Haringey).

Here's a cluster of artists, mostly.
And some music.


Someone was asking "why don't they chant back?" Because they are the National Union of Sign Language Interpreters. They are chanting, look.

The Strand is packed. There's a tired child with a CUTS KILL paper hat, she perked up afetr a few minutes of being carried.
Sisters Uncut had an impressive presence, their crowd spanned the width of the road.

Some masked people. Most wore their masks on the back of their heads, like this girl with the princess backpack and the YOUTH FIGHT AUSTERITY placard, and her mum.
That dragon statue is quite alarming from the back.

I've never seen so many people marching together, and I didn't see anyone being aggressive to anyone else. I just watched the news, they did get some footage of "fireworks" (smoke bombs, the colourful sort, I stepped over a pretty bright purple one in passing) and people dressed in black with masks trying to block a road. They didn't try very hard. No point anyway, the city was full of people peacefully protesting.


(This is all scanned with my handheld scanner, excuse any wobbles.)

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19. A Peek into the Sketchbook: Mail Art & Birds

I can't believe that it's been less than two months since I moved to the UK ... so much has been squeezed into that small amount of time that I'm still in a bit of a daze. But the good news is, of course, that I'm finally back on the internet.

Have tons of catching up to do but it will have to fit into the cracks between my college artwork. And I haven't been completely idle creatively either, despite 'real life' competing for my attention lately. Here's a glimpse into what I've been doing - tons of research and a few sketches for an upcoming class project. First though, here's the art-space I've set up for myself in our new, temporary home:

 

Sketchbook-1-by-Floating-Lemons

 

And a glimpse into the pages of a new sketchbook:

 

 

Sketchbook-2-by-Floating-Lemons
Sketchbook-3-by-Floating-Lemons
Sketchbook-4-by-Floating-Lemons
Sketchbook-5-by-Floating-Lemons

Sketchbook-6-by-Floating-Lemons

 

Different mediums, styles, cutting, collaging - lots of lovely experimentation going on. Birds (I'm developing a particular fascination with ravens and crows) and mail art. I've also been pinning for inspiration so if you'd like to have a look, check out my Pinterest Boards, Art: Mail Art, Art: Crows & Ravens, and Art: Birds. Have fun.

Wishing you a week full of flights of fancy. Cheers.

 

 

 

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20. Classical Head Sketch of a Child

This is one of several preliminary drawings for a project I'm working on.

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21. the changing man

Here's just a little (it's all relative) something I knocked up in my sketchbook.
The story of the drawing goes a bit like this...
Sometime back in May I went to my friend, and Dr Sketchy partner, Lara Gothique's fabulous vaudeville extravaganza (I do love that word, extravaganza. In fact, I love both of those words; vaudeville and extravaganza) called Cupid Stunts. I sketched the whole show that evening. I came away with a load of drawings. Over twenty quick sketches.
One of the fabulous artistes that night was a Victorian strong man called Sir Leopold Aleksander. I got a good handful of sketches of him. They were pretty much all as below - simple line drawings.
Over the last couple of weeks, as I have been living a life of sobriety, I seem to have a bit more time on my hands in the evenings. Time to do the things I've wanted to do for ages but not got around to because wine got in the way. Time to go back through my sketchbooks and rework some of those quick sketches that needed a bit of the AJ treatment. So that's what I did with the, now, tattooed gentleman above, and, at some point, will do with the sketch below. Sure, they don't exactly look like the Victorian gent, but that's what happens when you a) sketch in the dark and b) complete the illustration using only your memory and a lot of imagination. And, that's what I love about drawing.
Thanks to Sir Leopold for the use of his body(?!)
Thanks to Lara for her fabulous show.
And thanks to Go Sober For October for giving me the headspace to draw instead of drink wine! 
If you can spare a bob or two please donate to my sobriety challenge. I am raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support. The most worthiest of causes. You can do that HERE.
And if you'd like to see a vaudeville extravaganza, and are in Sheffield next weekend (a long shot, perhaps), Lara is putting on another. Check it out HERE. Take your sketchbook!

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22. Mail Art: Birds on Envelopes

This is one of the projects I've been working on recently, for an art college class. Yes, birds and mail art. Wonderful. Loads of cutting, slicing, collaging, and then drawing and painting, was done. I ended up with a couple of options to work on, and liked them both but ended up picking this one below for the final review.

 

Huginn-and-Muninn-Envelope-Art-1-by-FLoating-Lemons

I went through a bit of exploration and research and managed to develop quite a fascination with ravens, sifting through poems such as Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven', folklore, fairy-tales, fables--almost picked Aesop's The Crow and the Pitcher--so it isn't too surprising that I went with this pair in the end ... In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "mind") are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world of Midgard, and bring information and news back to the god Odin. Flying messengers. Perfect.

I've depicted them as a white and black raven, and addressed the envelope to them. Their names are written in ancient Nordic runes just above their respective beaks. Yes, there's a message inside as well, written on rice paper 'parchment'. Private, of course. Let's hope that the envelope will eventually be returned to sender (me!) with a postal mark to show that it's been in the system. Here's a glimpse of the bit of mess I made while researching and working on the project ...

 

Huginn-and-Muninn-Envelope-Art-2-by-FLoating-Lemons

 

Here's the back of the envelope with a depiction of the Nordic mythical Tree of Life, Yggdrasil ...

 

Huginn-and-Muninn-Envelope-Art-3-by-FLoating-Lemons

 

The ravens and the tree were paper cuttings (my sketch book suffered somewhat) that I painted (watercolour for the birds and some marker pen on the tree) and collaged onto the envelope. On the front I'd also glued crosswords (to symbolize thought, naturally) onto the original white envelope, and then placed a thin sheet of rice paper over the whole thing so that it looked like parchment, slightly aged. I quite like the result, what do you think?

The other attempt at mail art was slightly a different one: I made an envelope from black paper and then cut straight into it, collaging and shading only the white bird on the front. Then I placed white paper inside the envelope so that it showed through the snipped out leaves, flowers and insects.

 

Bird-Mail-Envelope-Art-1-by-Floating-Lemons

Bird-Mail-Envelope-Art-2-by-Floating-Lemons

Simple, but I think it's quite cute. The back is a more abstract representation of a (meaner) raven and its wings, can you see it?

 

Bird-Mail-Envelope-Art-3-by-Floating-Lemons

 

I did like this black and white bit of mail art, but once I'd begun on the research for the winged messengers of Odin, I fell in love with them and that was pretty much that. I think I made the right choice picking them as my final piece, what do you think? There are infinite possibilities for both options though, and I may end up using them somehow on cards and other goodies, so keep an eye out for them up at the Floating Lemons shops in the near future ...

Meanwhile, I wish you a fantastic week. Cheers.

 

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23. Float Like a Balloon and Raven Sketches

I've been busy at college. Started learning metalwork recently and it's wonderfully fascinating. I've done a couple of rough, small pieces and will show them off soon. Meanwhile I've managed a few doodles when time permits, adding colour to my Float Like A Balloon drawing and sketching a few ravens for fun, all in my moleskine blank book ...

 


Float-Like-A-Balloon-by-Floating-Lemons

Ravens-by-Floating-Lemons

 

So yes, I'm still fascinated by the black birds and their mythologies and fables, so will pursue that further whenever I find spare moments to do so. Right now I'm occupied with filling in college sketchbooks and drawing tons of shoes ... so expect to see loads of footwear up here soon.

Wishing you a week full of blessings and lightness. Cheers.

 

 

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24. A Few More Sketchbook Pages

I've been busy. I've even gone on a couple of short trips recently, to get things in order and to meet up with family. So I'm a bit behind ... the slow internet connection doesn't help much but it seems to be behaving today, so am taking advantage and posting a few more pages from the sketchbook ...

 

Sketchbook-Crow-Pitcher-by-Floating-Lemons

 

This (very sketchy) illustration was based on Aesop's Fable, The Crow and the Pitcher. The crow is standing on a little booklet that tells you the story but if you'd like to read one of the (many) versions online, you can find it here.

 

Sketchbook-Crow-Pitcher-2-by-Floating-Lemons

 

And here are some 3D pieces I've worked on, a woven case for the ketupat (Malaysian rice is cooked in this for festive ocassions, read more here), and some metal-work that I thoroughly enjoyed. Might make a pendant out of one -- or all -- of those.

 

Sketchbook-Ketupat-by-Floating-Lemons

SKetchbook-Metalwork-by-FLoating-Lemons

 

Yes, the theme for the moment is shoes. Well, sort of. More on that later. Meanwhile, have a fantastic week.

I'll be posting the final "I Choose" free printable next Saturday, and that will be available (along with the previous 11 from 2014) till the end of December to all subscribers of the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter. After which it will be gone, and I'll be thinking up something new for you for 2015. If you'd like to sign up for the newsletter and the free printables, just click here.

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25. you should draw me

I feel like I haven't sat down and actually created a 'proper' drawing, or worked on a project, in ages. Life, and making a living, has got in the way of that.
Not that I've stopped drawing, I've never drawn as much. And, I'm loving drawing in a different, faster way. I do long, though, to just sit for an entire afternoon or weekend, week even, and just work on a big mega drawing. The kind of thing I can get lost in.
 But, I need to capitalise on this time of year. That's the reality, right now. I've finally just begun, after a couple of years of real hardship, to see the wood for the trees and to really start thinking like, and seeing myself as, a professional artist/illustrator. Whatever that is.
 And, now, I've forced myself into a situation where I have to make money from this. Which is a good thing. A scary thing, but a good thing.
Before I was just selling online to top up my wage, now my wage tops up my selling online. The balance has shifted. And, I'm no longer just selling online, recently I've been selling offline too.
All of these drawings were made over two days, and two art fairs, last weekend. I've come to realise that I need to sell myself in lots more ways (not like that), to keep a roof over my head.
It's not easy to see your work in those terms; as a saleable product. Well, at least, I don't find it easy. But that is the reality of it.
It's been a long time coming too. I've been talking about it for way too long; taking steps to turn professional. And, it hasn't been the greatest of timing, on my part, in this recent financial climate. But, there's something about the struggle that makes it even more 'rewarding' (that's not the right word, or not the word I'm looking for, but it's late at night and I'm tired).
So, I've been getting my work out there, and, actually, even if it still feels uncomfortable selling me, I couldn't love sharing and talking about my work more. 
I'm constantly amazed anyone wants to know.
My plan for 2015 is to get better at all that stuff. The presenting of my work, that is. I've had a practice run this year, but I want to make my 'show' bigger and better. I want it to be a visual treat, to compliment my sketchbooks.
I want to make lots more lovely creative products that show off my drawings. And, I want to get out there, further afield, and meet and share them with more people.
And, I want more adventures. So that when I finally get back home,
to sit and draw, I'll bring all that I've learnt and seen back to my work. And make it richer than ever.
Looking forward to the New Year already.
I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. Absolutely none. I'm glad it ended on such a positive note. I think I've inspired myself!

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