my Illustration Process

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Drawing is one of those things that I really enjoy doing. I find it very therapeutic and anything I can do whilst watching a movie, is always a plus for me!
It's a skill I used to practice on a daily basis as a child. However, after my degree in animation (some many years ago), I had been put off of the very idea of drawing and my passion for it has only been revived in the last few years.
During my time away from art I think I started to feel a bit unsure about my skills. Almost as if I may have forgotten how to draw.

Whatever your natural ability levels are, drawing/ art is a skill which requires practice and for me I feel like there is so much more to learn.

In the past, my favourite medium was acrylic paint on MDF board. Now I use Photoshop- which is so ironic because I was hopeless with computers during my whole animation degree!

I like to begin with pencil on paper because it gives me that hands on, organic approach that I'm accustomed to. I then take it into photoshop, building up layers of tone and texture. 
At the moment I don't have a drawing tablet so I use my laptop keypad for everything. I can't wait to use a stylus pen because I'm sure that will speed up the process immensely and make it much easier to control what I do.

People often ask how I produce my images so I thought I'd share some images with you to demonstrate my creative process with you.

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How To Be a Badass!

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As I make that slow descent into the underworld of social media; I am always surprised at how a short trip to Instagram can begin with a hint of curiosity. Turn into a slight sense of self doubt, and gradually become an assertion of how insignificant I am and everything I do is. 

In hind sight it always seems like a harmless drug... but the truth is, if you stay there too long it can become a poison which seeps into the mind, soul, all the way to the spirit. 
Comparison really is the thief of joy and it's so important to guard your heart against anything that threatens to attack it. 
Small doses of social media can be inspiring or serve as light entertainment- submersion can lead to the overpowering deception of insecurity.

Then I make a dress or do something creative and I remember that I'm awesome! 
...I'm just being honest... It be like that sometimes! Ha!
Don't worry, I think you're awesome too! Don't allow Instagram to make you forget! ;)

Be BOLD!xx

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First Name: Stephanie, Middle name: Bisa, Superhero name: BisaNation

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I have the tendency to hype up subtle changes that aren't that big a deal. Not because I'm a drama queen but because change has always been a bit of an ordeal for me. I always feel like it affects my mindset, representing a shift in the atmosphere. 

I find words and especially names, to be extremely significant. They shape who you are and sometimes how you're perceived. 
In biblical times they had a strong emphasis on the meaning of a name because they knew, a name could shape a child's destiny.

I was born Stephanie and have always really liked that name. It means crowned one, royalty or my favourite translation: Queen. 
I was named after the actress Stephanie Powers who starred in the 70's show, Heart to Heart. It featured a fabulous couple who were happy, fashionable, well-off and a crime solving duo in their spare time. 
My parents watched the show all the time. They loved the two main characters' relationship as husband-and-wife and hoped the same for me when I grew up and got married. (They were really planning ahead!)

Right now, Stephanie is a fairly common name, but growing up it was pretty unusual. The first time I ever met another Stephanie I was aged 21 at university. I was also the first Stephanie she had ever met, so we were both pretty spun out and became friends from that moment on.

Fast forward a few years and I was starting out in the music industry...
One day I was looking through Vogue magazine and came across a young model named Adwoa AboahI knew immediately she was a fellow Ghanaian because of her name and it made me think, maybe I should have a cool stage name? Maybe I too should use my Ghanaian name?
I told my siblings of my plans and asked them to help me decide. My middle name is hyphenated so I had a four options to choose from
They all confirmed that Bisa sounded good and that became my new stage name... I'll admit I was a little apprehensive at first because it felt like I was putting aside part of my identity (I know it sounds strange but that's how it felt)... 
I used that name for musical performances and it began to feel like I was shaping my identity as a performer; Who I was on stage and how I would like to be perceived.

I then decided I needed a theme song. Something that would confidently assert who I am as an artist, what I wanted and what I believed would happen for me from that moment on. 
Very soon after, I wrote the song Bisa Be Her Name. It was my statement that I had become a true artist and that's what shaped my style and asserted me.
I definitely would not say Bisa is my alter ego because it's been my middle name from birth. However, it has allowed me to separate the real me from the perceived me- at least on stage. 

Bisa became BisaNation by accident. (Six years ago, I saved a website on my phone home screen and it coincidently abbreviated three words as a title to read as BisaNation.) I wrote about that name and its implications in my post, Being Bold.

When I joined YouTube, people began to know me as Bisa. I found it easier because I'm terrible at remembering names, but I never forget a face. When people would stop me in the street, it immediately enabled me to distinguish how I knew someone. If they knew me as Stephanie, we'd met me before. If they knew me as Bisa, they knew me from an online platform. 
It helped me separate my life into neat categories, where I could harbour my secret identities.

I decided to "come forward" because to me, this all represents a change in my life. On my journey of self acceptance, I'm on a quest to embrace all sides of who I am. To relieve myself of all limitations and restrictions.

to Be BOLD!xx

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Summer Dreams

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In the last few days, it has only just started to feel like autumn over here in the UK, and less like 'summer part six'. The intermittent rain episodes have just broken summer up into segments and left a lot of us feeling jolted and confused- but I guess that's English weather for you!

Autumn always seems to evoke a longing for burgundy, Jade; Dark, rich colours. However, with the sun peeking it's head around more frequently than usual, I find myself still clinging to those vibrant summer shades. 

I made this dress a few months ago and I think it solves these conflicting factors perfectly. 
The combination of warm, thick, black velvet is perfectly fitting for Autumn. Whilst the vibrant blocks of colour, suggest a nostalgic nod to warmer days. Thus fulfilling those Summer Dreams...

Dress, DIY
Shoes, Schuh
Earrings, Vintage
Bracelet, Claires
Bag, Trade
On my lips. Mac Lipstick in 'Heroine' + 'Flat Out Fabulous'

Photos Taken by Trevor Andre & Myself
Digital Artwork, Me

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The Power Of An Image

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As an artist my style of drawing, painting and illustration is all about light and dark. The ability to create tone and atmosphere in an image. This is where I feel my strengths lie.

When I create an artificial two dimensional world, I have full control and photoshop is the tool I feel allows me to exercise this control. However, when it comes to live action and photography, this is an area I struggle with most. I have a strong sense of where I want to be stylistically so when I'm not sure how to fully achieve it, that can be frustrating at times.

I would love to fuse my 2D artistic style, with my photographic style. 
I love to learn and my desire to fully grasp this concept will always lead me to keep absorbing and studying these skills to achieve all my artistic goals.
 A knowledge of how to achieve the look I want before post production; To enable me to develop my skills in both areas of film making and photography, to ultimately create the most impact with art.

Illustrations by me

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Leather, Fur & Velvet! Mmmm!

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More like pleather and faux fur but the velvet is genuine! Ha!

Fabric buying is one of my favourite pastimes. I enjoy it even more than shopping for clothes because the possibilities are endless! 
A few weeks ago, when the skies started looking a little greyer; I visited Fabric Land and discovered this beautiful maroon/ burgundy faux fur. It was part of their limited addition stock so I bought enough to make more than one thing. I've started on making a jacket and I will show you as soon as it's complete!

Last week I used the pleather (faux leather) fabric to create a dress which I absolutely love! I  have a post featuring it coming up very soon so keep your eves open! I've since purchased some more pleather, unsure of whether to make a jumpsuit or a long coat/ dress... We shall see!

If you have been following me for a while, you'll know that I have been working with black velvet for a few years now, and it's a fabric I don't think I'll ever tire of. With Olivier Rousteing featuring lots of black velvet in the previous Balmain collection, I'm sure we will see a lot more of it trickling onto the high street in the near future.

If you would like to see a sneak peek of my pleather dress images, check out my instagram page: @BisaNation 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Don't forget to follow me on bloglovin for instant updates of new posts xx

I Like My Thigh Highs, Sky High!

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I have been obsessed with thigh high boots longer than I can remember.
Years back they were not as readily accessible in High Street shops, so I had to depend on small boutiques to get to get my fix. 
My premise has always been "The longer the boot the better" even back when thigh highs were considered slightly riske for the average woman... 
There's just something so instantly cool and chic about wearing mini dress, or miniskirt matched with extra long boots! 

In the last few years, the trend has increased to epic proportions and so has the length of the boot! My current favourites are the Dior pvc thigh highs- the pointy toe with transparent heel! 
The pvc adds to the edginess, while the block heel provides practically for that much needed versatility. 

There are so many styles to choose from! I've added images of some other styles that I'm in love with too!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Don't forget to follow me on bloglovin for instant updates of new posts xx

Current Mood...

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It's getting to that time of year when I just want to wear dark colours and very shiny things! I'm looking to make some new clothes and this mood board is a source of inspiration.
It has a whole lot of Fausto Puglisi, Balmain and a little David Koma.