It is who we are. Being unique and taking control of how we choose to present ourselves to others matters. Being ourselves towards others matter because being yourself is what makes you unique.

The world can see you entirely from a different perspective, which is okay. There is no shame in thinking that, but in the hindsight of things, we shouldn’t need to change the way we want people to see us when they expect us to be seen that way.

We should all be unique to ourselves and never change how we look to suit others. We should all be the way we were supposed to be, and that is, to be ourselves and to never change anything about ourselves, not even for a split second.

Paint a portrait as if it was a picture you were painting of your life. That picture is you. Believing in yourself, being yourself and being unique to yourself is what produces that picture you will have painted. Being yourself is what really matters but being yourself is what makes you unique.

If you feel that this has inspired you in many ways more than one, then please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Artistic Interpretation #4: Amy Winehouse (27)

Five years on since her untimely death on the 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse, the iconic music legend that made her mark with her unique musical sound, released two of her most iconic albums, which were Frank, and also Back to Black. Her posthumous third studio album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, consisted of some new songs which were previously unreleased, including different versions of certain tracks that we listened to and grew to love, given that the iconic look for Back to Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures saw Amy Winehouse with the iconic beehive hairstyle, which has since become the biggest trendsetter for all independent women in fashion.

I took the opportunity to draw Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to pay my full respects and pay homage to the iconic music legend as it has been five years since her passing. She was a talented young musician who was gone too soon. I’ve put her age, 27, in brackets, in the article title, as that number is the age she was when she passed away on the 23rd July 2011.

Amy Winehouse Tribute Drawing

I also wanted to make Amy Winehouse’s memory and music as colourful as possible by using the same drawing to create a tribute montage, showing her life in music from my perspective, but also yours and everyone else’s perspective.

Amy Tribute Montage
Amy Winehouse Drawing Tribute Montage

Amy Winehouse was and always will be the iconic music legend of our time. She will never be forgotten for the everlasting impact she left on the world and will always remain forever in our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our souls. We will always love and miss you Amy Winehouse xxxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

Does an Existential Crisis Affect You?

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We have all worried that we might not be able to succeed in life and we have the dreaded existential crisis that may affect what we want to do in the future. We often worry about certain things that we shouldn’t worry ourselves over. For example, we may feel petrified of the thought of dying, including what happens to all of us when we are no longer here.

I have had some of those days where I’ve gone through an existential crisis, for instance, when I was at secondary school, I used to procrastinate and by putting myself through an existential crisis, this left me wondering at certain stages throughout secondary school whether it was worth carrying on or to give up almost altogether.

I’ve sometimes felt like that, where I wanted to give up, but I thought at those stages in my life that my future is at stake here and I cannot afford to give up now. Giving up means you haven’t really lived, but not giving up even during an existential crisis can help you to get through the most difficult parts of your life.

It’s not an easy ride where an existential crisis is concerned, is it? To be honest, yes, and let’s face it, not a single person around is going to have an easy ride. If all of us had an easy ride, life would be boring. Every existential crisis has its purpose, and it’s that purpose that can determine what we choose to do. I believe that for every existential crisis we have, we should face it and go through it, because it’s going through an existential crisis that can help us become better at what we were not so good at before.

Before I conclude, I wanted to say that if we can all go through an existential crisis together, this will help us to not only become better at something we were not so good at before, but it will help us to become a lot stronger than we were before.

Have you ever been through an existential crisis at any stage in your life? If so, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2016

The first few months of this year sure are flying by like clockwork, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the speed of time. I’ve also been a lot more of a busy bee this month, as I’ve managed to publish more articles this month than the amount I’ve published in the last few months, following the end of 2015. Time does go like a flash nowadays, can you believe it?

To kick off this Monthly Roundup, I will take a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

1.3.2016 – To kick March off with a bang, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature, with this month being set for some possibly nice weather, despite weather reports that suggested that there would be rain and snow. I also mentioned that I would add a widget that would state the times for each and every week that I would publish my articles, so that I could keep to a specific publishing timetable that would suit me best for when it comes to publishing articles on here.

4.3.2016 – As we had relatively mild but refreshing Spring weather in Croydon on this day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity during my lunch break to get a large number of photos whilst I had the free time available. I took a large range of photographs with the Camera+ app (recommended), and because there was not a single spot of bad weather on this day too, this day was the perfect opportunity for me to get a large range of photos in before my lunch break came to an end.

5.3.2016 – Last year when I was on the UAL Level 2 Diploma Art & Design Course, I took some photos in and around Croydon, but around certain parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed before. I must admit, on the 7th May 2015, I went down to Reeves Corner with a student from my class, though I asked the fellow student from my class if they could come with me because I was worried about going down to Croydon on my own, considering that the Nikon D3300 DSLR I use to take my photos with is quite expensive, and that I was worried about it being stolen, given that what happened down that area with the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down during the riots in 2011 had worried me. On this day, I published the small set of photos that I had taken on the 7th May 2015, with Reeves Corner being the featured place I would use in the article’s Featured Image.

7.3.2016 – Life throws at us what we do or don’t like to experience, but it’s being able to accept who you are that really matters. Whether you have anyone around you who chooses to see you differently because of who you are and how you choose to appear, that doesn’t matter, it’s what comes from your heart and who you are that really matters the most. I wrote this article as a way of wanting to inspire you all.

11.3.2016 – Your life is a sensational and remarkable masterpiece. Why? Because it is. Your life is sensational because you have decided to be you and have decided to forget what other people think of you, and you are also a remarkable masterpiece as well, because not only have you decided to be yourself, but you have also proved that you are 10,000 times better than they will ever be. I also wrote this article as I wanted to inspire all of you to believe in yourself and to always be yourself, no matter what.

13.3.2016 – Security is the major key factor that plays its part in the digital world, but at the same time, we are left with the question that we sometimes ask ourselves or other people, and that is: “Are We Really Safe?“. I wrote this article mainly because I wanted to know whether you felt your security in the digital world was safe, considering I had fallen victim to a “malware and virus attack after some viruses and malware got past my security software, which resulted in me having restore problems, until I was advised to create storage media on one of my USB’s using the Media Creation Tool (provided by Microsoft) which actually helped, as I was able to completely wipe my laptop of any viruses, malware and even any other kind of general virus attacks.”

21.3.2016 – From Friday 11th March 2016 to Monday 14th March 2016, I worked on my drawing of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, and this drawing that I worked on was inspired on one of the photos that was taken of Madonna during the Ray of Light era. I can be honest with you all, this was my first proper attempt at drawing someone including their face, considering that a few years ago, I couldn’t draw a face properly unless I used a photo to trace over the original. I published this article as I wanted to showcase to all of you my current drawing skills, given that my drawing skills have advanced in the last few years.

22.3.2016 – Let’s face it, we’ve all had our fair share of bad experiences, whether it would be to do with a fall or whether it would be to do with the consideration of any passenger‘s safety, especially for those who wait at their bus stops to get the next bus that’s due. I wrote this article in light of my recent experience in which a bus driver drove past me and a couple of passengers, even though full indication was given by a fellow passenger for the bus driver to stop at my usual bus stop, which resulted in me having to run to the next bus stop just around the corner, which as you can imagine left me in a seriously foul mood afterwards.

23.3.2016 – As the article had suggested, what was the one true thing that scared you? I outlined that the one true thing that scared me was “death, as I hate the thought ofdying, given that after death, nothing carries on, and not just that, but after death, everything just stops forever.” I did this article as I wanted to know what the one true thing was that genuinely scared you.

24.3.2016 – Back in 2012, I did a piece of creative work in my Art & Design class when I was in Year 9, and I had to create a kind of pop-art piece which would consist of two famous faces, which were of Marshall Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem) and the model, Kate Moss. This of course did require the use of different materials which would help me to produce this piece, but aside that, I also used the Colors! 3D app (available on the Nintendo eShop) to produce some pieces of art work, which does shock me to some extent given how my drawing and design skills were then compared to the drawing and design skills I have now. I also presented some drawings in this article that I created in 2013 and 2014.

25.3.2016 – Equality & Diversity are just two of the main key factors that make up all the societies in this world. Whether it would be to do with a person’s religious background, sexuality or even how someone chooses to look and appear, both key factors should be taken into consideration no matter what society any of us come from. I wrote this article as it’s the kind of subject that is close to my heart, as I always believe that we should be equal and diverse towards one another.

Also on this day, I published another article, but decided to keep the second article short by showing a photo of the lovely weather on this day, as I “wanted to relax a little bit just for a change, considering all of the hard work I’ve been producing for my film and photography course most recently.”

27.3.2016 – I published a moderately tiny article in which I had wished you all a Happy Easter.

29.3.2016 – As I headed down to Charlie’s Rock Shop in Merton on this day, I did notice that the landscape around me was full of tranquility, as everywhere around me was quiet, which was a change considering how busy it can be sometimes, but the landscape around me was peaceful and also refreshing. Despite the fact that the weather couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be sunny or to be pouring down with rain, I decided to get a set of photographs in that I took whilst I was there and while I was on my way back home. I also took some of the photos I selected that were originally in colour and converted a select range of them into black and white.

30.3.2016 – As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986. This drawing took from the 25th March to the 29th March to complete, and I was absolutely over the moon with the final result that I was able to achieve.

31.3.2016 – I felt absolutely honoured to have been nominated by Brooke (The Utopia Universe) for the Blogger Recognition Award, which is the first award that Mother Nature has received since the start of 2016.

Today, I also paid tribute to the Man of Mighty Humour, Ronnie Corbett, who sadly passed away this morning at the age of 85. He will be greatly missed but will never be forgotten. We will miss you Ronnie Corbett.

To end this month on a really positive, but sad note, I wanted to say thank you so much everyone for making this month a good one, and although we lost Paul Daniels earlier in the month, including hearing the sad news of Ronnie Corbett passing away earlier this morning, I want to say that they shall always be remembered in our hearts forever.

Again, thank you so much for making this month a really good one, and I’ll see you all in April.

Alex Smithson

Your Life is a Sensational & Remarkable Masterpiece.

Your life is a sensational and remarkable masterpiece. Why? Because it is. Your life is sensational because you have decided to be you and have decided to forget what other people think of you, and you are also a remarkable masterpiece as well, because not only have you decided to be yourself, but you have also proved that you are 10,000 times better than they will ever be.

There comes a time in life where you just begin to think:

I don’t care what you think of me, and I don’t care how you choose to see me, but at the end of the day, I’m better than you are and I know for a fact that I’ve gone far in life and you haven’t because you chose to cause trouble for yourself and for the people around you, but guess what? You’re only missing out and you’re only bringing this all on yourself if you set yourself up to have a bad life. Take a good look at the people around you and realise that they are far better than you are because they gave the likes of people like you respect, even when you didn’t give them respect back, and because they’ve gone far, not only have you taken the people around you for granted, but you’ve also taken yourself for granted. Maybe it’s about time you started to respect those around you, and it’s about time you started doing the right thing, and maybe, just maybe, you might see things in a better light.

I have felt like that on some occasions over the years, and I’ve realised that if someone has decided to do nothing but bully me, I just rise above it and know that I’m far better than they are, and I’ve realised that because I’ve not given a damn about those who decided to bully me, I’ve realised that at the end of the day, I don’t need those kind of people, and I can just be myself and not give a damn about those who decided to treat me differently. At the end of the day, if that person doesn’t want to treat you right, it’s their lookout if their own life goes down the drain.

Your life, however, is a sensational and remarkable masterpiece in its own, and is of precious value, and always realise that your life is far more important than you think, and for those who think it’s okay to treat you like something they’ve trodden in, at the end of the day, at least you can hold your head up high and know that you achieved and did well for yourself, knowing that despite what you’ve had to go through, you’ve come out of it all a better person.

Take this from me:

“It takes a lot of courage, a lot of strength, but most importantly a lot of determination to carry on after being kicked to one side by some, but it’s being able to carry on and being able to be strong-willed that can really prove you to be the best person you can be. Be the better person you can be, and don’t be the version that some want you to be. Be yourself, and just focus on becoming the better person, and that success of yours will eventually pay off in the end.” – Alex Smithson

I believe wholeheartedly that all of our lives are sensational and remarkable masterpieces, as we don’t realise that we create a good path for ourselves that only we can leave our mark on, and not just that, but because I see all of our lives as being sensational and remarkable masterpieces, I believe that it’s best that we make the most of our lives the best we can, because after all, our lives are worth living, and never give up on your dreams. Even if it means working extra, extra hard and going the extra mile, then that’s all that matters. As long as it makes our lives better, than that’s all that matters.

One more thing…never give up, and concentrate on you, and only you, and prove you’re the best you can be, and never let anyone stand in your way.

If you found this article inspiring, please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson

Study Time: Does a Large Workload from School, College or Even University Stress You Out?

Study time. It can be a good thing to study and do some research based on the kind of work you may be looking to produce, but does having a large workload from school, college or even university stress you out?

Although I believe study time is crucial, I have known on some, if not, a lot of occasions, that it can be stressful, especially when you’re in school, college or university. Over the course of last year, I did notice how stressful the workload was, because I would get on a number of occasions, a lot of work piled on top of me, which, when deadlines were around the corner, I would sometimes panic about any work that may have not been completed, and in a lot of cases, I would often get stressed out.

Sometimes with me, a large workload and stress just don’t go together with me, because if the workload I’m given contains stuff that I haven’t studied, mainly because a teacher has asked or told me not to, I sometimes get stressed out. September 2014 to July 2015 was a massive learning curve for me, and I’ve noticed since I’ve been back at college that I’ve been keeping on top of all the work and completing any work I’m given as soon as I’m given it, because I hate the thought of falling behind, but I have noticed, however, that I’ve been prioritising my time more on my studies than I have on everything else, which is much better now, but I’m also finding that because I have a huge amount of time on my hands now because I have kept all of my work up-to-date, and kept far ahead in the Film & Photography course I’m on, I’ve actually noticed that I’ve been able to publish more articles on Mother Nature, which, to me, is absolutely brilliant, because I’m being a lot more productive now than I was last year. October to December were probably the only three months of the year where I actually published the most articles in those 3 months.

I must admit, although I always keep my work up-to-date now, I have also begun to notice that I feel a lot more relaxed now because of the huge amount of free time I have on my hands, and sometimes, I like to use that free time to play games and possibly take some photos, but a lot of the time, I like to write articles for Mother Nature, as I always like to try to keep as productive as possible, so that my body and mind stays active for as long as possible.

When it came to school studies, I was always feeling stressed about doing work during study time, because the energy was often not there, and because of the fact that the time was either so slow or so fast on some days, it was virtually impossible to keep on top of the work. It was only when I got to Year 10 and Year 11 that I noticed my way of studying was improving, but Year 11 really was the year where my focus would stay up, as I just made sure to concentrate and get all of my work done, including completing homework on time. Year 11 may have been possibly the most stressful and the most anxious year of my life, given that my final exams were just around the corner at that stage, but I just thought that it would be a good idea to just work hard and revise, and then do the exams, at least that way, all that work would eventually pay off.

For college studies, however, I was only stressed out at some stages when it came to completing work in my first year, because I accidentally fell behind in my work at least a month after I began my first year at college, and as a result, to add to my stress further, I had to go in on the days I wasn’t scheduled in, which were, at the time, Wednesday’s & Friday’s, and as you can imagine, I was annoyed, tired and stressed, but now, I don’t feel like that at all, because ever since I went back to college in September 2015 after successfully completing my first year, I just made sure to keep on top of the work, and ever since then, I’ve not looked back, and not just that, but I enjoy the fact that I get more free time to myself now.

School work is stressful enough for those of you currently going through secondary school, but college work isn’t as stressful, because although there may be more work, it’s less stressful when you’ve only got a bit of work to do or no work at all.

Before I conclude, all I can say is even if you are stressed out with large workloads from school, college or university, make the most of the study time you have and value each second as it comes, because those seconds you spend now will never come back, and it’s always the best idea to value your study time, because it is important, and yes, time is precious, so make the most of it while you can now. You might not think it now, but in the future, you’ll be able to look back on your past at the time you used to study, and you’ll be able to say that: “I did all that, and that is the main reason why I am here today”.

Even if study time stresses you out, just keep being yourself, concentrate on you and only you and go for the highest opportunity you can possibly think of, trust me and believe me when I say this, it will all be worth it in the end.

Have you ever had a large workload stress you out? Have you ever wanted to look back and think of how much you achieved? Most importantly, how do you feel now that you’ve used that study time? Do you feel you have used it wisely? What part of your study time would you want to revisit in your life?

Please feel free to feedback your answers to the questions I’ve asked. Your feedback is much appreciated ☺.

Alex Smithson

Announcement: Mother Nature is now on Instagram. If you’re someone who uses Instagram on a regular basis, and would like to be kept up-to-date on the articles I’ll be publishing over the course of time, please feel free to follow Mother Nature on Instagram at this username: @mothernaturewebsite.

Audience Subjective Confidence Builder: My 3 Key Tips That Could Help You Build Your Confidence When You’re Giving a Presentation or Speech.

Confidence is mainly a major key factor that plays a big part in our lives, and it’s something that can be put upon once too often if it’s not used correctly, for instance, if you were to discuss a topic based on, for example, modern society, technology, as well as how certain things work, having some confidence is good, but would you want 25% to be confidence, and the 75% to be nerves? From my perspective, no. Why? Because it’s normal to have nerves, but if you were to have 50% of both confidence and nerves, these are mainly useful as you can use both to your advantage. When I say using them both to your advantage, I mean that if it was to come to something, such as speaking and listening, both of these are useful and good in certain cases for if you really want to capture your audience.

To start, I will give you all my 3 Key Tips based on how these could help you build your confidence when you’re giving a presentation or speech.

Tip 1: Have a Clear Tone of Voice That the Audience Can Hear.

To make sure you get your voice heard by your audience, you have to make sure to speak at the correct tone where everyone can hear you, especially those in the audience who are sat at the very back, as you want to be able to make sure that what you talk about is clear and precise, and that what you’re talking to your audience about is suitable and clear. Also, a clear tone of voice can really prove to be beneficial when you’re giving a presentation or speech based on what your presentation or speech about.

Tip 2: Controlling Your Nerves When Your Giving a Presentation or Speech.

In order for your presentation or speech to be the best presentation or speech possible, taking deep breaths here and there can help to control your nerves, especially at times when you feel really nervous, like as if you want to cease up. Controlling your nerves while giving a presentation or speech can really prove to be beneficial if you’re either speaking in front of a class, a whole school or even in front of thousands upon thousands of developers.

Tip 3: Keep offering to go up and speak about something that you’ve been working on.

This is where my confidence really grew, because when I was in school, going up in front of the class was nerve-wracking for me, considering that I didn’t feel confident and was often nervous, but it was offering to go up and speaking about what I was working on that made me feel more confident, because I often went up in front of my Year 11 Form Group to talk about my blog, as well as the types of things that I would be doing once our final exam season came to an end.

For me, it was going up in front of my class more and talking about my blog that made me feel more confident when I spoke, as I felt more confident after going up again and again, and I didn’t feel as nervous as much as I used to, and now that is doing me a lot of favours now that I’m re-taking the GCSE English course, as I recently did my Speaking & Listening assessment, which came back as a B grade, which could make up the final exam grade I get at the end of this course. Fingers crossed I pass this time around.

But back to the subject of things, I believe that the more you offer to go up and give your presentation or speech, the more confident you’ll become, and you’ll also find that you won’t feel as nervous as before, as confidence can really help you to give your presentation and speech with more of a clear overview, without your presentation or speech becoming compromised. If, for example, you want to have something that connects to what your presentation, you would want what you’re talking about to have the three main keys; Prepare, Produce, Persist. For me, these three keys are what help me to feel confident, and I believe that these three keys will help you if you’re looking to build your confidence further.

To conclude, I believe that the less nervous you are at giving presentations or speeches, the more confident you’ll become.

I hope my 3 key tips have helped all of you, and please feel free to feedback your thoughts based on whether you thought my 3 tips helped you, and whether they have made you feel more confident in giving a presentation or speech.

☺ Alex Smithson ☺