A collab on an illustration ✏️

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Hey everyone – hope you are all doing okay. Emily (@autie_eevee) reached out to me during the week to ask if I wanted to collab on a lil’ drawing with her – she designed the circular graphic and we each filled out a half (I filled out the sensory defensive half and she filled out the sensory seeking half) Zoom in to check out all the little details and see her great description below:

Sensory Seeking and Sensory Defensive

For me, this is a topic which I struggle with and causes me anxiety, because I doubt whether I am autistic because my sensory issues aren’t as heightened as others. However, I think that it is often forgotten that sensory issues – just the same as autism – is a spectrum. Everyone has different sensory issues and needs and so I have teamed up with the lovely Emily from @21andsensory to create this infographic about the sensory spectrum. 

Sensory sensitivity is a spectrum, on which you can be situated anywhere – and it can actually differ from person to person, with some people having a range of sensitivities for different things. For example, you could be highly sensitive to sound but not sensitive to touch.The terms for ‘being sensory sensitive or not’ is “sensory defensive” or “sensory seeking”.

As the names suggest, sensory seeking people are often HYPOsensitive to sensory input, meaning that they search for it and enjoy the sensory experiences. Sensory defensive people are HYPERsensitive to sensory input, meaning they actively avoid it, due to it being uncomfortable and causing physical pain or discomfort for them. 

I am still learning about where I am on the sensory spectrum, although I know I am a mix of the two and it very much depends on the situation I’m in as well. However, I hope this post has been helpful and informative in a little talked about topic! 💖

My recent 21andsensory interviews 💬

So I’ve recently had a few requests through (from some lovely people) who wanted to interview me and chat all things sensory! These posts have now gone live so I thought I’d link them below…

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The very lovely Victoria Ellen (Actually Aspling) reached out to me to do an interview for her site: actuallyaspling.wordpress.com And here is my interview with her: Interview with 21andSensory!

Go check out her instagram account: @actuallyaspling

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Also Jenna Gensic from www.learnfromautistics.com very kindly reached out to interview me on my diagnosis and SPD here: ‘Autism Interview #130: Emily on diagnosis and Sensory Processing Disorder’

Jenna’s links: Twitter | Facebook

Please do go check out the interviews above if you have a minute and let me know what you think!

Self Isolation Achievements ✅

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Hello everyone, I’m back again, this time with an illustration of some self isolation achievements. I know that all the news on TV and online seems to be constantly swirling around and being updated continually (which is fine) but it can be really difficult not to get anxious, stressed, upset and triggered by it all. I’m trying to hold on to the small positives each day and the little autistic and sensory achievements I have been making along the way.

Why not comment down below any wins or things you’ve done with your time (they can be big or small – everything counts).

I hope you are all doing okay and staying safe (as much as you can be with all this going on).

Doodling Session and Q+A ✏️

Hi everyone! This is a video of an Instagram Live drawing session I did during the week. I’ll be doing more Instagram Live drawing sessions where you can ask me questions – so go follow me over there too!

https://www.instagram.com/21andsensory/

ALSO:

Here is a link to another Instagram Live drawing session, this time I did it with the lovely Sophie from @curiosophie (8th May) and had a very chilled colouring session live ✏️

We coloured in each other’s artwork which was great fun. We thought it would be cool to hangout it acts as a lil’ distraction from everything that’s going on right now 🌍

We had some livestream issues – our connection kept dropping so this is the edited best bits!

Be sure to follow Sophie on her Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/curiosophie/

A collaboration with Dan from The Aspie World (@theaspieworld)

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Hi everybody! I did a little collab with Dan from @theaspieworld – this drawing is based on one of his latest YouTube videos: ‘Tips for Autism and Lockdown’. Go check it out ☺️

I’ve definitely struggled this past week and a bit – I’ve had a few sensory meltdowns and my mental health has been a bit up and down as a result of all this change to routine, normality and structure. I do however think that I am slowly starting to get into the sort of groove of working from home (I feel very thankful that I can do this). I hope you are all doing okay – I know it’s a very weird, disruptive and confusing time, but the sense on of community on here has been so uplifting and supportive despite all that’s going on.

Why shops can cause sensory overload…🛒

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Hi everyone I’m back again with a lil’ illustration…’Why shops can cause sensory overload’ 👀 I (secretly) struggle quite a lot in shops and supermarkets (when I say secretly I mean I’ve perfected the art of ‘masking’ my struggles!). There’s always SO much sensory input to deal with in shops and I wanted to try and mention a few of the things that can be overwhelming. Bigger supermarkets especially can be quite disorientating when so much is being thrown at me sensory-wise.

Every sense is sort of attacked all at once?! This means it can be very difficult to find the things you need as you have to visually wade through colourful shelves, deal with all sorts of noise, queues and crowds, smelly food counters…the list goes on!

I know there’s lots of good tips and tricks to helping with these busy environments such as using ear defenders or headphones, wearing a sunflower lanyard (UK initiative – to subtly let staff know you might need some extra help / consideration), using distractions like stim toys, etc…but do you have any other tips for surviving shops? Comment down below!

What design stuff I carry everyday: notebooks, stationary and tech!

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I thought I’d do a post on the everyday bits and pieces I carry around and the journal and notebook I use. I currently have a Vinyl cover weekly/monthly diary A6 size from MUJI – the Left page shows one week while the right page has a grid pattern for taking notes which I love, I usually set up to-do lists on the right side and plan out my days on the left side. I love doing little doodles on the grid side.

I also have a black A5 Moleskine journal with cream blank paper as my notebook / sketchbook. This is where I do all my @21andsensory illustrations in before I then recreate them in Procreate on my iPad Pro (10.5 inch) with my Apple Pencil. I love this little set-up. For my daily design work I use my MacBook Pro (Late 2013 – 13 inch) with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite (Adobe CC).

I have a slight obsession with fine liner pens – my current favs are the muji gel ink ballpoint pen (0.38pt) which you can buy refills for and the Uniball eye ub-157. I also have a ridiculous collection of STABILO black and coloured fineliners too in a range of point sizes.

My clear glasses (London Retro River – Crystal) are from Glasses Direct and they are a new addition to my glasses collection (I have another tortoise shell pair from Glasses direct and a pair I wear daily from Specsavers.)

My little apple earphones are what I use most days, as people stop by my desk at work alot and I can quickly take them out and hear people calling my name (I have a little mirror set up on my desk so I can see people coming so they don’t tap me on the shoulder!) I use my Sony WH-1000XM3 noise cancelling headphones sometimes although they pinch my glasses!

What do you carry along with you daily? Share in the comments down below!