Noushka Galley

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News & Updates

Art, culture & creativity
06 Nov 2018 - Noushka Galley

First completed university project submitted

I maintain a blog on my site linked on both this post and on my profile.
Please show your support by checking out my work and feel free to get in touch if you like the look of my working methods and want me to illustrate or edit anything for you.

http://noushka7.wixsite.com/illustration/single-post/2018/11/06/First-completed-project-submitted

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I am being encouraged by my university to record work including development, explain concepts and pre4sent final work to a profession standard. It gets me into a good habit for when I compile my portfolio later this year.

Below are some pages from a PDF presenting my work from a project I just handed in.

There are several briefs included and all my solutions are derived from my collection of Japanese artefacts gathered over the Summer months.

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News & Updates

Art, culture & creativity
30 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley

New Endeavours

https://www.youtube.com/embed/GxO_oKlzU-U

Some new work has let my portfolio branch into video editing!

#MyChesterStory

 

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Inspiration

Fundraising & charity
16 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley

You're not alone with Autism

I hope the artical below will give you a self-esteem boost and also help reduce meltdowns with the questions and prompts at the end!

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Because I have autism, I needed to develop a survival tool kit to fit a bit better into the neurotypical world. I want to share what worked for me, to help others with the same problems. My vlogs and blogs hopefully highlight the less spoken about problems, risks and hacks that unveil autism in a new and brighter light, to those who are unfamiliar with autism.

 

I also design and develop illustrated resources to improve decision-making skills. In spite of my autism, I have learned (with many back-up plans as my extra safety net) to master a level of precise organization even many neurotypicals would struggle to maintain. Without this lifestyle, I fall apart very quickly and it is difficult to explain to other people that I need a system in place again, and fast. People who don't know me well perceive that the added responsibility of setting up a system is too much for me, as I am not coping already. Ironically, it's all my established systems that make for a happy and busy day. My safety nets enable me rather than ensnare me. Of course I have had a history of OCD but this was just lists and organizing going to the other end of the same scale. Everyone is different and that can be said for everyone on the autistic spectrum too.

 

Apart from timetabling, meal plans, and other systems to manage the logistics of independent life, the social side is an entirely different ball game. For a start, you have to work from the inside out. You can't change what other people do, or even fully understand what they communicate (or try to hide) with their actions, words and expressions alone. Growing up in a whirlwind of my own hormones (which changed sporadically in my teens because autism delays then "spikes" developments of any kind!), I also had to survive the new social hierarchy and rules at school, and I of course was a prime target for bullying with my combination of social cluelessness and high grades. My mum already had OCD at the time and the "man of the house" had an addictive personality, which led down the dark spiral of domestic abuse. This included a ton of mind-games where rules were twisted just as I thought I'd figured things out. By the time I was 16 I over-thought everything and this naturally manifested into all kinds of disordered behavior including eating issues, lying about everything, and deliberately self-inflicting sleep deprivation.

 

This extremely destructive lifestyle perpetuated and worsened my unhealthy mindsets, but thankfully, things got so bad and I was so alone, I knew the only person who could really improve things was me. I spent a year looking up motivational speakers and self-help resources. I also took the simplest advice from them and changed my words (I was too weak and muddled to do things like exercise or travel lots at this point). My language change had to be VERY drastic. I avoided absolutes like “always” and “everything”. I kept a complaining jar and used my OCD attitude to my advantage for keeping this track record. Slowly, my perception of life and myself started to change… Years of dreaming about recovery and leading a functional life finally became my reality. Once I accepted my wounds and weaknesses, I could start to deal with them methodically. Once I made friends with myself, other people approached me to become friends. It was an upward spiral from there.

 

I still find writing things down keeps a measurable record and highlights any bumps I need to address before things backlog and snowball. Over time, I have grown enough confidence to reintroduce, or try new things like food, conversation topics, and exploring places. Occasionally things go wrong or I push myself too far, but I bounce back much quicker now and am still willing to try again.

 

 

It sounds a bit sci-fi, but I strongly believe everything we see physically manifest, starts with an idea: aka the mind. If you can start and end life with a healthy mind, your life overall improves in both quality and length. I hope my story has encouraged you- autism is not the full stop or definition of what makes you “you”. 
 


Below are some questions I want to leave you with to help reduce meltdowns.


Is this situation reasonable?

Are other people as stressed as you? They might even have more urgent things happening in their life than yours.
Are you the only one to have ever felt like this?

Are you the only one to have ever had to do or go through this?
Is it likely?
What options do you have?
Will it last forever?

Will this affect you this badly by tomorrow?

How about in a weeks/months/years time?

Can you feel your feet? (If “no”, find a place to sit down. Avoid stamping or walking, and place hands firmly on a solid railing or wall).

Can you count to 10? (Then count to ten- don’t just say yes!)

Can you remember why you are here?

Can you see an exit sign or someone in a uniform that matches with the brand of this location?

Are you hot or cold? (Take off or put on a jacket accordingly).

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Did you know?

Fundraising & charity
09 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley

Unique Sensory Struggles

Sensory Spectacle asked me to list a few hang ups I had that were directly realted to having autism. Below are 10 things I struggled with but are now not really a problem for me.

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1) Hugging

I feel awkward when people hug me but I still respond with a light hug back. Sometimes I initiate one using the same social rules I have picked up on when going along with small talk. I don’t get why people do it, but it seems rude or more awkward for other people if I don’t respond.

 

2) Getting your hair cut

It’s not a sensory problem to get it cut or lightened and dyed at a salon. I can bang my head on a shelf or open cupboard door and just carry on, but hair spray does make me retch and swallow. I condition rather than cut my ends to preserve length- it’s my aesthetic style preference.

 

3) Using escalators or Lifts

As a very young child I used to have to be warned and the longer I checked the speed of the escalator the less I wanted to use it- the scariest idea was getting one foot on and not having time to fully step on- I was scared I would fall over or do the splits (going down escalators was the worst because you could see the angle and height you could fall at).

 

4) Find yourself shouting

I raise my voice when I am enthused about what I’m talking about. I don’t realise until people say I’m shouting. When I try to be quieter, I’m told I’m mumbling. It’s hard to judge because I hear myself at a constant volume because my mouth is next to my ears.

 

5) Gag easily

Anything soft/fluffy and dry can make my throat close up- hair spray, wool and gloves covering my fingernails is especially bad.

 

6) Being told you're heavy handed

Because I am aware that my hand-eye coordination is not my strongest asset, I actually compensate by going to the other extreme and dropping things, or taking a noticeably longer time setting items carefully down on tables.

 

7) Brushing your teeth

Toothpaste used to hurt because the flavour was overpowering when I was a child and was getting used to switching from infant to adult toothpaste. Mouthwash also hurt but my sense of tatse has calmed down with time, so I am able to overlook ingrediants I don’t like in meals and use a wider range of toiletries without wincing, or neglecting things due to smell colour and taste.

 

8) Difficulty sitting still

I just like to fidget, I have never been sure why, I just seem to get bored or tired much quicker and my focus goes if I’m not moving constantly. However, I can stand very still for hours and don’t get the same problem.

 

9) Washing your hands

I have to do this half-way through a big lot of washing up- I like how my skin is not left slimy by hand soap but washing up liquid is slimy. I like the smell and how my skin is softened by soaps and creams for hands.

 

10) Wearing your hood up

I used to keep my head covered with a hat- hoods don’t turn with my head making crossing roads dangerous. I used to like keeping my ears warm and protected from loud noises but this need has reduced with time and I like to keep my hair less oily by avoiding hoods and hats nowadays.

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News & Updates

Art, culture & creativity
25 Sep 2018 - Noushka Galley

House sharing tips

https://www.youtube.com/embed/AFrL-P7pgco

New video up with some tips about how to house share, while keeping friendships and saving money!

#MyChesterStory

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If you are short on time, you can copy and paste this list that recaps the points made in the video!

1) Don't be too hard on yourself

2) Be transparent with your house mates

3) List things that need doing for the move and update your contact details

4) Work out a routine to share chores and shopping with house mates

5) Make an online group chat

6) Set a budget for living costs

7) Negotiate a budget between house mates

8) Set a budget for the move itself

9) Save boxes and bags

10) Make time for rest and recovery

Do watch the video later when you get time as I go into each point listed below in more detail, and cover some instances where these tips will help out or avoid certain sticky situations most students face when house sharing!

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Inspiration

Art, culture & creativity
24 Sep 2018 - Noushka Galley

London and Hyper Japan vlog!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZSW5b0Yy6OY&t=737s

Its been a long time in the making but I have finally completed a vlog series documenting my experience in London. I hope my Youtube content will inspire people to stretch their confidence to travel and explore more, to get more out of life.

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There are always struggles and mistakes made in the early days and you may not believe it from the video series linked below, but I used to be depressed and housebound- even bedbound some days! I don’t mean to brag but I have come a long way and hope it serves as a testimony and living proof to others in the same situation as I used to be.

Check out my Youtube and keep the conversation going in the comments. What is the most exotic place you have visited? What are your dream destinations you want to go to? Have my videos inspired you to start travelling further afield than you considered before watching?

 

I will be back with more content soon so please subscribe!

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News & Updates

Art, culture & creativity
18 Sep 2018 - Noushka Galley

handmade with love

another throwback post

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I miss the days when I could play with clay and make random stuff to sell. But I am also grateful that I've gotten more focussed and am working hard to hone my illustration skills so each book that get's published is stronger and leaves a more impactful legacy than the last!

Get in touch using the details on my home page if you have a book in need of that extra special spark to bring it to life!

http://noushka7.wixsite.com/illustration

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Did you know?

Fundraising & charity
17 Sep 2018 - Noushka Galley

Sensory Processing

A look back at some of the autism questions groups have raised and I contributed my answers to. Do share and comment if the information below is interesting and helpful to yourself or people you may know!

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Sight

Because I am fairly alert and observant I am very aware of what I see and any changes to my sight, which helps my opticians keep up to date. I also use the computer a lot and can work using a very dimmed backlight. Bright or florescent light and colours reduce my appetite, especially when they are paired with a contrasting or similar colour (e.g. red and gray, or red and florescent pink). I am careful about my own clothes and have to think of polite comments when someone shows me a bright outfit and asks my opinion! I am much better with sparkly things than when I was a child and I had an absolute phobia of the colour red. I don’t mind it as much but neon colours still make my eyes ache…

I also have a thin retena so blood-cells in my eye create a static tv effect on my vision. It is very noticeable on plain surfaces, and in the dark. It’s less noticable when I look at grass and gravel.

 

Sound

I bring earplugs just in case but this sense fluctuates depending on how tired or anxious I am. Sometimes my state can affect how sensitive I am, but other times noisy environments drain me or set me on edge. I do counting and close my eyes to reduce visual sensory stress but sometimes I still end up stimming after a tiring day, until I get to a quieter place.

 

Taste

I am actually hyposensitive to taste and don’t make a great connoisseur for food and drink. I also don’t like gum as the sound and texture is distracting and outweigh the benefit of the taste. I do however have a low tolerance for spicy food and even Chinese-style curry can be too hot for my pallet!

 

Smell

Smell can really affect my appetite and the first thing I experience when I am run down is a smell in the back of my throat. It might be psychological, as it doesn’t affect my actual breath. I also smell sewage much stronger than other people and I have resorted to using a scarf or mask (like in East Asia) to reduce it a bit. I keep body spray in my bag in case it turns out to me. It can come in useful when I am the first to smell gas leaks.

 

Touch

Weirdly enough, I have to wash and dry my hands half way through washing up as I don’t like my hands to stay soapy or wet for more than 10 minutes. If I don’t do this, my co-ordination gets really bad and my focus wavers so I end up almost breaking things. I keep hand cream in my bag in case I handle dusty stock at the shop I volunteer at, and also hand wipes for when I eat food, or touch something slimy or sticky by accident. My face gets very oily when I’m even slightly warm so wipes a gentle way of drying my face without having to use loads of spot creams which can dry skin out too much with daily use.

 

Senses “blending”

Sound if at a high pitch or loud enough volume can have a metallic flavour for the duration but doesn’t leave an after-taste so I know it is a psychological experience. In some cases I also get phantosmia triggered by certain colours or stressful circumstances. These aren’t entirely to do with sensory input, but it does affect my sense of smell and thought it was worth mentioning.

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Did you know?

Art, culture & creativity
11 Sep 2018 - Noushka Galley

throwback

Throwback to a few years ago when I first started getting into freelance business.

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Things have developed drastically as I've learned so much along the way!
You are welcome to visit my site for more details and to get in touch with books you need illustrating, or an idea you need design work for
http://noushka7.wixsite.com/illustration

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Introducing

People & community
05 Sep 2018 - Noushka Galley

Introducing Noushka - a talented artist who promotes awareness of autism

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kkv1MR05yh0

Hi everyone!
As a youtuber I thought it would be helpful to make a little trailer for my channel to let you guys know what sort of content I produce! It's a mixed bag of goodies so please subscribe as I vlog and learn, bringing you as viewers along for the ride :D

My YouTube Channel

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