36daysoftype - food type edition

If you've been following me for a while you'll know how much I love the #36daysoftype challenge.
If you don't know what it is I've talked about it here.

I have shared with you some of my favourite alphabets as the project was running last year. Even though I'm not participating in it this year, I thought I'd do it again as there is a lot of inspiration out there that deserves to be discovered.

Last year I did a food alphabet (it's still one of the projects I'm most proud of) and I realized that this year there are a few artists taking that same approach. So if you liked my alphabet I'm sure you will like these:

Naniastua  Nani is also using the new instagram feature that let's you share more than one image in a post and showing parts of the process and detail photos in some of the letters. I LOVE this! I always find it magical to know how others create their magical images! Make sure to follow it!

Naniastua
Nani is also using the new instagram feature that let's you share more than one image in a post and showing parts of the process and detail photos in some of the letters. I LOVE this! I always find it magical to know how others create their magical images! Make sure to follow it!

Isn't it just great to see how different people come up with such great and different things using the same premise?

 

my shitty work

shitty_work-in-progress-amy-winehouse.png

Last week I read this super interesting article by Femke where she talks about how the external pressure to only share great work is actually holding us back and maybe even keeping us from evolving as we're more focused on the finished product than in the process of creating.
I found it inspiring to read something that makes perfect sense but that I never really thought about:

You wanna know the truth? Everyone produces shitty work.
That famous designer you follow on Twitter? I bet they sometimes produce shitty work. Walt Disney? Probably created a bad short at one point in his life.

I don't often show in progress images of my self initiated projects for 2 main reasons:
1. For a long part of my creative process I think what I'm doing is not good enough to show anyone;
2. If I don't show it to anyone there is no external pressure to keep at it even when I think I'm never going to make something good out of it.
This doesn't apply to client work because a) I don't feel right showing work that the client hasn't seen yet and b) quitting is not really an option in that case.

But this post inspired me to share something that as I was creating it I was thinking to myself "no one will ever see this".

The three images in this gif were created in three different days of work. On the first day I did what you see first and what nearly made me quit. It's terrible, it took me a lot of time and I didn't think I could make it better. It took me over a week to have the courage to open that file and try again. And I was incredibly proud of myself for not giving up because if I had given up I wouldn't be able to create something that I am now quite happy with.

This happens with a lot of my work. Even with my first comic attempt that I showed you last week the same thing happened. I created a lot of shit and gave up (for a few hours in that case) before trying again and making something I'm happy with.

I wanted to share this to anyone out there reading that maybe felt the same recently. Just keep trying. We're all making shitty work, we're just not showing it.

amy-winehouse-illustration-portrait.png

my first try at comics

Let me start by saying that I never thought I'd ever make comics. But the other day as I laid in the bathtub i thought I really wanted to share it. That's how it started....

Being a full-time freelancer has been a lot more stressful than I thought it would be so I'm trying my best to find new ways to relax. 
I've heard a lot of people saying baths are super relaxing: candles, bubbles,  calm music, all that jazz. I used to take baths once in a while when I was a child but I never did it as a grown woman so I was excited to give it a try. It didn't go as planed...

Let me tell you it took me a lot of time to create something to have that this only took me 10 minutes look...
But I actually ended up liking the result and I already have a few ideas I'd like to work on whenever I have the time.
I hope you like it too.
Now, off to clean my bathroom!

 

 

thank you for the inspiration

Four years ago, while I was procrastinating on the internet, I found this guy who filmed his watercolor process. I found it so inspiring that a few days later I bought my first watercolor set (which I still use) to experiment with them. My experiment sucked and I gave up on it soon after to only get back to it last year. But that's not what this post is about...

A few months later I ended up getting a job at the same company that guy worked for. 
Years later, he told me one of his goals was to inspire people. It was only then that it occurred to me to tell him the story of how he had inspired me when we didn't even know each other. He had no idea.

Last week a girl told me I had inspired her. In a week that wasn't going particularly great, that made my day.
What I want to say with this is that I find it important to invest a bit of our time telling someone what a positive impact they had in our lives. Sometimes we don't remember it, sometimes we're too busy, sometimes we this it's not that important, that other people probably said the same thing already... But what if we're all thinking like that?

I have this friend that when she finds someone inspiring takes her time to write a thoughtful email telling them that. I always thought it was a great thing to do and that I should do the same but I never did.
I'm daily inspired by different people in different areas of my life and yesterday when I couldn't fall asleep I thought those people should know it.

This is why I decided that ever month from now on I will take a bit of my time to tell some people they inspire me.
Maybe I end up sharing them here too, what do you think? Maybe this way you also find new inspiring people. We'll see.

I thought that maybe by sharing this you'll be inspired (eheh) to do the same and make someone else's day better!
___

Portuguese:

Há uns 4 anos, houve um dia em que, enquanto procrastinava na internet, encontrei os videos de um rapaz que filmava o seu processo de ilustração. Aquilo inspirou-me de tal maneira que dias depois comprei as minhas primeiras aguarelas para experimentar. Ficou uma porcaria. Desisti pouco depois para só voltar a pegar-lhes o ano passado, mas isso não é  importante agora...

Meses depois, e sem saber disso, acabei por ir trabalhar para o mesmo sítio em que esse rapaz trabalhava. 
Um dia, ele disse-me que um dos seus objectivos era conseguir inspirar pessoas. Foi só nessa altura que me ocorreu contar-lhe aquele episódio e dizer-lhe que me tinha inspirado, mesmo antes de o conhecer. Ele não fazia ideia.

Na semana passada, uma rapariga disse-me que eu a tinha inspirado. Numa semana que não estava a corre particularmente bem, aquilo fez o meu dia.

O que eu quero dizer com isto é que acho que é importante perder um bocado do nosso tempo para dizer a alguém o impacto positivo que teve em nós. Às vezes não nos lembramos disso, às vezes achamos que não é importante, que outras pessoas já lhe devem ter dito o mesmo... Mas e se estivermos todos a pensar assim? 

Tenho uma amiga que quando encontrava alguém inspirador "perdia" o seu tempo a escrever um extenso email a essa pessoa. Eu achava aquilo o máximo e que devia fazer o mesmo, mas nunca fiz. Por preguiça, por vergonha, porque eventualmente esqueci-me.
Sou diariamente inspirada por pessoas nas mais diversas áreas da minha vida e ontem, enquanto não conseguia dormir, pensei que essas pessoas deviam sabe-lo.

Foi por isso que decidi que, todos os meses vou tirar um pouco do meu tempo para dizer a algumas pessoas que me inspiraram. 
Talvez acabe por partilhar isso também aqui, o que acham? Pode ser que assim conheçam pessoas novas e que elas também vos inspirem de alguma maneira. Vamos ver.
Lembrei-me que podia partilhar isto com vocês, que pode ser que vos inspire (eheh) a fazer o mesmo e que assim possamos melhorar o dia de alguém!

January overview

january penguin illustration

January is already over. 
I intended to make a 2017 goals post but life got in the way and I ended up postponing it so much that it doesn't really make sense to make it anymore.
If you follow me on social media, or if you read my last post, you already know that in January I challenged myself by committing to create one penguin everyday.
I did it because I love penguins and I love monthly challenges.  It was hard to have only one subject to work with and I thought about giving up quite a few times but I'm glad I didn't.
I ended up with a few pieces I'm actually proud of and I'm even thinking about turning a few of them into prints and selling them on my etsy shop.

Truth is that this kind of challenges do take quite a big chunk of my time which meant that I wasn't able to complete some of the monthly goals I had set for me in the beginning of the month:
I wanted to post more frequently here on the blog which didn't happen at all during this month, and I also wanted to keep on making one new video for my youtube channel every two weeks. Between commissioned work and the monthly challenge which I obviously didn't want to fail one, I just couldn't spare the time to do it. It's hard. These aren't things I HAVE to do but are things I really WANT to do. But they take time and I've been finding it hard to put myself out there, specially in video
But not all was bad! I was able to create and share new designs in the shop and I also made more sales than I thought I was going to do in January! And I also just updated my portfolio with a few illustrations and patterns I made this past month.

I wish you a great February!
And I hope to talk to you soon.

 

how to successfully commit to a creative monthly challenge

I love creative monthly challenges.
This year i entered 2: In one I created and photographed one letter of the alphabet made with food. In the other I created funny illustrated cards using watercolors.
These were things I wanted to try for a while but couldn’t find the inspiration nor will to fit into my schedule. These challenges were the perfect excuse!

Why should you do a monthly challenge?

  • They’re a reason to create every day - I sometimes find that if I don’t have a specific goal it’s hard for me to sit in my chair wind just start creating something from scratch. 
  • They’re easier than a year long challenge - I love the idea of 365 days of creating something! But I’ve tried them in the past (one photo everyday and 1 sec of video everyday) and I always seem to stop by april. 
  • The end is always in sight - although 30 days may seem like a long time and when you’re actually doing it it seems like it’s never going to end, when you get to day 15 and you’re getting really tired and frustrated you know that HALF of it has already past and that makes it easier
  • You end up with a huge amount of work - 30 days of something mean 30 different pieces of work and although not all of them will be great, you’ll probably get a nice amount of work you’re actually quite happy with.
  • It’s a great way to reach new people - I participated in monthly challenges that a lot of people participate in (the #36daysoftype and #inktober) these are a great source of inspiration while also allow you to connect to and be seen by people you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.

How?

I hope that by now you’re convinced of how great monthly challenges are! However, these challenges are not a walk in the park and I’m assuming you have other things to do in your day (a job, school, house chores…) so you can’t spend all your day doing this. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way to help me keep on track and not give up.

1st - Plan
Planing is very important in a monthly challenge. For example: In my food challenge I had to have an idea of what food I was going to photograph each day in order to buy the supplies beforehand. With my watercolors I had to buy paper and some colors I didn’t have and thought I should. Doing this before hand makes your life easier as it keeps you from wasting time

2nd - Create accountability
This may not be important for you but it sure is to me. Telling people I’m doing these challenges makes it feel more “real”. Posting these challenges online and having other people know what I’m doing makes “failing” a bigger thing than it would be if no one knew what I was doing. It's also great when your followers get involved and want to see what you're going to create next. 

3rd - Build a schedule
These challenges take time, you don’t want to rush it and make something just for the sake of it. You want to make something you can be proud of and this can take time. You’ll probably need to stop doing other things in order to fit in the time to create into your schedule. It’s prioritizing.
I, for example, like to wake up an hour earlier to work on these projects as much as I can before my actual work. Also, I usually don't watch my favorite series when I'm doing one of these projects.

4th - Have a theme
This will help you to always have an idea of what to create each day. it’s hard to sit down and think “now I’m going to draw something” all ideas seem to vanish. But if you have a theme i.e halloween/christmas/… it’s easier to come up with what to draw. There’s also a bunch of monthly challenge ideas around the web, a quick search will lead you to them.

5th - Have fun
If you’re not having fun what’s the point in doing it? Trust me, there will be times when it won’t be fun you’ll fail and you’ll have to start over. So in order for you not to quit when times get rough it needs to be something you really enjoy doing.

 

My next challenge

Lately I’ve noticed I love drawing penguins. Can I draw 31 different penguins? Sounds like a challenge to me! So starting january 1st I’ll be drawing one penguin everyday. It doesn’t matter the medium (It can be whatever I feel like) nor the size. It just needs to be a penguin. I hope I can stick to it.
If you'd like to know how it goes make sure to follow me on instagram as it's usually the place I post first.