New book is out!

Disclaimer: The book I'm going to talk about is in portuguese. I hope the illustrations are interesting enough to have you stick around till the end of the post.

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The last book I illustrated has been released this week and I can finally share more about it!
This book is about food. It aims to teach children about where it comes from, why is it good for you. And I'm not saying this because I'm involved, but it's still quite fun.

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One of the best parts of illustrating a book is reading the text and imagining what you can do to make it richer.  Asking yourself "How can I best complement what is written?" And I had a blast doing that in this book.
Besides the illustrations, I also did all the design of the book. It's always great to have projects where I can do the two things I like the most: illustration and design. I haven't done much design work lately and I missed it.
Doing both things allowed me to plan the book as a whole: I designed for the illustrations and I illustrated for the design. I believe this helped make the book very cohesive even though it's not a storybook.
This book was also the perfect excuse to finally finish a font I started drawing 5 years ago. So in this book you'll find my illustrations, my design, my font and my hand lettering. There is a lot from me in it and I really hope you like it.

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How I create a custom illustration

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I've realized I don't talk much about the custom illustrations I do.
I'm not even sure if this is the right way to refer to them. Basically custom illustrations are pieces people commission me to do mainly for personal use or to offer as a gift. 
Whenever I have a request I always try to find the time to do them. It's such an honor to be asked to do these works that I always try to do my best to be deserving of it. Which usually means it turns out to be a very time-consuming process but I'm always very pleased with the result. And my clients too, at least that's what they tell me :)
I did this piece two months ago but only had time to edit the footage now. I tought it could be interesting to share with you a bit of the proccess of doing this kind of work.

What I've learned in a year as a freelancer

This post was first published in my monthly newsletter

It has been a year since I decided to take a leap of faith and decided to become a self employed illustrator and designer. This year has been filled with ups and downs and I've learned a lot so far. In this post I share a bit of what I've leaned so far!

1. Consistency is key
Now I’m sure you heard this already, I know I have! But one thing is reading about it and other is to know it from experience.
As humans, there’s only a limited number of people we can remember. Ideally, your name is one that comes to mind when someone asks “do you know any illustrators that can do this job?” Being present and staying relevant will help people remember you.
I believe a lot of the work I got this year came about from frequently showing up in people’s social media feeds.

2. Self-motivation is also key
Being a freelancer and working from home, you can imagine how easy it is to hit that snooze button in the morning and staying in your pajamas all day. Especially when you have no clients depending on you. Trust me, I know! I’ve been there!
But try thinking of having no clients as an opportunity. The opportunity to create for yourself the kind of work you want to be hired for! Creating your own projects will make you want to get up in the morning and be excited to be living your dream life. And it will pay off in the long run.

3. Be organized
I’ve always been organized when it comes to work, it came naturally to me and I didn’t have to work too much on it. But organization means something different when you don’t have a boss telling you what to do nor a teacher reminding you when’s the next project due.
One of the first things I did was buying a planner which I’ve been using religiously ever since (I’m now trying the bullet journal technique).
I’m terrified of missing a deadline or forgetting to answer someone. So having somewhere I can write down everything that I need to do really helps. This way I don’t have to rely on my memory, I can rely on my journal.

4. Organized finances / organized life
So I told you I’m organized when it comes to work, right? When it comes to finances the story is quite different…
Having your finances organized will help you know how much you earned, which are your main sources of income, where did you spend money, how much will you need for taxes, etc. In short, it will help you answer the question “Is my business sustainable?”
Not being organized with my finances is a major source of stress for me and something I need to get better at ASAP.

5. Diversify your sources of income
As a freelancer, you shouldn’t really put all your eggs in one basket. Having different sources of income will help you find balance. If you’re a freelancer you probably heard of passive income and how important it is especially in months where client work was scarce.
My main sources of income are client work, personal commissions, my etsy shop and my cell phone cases. But I’d like to find more in the future.

6. You will feel lonely
I’ve always considered myself as an introvert. So I didn’t think working alone would be a problem for me. Turns out it sometimes is. I don’t mind being alone most of the time but I do miss having someone to talk to, share doubts and ask for simultaneous feedback. I miss making jokes.
To fight the loneliness I try to work from cafes at least once a week. I’ve also been trying to meet people with a similar mindset or career (you’re welcome to join me if you want!). Using a co-working space is something I sometimes think about and if I find something small and affordable I’ll consider joining it!

7. Saying “no” is hard but important
This was one of the hardest things I’ve learned so far. Having something tell you they like and trust your work enough to want to work with you is one of the most precious things you can have. It’s hard to walk away from that. So hard that you’ll say “Yes” more often than not and suddenly you have more on your plate than you can chew. Which will make you stressed and overworked. You will feel anxious at the idea of disappointing someone who trusted you. But, ultimately I think it’s about respect. You have to respect yourself and your limits. And most of all you have to respect the people who want to work with you. You should never give them less than your best. So if you feel you can’t deliver work at your highest quality, just be brave enough to say no.

8. Find what makes you different.
Let’s be realistic: there isn’t really a shortage of designers out there. If you type “freelance designer” on google you’ll get 528000 results. There’s a lot of us out there. And there are a lot of designers capable of delivering a project with results just as good as yours. So you need to find something that makes you unique and explore it, and let people know about it.

9. You shouldn’t always be working
This one’s pretty obvious, right? So why am I even mentioning it? Because I fail to follow it on a daily basis.
One of the perks of having a 9 to 5 job is that you’re often able to come home at the end of the day and unwind. That’s hard to do when all your business relies on you. Even when I’m trying to relax, there’s always a voice in my mind telling me what I have to do. What I find that helps me sometimes is making realistic to do lists every day. When I finish all the items on my list I give myself permission to relax ’till the next day.

10. It will take time to get to where you want to be
When I started freelancing I gave myself a deadline: I was going to try it for 6 months, if I couldn’t do it I’d give up forever and try something else.
Let me tell you something, 6 months isn’t enough time! A year isn’t enough and I’m not ready to quit just yet.

11. Write down your goals and make plans to act on them
Mine is to make a living out of illustration, being happy while doing it and making others happy with my work. But a goal without a plan is just a dream (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere). It’s important to make plans. They’ll tell you how to act in order to reach your goals.

12. Believe in yourself
A daily struggle and something I need to remind myself of. One of the things that have helped me lately when self-doubt kicks in is remembering the people who believe in me and have trusted me already. When I doubt myself is almost like I don’t trust their opinion. That usually helps.

March overview

Hello dear friends!
Let me start by saying I love my job!
There has been a lot of ups and downs and I'm sure this is just the beginning, but I really love what I'm doing and what I've acheived so far. I actually need to put that in writting to remember it when times get rough.
About rough times... I had a few this month. What helped was putting things in prespective and thinking where I've been and how much I've evolved.

how I used to draw a cat in 2006 and how I am doing it 10 years later. I can definetely see some evolution!

how I used to draw a cat in 2006 and how I am doing it 10 years later. I can definetely see some evolution!

On a brighter note, this month was packed with exciting new things and projects! Here are a few I can already share with you:
The third book I illustrated was finally released! It's the traditional tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and it's available in Pingo Doce (a national store) 

the last book I illustrated

the last book I illustrated

I created two new little illustrations I really like and also received some lovely feedback from you on social media. Over the next few weeks they'll be added as prints to my shop

two illustrations I really liked making this month and that will become prints in my shop

two illustrations I really liked making this month and that will become prints in my shop

I also shared a bit of the process of creating my Amy Winehouse illustration. It isn't easy for me to share work that isn't final yet but I'm glad I did! You can read more about it here.

This month I created some editorial illustrations for an article about pets (what a great subject!!!) and I'll be sharing the final results soon! I'm now searching for some more work in that are so if you have an awesome article that would benefit from my illustrations, make sure to contact me!

Yesterday I attended a Ladies, Wine & Design event. It was my third one and I'm planning a post about it later this April so make sure to come back for that.

This month I decided it was finally time to create my newsletter. I started working on it and I already had the first draft ready. But then I came across a few articles about why you shouldn't start one and I found myself second guessing the decision. There are obviously ups and downs to it. I think I'll eventually go ahead and do it but decided to think about it for a little while longer as I really want to make something that's worth the confidence of the people subscribed.

I guess this is pretty much it! I really like writing these overview posts. I hope you like them too. And I hope you feel confortable enough to also share some of your achievements this month down in the comments. I'd love to read it!

 

I can fly - book review

Hello there,

this second book review comes because I loved this book so much that I wanted to tell the world about how awesome it is.

I Can Fly was written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Mary Blair and is part of the Little Golden Book Classics collection.





This book from 1951 and renewed in 1979 is a small rhyme about a little girl with a lot of imagination that plays with a different animal in each spread.

My favourite thing about this book as to be the illustrations. I didn't know Mary Blair's works before but found them so magical that a book with a selection of her from this collection is already on its way.




The book ends (I've seen that in other edition this comes in the begining but I actually prefer it in the end) with a lovely bordered sheet of music called "I can fly" in which the lyrics are the text of the book.




What better book to read in an afternoon in the sun?


If you want to buy it you can for only €4.23 for example in Book Depository.

See you soon.