Hello everybody! How are you? I can’t believe it’s been already over a months since my last blog post. Time sure flies when you’re working hard and having fun!
Yesterday we reached the ‘only 70 days until Surtex!’ mark. Still lots of work to do before the show, but I can show you another little sneak preview of some of my new work. In the mean time I’ve also started working on a great project for custom wall illustrations for the new head offices of a Belgian sewing and accessories retailer. Can’t really show anything at this stage, but I hope that once everything is ready I’ll be able to share some pictures.
And then the best news of all, I’m very excited and proud to be part of the upcoming Surface Pattern Design Guide of the wonderful Uppercase Magazine! If you don’t know Uppercase, go check them out, it’s such a gorgeous magazine, pure eyecandy and the next issue looks like it’s going to be awesome. This issue will be in the shops in April.
There’s a great promotion at the moment to get a $15 discount on a year’s subscription if you use this discount code ‘USPDG2014‘, get it here in the Uppercase shop.
If you live in Belgium you can buy the magazine in the IMS shops.
Hello everybody! I’m very excited to be featured in another great blog interview with the Forest foundry girls. This time it’s on Bespoke magazine, a great Australian blog/magazine with all kinds of artist interviews, creative business articles, crafty projects and lots of inspiration. You can find our interview here.
Hello everybody! I always love doing Spoonflower contests. It’s so much fun, the themes for the contests take you out of your comfort zone and it’s great to see what others do with the same subject.
But I haven’t entered any designs in a Spoonflower contest for a long time. I think the last one was last year with my African Ladies design. But the theme for this week’s contest is the Great Barrier Reef and I already had a design that fit the theme perfectly, my Deep Under The Sea design, so this time all I had to do was upload and enter, so easy
My FF pals Miriam, Katy and Victoria also made some wonderful entries for the contest, go check them out on the Forest Foundry blog.
Voting has already started, you can do it here.
Winners and the top 10 will be announced next Thursday.
Hello everybody! This is just a quick little post to keep you guys up-to-date how things are going. In my last post I wrote about my recent attempt to get organized and I’m very happy to say I’m still very well on track! It’s amazing what a little bit of organization can do, I feel much more productive and generally happier and more relaxed. And all this detoxing in health and business matters feels so great it makes me want to get rid of other stuff that’s been bugging me as well, so on Tuesday I got my big curly long hair cut into a shoulder length bob! This was a huge step for me, since my big long hair was kind of a trademark for me. I will post a picture here once I have some proper new profile pics shot, but I can tell you it’s kind of wild and still big and curly, ha ha. But I’m very happy with the change, my head feels free again!
Back to work! My sweet Forest Foundry pal Victoria, reminded us earlier this week it was only 120 days to Surtex, eeek! Yes, that’s actually not that much, only 4 more months. But with my new found focus I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get all the work done by the time Surtex starts. Looming deadlines always help me work better anyway.
In the past week I’ve finished a new pattern collection for Surtex, yay! I’m very excited about it and wish I could show you all of it, but for now this little sneak peak above will have to do. It’s really is just a tiny piece of one of the designs in the collection, not showing much but you already get a feel for it. I’m also working on the layouts for both a printed blurb book portfolio and a digital ipad portfolio. I downloaded the Minimal Folio app for my ipad, and it works great.
Time to wrap up here now, need to get ready for my first Belgian Etsy Party this afternoon, should be lots of fun!
Hello everybody! Happy 2014! I hope you had a lovely time celebrating the holidays with your family and friends and I wish you all the best for the new year!
First of all, I would like to let you know we are doing a wonderful little giveaway on the Forest Foundry facebook page right now. To celebrate the new year we’re giving away 5 exclusive calendars with illustrations of all 8 of the Forest foundry artists. TO WIN head over the the giveaway post on our facebook page, leave a COMMENT and LIKE our facebook page. The winners will be picked on January the 10th at 6pm EST.
And then back to business, the first week of the year is already finished and so far it’s been great! A brand new year is always a good moment to take a step back and look ahead, what your goals are and how you can achieve them. So in the past week I did just that. I downloaded a couple of these creative business goal planners to help me off to a start. I downloaded the free planner from Do What You Love For Life, and this one from Lisa Jacobs. Both are great, the Lisa Jacobs one is a little bit more extended with lots of lists and calendar pages, the DWYLFL one is compacter but pretty good as well. For me what’s most important in these workbooks are the questions to make you think about your goals, what you want to achieve and how you can do that.
My biggest goals for 2014 is to get organized and to be more productive and hopefully that will lead to earning more money as well.
I think the need to get organized comes from my fresh start with the candida diet a month ago, the body detox felt so great I wanted to detox other aspects of my life as well. I have to admit it, I’ve never had any system to organize my work or life. And lately it’s been getting out of control, I keep forgetting to do things, can’t find stuff, forget answering emails, miss interesting opportunities because of it and it just causes more stress.
And to help myself get organized I did the ‘Get Stuff Done Like A Boss: Design Your Workflow and Double Your Productivity in 21 Days‘ course on Skillshare, which had a wealth of information on managing workflow and getting things organized. To summarize it in a few words: have a list and a reference system, put all your to-do’s (and I mean every single little to-do you can think of) on the list, organize them by project, label them, put due dates on them and in your reference system put folders with the same projects where you can save all relevant info. The idea is that you don’t have any loose ends, nothing to worry about or to forget. It’s actually really simple and at the same time I find it a bit OCD, ha ha. Of course the course goes way more in depth, I’m probably not doing it much justice summarizing like this.
It was a wonderful course though and I’ve been trying to put everything into practice. It’s a lot of work to set up the system but once you’ve done it, it should be easy to maintain and everything will run so much smoother. I downloaded a couple of to-do list apps. I’m not sure yet which is the best one. I first downloaded ToDoist (there’s a free and a premium version, and even the premium version is pretty cheap). I like the way it looks, very clean and simple, you can put in reminders, sync it with your iCal or google calendar and seems to work very well. And it even has a little Karma dialog to show you the progress in your productivity.
And for my reference system I first downloaded Evernote, which is OK, but I think it looks a bit boring, then got an account on Springpad, which definitely looks much nicer, but I don’t think it’s perfect either. I wish there would be an easier way to access the images I put in the notebooks to make for example moodboards. I guess I will use Springpad for now, but look for something better for the future. If you guys know something better, please let me know.
We also set up a system to work as a team for Forest Foundry using Asana, a free team management app. It’s a great app, there are others that are possibly even better but those are often limited to teams of less then 8 people if you want to use the free version and Asana seems to be good enough for now. As a startup business it’s important to keep things affordable and manageable so this is probably a good compromise. Asana also has a great 3rd party app for the iPad and iPhone called Hill88. It feels really great to finally have a system to work within and to keep track of all tasks at hand.
There’s some overlap between the systems I’ve implemented and I’m not sure yet which ones will work best, but time will tell. The most important thing is that I’ve made a start. That’s half the work!
By the way for those of you interested in doing Skillshare courses, they are offering a New Year’s discount 25% off all courses, use the code NEW25. And of course as always, if you new to Skillshare you’ll get a $10 discount on your first course if you use this link.
Hello everybody! I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season! I hope you have a wonderful time with your friends and family and wish you all the best for 2014!
It’s the perfect moment to look back and review what happened in the past year. And boy, 2013 has been such an interesting year for me, lots of good things happened and there have been a few lows too, but if I put it all in balance I think the good definitely outweighs the bad and I feel incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and chances that came my way!
I started off the year on a high, with my trip to Thailand and Laos. And when I got back I had a wonderful project waiting for me, designing prints for a baby collection for a Belgian retailer. I worked on this full time for a several of months. It was a first for me and I learned a lot while doing this.
After I finished I did the Art & Business of Surface Pattern design 3 and then MATS e-courses and what a revelation those courses were! Great teachers, I learned lots, made great artwork, got recognition for it from really amazing people and probably most important I met so many other inspiring and wonderful artists! And as you know already, with 7 other MATS graduates we started up our own art collective Forest Foundry, I can finally say I’ve found my art family, my tribe! It’s been so wonderful to make plans, discuss how everybody handles their business and even just chat about personal things with the FF girls.
I’ve also been able to license several of my designs, and did a few fun freelance jobs.
The last couple of months have been a bit harder on me, you probably noticed by the silence on my blog. I’ve struggled a bit with the added stress of having to find a new part time job, sadly enough I still have not found one yet and it made me loose my focus badly and exacerbated some of my old health problems a little. The good thing is that it has forced me to value my health once again much more. I’ve been working on de-stressing, I got back into a daily yoga routine and improved my diet as well and I think I’m finally back on the right track now. It took me a while, but I’m starting to feel much more focused and energetic again, so it feels good to be able to end the year on a positive note.
2013 really has been a amazing rollercoaster year, and I can’t wait for what 2014 is going to bring, I just know it’s going to be awesome!
Hello everybody! It’s that time of the week again, Sunday evening and deadline for the MATS assignment. And can you believe it, it’s already the last one!!
This week was all about the party paper market, this means everything from paper plates, napkins, cups to gift bags, decoration, anything you need for a party. It’s a new market for me, but it looks like so much fun and I could definitely see myself do this more often. The theme for this week’s assignment was Bavarian and Ukraine folklore. I have to admit I didn’t think I was going to finish anything for this week’s assignment, even still this afternoon. But I’m really glad I managed to get something done.
This time around my experience of the MATS course was very different from the first time. The first time (during MATS A in June 2013) was absolutely wonderful, I was completely focused on the course, every morning ready at the time the class got posted, and giving it my all. It was an emotional roller coaster mostly because I felt a little bit unsure in this amazing group of artists, especially in the beginning and I put a lot of pressure on myself because I really wanted to do good and with result as my work got reviewed a couple of times by Lilla. I learned so much and made lots of friends.
This time around I was a bit more relaxed going into the course. I knew what to expect and already knew most of the other students. But then right when I thought it was going to be so much fun, life threw me a little bit of a curve ball, I’m not going to go into details right now, but it put me under severe pressure and even my health has been suffering from it. I’m trying my best to get past it, you know, trying to make lemonade from all those lemons, but I guess I’m still looking for the right recipe, I’ll get there though Anyway, all this meant I couldn’t focus as much on the course as I would have wanted. My head was just not in the right space. I also didn’t participate as much in the MATS facebook group. But I did try to show up everyday to read the class and do the assignments. It was quite the struggle, I didn’t feel very inspired because I’ve been so incredibly stressed. But I did learn some interesting things. Even if you don’t feel like it, showing up is important and you can still get work done, I’m pretty sure it’s not my best work ever, but at the other hand it was not that bad and gets me inspired to do other things and most important I feel accomplished simply by being able to finish the job! For several of the assignments I also started completely over again on Sunday morning, and even though that seemed like something completely impossible to do, I realized that just taking a deep breath and then breaking the work that needs to be done in smaller parts and timing it, completely works! I would give myself 2 hours to do the mini (sketching small icons) and then a couple of hours to finalize the icons in Illustrator, make the layout, do hand lettering, … and get it all done before the evening. And I’m very happy that my work got reviewed again last week. It was short, but sweet and just nice to get a little shout out from Lilla.
Anyway, now it’s time to relax a little bit. I’ve booked myself a little city trip to Barcelona, I’m leaving on Wednesday for 5 days. I hope it will do me good. Travel always seems to lift my spirits and energize me. I’m very excited about going back to Barcelona, I’ve been only once in 2001 and remember that it was great.
And after I get back it’s time again to try out recipes for lemonade
Hello everybody! Yet another MATS deadline is coming closer and closer, but I’m happy to say my assignment is ready! This week was all about Editorial, probably the market I was most looking forward to, together with baby apparel. I think it would be so much fun to make illustrations for magazines. I’ve never done it before but I could definitely see myself do this.
The assignment for this week was to illustrate a map of our own town or city. And since I’ve been thinking about making some kind of a health food map for Antwerp, this was some really good practice. I decided not to focus on health food for this one though, I just did one about my own neighborhood ‘t Zuid, which means The South in English. It’s a really nice neighborhood, I love living here!
Most of the neighborhood was built at the end of the 19th century for the 1885 and 1894 World Exhibitions. This means there’s lots of beautiful Belle Epoque buildings. And in the last 20 years or so ‘t Zuid has turned into the most trendy (though I really dislike this word) and now even fancy part of town. There are a bunch of nice museums, art galleries, lots of design shops and even more wonderful little eateries and restaurants and some very nice bars and coffee places. On the map I’m only showing a selection of them, it would have been to much to include everything. I found it actually quite hard to choose what to show on the map, because there is so much. But it was so much fun to do! And I’m pretty pleased with the results.
Hello everybody! Last week was hard, really hard for me. It was all about scrap booking and to be honest I’m not sure what I think about this market. Do I love nice paper with lovely prints on it? Yes, absolutely, but still, I don’t really understand this market and I don’t really feel a connection to it. Probably because I can’t really see myself make a scrap booking photo album. I also don’t think the scrap booking market is nearly as big in Europe as it is in the States, I don’t know a single person who does it and while making the assignment I asked myself ‘Why?’ quite often, ha ha.
Of course that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting market to make artwork for, and the artwork could always be used for other markets as well.
The assignment was to make a scrap booking page full of little icons with a camera and/or typewriter theme. I decided to stick with the cameras and was inspired by the 1950′s-60′s advertising and how the registration of the colours was often a little bit off. I’m not sure at all at how big these icons need to be for scrap booking, so I wonder if my camera’s are maybe a bit too big, but I was afraid to loose detail if I shrunk them. And I wish I had a little bit more time to make some more interesting icons, but I started quite late on the assignment so this was all I could manage before the deadline. Anyhow, I think I could make some really cute greeting cards or notebook covers with these icons, so I’m sure it will be put to good use.