November round-up, December-focus

Tomorrow it will be December. We’re really nearing the end of 2014.

Today, however, it’s still November so let’s look back on that a little bit.

What a month it has been! Compared to October and its previous months November really has been my friend. Overall it was kind to me and filled with moments of tiny happiness.
I didn’t post too much of my own drawings, I realise that. My focus has, however, really been with drawing this whole month. Quite a big drawing project occupied my mind. It was so good to focus on that, to discover old passions and give it my all… Even my yoga class made me draw – and unravel myself a bit more.
November also helped me finish the quite big project – the printing of my first ever cards. For Christmas! It certainly won’t be my last printing project either.
The Channel 4 film about Patrick touched my heart so deeply, I had to share it with you. The joy on Patrick’s face, able to finally communicate! It “poked” another passion I once had: sign language.
An important part of drawing and creating is to have inspirers. People you look up to, you know. That make you want to challenge and improve yourself even more. Which, apart from the fact that I’m just madly in love with him, was the reason for me to tell you a bit about Dick Vincent. The artist that makes me happy! What do you think of his work?
As November is (usually) followed by December, Rebecca’s project drew my attention. AirmailChristmas is about connecting, caring and remembering. Which I believe is a perfect summary of what the month of December (and all months that follow) should be all about.

Boy, I needed November. It has left me quite impressed. The realisation that there still can be good weeks, months, periods. That the tendency of a low is “to be followed by good and happy times”. As that’s life.

With December knocking on our doors, now let’s make this new month about giving and loving and how we wish the world and ourselves to be. At least, that will be my December-focus.

Make December a good month!

Make December a good month!

 

Obsessive love

Dear reader, I’m in love! Or maybe “obsessed” is more accurate. The lucky bastard: Dick Vincent. A Manchester-based illustrator – whose work you may have seen in Flow Magazine par exemple – that won my heart about a year ago with his watercolour-illustrations. And since then I follow him where ever he goes: Instagram, Etsy, facebook… *sighs*
I’m drooling all over his work and desperately heart every picture he posts to Instagram. But when he posted the new print of “The Log Lady” from Twin Peaks (the series is returning in 2016!) he really set me on fire. Whoooosh! I mean, that clearly means he and I are meant to be – if he loves Twin Peaks and its characters then I don’t need any more proof.

Twin Peaks' Log Lady by Dick Vincent

Twin Peaks’ Log Lady by Dick Vincent

But before Dick Vincent is requesting a restraining order to stop me from getting any nearer, let me be clear: I’m exaggerating of course. However, I do love his work immensely. The dry sense of humour, a certain love for pets and other animals, simple yet (mostly) colourful and detailed – I can’t stop looking at him, er…it. With his amazing fantasy Vincent – who graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2007, having studied Illustration with Animation – always manages to put a smile on my face.

The best people love cats and dogs. Another of Vincent's prints.

The best people love cats and dogs. Another of Vincent’s prints.

In the new year (currently December-broke even though it’s only November) I’m gonna treat myself to the fantastic print of the Twin Peaks‘ Log Lady. Excited already! Dick also showed us a little painting of Twin Peaks director David Lynch on his blog, so I’m hopeful this means the start of a Twin Peaks series of portraits. I would love to have Cooper, Harold the Orchid man, Andy, Lucy , Leo “New Shoes” and Nadine on my wall too. Do it for me Dickie, do it for me!
If not, I’ll expand my Vincent-collection with the pictures of Mark Twain and his marvellous friends. All is fine by me, really Dick. Just promise me to never give up on illustrating. And tell me you love me… my! Christmas cards too.

Who doesn't want this Peruvian farmer and his larma on the wall?

Who doesn’t want this Peruvian farmer and his larma on the wall?

 

 

A nearly finished project

I can’t help giggling. Big smile on my face. Giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle-giggle. Yeah! On the streets people look at me as if I’m a mad woman.

What happened? The printer happened! Paper everywhere. All different colours and structures. Oh joy! As if you let a little girl on the loose in a candy shop. And they are making test prints of my work as we speak. What’s not to giggle? Let’s just say I’m mildly enthusiastic. This is the first time I have something I made professionally printed. And it is wowzers!

Viaviavia I ended up at a really lovely printer just outside of Amsterdam, Pantheon. René and René (jaja) both have the patience of a saint, take a layman like me by the hand and make it a party. So helpful! Pantheon also prints stuff (books, brochures, stationary  and such) for pretty big names, so the first time I walked in it was kind of beyond daunting. However, the second time the excitement took over. I draw the old-fashioned way. Paper, pencil, fine liner. You know. And then…they scan! All of a sudden my work appears massively on their computer screens. STOP ME! But I mean, really: STOP ME! I could dance in the streets. And I haven’t even seen the test prints yet.

Testing some paper at the printer

Testing some paper at the printer

But yes, I draw. And from there a little project developed. No way!? Yes way. I know, more projects. Surprisingly this is a project – beginning to ending, all stages – of which I can almost say it’s a wrap. Who knew!

Not keeping you in suspense longer than necessary: I’ve designed a couple of Christmas cards. And other cards. But taking it slow I’m first tackling this Christmas project. The cards are supposed to be fun, keep you busy and creative. Whether you’re 3 or 97. That’s all I’m giving away. It took a lot of drawing. And the drawing took a lot of time. And pain. After half an hour my hands and arms are finished, you see. For the rest of the day. From the idea all the way to the final drawing that is ready to be scanned and printed…it’s not really a piece of cake for me to finish. Not done and dusted in an hour or two. However, it’s worth it – I love it. I absolutely do!

A sneak peek

Now it’s onto the next stage. The actual printing. My very own designed and hand drawn cards *giggles a bit more* being printed! The moment my Christmas cards are finished you’ll be the first to know. And of course the first to buy them from me, too. Honestly, the best Christmas cards are underway. For now we’ll just have to wait. Patiently.

I’m going to love and leave you and continue being overwhelmed and excited. Frankly, scared too. Why did I do this again? What if I’m the only person in the world to like them? Only time will tell…but already this experience is mine forever.

 

My monthly focus

Starting something and then sticking to it, is not my strongest point. Diaries, sketching practise, cleaning; for a little while I’m all-systems-go! Then, after a week (and sometimes a half more) I get distracted by something else that needs my full commitment.
The idea of focussing on something, from beginning to end, gets my standing ovation. The continuation however… Still, I really would love to prove to myself that I can! Which is why, for a couple of years now, the idea of a focus challenge has been in the back of my mind. I never did though. Until now. Because now I have my readers (hi mum & dad!) whom I cannot let down if I promise to go for it.

During a short course Styling Basics at the Artemis Academy, we had to focus on a colour in the streets for a whole week; what colour did catch our attention in the streets? Orange and fuchsia drew mine. Before you know it, it seems as though every car is orange and all bikes and curtains fuchsia! An amazing little trick of your brain. Try not to think of an elephant. This project was such fun, that ever since I look around and up even more! And I discover things that are worth googling. Or not. Only recently I discovered this funny little creation on a house on the corner of my street:

Adorable teapot on a wall.

 

 

 

[ Adorable, not?
A teapot on the wall.
It probably has been there even long before I moved here.
But I never noticed. ]

 

 

 

Now then. My challenge is going to be monthly, as you may have guessed already after reding the title. The longer I have to focus on something, the more difficult it gets so giving myself only a week would in itself be cheating. So it’s going to be a whole month. The things I want to focus on are of such a variety, there is no connection. I will not be spamming you until you’re dying with boredom, I simply will sometimes post pictures or write down some figments on the theme. In September my focus challenge will be about yellow. It’s a colour I love but somehow underestimate, so I’m going give it my full attention. But in October I might as well focus on toes or money or, well who knows…