Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Little Things: Fancy Pyjamas & Silly Pandas

The past few days have been quite stressful. I feel like everyone around me is either stressed, going through some kind of depression or has relationship problems. Maybe it's because it's pretty much the end of summer? I have no idea. All I know is that my journal was constantly getting filled with worries and stress that even just picking it up made me anxious. I honestly feel like burning it, but I don't really have a suitable place to do so. ANYWAY, I've decided to snap out of this stressful mindset, buy myself a brand new journal (preferably the one mentioned underneath, but we'll see!) and get back in full swing with making gratitude lists, daily affirmations, working out, eating well, work on my art (draw, photograph etc.) and spin lots of records and have dance breaks all day. Here's a small gratitude list of the past few weeks!

Buying my very first maxi dress (honestly, it's like fancy pyjamas!)  hanging out on the lawns at a concert  finding strange caterpillars in the garden - the cutest Kate Spade journal  winning a $50 HMV giftcard  making silly panda videos for my boyfriend  seeing the (bright pink!) packaging I designed being mass produced  spinning records of Elvis and Uke Hunt  going for long walks  setting alarms for daily affirmations on my phone  going through old pictures of teenage me (and wondering where the time has gone!?)  re-reading The Prisoner of Azkaban before bed  delicious nectarines  browsing through the new Ikea catalogue! (probably one of my favourite passtimes)  our cat hilariously sliding off of a pile of cardboard boxes  banana bread - banana everything  watching Dutch teen series on youtube when I'm homesick  My dad telling me he's sending me Stroopwafels!

I also recently made a new illustration I'm pretty excited about :) Halloween + food is probably one of my all time favourite combinations when it comes to making illustrations! As usual, prints & lots more of this are available over at my Redbubble shop.

I've been keeping journals my whole life. My past two have both been gifts, but for some reason I can never fill up a gifted journal. It's weird. I have to actually go to a store and find the one. Once I do, my entries are usually a lot more positive, I write more often and always fill them all the way. Sorry about this boring journal talk.. It's just something I'm very passionate about! 

Do you keep a journal? What kind of journal do you use to write in?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Art I heART: part 1.

I feel like I've been out of the loop when it comes to (re)-discovering artists. While in school we often had to research new artists, but ever since I'm not in school anymore I got a little lazy! It's a good way to stay inspired and driven though, so I decided to start this little blog series where I share some of my current favourite artworks/artists! Some I'll have more to say about than others, but hey let's get started.

Neryl Walker
Neryl Walker is definitely one of my favourite recent discoveries! I adore her colourful and retro work. Hopefully one day one of her prints will be hanging in my home.

Soey Milk
I've always adored Soey Milk's dark and romantic paintings. I love how smooth and realistic her subjects are which she often surrounds with expressive brush strokes and an almost collage style technique.

I'm a sucker for anything pop culture and kawaii. I love the pin upy vibe of this piece AND of course the fact that there's donuts and purple hearts in it. What's not to love?

Little Demons of Inspiration by Simona Candini
I actually just discovered this artist yesterday! She has really cute doll like characters with lots of pop culture influence. Obviously the first thing I fell for was the blue/purple hair!

And again, the hair is what did it for me. This girl always makes the prettiest illustrations of alternative girls with rainbow hair.

This illustration just made me smile :) look at that tiny hat!

This girl kept popping up everywhere I went, so I had to check her out! I love how she created a whole new world of her own with whimsical characters.

Nenufar Girl by Ariana Perez
The bright pops of colour and obvious Japanese influences is what got me with this piece!

And last but not least, this adorable vintage looking pop artsy illustration of Minnie with a record player. I'm in love.. This guy has some really cool tattoo inspired work!

Hope this provided you with a new, fresh dose of inspiration!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Art Process: Fat Unicorn

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while. I was just feeling really uninspired lately and didn't want to force myself into writing a post that then wasn't going to be interesting to read anyway. But today, the inspiration came back! I've been working on some designs and thought it might be fun to give you a look at my usual process. I personally always love to see how other artists work :) 

My ideas usually just come to me randomly. Usually when I'm showering, working out or lying in bed! This idea came to me after lunch, when I for some reason felt like drawing a fat unicorn. Preferably eating a rainbow. Because, WHY NOT!?

Even though I enjoy working digitally lately, I ALWAYS sketch with pencil on paper first. Nothing beats paper and pencil. It allows you to create organic lines and to just be rough and messy until you get the composition right. This sketch actually went quite smoothly and I sketched it all out in about 10 minutes with the help of some pictures of horses lying down.
I'm usually too lazy to hook up my laptop to the scanner, so I take a picture of it with my phone and send it to my computer and import it into illustrator! Then it's just a matter of tracing with the pen tool. First time I did this, about 3 years ago, I was terrible and hated using it. Now it's second nature. Practise makes (almost) perfect!
So this is what it looks like then. A line drawing with a bunch of lines that seem to be out of place. But no worries! This will all be solved when the colouring begins.
For colouring I usually pick a few basic colours that go well together and go from there with different shades etc. These are the colours I picked for this drawing.
Colouring is the most fun to me! It's when it really all starts coming together. I usually leave the background either a light yellow or grey colour and then see what looks best in the end..

The final touches are making the lines a little more fancy, adding detail likes lines in the tail and mane and then picking a background colour + lining it up so it's nice and centered.

And that's pretty much it! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out :) You can find this piece now in my Redbubble store! Hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak into my process!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Recent Reads: YA and Modern Romance

Cup from Momiji

Hi everyone! Today I'll once again be sharing the books I've recently read. This time it's two young adult books (one of my all time favourite genres) and one that's more of a funny research essay kind of thing.

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
My boyfriend  was actually the one who pointed this out to me. He really wanted to watch the movie of it so we went to see it at a theater downtown a few weeks ago. It was a great movie and especially Earl was hilarious. As usual though, the book is SO MUCH BETTER. Earl is even funnier. In short the story is about two guys who make movies together and a girl who has leukemia. The storyline is a little different from the movie. Thinking about it, there were some parts in the movie I really wish would've been in the book! In a way it's a funnier, more cynical and more down to earth version of The Fault in Our Stars if I were to compare it to anything (the movie of that completely ruined my love for the book, and it's the same case for Paper Towns. Ugh). It was a great, unpretentious and funny read that I would definitely recommend you put on your summer reading list!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowel
I heard so much about this book that I simply felt like I was obliged to read it. Now, I'm obviously a little outside of the age group for YA readers, but usually it still works just fine. This was probably the first book I felt way too old to be reading it. It kinda felt like reading my diary when I was 12 years old and obsessing over every little thing my crushes were doing. It was just too much for me. Too cliché, too cutesy, too dramatic. Did it remind me of having my first crush? Yes it did. Would I have enjoyed this book 10 years ago? I most likely would have. But as a twenty something it was just too much..

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
You may know Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation. He's a hilarious comedian and as it turns out, a writer too! Once again my boyfriend picked out this book to read, but then I kinda stole it from him when I didn't have anything else to read and got completely sucked in. This book compared love and romance in the old days to our new, modern, digital love world.It was very interesting, shocking and sometimes even sad. But then Aziz would throw in a joke here and there and you could laugh it off and not feel as bad as the pretty sad state this world is in. At least, that's my opinion. Yeah we have a lot of options now and can find our 'perfect match'. But maybe what we think we want, isn't really what we want or think we need. It's also a lot harder to commit yourself to someone, more fear that you're missing out. You browse through instagram and see all these other potential partners and wonder if you really made the 'perfect' choice. Cheating is easier, lying is, leading a double life is. But then again, I most likely never would've met my boyfriend if it weren't for the internet. So there's that. I definitely recommend reading this if you need something different from the usual fiction and fairy tales, or if you just want to laugh out loud while reading a book!

I think I'm done with reading YA fiction for a little bit now. I really want to read At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen next. I loved Water For Elephants and Ape House so I'm sure I can't go wrong with that!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Haircut and Hair inspo!

I got a haircut after almost 2 years! Well, I did get one last year but it was terrible. I went to a cheap place down the road (never a good idea) and they hardly cut anything, no styling, no wash, nothing. I left feeling like all they did was touch my hair here and there. I guess I put it off for so long because I was still bummed I didn't have my trusty hair dresser from back home who always did an amazing job. It's kinda daunting for me to find a new hair dresser, in a new place. I asked around but no one seemed to have the perfect recommendation for me.

Then the other day I got an email from groupon about salons, including one just around the corner from me! (no not the one I went to before :P) They had a huge discount for the whole package (wash, cut, deep conditioning and styling) and on top of that another 20% off for the site wide sale that was going on. I checked their instagram and facebook and really liked their 'hair work' so I jumped right on it! My hair had been a mess for over 3 weeks now (due to my hair dye getting lost in the mail, lots of swimming and sun exposure) so I was super pumped to finally get my 'hair did'.
I love it! I seriously don't want to wash my hair because it feels soooo nice. I wish I had someone who'd come by once a week to style my hair like this.. I don't think I'll ever stray away from magenta coloured hair. If anything I'd throw in some purple or red as in the examples below, but magenta just makes me feel like me. I've been struggling with taming my hair for years and I feel like now I'm finally starting to get the hang of it!
Here's to getting a haircut more often and keeping my hair healthy and shiny!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Recent Work: Pears & Roses

Like every other artist I'm still looking for my 'signature' style. I just can't seem to stick to one way of working. Sometimes I feel like something colorful and cute, the other day black and white and dark. One day I want to make something simple, the other day some elaborate collage. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but for now I just create whatever I feel like. I think the only way to find your signature is by just creating as much as possible. Anything your creative mind comes up with. Don't worry about it too much :) Here's two things my mind came up with this week..
I made sketches for this cute 'pear' a year ago but was never happy with the outcome so I decided to work on it again this week! I really like it now!

This floral drawing I randomly came across in my old files and I was surprised I never used it for anything. So I made a pattern out of it!

As usual both of these designs can be found over in my Redbubble shop. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! It's super sunny, hot and beautiful over here so I hope mind will be a good one ^^

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My 6 Favourite Youtubers

Today I thought I'd share some of my favourite youtubers with you! Youtube has always been one of my best friends (that sounds kinda sad but it's true!). It keeps me company when I'm working, doing beauty stuff or just feel all blah and uninspired. It's been my therapist, motivator and support. It has helped me learn new things about design, health and just.. life! I still remember when youtube just came out. I was amazed at what you could find on there (mostly emo music videos, anime and fanmade Harry Potter videos :P). ANYWAY, let's get to it!

Kiera Rose
I've been following Kiera for a while now. I started watching her videos when she was still Scarlet Saint and had bright turquoise hair! Thanks to her I've learned a lot about mental health and came to understand and identify my own mental health problems (social anxiety etc.). Her videos also helped me to accept myself just the way I am. She's such a kick ass lady with amazing style, her own little company and beautiful tattoos. I also think it's pretty cool she proposed to her boyfriend instead of waiting for him to take the plunge. All in all, Kiera is one of those people I never talked to or met in real life, but it feels like she's one of my best friends.

Cherry Dollface
Cherry is another youtuber who truly helped me to love myself and embrace who I am. She also helped me (and is still helping me) to dive more into the whole vintage/pinup culture and style. Another thing she taught me is to laugh at myself more, not take every little thing too seriously and that kindness is very important. The other day I sent her an email when she asked about places she should visit in Canada for her next makeup, hair & photoshoot tour with some recommendations (and begging her to come to Toronto!) and she actually replied to thank me! I might've squeeled and fangirled for a moment. The fact she actually took some time to reply and thank me really shows what a great person she is. I hope I'll get to meet her next year!!

Cassey Ho, the amazing lady who started Blogilates, is pretty much my work out buddy. I started doing her videos about 4/5 years ago and never looked back. Not only did I see big physical changes, most changes were actually mentally and spiritually. I'm a lot stronger and determined mentally now, am a lot more confident, and pilates has helped me so much with my anxiety. She truly believes that every body is beautiful. She admits her flaws. You're welcomed to the family no matter where you are on your fitness journey. She also educated me on clean and healthy eating and introduced me to the magic of 2 ingrediënt banana pancakes! Blogilates is the one hour of my day I always look forward to.

Lindy has a contagious positivity that always brightens my day! I especially enjoy watching her videos when I'm doing my nails or my stretches. I love getting a glimpse of her day to day life in her vlogs. Her baby is so adorable and the little captions she adds of what her son or dogs might be thinking always make me giggle.

Another beautiful lady who introduced me to the wonderfulness of pinup style. Ashley Marie is so gorgeous and comes across as such a sweet yet fierce lady. Her hair skills are amazing and nails always on point. But she's also not afraid of showing her 'bare mug' and talk about loving yourself. Her style is also a big inspiration for me and I love the cute videos she makes with her boyfriend!

I found out about Vintagious only a little while ago while looking for a video showing some simple vintage hairstyles. Hers was in my opinion the greatest one. I love how down to earth she is and to the point in her tutorials. What also helps is that she has the same kind of hair as I do and it gave me hope that vintage styles are possible even when you have a big fuzzball on your head. Definitely go check her out if you want to start learning vintage hair and make up styles!

Do you follow any of these youtubers? Who else should I follow? Please share!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Woman Crush: Bettie Page

Bettie Page is someone I always heard a whole lot about, but never really looked into as much as I do with Marilyn Monroe or Dita von Teese. The other day I just randomly typed in her name on Pinterest while looking for inspiration and looking at her photographs instantly made me feel happy! She has such a beautiful, sexy and fun attitude and truly proofs she is the pin up queen! These pictures make me want to put on a bikini and dance to some rockabilly on the beach.

Apparently Bettie Page always did her own makeup and hair and made her own bikinis and costumes! She learned all this when she tried to imitate famous movie stars with her sister as a teenager. She got her famous Bettie bangs because her photographer suggested that she style her hair with bangs in front to keep light from reflecting off her high forehead when being photographed.

After looking at all these pictures I really want to get some clip-in bangs to experiment with. I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to get bettie bangs permanently (they might not even suit my face!) but it would be fun to try out some fake ones :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Recent work: lots of tea, please!

All of you should know by now that I'm a huge tea lover, both drinking it and inspiration wise. I love to look at pretty tea sets and draw them.. or even 'paint' with tea! It should come as no surprise that my latest artworks are a complete tea overload.

Care for a cup of Cat Tea?

Sketch from my sketchbook

I kinda want one of those elephant tea pots...

As usual my designs are available on Redbubble on all kinds of products! I love the new hardcover note/sketchbooks they have. I've been feeling a little uninspired lately (hence the lack of new work) but I'm thinking of doing more fifties/retro themed things. It always helps me to stick to a theme when I'm stuck :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Little Things: books, books and froot loops!

Last weekend was pretty eventful! We got to get a glimpse of the PanAm Games going on in Toronto right now, which is actually pretty damn cool. We went down to the 'grounds' because there would be a free concert going on and there was a lot of other cool stuff going on! Especially with the amazing weather we're having I love being in this festival-ish vibe. Besides that I've been reading a lot, eating lots of delicious things and I will now put it all in a list for everyone to enjoy :)

Mango/pineapple smoothies  take out chinese and fortune cookies  Games of charades with friends  pretty red birds  the picture on my bodywash bottle  clumy penguin videos  going for a walk in the park with the cat who randomly decided to follow me the whole way  New Orange is the New Black  Making a 'to read' book list working in my permanent resident application and gettin to document our relationship so far in text and pictures c:  full breakfast when you're super hungry  lilac nails  froot loops  Zorro being silly and cute  Listening to records and reading with my love  Maynard's mini peaches  reading and browsing for hours in the bookstore to kill time (and lusting over the Vintage Tea Party Book for the 100th time)  slushies on a super hot day  Free USS concert at the Panam Games grounds  getting coke cans with our names on them  striking silly poses in a super expensive car  Watching 'Me, Earl and the Dying Girl' late night at the downtown theater (it was great!)  when you realize your nails are actually Creamy Garlic nails reading the book the next day  baking my favourite Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars  Lazy Sundays after Busy Saturdays  Cruising to Circa Survive  Bubzvlogz (her baby boy is soooo cute and chubby! Her videos relax me and make me happy!)  This (to me) hilarious Lizard video