Showing my travel journal to Buddist monks in India

Travel journal

This summer I made a travel journal for the first time. Although I love taking photos, this year I felt more inspired to draw and write about our adventures. It was a good way to take a moment for myself, to digest the different stages of our journey and to document what we were doing. It also provided a fun way to connect with people and start discussions. Continue reading

Sightseeing and drawing in LIege

Sightseeing and drawing in Liège

This weekend I conducted my first workshop on the invitation of a well known Belgian illustrator and positive spirit, Mademoiselle Smoothie. She has just opened a “pop-up shop” in her hometown, Liège for four months. September is dedicated to illustrators and I am among the five artists exhibiting and selling their work for the next couple of weeks. Each of us is also organising a creative workshop and mine was the first in line.

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Maggie Fearn David Holyoake Aisling Henrard Jane Hogan Lisa Allegretta

The Brussels creative crowd

A few months ago I posted about how it feels to be a freelance illustrator and work from home. At that point I felt like a lonely warrior, who is only connected to the “real world” through internet. Things have moved forward since then and I’ve started to make some new friends from the Brussels creative crowd. I feel like I’m discovering an entire parallel universe, this magical world of people who do something with their hands, who focus on building a community and with whom I can exchange about the experience of being a creative person. I’m in the process of growing new roots in Brussels through discovering this group of people. Definitely a hugely positive added value of my “new path”.

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#everybodysready beach body ready let me be my size

Let me be my size!

Just a few days ago an advertisement in the London tube created a public outcry. The ad (reinterpreted above by me) shows a young woman with large breasts and a tiny waistline and poses the question in huge letters: ’Are you bikini body ready?’ in order to sell weight loss pills. An online petition was started to remove the ad, there will be a public demonstration in Hyde Park on Saturday and hundreds of official complaints have also been filed.

I can really understand such reaction: no company should make people feel that they have to look a certain way to be accepted. (Another aspect I disliked is that the ad doesn’t exist with a man on it, hinting at the fact that the pressure is only on women, men can go to the beach as they are.)

I think people should speak up when they find corporate behaviour unacceptable and this is what I shall also do today, though tackling the other side of the same coin. Continue reading

Realities of working as a freelance illustrator

Working as a freelance illustrator / 3 – New skills

In this third and final post about the reality of working as a freelance illustrator, I’ll reflect on all the new skills I’ve acquired (or realised I need to acquire if I want to succeed). Once I stopped working in an office I had plans to improve my IT skills, so I took courses in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. These were useful and serve me until this day, but in the meantime I realised that my “skill-palette” needs to be far more diverse than graphic design softwares…

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The importance of time management when working as a freelance illustrator

Working as a freelance illustrator / 2 – Time management

One of the most noticable changes between working in an office and working as a freelance illustrator is how you deal with time. I am now much more in charge of what I do, when I do it and for how long. I also need much more self-discipline as I don’t necessarily need to deliver anything on time, and on most days no one is around to give me a disapproving look about how many times I checked Facebook. Continue reading