Truffy was a shy cat who was born around 2003 on the streets of Toronto, who was brought to the Humane Society skin and bones, her fur matted and about one day pregnant. When I met her she was huddled in the corner of her cage facing the wall, scared to bits. I chose her because I already had a male and was told a younger female would be the best fit. Truffy was the last cat left that day who met these criteria. I would have taken any cat, but I was especially happy to adopt a black one, knowing the stigma they still face today. I have to cut myself short because it hurts to remember the good times we had, how she turned around, and also my regrets. Her name was inspired by small sweet truffles because she was just like that. One of her favorite places was by a small pond in my aunt’s garden where she lived her last year. She died yesterday and I will never forget my sweet baby.
Last week my entry for Spoonflower’sdesign contest themed ‘The tortoise and the hare’ won first place! I was so happy since it’s been a while and would still like to thank anyone who gave it their vote. These are images of the printed fabric, courtesy of Spoonflower. My design “Through Hilly Woods” is available on various types of fabric, as well as gift wrap and wallpaper in my Spoonflower shop.
I saw these flowers in my neighborhood about 6 weeks apart…snowdrops and crocuses in cold temperatures (around 3 degrees celcius). I added my handdrawn illustrations.
Such a long time since I posted here… Partly due to my “day job”, it took a long time to recover from the loss of my beloved iMac. As monumental as it was, all the resulting technical issues took close to 1 year to unfold, and some are still being dealt with. On the upside, knowing all this on the fateful day would have only added to the dire situation.
In that spirit, I am starting to post my designs again but probably not in chronological order. I wasn’t creating a whole lot, which I missed terribly, and now with my new computer slowly set up to do what I was able to do, I’m hoping to get back into drawing from time to time.
This is my latest work, for Spoonflower’s Kilim-themed contest; a geometric design with florals, birds, butterflies and a fox. I made four colorways to evoke different seasons.
The bottom right colorway will be included in Spoonflower’s Kilim contest as of January 25; voting ends January 31.
It’s been over a year since I last entered a Spoonflower surface design contest, something I used to do on a weekly basis some years ago. How times have changed!
While working on the last stages of my entry for Spoonflower’s current ‘Mountain Animals’ contest, my computer shut down unexpectedly. After some experimenting (simply plugging it into outlets caused short circuits in my whole apartment), I brought it into a repair place. While I have since recovered my hard drive allowing me access to my files, I am still awaiting a diagnosis of the issue at hand. With one thing being assured of right off the bat: that my computer can’t be fixed because Apple stops producing parts for each model after 5 years. Gotta love them.
I feel like writing an obituary. When I bought my 24″ iMac back in 2009, I was brand new to the world of digital illustration, and I was shocked at the financial investment as the price of admission. The computer that could handle large graphic files and proprietary vector and accompanying software (hello, CS4!) were only the beginning and seemed to be reserved for a higher earning segment of the population.
But I took the plunge and enjoyed almost 8 years of creative bliss with my beloved companion. It was the first computer I did not only not hate, no, I loved it because there were never any problems. I indulged in GarageBand and iMovie to create songs and matching videos – what a joy!
It was only 6 months ago after getting an older iPhone when things suddenly took a bad turn. A sequence of events prompted me to reluctantly install El Capitan, a controversial and poorly rated OS X, presumably in order to set up my iPhone. The problems were instant and became so many and bizarre that they were hard to keep track of. In the weeks leading up to my iMac’s death, they seemed to kick it up another notch. 10 years or more I could get out of it, I was told when buying it. Yes, I’m still mourning, especially considering how the prices have risen since then, and being in Germany doesn’t help it.
If you’re still with me :) I was able to finish my design on an old laptop from 2004 (which goes to show how much potential my iMac still had). It was completed between two 5am work shifts, something I want to remind myself of in order to get more into drawing again. What other priorities could one have on chronic sleep deprivation and with only a few hours each day for all tasks related to something called life?
Before I keep rambling on, my design, voteable for here until Feb. 8 around noon Eastern Standard time (18:00 Central Euro Time), if you’re so inclined:
Thank you for reading and possibly your condolences. :)
I was excited to hear that the latest book “Nature” by acclaimed Print & Pattern author and blogger Bowie Style (aka Marie Perkins) was released in the UK on Amazon today! I was fortunate to be included among the artists she approached. Marie was kind enough to send me this photo of the spread featuring some of my work. The left page shows my surface pattern designs Nordic Suzani Floral and Vintage Butterfly Garden, and the right page shows A Field Guide to Wildflowers. The publish date for the US on amazon.com is February 7.
Some new stickers I added to my Etsy shop: one set features icons from my surface pattern “Summer in Sarek” (the Swedish national park), while the other is a variety of labels to be used on anything from stationary to canning jars. I have actually been using the labels when mailing out my Etsy orders and for some time have been planning to offer them for sale.
November 1 is world vegan day, which prompted this long-term vegan to get her pens out and computer on again after months of creative inactivity due to day job constraints.
Although veganism is a subject dear to my heart, I am usually a closeted vegan to avoid the stigma, hostility and fruitless discussions that sooner or later come up in mainstream society.
So much I could write here, but today I will only present my little drawing featuring some of the most consumed animal species worldwide (not shown are ducks, rabbits, turkeys, geese and goats, all part of the top 10).
I will also include a possibly not very well internationally known song that touches on the subject of animal use and abuse. I feel that sadly the video was a huge missed opportunity, but I do appreciate the message of the lyrics, which I have written down here. Perhaps some of you can relate in your own way.
I’ve got something on my mind
Makes me sad, it makes me cry, oh no
Johnny wanna live
Just an ordinary day
An animal will pass away, oh no
Johnny wanna live
Who’s to say he gets no rights
Even not the right to life
Don’t know why it leaves you cold
Don’t know how to make it show, oh no
Johnny wanna live
Through his eyes I look inside his heart
He can feel it, me and you
Can’t defend himself ‘cause he can’t talk
And this is why I talk to you
Johnny isn’t just a name
He stands for every creature’s pain, oh no
Johnny wanna live
Go ahead try to look inside his heart
You can find your own mistakes
Try to hide them, thinking he can’t talk
But he can read them in your face
Gotta give his skin away
For coats they wear on summer days, oh no
Tell me why it leaves you cold
I swear I’m gonna make it show, oh no
Johnny wanna live
You have the right to live
A few months ago, Bookbinders Design approached me seeking to license my Nordic Suzani Floral pattern for their 2017 agenda. I highly recommend them as a contact to fellow illustrators, as my contact Philipp was wonderful to work with all around. He recently mailed me a copy of the agenda as it will be sold later this year (link to follow).
So far they kept the original palette – these images were taken with my matching gift wrap underneath. I think it’s a very usable and aesthetically pleasing agenda, measuring almost 7 by 8 inches, spiral-bound, with an elastic closure and weekly spreads. Here is a glimpse inside this lovely little book. :)
One version of a banner I made the other day for a new Meetup group I just started:
Today was our first event – a potluck, my favorite food format. I love the variety that results from people bringing different dishes to the table; it never gets boring. This was what I brought – and since we were only two today, I now benefit from having a fridge full of extra food. :)
Baked chili beans with tahini sauce, guacamole and fresh salsa, sandwiches a la Hawaii, 4 citrus juice, herbed potato wedges, and chocolate cherry poundcakelets.
Where I live, spring has sprung, and it often seems to me that I’ve forgotten what this time of year feels like here. This is my first spring in Germany in 18 years, and I’m in a constant state of delight…at least outdoors. I feel like taking photos of every flower and blossoming tree, baby geese and clouds in the sky…everything is so beautiful, and I could spend all my off-days outside, from dawn to dusk. If spring feels this good here, I can only imagine what summer will be like! I have easy access to fields, forests, lakes and outdoor pools – going to bed early for work is going to get even harder as the days get longer. Instead of drawings today, I hope you’ll enjoy these selected shots of my German spring experience. :)
Inspired by a recent walk through a Frankfurt forest…
Some card designs I made with Valentine’s Day in mind. My plan was to turn a long list of romance-related ideas into cards for my Etsy store. But since I’m going away for a bit, these plans have been shelved until my return. I consider my monkey and fox designs finished, but I think my squirrel card might need more work. :)
My rock ‘n’ roll design has made #2 this week – many thanks to anyone who voted for it! Above is Spoonflower’s fabric image, and below the song that inspired the title, in case you didn’t already know it or feel like a trip down memory lane.
My latest pattern I created for the current Spoonflower “Rock ‘n’ Roll” contest – it was fun to draw some of the major things I associate with rock (while omitting the more controversial ones). Big hair, music records and tapes, amps, microphones, guitar and picks, drums, cowboy boots, stage lights, as well as stars and lightning. And a beverage bottle, made to look more like a soft drink rather than alcohol. I named the design after The Cars’ song, of course, which is a synth-pop style of rock of my favorite era, the mid 1970s to mid 1980s.
Votes still get counted here until Wednesday Dec. 13, 12pm (noon) Eastern Standard Time. If you’d like to support my design, I would love that! You don’t need an account for this.
As a former metal and punk fan during my teens, memories returned of my favorite bands at the time. Metallica with their dynamic and melodious compositions and non-sexist lyrics (a rarity at the time, perhaps still!). Or hyper-intellectual Bad Religion with their harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics. Then there was Faith no More and their singer’s creative and funny side project Mr. Bungle. And so many more whose music I loved and still have on my shelf, gathering dust. But no band has topped my favorite to date, the beyond-words-impressive Alan Parsons Project (classified as “progressive rock”, but whom I believe are impossible to categorize). And while on YouTube listening to old tunes, I came across this hilarious video that might make you laugh as well. Twisted Sister’s style has never been my taste in music (or otherwise, hah!), but this is such good fun.
My monochromatic “Delft Windows” made #4 in Spoonflower’s window-themed contest (actually, it’s a tie with #3) – yay! A big thank you to anyone who included it in their votes and for all the wonderful comments on the design page. I made it on the night of the deadline and ended up too tired to color it, hence the decision to turn it all Delft-blue. Here is a fabric image (courtesy of Spoonflower):
This is my entry for last week’s family portraits design contest at Spoonflower – it made #2. What inspired me was the people who, for whatever reason, feel closer to the animals in their lives than to their biological families, or those who don’t have any families at all.
The title sounds as if this is about a fitness competition. Nothing could be further from reality – but I did win Spoonflower’s last contest, which was fitness themed! And drawing icons representing various sports made me want to get more involved in certain sports, especially swimming, one of my favorite activities.
I’m fascinated by how many swimming badges – with different levels – one can achieve in Germany. One of particular interest to me is the almost extinct “Totenkopfschwimmer” (engl. death’s head or skull swimmer), which comes at three levels: 1 hour, 1.5 hours and 2 hours need to be swum continuously at a time. But in order to even get admitted to such a test, one needs to master less difficult levels of swimming. I like that each level gets awarded with a cloth badge that can be sewn on one’s swim suit. I included adapted versions of two of them in my design: “Freischwimmer” and “Fahrtenschwimmer”, blue and white designs in use in Germany from the 1950s to 1980s. Now I feel really old, because I remember the designs well!