All the rain

 
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Usually I do not find grey, rainy days very inspirational. Yesterday was different for some reason. I tried to make the most of the atmosphere by lighting a pumpkin spice candle, listened to calming ambience music and started sketching.

I liked the result so much, that I turned the drawing into a mixed media painting. I know it looks different to my other work. And in my previous journal entry I talk a little bit about this.

Hope you like it.

An artist's guide to denim

Yes,  it happened again. London is once more skipping a season and moving from winter right onto summer. Personally, I love all seasons and my favourite is autumn. But for the moment I am very much enjoying the sunny weather, warm evenings and the fact that I do not have to wear too many layers when going outside.

I am definitely a trousers kind of person. Simplicity and practicality are key and most days you can find me in a uniform of jeans, white (t-) shirt, flat shoes and good knitwear. Jeans are a classic wardrobe staple and I love how versatile they are. They can be casual, comfortable but also dressed up and sexy. I wear them all year round and only buy new ones if I absolutely have to. For one, shopping is not one of my favourite activities (buying art supplies exempt) and in addition I literally wear my jeans until they fall off me. The older they get, the more comfortable they are and the more I love them. Please tell me that I am not alone here.

 
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Most days I work in my studio and often sit on my chair with my legs crossed like a tailor. I move around a lot and want to be comfortable. For this purpose jeans in sweatpants style are absolutely perfect. And they can collect as many paint splashes as possible.

When I have client meetings in a coffee house or else, I prefer high waisted denim which I can dress up with a crisp, white shirt, a black blazer and a nice pair of heels. Lower rise, darker and straight legged jeans are my choice for after work and long walks on the weekend.

 
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As the temperatures are rising, nothing can beat denim cutoffs. Depending on what you combine them with, they can equally look as classy or sexy as other types of jeans. Having said that, my only personal rule with cutoffs is, the shorter the trousers the flatter the shoes.

What is your favourite jeans brand?

(Today's music: Cozy Friday Evening | An acoustic mix by MrOtterMusic)

How to be more productive

Listening to podcasts is perfect for painting in the studio. I tend to overthink my illustrations a lot so I find podcasts really helpful in order to get into the flow state. They are also very mind-opening and can teach you a lot.

Lately I have been listening to many episodes of Debbie Millman’s Design Matters. I noticed that several creatives she had on the podcast talked about meditation. How powerful this practice is and how much it has helped them. Since I felt rather restless lately with my creative process I thought I give it a go.

My mind is constantly active thinking about creative ideas and how to put them into practice. I knew from the start that it would be a challenge for me to sit still for a while trying not to “think” but focus on breathing and “being” in the now. Therefore I decided to start with baby-steps only a few minutes at the time and whenever I caught myself drifting off into thought I focused on breathing again or I stopped in order to continue the next morning.

It has only been a few months and I must say that I feel meditation is already making a difference in my daily routine. I am making it a habit to start my day with meditation. It helps me to be calm, focus and become more productive. Sometimes when I start my day later than planned and I feel I have to skip my meditation practice to be in the studio quicker and to “safe” time I definitely feel a slump in my productivity. I am still a novice at this and I am trying not to be too hard on myself. Today I started my morning with a brief meditation session and if you like I will keep you posted on my progress.

How about you? Are you meditating or have you tried it? I would be very interested to hear from you and learn from your experiences.

 

 
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New beginnings

There seems to be no better time to embark on new adventures than the beginning of a new year. It is also a time to reflect on the previous year, to be grateful and to make plans. In the past months I had the pleasure to work on some amazing commissions for greeting cards, personal gifts and the opportunity to collaborate with Flutter Magazine on designing a wrapping paper for their winter issue.

I created THERE MAY BE CATS to share my art and to inspire positivity and creativity in you through my paintings. It was first born on Instagram where I am posting pictures of my work process and sketches. Of course there are also photos of my cat Momo,  hence the name. I decided to keep it for my website as Momo is an important member of my art studio and she will most likely appear in my journal entries.

My paintings are inspired by nature and in my recent project I am exploring our relationship with plants in the urban living space. Last year my work was mostly figurative and I would love to venture more into abstract art as I am diving deeper into the topic this year.

In my opinion it is very important to fill our homes with happiness and colours. Art speaks to our souls and can magically transport us to a happy place and I am excited to share it with you.