Morning rituals and other summer life updates

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors

As I get back to the flow of sharing things around here, summer is getting to an end. And I don’t say that easily. It’s breaking me to see myself already wearing my soft pullovers and zipper ups indoors while the beach is still calling me with warm waters. Still, I’ll try to ignore all of those who already share pumpkins and fall collections. Ain’t giving up on summer yet, even if my clothing says otherwise!

Now, let me share a bit of what is going on around here. Did I enjoy summer at its fullest? I’d had to say no. I did get to the beach quite a few times, though I think what I did most was running. And snorkelling. Freediving and apnea are a growing interest for me this year. Anyways, I’m not a big fan of going where the crowds are, the surf hasn’t been much convenient (if there was actually any) and, of course, life is always busy.

Maybe you recall me talking about reading that much early in the year. Well, I’m not keeping up very well as I’ve been shifting my focus on trying to staying on track with practising my drawing/painting skills as well as trying to work a bit on my body, aka doing some sport or activities. And summer is great for that. I’ve felt so much more active during these last couple of months!

So, let me tell you about my morning routine. Beware, I’m not another blogger talking about the importance of self-care, those who get to spend three hours in the morning doing what makes them feel good… I’m just trying my best to make the most of my days. The days in which I go to my full-time job.

So, what do I do? Firstly, I try to wake up as early as possible (trying to sleep around 7 hours during the week though) which means that luckily I’ll get up at 5.40 am – but which also means I can’t watch any series before sleep. While I start clearing my mind and pulling away from the sleep in my eyes I spend a good chunk of time having my breakfast, usually while scrolling Instagram. I sometimes even make a post or start preparing one.

After that, I’ll go for like a half an hour of stretching/yoga/plank exercises to wake up the rest of the body while I listen to some music. I totally need that, even if I’m too tired, just some stretching makes wonders for my body. Especially, if you consider I’ll be sitting for almost the rest of the day!  Then, it’s time for some art! For half an hour or so I’ll be sketching or painting, still with my music on and I use every minute available before I have to rush to get ready for work. And so here my secret revealed as to why I still get rushing to work when I get up so early.

Not all days go so perfectly, some days I’m too tired, some days I have something else to prepare or do, some days I exercise more and paint less, and otherwise. On lucky days though, I may even get 20 minutes of painting on my lunch break. And that, my friends, is why I’ve been able to paint these things below.

 

 

Oh, and this is me, trying to smile still sleepy, in those days when I could still go around with just a shirt in the early morning…

 

 

 

 

I messed up ~ ink experiment

Life in the Atelier

Did I get to tell you that I moved from creating with watercolours to trying my hand at inks? I may have not. Well, while on this blogging hiatus in my life, I decided to change my focus to using ink and a calligraphic pen to create new artworks and hopefully, one day, new patterns in a kind of a new style. It feels like a creative challenge, as I’m leaving behind the bright pastel colours I used to use these last couple of years but I’m gaining skill on using the “line” more (which I really enjoy). I’m also intentionally using fewer colours, being my palette mostly blues, a bit of brown and black – you’ll see what I’m talking about in a coming post.

So, while starting to try my hand at this ink thing, something happened.

Do you know that moment when something you’ve been fearing might happen finally happens? You saw it coming. You didn’t know when, but it was meant to happen, sooner or later.

That was the thing with using inks. I knew someday a pot would fall and spill all over the place. And so it happened. Even though I knew the time would come, I wasn’t prepared. I had not thought about what I would do.

So I just cleaned the mess. Luckily, the table didn’t wasn’t damaged, neither did my phone, which was right there and got some drops. However, I did realise while I was wiping the table with a piece of clothing that I should have done something with the ink that was now flowing down the sink. I hope next time I’ll think about putting all the liquids in another, bigger crystal jar – the ink would be dissolved in water but at least I could still use it.

it did happen again 🙈

( I spilled some ink again while I hadn’t published this post yet and I did store some of it into a jar, yay!)

So after realising I was losing all that ink I thought: “Couldn’t I do something with it right now? “. So, as quick as I could, I got that piece of clothing (intended to clean the mess) and I used it to create an abstract texture. Then I added some shapes more intentionally, even with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and voilà, out of a mess, I created this print below. I know I’m not getting into the history of art for this but… the takeaway is that not everything is lost when things don’t work out as expected, nor when accidents or messing ups show up. There’s always something to be done to improve any situation, you can always make it better.

So here it is, my free-of-guilt abstract. Truth be told I somehow still feel that abstracts are the art that those who can’t draw can still do, and because of that, I shouldn’t do it. Lately, I’ve been trying to acknowledge my blocks around creation, what I’m supposed or I’m not supposed to do, the reason why I “can’t” be an artist, etc. You know, the everyday reflections of a creative type. Maybe another day I’ll talk about that (I know a couple of books that help!).

I thought that the purple texture would make for a great pattern but as I am not that much into abstract patterns either… well, I just used the opportunity to play around. (You can actually save this image to your computer as desktop wallpaper).

 

So here it is to the creation of unexpected things. And playing in life. 🥂

~x~

Lena

 

Sweet new designs that will make you dream awake

Launching, Life in the Atelier

Lee este post en español ~ Llegeix aquest article en català

Ice pop dress - Awakening Dream collections

It’s been quiet around here and it’s taken just a bit longer than expected for me to come and tell you the story of my new things. But I’m back and fully charged. Let’s do this!

Give them bananas dress
THE STORY OF “THE AWAKENING DREAM” COLLECTION

Centuries ago, born by the beach and looking at the sunsets right behind the mountains, there was a wind that blew relentlessly but softly over the coastal beaches and the endless roads that went north. The sun was pouring its kisses over all the thirsty skins laying on the sand and the fruits radiated their smells and sweet juices to water the arid soils.

That wind became a summer breeze blowing in all directions. It couldn’t stop exploring the world. Now it travels around the Earth looking for you, for the next person to inspire and take into a summer dream journey.

pssst… they say this breeze is a muse that presents herself to those who fall asleep looking at the clouds. Just saying…

 

Give them bananas Dress

Wearing the Give Them Bananas Dress

 

Ice pop dress

Ice Pop Dress

 

Eyes on fruit dress
eyes on fruit dress
Eyes on fruit dress

Eyes on Fruit Dress

have a nice day leggings

Have Nice Day Leggings and Warm Ground Tank top

teal waters
we need to talk tank top

We Need to Talk Top Tank and Have a Nice Day Leggings

 

we need to talk

We Need to Talk Tank top and Rainforest River Sounds Leggings

 

Frosted mornings

Frosted Mornings Tank Top and Forest Wanderings Leggings

 

palm margalló
summer mirage

Summer Mirage Tank Top  and When the Sun Goes Down Leggings

 

Lusurious tee

Luxurious Long Sleeve Tee

 

See you at the other side of (my) Summer! 

You can check all available products on the shop. Also, follow along on social or our Telegram Channel to see all pictures from this beautiful shooting.  

La historia de “THE AWAKENING DREAM” COLLECTION (Colección el Sueño del Despertar)
Muchos años atrás, nacido en el regazo de la playa y mirando los atardeceres detrás de las montañas empezó su existencia un viento suave. Suave pero imparable soplava ligero por playas salvajes y por interminables caminos que se alejaban hacia el norte. El sol brillaba con fuerza como si quisiera derretir las pieles de aquellos posados en la arena, pidiendo a gritos más calor y más luz que les oscureciera, y la fruta maduraba y radiaba su olor y dejaba fluir sus jugos para calmar los áridos suelos. Ese viento se fue convirtiendo en una brisa de verano, esparciéndose en todas direcciones. No podía parar, quería seguir viendo mundo. Ahora viaja por todo el globo buscándote, buscando a aquella pesona a la que inspirar y llevarse en un sueño de verano. pssst… dicen que esta brisa es una musa que se penetra a los que se duermen mirando las nubes…. Puedes encontrar todos los diseños en la tienda.  También puedes seguirnos en las redes o unirte a nuestro canal de Telegram.

 

La història de   “THE AWAKENING DREAM” COLLECTION (la col·lecció El somni del despertar)
Fa segles, nascut vora la platja, mirant amunt cap a les postes de sol rera les muntanyes, habitava un vent que bufava sense parar però suaument; des de les platges costeres fins a les carreteres infinites conduent sempre al nord. El sol vessava carícies sobre totes les pells esteses a la sorra, sedentes de llum i calor. I mentrestant, les fruites de la temporada, dolces i madures, desprenien les seves olors i preparaven el suc amb el que regar els sòls àrids. A poc a poc, aquest vent va anar esdevenint una brisa d’estiu,  estenent-se en totes direccions. No podia deixar de voltar món. Ara viatja per tota la Terra i et busca a tu, la pròxima persona a la que inspirar i a qui emportar-se en un viatge de somni d’estiu. pssst… diuen que aquesta brisa és la musa que es presenta a aquells que es queden adormits mirant els núvols. Jo només ho dic… Pots veure tots els productes disponibles a la botiga. També ens pots seguir a les xarxes o unir-te al nostre Canal de Telegram per veure totes les imatges d’questa bonica sessió.   
spring lettering

Spring and other exciting things

Life in the Atelier

Just a generic intro

We are well into Spring and we’ve been able to start feeling the season. Warmer temperatures and much longer days. It seems like we are ready for summer. I can even smell it, don’t you?

I’m so happy I’ve been able to go surfing a couple of times already. The water is still so cold (I’m not a fan of cold) but the softer weather is very welcoming.

 

What’s new?!

So it’s time for new things to see the light!!  Today I’m bringing you a couple of freebies, the announcement of what’s to come in the shop (new products, follow along to see which) and some behind the scenes.

Here one of the packages I’ve received to test the new additions to the shop!

 

 

Now a drumroll, please! Because the first products I have to present you are something really new! So…

 

Summer dresses!!! Sleek, elastic and as wonderfully comfortable as all the other clothes I have in the shop 😄

I’m so excited! They fit so well and the colours are amazing, as always.

Also, I have a long sleeve shirt that we’ll go up in the Stargazing category next month! Wanna know a bit more? I can’t stop myself from telling you! It’s white with a graphic in the front, super soft and feminine.

Where are the photos, you’ll ask!

I know, an image will tell best but I’m still working on preparing the photo shooting. But it will happen soon. I’m so excited! I have many ideas and want to prepare the best presentation for you guys.

 

 

In the meantime though, let me give you something!

My sister just got a new bright amazing phone and you know what you need time and time again for your pocket friend? Beautiful wallpapers. (also a matching case… would you like me to design you some phone cases?)

So here they go, I bring you not two but four phone wallpapers ready to download in the shop (for FREE! 🤩)

Click on your favourite one below to go to the product page.

~ Fun Small Waves

~ Shells and Tans

~ Welcome Spring

~ Goodbye Winter

 

Some behind the scenes

Here some process images (I apologize for the quality… you know I’m not a fan of shooting while working).

When doing the letterings I like to start with a very rough sketch, vectorize the letters in the computer, print and redraw it and add all the illustration and decorations. Then I trace it all and paint it in watercolours. And then I edit it as needed to get to the desired final result.

 

See you soon with new beautiful things to brighten the season! 🌟💙

 

xx

Lena

 

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What am I doing with my life?

Life in the Atelier

That’s how I feel some days about the creative life.

…Like I’m not going anywhere. I’m in a loop, trying every day to overcome the same obstacles I found years ago. Now I have some things figured out but I’m still learning and stumbling in others. I miss being outdoors more often But my creative work happens in front of or near a screen. Moreover, I’m still struggling with this work to really work out. Am I too hard on myself for forcing myself to stay on the desk to pursue something that never looks closer? Am I missing my true callings and paths for being held inside for too long? Should I ever think about broadening, even more, my creative skills? What it is that I really want to do? What feels good and looks goods to me?

Nobody said a truly creative life was easy. And there are as many kinds of creatives as there are kinds of people. I’m always striving to do my best work and learning to do something new and create something even newer. My creative life is scattered and every idea I get makes it worse. Though I don’t always feel that’s a bad thing. I want to be doing visuals that I cannot see in the world right now, so a little experimentation is expected. I also want to do small things that are complex to do solo while pursuing other fronts. So maybe all it takes is more working hours, patience and a clear vision.

 

Now the nice stuff

A couple of weeks ago it snowed but now the sun is shining and its warmer than ever. Finally, I got to feel it all over my skin. Feels so good and energising to have it back. But that also means one thing: I’m getting back to take my boards and going to the beach reeeal soon. Waves are calling and I must go. (Oh, and climbing too)

But with many projects open that I can’t close yet and time running out, I will have to prioritise. Anyway, wanna know what’s in the works? I’m sure you’ll be inspired and motivated too if you see.

 

Sneak peaks here they go!

 

Patterns 💖

These are patterns and designs that I’ve made and that are just getting ready to become full products. But the best of them you’ll see in upcoming weeks!

Game dev 🤓

I started a game and made all of this in one afternoon (ok, maybe it’s not that much, but when I was younger I never got this far making a game, so I’m proud). I already had the idea. It will be a game for my character the Catsurf and this will be the Hippy Catsurf Game. I just need a couple more days and I’ll have a full game (with one working level at least). But when? Who knows. If you’d like to create a game try GameSalad or Stencyl.

3D modeling

I’ve been playing with 3D software in order to create models that I can use with my interior designs and maybe even combine them with my own clothing design. I’m also learning to create more things so I can use them in future designs (maybe I could transform some 3D objects into patterns? ( 🤯 There are just too many possibilities in this creative world). For the girls, I’m using MakeHuman, which is amazing and is reminiscent of the act of creating a Sim which is always nice. For more items and probably oceans and the like, I’ll be using Blender. It also brings many memories from when I was a teenager following Blender tutorials on my father’s work computer ten years ago (or more). These programs are open source and free to use which feels amazing. And they work in Mac, of course.

 

TIP for Mac users using MakeHuman : when I wanted to install the MakeHuman community plugin I almost went nuts. But it’s easy. You’ll need to follow the instructions and move the downloaded files to the Plugins directory. In a Mac, this means going to the app icon, right-click, Show Package Contents > Contents > Resources > plugins. If there’s a better way I didn’t find it.

TIP for Mac users using Blender : shortcuts in Blender are great for Windows but not so for Macs. In order to use the standard shortcuts press also the key at the left bottom corner (fn). If you don’t have a numpad you’ll also need to enable a simulation of it (Blender User Preferences > Input : tick Emulate Numpad box).

 

Also

Also, I’m preparing a little publication for the summertime that promises to be very fresh. I’m just starting out with it but is one of my most exciting projects. No images to show yet so all I’m telling is this:

 

 

Do you think I spread myself too thin and didn’t dive deep enough? Probably. I would love to be that type of creative artist that is so good at one thing, it looks like a lot easier to market. But I believe all my explorations are leading me towards one niche and I’m slowly finding my place as a creative. We’ll see.

Keep tuned and fuel your creativity!

And tell me about your projects in the comments or pm.

CROSS THE LINE⚜

 

My Artist Statement Illustrated

Life in the Atelier

For all those who haven’t followed along and need a bit of an introduction to my work, here I share with you my artist statement.

I work mostly with watercolours as my chosen medium, for their lightness, spontaneity and low environmental impact as well as the way they allow for textures, imperfect surfaces and shades of colour. I’m a formal graphic designer but I feel a great sense of accomplishment when working traditionally and find it very exciting to not be able to fully control the final result.

When I paint, design and illustrate I strive to create a connection not with me but with the viewer herself.

I want to portray nature, humankind and the sense of self and how all that is related. Through the image of a character, we can identify traits that we like, that we’d like to have or that we could even despise. But that makes us more conscious of who we are and how others are.

Self-knowledge is a big step to build lives that are more aligned with every individual and to build a better society.

Through this process we can also learn to connect deeper with others and explore our freedom and how we want to express ourselves.

 

Also, for me, nature is what allows us to live and become part of who we are (let’s not forget we are mostly water). It’s not that we endanger it, we endanger ourselves when failing to take care of it.

And it’s also fundamental to our leisure time. Even when we crave for places with pristine waters, paradisiac beaches and indomitable mountains and we are very willing to travel to enjoy them, we don’t normally put that much effort on taking care of the environment around us.

We should pursue caring appropriately for our surroundings as much as we do for likes. And I want to express all of this with my own voice, in a way that is modern and in context with our times and my generation, the millennials.

I’ve been exposed to art and illustration since my childhood and have many influences, from tv animes like Lady Georgie, the stories of Beatrix Potter, Spanish feminine comics from the 60’s ( and anything from that decade), film, literature and everything graphic design.

I work in Catalonia and have a strong link with the beach and the mountains and a sincere admiration for the surfing culture, tech interests and living unconventionally.

Now go check my portfolio !

 

New watercolour art (R)Evolution

Launching, Life in the Atelier

Hello friends!

Time flies around here and it seems like I’m just starting new and amazing projects but can’t get to the finish line. Luckily, that’s just my impression of things and time and some work are actually getting closer to seeing the light. And that’s probably because I’ve been deeply immersed in the ideas tank.

Before spring comes I wanted to paint some new characters while I’m starting many new projects in a little different direction. So we may say these are transition paintings. And for that, they’ve been named the (R)Evolution Series! Text is gaining importance, while also an implicit message addressed at firing motivation or a sense of power, determination and decisiveness emerges.

Now that they are done it’s time for reflection and getting back to the drawing board. So, I’m able to come up with new interesting concepts and images I want to build now. You can expect my colour palettes to stay on the same line but I will be incorporating some of those magic vibes from the Tropical Collection. I hope that nicer weather will accompany me in my pursuits and inspire me with its wonders. Also, hand-lettering was just showing up in these paintings but it’ll be gaining importance in the future (yay!). And I’ve been thinking about expanding the techniques I use. I love watercolours in a big way but I want to experiment a bit more and create more complex compositions and feelings. I’ve used other mediums in the past and had fun as well. But watercolours will still be my signature move. I’ve missed including more mystical references but I’m totally in exploring emotions, poses and references to the millennial (or just tech and current) world.

As usual, haven’t done a great job at documenting the stages of my work, we’ll keep improving though. If you’d like to see more, stick around for coming posts! I feel very creative lately!

PS: As you can see I’ve even built a digital stage for my new posters. I’m loving this aesthetic of combining digital and real worlds and will go on exploring it further soon.

 

watercolour art

Sketch and almost finished watercolour painting

 

artist workspace

My desk is blooming (in all senses)

 

wip watercolour painting

Interesting picture of the work in progress of Unapologetic

 

holding watercolour painting

Watching it in a better light, the figure is finished

 

You can find the four new posters as limited editions in the shop! Get it as a miniprint (a5) or a big poster size. Just click on the one you like the most.

 

BE FOUND

Be Found Watercolour Painting

 

 

WORLD’S DOMINATION

Go Plan World's Dominations Watercolour Painting

 

 

REBELLIOUS

Rebellious Watercolour Painting

 

UNAPOLOGETIC
Unapologetic Watercolour Painting

 

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email messaging books icons pattern

3 Digital Tools That Can Increase your Productivity

Life in the Atelier

I can say that I’m constantly surrounded by the best advice. I listen to multiple podcasts, I read books and articles and get a good number of newsletters. Many of them tell me about the tools that most productive, successful people use. They usually give some of their personal favourite tips on organising their work, life or both. So, as you know, there are thousands. There are people using Slack for working with teams while some others use Asana and before these apps they used just email or Dropbox. There are those who use Evernote, others use paper. Today I wanna share just my three favourite tools (applications). The ones I would even pay for. They do not belong to just one category but I’ll share along why they are so useful.

 

pattern of books icon

 

A tool for writing, organising your writing and even your business

Imagine you wanna write a book. You start scribbling down ideas. Then you add notes. After that, you do some research. Save research files, links and websites. Add your first rough sketches. You make an index and a table of contents for the book. Also, add the structure. Prepare scenes, characters and key events. You start writing chapters. You move things around. Finally, you end the book, you pack everything and it’s done.

Well, there is an application for that and it’s called Scrivener. It’s power go far beyond writing books. But if book writing is the case, it has templates (and you can find more online) ready to help you with a novel, poetry or anything you have to write. Though, if you are a true creative, there are many more things you can accomplish with that.

If you’re a blogger, for example, you could make very good use of it. In fact, I’d love to be using it more for blogging, but I have this thing for writing directly on my WordPress. One day I’ll improve on that.

Wanna know what I really use it for? For all of my business. As I said, you can organise files into folders, save webs, add descriptions and so much more. So I read this book called She means business in which the author explained a bit about her system – using Asana. But I realised that to me, it made much more sense to use Scrivener.

In that way, I have a structure in which  I save my ideas, templates, resources concerning the different aspects of the business, from product ideas to marketing and outreach. I had tried it a very long time ago and finally, I bought the latest version of the App Store. It’s quite inexpensive so if you’re one who writes a lot, this might be a good investment (also, I plan to write a few books in my lifetime so it could come in handy).

 

email love icons pattern

 

A tool that is making email less painful

Email is that thing we all love and hate at the same time. I love it quite a lot. I would even change my mobile phone to just email if I could. But I’m not a big fan of having to go and send emails at the time I write them or later on. I don’t like to be thinking all the time about that email that has to be sent at what time and don’t want to be there to press the send button. I also have some recurrent emails that have to be sent periodically.

So, there must be a better way right? Yes, and it’s called Right Inbox. It lets you schedule emails so you can send them whenever you want. If you are writing an email at 1 am, you can have it sent at 9 am and you’ll look so much more professional. There’s a free version that lets you schedule like 10 emails a month and you can customize everything time and date related. In this way, you can write a draft, check it’s good enough to hit send, but then maybe it turns out it’s not the right time. Maybe I want it to be opened in the afternoon, or maybe on Monday morning. Then, I would schedule it and could leave happy to enjoy the weekend. Isn’t that true magic?

Also, it could be paired with the Mailtrack feature (shhh, don’t tell anyone about it) and you’ll be notified when your recipient opens the email. Very handy to know if that email address is really working or, if it’s a matter of high priority, if you need to make a phone call instead.

messaging icons pattern
A tool to talk how you wanna talk to who you like to talk and so much more

Let’s face it. I never liked WhatsApp. Now that it belongs to Facebook I dislike it even more. I just have it because most people use it. And from time to time I have to communicate with them. I’d prefer to send an email but… it’s this thing about having to do what the crowds do. Probably the crowds don’t do all I need to do because then they’d be using something different.

The thing is I spend most part of the day on or by my computer. I have a mobile phone, but it’s more like an emergency thing or entertainment on the go. I don’t like to check the phone. It’s unproductive, time-consuming and, why should I take a look at a small screen when I’m in front of a bigger one? Also, who is happy enough with emojis? I like to use GIFs and stickers to communicate in one-on-one (sorry Instagram Stories). I did once that thing of pairing the WhatsApp with the laptop. It was so useless. Having to read a QR on the phone and then have it by my side…

Although, there’s a messaging app that is quite better. It’s Telegram! Famous because it has always had a concern for security it has many more features than WhatsApp. Yes, it’s secure, but I don’t know how to explain much of it. I can tell you though that you can make messages disappear in a time slot you choose, having private conversations that will go blank.

There’s a desktop application you can use. You can send images (and choose if you want them to be optimized or not) and many more files. There are thousands of stickers! The big, funny, more representative type of communication after emojis. There are gifs and video and voice notes. Also calls, muting option, passcode and all of that a messaging app needs. There exist bots that use it (in a good way). And you can message yourself! Why? To save links, send files (from my phone to my laptop for example), take notes, etc.  I type much faster on my laptop keyboard so it’s quite nice to be able to talk to friends through that. So please, don’t hesitate and get Telegram!

What are your favourite tools and why? Tell us in the comments.

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Organise your digital life : minimal check

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home

Did you ever find yourself lost in a sea of files and archives, the desktop full of things you don’t remember, the status bar showing 20 different icons, notifications every 10 minutes and a dock full of applications?

Maybe it’s time you strategize your digital life and organise your Mac. It will make your life so much easier. This way, you’ll know what you really need to save on your hard drive, you’ll need less space (meaning you’ll have to erase things less often) and your interface will look cleaner and nicer. Because there’s enough noise out there to have it on your computer too. Or phone. Nowadays, these devices are our second home.

 

A place for each thing and everything in its place

📁

The best way to start is to organize your folders as you need, and have as many folders as you’d like. In a way, your mac (or pc) will probably help you a bit. Movies, Music, Documents and Pictures have their own folders already. Do you use them for that? Instead of saving your newest pictures to a document folder with the name of your camera you could try and use the pictures folders. If you download a book, movie or picture don’t let it rest in the downloads folder. Download it right away into the folder they belong to or move them without waiting.

 

📸

For photos, I don’t use the Photos application. First of all, it uses far too space.  Also, I’d have to manually select the pictures I want to copy on my hard drive or move the whole library around. In addition, it makes me go through a long menu to be able to open them on Photoshop. I’d rather use Image Capture to load the pictures into the camera and choose where to store them. Then I just preview them or drop them into the app I need to.

 

 

🖥

The best way to have a clean desktop is to not store anything in there and keep everything organised. You should move it to the right folder or make a new one in the right category. I have this bad habit of leaving these things I think of “temporary” in there but they end being around for ages. The worst thing is that they could actually be in the trash right now or in their own folder.

 

 

👎

Don’t store apps you don’t use. There was a time when I wouldn’t have internet at home and because of that I just downloaded everything. I still find myself storing things when I don’t need to. If it’s something that will stay online, don’t download it. If it’s valuable, you’ll know how to find it. In case you’re afraid you don’t, share it on one of your social networks or save it as a favourite. To erase apps I use Appcleaner, it will erase the files that are stored out of your sight so you don’t end eaten up by old useless apps files that you don’t see.

🍔

In order to have a clean menu bar, you’ll have to go to System Preferences and go from menu to menu to unmark the checked boxes that say “show in menu bar”. For example, you’ll have to go the network for the wifi icon, to energy saver for the battery one, to users – login options for the username etc. I like to only have the battery menu. Also, I don’t use the native battery status from the MacBook. Instead, I use Slim Battery Monitor, that lets me change the moment when the MacBook tells me I need to connect it to charge and I can change the looks of the icon.

For the clock and date, I prefer to use the ones on the dashboard. Same for wifi networks (when not connected automatically I can check them in 2 clicks – I keep the System Preferences app on the Dock bar).

 

🕰

Change your interface to help you to work better and smarter. You know most apps have shortcuts. Use them or change them or add some of them. They make life easier and you’ll be quicker at whatever you do. Invest a few minutes to learn them and you’ll save many more in the future. I promise.

Furthermore, you can change which tools show and how they are distributed on your screen in most applications. You could start by changing the position of your dock (if another one fits you best) and get to play with the reader option on safari. Or download a writing app that will block out everything else.

[bctt tweet=”The key to an organized life is thinking carefully and taking decisions upfront.” username=”lenasingla”] We are used to going by reaction instead of action but a little thought here and there can help a lot. Maybe just writing the things you wanna do at the start of the day will stop you from procrastinating and from mindlessly falling from activity to activity.

 

 

On your phone

Certainly, a place where we spend a lot of time. And most of it is not productive. In this case, you may not have to create folders and organize files, but probably you should do so with apps and crap. All those gifs and pictures from the messaging apps that are just silly? Cut the crap! The apps you don’t use, erase. The ones you shouldn’t use, keep them far from reach.

Need more advice? Take this.

Some more reading.

 

How do you keep track of all your digital stuff? Tell me in the comments!

 

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Links of the month – to get you back creating

Life in the Atelier

While days past and months end we should never lose track of our own goals and projects. I believe that being creative is an essential part of just being oneself (it doesn’t matter what you do or if it looks good – the thing is squeezing those creative juices!).So today I’m digging some articles that will get you back on creating. Or at least inspire you to imagine a more creative life. Now, grab a too hot drink and wait for it to cool down as you read along.

 

We are so used to consuming… Content, goods, whatever. But it’s so much fun to create! And only creating we want to create more.

THE LINKS OF THE MONTH, FOR YOU CREATIVE REJOICE

 

· How’s the life of a magazine editor? I love to get to know the lives of creatives in any field, but especially when they are in content creation, decor or design. Read this interview and learn some valuable things and got a better idea of a job that is so appealing (and what looks cooler than it is).

Interview: S Magazine Lifestyle Editor Victoria Gray

 

· If you like surfing, graphic design, photography, film or art I’m quite sure you need to read and know about John Severson (if don’t already). He created Surfer magazine and his life and work are quite inspiring, creative and visionary (at least to me!).

LESSONS FROM JOHN: WHAT I LEARNED FROM SURFER FOUNDER JOHN SEVERSON ABOUT LIFE, ART AND WHERE THE TWO BECOME ONE

 

I want (at least) my spirit to be young forever. Please, let me know when I fall in the adulthood-too-serious-no-dreams-the-world-is-what-it-is type of mindset and living attitude.

 

· As in so many industries, we know very little of great women doing great work in design through history. In this article, you’ll learn a bit about them, see some of their work and hopefully, you’ll get fired up to show your work and put a woman’s name on the scene (you go girl!).

Poster Girls: “Women in graphic design have been criminally neglected”

 

· I love going back to my childhood days through stories in nature, animation and not many words. In CG society you’ll often find short films of new studios, students and industry professionals that we’ll make you feel that feeling of wanting to create that little world of yours to share with others. Go feel something without wasting time social.

CGI ANIMATED SHORT FILM “WAKAN SHORT FILM” BY ISART DIGITAL

 

This gif is from Princess Mononoke film. Have you seen it?

· If you are like me, you are not an adrenalin junk but likes to watch the work of them. Meaning, you like to see Redbull videos and have some athletes that you admire. I do. And I also tend to think about those that are on the other side of the lenses, taking the pictures of our heroes. Because on most occasions it’s impossible they aren’t being skilled as well. With the article below, you’ll meet one of those photographers and see a little bit of how it is to be the cameraman for those challenges.

HOW TO CAPTURE CREATIVE GOLD WHEN YOU’RE AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE —LITERALLY. [INTERVIEW WITH JIMMY CHIN]

 

· Are you in need of some cute illustration… in motion? Check this portfolio! You’ll want to start creating right away… In fact, I think I have to leave you now, too much work and ideas coming to my mind… *oh no… please stop, just let me finish this* (You could check this article with some of his gifs as well, for a quick look)

 

· Ok, finally, this article I really enjoyed. It’s a very interesting and honest insight into the fashion world: Branding Anarchy 

 

If you need to, you can start a new creative hobby. What about calligraphy?

 

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Catching trends for Spring/Summer 2018

Life in the Atelier

Last weekend I attended a fair in the field of decor and gifting full of wholesalers and exhibitors presenting what the small shops will be offering this next season. The exhibition was small, surely smaller than years ago. But it’s always good to know what’s happening in the world so here I’ll be sharing a quick take away based on what was exhibited, the trends for this season spring/summer 2018 for the small shops.

Color trends

Muted colours are not going anyway this season. From earth colours to the blue/pink pair they are all here to stay. Especially present on textile (from bandanas to handbags) and in a variation of lightness and intensity. This colour trend was also very present on stationery.

In decor, a deep green, yellowish and some sparks of blue and saturated pink were in. I found it to be quite on the line of jungalow/bohemian style (which I like pretty much, even though in my home I’d go for a more neutral style).

What about the 2018 ultraviolet colour chosen by Pantone? Well, it wasn’t much of a trend. Maybe a handbag here, some complements there. Maybe it was too soon to show or, what is more likely, we’ll be seeing more of it in the fashion industry.

The blue-green and bright turquoise are still hanging in there, quite present in all sorts of products. But earth tones may be a hit for the season and the truth is that they work so well as a base colour:  from solids or as a background colour for patterns to designs featuring some bits of brighter colours.

Featured elements

Wanna know what are some elements you’ll easily find in stores near you? Well, if you like flamingo and cactuses you just got lucky! We’ve been seeing them for a while as a trend in decor and it looks like they are some of the most popular things still. Greenery is a must these days for any home, even if it’s in form of wall art. There were glimpses of vintage and kitsch elements for decoration but those things are always there anyway, right? Of course, both in vintage and kitsch the most popular elements were surf related (vans!) and vintage florals.

In patterns, we could find the classic florals, geometrics and abstracts for bags for youngsters and solid colours paired with animal prints.

 

 

Popular products

I found that the most relevant products that were in bigger amounts were baskets and basket style-all kinds of objects (from bags to decor swings) and also hand fans (I may be biased, but I’m not used at finding or seeing much in hand fans popularity).

 

Personal take on a business scope

Seeing all of this wholesalers gives me a feeling and transports me to the typical Chinese shop full of cheap things (not that they’re cheap necessarily, but there are too many of them, coming from enormous productions). It triggers on me a stronger will to create things that are unique not only for their design but for the number and the quality. I want to be in business to create a shop that offers a small selection of items to a very small selection of people so there will never be that many products like them and they will be kept as unique pieces or very limited reproductions. In a world where we could be so creative (even buying), I see an opportunity to develop smaller brands that offer niche things or a niche style in a way that will bring more value to the consumer. Because I don’t want to wear jewellery that millions of people will wear too nor I want to hang the same thing on my wall as my neighbour. Even if it’s trendy.

 

Last art of 2017 + free printable calendars for 2018

Life in the Atelier

We were in the midsts of December and I knew I wanted to draw new things, a new creative challenge. And I knew I wanted to offer a calendar. Last year I made the wallpaper backgrounds with inspirational quotes (that you can still download here) and this year I wanted to make a real calendar. Lots of illustrations. Well, 12.

I must admit I’m quite quick at having ideas for drawings and recollecting my references and so on. Sketching ideas, drawing them on big pieces of paper, transferring the drawings onto watercolour paper… That goes at a really good speed. But then, the time for painting comes. And I love it. Although the pace changes. Maybe it’s not just a matter of my speed but the work that it takes. The sketches don’t need to be perfect, they don’t go on different colours. So, could I finish before the New Year?

Truth be told, I’m not one that is used to go late. I would always avoid missing due dates and I used to be very punctual (except for social situations: knowing most of my friends’ timing, I better don’t be on time – unless I really wanna wait, as I know nearly no one will show up early. So now that is a matter of who I’m meeting).

Although not only I wanted to do these 12 paintings before 2018. I wanted to do a small series of 3 paintings of hands (yes, another challenge). So in the end, it was 15 paintings to finish. And it was almost the Holidays.

I love working in batches. This week I’m battling with blog, promotion and learning. Next one I’ll probably spend it drawing and sketching for new products. In that matter, painting so many pieces was good fun.

Yet the holidays came! So I finally had to sneak in the studio during some holi-afternoons and finish the things during these days of 2018. Yes, late. But we have 11 months in front of us, so maybe it’s not so bad.

Now, time to get your stuff!

You can download your calendar here. These are new printable 2018 calendars. One A4 for each month! EEUU, UK and AU versions. They include nationals and moon calendar.

You’ll have to get them to see all the illustrations in it! 😉

 

And you can check the new posters here. I’m in love with them! (The Hands series – may expand it in the future)

Oh, and this one! It doesn’t belong to any series (maybe the rejected ones? ) but I love it.

You can get it as a small print or poster here. 💜

 

 

Last minute gifts! You are not too late!

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home

Oh my girl, Oh my girl, Oh my girl. It’s already Christmas day!! Is everything ready? Got all the gifts? The decorations? Your outfits? Then, time to chill out and enjoy the champagne with some carols.

If not, well, we are here for that. So, you need to find a last minute gift. Whatever you did, you still left some work to do just before the C day. Worry not, we have some ideas to get you through this bit of a situation!

If you are still on budget

… You can buy a non-physical thing

– There are plenty of shops and services that offer gift cards and gift certificates. Use them! If you have no time left but a bit of cash… that’s a great way to get sorted out. (e.g.: netflix, most online shops, amazon, skillshare, spotify, dropbox,etc). Most of these services will mail the gift so you need to bring no gift (but you could still print this postcard and a message with a hint about their present).

– Buy them digital stuff. Ebooks, Cd’s , videogames… You can send them via e-mail or gift it with a usb (two presents in one!).

 

postcard digital gift

 

If you burnt your budget and you’re well over it…

It’s time for a DIY or

– Print this pack : Weekly planner + notes + to do list which is now only 3,95€ until Christmas Day is over.

– If you’re still on time to buy supplies (or you already own them)…

  – Sew a clutch, bag (bag 2) or pouch. You can reuse fabric from old t-shirts, napkins and whatever textile is no longer useful or loved.

 

Finally, you could always make art of your own or print a postcard (like this) or  make it yourself! they can be very easy! You can use your scraps of gifts wrapper to make one like a collage (see this).

 

And remember, the best gift may not be a thing! Give the gift of your company, love and care. You can do that with no (or very little) money!

 

 

I hope you have the best holidays of your life and I’ll see you around here next year! I won’t stop working but I’ll have to attend my social “obligations” (they are filled with amazing people!) and plan the year ahead. If I get spare moments, I’ll be hanging out on twitter. See you next year with lots of amazing stuff!

PS : please, excuse my love for gifs 😂

Now….

Let our hearts be full of thanks and giving

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I hope you’re all on the way to a great gathering and a full table.
You know, when I think of Thanksgiving my mind goes 🍲🥗🍖🍰🎃🍁🍂🎊👯‍♀️👯‍♂️ (food food people family friends more food ) and brings flashes of all the movies and series that show this celebration.

What a wonderful tradition, a day to be thankful and share the feeling (although practising gratitude every day is miraculous too). I find it a very nice thing to have a day devoted to gratitude, maybe because I don’t really celebrate it (it’s not a tradition around here). I do have my own day for gratitude BTW but I use the 31 of December instead. That day I sit down for a while and write a list of all the things I’m grateful for that year. And then I write another list of all the things I would be so grateful to happen the following year.

But there’s never too much gratitude to spread around so I wanted to share some of it already on time for Thanksgiving. And I think we are going to celebrate it this year. Only not Thursday as we all have to work today.

 

thanksgiving postcards free printable

Thanks

I want to thank everyone who spends the time to read some of my words, who visit my site and watch my work. Without you my creations would only serve my need for creating but I make them to share them and touch others. Nonetheless, on a personal note, I’m humbled by the support I’m receiving and for the people who are part of my life. And I feel so lucky I am able to do what I love (and to discover what that is). I’m also healthy and strong. When I get my million bucks in the bank I’ll have everything. But there’s always room for growing! 💪

 

thanksgivinggratitude jar sticker free printable

 

Giving

I hope you all receive all you need to live a fulfilling life and let it grow bigger, fuller and richer with prosperity and love. And I hope we all get to appreciate every little thing that makes life so wonderful.

And for the giving thing, I’m bringing you some new printables! FREEBIES!! To keep the spirit thankful all year long.

You’ll find 4 gratitude jar stickers, since I’ve been seeing the gratitude jar all around and I wanted to do my own. Now we all can do it. If you don’t know about gratitude jars, it’s basically a jar or pot (or whatever you want) where you put all the good things you are grateful for in little pieces of paper: your blessings, the happy moments, etc. It’s a wonderful way to practice gratitude; you could add a thing every day or maybe once a week but also take a paper on a blue day to cheer you up and get you back to an attitude of appreciation.

There are also 12 gift tags, 6 with warm colors and 6 way cooler. You’ll be able to print them on both sides.

And finally, there’s a Thank You postcard in two different colors.  Please enjoy!

 

 

Ps. Wanna know what am I planning? Some hints may be these recipes I’ve been looking at 🤤 Stuffed roasted butternut squash , Vegan Mushroom Wellington, Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Gobi Mussalam (roasted cauliflower) and One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake.

 

free thanksgiving printables

cold sprinkles new collection winter

He likes it cold. But we don’t. Holidays are coming and our Cold Sprinkles Collection is here

Launching, Life in the Atelier

The 24th of October we opened our little shop, Florals and Waves. It’s been almost a month now and we are so proud of the work. And excited about all our future projects.

The good news for you is that a lot of new designs are rolling in just on time for the Holidays!! (we are so amazed at how they turned up!) Also, carols are already playing in the studio and we are longing for decoration time!

This time our Collection is called Cold Sprinkles and it is all about freshness, delicacy and life inspired by the best days of autumn and early winter.

Featuring more delicate flora and water forms, with colors and textures that will hug you with the memories of a day of cold breezes and warm afternoons by the fire. You’ll be able to experience the wild and the cozy of any winter adventure and fuel your soul with inspiration for the lazy days.

Here’s a pic of one of those days, some time ago.

As it happened with our first collection, the surf experience is a bit of an inspiration still (but also hiking and escaping to the mountains). Think of a winter day, when putting on the wetsuit is tough, but especially taking it off and getting back home as fast as possible to be warm and cozy. But it feels good after being chilly and wet. And, having had some fun and stretched the muscles, how welcoming it is to spend a nice afternoon indoors!

 

 

The patterns for this collection are more varied in subject, less in the color palette. We wanted some color to spruce up the grey days but keeping it kind of neutral. You’ll find lots of soft blues, then some darker ones and some sprinkling of a warm color.

 

 

We are also adding two new types of product: tank tops and tote bags.

They are all very versatile and we wouldn’t mind having a full collection of them. (I must confess, even in winter I wear tank tops underneath all those long sleeve layers). They work pretty well for stoking. And for tote bags, anyone could use one and you don’t need to choose a size!

So now you can shop products with a summery feel and some with more of a cool vibe. Because we know it’s not winter everywhere.

Now, make sure to check the cards of this new collection, as we have a few and they are not your supermarket type.

These are many of the print options (art cards size a5) but you can also find them as folded postcards.

And I can’t let you wonder what are the posters of this collection. I love each a bit more.

 

Visit our shop or check all the designs and products of this new collection.

 

Tropical Fantasy: From DayDream to Collection

Launching, Life in the Atelier

I created Tropical Fantasy, my first collection, to honour the beautiful mystery of exotic lands – not for what they are but how they inspire us to imagine better lives.
This collection was inspired by a real travel, and the images featured are from my own collection of memories, pictures and experiences. Traveling is a great experience in which the senses go wild, you find your curiosity again and the world seems more vibrant. I wanted to take some of that into our everyday lives so we can realise that sometimes you don’t need to go on a new travel to experience all of that. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Here it is.

It’s happening! We are open!

Launching, Life in the Atelier

 

This is a very special post. And short one.

We just wanted to let you know that our shop (that you’ll find here) is now open and running smoothly. (Thought, if you find something weird, let us know! There’s always space for improving).

We hope you like the new stuff. But worry not! Our winter collection is just coming through the door – you’ll be able to satisfy your curiosity once again in a week time. And there’s so much more behind the curtains we can’t even think about yet.

In the meantime, we wanted to let you all know that we are thankful to have you around and will be working hard to make this new adventure a success for our clients. We are here for the challenge, with our slips up and a bit of an adrenaline rush.

 

 

 

August Moodboard

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors

holding my watercolor artwork

What’s my August moodboard ?

I like to start every month with a little challenge. This consists in finding a topic, elements and a color palette that could potentially inspire me for some of the works in the month ahead. So I never stop learning new things, adding different objects and developing new ideas.

For August’s month, it’s all about fruits. In the hottest month of the year (here in this side of the world) I can only thing about fresh food and fruits. Honestly, I’m not much of a fruit person, but I do eat some (more) during August. Be it watermelon, melon, strawberries or the good blackberries.

Once I had thought about the topic for the moodboard, of course I went deep into Pinterest. And instead of looking for nice pictures I just started browsing and pinning (into my to-do secret board) all kind of recipes.

I’ve just been eating a delicious chocolate cake with blackberries that my mom cooked with some of the fruits we collected just a couple of days ago. It’s so yummy!!

So I did some watercolor paintings of all that food stuff! And girl, I just can’t stop looking at that sheet of paper. Bright colors, nice contrast, sweet food. All very summery (is that a word??)

But, what’s in it for you? Of course, my theme could inspire you too. Although, you get to keep my illustration if you like it!

Go over here and you’ll be able to download it as a wallpaper, just ready for your desktop (and you can even choose from some different background colors! yay!).

Download now!

What things are inspiring you this month? You can tell me in the comments or reply anywhere in my social here: [do_widget id=wpcom_social_media_icons_widget-3]

7 inspiring links to check out, from last month (JUNE)

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors

Another month has gone, so fast. The more I do, the more it seems I have to do and the quicker the time goes by. But that didn’t take any fun of living the start of the summer, with some beach days, river days, climbing days and many movies. I can’t even remember all of the good stuff.

Though, I’ll make you a quick list of links to check. (psst, don’t worry, you don’t have to check all of them now, we’ll be waiting for you).

1. A newsletter : Lecture in progress

I have subscribed to many newsletter this month. And they look quite promising. Lecture in progress surprised with their emails, so I want to recommend it to you. If you’re after some good advice from creatives, interviews and have interest in the creative industry you’ve found an ally in them.

2. A song :

I love every single song by Lana del Rey. Just recently listened to it.

3. Additions to my following list on instagram

Loving is sharing! And today I want to share a few inspiring designers! Their images are so wonderful, modern and striking!  They just make me want to design more.

BIRGIT PALMA

A post shared by BIRGIT PALMA (@birgitpalma) on

THEMISHAART

A color palette I couldn’t love more. Check her incredible patterns.

SPRINKLEDLIFE

This one will take you into rainbow daydreaming.

ARCHIPROUDFOOT

Don’t ignore the signs. This is one to follow.

HOWABOUTORANGE

There’s something about her patterns that calls me.

A post shared by Jessica Jones (@howaboutorange) on

4. A book :

She means business. You know I’ve read quite a few books about the creative life, entrepreneurship and success. I’m still doing. Maybe a new post of Books for Girlbosses will come soon. Anyway, my point is, this is a good book on the topic. At least, one that resonated a lot with me. It packs practical tips and strategies with felt advice alongside visualization talk and the like. And her personal journey and those of her closest ones. But not only that, she also has a lot of resources for you to build your success journey. I’m totally diving into those, so be sure I’ll be shining in no time 😉

BTW, I got myself the audiobook, so it’s Carrie Green herself talking, so cool and nice to listen to while painting.

5. A place :

Siurana. We started June at full power. We got on the car for two days and didn’t stop for a minute (okay, maybe some, I just like to make things big!). We went for lots of exploring and climbing. Here some shots. Get inspired and go find your next adventure!

6. Do your to-do stuff while playing

Have you ever heard of gamification? In few words, it’s transforming some activities into a game. The example I want to share with you today is Habitica. It’s a game developed to help you get better habits and do your to-do list with a more engaging twist. My sister (Mariposas de papel) introduced me to this, and even I’m so behind her in the game, I’m still going there day after day.

What’s in it for you? If you ever played online games like Gaia online, wanted to have the nicest avatar or just liked pixel art you can be sure you’ll like it. Though, the funniest part is doing it with friends. You can even get into battles that you’ll only able to win doing a hell out of things from you list.

(Need a tip? Have lots of dailies and do as many as you can to keep healthy).

7. Surfing freely (online) : a safer anonymous Browser, Tor

Do you ever feel that google, or the internet knows you too well? Would you like to be able to browse the internet without it knowing all about you? Maybe just because you should be able to. Because you don’t have to be giving your info all the time.

I’ve started using it. No regrets. More freedom. Always strive for freedom.

Tor Project: anonymity online


 

 

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A present for you! (and Happy Birthday to me) 🎉🎈🎊

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home

Let’s go strike to it. Today is my 24th birthday! I’m only taking the almost a quarter of century very positively because 24 is one of my favourite numbers 🙂 (the other one is 12, so double lucky here today). Well, and maybe also because life is good at me.

To celebrate I’m bringing you the whole pack of monthly wallpapers I designed for this year, in the hopes of having you motivated and inspired to go out outside after the hustle. Now you can download all of them for free in my sellfy shop, clicking the button below!

Have the nicest day!

Download now

PS :we (because I celebrate with my twin sister!) already kind of celebrated our birthday (in advance). That’s why the “soon to turn 24” poster. We had a great day cooking and decorating and of course celebrating!

 

8 relevant things of the month (MAY)

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home, The Great Outdoors
1. A festival :

Sitges Next

It’s all about communication and innovation. There were two days of conferences and a couple of workshops. I attended only Saturday’s conferences and my favourite take aways came from this talk :

Let’s see what they bring next year.

2. A song :

This song (Era)

3. Some additions to my following list on Instagram:

@katerina_chivil_art  (Watercolor)

@emilysanforddesign  (Surface pattern design)

@tinacrespo  (Watercolor)

@vanessavanderhaven (Illustrator and designer)

@south.elliott (Graphic design)

Go check their profiles and share some love!

4. Illustrated book :

Ernst Haeckel

He was a natural illustrator (well, actually he was a lot of things, see here). I find all the forms of underwater species so fascinating and inspiring. Take a look!

The book. – A pinterest board

5. Lettering book :

Lettering and type by Bruce Willen

Found it a little back looking for a lettering book that had lots of images and different types, so I could use it for reference and inspiration to try new things. And keep learning!

6. An article:

 Why you shouldn’t work set hours  

7. A sad story:

One of the world’s most polluted island is a remote island

8. Some good news:

Barcelona’s urban forest climate plan

I’m looking forward to seeing this!

 


 

 

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Let’s do this! : in 7 minutes you’ll be ready for your dream

Life in the Atelier

Dream bigger, achieve more

Whether you are young, middle-aged or old, you sure have a dream. Even a small one.  I believe in dreams and I believe in pursuing them. No matter if they come easily or after some hardship. To accomplish dreams is the most empowering thing and also the greatest motivation to wake up each morning. They don’t have to be selfish, they don’t have to deny time and love to the important people in our lives.

But what it takes to follow a dream? Will it be worth it? What is the best way to go out into this adventure?

Because, you know, real life usually gets in the way.  Yes, it does. And it can make our dreams take longer to achieve. But that also gives us time to be sure about what is it that we truly want.

What I want to share with you today is the motivation to go after whatever is your dream. Your biggest dreams. Small ones are ok ones, but the biggest ones are the real game-changers.

Below you’ll find a list of articles featuring the stories of people who did it. First of all, let me present you a list of the qualities I find in most of them:

  1. Usually, it looks like they had little chance to do achieve them. But they did. And, quite often, it helps that they persevered and kept following the direction of their dreams.
  2. Their dream usually wasn’t “to make a lot of money”. You may want to make money, but that’s not the end goal. Probably, if you’re focusing on your career dream, you may expect to receive good money at the end. But that will be a collateral effect of your good work. I, for example, hope one day to be doing enough to pay the bills and live nicely. But that nicely can range from living simply to being able to own multiple properties. Whatever it has to be, will be.
  3. Don’t compete with others. I was going to say don’t compare to others, which is right too. Although, you can see where others are, you can say “it would be nice to be on their position” or have that job or career or accomplishments. But we always go wrong (and I do it quite often) when we try to get there by comparing ourselves. The way to improve is not so much about how close you are to achieving the same that that person but, on the contrary, about how far are you from where you started. Or better said, how much you have improved since last week. How far have you gone from yesterday. What are the little things you’ve learned in the process. Acknowledge your merits, but don’t sit there. You can do better. Always go the extra mile.
  4. They struggled with a few setbacks along the way. If there is something everyone knows about dreams is that they don’t come really easyly. There’s always a transition process, longer or shorter, that will make you hopeful and hopeless a number of times on the way to the summit of your goal. Nonetheless, you can be lucky and get near there pretty soon. If not, well, you’re back to number 2. Harder is not a reason to quit.
  5. In the line of the above… Failure. What if you fail to achieve your dream? Well, let me say, most failures aren’t so dramatic. Something didn’t work. Ok. But maybe some things did. Maybe you can take another route to the same destiny. Maybe you’ve discovered that’s not really your dream now. It’s ok to be strong but no need to be too hard on yourself. Keep improving on the things that are in your power, let go of the things you can’t control.
  6. Finally, follow your bliss. Always try to put more of what you like in your life (that doesn’t mean to buy all cute things and spend every dime to feel better). But do more of that hobby, get out more with that people, listen more to that music. Mention no more or less often that which isn’t bringing joy to your life.

Here ends my talk. Now go for some refreshing stuff.

First, a bit of Disney. Who knows better how to make you believe in you and your dreams? So here two clips of my favourite movies that will encourage you.

Still thirsty? Now, let’s go over some inspiring stories from people who did it.

– Big names that faced failures and setbacks: 6 Stories of Super Successes Who Overcame Failure

– Tragedy to Triumph: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Beat the Odds  Their stories and learnings

– People who started from zero training on their field :  20 Successful Entrepreneurs with No Experience

– Entrepreneur stories are good but athletes stories reaching success are unbeatable :  The Stories Of These 5 Athletes Will Motivate Everyone Of You

Bethany Hamilton is my all time biggest example. There’s even been made a movie about her story, I’m sure you’ve seen it (or heard of). And there will be a documentary soon!

Also, most girls on sports are a big inspiration for me. I feel a deep admiration for girls pursuing sports because it’s still harder than for men and they showcase a great motivation and strength (in and out).

Failing Forward: 7 Stories Of Success Through Failure More of that? Yes, a bit more, please. There’s never enough.

– How a Young Artist Sold 400 Paintings in One Year An artist who did it.

– Inspiring Stories by Entrepreneurial Creatives

How I Became an Artist

– There are stories like these everywhere: Dreams Do Come True

And, as you’d expect from me… A short selection of books!

– My fight / Your fight – talking about strong women…

Saltwater Buddha (maybe not exactly how he achieved the dream, but goes beyond that)

Girlboss

A couple you may’ve heard around here already:

Leave your mark

The art of asking

Hero (from the saga of the Secret) it’s quite motivating and inspirational (with quotes and stories of great people too – two of them are surfers!)

climb your walls - Dream it, then do it!

What are the most inspiring and motivating stories for you? Share the spark in the comments below!


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where to find inspiration

How to find inspiration

Life in the Atelier

where to find inspiration

The blank page syndrome. The burnout moment. The empty mind feeling. Everybody, but specially those of us who work in a creative field have experienced it. Even the student during the long hours before an exam has this thought: I don’t feel like it.

And you know that it’s quite difficult to be productive when you are not feeling it right? But you know you have to do it and start as soon as possible. How can we move on from that pain and do the work?

“A blank page is no empty space. It is brimming with potential… It is a masterpiece in waiting — yours.”
A.A. Patawaran, Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator

Smart procrastination. That’s my answer and my method. Well, prior to that I would try to do something else that is equally urgent or important. When that doesn’t work, I decide I will have a good time and start working in a different way.

“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”— Nikos Kazantzakis

Let’s imagine I need to do an illustration. I don’t know where to start. I should have a concept, and I may have one, but it’s not talking to me, I’m not visualizing the painting yet.

So, what do I do?

1- I keep a folder full of images that I collect for future reference or inspiration. Things I would like to draw, inspiring pictures or others’ illustrations and paintings that I like. Going through all of my favorites could help me get a clear image of what I’d like my illustration to look like, choose a palette I want to try or just convey a feeling I want to incorporate to the piece.

2 – Option two: use Pinterest. Not in an endless search for something without even knowing what I’m looking for, but just to look through all of my boards and see if there’s a theme that I haven’t tried yet or maybe let the lifestyle of my choice inspire the real me. One that I would specially recommend is (having and) checking your dreams’ board. That will probably be more powerful and bring you some creative energy that you could use to start the work.

3 – If nothing has worked so far (which would be rare, I usually would use just one of all these items) I visit a very dangerous place: Instagram. However, I’m not talking about refreshing endlessly the feed or go stalk your favorite artists; I’m just talking about using your likes and saved instas to get you back to a moment you felt inspired. Because I will usually save a picture when it tells me a story or makes me feel a special something which I know may be useful my future uninspired me.

4 – Similar to the previous one, I often take screenshots of things I like or things I could use in the future. It’s also a good moment to check them. I must confess I usually forget about them so they sometimes are, at the least, a surprise.

5- Have you been too hard on yourself? Then it’s time to go over the old photos of travels and let my your life (and gratitude for it) be your inspiration. In the same way, I may revise my old sketches. That’s wonderful, because there might be an old drawing there deserving of some improvement.

“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”— Charles Brower

A writing problem

If it’s too hard to craft a new post, there’s hope too.

1 – Take an old post of yours and see what’s missing. Could that become a new post?

2 – I have this wonderful app called Keep, by Google, in which I jot down any idea I get at any time. When you are experiencing a block, it’s a great time to go check it.

3 – Stop and reflect. What has been going on in your life? Or to the people around you? Could something of that be transferred to your blog? What story could you tell and link to your theme? Asking questions is always a good way to start.What strategies do you have to get inspiration or dropping aside procrastination?

To know more about my process, read this post.

For books on creativity read this one.

For more resources go to Resources.


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Books for the girl boss – UPDATE

Life in the Atelier

girl boss books

Do you remember my last post about books? Well, it’s this one .

So maybe it’s time to update you on my reading list.

I’ll start with the books I haven’t finished reading yet.

My so-called freelance life

 It’s a wonderful guide for the wannabe freelancer that has never been in that situation before, is starting now or in need of a bit of help. There’s plenty of good and practical advice. I haven’t been through it all though because I feel like I already know the theory and I don’t need to go over it (again). In my case, I should be working the path instead of informing myself. But if you’re considering going freelance, this book could be the prefect reading for you.

Design is my job

I only started it. It is nice but it’s not a great guide like the one above. It gives you the author’s advice on everything he considers necessary. And even though I appreciate the tone of it, very close to the reader, it won’t help me feel good about my job…so I said Next!

The Power

I’m 30 pages away from the end. It’s a good read to start feeling better about your life and spreading the love. A read I’d recommend. But I must add, I’ve been working on The Magic book for the last month too. And it is incredibly good. If you liked The Secret I would totally recommend it. It’s a great way to really put some gratitude into your daily life, with daily exercises. And it’s awesome how it really works. 

Also, if that’s not enough and you liked everything about The Secret, I would also recommend you the book “The Science of Getting Rich”, which is the one that Rhonda received and inspired all The Secret series. It’s a very short read, you can find it free online (because it’s 100 years old!) and gets you to the point in a straightforward way. I’ll be rereading it, for sure!

Books that I did finish reading

Girl code

I had a bit of trouble getting hooked by this book at first, because I couldn’t align with the author’s voice or tone at first. But as I got further I started liking it more and more. It may not become my favourite book but it is inspirational and motivational for all women in business and will empower your dreams (which I’ll always be grateful for). Let me show you some of my favourite quotes – the ones that speak the most to me.

“You must find the place inside of you where everything is possible.”

“You must envision your world through the eyes of positivity and possibility. The moment you do that, you open up a world of endless abundance.”

“Her success is not your failure.”

Leave your mark

As I told you in the previous post, I skipped the first part, because it was mostly about how to get a job. Now, the social media chapters and branding are good stuff. It’s a nice read because it feels like a different way to learn about what to do and what not to do on social media, along with some stories and advice. Who knew it that it could be so entertaining and helpful!

Want more books for the girl boss in you?

Find more on my pinterest board here.

Also, you can subscribe to receive new posts like this. Thank you!

News 2017 – Big update

Life in the Atelier

 

Time has moved so fast since winter holidays! I had planned this post back then, before the new year. Even so, it’s still relevant. And longer. And I may be missing something that I’ve forgotten already.

Personal life

Christmas holidays were terrific. Good food and good company basically. January has been quite productive but allowed for some time of fun too. Afternoons and weekends of climbing (in and out), gym and swimming with my new fins.

The best part? Last weekend we went snowboarding – for the first time in my life. It was wonderful. Perfect conditions, good and new snow, good weather… And we ended it in a spa with natural thermal water, a pool outside, with lots of options. And we were alone, only my bf and I! Felt so good after the tiring day of snowboarding.

 

Art and Products

I have so many new things to show you! I had some new things prepared to share with you on Christmas but got beaten by all the holidays and their rush for presents, eating here and there with family and more family… You know how it goes. So here I you are.

The Unique as a snowflake. I’m dying to get one for myself as a hoodie or something warm. Hopefully I’ll get it before I get back to the snowed mountains!

Another christmassy one… the reindeer skull! I worked long hours to turn it into more than a painting and adapted it to some wonderful products. Don’t you feel the Christmas spirit lets caring for nature a bit out of the game? I do, and that’s why I decided on painting Wild Joy.

 

You may have seen these two before because they are already in my portfolio. I feel overwhelmed for how they turned out. “Water is life” and “It seemed complicated”. To honour my favourite element and the most important on Earth for life, and appreciating dreams. These always seem difficult to achieve, but when you go along pursuing them, they unfold smoothly.

 

There’s another event coming and I always feel my creative juices going wild around it. St Valentine’s is happening in a week so I did some new work. Here’s a sneak peak to my series of passionate love. Find everything about them here.

In other happy news, I can show a bit of what I’ve been working on lately too.

It’s a collaboration with an Australian collective I showed something about some time ago (here). They are called the Simplicity Collective and do a great work to make the world more conscious about important topics like pollution and the consequences of capitalism and especially the need and possibilities of living a more simple life. You can learn more about them here.

Also, here you’ll find the work (for now) of all collaborators of the project.

These have been my contributions until now.

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Also , have you been to Mariposas de papel? If you want to read some poetry (in english or spanish) go there! I’ve done the branding and website design and coding for them!

 

PS. You can find all my new designs as products in my shop! Get a print, a postcard, a t-shirt or whatever you fancy.

 

What to do on St. Valentine’s – Are you ready?

Life in the Atelier

It seems like Christmas was just a few days ago. Winter has been around for some days and cold is here to stay. But ads are broadcasting it, it’s time for another festivity, St. Valentine’s. Do you have any plans ready?

Honestly, I’ve never celebrated it (though I must admit I used to be single those dates) and never felt like it was a big thing. I even hated it one year – and turned that feeling into creativity, which was much fun.
I still think it’s not a big thing, but – But I feel it is, or could be, something like Thanksgiving.
Here in Catalonia we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (and Valentine’s is not a tradition either) but I believe it’s a very interesting celebration and I use it to think about all the things I’m grateful for and to start my list to thank the year that’s almost gone.

A day to celebrate love, in this case. And even single people do have some love to celebrate and be happy about. Even if it were just self-love. What date could anyone have more important than with oneself?

Want to hear something a bit more extreme? Do you have a passion? If you do, you can celebrate it. It’s a kind of love, a love for one activity.

So there’s really no excuse to not feel happy in a day like this. February 14th, the day of
Love. Well, sure there’s an International Love day too but who remembers that? (Actually, it’s May the 1st, Global Love Day 😉)


How to get ready for St. Valentine’s Day

For a date with yourself

So you’ve chosen to give some time and much needed love to yourself. It’s an afternoon to treat yourself, just think about yourself and love your life. Nice choice! So what are you gonna do?

Maybe take a long bath, watch the last episode of that series you can’t stop binge-watching and start reading a new book. Want a recommendation? If you’re on a girly vibe maybe pick up “Girl Code”. If you are in a more philosophical state, how about taking a chance on “Become What You Are”?

For the adventurous souls out there, with your body full of energy on a winter day like this… Why not do your favourite activity? Treat yourself to an afternoon climbing in the boulder, ride through your favourite park or just go hiking by the beach and watch the waves crashing.

Be aware, though, that you may be crossing paths and sharing ways with couples… So if that’s something you want to avoid… try going to the less crowded places. Or maybe to a disco.

I must add, though, that if you feel kind of resentful about not being in a relationship right now, it could be a great moment to think about what you want in a relationship and organize your thoughts. Are you searching for a lifetime partner? What do you want him/her to be like? Which life do you envision together? How would that work? What interests do you expect him to have and which will you share?

You can’t plan a relationship but it surely will be easier to see the possibilities if you know what you are searching for and what are your expectations. I did a list many years ago with musts, shoulds, and nice traits of a perfect boyfriend… and now I’m with someone that aligns to those 🙂

For a date with your boyfriend/girlfriend

This one is a hard one. Especially because I can’t give you good advice about it. You are the one that knows what your boyfriend likes the most. So a good plan would probably be some activity that you both enjoy (could be as simple as a nice dinner out) or maybe one thing that he likes and another one that you like – and he is ok with that.

For a date with friends

Share the love with the ones that share their time with you. You could prepare them a meal or buy them a beer or maybe just plan an afternoon of your favourite games. Lately, I’m playing this board games: Sushi go! and Catan. Those are perfect for 3-4 people. Dixit is fun too, for as many people as possible. Or you could try Zombies; that’s quite fun too. Need something a bit nerdier? Then maybe you are the expert.

Another funny option I’d totally go for would be to try a new activity all together. Something like going ice-skating, bowling, rafting, going to that place to play Escape the Room, etc.

Don’t forget the heart-shaped chocolates! They will bring a smile to everyone’s faces, even if it’s just to make fun of St. Valentine’s.

For a regular afternoon (or a date with your passion)

It’s a Tuesday. I’m tired. I don’t want to do anything special. I would just lie in bed and let the day pass by. – Nice move, but don’t. Sure there’s something you’d enjoy doing, even if it’s just something similar to nothing. Or maybe there’s some hobby you have that you want to take to the next level. Then, have a date with that. What do you need to do to make that activity more important in your life? Do you need more practice? Do you need to start showing it to the world? Do you need to find someone to share it with?

Whatever it is, work on that. You’ve heard it, those who do something they love won’t work a day in their lives. I surely want to be one of them. Don’t you?

What about gifts?

I believe days like this are perfect for postcards. They are cheap, can mean a lot or can mean just a little nearly nothing.

If you’re thinking about something expensive, go to amazon’s homepage and I’m sure they’ll have plenty of options to pour over you.

But I’ll be writing a note, probably into a nice postcard or a new painting for that special one.

If you want to get mine, I have some postcard designs I did last year and three new ones. You can even choose to have them on apparel or accessories! They are adorable!

(pssss: look for the articles tab, all designs have multiple options!!)