7 things to uncover this July (monthly links to checkout)

Explore, Lifestyle
A movie

The last word

Here it is what Imdb says about it “Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.”

It’s a good movie, with special attention to female relationships, empowerment and speaking your mind. It’s drama and fun and a lot of good stuff packed for 2 hours of a good time on a Sunday night.

A book

Gidget by Frederick Kohner
Most Americans will know this book (or the series) just because of the popularity it had some decades back. Or maybe just because it became a pop icon. I had heard of it –well, actually read, as it’s mentioned quite a bit when talking about surf’s history.

It’s not the kind of reading I’m doing these days : it’s a teen novel really, but with that spirit and atmosphere of the surfing from the 60’s. A girl discovering the beach bums, surfing culture, surfing herself on Malibu beach and, of course, finding love.

5 new Instagram accounts I’m following
1 – @sguixs

Sara Guixs is a videographer and fellow catalan. She is living in New Zealand and has just released a documentary about where she is staying, Raglan. I discovered her through an article and has the kind of dreamy pictures that fuel my dreams of freedom, which are actually not so different from my own reality.

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2 – @theanastasiaco

I love her photographs, full of greenery and quotes. When it comes to succulents and quotes I’m touched. Also the green and brown backgrounds make for a cozy feeling, always nice to pop up from time to time on my feed.

3–@meeta_p

Sometimes I need to follow people who do different things from me and aren’t what I want to do either. That doesn’t make me less appreciative of their work. In this case, I love the vector cute illustrations, with their nice colors and characters!

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4 – @annadrivis

A letter and illustrator. (May I be getting back to my comfort zone in the Instagram following world?) Probably. What can I say? I like her style!

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5 – @spirits.of.life

Last one for today. And I wanted it to be an account that will make you dream of your next adventure. Because we all need more motivation to go outside and live. Here you’ll find all you need to feed your wanderlust, or maybe just make you thirstier for a vacation. It may not be original, but it surely is inspiring.

One video

Wanna see a bunch of skater girls recreating “Stand by me”? If yes, follow along. If not… just move on.

It looks like this is a bit nostalgic post … And this is the skater life I didn’t have. I skated a bit, but only started when I was 19 and never did much more than carving in the pool and a poor ollie or two. I didn’t have the girl gang neither. But I now enjoy cruising around by the sea, with my boyfriend and/or my sister coming along.

It’s a very nice video!

One trailer

New Disney’s movie that will be on theaters next year. It’s based on the novel “A Wrinkle on Time” and it is for sure known as that movie starring Oprah Winfrey. I can’t tell you about the movie but I certainly like the trailer (and the music!).

An article

Are you ready to set out on your next adventure? Check this if you are also ready to document it appropriately.

There are many ways to immortalise your outdoors escape but not all of them are the right fit for you or your travel. What do you plan to do with the material? What do you want to bring back from the travel? Pictures to share with the family? Awesome shots? Natural references? A journal that will become the next “Eat, Pray, Love”? Have all that in mind before you depart so you can squeeze the trip and make gallons of lemonade.

How to document your Alaska Adventure 

Music album

Sorry about this. But I’m kind of a fan.

Lana del Rey new album is now available, and I’m so totally into it!

I don’t know exactly what it is, but I love her music. I’m a very positive and quite optimistic person but I love that nostalgic feeling of the 60’s in America… And the songs and their lyrics are to me that rock and roll life I will never live.  Also, it is the kind of music I like to listen to when I’m on the painting or drawing stage, between podcasts and firing up music. I must admit, Lana del Rey is not the music I’d listen to while driving at four in the afternoon with the sun on my eyes.

5 Books I want to read before Christmas, for girlbosses

Create, Lifestyle
books for christmas

Have you ever read an article of books recommendations of books that the critic haven’t yet read?

Well, lucky me, I’m just a designer and not a critic!

A post on books again… just because they’re one of my loves!

Well, it is for a few reasons in fact:  I enjoyed reading and learning this way since my early school years and because I need to do something to relax and avoid loosing my mind on the internet in these cosy too-cold-for-my-taste winters. Also, my boyfriend likes to watch an episode before sleeping and not of one my favourite series… so it’s perfect to have an engaging book to read at the same time.

So, one afternoon I went to dive into the deepness of the Internet to make a selection of some books. I had just finished reading #Girlboss by Sophia Amouroso so I started from there to find similar products. To do so, I usually go to goodreads or just amazon. There I look up for similar titles and themes or make a new search. If I find something that sound interesting I’ll add the book to my wishlist or want-to read list. That way, when I feel like buying a book I just have to go to those lists and shop, knowing exactly what I want.

For today’s selection, I chose mainly books written by women who happen to be entrepreneurs too.

 

My So-Called Freelance Life

A few pages in and I’m completely hooked up on this. The author has a clear and engaging voice with a nice sense of humour. I’m devouring it. This book is written to help any freelancer or wannabe in any industry. Even though, Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer (a fact usually present on books about x, you know, because they have to be written by someone… who usually happens to write). But it looks good, very good.

 

Girl Code

As the title says, a book for women entrepreneurs. The author started out writing a blog and from there published several books and became a coach. This book is still in the business side but with a focus on the mindset that will be useful for women in business.

“ it will teach you how to build confidence in yourself, reconnect with your “why,” eradicate jealousy, and ultimately learn the power of connection”

What else can I say? I’ve only read the introduction 😅

 

Leave your mark

I don’t know if you’ve heard about #Girlboss or read it, but if you do, this one is kind of similar… To where I’ve read. In the fashion industry, very focused on techniques and advice to get a job. In Girlboss it seemed that Amouroso would teach about how to make your own empire, but she more accurately advise on how to be and apply to become part of Nasty Gal, her business. In Leave your mark, the goal is not to get into a business in particular but more about landing your job.

Though, there is more to it. The author got some amazing results from using social media and she will share her secrets with you. So I’m skipping some chapters of how to land the job of your life (because I prefer freelancing and I’ve read enough about the standard way to get a job) and jumping into social media. More I can’t tell you, I’m on it, but I promise to make a follow up post or just update this one.( So keep your eyes peeled for it! ).

 

Design is a job

I must confess, looking at the outside, this one seems kind of boring. The foreword is by Erik Spiekerman so it kind of gives me some reference and hope. From this early part of the book I would like to share the following sentences :

“Clients need to understand that they’ve hired us to do something they are not good at. And that they need to pay us for our knowledge, skills, experience and, yes: attitude. ”  Erik Spiekerman

Getting to the index, I notice that it may not be a boring book about the fundamentals of design at all. In fact, is the “formal” guide to being a graphic designer in freelance mode. Will it share some new perspective on my job? I do expect it to do so, and specially, what the author tells in the introduction:

“You will have more confidence in yourself and a deeper understanding of your craft.” Mike Monteiro

 

The power

I know I know… This recommendation doesn’t go much on line with the other books… But it’s always good to get some help that motivates you and not just gives you advice. So a bit of self-help to make the path to solopreneur sweeter.

I’m sure you’ve heard about The Secret. I saw the movie when it came out and have rewatched it several times. I have read the last book, Hero, which I love. But have pending the Power, which I’ll be reading right away, and The Magic, which I’ll try to get for Christmas! 😉🎄 This book comes to be an extension and progression of The Secret, adding stories and knowledge.

What are some books in your want-to-read list? Let me know in the comments!

Also, check out this post (and this one) for more book recommendations


And if you liked the post, let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month.


The dreamy artsy lifestyle

Create, Explore

artsy lifestyle

“ I wake up full of energy and motivation.

Long days pass on through my studio’s windows, while my hands move quickly over paper and keyboards.
I wander on paths of woods in the warm afternoons and the streets of imaginary cities on my mind indistinctly.
I am a free soul.
My fingers dance over four strings while I relax at the sound of my ukulele, inspiring dreams of a surf trip to Hawaii.
Time is nothing but a shadow in the wall. The air is filled with the fragrance of a thousand flowers.
Sunsets spill waves of gold over the mountains and the sea is transformed into countless pieces of mirrors that show us another sky.
Drops of paint run quickly over the canvas, water deforming the shapes, the brush redrawing them and the voice of Lana del Rey bringing melodies of old dreams.

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I am a free soul.
The only rules I know are those I build, the only schedule the routines I create.
All I know is the world I live in, the fresh air from up north, the breaking waves of my surfing spot, the chirping of birds when I wake up and the silence of the night.
Plenty of people populate my world; more than I’ll ever meet, some more than those who know my name, strangers who one day may become friends.
The smell of old books fill cosy afternoons by the fire while others are spent on unknown places that resemble galleries and airports.
Routine is always broken by adventures: long walks and climbs, surf trips to catch the next best wave, road trips that take us to beautiful landscapes and open our minds to new realities… nights under the stars and travels over the waters.

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My work is all I’ve been doing naturally since I started doing things for myself. It brings pleasure to me while giving pleasure to others.
It was hard to realise that life would be whatever I decided to do with it. But then everything started falling into place.
There’s never perfection but fate comes always with perfect moments. Patience has always been my worst enemy thought in the end always becomes the best friend of the artist.
A creative soul lies within. Glimpses of it can be seen through gentle eyes. Everyone has a piece of it, all of us can watch our magic.
But no magic is greater than life has in itself. And to experience it may be our only mission.”

lena singla lifestyle

How should an artist’s lifestyle look like to you?

How do you imagine the perfect lifestyle of a creative life? What is your ideal routine? What is the life you dream of?

Need more? Let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month:

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How to go away with experimenting in art and design

Create

experimenting in design

Creativity isn’t an easy friend. You know it and I’ve told you (here and here). It is important to be flexible in mind to be creative. But, how to do that? What does it really mean?

Let’s remember what creativity really is: to make connections and see relationships were others haven’t.  When we use creativity, it is usually using a process. We need a solution for a problem (may it be a painting, a design, whatever). To get there, you can go through a number of steps in which you recognise the problem, look for references, collect ideas, etc.

One of the methods to come up with solutions or creative ideas is …. (guess it…) EXPERIMENTATION! (that’s right, you knew it!) And it’s what I consider the funniest part of the process. Kind of difficult, not too serious, blurred rules… But the most rewarding and playful part. That’s why I needed to write this post: it’s not always easy to accept that you need time to go through the experimenting phase.

7 Reasons to do experiment in your creative process

1- To practice creativity and become better at it

We can’t think that we already are at the top of our abilities and just keep doing the same again and again. Experimenting will stretch your creative muscles and skills to reach new heights. Also, creativity is about making connections, and the only way to get better at it is practicing. You’ll get used at doing it and sooner you’ll be getting more original ideas.

2-  To find new ways to express yourself

We have a medium in which we are comfortable, we have a style that defines us and topics we like to talk about. Well, that’s ok and right but, what about adding something else? Our works may be new and top (or not) at some point, but that doesn’t mean they can change. Maybe one day you’ll need to make them different. Just for you, nor for your audience. Or maybe you feel something is missing. Experimenting will allow you to keep growing and finding those things to add ( or subtract) and will give you new tools or expand your comfort zone, so your goals could grow too.

3- Discover styles or techniques that fit you

When you have to experiment, you have to try new things. And you have to do some research to find those. You’ll come up with new information, medium, materials and exciting possibilities. You may even try new arts, hobbies and crafts that could help you in your current creative problems. You’ll find out about other artists and inspirations too that can help you see your work under another light. Remember that a style is never fully defined and finished.

4 – Find out new things to blend into your work

Experimenting could be part of a travel. Or maybe just a trip downstairs into the closet of the forgotten stuff. Stories are part of our lives and can live through the work we do. When we live new adventures, they can become part of the solution.

5 – Have fun for the sake of it

No explanation needed. Enjoy it? Then do it!

6 – Become the next trend

Ok, this is not 100% realistic. Not because you experiment you’ll become popular. But maybe you will. Better experiment and be yourself than to spend the rest of your life just copying those who are popular.

7- Differentiate yourself from the competition

As I was saying, not to go with the fashion can make you different, and at some point, some people will get tired of trends… And you’ll be shining in your corner of rarity. Be ready to sing your song.

Now that you know how good can it be for you to incorporate experimenting into your creative process, let’s find some ways to convince yourself (or others) that what you’re doing is for the best.

experimenting

How to go about it – experimenting in your problem-solving process:

1- Write an artist statement about it

Artist statements help the audience to understand why an artwork exists and which ideas, feelings or concepts is build from. If your experiments are going to be in plein air you may consider to mention what is their function in the series of artworks, why you do it and what that brings to your work.

2- Justify with reasonable arguments

You may not need to write an artist statement but just tell others and yourself why you are doing it. Just choose one of my 7 points and elaborate with your own words.

3- Relate it to an evolution of yourself

What happens inside, happens outside. If your are in a moment of your life when things are changing and you are evolving it won’t sound bad to link experimenting in your creative process with your own inner progress. You are learning about yourself, and before arriving to clear statements, you’ll need to try a bit of this and that.

4- Link to events happening around you, in the world

Sometimes it’s the outside that calls us to action or change. You can experiment in order to become more socially or environmentally conscious, to create awareness around a topic or to be of help to those around. New problems call for new solutions, and you’re seeking them.

5- Make it part of a series

You can design your own challenge and experiment in order to complete it. For example, I did one that consisted in painting a wave everyday. It didn’t matter the medium nor the final product. Doing projects like these, you can create more artwork, more defined series and learn a lot.

6- Use it for a personal or self-initiated project

Related to the one before, but this could be just one thing. You may decide that you want to incorporate pattern t-shirts in your shop. So you need to learn how to make patterns and which ones work best. This can very useful and productive, because you are learning and experimenting but you’re also using all that material in a meaningful way for your business.

7- Use it to promote yourself along with a shared event

This is another strategy to use your experiments in your business. Now that Christmas is coming, you may want to play around that theme in your unique way… and share it all over social media. Sure that will be noticed by people and reshared! Any event can be an excuse to experiment and make some work that will take you and your work a step further… and maybe closer to your ideal audience. So it deserves a shot, doesn’t it? 😉

· How do you keep your creativity on shape?

· What do you want to experiment with? Have you done any of the above?


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Creative books for the artist in you (2)

Create

great creative books

Even if your art is your passion, it doesn’t come easy to devote yourself to it. There are those endless projects, too many ideas or the lack of them. Sometimes, working in our art feels like a battle, like a war.

We started the topic with these books over here. This is the follow-up post, with a few more recommendations.

 

3- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

That’s what the book by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art it is about. It is a guide that tries to explain, rationalise and inspire creatives to express themselves, overcoming what he calls “resistance”. Resistance is all thhose things that stop a creative from completing her work of art. Call it procrastination, lack of inspiration, etc. Read his work and let it help you, I’m sure you’ll find the support you need to go on with your creative projects.
Some of my favourite quotes:

– “Here’s another test. Of any activity you do, ask yourself: If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?”

– “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

– Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

– “The conventional interpretation is that the amateur pursues his calling out of love, while the pro does it for money. Not the way I see it. In my view, the amateur does not love the game enough. If he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline, distinct from his “real” vocation. The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. He commits full-time.”

 

4- The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

The next book I want to recommend you is The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. She is a singer and part of the Dresden Dolls, but I didn’t know anything about her until I read her book. As you can guess, this book is a lot about “asking” but it is a lot about her biography too. But that is not a problem. I loved the way the book is written and how everything relates and connects, the stories and the main message of the book. It is a new perspective on how to approach the act of creating and sharing your creations that won’t leave you indifferent.

– “Have you ever noticed that this looks like this?”

– “There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

– “Given the opportunity, some small consistent portion of the population will happily pay for art ”

– “The spirit of an artist’s gifts can wake our own.”

 

5 – The Art Spirit

My final recommendation of creative books is The Art Spirit. I’ve just been reading this book and I can say it is great and have surprised me immensely. This is not such a book as the others, it’s been written from letters and articles too from the author and it is closely tied to the process of painting with oils. The writer, Robert Henri, was a painter and a teacher, and the book is full of advice for art students and painters – or creatives. Because you’ll find out about technique and composition but also a lot of his philosophy of life and the artist profession.

And following, my highlights:

ON HAPPINESS AND LIFESTYLE

– “Every movement in nature is orderly, one thing the outcome of an-other, a matter of constructive, growing force. We live our lives in tune with nature when we are happy, and all our misery is the result of our effort to dictate against nature. In moments of great happiness we seem to be with the uni- verse; when all is wrong we seem to be alone, disjointed.”

– “No thing is beautiful. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at sight of them. This is beauty.”

– “Find out what you really like if you can. Find out what is really important to you. Then sing your song. You will have something to sing about and your whole heart will be in the singing”

– “A good picture is a fruit of all your great living.”

– “The thing to do is for each individual to wake up, to discover himself as a human being, with needs of his own. To look about, learn from all sources, look within, and find if he can invent for himself a vehicle for his self-expression.”

–“To have ideas one must have imagination. To express ideas one must have science.”

– “Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.”

– “To be an artist is to construct, and to whatever degree one shows the genius for construction in work of any sort, he is that much an artist. The artist life is therefore the desirable life, and it is possible to all.”

– “There is a joy in the pursuit of anything.”
– “Life is finding yourself. It is a spirit development.”

ON ART

– “Try to paint canvases that will show how interesting landscape looks to you—your pleasure in the thing”

– “We must paint only what is important to us, must not respond to outside demands. They do not know what they want, or what we have to give.”

– “One of the great difficulties of an art student is to decide between his own natural impressions and what he thinks should be his impressions.”

– “Don’t stop to paint the material, but push on to give the spirit.”

– “To paint is to know how to put nothing on a canvas, and have it look like something when you stand back.”

– “Hold to this principle that the greatest drawing, the greatest expression, the greatest completion, the sense of all contained, lies in what can be done through the larger masses and the larger gestures”

– “The development of the power of seeing and the power to retain in the memory that which is essential and to make record and thus test out how true the seeing and the memory have been is the way to happiness.”

– “If we knew what we saw, we could paint it.”

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