Read, listen, watch ~ September 20

Exploring

So… Welcome to my new format of monthly links and recommendations! Straightforward, digestible and lighter… because I’m leaving the heavy stuff out to elaborate by topic. So from now on, I’ll tackle the design/tech links, the fashion links and the travel links in individual posts that add more value and are less time-consuming!

BTW, if you wanna stay in the know, leave your email and you’ll be able to read my posts directly from your email (or just swipe and send them directly to the bin. But preferably, mark them with a star and treasure them for a future moment!)

READING

Not that my Kindle has been burning lately. As it goes, one month I’m just reading all the time, then weeks fly by and I haven’t flipped a page. But, here’s what’s been in my devices:

Two books on this list are about/by bloggers, even if they are entirely different one from the other. But I’ve “known” them both for a while and couldn’t stop myself from digging more into their stories. Those books fall more under the entertainment genre, but they make a nice read.

On the other hand, Perennial Seller is the kind of book I love. Tackling marketing and the creative struggle, showing real-world examples and experiences, giving me a lot to think about.

Studying :

  • Mastering Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management by Tim Jackson and David Shaw

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. For me this is both entertaining, educational and inspiring. Please understand. 😅

LISTENING

Now I’m listening to… My Youtube music mix, in which lately I get quite bit of :

Let’s say I have pretty eclectic tastes, especially in music. I love most popular things (though I’ll never ever surrender to reggeaton) but also rock and 60’s oldies.

For a more informative listen, maybe you’d like to dip your toes on the Business Podcast by the Morning Brew (I receive their newsletter every day – and that’s a good daily read in fact!). One I found particularly “worth sharing” is this: Your Crash Course on Supply Chains, Globalization, and COVID-19 by Business Casual

WATCHING

I recently watched the documentary Unstoppable about Bethany Hamilton on Netflix (who you may know even if you are not into surfing from the movie Soul surfer – yes, the surfer girl that lost an arm to a shark). But the interesting part of the story is all that came after that, seeing and learning how she kept on with her dreams and became the incredible person and athlete that she is. Inspiring is way an understatement.

On Youtube:

When it comes to humour, may it be light may it be harsh, I check these channels:

  • Julie Nolke: comedy and parody, so relatable it almost hurts.

And because I have a camera that makes magic but needs my collaboration, I’ve been learning and getting inspired by some videos from:

But I’m afraid the list will grow rapidly.

On Netflix :

  • The Good Place: This show is really, really good. With a sense of humour and a good dose of philosophy, it will have you thinking quite a bit. Entertaining, mind-nurturing and feel-good vibe.
  • Hollywood: For all of those who like cinema and films… this is a heart-warming but also drama show. If Hollywood had been its best version in the forty’s, this is how it could have gone. It touches on many issues still so relevant today (and the settings and fashion look so nice!).

Signing this off now and wishing you a very good month,

Lena*

SYS

Things worth sharing #August2019

Exploring

Here comes what used to be my “links of the month” post : Links and recommendations I found that (I think) are worth sharing along with some life updates.

YOU CAN SKIP THIS PART

The year started 8 months ago and I didn’t get to publish any post. So embarrassing and shameful. But here we are. So, let me tell you REAL quick what my intentions were when 2019 started. I decided not to focus on a list of goals for the year. Instead, I want to focus on the bigger picture and work on it slowly and steadily. That’s my only goal. To move forward. To lower my expectations over myself and all the things I should be doing and achieving and to acknowledge that I’m already working hard on balancing all the things on my plate and giving priority to building habits that will help me achieve my big dreams. And I encourage you to do the same. I can’t jump to a future life without being here right now and doing the things that need to be done right now. Taking care of oneself is not as social media lays it out to be (pink baths and cute pyjamas) but about being brutally honest with the self and starting to learn what those activities are that do you well but that you deny because, in your mind, you are not that sort of person. (I feel so mature now that I’m 26 yo LOL) Let me put better: I tend to avoid people and sports, not because I dislike them (maybe some people and some sports, but not in general), but because I don’t see them as a priority. As it happens, though, I do feel a lot more alive if I spend a good chunk of my free time engaged in both of them. And that’s hard to listen to, as I usually think I need to stay in when I most need to go out. You may understand this better if your personality type is 5 too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this. And you may also be interested in this (it seems I’m a logician). These are personality groups, with tests and information on every type. I’m not a fan of being put in a box like that but when it happens to be quite right and the texts become enlighting, I must admit it can be helpful. And I’m always up for some self-improvement.

NOW THE LIST

Here comes a mix of links I found on the interwebs with no connection:

– This video: ” In “Dream”—a harrowing video by Zombie Studio—critically endangered animals poignantly sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.”

– Ever wondered about the beaches in South Africa? I did and I want to keep this article close for the day I get to go. You know, even though I’m not the cliché surfer who gets every surf break they can, I do like to travel to places where it is possible, so if I get the chance to surf the better.

– If you are a designer too, you may like this. How important do you think typography is for science fiction movies that picture the future? Well, quite a bit actually. You can see some case studies on this page.

– Here is a short guide to Instagram basics (characters related) that comes handy.

– Do you have all the new emojis?

 

AND THE BOOKLIST

I started doing so well with my reading this year… And rapidly went back to the old habits. I love reading but I have to do it squeezing the small chunks of time I have left in my day and that means being focused on reading, while I still want to be thinking about so many other things, my projects, designs, illustrations… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this year (yeah, there’s a theme around here – I’m always up for a business/ marketing/ self-improvement book):

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson – This book sets the tone for the start of the year. The idea behind it is simple but that makes it just more powerful. I totally recommend it to anyone but to explain it in a sentence:  there lays a great power on every small action you take every day and it will change your future.

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin.  You probably know Seth Godin as he’s a marketing guru on the internet and you have probably come across something he said already… Anyway, in this book he talks modern marketing in the era of online commerce and it’s a nice read, good to brush up on some ideas.

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. I love how he talks about building and keeping a small business small and how that’s important. I totally buy into the idea that small businesses have a real future and the idea of not trying to grow bigger and bigger as a business should be pursued more broadly.

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea  by Bob Burg, John David Mann. This is a fast read, very powerful, and I would give a copy of this book to everyone (with a slight interest in business). It teaches you values, it teaches relationships, it teaches business. Go for it!

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This one’s a bit off-topic, but I really enjoyed it. Not in the way I would enjoy a novel, but as a book that knows how to clearly break down what it means to be a 20-something, the worries we have, the problems we face, how we feel about our lives. And it gives solutions or at least it shows us the path. How to grow up and keep going forward in the way that better suits and benefits us. I wish I had this book when I entered the twenties but at least I had it 4 years to go before entering the so cursed 30’s. Anyone else has noticed that all benefits of being “young” or “under x” end at 30? Is there something that they don’t tell us, like that we will be dead inside or something when we reach that age?

As a man thinketh by James Allan. I had listened to/ watched videos with James Allen’s voice overs for a while and heard (actually read) about this book lots of times previously, so it was a matter of time I would read it eventually. It’s a short read and it teaches how to think, which is not a small feat.

Rich dad, poor dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Did you miss having financial classes or some kind of guidance while growing up about money issues? Well, here you’ll find what you wanted and what you need to start progressing. I enjoyed it, was motivated by it and have to keep digging in that field (I have a full course on financial studies ready to study).

When Coffee & Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement. How can you get a great idea for a business? How to prove it’s worth pursuing it? This book is full of good ideas, case studies and ideas on how to find a good idea, how we know it’s a good idea and how others have made it. Learn what you need to know to develop a good business idea – that what you can take from it. I loved the approaches taken in this.

And now I’m currently reading these :

I’ll tell you more when I’m finished. And probably the list will have grown longer, as my to-read list is endless (f***).

And here goes a video I enjoyed recently about this great surf artist and his path to it.

And lastly… A product that has saved me this year: glasses with a blue filter. I had my doubts they would actually work… But spending most of my day in front of a screen (retina screens and my Xiaomi’s) I had to try it, as I would have red eyes almost every day. And they do work. I still get red eyes from time to time and some days they even hurt, but it has now happened on occasion when it would be like this every day before. If you are thinking about taking the leap and trying them, go ahead!

 

red eyes portrait illustration

Because I don’t want to feel like the drawing above, I end up looking like below. A bit too geeky for my taste.

 

See ya soon (hopefully)🤙

x Lena x

 

 

 

8 ways to say goodbye to Summer (August links)

Exploring

goodbye summer picture

I’m very sad to be the one saying this but… Summer may be over already.

Temperature has been dropping fiercely here in Catalan lands and the weather is already calling for some blanket and sofa time. I must confess I’m actually wearing a long sleeve top and trousers (and I’m in need of changing my short socks for long ones or I’ll be freezing in no time). Sun is still warm but clouds have been coming and going all week. I hope this winter comes slowly. I hate wearing really thick clothing.

So… what now?

Well, the cold brings with it a lot of good things too. First of all, we will be able to go on new adventures! It was too hot and too crowded lately but now… Well, I predict a year full of great times spent outdoors.

Also, I can’t stop my mind from thinking about October already, seeing pumpkins and hearing about Halloween all over the place. Which, I don’t know why, makes me think of hot chocolate, the fireplace and chilling afternoons. But you must know how to make a cup of hot cocoa so I can’t share that with you. However, I’ve found some recipes that would make for a perfect plan for a Friday or Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a cake that is also a cookie and a pie. I’m melting inside like a coulant. I want to taste that. Right now. Please.

– Don’t like cookies? Here is another one making my mouth go water-nuts… A one bowl vegan chocolate cake .

– Wanna see who else is excited about Halloween? Follow @loveandasandwich and her cute monsters!

– What about something healthy for breakfast? Lately, I’m testing how to introduce some oats into my life and I’ve just found this recipe that could be quite handy. Are you ready for an a-mues-zing month?

– Did you ever hear about vegan bacon? Me neither but here it is. I’m buying cauliflower this week.

With more time to spend indoors, going back to our work and life routine we may end spending more time in front of our screens. But try not to! Contradictorily, I want to share a couple of articles (on the net) about it.

– Are you an avid user of Instagram? Maybe you’ve heard about the new movie about it. If not, you’ll learn about it here: How Instagram Makes You Basic, Boring, and Completely Deranged.

Want to know more about how social media hurts us? Read how Designers are using “dark UX” to turn you into a sleep-deprived internet addict.

– Not everything is dark and sad in this world. Now look at what Disney is doing. I love it (spoiler alert: breaking princesses stereotypes with photography).

– I’m missing the surf. This cooler weather should mean more waves coming in right? Hope so. In the meantime, I was reading about this exhibition in California that “tells a Complex Message of Access and Environmentalism”. If non-surfer people loved the beach as we do (and if we all loved all natural places) would all of us take better care of them?

Now I leave you with these links and wish you the best time going back to “normality”. But let’s try it doesn’t become “normal”.

Doing the Thing

Lena *


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

Exploring
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.

A post shared by Sara Guix (@sguixs) on

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!

A post shared by Meeta Panesar (@meeta_p) on

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!

A post shared by Anna Drivis (@annadrivis) on

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.

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

Creating, Exploring

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.

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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8 relevant things of the month (MAY)

Creating, Exploring
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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