Friday, December 25th, 2015
Merry Christmas everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I should have been more organised and prepared some posts but as soon as I went to Vienna and home for Christmas to Germany I really enjoyed not thinking about my blog all the time and really enjoyed spending the time with my family and boyfriend. But don’t you worry, I will be back with more discipline soon. I hope the photos show why I had such excuses not to post for a whole week. My mum and I cook for six hours every year with lots of glasses of wine on the 24th December. In Germany we celebrate Christmas in the evening. What you see is not a very traditional Christmas dinner in Germany I have to say. But it’s now a tradition in my family. We love variety so my mum and I are looking lots of different small recipes and create something like a buffet for the family. Self-made Sushi is a must as well.
Last but not least, next year we shall be one more little fellow at the table. My sister is expecting and I can’t wait to be the best auntie in the world.
Saturday, December 19th, 2015
Photo by Kat Terek
It’s official. On Thursday was my last day at work and I’m writing you from Vienna today. I still live in London though; I’m just on holidays and then off for Christmas at home. I’m sure you want to know a little bit more about why I quit my job and what are my plans in 2016.
I didn’t quit my job because I have found another full-time job. I quit because I’m going freelance. Going freelance can mean a lot of things and I have a lot of plans but let’s start from the beginning.
My old job
In my last job I was a senior account manager in an advertising agency. I’ve also worked in social media, PR and film production. I liked all of it but I discovered one thing for myself: I can’t just follow someone else’s rules my whole life. I can’t just live someone else’s dream. My thoughts and my creativity are very limited working for someone else. There was nothing wrong with my previous employers – I mean there’s always something to moan about but who doesn’t moan every now and then – but at the same time I could never be really happy in my job. I figured out now I need to be my own boss.
As I mentioned before, freelancing can mean a lot of things. In my case I could be a senior account manager or a social media manager for another agency. You basically have a short-term contract with an employer, e.g. 2 to 3 months, and you work for them in their offices from Monday to Friday within their office hours. Doing that is not my end goal but this will probably be my first step because it’s the easiest. People know I have worked in that industry, I know how to sell my skills and I get paid a daily rate.
Then you could freelance from home or anywhere else. I could definitely do social media from anywhere in the world. I just need to find my own clients, maybe start-ups who need some help getting their services and products out there. I love coming up with content strategies. In this case, I could have a more flexible schedule and I could be more my own boss. This step is a little more difficult because I have to find these clients and build trustworthy and qualitative relationships. Nevertheless, this is step two in my plan.
What I really want
Now, I’m telling you what I really want. I want to be an artist. I want to create, I want to spend hours locked away in a studio and let my creativity flow. I want my mind and heart go crazy. I don’t mind creating originals or prints. I’m at the very beginning of this plan and it will go parallel with my freelancing. I’m telling you it feels so good to know what I want. For years, I couldn’t make up my mind. Don’t misunderstand me, I love every decision I made in my life. I have studied and worked in different countries and I have learned a lot which I can use for whatever I’m doing next. But I’m also glad that I’ve found something I want to concentrate on: ART. Of course, there are many different directions and I still need to figure out mine. I’m reading this very interesting book ‘Think Like An Artist’ by Will Gompertz at the moment and I really like its attitude. In a nutshell, the book tells you to steal first from all your favourite artists and then find your own style. Steeling doesn’t mean you sell someone else’s art work as yours – you can be transparent in who your idols are and you don’t have to sell it immediately – it means you learn and learn and learn from others until you found your own style.
This will be an interesting and scary journey. I’m very aware that I might not succeed (immediately) but if I never try I’ll never know, right? I’ll definitely write more about it on my blog. I’ll share the good sides but also the bad sides with you. I don’t know if I’m an artist – and by that I mean earn my money as an artist – in five years or if I decide to do something else by then. All I know now is that I have a huge desire to try. Wish me luck!
Feel free to share your thoughts and encouragements with me!
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
I hang out on Instagram a lot. I wanted to talk a little bit about my Instagram account but then I decided to talk about Motion Portrait which I’ve seen a lot on Instagram lately. I quite like it. It’s a bit spooky but at the same time it’s very fascinating.
Motion Portrait is an app you can bring your illustrations to life with. I think originally it was meant for photos but very soon illustrators figured out it works perfectly with their illustrated portraits. So whenever I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed I can see all these amazing moving paintings. Just imagine you painted or drew a portrait and then you actually see what this “person” looks like alive. The head moves around, the eyes open and close and sometimes you can even see a smile. Below are a few examples. Make sure you click play since videos don’t show on my blog automatically.
Even Alessandro Pautasso, who I featured as one of the first artists on my blog, tried this app with his digital portraits and called it ‘creepy’. Because the portraits really come to life and they were meant to be still forever. Have a look at the awesome examples below. If you try out the app leave a link in the comments so I can check it out.
What do you think?
A video posted by Ilham Arief Pratama (@ilhamarpr) on
@madonna #madonna #rebel #rebels #rebelheart #rebels_united #motionportraitapp @madonnalouiseveronicaciccone #madonnafans #madonnafamily #opyart #artwork #artist #art #portraiture #portrait #instaart #itsalive #instagram #instaartist #keithhering #keithheringfoundation #pencil #pastel #portraitart #portraiture #portraitartist #modernart @djjellybeanbenitez
A video posted by Heidi Pähn (@heidipahndesign) on
Sunday, December 13th, 2015
It’s time for my monthly blogroll. If you’re new to my blog let me quickly recap what this kind of blog post is about. Every month I want to introduce you to three new blogs. I either follow them for a while already or I have discovered them recently. Nevertheless, you need to keep an eye on them because they’re awesome.
No.1 New Yorker Meets London
Laurie followed me recently on Twitter. But sometimes I’m very slow so I only checked out her blog properly after we met at a bloggers event in London yesterday. Yes, exactly: only yesterday! I had no idea how gorgeous her blog is. Laurie moved from New York to London as you have probably guessed from her blog name. I can’t wait to follow her journey from now on. She also posts a lot of awesome food places in London which I need to check out. She quotes Seth Godin on her About page – “everyone is an artist and able to create art in their own ways” – which is absolutely my cup of tea.
No.2 Kat Terek
I wanted to write about Kat before she’s writing about me but I guess I’m a little too late. She already published her first blog post of a series called NATION OF DREAMERS. You’ll quickly realise that she’s quite a talented photographer. She was looking for faces to expand her portfolio with and I was lucky enough to have been chosen for a little photo shoot. Of course, it was a lot of fun posing for her but furthermore we had a very inspiring chat. Yes, I talked quite a bit about myself – as you can read on Kat’s blog – but I was really impressed by Kat’s passions. She works in a full-time job but manages to go to a co-working space after work and on weekends to make her dreams become reality. If you ever need a photographer you should definitely hire her!
No.3 Josephine Kimberling
This is the only blogger from this month’ blogroll I haven’t met. Nevertheless, I love her blog / website. I think Josephine is doing what I’m dreaming of. She’s an artist and follows her passion in a studio in Seattle. Well, I wouldn’t move to Seattle to follow my dreams but being an artist and having my own studio doesn’t sound too bad. Her patterns and paintings are beautiful and express so much happiness. But what I love most is that her logo is a unicorn. It’s so easy to make me happy, isn’t it?! But it’s really everything on Josephine’s blog which makes me happy. I already have an eye on her 2016 desk calendar…
What do you think about the blogs above?
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
I recently wrote about what I think art is (for me). These thoughts about art motivated Alba to think about it, too. We started a conversation on my blog and the result is Alba continues this thought in another post on my blog. I love it! My blog is not only me but also my readers, that’s why I was more than happy to let Alba talk about her thoughts – also because I mostly agree with her view on art. It’s a little provocative but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me. With no further comments I let you enjoy Alba’s thoughts about art below.
When I read Uli’s article, I couldn’t resist the temptation to share my own perception about art on the comments. Later I thought: why not ask her if I could share it with the readers of her blog?
I am an artist; a writer more specifically. It took me some time to take it seriously and I have met many people on the way who would disagree if I call myself “artist” – probably they don’t think of me as a writer either. However, I understand why because being an artist has connotations attached to it that doesn’t reflect the reality. I think that is the barrier that is stopping us from letting concept of art evolve.
When we look at famous painters, dancers, writers and composers, their names go surrounded by this halo of dignity and a spark of ingenuity. We all have heard stories about how they created masterpieces and the kind of bohemian life they had. But the truth is that in many cases, those are mere legends: behind every genius there is a story of hard work, failures and rejections that we overlook, creating as a consequence an aura of mystery.
The Western world’s perception of being an artist is about selected people with an incredible gift or talent related to the high arts. But in my opinion it has more to do with craftwork and perseverance, and a strong bond with creativity.
Here is what I believe:
Of course, this is my opinion. However, art is changing and I think we should adjust our values to the reality we have in front of us. The same way that photography and movies were included some time ago, designs, video games and more should be too.
So, if you want to be an artist, be. After all, it is all about how you perceive yourself and the world around you.
What do you think?
Monday, December 7th, 2015
I love blogging. I love advent calendars. And I love the idea bonprix had: a bloggers advent calendar. They found 24 bloggers who each hosts a competition on their blog for one day. Today is my turn and you can win a scarf and hat set just like the one in the picture above. You can also check it out here.
Here’s what to do:
If you’re curious to see who the other bloggers are here is an overview I found on the bonprix website. And remember, this competition is only live for 24 hours. Get in there now!
Saturday, December 5th, 2015
Two weeks ago I found Christmas at Paperchase. It was the perfect start into my favourite season of the year. I was invited to visit Paperchase’ special blogger event, introducing their collection for the new year. It was a bit like fashion week, you know, when you see all the stuff which will be only released next year.
I felt overwhelmed and immediately fell in love with their copper collection. It was also great to get a little glimpse behind the scenes when one of their designers talked us through their processes of choosing the patterns for next year’s occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Easter. I had a little bit the feeling it must be great to be a designer at Paperchase. They work together with artists as well as experiment with their own patterns. There’s so much creativity involved.
But the best part was still to come. Paperchase gave us the opportunity to decorate our own Christmas trees with items from the shop. I really wanted to have the black tree because it looks so elegant and I immediately imagined something copper ‘coloured’ with it (yes, I’m quite obsessed with copper – have you seen my copper Christmas wreath?!). Luckily I found some very beautiful and quite unique fairy lights in copper. Since I’m an aspiring minimalist there wasn’t much I wanted to include so I just added a few white and copper glitter balls and a reindeer. Well, and two unicorns on the top which you can’t see in the photos here I’m afraid.
After I decorated my black Christmas tree we continued crafting with Laura from Things by Laura. We made beautiful paper pinwheels which are now hanging in my flat everywhere. I know where to go when it comes to my wedding decoration. Found Some Paper definitely needs some paper, right?!
It was a very well-organised blogger event and I couldn’t stop looking at all the amazing stuff they had for Christmas. It’s a perfect place to treat yourself creatively but also to get an inspiring gift for Christmas. I have found Christmas at Paperchase, have you?
Thursday, December 3rd, 2015
Christmas is almost here and I’m way too excited. I hope you enjoyed my Christmas gift guides so far. This one will be the last for this year but I’m sure you will love the best Christmas gifts for everyone.
I myself still need to get some more gifts for my family and friends. I’m not a 100% satisfied with what I have at the moment. Do you know that feeling when you actually have a gift already but you think maybe you should give something else, too?! I have that all the time. Therefore, my family always gets two presents. I think I’m already doing this for years and it’s the first time I’m conscious about it.
Creating a Christmas guide is not that easy. Do you want to know why? Because I have a huge desire to get all of the products I mentioned so far. I’d definitely buy 90% for myself. Although I shouldn’t really. Next year I want to start a more minimalist life so I need to reduce my product consumption. Luckily enough, I only start next year so maybe I should get a few things before I’m becoming a minimalist hahaha I know I’m terrible!
Have a look at the below Christmas gifts for everyone and if you have missed my previous Christmas gift guides check them out in the links below.
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
I was challenged by Turtle Mat to create a Christmas wreath and as you can see I took on the challenge – because I love challenges AND I love Christmas! Furthermore, I love minimalism. Oh dear, now it’s getting complicated. I haven’t talked that much about minimalism but as you can see in my sidebar where I reveal what I’m currently reading my interest in minimalism increases. There is so much to learn and there are two sides of minimalism: design and lifestyle. This post is not about minimalism though but I will get back to you on this.
I mentioned minimalism because I wanted to create a minimalist Christmas wreath. I was sent the copper ring and a few more decoration items as well as an Amazon voucher to complete the list. I love copper – yes, another thing I love – and I definitely wanted to make sure that this can be seen. So I only took a few twigs from our Christmas tree and used them for the wreath. Because I had some copper wire at home I used that instead of a hot clue pistol which was sent to me, too.
I like it simple and fast therefore it took me just 15 minutes to make this minimalist Christmas wreath. You can see the snowflake there as an extra because that’s the hook I had before on my door. When I added the new wreath I thought it actually looks very pretty together. What do you think?
As you can see my entrance door is read. That’s perfect for the green twigs but I think I had to get used to the copper on red. The more I look at it the more I fall in love with it though. It’s great to have something more unusual and not to follow the rules all the time.
If you think it’s too late to create a Christmas wreath you’re wrong. Apart from that it’s never to late for anything follow my example and keep it minimalist. Also, have a look at what you have at home. We all have some leftovers from last Christmas somewhere.
Today is the 1st of December and for me Christmas officially started. I can’t wait to share the Christmas happiness with you over the next week.
Have you already prepared for Christmas?