31 Jan 2014

What happens in 279 hours and 30 minutes

When working on a project, at some point you are likely to end up staring at your computer screen till 1 AM and penciling your days, nights and weekends away, either because of a deadline or just insane enthusiasm. On those moments, when everybody else is asleep and you just keep on going despite everything that your parents ever taught about sensible bedtimes, it's fun to toy with the idea of finishing the project and ponder how you will celebrate it. Maybe a dinner at your favourite restaurant? A weekend full of absolute nothingness? A movie night with friends? Skipping all the healthy options in the morning and going for a fresh croissant instead? Whenever I'm in a swamp of work with a deadline that temporarily kills my free time, thinking about all those nice things helps me ignore the fact that my eyes are hurting from all the drawing.

This week, I finished a big (massive!) project that I have been working on since autumn. It's a children's book, and although I won't be able to reveal too much before it's going to be published in May, I can tell you that it has been one of the most laborious but also one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on! It took 279 hours, 30 minutes and one sketchbook to complete. Me and the client, an incredibly sweet and passionate Australian author, exchanged 549 emails of which roughly 50% were spiced up with smileys and one included pictures of puppies. Her morning was my midnight and my daytime was her bedtime, but surprisingly enough we managed to communicate very smoothly. I sent her illustrations and she replied with feedback right before going to bed and the first thing in the morning. It has been great working for someone who is so dedicated to the project that a solitary freelancer like me feels like she actually has an invisible colleague right here...despite the fact that we are literally on the opposite sides of the world. (Isn't that strange...? Two people can complete an entire book by being connected through the Internet...oh the wonders of the World Wide Web!)

A sneak peek from my sketchbook

For the past few weeks, I have squeezed all my illustration juices into this project to get it finished on time. I spent many late nights working and fantasising about the moment when all the illustrations would be finished, thinking about how I would reward myself. Now the book is finished from my part, and it's time to put those fantasies into action. I shall celebrate with home-made hummus (eaten straight from the jar, because that's the way, aha aha, I like it) and tea with a friend!

10 Jan 2014

Hello 2014!

It's 2014. Here are ten nice things about the year so far.

1. My hair got chopped up to my shoulders and I haven't missed those 25cm of it that were left on the hairdresser's floor. Not even once.

2. I have one illustration project 99,9% finished, another one 75 % done AND a new idea for the next project of my own! I'm really excited about it and think it's a pretty good one. That kind of ideas don't come every day, so it definitely deserves an extra hurray."Hurray!"

3. I have (almost) finished dealing with the nuisance of filing quarterly taxes.

4. Most of the time the weather is cold and rainy, but our radiator works and we have a hot water bottle, too. When he (yes, he) is full, he looks like a chubby old man. We call him Bob.

5. I have one unread issue of Frankie and at least five unwatched episodes of The Mindy Project. (Update: one unwatched episode of The Mindy Project left - just finished watching the other four.)

6. I got introduced to a new dish, when a friend cooked it for New Year's Eve. It is really tasty, cheap and easy to make. Next to that, it is also vegetarian, so all you fellow starving artists and friends of animals: Mercimek Köftesi is the dish of the year!

7. I have three new friends keeping me company whilst working; a trio of small, pretty robins. They were drawn by a lady called Habiba, whom I met a few months ago. She is a harpist and a singer-songwriter, but obviously she is a great artist on paper, too!

8. Our small attic room has new curtains and I am very fond of them. Having my desk right in front of the window, the curtains are quite a prominent element in my daily field of vision, and that should be reason enough to appreciate their niceness.

9. The second edition of Dear Fashion Diary has arrived, and I have a few copies waiting to be picked up from the post office. Next to that, I have finally started filling a diary of my own, which has been really fun! Sneak peeks will follow later!

10. The list of movies me and my boyfriend have watched together since we "hooked up" (Do people still "hook up" these days or is it just something youngsters did back in the 50s..?) has reached the number 240. Last week, we started watching the Rocky hexalogy, and although no one will ever take the place of Indiana Jones in my heart, I must say I like Rocky, too.

+1. Weekend!