Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrate the summer, 2013

The weather has been so grey and pressing this whole week that I've been quite down in the dumps and just not in the mood for working. That's the great freedom of being a freelancer, isn't it? If I have to stress about getting new projects every month, I should be able to reward myself with some down time if I need it.

Anyway, I wasn't in the mood for work, but more specifically, it was design I wasn't in the mood for. So I decided to get started on the latest project for my webshop, my Summer Recipes series. It's a series that I can finally use my lovely typewriter for.

So I got started on some layouts and sketches for the first in the series, but then a friend's birthday gathering came up yesterday evening and we needed a birthday card to go with the present. As with all financially-challenged artists, when you don't want to spend on a card, well, you just make one yourself! And it usually turns out better than a store-bought card anyway. Just depends if the recipient knows how to truly appreciate a piece of art...

This friend's birthday is in the summer, so we decided to get her a summer-themed present and card. I drew a beach scene with all the typical girl's beach essentials, and wrote the message: "There is only one thing missing..." And she would then open the present and find a beach blanket!

I hope she likes both presents, because, really, a piece of artwork that I spent more time on than the actual shopping, is pretty much a present on its own, isn't it?

Because I liked the theme so much, I decided to reproduce it as a watercolour print, which is now available in my webshop. I repainted the card in stronger colours and I think this second version is an improvement. You can pick any message you like for in the balloon, as long as it fits ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

A weekend with Rotterdam Unlimited


*ringggg* *ringggg* (By the way, which phone goes ring ring anymore? Our children will never know what it means when we imitate the sound of a telephone ringing)

Hello, summer?
Are you there?
You're kinda late, and it's not polite.


Last weekend was Rotterdam Unlimited, a weekend of carnivals, festivities, food and concerts.

Sounds good, right? Until you remember that the problem is in the name itself: Rotterdam. This means that it's not typically Dutch or typically anything, except a mix of classless people. I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone, but I was on Coolsingel on Sunday afternoon, and just walking down it really got my spirits down. All the rubbish on the road, the bad smells, the weird people (and not in a good way, believe me, I like weird people, but there can be a negative side to it) and the bad music got me down.

Perhaps it was better on Saturday? I certainly hope so. Although I did walk down Westblaak and around Eendrachtsplein, and I think all the (okay okay I'm just gonna say it) low-class people had crawled out of the woodwork. Call me a snob if you want, and I already feel guilty enough admitting this, but seriously, last weekend Rotterdam was like just hanging out in the ghettos of KL. Except I would say that it was safer, security-wise. That's one positive!

Apart from the festival, I had a great weekend. I practised my piano - at the moment, I'm trying to master La Valse d'Amélie and one of Schubert's works which I never can remember the name of - and I took some time out to watch a Hitchcock film on the beamer in the bedroom.

Schubert and me.

Strangers on a Train.

I also have a free desktop wallpaper available on my webshop. It's an original illustration by yours truly, and made into a desktop wallpaper to thank everyone who has supported me in my hobby. Grab it here:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

BBQ at Het Park and performing at Theater Zuidplein

While we are awaiting the real spring/summer to arrive, we are just itching to get out and enjoy what sun we can get. So last weekend, we arranged a picnic BBQ at Het Park.

On the day of the picnic, we awoke to cloudy skies and chilly winds. But did that dampen our spirits? Kinda. But we kept the faith! And while we were rewarded with sun eventually, it was the first time I've sat on a picnic blanket with a coat on ;)

Photos courtesy of Riri P.

We, as a group, are so unused to having picnics that we forgot so many basic things like moist wipes and... some other things which I can't remember now. Well, it takes practice!


Now, for something else more personal.

On 1 and 2 June, I performed onstage in a real theatre for the very first time! Okay, I was onstage before at the Actors Studio in Bangsar about six years ago, but that was pretty silly stuff. Both times were for my ballet school, but at my first performance, I had only had three years of ballet under my belt, so I hardly could perform in a proper choreography. So all I did was run about the stage pretending to be graceful.

But this year, I was in a proper big auditorium in Theater Zuidplein, performing in my ballet school's Les Arts & La Danse, a dance show with choreography inspired by famous artwork. I danced two pieces - Les Sylphides and Das Triadischen Ballet - one classical ballet and the other en pointe.

Julien B recorded a short clip of my dance from his seat at the balcony. It's surprisingly good! I had such low expectations of our performance, haha.

Before both performances, I was impossibly nervous because all my friends were attending. But I managed to push out a smile for this backstage pic with my fellow dancers.

Anyway, despite all the nervousness and tiredness by the end of the weekend, it was a fantastic experience and I wouldn't mind doing it again :)