London part 2

I have even less to say this time.
Here are the technical details; saved around £2500 (I honestly have no idea how), applied for an English course in London to get a student visa so I can work part time, gave my notice at work and left. Second day there I got a job in a coffee shop, where I worked the entire time I live there. My life in London was basically a lot of drawing and doing my course (later I switched to a web design course, so I can code a little... hehe just sayin') during the week and making coffees on the weekend.
One or two boyfriends, a lot of new friends and a rediscovered illustration gene was the score after two years. I decided to go back to Croatia to graduate, but mostly cause getting a proper visa would be such a hassle I didn't want to go through it (or god forbid go illegal). Also I got tired of student living, sharing a house with 7 people and living on a part time job money.
There are a lot of mixed feelings about London in me. I love it, but I am a little disenchanted by it. Still, it fits me more than any other place I tried.
For me London is smart, creative, open minded, arty, well read, beautiful, funny and big hearted (sounds suspiciously like my traits-new-boyfriend-need-to-have list), but also a social whore, drinks too much, an art snob and can be very self deprecating.

I don't know, now I miss it again...

London Calling

This is the 5th in the Challenge me series. Actually first half of it. Tomorrow I am going to London so I am gonna finish it when I come back Friday. Beautiful Meagan  from Travel Write Draw posted this lovely challenge.

When I was finishing uni, I started working as a graphic designer at daily newspaper, and saw all these people around me who came, just like me, to work there for a while (because everyone has dreams at some point) and there they were 10 or 15 years later, with kids mortgage, a car and a dog. I realised I am no different, and this could just as easily happen to me. So somehow (I honestly have no idea how ) I saved about 2000 pounds and off to London I went.My first day there was so surreal that it is a story in itself (please remind me to tell it once).
Now, you know I am not into describing events and day to day life. But what I can tell you for sure is that the giant ocean of energy that London is, cured me. Cured me of the small country disease. Of living too long in a very small and boring box. London allowed me to be myself... myself I forgot I was.

The drawing is not specially for this, just something I did last week ( I promise to make special ones next week) but I am so super busy this weekend.
I was finishing Milla's blog redesign. Please check it out and let me know what you think. If (by some chance) you don't know about it, it is one of my favourite blogs around for a while now (since I discovered this great reviews of magazines Milla writes every month. I love reading reviews, and these are VERY well written). Also I need to pack, and both my washing machine AND dryer decided to quit (it was like a murder suicide thing!!!)
See you Friday everyone & lots of kisses to all.

No one likes a copycat

I stumbled upon this article in the Guardian yesterday and I feel a need to both comment on it and, most of all, hear what you girls think about it.
Short version: a designer from Zara was surfing the blogs, came upon a photo of a blogger in an outfit they liked I guess, made an illustration of it and applied it on a T-shirt for Zara. Just like that! Now, it turns out that although it is disrespectful to the blogger to even think of doing that, there is another side to the story; apparently there are hundreds of designers working for Zara who are required to make a certain number of designs every day to support their hyper production of 40 000 designs a year.
I know all you guys know how brutal this is:  just imagine how many days you had when you just didn't have it in you. Or were just uninspired. Imagine that in spite of this, you had to do, not just work, but a lot of work.
Other thing that bothers me here, is illustration. I know someone was probably uninspired and maybe just fed up, but it is not an illustration if you just redraw a photo. This issue really gets to me. Change the length of her hair, colour of the t-shirt, anything, just don't only trace the photo and call it illustration! Copycats always angered me. One time I saw an illustrators portfolio online (apparently they were published by Elle and some similar magazines) who had in their portfolio 100% copied Davind Downton's illustration. Not style, but the pose, colour, lines, everything. Putting aside that they have a career in this, but aren't they ashamed!?! And did they think no one will notice, cause we are talking about a famous art here.
I'd like to hear, what are experiences of you guys who focus on writing. Do you ever encounter this in same or similar form? Or have you ever seen someone shamelessly copy someone else's (or even your) outfit?

p.s. Little treat in the illustration, I dressed the girls in Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 collection outfits!

Just your average self absorbed blogger

Some time ago a blogger friend of mine tells me she met a few other bloggers and was just stunned at how self absorbed they are.
This got me thinking and I reasoned that anyone who has a blog necessarily need to think that their opinion stands for something and is worth hearing (though, some people just hope this is so).
For one thing I sometimes have a feeling that if I say or write me or I ONE MORE TIME am gonna shoot myself. But I write the blog in first person so don't have much choice. On the other hand I have met some pretty great people through blogging and I don't find any of them to be self absorbed. Still I can't help to wonder, are we? Are we self absorbed, egotistical, attention seeking people? Maybe I just don't think so because I am the same and think that's the norm. Off course there are some individuals out there, who shall stay nameless, that are very obviously in it just so they have an excuse to take 78 pictures of the most minute details of their outfit and put it there in the biggest size possible... But your average fashion blogger, who is she/he? Why do we do this?
Do we just like the subject and like having a platform to discuss it? Or is it so individual you can't generalise at all?

In defense of desire

This is the fourth instalment of the Challenge me February, and this post was asked by the uber cool  Boheme Noir (hint: has one of the best eyes for shoes in the business. And am not saying this lightly!)
I can't decide how to write this post. On one side I feel very philosophical, even poetic, about it, and on the other I want to write a populist post, something that will reach most people. But whenever I start thinking about it my mind goes blank and the paths of my thoughts get scrambled.

I am thinking of all the names or aspects of desire. Of craving, of sex, yearning, need... all different names of a nuance of the same thing. Am thinking of the traps we set for ourselves using desire as the ultimate excuse. Am thinking of those brief moments of contentment once desire has been fed. Am thinking of places I got because of desire. And of almost tangible connection it created between me and some people. Then I remember that desire has been accused of everything, both good and bad, under the sun. Infidelity, jealousy, lies, stealing, murder, wars, or for just plain old not being content with what you got.

After all that, what I come up with is much less than with what I started... because all the zen in my head pops out and whispers to me " But why do you differentiate between you and your desire? Your desire is you" and at this point I am completely off the re countable path...
Desire baffles me and scares me.
The problem is it's strength and the feeling you have that it has a mind of it's own. That there is you and there is a desire for something and you blindly follow it. Once you release it, desire is the one who leads. This lack of control is at the same time frightening and liberating as you realize that if you let her, she will reach the desired place while you just go for a ride.
But once again, all this stands if you see desire and yourself as two separate entities. But what happens if you realize them as one. If you begin to understand that it is you who both drives the carriage and is in the back seat.

Is it over yet?

This is the 3rd of the Challenge me posts (asked by an up and coming young fashion journalist Jemma Louise of Floral Etiquette )and let me just start by saying that if it wasn't, I would have not covered this subject. Not even with a tweet. 
Every single year (in love or otherwise... more otherwise of late but that's beside the point) I catch my self walking through the city and thinking " What's with all the hearts and balloons today? Is there some kind of promotional thing happening around?!?..." and than remember that actually there is, the ultimate one, Valentine's day.
Now, before everyone says I lost my inner romantic to cynicism, I would like to say that I am romantic. I just don't believe in planned romance.
I had some wonderful romantic moments in my life and most of them were not planned... Or at least the romantic aspect of them wasn't planned.
It is always the things that our mortal souls have no way of foreseeing that are the most precious.
That said, Valentine's day can be cute. It can be cute in a teenage crush kinda way. In a way that it's cute that there is someone who has an obligation to obey the made up holiday because you are in their life. Cute in a way that you finally have an opportunity to wear that kitchy red underwear with furry trimming without looking like a loon. Or only hart shaped nipple tassels for that matter (What?!? Don't look at me like that. To each it's own). Or that it's reasonable to expect all your food to be heart shaped.
Wriing about it now, am thinking it's not that bad. But come Monday I may change my tune...

Elie Saab rocks my world

A little break from the Challenge tonight.

Instead I give you a drawing I did of the Elie Saab Paris Couture collection. I adore Elie Saab... always so feminine and romantic and sexy. This year I adore Dior as well, but I'll post them another time.
Also, I have to tell you, I have really enjoyed doing these, specially as I did this straight with ink on paper, without drawing a base in pencil. For most people this is irrelevant, as long as the work is good, but I really get off on this... It tickles my perfectionist side just enough not to frustrate it. Also when doing it like this, there is always an added element of surprise, cause you really don't know where the next line is leading you.
Adds a much needed adrenaline rush to my life. 

Challenge no. 2: How to take care of yourself?

OK.... the good news is that I am having a great week drawing wise and feel really creative and love the style am working in. Bad news is I don't quite have the illustration for today's subject of boundaries.
This theme was posted by Kate of Illustrate Kate, and I have to say this is THE HARD one. Not just for me, but in life.
I wasn't really sure what to write as this is such a huge area and so so different for everyone else. As any self respecting researcher I googled it. And thought and thought... and came to this conclusion.
Only person who needs to know and respect your boundaries is yourself. If you make sure this is the case, than everything else will be a breeze. Every time you find yourself in a situation where someone " threatens" you (figuratively speaking off course) you will know exactly what to do because there will be only one thing to do and you will never, for a second, doubt your instincts.

For all you younger ones out there, who maybe didn't have to deal with this yet, this is something that becomes an issue at one time or another, at which point you learn where your boundaries are and how to set them. If you don't master this skill, you'll basically flunk life. I am NOT kidding! It is one of the basic life skills needed for a successful and happy adult life.You can retake that exam any time you want, but the longer you put it off more mess will there be to deal with...

I went all Socrates on you there, ha...

She thinks she is all that

This is the first post from my February "Challenge me" series. This challenge was given by lovely Aggie of both Once Over Lightly and Elements magazine.

Aggie probably doesn't even know how hard this is for me. Maybe not hard, just out of character.
My feelings towards Croatia are, to say it lightly, mixed. I can't say I don't like my country but I do find some of her traits highly irritating. I am going to try and give you an idea of how I see Croatia...
Croatia is like a really pretty petite girl who, because of that beauty, feels entitled to things she wants just happening to her, and when they don't blames the screwed up world. She is also smart and reasonably talented but most of the time does nothing about it, she just waits. Still, she likes to talk about how talented and smart she is, telling stories over and over again, about those 3 or 4 times she actually did achieve something. Also she doesn't have much of a character, and can be easily talked into things (I learned this by helping an ex friend, of which more in a Friendship post, study for her History of Croatian Journalism exam. It was frustrating to read how we always fall for the same trick).
So you can see where my mixed feelings come from. She is family so I kinda love her by default, but I am not her biggest fan.

Fun facts on Croatia

Meag asked so I thought maybe other people want to know as well so here it is.

- Our national past time is drinking coffee. More to the south you go, more present it is. Fact that it is the middle of the working week is not and issue.
- People pride themselves in being able to cheat the system. Any way they can (one ex boyfriend who was from England said: " It's so cool how you don't have to pay for public transport in Croatia". Didn't have the heart to tell him you need to pay, we just don't.)
- The country is quite small, but most things happen in about 3 or 4 cities in the country. During summer most of the north goes south, leaving the capital empty ( this is less noticeable lately as a lot of tourists are coming in)
- Most people are quite cool, but off course you have those, how would I describe them... something like rednecks in the States. I tend to forgot about them, and then get surprised every time I encounter one
- Typical dish... There are few really. Down south they eat lot of fish, up north meat, usual really. Pizza. Pasta. Lots of cheese and pastries. Some cool cakes.
- Going out is exactly the same as everywhere else in the world. The same.
- What else... Fashion is boring as hell. This is cause people tend to uniform themselves; designers dress in one way, WAGs wannabe's one way... Down south it's even worse. There if one color is trendy, it is frowned upon to wear another. And stores just stock whats in. So if purple boots are in, you won't find brown ones to save your life

Challenge me

Sometimes, I find something so beautiful, it hurts.

This morning, outside was this perfect sunny day and I was going through Paris Couture 2011 shows. Everything was so beautiful that I found I couldn't bare it. I still haven't gone through all of them. These is just one of the sketches I did of the Elie Saab collection, but I plan to do much much more... though when I think about it I become consumed with desire to kind of "have" it all at once and make it last for eternity at the same time. Rest of my life becomes just this nuisance that stands between me and perfection of couture, that I have to put up with... Bit intense, ha?

Imagine what's going to happen once I finally see couture shows for real, not just on the screen. I'll probably faint from excitement somewhere at the beginning and miss the whole thing. Completely realistic scenario.

But anyways, as I finished my animation finally, I have a new challenge for me. And it goes like this:

YOU are going to give me a theme for a post on my blog, which I will then illustrate and write about. In each post I will link to the person whose idea it was. This idea can be anything from a piece of fashion to a feeling or a situation in life.
You can write it in the comments and I will do the first 7 (I won't have enough time for more, as I 'll be travelling last week in February so that's only two weeks left). If you don't make it this month,no worries cause I'll do it again in March

I do this to get me out of my comfort zone in terms of the subjects I write about and illustrate. It is very exciting and I hope you guys like it too.

Post just to put an end to my misery

I swear, am actually past nervous break down. Don't even know how to describe it.
Better late than never I guess...
If you see something a bit off, it is not me it is the white wine I had last night while finishing (and the bloody encoder that keeps cutting frames randomly... I guess he does not approve!!!!! Almost like uni again).
If the whole thing sucks, it is me.

I honestly don't know what to tell you about this. First I procrastinated for a very long time. Then I couldn't crystallize the idea (one could argue I still haven't). Then f/*/'%$#"# Adobe Flash tried to kill me: I restarted everything about 8 times. My thoughts would literally get tangled in a knot from trying to figure out how, what, where and why (answer usually being because we at Adobe said so). And get this: I AM NOT a beginner at this. I have worked with this before, I even did some Actionsript, I can code in html and css without problem. But this, this...

Anyways... That's over and done now. I will make another one, but am thinking I should brush up on my Flash knowledge first. Also I really miss drawing and fashion and very dear blogs and bloggers. I haven't seen the Paris Couture shows yet, except some pics in couple of posts I managed to read (guess what I'll be doing with coffee in the morning).
So basically here is the animation, am back and I have a new challenge for me for February and you guys are involved.

Over and out.