Design detour

When I started this blog my intention was to share my work in progress with the website. This could be a really daunting task and I thought that maybe I could make life a little easier for others in the same situation, or at least get an idea of what not to do… However, I soon realized that I actually have to have content to fill my website with, otherwise there is no point in having a beautiful homepage. Clearly. Surely I have loads of patterns and paintings already, but a professional portfolio is so much more than randomly uploading a lot of images of them. So I had to rewind a little and do some hard core organizing. And as it often is, one thing lead to another, my original plan took a detour – just a detour, since everything I do right now has one goal, the same goal as before: to launch my website with the best portfolio I can acheive and start selling my designs!

So let me share some of the things I am into at the moment:

I have been organizing all my old work in Adobe Bridge, filing, structuring and cleaning up the files, one by one. I have organized them in collections and individul patterns, and also added a folder for prints – placement patterns that are not repeat patterns but will be great for printing as art or on pieces that doesn’t require repeat. 

On January 1 I joined a facebook group challenge called 100days2018 where the aim is to do something creative (your own choice) every day for 100 days in a row. I decided to take on the challenge with only my sketchbook and one marker pen. I set those restrictions for myself with a purpose – to get on friendly terms with my sketchbook and make it a habit of drawing everyday, and no matter how small or big, ugly or beautiful the outcome was I would share it in the fb-group and on Instagram to hold myself accountable. To this day we’re on day 55 and I haven’t missed a day so far! By day 53 I changed my own terms to include other artwork as well. I need to be able to create in other ways too and time is simply not adding up to achieve all of it if I prevent myself from connecting the different projects.

In the beginning of February I started a new online course called FolioFocus 2018 spring. This course aims at building a portfolio whilst working to briefs, one new brief a week. That clicked for me since that’s exactly what I need to do and there is no better way to learn and at the same time be productive in a very supporting environment than this! We’re only in week 2 but so far I am so happy to have joined the class. Below are my work for the Nautic theme and Park life theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there are many things going on and I am enjoying it all immensly. If I could do this full time I would be the happiest person in the world!

Life in a graph – a shocking image!

I had scheduled this blog post for last weekend. Well, that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen this weekend either. It happens today and I am very pleased since it’s Monday and Mondays are hard…It seems like an impossible task to go to bed on Sundays, no matter how much I need the hours. So I figured, why not talk a little about time today. My previous post was all about making plans, schedule to-dos and how to get a grip of what to do and when. Since then I have continued reading and using Lisa Jacobs fabolous book Your best year 2018. It has proven to be a real game changer and I’d like to share a thing from it, a short task that aim to show how I spend the 24 hours on a regular day. At first I was to list the main priorities in life, in order of importance. My list looks like this:

  1. My family
  2. Personal development – learning new things
  3. Creativity – design, art, music
  4. Friends and social life
  5. Health and self-care
  6. Stillness and reflection

Then I was to use a graph to illustrate how I invest time during the 24 hours, and it looked like this:


As you can see (although written in Swedish) the large field on the top right is sleep. The large field on the bottom is work (day job in large company). The small field on the right, between sleep and work is breakfast (categorized as family time). At 6 pm there is dinner time with the family. And now – in the field beween 7 and 10 pm – here are the things from my list, all six of them…

Please take a paus to reflect on that, because I went into shock when I realized how it looks and what it means. Somewhere between 7 and 10 in the evening I spend time with my family, I learn new things, I create design, art and music, I socialize with friends, I perform physical activity and practice self-care and to wrap things up I am in stillness and reflection before I go to sleep.

I think not.

I am still in shock but also very clear about how I want this chart to look like. I am 48 years old and I will now change things around. It might be the hardest thing I have ever done – I don’t have the energy of a 20 year old anymore –  and it might take longer than I want, but I will never forgive myself if I don’t go for it. I will make this chart look different.

I had this idea when I started this blog that I was going to share the building of my website. I will get back to that: I came as far as having built the fundament in Adobe Muse and now I am focusing on building my portfolio. Without a great portfolio there really isn’t much to put up on the site, so that makes sense. I also may be trying out Squarespace instead, since there is a built in solution for web shops. A looooot of time has also been dedicated to research about webb platforms, web shop solutions, payment solutions, manufacturing, print shops etc etc. So many decisions and so little time. Obviously.

See you soon and if you would like to see more of my creative stuff, please check my instagram account @madeleinewidelanddesign.

The days in between

My nine best liked posts from 2017 on Instagram!

Christmas came and went and now we’re counting days to the next celebration, New Years Eve. Usually I am not very into Christmas, or at least I haven’t been for many years. This year I made a decision that I was going to embrace it instead of rejecting it, go with it instead of against it. I think at some point it was about embracing myself, my new self, who is much more happy with life and the path I have taken in the last year. 2017 has been a strange and difficult year for the world and the people on the planet. Me and my family have had our share of difficulties and some things have really put us to the test, as human beings and as a family. I started this year recovering from being burnt out and trying to figure out what I needed to be able to get back to work but not to the state I was in when I crashed. One thing had becom absolutely crystal clear during my sick leave – I had rediscovered my creative self and I knew that this was the key to feeling whole and not frustrated.

Some of you who know me might think that I have been very creative since I have been singing the whole time, performing even when I was ill. And surely, singing is still what makes me feel most alive and fulfilled – but I no longer feel the urge to sing at any cost, anywhere, at every occasion offered. I love to sing when I am free to express myself in the way I want and to use my voice to connect with people. Which leaves some rare occasions…
So this year I have been exploring the world of art and patterns. I have painted with watercolours as pure therapy. I have taken courses and classes in pattern design, connected to like-minded people all over the world. I have invested in hardware to be able to create and share my work. I have watched hundreds of tutorials learning everything from drawing simple motifs to the most advanced technical skills. I have created lots of patterns, exploring my style and the things I like. I have started to put myself out there, with my instagram feed, on twitter and with this blog. When I look back on 2017 I have accomplished a great deal and I am very happy and proud of that. Exactly a year ago I was if not a mess, at least a bit messed up and at the end of this year I feel strong and full of hope and I have a very clear picture in my head of what I want for 2018. I will continue to put myself out there, share what I do and start selling my design. I am usually not the kind of person who set goals and very decisively work towards them, but this time I feel different. I want this to happen, a dream I want and need to come true. I hope you will join me and I would much appreciate questions, feedback or just a like now and then.

These are my thoughts on the days in between. See you soon!
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @madeleinewidelanddesign