This update is way overdue and I promise to get in touch more often. Moving homes was so very overwhelming in a good way. I promise not to bore you with all the specifics but I am not sure how to keep this blog going without adding some personal experiences every now and then.
So we moved homes in January and I got a new dedicated space for both ‘By Lef’ and ‘DEEZ Dutch’. Please let me know if you would be interested in a more detailed post about my setup etc. I’m not sure if you are curious about my working conditions and productivity setup, but if you are, I’d gladly share it! So now I have a By Lef studio and a full working space for all the DEEZ Dutch equipment! We are truly overjoyed and looking forward to not doing big home improvement projects for the next few months.
Maybe you’ve heard and experienced it too, a change of scenery is a major spark for your creativity and brings loads of inspiration! I remember a holiday in France in 2016 where I was desperate to find some paint so I could get some of the creative pressure out of my system. I purchased some primary (cheap) gouache colours and some magnificent paper in a kiosk. Don’t ask me about why they sold good paper and bad paint though or why they even sold it in a place next to magazines and cigarettes. I thinned the gouache down like watercolours and had a blast painting some random flowers and sun inspired fruits etc.
So back to the present. My idea notebook is exploding and I couldn’t wait to get back to work. Not a surprise my studio/office was one of the first rooms to be done after the kid’s rooms.
In the past months a few new products have been released in my Creative Market shop .
I took the plunge and purchased some gouache colours from Winsor and Newton. This was a totally new medium for me besides the times I used some low quality ones to water them down like watercolor. Using it properly was having the luxury of acrylic paints and watercolor and everything in between! Totally loved it and managed to make a nice graphics set using them. It’s called ‘Lovebirds’ and is a complete range of graphics containing separate elements, patterns and compositions.
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Right before the move I also released some floral graphic sets, a font and new floral Photoshop brushes were added last month. So be sure to look around in my shop if you were looking for something new in those categories.
Projects and goals I’m working on
So now I’m back in business I have a few creative endeavours and I would absolutely love it if you connect with me on Instagram if any of these resonate with you or if you think we could help each other along.
Drawing more and practice
I tend to struggle with drawing what is in my head. I don’t have major issues copying a picture of objects with pencils, but drawing from life or drawing anatomy, faces etc basically anything with eyes, is something I don’t feel comfortable with. Currently I’m following the lessons from ‘Love Life Drawing’ on youtube and I’m already seeing progress. I share these every now and then and would love feedback or support. If you’re on the same journey we can probably support each other! This also brings me to my next project/goal;
I easily feel overwhelmed with all the social upkeep. The most updates have been on Instagram stories for me and I figured out that’s because it disappears in 24h. Instagram itself for my business feels like I have to curate it too much nowadays. The pictures should represent what my brand is about and the feed should look somewhat comprehensive (my own rules). I also started a more personal IG for that reason but since my personal project ‘lovebirds’ turned into a commercial one, that has remained quiet as well. Anyway, I decided to try and share daily on different channels that I love. My main priorities being this website, instagram, twitter and as a future possibility my Youtube channel. Also, I’ll try to not overcomplicate or strive for perfection too much. If an IG pic turned out mediocre but the subject is good, I’ll try sharing it on twitter instead for example.
I also want to share more knowledge. My tutorial about making a font really kicked off and I’m delighted about all the positive feedback I received. It’s so extremely satisfying to see that that blog helped so many people get started making their own font. Teaching has been something I did with great delight back in my aviation days. Now I’m trying to find more ways in which I can share knowledge about design.
Experiment more and share that too
I had a nice chat with my designer friend Daniel Feldt (I think you might love his work too!) this week about not being able to stick to one thing creatively. He reminded me that new things sometimes open up so many new possibilities and that it’s okay to keep doing new things. He also made me finally purchase Austin Kleon‘s books (‘Steal like an Artist’ and ‘Show your work’) that further inspired me to just experiment, keep the momentum going, share online (hence this post) and don’t be afraid. The books were such an inspiration and I highly recommend them, especially ‘Show your work’!
It’s sometimes hard to create something or experiment with something just for the experience when you have a business to run. However, when I experimented with the gouache I never expected that to actually turn into something I could use for my business too. That freedom gave me so much more room to try something new and learn something new without the pressure of creating a product. However, it did turn into a product and I think it upped my game even!
I hope to be interacting with you all a lot more from now on. I’d also love to share more in different ways. If you feel like there’s something you’d like to know more about and think I can help, please reach out! I’d love that even more than just shooting blanks and guessing what people want to see.
Thanks for reading, you’re the best
Thanks Manon for sharing this. And your art is gorgeous. This is the 2nd article I read this week where the author recommends the books from Austin Kleon. I will definitely read those books! Personally I need to not be afraid to take the pen and brush and try things. I am a web designer but would love to be a visual artist! Like many, I am a bit burnt out with social media, and I have decided to forget calculated marketing and simply spontaneously post just what I like on Instagram, and the projects I love on Behance, even if it is a simple watercolor of a pear for instance.
Thanks for sharing a bit what and where you want to sell. It doesn’t seem easy to see what works. One artist I am following is Kirsten Sevig. She does great work and it is interesting to note where she sells and what she sells.
Keep up the good work! (I was your 2600th follower on Instagram this morning!!)