Written by AnnaDenise on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 15:26
I love coming across people who do something similar to what I do, but a million times better. Fortunately for me, there are a lot of these people out there and I keep an ever growing list of people that I totally have a huge illustration crush on. Most recently I've added Dutch illustrator Marloes de Vries to that list.
I absolutely adore her daily illustrations - they're so cheerful, funny, and authentic. I think you'd all like them. So go check out Marloes' blog. It's hilarious and so pretty (and SO recognizable in most cases).
Written by AnnaDenise on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 21:50
Larger version here
Written by AnnaDenise on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 08:26
I am not a big believer in faith, or destiny. And by that I mean I don't believe in it at all. I don't think there's a bigger plan, or even that some things are meant to be. Coincidences are, in fact, most likely, just that.
Nevertheless, some things sometimes just turn out too darn perfect. And by that I mean just right. And, coincidentally, lately things in my life have been going just right a lot. Very right, in fact, most of the time.
An example (not random, nor the most important): When I decided to move back to The Netherlands earlier this year, Kim Welling, an Etsy seller whose work I've been a fan of for so many years (see her shop here) reached out to say she'd be interested in subletting her apartment in the center of my native town of Utrecht. I dropped by for tea, gaped at the place, we shook hands, and the deal was pretty much done.
Two weeks later, we both signed on the line that was dotted - and I moved in. And, well, for lack of a better word - it's just been awesome. Kim (who has an amazing blog filled with her superb illustrations, great tips for creative entrepreneurs, and gorgeous photos, so go read!) has a wonderful sense of style and it's just been a perfect fit. It has felt like home to me from the second we dumped those 30-some boxes (ugh! how did that happen! why do I own so much shit?) in the middle of that superbly yellow-wallpapered living room. It's been the perfect place to unwind, read, listen to music, love, and chill in between travels and work.
I have so many things to be grateful for, and this place is one of them for sure. Thank you, Kim!
Written by AnnaDenise on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 23:08
My life has gotten a complete makeover these past few weeks, months...how long has it been even? The dust has yet to settle down, but being a absolute beginner at something again is both totally terrifying and oh so thrilling.
Walking around Haight Ashbury
Stuffing myself at my favorite sushi place in Berkeley
Sales at Anthropology FTW!
Bay Adventures with Danielle
Cake at Tartine Bakery
Victorian Home Walk & Lunch at La Boulange
Wine, champagne and sunshine in Napa
Fun & games w/ Megan at SFMoma
Burgers & Obama!
So thrilling in fact that my trip to San Francisco last/this month seems far away already. I kept a journal, but haven't been able to upload any of the drawing yet. But I've been having fun with Instagram lately, so I can at least share those with you. It was awesome. Yes.
Written by AnnaDenise on Wednesday, August 08, 2012 at 15:23
This is the kind of thing I do on my lunch breaks when all my colleagues are on vacation and I am eating my panini at my desk (sssh! don't tell the boss, he hates it when we eat behind our computers, although I totally caught him eating cookies as well). I create pink treasuries on Etsy.
Also, I discovered a mega, mega, mega, awesome Asian food store right behind the office. I shall now eat nothing but noodles, rice, baby Chinese broccoli and hot sauce. And I got some weird fish paste I have yet to try. Today is a good day.
Written by AnnaDenise on Saturday, August 04, 2012 at 22:29
Click on the thumbnail for a larger image
Today, in between sanding and painting three old little tables, taking care of a sick Meneertje, work that isn't work, and choosing wedding-appro- priate attire (no, not my wedding), I finally finished my entry for
The Scribble Project. The Scribble Project is run by Australian illustrator Lisa Currie (check out her scribble here), and it was so. much. fun. to do this. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a creative pick-me-up!
Written by AnnaDenise on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 17:16
Week two of the challenge (that I am finishing TODAY - but I'm behind on my coloring) was easier and harder, in unexpected ways. Easier, because the mental stress had ebbed away and in its place came a sort of silence, a quiet acceptance of the challenge and all the hours I would spend in the hot room. I even started to LOVE the backbends and looking forward to them, while I usually have the hardest time letting go and breathing in those scary backbends.
It was also harder, because I hurt my lower back. Feeling strong and invincible, I spent all day lifting heavy frames and photographs, whilst taking down an exhibition. I feel a total snob for admitting this, but I usually don't build or take down the exhibitions myself - I just give instructions and draw up plans - and I probably made some odd lower back / hip movements I shouldn't have made.
To my great frustration, the pain lasted for almost an entire week (which probably isn't that long), but the fact that the yoga really helped just reaffirmed my belief that this yoga will save my back from succumbing to the terrible back-issues that plague my family members.
Back (heh) tomorrow with more!
Written by AnnaDenise on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 08:30
I just spent the most gorgeous long weekend in Utrecht, Holland, meeting up with old friends, biking around the city, enjoying the sun, and feeling quite nostalgic throughout (I grew up + went to college in Utrecht). We had the Monday off here in Belgium, which was great, as the Etsy Labs Illustration evening in collaboration with 101 Woonideeën was on Monday evening! I was so honored that Marta from Etsy asked me to teach that evening alongside Kim Welling, Annemarie Schumacher, and Lieke van den Berge.
It was such a nice evening in In De Ruimte, Utrecht's coolest co-working and creation space, located in an old cloister 'werfkelder' (basement along the canal). I had a bunch of friends participate in my course, and even met some of you readers from the blog in person!
There were about 80 people signed up in total (I had about 20 students in my little art journalling troop), and although it was impossible for me to give everyone instructions at the same time, after about ten minutes the entire room was quiet and humming with concentration. It really was quite the spectacle. Four teachers just looking around at each other, while everyone was drawing, cutting, writing, and painting. It always amazes me how just a tiny nudge in the right direction can result in great creativity.
Once again - a big thank you to Etsy andf 101 Woonideeën, for inviting me to teach. Thank you In De Ruimte, for the amazing space. Thank you Sabra, for being my lovely assistant and brownie-bringer. Thank you everyone, friends, readers, followers who came out for my workshop and the other workshops. It was awesome.
PS: We're organizing a Brussels meetup in honor of Etsy's annual Craft Party on August 24. More info will follow, but please sign up here, if you'd like to come, too!
Written by AnnaDenise on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 21:57
A year after first trying and falling in love with Bikram yoga (read my posts on it here and here), I decided to do something to push myself over the edge of sanity. Or at least, that's what most people in my life seem to think. I've decided to take on the Bikram yoga 30 day challenge, where I go to class every day for 30 consecutive days. Of course, I drew about it (as always, click on the images to see a larger picture).
Week one started on June 2nd (a Monday - I like starting things on Mondays).
I had heard that the 30 days would be mostly a mental and emotional (as well as a physical) challenge, but I had not expected the claustrophobia I felt the first few days. Especially day two and three I was seriously doubting my mental health, feeling completely stuck when thinking of 28...27 more days to go.
Day four fortunately changed this, when I finally convinced my friend Debbie to come along and I was finally able to focus on something else besides my own non-stop mental chatter (thank you, Debbie!). She of course LOVED the class ;-)
And then the physical challenge started. I usually practice four to five times a week, taking a day rest in between classes. Day five and six were rough. I was just so... tired. Kostas, one of the yogis that started the challenge with me really dragged me through class at one point. Afterwards, my teachers then sent me straight to the organic store downtown to get some supplements (protein powder, magnesium, Himalayan salt, vitamins, coconut water, and lots of fruit and veggies).
Glad to say that made a world of difference physically and I ended the week on a high note, feeling very peaceful, strong and flexible. All classes seem to blend into one and I noticed today, that by the end of each day I really look forward to class (I take the evening classes, after work). Also, my teachers (Audrey, Sameer, Fitzjoy, and Aleksandra) and fellow students are very supportive. Thank you, all, if you're reading this by chance.
Since I know you all care greatly about my yoga practice, I'm glad to let you know I'll be posting an update again next week. Hurray, right?
PS: Unlike what a lot of people seem to think, I am not doing this challenge to lose weight. I've had my share of weight-related bullshit and am just done with it. This, for me, is about becoming emotionally stronger, mentally flexible, and physically more resilient. Just so you know I won't be posting weight updates, as I no longer use scales.
Written by AnnaDenise on Wednesday, June 06, 2012 at 08:00
My dear friend Val is getting married and she and her fiance asked me to do their invitations. I said yes, of course, and then proceeded to freak the fuck out.
I am completely obsessed with Anna Bond's work at Rifle Design and my fear were twofold. I was afraid I 1) could never live up to the expectations and forever hate myself for disappointing my friends, and 2) would focus so much on Anna Bond's work that it would look exactly like hers, thereby turning me into a totally lame copycat wannabe loser.
I think neither fear came true (although I'm still kind of paranoid about the 2nd point) and it was actually really nice working with my friends. They're the kind of organized people who know what they want and are good about communicating their wants and needs. Which meant only a few rounds of revisions and a happy outcome for all (although the deadlines were quite tight since they moved the wedding forward from October to June - eek!).
I am actually really happy with how it turned out and am so proud and honored I could to this for my friends. Here's to a long and happy marriage, Val & Thijs! I love you!
Oh, also: I absolutely LOVED doing this and I would really like to do more of these. So if you're getting married and are interested in my services, email me!
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