Updated Figure Drawings on my website.

The flowers are blossoming in London and that can only mean one thing: SPRING. And with the change in season comes Spring Cleaning of my apartment. It’s officially time to store away 2-3 sketchbooks and throw away stacks of loose paper. The more I draw, the less attached I get to any one drawing. When I was in high school, I used to get protective over every painting, drawing, and doodle. But I’ve started thinking about my art as an ongoing journey and form of creative meditation rather than a portfolio (required for college applications or job interviews). This mentality has completely changed my approach to figure drawing… and my willingness to stuff A3 sketchbooks into the trash.

How would you change your approach to something you love if it was for purely personal fulfillment rather than professional development? 

Most people believe in the ‘Do what you love’ mantra about work, but I think it’s hard to receive personal fulfillment if you’re being paid to create work/art for someone else. To me, there are things I love doing at work and things I love doing in my personal life. Equally satisfying, but in separate ways.

If you want to see my favorite figure drawings, I’ve uploaded them to my website (obviously I created digital evidence of my work before throwing them in the bin!) Check them out here.

 

Advertisements

TEDxBrighton

It’s always been my dream to speak at a TED conference. Second to that is actually getting to attend one… and this year, that dream came true at TEDxBrigton on October 28th 2016. The theme for this event was ‘We Can Be Heros’: a celebration of impact.

My top 2 talks were:

  1. Rory Sutherland – Rory is a change maker at Ogilvy. He gives fascinating talks on marketing, human psychology, and choice. This time he focused on the paradox of choice and wealth because we now live in an era where wealth doesn’t always come from having more products and services, but from having a better way to choose between different options. Read more about it here. 
  2. Sarah Giblin – Sarah was a commuter with a problem: with the backpack behind her, she constantly felt threatened by the people around her. After deliberating the design of backpacks, she realized… that maybe… just maybe, backpacks were designed the wrong way around! So, Sarah set out to design and manufacture a backpack that includes the zipper against the users back, rather than being exposed to the rest of the world. RIUT stands for Revolution In User-Thinking because she believes that as consumers, we all have the ability to solve the pain points we experience on a daily basis.

1477316355409

Other interesting speakers that grabbed my attention:

  1. Beau Jessup – a 17-year old British Girl that has named over 250,000 Chinese Babies through her ‘Special Name’ website.
  2. Dave Perrins – A man who saw felt males were not properly trained to become fathers, so he created ‘The Dad Course’ (a relaxed environment meet-up to help first-time dads prepare for fatherhood and become more engaged, more confident and healthier fathers.
  3. Cat Fletcher – Cat gained national recognition when she sourced the materials for the University of Brighton’s award-winning Waste House, a two-story building constructed almost entirely of re-used waste materials.

Today’s agenda: Coconut Pancakes and the Start-up community

If there are two things I like more than anything else: it’s breakfast and lists.

Today’s breakfast: Coconut Pancakes. Recipe here. 

Coconut Pancakes

Today’s list: 10 things I’ve learned from working with start-ups

  1. Start-ups exist in a COMMUNITY and the more you participate, the easier it gets to network and meet others in this community.
  2. Authenticity is needed for ‘commercially-minded corporates’ to successfully enter this sector
  3. An idea is worth nothing, but a company with actual products, strategy, and a team is worth something (potentially).
  4. The definition of a ‘start-up’ is impossible to pinpoint. And that’s never going to change.
  5. Corporates and start-ups are not enemies; they just don’t know how to speak to each other. It’s a classic lost-in-translation situation.
  6. Money is not the issue; execution of ideas and scaling up past ‘shiny new start-up’ is a problem.
  7. It’s a numbers game – the number of start-ups, investors, mentors, accelerators, brands, clients, etc.
  8. There are two types of people in this world: entrepreneurs and curious observer. Having or not having a start-up is NOT the defining characteristic. It comes down to personality – there are people who build and people who support.
  9. There are a lot of bad ideas, confused business plans, and inapplicable pieces of tech that have hundreds of thousands of pounds in investment funding. Again, how much money you’ve raised is secondary to the monetization strategy.
  10. Both breakfast and the start-up community involve a lot of coffee.

Samedi matin à la start-up.

Naked people on a vine. 

1. I finally got Vine… Yet another social media channel. The app is quite easy to use and create short, snackable video loops. The 6 second video is similar to the 140 character tweet. A new standard of attention span. 

2. I have still been going to life drawing, but haven’t posted progress recently. See quick examples in the Vine above.

3. Happy Sunday. Where are my weekends going? I need to regain my weekends to write in my journal, post on my blog, and bake vegan sweets from scratch.

In search of creativity… where is it found? #art #sketchbook #artwork #notes #creative

9

Here are some of my artistic beliefs:

1. Creating rules, limitations, or specific projects can spark creative genius.

2. Fine art is not the only type of “ART.” A sketchbook should also contain notes, shopping lists, observations, and current worries.

3. An artist does not have ‘talent’ but the courage to try and the willingness to learn.

4. Art is a continual practice. And yes, you can lose it.

5. Create art for yourself, but aim to inspire others by boldly sharing your ideas and work.

Book_220.png

I have recently started a new blog. It will probably fail… but that’s not going to stop me from trying. In fact, I promise to dye my hair bright pink if I ever reach over 1,000 Twitter followers or 1,000 Facebook likes. [Not sure it would be easy with my dark brown lion’s mane…] But there it is. I said it.

So…. start liking, commenting, following, and retweeting. My hope is that my Naïsbook Project will inspire you to be more creative and call yourself an ‘artist.’ You can read about the purpose and name of the project HERE. Or like my Facebook page solely because you want one more pink haired person in this world, I would be alright with that as well.

WordPress: Naisbook Project

Facebook: Naïsbook Project

Twitter: @naisbookproject

Instagram: naisbookproject

Short Film: Naïsbook

IMG_5983

TRAVELING, blogging, and drawing.

20140829-094649-35209006.jpg

I’m currently at Heathrow Terminal 1 about to debark towards Sofia, Bulgaria. There is nothing better than siting down with a coffee and my sketchbook at the airport. The rush of adventure, the fear of take-off, the assurance that I’ve passed security, and the calm of coffee. I remember my elementary teachers saying that you remember things better if you write them down. I don’t know whether that is scientifically proven, but I find it to be true. Therefore, I try to reflect and write down my impressions and reflections of my travels. This trip will be purely personal (going to visit family) but equally offers the opportunity for diversity and variation in my life. So for now, I say bye and здрасти София … Предстегам след 6 цаса… Имам престой в Германия.

Reflections on my week in BOSTON… and a peek into Harvard/MIT.

IMG_0053 IMG_0056

Reflections on my short trip to Boston:

  1. I personally found Boston to be the older and more attractive sibling of New York: the streets are cleaner, the people are friendlier, and the architecture is diverse. (Boston is the perfect mix between tradition and modernity). Plus, Boston is quite small, making the walk from the North end all the way to Cambridge a charming afternoon.
  1. The city has a bustling culture scene. I was fortunate enough to catch a Puerto Rican festival this past weekend. First, my friend and I stumbled upon a full free night concert and the next day we saw a parade! The atmosphere was absolutely joyous due to the wonderful Bostonian people and hispanic pride. The cultural diversity of the city adds to its dynamic ambiance. (Fun fact from a local: Boston has a large Puerto Rican community).
  1. Boston could easily be identified as a university area. The actual city is filled with names ranging from Northeastern, Berklee School of Music, Tufts, Boston University, and Boston College. And just across the Charles River are MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. As a student aspiring to their high calibre, I found the two prestigious universities to be aweing and yet normal. By talking to current students, it became clear that going to Harvard or MIT was difficult (but DEFINITELY not unattainable through hard work). Insider information: Harvard students pee on the statue of John Harvard, so DON’T rub the foot. Also, MIT students love climbing on things… buildings, the alchemist statue, etc.
  1. The transportation was easy to use and efficient. I was staying at MIT in Cambridge, which was closely connected to the city through the T (metro). There were also buses and other quick links. I’m biased because I live in London, but hey, for an American city the public transportation was pretty good!
  1. So much to do! So much to see! So much to enjoy! There are museums, historical sites, comedy clubs, malls, movie theatres, Red Sox games, food markets, parks and so so so much more. Additionally, the city appears to care for its citizens. For example, the greenway is a park stretch from the North End to South Station. AND there’s free wifi on this strip (it also has benches, tables, fountains, and vegetation).
  1. The people were absolutely lovely. The population sample was probably skewed away from students because it was summer, but I found Boston to have a nice mix of students, young professionals, and established business suits. Although it heavily depends on the area, Boston also has a nice balance between the different socio-economic classes.

Personal recommendations for places to visit:

  1. Boston Commons
  2. Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Market – bustling food and clothing stores
  3. Beacon Hill – where the rich people live
  4. North End – Italian part (must try cannoli)
  5. Newbury Street – shopping and beautiful area
  6. Freedom Trail
  7. The financial district
  8. The Boston Harbour Inn
  9. The different university campuses (especially Cambridge)

Food/Drink:

  1. Eat lunch or dinner on top of the Prudential Tower for an amazing view of Boston
  2. Coffee and a sandwich at Thinking Cup
  3. Coffee shop experience =  Flour Bakery and Cafe 
  4. Brunch in Cambridge – Area Four (they serve pizza!)
  5. Boston Common Coffee (why go to Starbucks when Boston has its own chain?)
  6. La Burdicks – for a hot chocolate experience like a true Harvard Student
  7. Georgetown Cupcakes – there’s one on Newbury street

Final Conclusion: Boston… I’ll be coming back for you someday. You absolutely took my heart away!