Dear friends, I've been trying hard to find the words for a good holiday greeting. Christmas just passed and the New Year's eve is approaching - the time of joy for some, the time of loneliness for others. The time for turning pages and changing old habits. The time when we dare to make wishes and pray for miracles. The time when even grown-ups believe in magic.
My favourite thought of the week comes from an interview by the educator and author Erika Christakis to the National Public Radio: I think boredom can be a friend to the imagination. Later in this same interview Christakis says: I think that's very unrealistic and probably not a good idea to aspire to being comfortable all the time.
It was such a beautiful day. We woke up early and listened to Vivaldi’s Four seasons and then I took my baby to the window to watch a billion white butterflies dancing outside. We were planning to have brownies for breakfast. And then I checked my phone and saw the news about attack on Charlie Hebdo. It happens way too often. Reality breaks into my cozy little world chasing snow butterflies away. Reality reminds me that life is fragile, time is not kind, love is fleeting and no matter how loud we clap our hands, sometimes fairies die. That morning
A few days ago I woke up with an extraordinary thought. I don’t know where exactly it came from, but it made me very very happy. My thought was this – I CAN DO ANYTHING! I mean it. All my life I was making excuses for not doing things I love because of the circumstances. Wrong job, wrong partner, wrong location, and so on. If only I could get things right, I would really spread my wings! A few days ago it dawned on me. I’ve done it! It was long and it wasn’t easy, but I got rid of
I wake up afraid that I missed it. Somehow autumn seems more important than any other season. Maybe it’s in the falling leaves, or early uncertain dawns, or growing anticipation of Christmas magic. Maybe it’s because I used to love going back to school: buying new notebooks and pens, picking new books in the library and flipping through their pages was something akin to fortune-telling. Good things happen all the time, but in autumn my faith grows stronger.
Marianne Cantwell is my personal hero and undoubtedly - a real fairy! I came across her book Be a Free Range Human long before I knew anything about her. I was planning to quit my cosy, convenient, boring and unfulfilling office job and plunge into a whirlpool of creative business. Was I scared? I was petrified! Was I doubtful? Of course I was! I was looking for a confirmation that I was making the right choice. I didn't need another motivational book. I needed realistic advice on making my ideas work and living my own way. And this is where Marianne comes into story. Her book inspired me more than anything I've ever read! I follow her blog and Facebook page, admire her light and wise attitude to life, love her open smile and her honest, compelling and REAL essays and stories. I wrote to Marianne asking for en interview for Fairies and Co. And she agreed!
Every morning I take a walk. It is one of my favourite rituals. I have a shower, answer e-mails, eat my breakfast, put my walking wellies on, take my camera and step out of the door. I never know where I want to go. It is not about "where". I pick a direction - north, or south, or south-west and walk. I walk through long and narrow village streets, apple orchards, cemeteries, fields, forests, past grazing farm horses and wooly sheep, past hay stacks, rivers and small lakes.
Having a dream is tough. It's a matter of courage It demands a good deal of faith and imagination and, let's be honest, a bit of recklessness. It takes hours of work, sometimes days of sitting around, sipping coffee, fiddling with your phone, doing nothing, or so it seems, going nowhere or so it looks from the distance, sometimes getting frustrated or bored, but finally, ultimately getting excited when you find your idea. When you find it, what will you do? Will you accept it as a one-way ticket in uncertain destination? Will you embrace it with its beauty, potential and fragility and give it a chance to change your life and maybe with that change my life too?
I love emotions. I love lively and vivid images of people at their best. I try to capture and bring out every sparkle and every expression and here is a confession I have to make: it's hard. Sometimes very hard. I wish there was a magic spell that would turn rubber smiles and stiff poses into happy, laid-back images! When I started as a photographer my biggest question was how to help my models relax in front of camera, or better still, forget that camera altogether. Here are a few simple things that helped a lot along the way and help me still:
I am often asked what resources I use on a daily basis for my illustration career. What websites, social platforms or blogs I turn to for help and inspiration. For a long time I answered with a long list of very useful links. Now I answer with one word - Pinterest. I am a visual learner. I relate to the world through images. My ideas, my plans, my dreams are images in my head. And I am constantly image-hungry. I am looking for textures and patterns, interesting compositions, faces, poses, colours and moods. I am looking for a spark, an idea, a sign. Even when I don't know what I am looking for exactly, I just flick through inspiring images until I see something that moves me, something that triggers my own imagination.