The other day I was playing around with ink. I had some sketches from the week before. Sometimes I like to set some time aside and do several drawings in one go. And then after some days I really wanted to make one of the drawings into a digital drawing of a mocca lover. ☕️👩🏽🎨
June Newsletter went out this weekend. It’s meant to encourage you and me to get more creative and draw more. This prompt is monthly and it mainly consists of two tasks:
📓Start a black and white sketchbook
👩🏽🎨Do a painting session once a week (based on said sketchbook)
Each week has a theme, this week it’s: LINE
The reason behind starting Black and White sketchbook is that I personally struggle to focus, so sometimes setting limitations helps me. Like the smaller the box, the better results I produce. And removing colour from the problem solving tasks I concentrate on other things like composition, line and shape. And actually that black and white sketchbook ended up being the most *used one, I used so many of the drawings from there to create other work (colour and black and white). And I think it could work for you too, so I would encourage for the month of June start black and white or any one colour sketchbook (alongside your other sketchbooks if you like!). Do faces, dogs, plants, play around with patterns, draw whatever you like.
And second part is set time aside each week, an hour or two and just play around with ink (have around 5-10 sheets of paper and just draw)! As by that point you should have sketchbook with some doodles and drawings and you can create paintings based on those sketches. Let go and really enjoy the process. I find ink the easiest material to do it with.
Please share your work with #CreateThingsHaveFun
I drew this woman after a conversation with a friend who declared that she is not a feminist. I’m pretty sure she is and I think everyone should be. Here is a list of books which are great feminist reading, to inspire you and give you power and make you angry (because inequality is scary and terrifying) and give you energy to channel all those emotions into something good.
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by by Caroline Criado Perez
The Guilty Feminist: From our noble goals to our worst hypocrisies by Deborah Frances-White
Illustration is available here as a print and it comes with a list of reading (separate print out).
London has so many stunning Art Shops and first instalment of some of my favourite places to visit is Covent Garden Area.
L. Cornelissen & Son is one of the oldest art shops in London, it’s 5 minutes walk from British Museum (Holborn, Covent Garden or Tottenham Court Rd Stations). It’s small, filled to the brim with traditional materials, has lots of drawers for you to look through and squeaky floors. It’s enchanting and you are bound to find some inspiration as well as some great art materials there.
London Graphic Centre is a huge shop covering everything from art materials to stationery to cool bags and DIY. I remember coming here as a tiny baby student illustrator on a day trip to London and feeling like I’m in paradise. To be honest nothing has changed much, art shops are still my happy place. And here you can find everything you wish for.
Monmouth Coffee is an inspiration. They started selling coffee in the 70’s and haven’t changed much, stayed true to themselves, trends just caught up with them. Sometimes I feel this is a beautiful parallel to finding your style in illustration, just do what you believe in and don’t worry about trends, listen to your inner voice. Thank you Monmouth Coffee for teaching this important lesson and making the best coffee. They are an institution and are worth a visit, especially if you are walking around Covent Garden between many many tourists and need a quiet break and some energy ☕️
Choosing Keeping exquisite stationery shop which moved from Columbia Rd to this central location and expanded. They sell everything from scented inks to japanese papers to pens, pencils, notebooks, paperweights and all kinds of beautiful stationery in abundance. It’s a very beautiful shop with knowledgable staff and absolutely worth a visit.
If you would like to watch my little video tour of these places you can find it here:
Please see my Art & Stationery Shop map of London (with some coffee shops and other special places to visit), map will be updated regularly and if you end up visiting some of these places thanks to my tips, please let me know!
We’ve all heard one person or another say oh I’m not that creative. My Mum used to say it a lot (even though she is), then I would here it anywhere I went. Even when I would teach drawing and painting workshops people would say that they are not that creative and then sit down, spend some time working on something and produce a something out of nothing. Any form of creativity is such an incredible process but I also believe it’s more a habit of doing something rather than natural ability to just be creative. And I believe everyone is creative. So I started this newsletter filled with some prompts and tips for you and me to get into a habit of drawing more, being creative more.
In May it will be a weekly newsletter and from then on it will be a monthly one. I hope you can join in!
You can find what people create this week under the tag #CreateThingsHaveFun on instagram
And you can subscribe below
I love sharing my process and behind the scenes on instagram and I take a lot of short video’s daily so it was only a matter of time when I would be brave enough to commit to a longer video’s and I’m so excited to share this first one! It’s been a while in a making and (thinking how to make it). I hope you like it! It’s about my favourite things.. trains, drawing and coffee.
I’m so excited to announce that I’m now a member of Live Illustration London @lil_collective, a group of experienced and talented live illustrators.
I've been drawing live portraits for some time now and it's one of my favourite things to do. I work mainly with gouache and create full colour originals in 10-15 minutes.
I've drawn so many wonderful @craftyfoxmarket customers, @costacoffee visitors, charcoal portraits for @boscia press day, taught @pinterestuk inspired workshop at @blogtacular and portrait painting at @vamuseum
We offer fashion illustration, calligraphy, customisation, etching, portraits, window painting and more. We have brought our creative skills to press days, retail promotions, corporate events and private parties. It's 5 of us ( @miss_magpie_spy 👩🏽🎨 @willagebbie 👩🏼🎨 @immieowen 👩🏻🎨 @trinitymitchelldesign 👩🏽🎨 & me 👩🏼🎨) and our skillsets are different but what we have in common is that we are making things entertaining and memorable (be it a PR event, customised product or a portrait). If you are interested to see what we can offer follow us at @lil_collective or have a look at our updated shiny website here.
I love a summer party and especially the one which comes with a cute invitation. I got to draw a girl who’s going to a summer party for sisterMAG issue 47, they made it into a super cute printable card set. You can find it on their website and download the template and have a read through the issue.
If you use the printout, please send me a photo.
Oslo was a place I always wanted to go, but I didn’t know what to expect or had a very clear idea of what it’s going to be like.
I fell in love with Oslo from the first Hei Hei 👋🏼 It’s such a beautiful and grand city but it’s so calm, charming and not showing off at all (because when you are that cool and amazing you don’t need to do that, right?!) and I hope to visit it again in the future.
I had just over two days to explore this beautiful city, love for coffee, art and people watching and so with some googling, friend tips and asking locals here are my favourite things to do in Oslo on a weekend trip.
Contemporary Art museum located beautifully next to Aker Brygge it’s a joy to walk towards it. The building itself is spectacular and is facing the sea. It’s one of the most impressive Contemporary Art museums I’ve ever been. The permanent collection features Frank Benson, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Francis Bacon & David Hockney (it rotates but some of the more popular pieces are always on display).
However what really blew my mind was temporary collection, exhibition I visited was called Sun and Spring in January - Next Generation in Contemporary Norwegian Art. A lot of them are women and their work is amazing (art & feminism, some of my favourite things). My favourite were Mercedes Mühleisen with a video projection // installation, Miriam Hansen & Constance Tenvik.
The space is incredibly inspiring so after soaking up all the art I got myself a cup of coffee and sketched overlooking beautiful sculptures and the sea.
The scream was not there but I went to see The Swan Princess (Russian Art 1890-1910). Being russian I grew up seeing a lot of the paintings in books, fairy tales, learning about them in school but I never saw them in person (I was born and grew up in Latvia), so it took me only a trip to Norway to explore that art and connect to that part of my identity. The exhibition intertwined Russian art of that time with Norwegian contemporaries in such a beautiful and human way. Curators explicitly wrote in the exhibition description that it was their intention, to bring people closer together through art in current political climate. I would love to visit museum again and see more of their view.
Beautiful park filled with works of Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The park is so spacious and works as a perfect backdrop for the stuning amount of work and epic scale/quantity of Gustav Vigeland sculptures.
✏️ Lush Dive
Stationery shop. They have absolutely everything and of the best quality. I left with some sketchbooks, pencils, pencil grips, pencil sharpener and came in just to have a browse.
Excellent coffee. I mean.. they do LOVE coffee in Oslo, it’s drank mainly black and filter and that’s the way I love it. Majority of places offer fantastic cup of pour over and are happy to chat to you and ask what kind of coffee you like.
Is an establishment and I’ve heard about it before. I was recommended a cup of coffee based on the weather conditions and it was one of the nicest coffee’s I’ve ever had. Also while having a coffee outside and enjoying the sunshine a stranger approached us and asked to look after his dog while he bought coffee. Got a coffee and a dog for 3 minutes, not guaranteed it will happen to you but worth a try?
Places for walks and sightseeing:
🎵 Stop by Opera, it’s a fabulous building with incredible architecture inside and out.
👩🏽🎨 Walk around Grünnerløkka (you are guaranteed to end up there, super trendy area with lots of cute things to see and river to walk by).
🏰 Akershus Fortress
👑 The Royal Palace
🌊 Aker Brygge
🐶 Do some dog spotting, there are so many cute and friendly dogs and also cats.
🎨 For this trip and that sketch session at the Astrup Fearnley Museet I used:
✏️ Caran D’ache Luminance Pencils. I love how creamy and non water soluble they are. They come in a variety of different colours and are perfect on their own or add texture to paint.
Hope you liked my guide.
Have you ever been to Oslo? Are you going? Would love to hear what other places would you recommend visiting?
I loved working on these series of illustrations for Afternoon Crumbs last year (bakery run by two amazing young women who happen to be sisters). It’s a lovely family business and Nicole (creative and baking side of business) is such a joy to work with. I created a series of illustrations which became cards, notebooks, pins and backings for these pins. This year we worked on something even more special, a pattern which will be featured on a teapot, teacups and plates. It’s absolutely amazing to be working with another small business who has a strong vision and idea for illustrations and how to apply them to products and who just happen to bake the most amazing cakes and cookies and gingerbread houses (which I of course have to sample for inspiration ;).
Happy Halloween! 🎃 👻
Painted with gouache and colour pencils ✏️
Between work and life it’s hard to find time and space to just doodle or do nothing. If I don’t schedule time off to just play around with paint and have fun it never happens. Here is one of those scheduled in time to draw results. Just a fun warm up drawing of my friend Pauline.
Gentle reminder to me and you, plan some drawing time and just play around!
A little while ago I went to visit Bergen for several days. It was my second time visiting Norway and first time in Bergen, what a cuteee city! I was left completely enchanted and enamoured. Spent my time walking tiny cosy streets with cute wooden houses, visiting museums, drinking coffee, eating delicious cinnamon buns, admiring harbour views and walking in the mountains. ⛰️
I’m from a very flat country (👋🏼 Latvia) but even that fact aside Norway is such a beautiful place. Going up Fløyen and Ulriken for a leisurely hike and walk around the woods was absolutely spectacular. The views are incredible, the air so clean, the trees so green and it feels like your mind is thinking clearer when a bit higher. Stopping for coffee with the most beautiful views and there is no end in sight, just peaks of mountains, trees, skies and tiny colourful houses. 🏠
I did manage to do a little bit of drawing. When on the go my art supplies travel kit fits into A5 pouch including a sketchbook (with thin but beautiful quality paper), set of watercolours, my favourite colours of gouache (+white) and coloured pencils to add texture and details.
My travel supplies kit:
It’s genuinely my favourite art supplies, I’m not sponsored but Jackson’s Art links are affiliates and I get a small % if you end up buying anything I recommend (helps me replenish art supplies from time to time) ✏️ . :)
I finished reading 📖 Just Kids by Patti Smith. What a beautiful read 💖 As I was reading it, the book reminded me of my uni years and final year, working on final project. My friend Sarune @00instant00noodles00 loved Patti Smith. We worked in her flat on finishing touches of our projects, running on 4h sleep, tons of 🚬, coffee and sometimes 🍻 as we were drawing and sleeping in turns in between we were blasting Patti Smith Because The Night (belongs to looovers, because the night belongs to lust 🎶 because the niiiiight belongs to lovers because the night belongs to us). And as I was finishing the book, thinking about drawing, process, reflection, connection with people, friends, life, what’s important, where inspiration comes from, how things are so unpredictable and intertwined, this song just became so right and perfect for my life in this moment :) 🎵 📚 ✏️ Just Kids.
My name is Viktorija and I'm a feminist. I believe in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. I'm very outspoken about my opinions and don't shy away from talking to people who don't believe in feminism, women who think they aren't feminists (or that it doesn't benefit them) or that this equality thing went too far. One of my favourite things is talking feminism with my friends, it's SUCH an empowering thing. And this list and idea started after one of those talks, when I really wanted to share more about the subject I'm super passionate about and just spread love and feminist agenda.
I love listening to feminist podcasts, watching TED talks, following badass women online but I am still very much hungry for more. I'm hungry for more information, critical thinking, for more tools to deconstruct social and patriarchal norms in my head which are so deeply planted it takes SO MUCH work to unravel them.
I often feel deflated about the world and that I can’t change much. But learning more gives me confidence to take more space, to be more outspoken, to be unapologetically myself and to love myself just the way I am now and not thinner, better cook or more gentle more ladylike. And all those small things are acts of resistance, loving yourself is an act of resistance.
Feminism gave me the tools to allow myself to be true to my complicated multidimensional self, to be loud, sweary, wide, opinionated and all while wearing frilly jumpsuits, shiny earrings and fabulous lipsticks. Because that’s the kind of woman and that’s the kind of feminist I am.
I have not read all of the books on the list but I'm getting through them and with every single page I'm learning something new, I'm becoming a better person, I understand the world around me better, where I stand as a woman and who I am. Often it makes me furious, it breaks my heart but it allows me to interact with the world around me in a different way. Having the language and critical thinking to express things is a powerful tool. It makes me feel confident, it gives me permission to call out bullshit and articulate my thoughts and it feels liberating.
I want this list to be something you can share with people around YOU, I would love you to add your recommendations in the comments and I'll add them to the list.
Because I'm really into pushing Feminist Agenda this illustration is available as a print. It comes with a printed list of books (and some space for you to add your own), works as a perfect addition to a feminist book. 📚
Special thank you for Genna for helping to start the list.