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In my illustrated calendar, each month I propose a creative idea for you to try at home and thus have a good time being creative. In May, I’m making a one-page fanzine:

 

Here’s the template to use whenever you want:

 

Don’t you know what the calendar is about? Check it out on Etsy!

Did you like it and do you want to thank me? You can make a small donation on Ko-Fi o visit my profile on Instagram and LinkedIn

Today’s post is somewhat personal and I am having a hard time writing it, but I think it is necessary. Sometimes we tend to share only those things that are going well for us or of which we are proud of and, although this is fine, in the long term it can make us feel alone with the mistakes we make or the struggles we go through.

Having a bad streak when the rest of the people around us never seem to have problems makes us feel alone, perhaps even responsible or think we are a failure. This impression is simply false. Everyone goes through bad times and makes mistakes, sometimes plans don’t work and we get frustrated … that’s totally normal.

To illustrate what I am saying, I have found courage to talk about some problems that I have encountered along the way. I have divided them into two sections: external aspects (which we cannot control) and internal aspects (which are difficult to control).

 

External aspects

Today, the first problem that most young people – and not so young – in Spain find is job and vital instability. And it is not only the lack of opportunities and jobs, aggravated by the Covid-19 crisis, it is also the salaries that do not pay the rent, the contracts for a few hours a week, the unpaid overtime… as an example, at one point in my life I was working in two places at the same time and counting everything I didn’t get to charge 1000€ a month* for working more than 9 hours a day (in addition, I struggled to study and work as an illustrator in my spare time).

*This is a little less than the current minimum wage in Spain, which is 950€ per 8 hours.

In the creative field in particular, there is also a great lack of understanding about how the sector works and a tendency to not value these jobs properly. Design is often seen as a superfluous expense instead of an important investment for the company, and this is reflected in unviable requests, low remuneration and little respect for schedules, among others.

It is always difficult to carry out creative projects, but it is much more difficult if you also dedicate a large part of the day to work in another job to to make ends meet and you see that, after months of continuous effort, not only do you not get to the point you wanted with your project but you have not managed to save any money either.

When I stop to think about all this I feel frustrated, disppointed and sad, but I try to focus on everything I have learned in the process and on the part of my project that, although not as much as I would like, has progressed.

Internal aspects

These aspects depend on the personal experience, character and personality of each person.

In my case, I come from a situation of little emotional stability since childhood, and this has had consequences in my adult life: I am an introverted person in a world that rewards very sociable behaviors, I tend to pessimism, perfectionism, and sometimes fear…

Besides, it is very difficult for me to have confidence in myself and in my abilities and that has ended up being an obstacle for me when looking for work or clients, contributing new ideas in meetings, investing time in projects that I loved…

Fortunately, these aspects can be worked on and improved step by step. A year ago, for example, I would not have been able to write this post and, although it was difficult, I am happy with the progress I am making.

If you too find yourself on this difficult path, you are not alone! Go on, betting on you and your creative projects is always worth it! 💛

And you? What obstacles have you run into? How have you managed to overcome them? Let’s support each other in Instagram , Twitter y LinkedIn !

I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a bit obsessed I’m quite a fan of multitasking. In fact, my brain tends to list all the tasks that I set out to do in a day and rearrange them to get the most done in the least amount of time (for example, putting the washing machine first working while it’s on, or cooking in the oven because It allows me to use of the time it takes to do other things).

 

With all this in mind and dedicating much of my time to drawing, sooner or later I was bound to listen to podcasts. Today, I wanted to talk to you about podcasts related to illustration and creativity.

I mostly speak Spanish (and Catalan) but I also listen to some on English, so here’s my list of recomendations:

  • Illustration hour
    Illustrator Julia Dufossé talks to different illustrators, art directors and agents about her creative process and how to make a living from illustration.
  • Creative Pep Talk
    In this weekly podcast, illustrator Andy J. Pizza talks hilariously about the profession and the everyday issues related to it. It brings very interesting guests and will make you feel accompanied in your long drawing sessions.

And for those who speak Spanish:

  • El club del dibujo
    In this podcast, illustrator Andrés Sanchís tells us about the ups and downs of the illustrator profession. In each chapter it has incredible guests and gives us a more human and close point of view on different aspects of what it means to be an illustrator.
  • Ilustra pro
    Io Bru, creator of Ilustrando Dudas, continues to dedicate her life to help illustrators find their professional path and have all the necessary tools to do so. In this case, she does it using a podcast.

  • Viviendo del cuento
    Illustrators Eva Carot, Laura Gómez and Srta. M take us by the hand through different aspects of illustration and also recommend interesting resources, books and films. Listening to them is like being among friends, a good time guaranteed!

  • Creativos exitosos
    The Inspired360 blog has created this podcast hosted by Evelyn Rojas in which she talks with a different creative professional (from illustration, design, photography…) about a specific topic related to creativity.

  • El podcast de Duduá
    This podcast is not directly related to illustration, but it is related to creativity and features creative professionals from the world of crafts and design. Duduá is a shop and workshop space located in Barcelona and the podcast goes by the hand of its creator, Alicia Rosselló.

And you? What podcast (creative or otherwise) do you listen to? Recommend them on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn !✨

In my 2021 illustrated calendar, each month I give you a creative idea to try at home. March’s theme is polymer clay pins, watch me make them in this video:

 

 

Want to see the calendar? Here’s on Etsy, and soon these pins will be for sale too!

And that’s that, did you like it? Want to try? Tell me all about it on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn and don’t forget to use #creaconwendy and tag me!✨

Hi friends!

I’ve been with this blog for a while now and I always talk about illustration, about illustrators… but, what is an illustrator?*

*While writing this I remembered one of the first classes I had in Fine Arts in college, where they explained to us that “art is what artists do.”

**Note for the international reader: I will be talking about the professional illustrator in Spain, it can be quite different from the way illustrators work in other countries.

Technically, an illustrator is a person who does illustrations *professionally*, that is, they get paid to do them. But there are many different business models for illustrators.

We tend to think of illustrators as freelancers, but it isn’t always that way. According to the APIM (Professional Illustrators Association of Madrid) territorial report of April 2020, 53.57% of those surveyed are self-employed, while 17.86% work for others. Other work situations present in the survey are illustrators who combine the illustration with another job, unemployed, students or retired.

Most of the illustrators registered as freelancers were not registered throughout the year (that is, they registered and canceled according to the needs of each moment).

In fact, 55.10% of the illustrators surveyed “are often forced to work in other sectors because they do not earn enough from illustration to make a living from it” (extract from the APIM report).

In other words, more than half of the illustrators who participated in the APIM survey work in other sectors because they cannot live exclusively from illustration. These other professions can be, for example, teaching, graphic design, selling products online or, in my case, things as varied as selling mojitos at a themed party or walking trough a shopping center dressed as an elf at Christmas.

 

 

What I am trying to say with all of this is that there are many ways to be an illustrator and that you are no less of an illustrator than others because you cannot dedicate 100% of your time to it.

We must be aware that it is a complicated profession, that it has its moments of greater or lesser volume of work and that it must be taken as a long-distance race: step by step and appreciating the small victories that we achieve.

Do you want to see the full report? You can access from here (in Spanish): Informe territorial APIM

How about you? What is your professional experience as an illustrator or creative? Share it on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn !

In my illustrated calendar, each month I suggest a creative idea for you to try at home and thus have a good time creating with your own hands. In the month of February, I’m trying brush lettering techniques:

Don’t know about the calendar? Check it out on Etsy!

And that’s all! You can share your letterings at Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn and use #creaconwendy or tag me!✨

Hi friends!

Another year that begins and many illustrators and creatives are looking for commissions and money wherever they can find it.

The thing is, making a living from a creative profession is never easy (later on I’m planning to write about different types of illustration professionals, stay tuned!)

For this reason, today I will be telling you about something that can help us make ends meet a little easier: passive income.

Passive income is a kind of income that does not require extra worktime once created and that practically works on its own, giving you some extra cash from time to time. Below I am going to list some examples of passive income focused on illustration, but there are many different types (if you are interested in the subject, you can search a little more on the subject, maybe you can even invent a new one!).

1- Sell digital products online 📥

There’s a wide variety of digital products: mobile or computer wallpapers, printable coloring sheets, planners or calendars, books, brushes for Photoshop or Procreate, digital color palettes, tutorials … whatever you can think of. They are already finished products that you will not have to send, so all you have to do is upload them, advertise them and wait for the money to flow.

Where to sell these products: you can try Etsy, Gumroad, or open your own online store (I recommend that before doing so you take a good look at their payment policies, how they work … each platform is different!).

2- Ko-Fi ☕️

There are several crowdfunding pages like Patreon, Buymeacoffe… On these pages, your subscribers give you a monthly amount of money in exchange for rewards (you choose the price and the reward). All of this requires a steady work per month, since you have to create the rewards for your audience. With Ko-Fi, however, you can set up your page and receive donations without having to do extra content every month (if you are interested in that, with the Gold option it can also be done). Another similar action is to put a donation button through Paypal on your own website.

 

3- Make an online course 🖥

I will not talk much about this type of passive income since I do not have direct experience with it, but some platforms such as Domestika, Skillshare or Crehana have online courses in which the teachers are active creative professionals. If you are an expert on a specific topic, you may be interested in this option.

4- POD (print on demand) 🧸

I already mentioned this option a while ago as a way to sell your illustrations online. On pages like Redbubble, Society6 or Shopify you can set up an online store with physical products, but you only take care of the design. Printing and distribution are handled by the platform and you receive a percentage of each sale.

5- Sell stock images 🎨

I have not tried this option myself either, so I don’t know the details, but I mention it because it can be an interesting idea. Instead of hiring an illustrator, designer, or photographer directly, many companies search sites like Shutterstock, CreativeMarket, or Pexels for finished images and resources.

And this the list of ideas on how to generate passive income. I am not saying that you run and open a profile in each and every one of the pages that I mention, but I do hope that it has given you a starting point to investigate a little about the subject and assess which ones can work best for you in particular.

Did you already know some of these resources? Have they worked well for you? Share all of it with me on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn !

As I have already announced, every month I will upload mini tips, tutorials, videos and examples of the creative ideas that I propose in the illustrated calendar.

My idea with this is to spend some time doing something creative, trying new things, having a good time and relaxing together.

Creative activities help us focus on a specific topic and put our worries aside for a while. Plus, learning new skills and creating something with your hands builds self-esteem and gives our spirits a boost.

Don’t you know what the calendar is about? Check it out on Etsy!

For the month of January, the creative idea I propose is to make a stamp or linocut. I’ll tell you everything in the following video:

And that’s it, did you have a good time? Have you tried stamping before? Show me your creations on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn and don’t forget to use #creaconwendy and tag me!✨

Hi friends!

The new year is almost here and it is a good time to stop and reflect on the year we left behind and think about what will become of us plan for next year.

For my part, this year has been crazy. 2019 was already a pretty tough year both personally and at work, and when I finally started to get out of it I found myself in the midst of a global pandemic that turned everything around again.

Even so, I think I’ve done more or less what I set out to do (except getting out more and seeing my friends more often, of course). I have drawn a lot more, I have gained new knowledge and taken some online courses, I have started to take better care of myself and go to therapy, I have read 49 books so far (you can see my reading challenge on Goodreads) and, yes, I got a haircut.

In addition, I have revived my online store, renewed my portfolio, started (and maintained) this blog and I have managed to keep up with all my social networks without dying in the attempt.

Looking ahead to 2021, I intend to be more active when looking for clients, stop beating myself work on my peace of mind and my confidence, grow my online store, get more in contact with nature (if they let us), start a monthly newsletter full of interesting content, make a new zine and, if I can manage, read another 50 books.

And since we are talking about the New Year, I want to show you the project that I liked doing the most this year: the 2021 illustrated calendar.

I’ve been making a calendar for 5 years now, the previous ones were titled Amazing Women in History. They were A3 size (open) and the layout looked like this:

 

This year I have decided to make a radical change and fit it more to my current style. It is A4 size, spiral bound for hanging and is made with a super nice matte offset paper, which also allows you to write on it.

I have completely changed the design, now it is in bilingual Spanish-English, it has space for notes and the illustrations, more complex and colorful, take more space.

In addition, each month includes a creative idea to do at home: from collage to printmaking, origami or mini-fanzines… I will accompany these proposals with entries, ideas and tutorials on my blog, newsletter and social media to make it more interactive.

You can get it at my Etsy shop, I hope to see your creations!

How about you? What are your 2021 resolutions?

Tell me all about it on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn !

You don’t know how hard it is to write this. But I think it is very necessary, since it is a problem that affects many illustrators, creatives and people in general, both professionally and personally.

Impostor syndrome is a phenomenon that makes us think that our achievements are just luck, that at any moment people around us are going to realize that we are a fraud and that we are not really good at what we do.

It usually goes hand in hand with perfectionism (the difficulty to accept any imperfection or mistake in what we are doing) and, in my case, it directly attacks my self-esteem since I tend to relate my worth as a person with how productive I am or with the quality of my work.

Does all of this ring a bell?

This kind of deadly combo – imposter syndrome, perfectionism, and associating self-worth with productivity – has lost me many opportunities and put more obstacles than I can count. And the worst thing is that I have always been more or less aware of it, but it is very difficult to break these patterns.

At one point, they even made me throw in the towel and completely stop drawing for a few months. In the end, I realized that I needed a change of perspective and, after reflecting a lot, I came to a series of conclusions:

  • I draw because I like it, therefore I should have fun while doing it.
  • It is better to have something finished than to have something perfect.
  • I am NOT my work.
  • I have the right to make mistakes. In fact, if I don’t make any mistakes I’ll never improve.
  • If someone doesn’t like my work, it’s not the end of the world. Not everyone can like it.
  • I deserve to invest time in pursuing my dream job, or at least to try.

All of this sounds great, but it is very very VERY difficult to internalize. It takes patience and you have to accept that there will be ups and downs, better and worse days. So if you are on this path, you go girl!

Here are some extra resources on the subject:

  • Struthless: Illustrator Campbell Walker’s channel. He tells us about his life experience, how he deals with the traps that his mind sets for him during the creative process. He gives some fun and interesting techniques to overcome these obstacles.
  • Viviendo del cuento (in Spanish): In this podcast, illustrators Eva Carot, Srta M and Laura Gómez talk about the profession of the illustrator. In this episode they talk about the impostor syndrome, but I recommend listening to the rest of the episodes since they are as interesting as they are entertaining.

Does all of this sound like you? Do you follow any techniques to deal with the impostor syndrome?

We can comment on it and help each other at Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn