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Disclaimer: I am NOT a therapist nor do I have enough knowledge to speak of it properly, I have simply written a little about the concept of art therapies. If you need help or are interested in doing any of these therapies, please find a professional.

 

Art therapies are a set of therapeutic interventions that use artistic disciplines (music, dance, painting …) to help and heal people in need. The BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) defines art therapy as “a form of psychotherapy that uses the artistic medium as its primary form of communication.”

In addition, it is not only beneficial in people with psychological disorders; It can also be used as a tool for personal development and self-knowledge. The fact is that all human beings have the ability to be creative.*

*This does not imply that anyone can be professionally creative without training, there is a series of specific knowledge and experience necessary for this. But if the goal is personal expression or fun, anyone can pick up a brush and start creating.

 

Some of the benefits of creating something with your own hands are:

  • Improves self-esteem: we prove to ourselves that we are capable of doing it.
  • Reduces stress: By focusing on a creative task, we put the things that stress us in the background and focus on what is in front of us.
  • It helps us to know ourselves better: artistic expression can be a way of reflecting ideas or emotions that we do not know how to put in words, it can help us overcome blockages.
  • It helps us express ourselves without the need to verbalize what is happening to us.
  • It can be a challenge (in a good way): learning a new skill is exciting, it can give us energy and make us feel excited.
  • It can help us grow as a person.

While I was learning about this type of therapy, I realized that it puts the emphasis on some parts of creative work that people who want to professionalize in this sector tend to forget.

An example: it gives the same value on the creative process as on the final result. I myself tend to stress when I have an illustration half done because I want to see the final result; and if after several hours working I don’t like what I see I feel bad, as if I had wasted my time. That is not entirely the case, since those hours that I have dedicated to practice on the one hand I could have enjoyed more and on the other they have served me as learning and practice.

Much of my work as an illustrator does not consist of drawing, I spend a lot of time updating the online store, writing for the blog and social media, looking for clients, updating the portfolio, doing numbers and paperwork, preparing packages and going to the post office, organizing the calendar… From my brief research on the mental health benefits of creativity, I will remember the importance of having a space to draw for pleasure and with the idea that creativity is beneficial for all people.

And you? Do you think that doing creative activities has positive effects on your mental health? What activities do you do? Share your experience in Instagram and LinkedIn !

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 July, I’m trying to find illustrations in random doodles:

 

 

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

Raise your paw if you do traditional illustration, if you do product illustration or if you have worked on some illustrated merchandising, perhaps a fanzine or some t-shirts… Raise it also if you have an Instagram account where you show your work. Virtually everyone has lifted it, right?

What all this has in common is that it is important to know a bit about photography to be able to present our product, whether they are prints that you sell in your online shop, photos of illustrated products to add to your portfolio or simply to make them look nice when you show them on Instagram .

Again, this is not about being a professional photo artist but about having some basic notions that help us improve the results a bit. Next I will show you my process, keep in mind that there are many different ways to do it (if the result is good, anything goes!)

What will you need?

  • Camera: to start, work with what you have. Nowadays many mobiles have quite decent cameras built in.
  • Light: the ideal is natural light, but if you don’t have it, you can buy spotlights or a light box.
  • Reflectors: a cardboard or white foam board works, I will not use it because I have a light box.
  • Tripod: optional, but can be very useful.

 

*Light box assembly

 

Since I do not have direct light or space to set up a mini-studio and I also quite like flat lays (compositions of various products seen from above), I decided to buy a light box to photograph my products. For larger products like T-shirts or totebags I try to take photos with a model outdoors as they look much better that way.

 

 

If you don’t have a light box, you can find the window with the best light in your house and set up a removable mini-studio or use lamps and white cardboard to reflect the light. If the light is too direct, you can use tracing paper or similar to blur it (be careful with the lamps, they can burn the paper!) I leave you a diagram with some ideas:

 

*Reflect the light of the light source with a large cardboard // Use 3 cardboards around the object and two light sources for the flat lay.

 

I encourage you to try and experiment until you find your own way. You can, for example, put fabrics with patterns as background or flat color cardboards, add decorative elements, take photos outdoors, use models, write or draw on the final photographs, make compositions with several photographs, etc.

Finally, here’s some pics that I have taken for my online store, I hope you like them! If you have fallen in love with any of the products, you are curious and want to know more about them or you simply want see more examples of product photography, you can enter my online shop.

 

 

And you? How do you take your product pictures? Share your process on Instagram , Twitter and LinkedIn !

Henlo!

Today I’m going to talk about something that most creatives and small business owners need: support.

The world is a wild and competitive place, and creating your own project amid chaos and uncertainty is increasingly difficult on many different levels. Surely you know someone (maybe it is yourself) who is trying its best but does not get the results he or she wants, or who is going through a moment of little or work at all, or who is doing well for now but does not know what will happen tomorrow. You see their situation and you want to help, but what can you do?

I have divided my tips into two blocks: things you can do WITH MONEY and others you can do WITHOUT MONEY.

Let’s start with what can you do WITH money:

  • Buy your Christmas or birthday gifts in their online shop.
  • Commission them a personalized piece.
  • Think of them when you need creative services.
  • Make donations or participate in their crowdfundings, Patreon…
  • Buy them a Ko-Fi.
  • Buy their latest book, online course, project…
  • Ultimately, anything that can help them financially will do.

Now, let’s see what you can do WITHOUT money:

  • Comment, share and save their posts on social media.
  • Recommend their products / services to whoever may need them (don’t be shy!).
  • If you are going to use any of the works they offer for free, credit the author and put a link to their website or social networks.
  • Write a positive review on their online store, a recommendation on LinkedIn, or on whatever platform you can.
  • Tell your friends about their work.
  • Attend their talks, exhibitions, events, fairs and markets…
  • Send them a message of support: not only improves engagement on Instagram, it will also make them happy.
  • If you are also a creative professional, you can consider the option of collaborating with them or making a services exchange that benefits both of you.

In general, anything that makes us gain visibility and sales or see that there are people who enjoy our work will make us feel happier and more motivated and will give us strength to deal with the problems that we encounter along the way.

And you? Have you written to your artist friend lately? Tag them in Instagram , Twitter y LinkedIn !

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!✨