So how did Inktober 2016 go? A quick recap

Inktober recap 2016

It’s the end of November already! Wow where do the days go, this is insane.
Remember that I wanted to give it a go this year? And it went pretty ok actually. For the first time in a while I’ve been on fire, cranked out sketches like crazy(My lazy ass alter ego is impressed, so..). Browsed the inktober hastags on instagram and hot damn there were so many good pieces tagged there! Instead of getting discouraged(like I normally would), it actually gave me that well-needed kick in the butt and off I went. I experimented with new techniques and just had fun with it. I’ve been so inspired!

Let’s have a look at 6 of my favorite drawings from Inktober 2016.

I mostly used the same old pens I always draw with, plus adding another fountain pen to my collection. This time with grey ink in a converter cartrigde! The drawings look so clean when I do my rough sketch with greys instead of blacks, makes the minimalist in me cheer and dance. Mmmmm… purity.

Inktober 2016

So did I complete the entire month?

Nah.

I would say that I got halfway. Fair enough. Then I had to prioritize some freelance gigs that I chose to accept. You never know when opportunities strike… I haven’t been hard on myself for not finishing though, having fun felt more important than being perfect! Besides, some of these are results of a second, or even third attempt before having a drawing that I was somewhat happy with. I guess that’s worth mentioning too, gotta be transparent about those artistic struggles!

I’m definitely participating next year as well, hopefully I won’t jinx it. I know for sure that it’s growing on me. Ever since I gave inks an honest chance a year ago, I’m even more convinced that it’s one of my favorite media to work in.

Did you participate? How did it go?

 

Thoughts on daring to unplug during weekends to be more artsy

Andrea and Zim-Zim painting

“Hi, I’m Andrea, and I’m a cyberwebs junkie.”

“Hiii Andreeeaaaa”

Yes, I’m a hopeless case. I check my phone every other minute, not even exaggerating when I say that. It’s like a tic. My need to constantly get my fix of updates, likes, and attention has become this unhealthy habit as the year’s gone by. I’d had enough. It’s too much for my poor absent minded little head. My life is too short for that.

Allthough it’s still boosting, one just can’t deny how insanely draining it is the same time.

Trying to unplug during the weekend

I tried something very difficult last weekend. I saw one of Louise’s post on insta, where she mentioned that she went offline for the entire weekend. #Unpluggedweekend to be exact. Höli Cräp, that sounded scary as hell at first. Then inspiring. Then exciting! And very well needed if you’re a highly sensitive person who gets overwhelmed by todays constant noise. Check one of her blog posts too on the subject, will ya. Her posts awesome AND she’s one of those rare Swedes who blogs in English too. Yaaaas!

I wanted to give it a try too.

Allright said and done. I put my phone away, closed all my browsers on my laptop and forced myself not to touch it unless I really, really, needed to.

Well, I didn’t go full hermit though, since I streamed movies, used my e-mail to upload my photos etc.

BUT! But but but.

I managed to stay away from social media, blogs, and all those other major distractions online. HA!

unplug painting

And It. Felt. So. Good.

So worth it. I could actually do things I love, and needs full focus. Like painting! Last saturday  I actually painted for more than 5 hours straight. Until the sun went down. It felt amazing.

Instead of scrolling my life away, I actually felt like what I was doing is meaningful. Felt so calm and collected. Just the way I used to feel in my teens, before all social media boomed for real and sucked us into this big black slimy hole of distraction.

I found my old watercolor set and brushes that I used when I was 15-18. That feeling, you guys! It was like seeing an old friend. Except I won’t lock old friends into closets, I swear…

As huge horse lover back then, you can pretty much guess what my favorite subject was. So what’s a better way to celebrate this reunion than painting another horsie!

Fjording and foxie by Andrea Femerstrand aka Noukah

It went better than expected, despite my rustiness. I actually finished something. I just wanna practice more now, experiment and discover.

I’m very tempted to turn these offline weekends into a new habit

Looking forward to next weekend already. I’ll add it to my weekly planning, so I can prepare things better. The goal would be to stay away from the internetz completely during these days. Another step towards my minimalistic lifestyle.

Painty painty

Needy, clingy monkey-Zimba will have to stay though. I can’t really lock him out, or he will get devastated… He’s such a toddler sometimes. Plus, he can open doors, so I got no choice but to accept him forcing his cuddling needs on me. I highly doubt that this critter is a cat at all…

Beside painting, I finally took the time to back up and sort all my files, fold the laundry, and take photos for future blog posts. Three times as productive as usual! I even relaxed for a couple of hours, managing to watch an entire movie without fiddling with my phone.

If you too feel overwhelmed, easily distracted and stressed out by all the online noise, I highly recommend you to try this out. It really helps, and you realize that all those things you felt the urge to click, read or search for, isn’t really that urgent and important as you thought. We only live once, right?

Fjord sketch

Have you tried to unplug for a period of time?

My thought process when I painted this little fox in Photoshop

Foxy by Noukah in Photoshop

This little guy has been receiving tons of attention on Instagram lately. My jaw dropped when I saw how many has appreciated it already, holy cow. I can’t thank you enough! It’s such a love-hate relationship though, since I’m a hopeless like- addict who tries to recover. Guess I’m gonna have to keep my phone locked away somewhere again during the day so I won’t keep checking it all the time… And those of you who know me can stop rolling your eyes now! Foxes are my guilty pleasure, hohohoho.

As requested on insta by Annamari Kuvaja, here’s a little thought process of the little foxie I made the other day. It’s a rather simple approach, I didn’t really use any light or shadow passes this time, just winged it. I can cover that in another post later on. Now back to the snowy fox:

Fox steps in Photoshop

Step 1: The early rough sketch

The idea stage. Sometimes I create several sketches before settling with a pose or composition I like. I already had this idea of a cozy fox in a snowy landscape so I tried to scribble down the… Uhm.. Essence of it? Just go wild!

Step 2: Refine the sketch a bit

Ooooh I love this part. Put on  your earphones, find a nice playlist on Spotify and make sweet love to that drawing(wait what?) No, but really. Lower the opacity on your rough layer in Photoshop and add a new one on top. Start refining the sketch. Make as many versions as you want, no pressure! Sometimes it’s enough with that one layer on top, sometimes you want to lower the opacity on that one to and do some more sketching on top of that. I sometimes go back and forth,  copy-paste parts of the sketch to another one and so forth. The end result is what matters ◠◡◠

Step 3: Block in all the colors

On to the easiest part of the process, I think. Haha. You create new layers. Separate ones for those parts you want to keep separated, it’s quite individual how one want to organize that. I had one layer for the fox and one layer for the white snow in the foreground. Oh, and then I had a layer for the details, like parts of his mouth and nose! To keep the edges nice and crisp. Block in the shapes with flat colors, then lock transparency and add the desired color scheme.

Step 4: Paint, paint paint and finish!

Here’s another fun part. Now you’re all set to go nuts! Start painting. Think volume, anatomy, lighting(a very soft light in this case)clean shapes. It’s easy to lose those on the way if you focus too much on the brush strokes, so try to stick to what’s relevant.

Yeah that’s pretty much it! I ended up liking the sketch much more after all. In Step 2. Oh well! This was painted in Photoshop by the way, using a CIntiq 13HD. I often get that question ◠◡◠

Hope you liked this little thought process! Have you been drawing something lately?

3 tips to keep up with Inktober and get momentum


A whole month of inking. It can feel daunting at first, but I really want to pull this off this year.

Not familiar with Inktober? Well, a guy named Jake Parker started it all. Every October, the challenge is to draw one ink drawing per day, for 31 days straight. It’s not a must of course, but it’s a nice way to develop good drawing habits, and to improve your ink drawings. Since this whole thing started a couple of years ago, tons of artists have improved their inking skills during this month. It has been really inspiring for me.

I rediscovered inks last year at CTNx, after drooling over Katie’s fantastic sketchbook. Seriously follow her, she’s awesome! I watched her sketch with some inks, brushes and fountain pens. Funny creatures and pretty animals. Like the perfect bait for my picky, fartistic brain. Coming back to Stockholm, I immediately purchased some new pens that to this day, are my all time favorite pens to sketch with.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been bit absent from my sketchbook and pens, cause well ehehehehe. I’m a lazy fart. Hiding behind my full-time game art job. Inktober could potentially be a golden ticket back to sketchbook productivity.


Last year tried to join in, but stopped after 3 days or so. Ehehm… but maybe this time. If we try and plan a descent approach, we could keep up. Let’s try!

3 tips to keep up with Inktober

  1.  Schedule it in
    I tend to get more things done if they’re actually on my to do list. Try scheduling in a certain time every day, maybe 30 minutes to an hour. Even ten minutes! As long as you draw at all.
  2.  Keep things small
    They don’t have to be full-blown ink paintings, sometimes less is more. Focusing on story instead of technique can help a lot to make appealing ink drawings. It should be fun, try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself.
  3. Make sketches in advance
    Yes. Well, you don’t have to ink them in advance of course. But if you have a bunch of sketches ready to ink, things might speed up and you’ll feel more eager to finish them.

I’m pretty excited about Inktober, actually. Already started warming up, experimenting with different approaches. Still in my bland comfort zone, feeling safe and cosy, hehe. Tomorrow’s topic is “Fast”. I guess I’ll start off with a horse running. I’ll probably post most of my drawings on Instagram.

Will you be joining? Feeling pumped?

New milestone: My first workshop for Imagine FX

Imagine fx

Back while I was working at my first job in the industry, I travelled about 3 hours by train every day. Early mornings and late nights. During that time when I was just starting out, and to be honest not quite ready or even good enough for a descent job. I sucked actually. Things were rough.

I was such a cliché – that skinny self-starving insecure 22 year old with big secret dreams. Secret because not too many believed in me at that time, at least not at work. Oh damn now that I look back I just wanna cringe, haha. Yes I’m still naive, but damn if you could read my thoughts back then! But well. I’m a sucker for sunshine stories. It’s not a surprise that I desperately wanted to become one during that time. It can be used as a tool for managing setbacks, that’s for sure.

Anyway. Beside drawing, and secretly building a brand new portfolio to plot my escape(Yes, while riding the train. Clever girl) I discovered Imagine FX, and got pretty boosted. Pumped with caffeine I flipped through the pages with shaky hands, ghah. Inspiring stuff. The people making those articles must’ve been so lucky. I wanted to become one of those cool kids.  You know, recognized.

Fast-forward to many years later, to this summer.

Haha, well. I really don’t feel like a cool kid what so ever, and I will never shit fairy dust unless I eat some glitter and pretend it’s… Yeah you get the point. My desires have shifted a bit and becoming a superstar is not my ultimate goal today ◠◡◠

But bet I got flattered when Claire approached me and asked if I wanted to do a workshop for them. Why HELL YEAH! ARE YOU KIDDING? They let me suggest a topic, and you can probably assume by now what I picked, mjehehehe. No further spoilers though. Hope I made it justice.

The latest issue is out now if you want to grab it, I picked up mine on my way home from an intense Pokemon Go hunt the other day. A Lapras got away, so this was a nice comfort.

imaginefx3

And Rosso got to be a part of the front cover. Sexy. 

I’ve also been in FX Posé hmmm.. Twice I think? Once in 2011…? And 2013?? Oh wow, I can’t remember now. (You e-mail them your art and fingers crossed, they put you in queue and hopefully you’ll end up in the magazine at some point) And I remember asking them if I could work for them sometime. Never got a reply about that, and in all fairness – I wasn’t good enough at that time. Just cocky, ehehm. But I guess hard work pays off eventually! Not saying that I’m a guru or anything, most of the time I barely even know what I’m doing, haha. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that just sticking to the plan, working hard, putting yourself out there and always focusing on improving really pays off in the long run. You can’t stress that enough. If that’s what you really want ◠◡◠

One day though, it would be cool to even paint their front cover. That would feel badass, and another milestone to aim for in my professsional career. I’m not in a hurry though, hehe.

P.s. I did not get paid for this post, it’s not sponsored and I purchased the mag myself ◠◡◠

Do you read Imagine FX? Any nostalgic memories?

 

Life update

Hey y’allll!

Sorry about the absence. Don’t have any unique excuses other than life’s ups and downs, and that there’s way too few hours in a day. Seriously, where does all the time go?

Busy days

I’m currently juggling everyday life, a fulltime job at King, freelance gigs and personal growth, and my addiction to Pokemon Go. To top it off I’m also trying to shift things around so that I have proper time to work on my own stuff again(beside doodling foxes), such as this blog that I really enjoy creating content for! As you can tell, I haven’t quite figured it all out yet.. However, I do have some new posts in mind that I’ve scheduled in, which I’m aiming to put out soon enough!

Autumn fox

Things ahead

Other pet projects that I have in the pipe(which have’been meaning to do a loooong time ago) is to kick-start my Youtube channel again for turorials, and to start working on my own stories. I’m really longing to have at least that one thing that’s all mine. Maybe some sort of a novel… I’ve got a few ideas but it’s still at a very early stage. Hm, we’ll see, I may talk more about this later on. You need to actually get shit done before you can tell everyone, right? Hehe… ◠◡◠

Crocodile fox

What have you been up to lately? Do you manage to work on your own stuff?

Sunday recap No. 5 & 6: Kingfomarket, BBCON and Schoolism

Phew. Maybe you noticed that I never made a recap last week. Sorry about that! A lot of things were happening, and my job and other things demanded most of my attention so I had to make some sacrifices. But now I’m back, and hah, at least I haven’t been bored during these two weeks. I’m pumped with inspiration and new ideas, although I’m mentally exhausted. It’s a lot to process for an introvert like me, but I had an awesome time! So what have I been up to, hmm?

Some memorable events from these past two weeks:

⋙Kingfomarket, May 19 – 20. This was a huge event held by King, the gaming company I currently work at. It was great! The entire company was invited (we are almost 2000 employees, yikes) we got free food, had workshops and seminars covering all kinds of things that affected our daily work. The artists had the great opportunity to listen to several speakers, my favorite was definitely Daniel Lopez Muñoz from Pixar. He gave a talk about his work on the movie Up. Needless to say, but I think everyone cried at the end ♡

Art drop!

And some of us artists made at drops, hohoho. Khsiraj snatched it ;)

BBCON

⋙BBCON 2016, May 28. This was so much fun! Thanks Linda Hörnfelt(founder of Better Bloggers) & crew for arranging it! ♡ For you who are not familiar with BBCON yet, it’s a new Swedish expo where professional bloggers and companies were invited for seminars and panels. This years hot topics were:

  • Partner- and sponsorships, legal info and general tips when collaborating with other companies or agencies.
  • How to become a professional blogger featuring Sandra Beijer.
  • Adobe’s Anna Rose gave us a walkthrough and showcased new features in Creative Cloud.
  • What makes a blog popular? Featuring Clara Lidström.
  • How storytelling is significant to gain an engaged audience, or to hype your product.

It’s also an awesome event for networking! I was lucky enough to have a chance meet and greet several awesome people, such as: LouiseAnnika and Elin, plus some more ◠◡◠

Most of the seminars were in Swedish, but I do hope that it will become more international next year, since that could potentially benefit the blogosphere. Most bloggers from Sweden focus primary on building a Swedish audience, which in my opinion, may be a bit limiting in some ways.

And I caught up with so many friends! Hung out with Nina, Johan, Ilias, Hedvig, Nika, Madde, RachelMaja, Roberta, Juanbi, Ebba, Polina, who did I miss aaah. Also, I finally got to meet Marcel (we’ve been following each other’s blogs for years), Linda, and many more! ◠◡◠

Sam Nielson!

Schoolism Workshop in Stockholm, May 28 – 29. Yay! I’t’s their second visit and it was awesome. Sadly I missed the workshops during Saturday, due to BBCON, but made it to the Meet & Greet during the eveing, and the rest of the talks on Sunday.

It was great. My two favorite talks was Sam Nielson’s “Lighting for Storytelling” And Kris Pearn’s “Storyboarding”. I admire them so much.

I also turned 30 last week, so I guess I’m officially a grown up, heh ◠◡◠

So yeah, I’ll be burnt out for the rest of the summer, or so it feels…! I’m so mentally beat down that it’s not even funny, haha! Didn’t feel quite well this morning, thought I was getting sick but I think I dodged it. Needed a very well needed rest, so I can function properly again…. I should be fine tomorrow.

How have you been?? ◠◡◠

Take care, amigos!  New art is on the way, just need to catch my breath first♡

Sunday recap No. 4

Oh, wow this week has flown by. Not much has really happened, been mostly living my dull, monotone and introverted life almost all week. I’m loving it though, haha(Sometimes I feel like I’m a 100 ear old trapped in a young persons body). Painting has gone a bit slow though.. I know I’ve been creating(just barely remember what I’ve been doing?), but things kept turning out all ugly. Hence the break from a weekly sketch. Don’t wanna crank out something half-assed, you deserve good stuff ◠◡◠

Some pics to summarize the week:

sundeay recap #4

  1.  Rosso turned 8, yaaaay! He celebrated it by sleeping, eating, daydreaming and pooping ◠◡◠
  2.  New bike! This week has been a lot about my new bike. I mean wow. Best decision of the year, I must say. Where have I been these past fiften years?? Hahaha. It’s so liberating! And I’m getting the pain and workout I asked for, my legs are like spagetti. I already crashed once though. Slammed into another cyclist- Oops, both were fine, just none of us paid enough attention… Shit happens when you commute to work every day together with a bunch of other derps.
  3. Zimba exploring the world outside. He gets braver, ha! I’ve been bringing him to the yard outside the house several times these past weeks, and he even dares to go out by himself now. That picnic in the park ain’t that far away. Yes I’m serious.
  4. Sunday slacking. Oh, and I just found Freaks and Geeks on Netflicks that I’m ehm, binge watching at the moment. Never seen it before, it’s some old TV show. But it sure is amusing to watch Seth Rogen and Jason Segel- they’re just kids, haha!

Thoughts and inspiration:

The work of Celine Kim. Omg, have you seen her work? I came across some of her visdev for her own version of Phantom of the Opera and my jaw dropped. I’m so jealous, I wanna do that too!

⋙ I got to try out the new stylus for the Wacom pro this week, and I must say, I was pretty impressed. I’ve been shying away from ipads and previous styluses due to the lack of pen pressure but this felt suprisingly good.

⋙ How rude car drivers and other cyclists can be in the morning(I’m not referrring to the one I slammed into, haha).

Hope you had an awesome week, I’m gonna continue resting and plan next week ◠◡◠

Happy birthday Rosso ♡

Yay Rosso!

This little monkey-pig turns 8 today! Wow. 8 freakin’ years. Already. Can’t believe how fast time flies. I was like.. 22 I think, and I had just got my first job as an artist. I can pretty much count my professional years of experience in Rosso’s age.

My flares

Allright, back to Rosso. Speaking of him, I wasn’t even a cat person back then. I dreamed about owning two dogs – a Bullterrier and a Dachshund. To be frank, I actually thought that dogs(and ferrets!) were the ultimate pets, and cats were just.. Boring and mean.

Cats suuuck

Ironically, I’ve never even had dogs or ferrets… But I’m definitely never getting a cat, ever… 

Cats suck

Pfft yeah right!

It was my boyfriends fault actually. He just moved out from his parents and absolutely LOVED cats. Grew up with them, and now he was aching for a new kitten. Not any kitten, but a Persian… I thought it was a cat for old ladies.

Browsing...

I supported him in this(I was curious, ok?) and started browse for available kittens online. I mean, pets are pets, right? I wanted pets!

Then suddenly, I saw this:

Baby Rosso

I surrender. Can you blame me?

He was available, we visited him, got hooked, my dignity was shattered and the rest is history. Rosso has soon been sticking around for 8 years, and letting him live with us has after all, has been the best decision ever. I guess I won’t have to mention twice that I’m definitely a cat person today ◠◡◠

The cosy toad himself

Sunday recap No. 3 and a weekly unseen sketch

This week has been awesome. Short week at work, due to holidays on Thursday, so I took a shorter vacation. Spent it on the countryside to hang out and watch the pets. Boyfriends mom and hubby was out of town, so we got to help out while they were gone ◠◡◠  And the weather! Ghah, the weather… Spring (or summer?) is officially here in Sweden and everything’s in bloom in romantic  Disney’s Bambi style. I think that time of the year has started, where you actually feel guilty for staying inside and working. Heh.

4 highlights from this week:
Week highlights

  1. This was an epic one. I finally used my license to the max and drove a car on my own. We got to borrow it, in order to drive from town to the house. I had a personal goal: drivers license before 30(I procrastinate a lot). And I got it earlier in.. February I think? But this was the first time that I actually tried it on my own without assistance from someone with a license already. VICTORY! I think I got this.
  2. Sheep! They just had a bebby, he’s adorable and his name is Otto. He was such a show off.
  3. I found my first four leaf of the year, while walking boyfriend’s sisters bunny. Will be interesting to see how many I can collect this year! Those who know me, are aware of my total obsession with four leaves ◠◡◠
  4. Anemones. Those and lilies of the valley – prettiest spring flowers ever.

Oh yeah! I also made a short visit for that Comic’s Festival today, here in Stockholm! Caught up with some friends, made new ones and peeked at all the cool comics displayed at the booths. Hopefully I can exhibit too next year! Need some new work to showcase first….

Speaking of showcasing new work, here’s a weekly unseen sketch!

tiger sketch

It’s another one from that previous project that I quickly mentioned in this post. Still trying to figure out personality and design. I have a vague story for them, but there are still some pieces missing, in order to go all in with the visuals… Storytelling is hard!! Character design is hard too….

Thoughts from the past week

I’m getting a new bike tomorrow! Been thinking about that a lot. Haha. I haven’t ridden a bike properly since I was 13, so I’m super excited to do that again. Especially when I see the current weather outside. My plan is to start biking back and forth to work, I’m super excited to see if I can pull it off.

That I want to learn how to master gouache and watercolors properly. I made an attempt a couple of weeks ago, but failed miserably…

Next week will probably be fun as well. I’ll start on a new a tutorial post on how I paint trees, and hopefully some other stuff too. Speaking of tutorials – if you have any requests, any levels, feel free to let me know and comment below ◠◡◠

Hope you had an awesome week!