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?

Recent things that illustration has taught me

I’ve been thinking a lot, while making these illustrations for a short story in KP. You know the one I mentioned earlier this spring?  These are the ones ◠◡◠  Painted in Photoshop as usual with a Wacom Cintiq 12WX!

Well, mostly I’ve been trying to figure out how I could improve my workflow next time I take on a freelance gig. I don’t consider myself as a fast painter, or am I? Well it sure doesn’t feel like it, hoho. I have to confess that I’m always stressing with last minute changes, and often regret my approach. Anyway, here are some thoughts so far that has been helpful for me:

Set the color scheme early!

Oh dear, I’ve neglected this for so long. Yes, I’m guilty, shame on me, haha. I usually set the colors way too late, and I start rushing the painting and end up with a disaster. Because the colors didn’t work in the first place, and I’m forced to just work with what I got and finish it up before the deadline. I have some perfect examples of this, wanna see them? I can gain some courage and show you if you’d like. Instead, I managed to nail the color scheme while sketching the thumbnails for these paintings – which in turn worked out much better! Illustration has turned less painful all of a sudden.

Walk that extra mile when sketching

Oh yeah, this has helped me a lot too. I’m definintely not like some of those rock stars out there who can turn a sloppy thumbnail into a full-blown illustration in seconds(or so it seems, bahh). Having a strong sketch in the beginning, where most of it is already figured out has been a life saver for me. So don’t be afraid to give that sketch some extra love, baby!Bridge of death

Just get it done already

Yup. Just do it. I tend to work and tweak things for like.. Forever. So yes, I need some more self-discipline here. Things can’t be perfect anyway, nothing is. And definitely not my art, haha! So yeah, this is a big reminder for myself. Listen to Elsa and just “Let it go”! Haha. Couldn’t help myself, sorry not sorry ◠◡◠

Bridge of death

That’s what I’ve figured out for now in regards of illustration. May seem so basic, but while constantly wanting to improve, I often need to remind myself to stay away from well-known pitfalls. I hope this inspired you a bit! ◠◡◠

Uggh, now I just wanna be like those kids on the bridge. I’m a complete sucker for Swedish nature during summertime, I need to find more opportunities to practice driving so we can rent a lake house and just relaaax  Oh god mhm yes yes yesssss.

Do you have any additional tips to make life as an illustrator easier and more efficient? Hit me!

Behance: How to gain more followers

Behance

Behance has by far been my most successful platform, where I currently have a pretty large following (Thank you!! ♡). I created an account in 2013 and fell in love instantly, it feels professional and it doesn’t seem to have the same algorythms as Facebook. It also seems to be the place where many companies look for talent to hire – I’ve had several fun opportunities from there, so if you’re freelancing creative or looking for talent, hopefully this could be helpful for you as well!

Beside stating the obvious(that you need high quality content), and a bit of luck, I’ve decided to share 5 tricks that helped me step up the game and grow my amount of followers. Here they are:

Be generous and reply to your comments

When you comment on someone’s project, that project will be seen by all your followers, since you can track everyone’s activity. Return the favour and make sure to also respond to as many comments as you can. Don’t be afraid to comment on others work. Make sure to write something thoughtful though, and don’t just comment:

“Nice work! Check out my portfolio please!”

You want to start a genuine and interesting conversation, which will create a nice and friendly atmosphere, and people will in return, be interested in your own art! Also, when you comment on your own or others projects, they get bumped up in your follower’s news feeds, just like a forum thread! This way, you and others gain more exposure, it’s a win-win situation!

Update your projects

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. Your project gets bumped whenever you add more content to your own projects. Your followers will get notified, and may be curious to check it out! Just don’t spam ◠◡◠

Add new projects frequently

Many of your followers has allowed e-mail notifications whenever the artist
publishes a new project – awesomeness!

Add “behind the scenes- content, tutorials, and videos

Oh I love those kind of things! My favorite part of a movie or game is always the “behind the scenes” stuff. So inspiring!  I try to do the same, trying to post videos of my progress, save steps of my sketches and explain how they were made, which has been appreciated by many ◠◡◠

Get featured

If you make impressive work that appeal to others, the team behind Behance may actually feature your work! The ones that tend to get in the spotlight are projects with lots of content. Put some love into designing the layout of your project. A fantastic example of this is my friend Victorior, his projects are always neatly put together – something I need to improve!

Behance and Zimba

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve learned works for growing an audience on Behance! I hope you found them useful and got you inspired ♡

Do you have an account there? What are your experiences?

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!

Try to put your eraser aside to improve your sketches

I rarely use an eraser nowadays when sketching and drawing. I currently  have two: a kneaded eraser that I use to lighten up bold pencil strokes after inking, and the other one is a tiny eraser on my favorite mechanical pen, which I never really erase with.

It wasn’t intentional to stop using erasers a couple of years ago, it just kinda happened. Due to laziness  ◠◡◠ And after a while, I actually started to see the benefits with this while sketching. Who knew!

Below are some of the perks I’ve discovered:

Cat sketches

 

You get bolder

Just like with sports and music, or gaming, the more you repeat and practice, the more confident you’ll become! I wish I understood this earlier, especially as a kid.

You’ll end up with more sketches to pick and choose from

This is awesome. If you repeat and redraw your sketch, instead of erasing and correcting an actual one, you can actually compare and pick out the nice parts from each sketch.

Repeating instead of fixing helps you loosen up faster

Try it out next time you’re taking a figure drawing class. For instance, say that the model will hold the same pose for 5 minutes, I often draw two or three sketches of the exact same pose during this time. The last one often turns out to look the most confident.

You start using the same approach when sketching digitally

Yes, definitely. When I moved to digital media, I actually started underestimating making art the traditional way. Photoshop felt limitless. It can be both good an bad though. I actually thought that if I learn to master digital media, I’ll become a better artist. Well, it was very humbling to realize I was wrong. I was forgetting about the fundamentals, and that it applies everywhere. Nowadays I actually prefer trying new ideas by scribbling on paper first, before diving into the digital part.

Cat sketches

For me, a physical sketch isn’t really a final product or piece. I treat my sketchbook as a sand box, it doesn’t even have to be pretty!  Thinking that way, helps me take away the pressure of creating something perfect on the first attempt, or at all. It allows me to work fast and experiment, knowing that with enough attempts, I increase my chances to end up with a final result that I eventually like!

What do you say? To erase, or not to erase? Challenge yourself and try to toss your eraser for a week, and see how it feels. Be brave, and have fun!  ◠◡◠

Sunday recap No. 2

This week has been pretty productive! Got a lot of work-related things done, and feel pretty inspired right now. Good times! I also discovered an awesome way to organize my notes in a journal, I’m kinda blown away. I love lists and I’m proud of it ◠◡◠

I also started working out again. Been on a break more or less for a month, due to being too busy(not good at all, I wanna be able to relax have a life, and not just work. Hard to balance everything sometimes)

Other than that, not much else has happened. This is a quite typical week in my life. I love staying home after work and just relax, as if I’m already old and retired… We were thinking about going out and watch the fire yesterday, but then I though “nah”. I’ll just enjoy everybody else’s pretty pics from the evening! Many other blogs are currently exploding with beautiful photos of fires and spring flowers. And it’s easy to get caught in that wave, feeling the pressure to do the same, so I had to stop myself and say Nope. Just no. That wouldn’t be me. I should focus mainly on art in my blog!  And be myself. There’s nothing wrong with just lying on the couch all weekend, eat chocolate and watch documentaries with your boyfriend and cats! Maybe I can paint some spring-themed illustrations instead ◠◡◠

4 pics of the week:

Sunday recap No. 2

  1. A typical morning view in my kitchen. Z sunbathing on the table.
  2. Sketch tuesday! Met up with some artist friends at Magnolia to hang out and sketch. It occurs every week, but I haven’t joined in a while. Nice to be back, and catch up. And they had vegan snacks! Yay!
  3. I kept practicing taking photos. So tricky. I often practice on the cats, and yeah, they’re not the easiest subject to capture sometimes ◠◡◠ 
  4. Z explored the balcony for the first time. We tried to walk him outside on a leash, yesterday, but he totally freaked out. Such a chicken. So slowly introducing him to the outside world will probably help, haha.

And here’s this week’s unseen sketch!

Fox sketch - noukah.com

Another fox that I’ll be using for a different idea. Took the opportunity to sketch in grayscale to practice values!

Tips and thoughts

Am I “HSP”?
Saw some posts from Agnes, who mentioned that she’s HSP(Highly Sensitive Personality), which made me curious. After some research, I actually realize that maybe I’m HSP too..? I recognize myself so much in the descriptions. Lots of things make more sense, feels like I know myself better in some sense. This has occupied my mind a lot this past week.

The Bullet Journal
I’m probably quite late to the party, but I came across this awesome way for rapid logging through Atilio this other day(Haha feels, like I’ve lived under a stone, where did all the awesome bloggers come from? Where have I been?!) Anyway, it’s called the Bullet Journal, if you love making lists and being organized, you’re gonna love this. Try it!

Hope you all had a nice week! Let’s see if I can pull this off next week as well ◠◡◠ 

Things happening in May

Ah, today is Valborg. It’s a tradition, where we kinda.. Scare away winter with some big ass fires(Fingers crossed that no hedgehogs got harmed!! They like hiding in the big pile of twigs… ) to welcome spring.

May is probably my favorite month of the year. I like all seasons, but spring is special. I get all hyped and stuff.

Here are some things happening for me to look forward to:

  • Stockholm International Comic’s festival, 7-8 May. Not having a table this year, but I still wanna go and catch up with friends.
  • I’m turning 30, 20 May. Having mixed feelings about this, I still feel like 25…
  • Schoolism Workshop here in Stockholm, 28 May! I went to the one in October, and it was aaaawesome!
  • BBCcon, 28 May. I accidently double-booked this with the Schoolism one, so I need to figure out which one to attend, hahaha. I realized they occured during the exact same weekend the moment I booked my ticket. WHYYYYY???!! Me in a nut shell…

Busy month! But it’s nice to have an overview like this, and be prepared. I’m also a social introvert(Not really shy, and like hanging out, I just need some alone time afterwards), so knowing things ahead helps me a lot ◠◡◠ Will you go on any of those events? Feel free to let me know, I’d love to meet!

Do you have any plans or things happening in May? Looking forward to spring?

Have an awesome evening and Valborg!

I’ll leave you with a sketch I made earlier this winter. It’s for another story that’s brewing in my head. I currently have about 3 story ideas, waiting to get developed.

Tiger sketch