Monday 29 May 2017

30% OFF my new Etsy Collection!

Happy Monday! I hope my British friends are having a great bank holiday. In France, there's so many bank holidays during the month of May but obviously, it doesn't really apply when you're working as a freelancer like me!

Anywho, I thought I would celebrate the fact that it's been just over a month that I've launched my new Etsy collection, so I've prepared a little discount! 30% OFF with code NEW30 for the whole week! So you have no excuses to indulge in some stationery goodness ;)



Thursday 18 May 2017

Zoo de Pont-Scorff

Although we celebrated Jason's birthday with his family at my parents' house (our bellies still remember it!), I wanted to make his birthday extra special and decided to plan a little surprise over his birthday weekend! Jason had no idea where we were going but quickly figured it out after seeing the signs for the zoo ;)

I always feel a bit sad seeing all these animals stuck in a manmade space. But then I remember how much zoos help keep endangered animals alive, how they work hard to keep these species healthy whilst helping them reproduce and I think we definitely need these type of places to carry on doing what they do. It's so horrible to see a beautiful rhino and then realise that there's almost none left in the wild... I fear that in a few generations, the only way people will be able to see exotic animals will be in zoos just because most of them will be extinct in the wild. Such a sad time for the wildlife!

Anyway, I'm not going to go on and on about it but thought I would mention my point of view! We both love animals and sometimes we were just sitting on a bench, watching them doing their own little things. We arrived just before they opened and we were some of the last ones to leave! We definitely made the most out of our day there.

We had such a great time with the giraffes! We went back to see them at the end of the day, and they were SO close to us. It's so funny when you realise how massive their heads are!

This monkey kept coming close to the glass when Jason was watching him! I think it's because he's so hairy haha. Also, how crazy is the orange colour on these little birds?! I seem to remember that they're close to flamingos and they get this colour by eating a lot of shrimps.

We went around the little farm and fell in love with all the guinea pigs that were running around their tiny house! It started to get pretty hot and I was glad I had the suncream with me as we were soon going around in t-shirts. I can't wait for the Summer to start!

(You get bonus points if you've spotted the cute duck family!)

At the end of the day, we arrived just on time to watch the keepers giving food to the elephants and the penguins. We stayed for quite a while watching the elephants picking up the food and having a little bath, they're so majestic!

We left the place super happy with our day out and Jason didn't realise that there was more waiting in the house! Although he prefers to drink good ales, he's now really into good whisky and we hadn't bought a bottle since arriving in France, so I got him an Aberlour, 10 years old, and I think it was the best gift to finish off a week of festivities :)

Friday 12 May 2017

Under Pressure

Let's talk about pressure. Because, let's be honest, it's become almost normal to put pressure on ourselves no matter who we are, where we live or the way we live. You might feel it more than others depending on the job you do, but I feel that lately, it's just everywhere.

The good thing is, I think that sometimes we all need a bit of pressure to finally start on a new project or accomplish a hard task. Sometimes, feeling the pressure gives us this extra bit of motivation that we needed, this kick in the butt that puts us on the right track.

But I feel that unfortunately, there are too many bad effects and too many traps that you might fall in. I don't think I would be the first one to say that as a freelance graphic designer, I've felt the pressure to be awesome at my job, to be better than the other ones out there, and faster, and smarter, and quirkier... And the list goes on! If you're lacking a bit of confidence in yourself, it's too easy to feel in doubt all the time and to start pressuring yourself to be better at everything.

My main issue has been social media. I love sharing and meeting new people on social media, and really, that's one of the best tools out there for showing your work and getting to be known as a freelancer, so definitely crucial for my business. However, I've quickly realised that there are two types of people I'm following: The ones that tell me to always take it easy, to listen to my heart and do things at my own pace, and the ones that tell me over and over that I'm probably wasting my time, that I should be productive every second of the day and that I'm not doing enough to be successful.

We're at a time where people seem to always be reaching for more. Which is great, because like I said before, it also helps us to accomplish things that we never thought we could do. But I'm starting to get tired of all this. I love to have my weekends off, and I always enjoy a break from time to time in the week, going for a walk, cooking something delicious or even just crashing on the couch for an hour or two to watch one of my favourite movies. But sometimes I have this little voice telling me that I'm just a lazy butt and that I'm not using my time wisely. It doesn't help when you scroll through your Instagram feed and see the amazing stuff that people do all the time!

I'm the first one to agree that social media is only an image that we share with the world, a perfect version of ourselves that we carefully curate. I've recently seen more people sharing their real life and struggles though, which I think is so important. I'm always reminding myself that we're all the same and even though it all seems perfect on the outside, we're all struggling with the same issues.

After participating at the Imperfect Boss Campaign, it really opened my eyes on how so many women feel this pressure to be perfect but are quite happy to go against it and decide to be themselves, no matter what. I realised that this is the best way to take it all. Yes, I might feel the pressure from time to time to be ultra productive and yes, it helps me in certain situations, but most of the time, I prefer to put it aside and not let it overwhelm me. At the end of the day, it's our choice to let it take over our life or not. And after a good period of doubt, I'm happy to say that I'm getting better at managing it all and that I'm definitely getting more confident in my day to day life (but the temptation is never that far!).

So what do you guys think? Is it something you struggle with or is it completely going over your head? I'd love to know what you think :)

Tuesday 9 May 2017

A Day Out in Vannes

I visited Vannes once before, but it was quite a few years ago so I didn't remember much of it. Well, now that I've been again, I can safely say that this is one of the most beautiful cities I've been to! The fact that it was sunny when we arrived must have helped a little bit ;)

We took Jason's family on a trip around the old town the day before Jason's birthday, and it was a success. We did quite a lot of walking (and quite a lot of eating!) and I couldn't help taking loads of photos as we went on.

We walked along the port and the old fortified walls first, and I literally couldn't believe my eyes. The gardens were so beautiful! I guess we were visiting at the right time as the flowers were in full bloom but it really made my day. I also loved the fact that we could go inside the old lavoirs, where all the ladies would be cleaning the clothes a long time ago.

I booked a table at the crêperie L'ilôt Galette (Really high rated on TripAdvisor so couldn't go wrong with it) as Jason and I wanted his family to taste some of the traditional local food that we love. I've eaten plenty of galettes and crêpes since I was teeny tiny and Jason had already tried a few when he'd visited France with me, and it's one of our favourite meals ever.

Although we were hoping for the galettes to be a little less expensive, the quality of the food and the service made it worth it and we really enjoyed our meal. Jason's family is a bit particular with their food and usually don't enjoy trying new things much, but they seemed to enjoy it as much as us and that made me really happy :)

After the meal, we walked back to the town centre and its little cobblestone streets to explore a bit more and go around small shops. We had to stop by this massive cathedral, one of the main historical buildings that people visit in Vannes, and I was blown away by the stained glass windows more than anything. The colours were so vibrant and there were so many details!

Just before leaving, we stopped at one of the best bakeries in Vannes to get a Kouign amann (delicious Breton cake made out of sugar and butter mainly) as I really wanted everyone to try a good one and this bakery won an award for making the best in the region. We warmed it up in the oven for a few minutes before eating it and honestly, if it wasn't so unhealthy, I would eat some EVERY day ;)

Friday 5 May 2017

Food is my Raison D'être

Happy Friday! Can you believe we're already in May?!

Well, it's now been exactly 3 years that I'm sharing with you free wallpapers every 1st of the month, and I decided to change things up a little bit!

You must have noticed that this artwork is quite different from the previous ones that I'm sharing since the beginning of this year, as I haven't taken the elements from the calendar I illustrated (plus, it's not the 1st of the month obviously).

I feel that the 'task' is getting a bit boring for me and I'd like to get away from this routine I created. So, from now on, I'll design wallpaper giveaways only when I feel like it! Not to worry, I promise I won't forget you and I'll definitely share some artworks regularly, but it's just a way for me to feel a bit more free about the whole process and share some wallpapers with you because I want to, rather than because I have to.

So for this month, I wanted to share my passion for food with you all (yeah well, for the people that know me, it's no secret!!). Also, for those who saw the little clin d'oeil, I was a bit inspired by my favourite Disney 'Pocahontas' when drawing the raccoon as I thought about a greedy Meeko :)