Combining Digital and Analog Illustration Media

In my endless pursuit of the perfect “look” that is versatile, flexible and to my liking, I have been exploring combinations of mixing digital and analog media. What’s so great about this is it can open up many doors and many new possibilities, which can also be a little overwhelming. The illustration you see below took me around 12 tries to get to this point. I tried every combination from full watercolour to full digital and mixing in every way I could think of.

What finally struck me was to think about which elements I think look nicer painted and which look better digital. Here’s a shortlist of the preferred “look” I like for certain elements:

Digital:

  • solid objects like metal, a bicycle for example

  • skin tones (gives a smooth & clean look, also much easier to make edits which I think is important for drawing figures and people, trying to paint tiny hands is very hard!)

  • Lashes, lips, hair

  • sketching - my oh my is it nice to sketch on an iPad where pencil marks don’t remain and the undo button is your best friend

Analog:

  • botanicals (I do like to add a subtle digital outline on my iPad afterwards though, it adds a bit more dimension and a cleaner look)

  • animals (also like to touch up on the iPad)

  • flowy fabrics, shading in fabrics

  • florals

  • jewelry and accessories (also touch up on the iPad for a cleaner look … with objects you don’t want to have a fuzzy outline)

  • Shoes - I have a soft spot for sketchy watercolour shoe illustrations

  • architecture and sceneries



In the illustration you see below, I first sketched everything out on my iPad and filled out her skin as well as the parrot with some shading effects that look slightly painted. Then I removed the skin layer to leave only the sketch, which I reduced the opacity by quite a lot, only leaving about 5-6%. I do this because then I can print the sketch onto my watercolour paper and use it as a guideline. It’s helpful to create the sketch in a pale soft colour like coral or blue, so the ink doesn’t blend into your painting as much.

What the digital illustration looked like without the sketch around it, a little messy I know!

What the digital illustration looked like without the sketch around it, a little messy I know!

Then once the sketch was printed onto the watercolour paper I painted in the botanicals using a mixture of gouache and watercolour paints. I also painted her clothing by only adding some “tan” coloured shadowing to show more of a linen type fabric and a white outfit.

What the scan looked like without the girl and parrot which were drawn digitally.

What the scan looked like without the girl and parrot which were drawn digitally.

Once the painting was dry, I scanned it using my Epson Perfection scanner and imported it into Photoshop, where I adjusted the colour balance and curves to add a bit more depth to the painting. I then inserted the image into my Procreate App where I created the sketch and simply opened up the skin & bird layer overtop o the painting. I added some final minor details like shadowing in the leaves and sketches to unify both digital and painted elements and voila! The perfect combination.

It might sound like a lot of work but it’s very pleasant actually, figuring out how to make it all fit together is like solving a puzzle. I also much prefer the textured outcome to a fully digital illustration. Let me know what you think below!

Xx

The final result! I added a subtle watercolour paper texture overtop the digital drawing to unify it a little bit more

The final result! I added a subtle watercolour paper texture overtop the digital drawing to unify it a little bit more


5 Things I wish I knew before starting my career as an illustrator

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  1. Turning away jobs and projects is just as important as accepting them

When I first started my career, live sketching was a fairly new thing that was taking off like crazy. It was great because events were easy to come by, and the income allowed me to pursue my art full-time. The problem is that when you start to become known as a “live artist”, unless that’s what you want to be known as, it can be hard to get away from that. People like simplicity, and if the first thing they hear about you is “live art” that’s what they’ll remember, and they won’t think to hire you for things you actually really want to do like sell paintings and create editorial pieces or product packaging.

I recently read somewhere that Beyonce earned less than Ariana Grande at a Coachella concert, but obtained the film rights to it and sold it to Netflix for 10x the price. I guess short-term pain, long-term gain is the message here. Don’t rush into any jobs that come your way, but take your time to figure out what you really want people to remember you for. Think of it this way; if you could only choose one thing to do every single day, what would it be? If you’re like me, you want to pursue a career in this industry to take charge of your life, to be your own boss, to work with amazing clients and also to create amazing work. Don’t sell yourself short.

I would also like to add to this, that if you feel like you’re stuck being labelled as one thing or another, it’s never too late to rebrand yourself. Just make sure you do this with confidence and clarity so people know you’re not just flip flopping around. I’m also not saying that live illustration is bad, it’s actually quite fun. In my case personally, I don’t want to be doing events 2-3 times a week because I get very exhausted from them and it’s not where my heart is. I would much prefer to be known as an artist who creates custom illustrations and sells original & printed artwork, but in the future doing some live events with brands could complement that. It’s all relative to what you’re really going for.

my very first publication, which was unpaid. I didn’t care because I was so excited to see my work in print. Also, my scarf is faux fur ;)

my very first publication, which was unpaid. I didn’t care because I was so excited to see my work in print. Also, my scarf is faux fur ;)

2. Jumping into illustration full-time when you’re not ready for it is stressful and I don’t recommend it to anyone

Like I mentioned above, the events provided great income for me to get started, and I’m so glad I did them. They really helped me break out of my shell and become a confident illustrator. Aside from that, though, jobs were scattered here and there and didn’t really start to pick up regularly until November 2018. Good things take time, and as you’re starting out, it’s good to have a small, forgiving audience who can support you along the way and provide feedback when you ask for it. Embrace the stage of your career that you are in, the more you can do that I think the better luck you will have because you’ll have such better mental clarity.

If you work a part-time or full-time job to supplement the income and give you peace of mind, so what? You're doing yourself a favour by not rushing into things. You’ll also be learning so much more and you won’t be in a sort of panic mode all the time to have everything figured out. Take it from someone who jumped in too early, it’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, most businesses take 10 years to become established. In the grand scheme of things, having a job for a few years to secure the roof over your head and warm meals every day should be seen as a blessing, not as something that’s holding you back. If you’re afraid of not having enough time, find a higher paying job and work less hours (for example serving, bartending, tutoring, etc).

3. Get into licensing as soon as possible

I see art licensing similar to investing in the stock market, the earlier you get started, the better. Why? Because they take a few years to get rolling. I have artwork on Society6 that I uploaded 2 years ago and are only starting to take off now. Not only does it take time to show up on search engines, but it also takes time to get more and more eyeballs on it. See where your art fits and how you can break into licensing, whether it be textile designs, phone cases, art prints and home decor and much more. A few years from now you’ll thank yourself for having that side income to supplement your client work, especially if you have a dry freelance period.

a pencil sketch I made in 2016, I look at this now and think “this really sucks”, but it was a necessary exploration at the time, I just wish I had embraced it more

a pencil sketch I made in 2016, I look at this now and think “this really sucks”, but it was a necessary exploration at the time, I just wish I had embraced it more

4. Don’t stick to one style at first, try everything. Get your hands dirty, try a new software, use a gross medium you don’t like, do it all and make art that sucks

If I could plaster this on my forehead, I would. Make. Art. That. SUCKS.

Why? Because you’ll allow your inner creative child to come out and play, to think of different ways of moulding things together, to add a new perspective to something, to see how shadows can help convey a message or how a texture adds depth and dimension to your work.

I SO wish I did this more when I was first starting out, it took me 2 years and a massive burnout to start playing with paints again, and it has opened up so many opportunities for me already, not just because I think it looks better, but also because I absolutely LOVE it and I want to do everything and anything now. It’s making me think of new opportunities I can take on, different ways of offering my services, new imagery I can play around with.

Make art that sucks, because one day it won’t suck anymore, and it’ll actually be really freakin’ amazing. You’ll thank yourself for taking the time to figure all that out instead of getting looped into a style that you don’t absolutely love.

Please do yourself a favour and find peace in every day

Please do yourself a favour and find peace in every day

5. There is no end goal

I hate to break it to you, my lovely illustrator friend, but there is no end goal.

I thought there was, I really did, and I’m sure maybe you do too. You might see things on Instagram and think, wow, if I could do that one day, then I could die happy. Newsflash! You won’t. A true artist is always looking for ways to improve, to take on the “next big thing”, to see how their work can fit in to something else and something else. There is no end goal because your entire career is about unravelling all the layers that make you, well, you.

This should (I hope) give you a sigh of relief though, because once you can let go of “being great” or “successful”, you’ll realize that those terms are so subjective, and you’ll be able to embrace exactly where you are now.

Let the waves hit you, in fact, let them crash into you and wipe you out completely. You’ll be grateful they did, because you’ll learn something new and it will shape the rest of your career. Your end goal is today, right now, just the way it is. You are an artist, a creative, a super awesome talented individual and the world is just waiting for you to unfold your truest self.

Xx

Sabina

Why I'm painting again instead of drawing digitally

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. I had a couple of attempts earlier in April but couldn’t get the words out.

This year has been very busy so far, which is absolutely amazing, but I’m also on a discovery path with my work which keeps evolving so it feels like I have two jobs at the moment… One being client work, admin stuff and maintaining my online sales, and the other being exploring personal work to let my style evolve and change.

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As I wrote about it awhile back, I was having continuous debates on whether I should use traditional or digital mediums for my illustrations and truthfully I still don’t have it quite figured out. I feel that I have to choose one or the other because they produce very different results. When I work by hand, I tend to be a bit looser in my strokes and it forces me not to overwork a piece or to change around the composition a million times (which yes, I do all the time with digital). Painting with watercolour and gouache has been a great challenge for me because I got soooo comfy with the iPad being able to move everything around and undo when I needed to. It can be really difficult to work digitally when you can keep refining and refining, it’s like there’s no end to a piece because it can always be improved. When it comes to putting things on paper, once it’s there, there’s pretty much no going back. This is something I’m actually really enjoying because it’s forcing me to approach my illustrations in a different way.

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I definitely don’t think there’s any right or wrong when it comes to choosing a medium, but I think it’s important that it’s something you really love, because that’s what will keep you inspired 10, 20, 30 years from now.

Growing up, I always turned to art as my chosen hobby. I would start paper maché projects at home and couldn’t wait to get home from school to finish them. In class, I loved when we got to make crafts and I could get my hands all soaked up in a glue mixture or acrylic paints. I remember dipping my feet in paint and walking across a big banner, the squish of the cold paint on my foot and the marks it left behind. In high school, I painted acrylic paintings of beaches, mountains, trees, anything that would help ease my mind in whatever I was going through (like any teenager right?). I took as many art classes as you possibly could in a public high school, and became besties with my teachers, who knew I felt really passionate about the craft. I painted self-portraits, studied light & shadows, discovered art history and mixed all kinds of things together to create a piece. I once even broke up a bunch of glass and hot glued it to a canvas with a portrait on it to make a statement about depression.. something I didn’t honestly know much about other than feeling sad.

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Painting is part of my story, a big part of it. It’s the number one thing I loved for so long before people started telling me to think about my career seriously. It’s what feels like home, what I love to do no matter how sad or distracted I am. It puts me in my flow, and I lose track of time.

Now I’m not going to declare that digital art isn’t art, because I definitely think it is. If you’ve ever tried to draw on an iPad or Wacom tablet, you’ll know that it takes hella skills to figure out. I think digital art is absolutely marvellous, and opens doors for people that didn’t exist before. I could go on and on, because I value digital art as I do traditional art. They’re both equal to me and I don’t want this post to come across as me saying that traditional art is better because it’s not, it’s just as good.

There was something that happened a few months ago, where I just looked at my iPad and thought “I’m out”. I’m out of ideas, I’m out of inspiration, the lightbulb has burnt out. I just simply was out of ideas about what to draw. I felt like I was piecing together things that I liked in other artworks, and didn’t feel like my own. After creating a great piece, of course I felt happy, but that “LOOK WHAT I MADE” feeling wasn’t there anymore.

This piece was my “ah-HA” moment!

This piece was my “ah-HA” moment!

This isn’t to say that I don’t still enjoy drawing digitally, because I do. I love to sketch on my iPad so I can shift things around and it’s also great for some client projects that prefer more of a polished look. But ultimately, I just felt a huge pull to paint again, to get my hands messy and use every angle of the brush on paper. It was equally as frustrating as it was joyful, because I LOVED the feeling, but hated the result. This went on for some time, until I finally started to see little hints of progress and pieces coming together in the paintings. Then I had it, that “LOOK WHAT I MADE!!!” moment. I was so excited I texted all of my best friends. It’s not that the piece is particularly amazing, it’s that I found the progress. I knew what direction to take next and I finally saw how it could all come together.

I like to write about these things because I hope some day I can read back on my posts and remember what it was like in the beginning, all the confusion and such. I hope I’ll look back and remind myself of all the nights I stayed up so late painting away and all the time I spent perfecting my craft, making it so valuable. I hope I’ll cherish this growth and feel thankful that I allowed myself to have the courage to explore.

If there’s something you really love, and I mean REALLY love, go for it man!! There’s absolutely no excuse to follow your dreams in this day and age, whatever that looks like to you! You don’t need to quit your job, or read tons of “5 Steps to Financial Freedom!!!” posts, but you owe it to yourself to try, little by little, day by day, to live a life you absolutely love. I’ll see you there.

Xx

Sabina

5 Thoughts on Digital vs Traditional mediums for illustration

This may very well be the question of the century. With so much access to different mediums, how do you make a concrete decision as an illustrator of whether to create digital or traditional medium illustrations? If you’re lucky, your style can translate to both, but often people who use digital illustration use a lot of flat colours, and those who use traditional like to layer it on. This is all variable however, since there are so many different styles.

some of my watercolour experimentation

some of my watercolour experimentation

If you’re following me on Instagram, you likely know I’ve been having this debate with myself for quite some time now, about 3 months to be exact. I keep analyzing my illustrations to see where I can improve, and I started looking into it a little too much.

Here are some thoughts on choosing to work digitally vs traditionally:

1. Know your market

This is probably the most important point. If you know your market, you should be able to know which medium will be better suited to them. For example, if you do a lot of custom portraits and wedding portraits and such, some people might prefer to have something completely unique and original, which would be a painting of some sort. This can also be applied to selling original artwork online, which can be marked up a lot because there’s only one. If you want to do a lot of corporate work like logos, advertisements and product packaging like I do, a digital style is more versatile and allows multiple rounds of editing without ruining the illustration. Do some research to figure out who your target clients are, where you want to see your illustrations and what those clients are currently commissioning. That will give you a good idea of which route might be better for you.


2. Analyze your style

For some, their bold paint strokes and splashes of water are a significant part of their style, and for those illustrators, obviously traditional mediums allow for those happy accidents and more authentic hand made look. If you’re like me, you probably like to refine an illustration and get into the details. Being able to zoom in and shift things around is almost necessary to the outcome of my drawings, so I naturally get a little frustrated with traditional mediums that I can’t “undo”. If you’re not sure what your style is yet, I wrote another post on the topic, but essentially pick and choose what elements you like in illustrations that attract your attention. Start to build upon those and see what draws you in. Things that start to get repeated throughout your drawings are indicators of your style. It’s best to experiment a lot and not rush this process.

90% of my work is done on this incredible little device

90% of my work is done on this incredible little device

3. Think about your lifestyle

Are you always travelling and on the go, or like to work from a coffee shop or on the train? Carrying around an iPad is a lot easier than a whole set of watercolours, brushes, water, paper towels, paper and more. If you prefer to work from home and don’t find yourself out and about too much, traditional mediums are likely a great option for you. Do you like to take your time with an illustration and perfect it, or do you enjoy creating a quick minimalistic style drawing? Think about all the factors, I read somewhere that you should choose the medium that is the easiest, most convenient for you and also for your type of clients. If you’re planning to do this as a career, you’ll likely become very busy at one point or another, and if you’re the kind of person to take on 2-3 projects at a time, you need to make sure you’ll have enough time to complete all the deadlines. That could mean carrying around your iPad so you can sketch in between meetings, or it might mean getting a portable watercolour set. If you’re like me and enjoy painting but prefer the outcome of digital illustrations, you might benefit from having a painting or two on the side that you can work on during your free time. You can even sell these on places like Etsy if you’d like, or just use them as meditative pieces that you do when you have time to.

4. Think like a business owner

As artists, we tend to think like artists not like business owners. Analyze the costs & benefits of choosing one medium over another, which one saves you more time and effort, and which one gives you the most potential. As artists we dream of fame and recognition, but you need to keep your business running, which means budgeting and being able to afford the supplies you need to make your work. If it’s helpful, you can also analyze it in a 5 year period. Calculate how many drawings/paintings you make in a month, then multiply that by 12 and by 5, then figure out the cost of supplies per painting and do the same thing. Being a freelance illustrator is pretty much the same as running a business, as you may have gathered should you be a freelancer yourself, so it’s time to think like a BOSS. How will you keep your business afloat? Which medium will best support efficiency, high quality work and flexibility?

I love being able to draw anywhere with my iPad, but I also love playing around with paints :)

I love being able to draw anywhere with my iPad, but I also love playing around with paints :)

5. What brings you the most joy?

When it all comes down to it, what lights up a spark of excitement in you to finish a drawing or painting? What feels the most natural and beautiful to you? Which result gives you more confidence as an artist? Try out different mediums and see which one resonate with you the most. Whenever I get stuck. I play around with gouache and watercolours for awhile before jumping back to my iPad. It reminds me why I started doing digital illustration and it also gives you a good break. I find whenever I try out a different medium for awhile, I learn new things that I can then apply to my current medium as well. Play a little trial and error game and see what happens. As an artist, this can also drive you crazy though, so don’t put too much pressure around it. You’ll find it overtime and everything leading up to then will be great lessons. After all, if you’re in this type of career field, you’re likely not in it for the money, but you’re in it because it’s something you love to do, so make sure you can keep loving it throughout your career.

What is your preferred medium? Let me know in the comments below :)

Xx

Sabina

Growing more confidence as an artist/illustrator

One of my suuuper old drawings - drawn in ink on paper and coloured in adobe illustrator

One of my suuuper old drawings - drawn in ink on paper and coloured in adobe illustrator

If you start chasing a career in this field, you’ve probably read tons of articles about basically how to survive as an artist. Everything from finding your style, to passive income, to getting clients and more. It can all feel a little bit overwhelming, and this pressure can easily start to translate into your work. If you live in fear as a creative, trying to follow the rules for a successful career, it can really start to hold you back and actually prevent you from attaining what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you start thinking that you need to have a concrete style within your illustration work, you’ll be repeating things over and over again and you won’t allow yourself to try new things like exploring new mediums or new ways of drawing things, and in turn, you’re being more and more held back and not letting your work evolve naturally as it should.

One of my black and white/minimalist drawings

One of my black and white/minimalist drawings

Since I started my career in this field, my work has seen a lot of change. I went from drawing in ink on paper and scanning it to colour it in photoshop, to black and white digital illustration, to full colour digital illustration to exploring with different mediums like gouache, watercolour and coloured pencils. Changing it up keeps it interesting for me, and seeing how much my work improves every time I allow it to evolve naturally makes it all worth it. It hasn’t always been easy to accept it though, if I felt like I hit a wall and needed to change something, the thoughts would consume me. Things like “what will they think” “will they still like my work” “will I still get clients” were all fear-based questions that would come to mind to the point where I couldn’t sleep. The more I accept the growth and change, however, the more confident I grow as well. For one, I’ve never had less clients because my work has shifted a bit, in fact my client list continues to grow and this year has been my busiest yet. I also feel more in tune with my work than ever before.

One of my most recent drawings, I really enjoyed creating this one

One of my most recent drawings, I really enjoyed creating this one

Like any new skill, learning about how to have a career in this field is just as important as learning how to draw properly. It’s also important to remember that things take time, and not to rush them too much. It’s easy to see other illustrators online and assume they’ve got it all figured out, but behind it all I’m sure they’ve had their struggles as well, even if they’re not vocal about it. Allow things to grow and develop organically, don’t resist wanting change and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you’re anything like me, this is probably what you plan to do for most of your life, and when you think about it in that sense, what’s the point in rushing or allowing fear to take the wheel? Confidence comes with time, and the more you can trust yourself to do the right things, the more confidence will grow.

Xx

Sabina


Mixed Media Illustration // Taking a Break from the Screen

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For a little while now, my eyes have felt tired from looking at the screen on my iPad, but every time I go to draw or paint on paper, I can’t get anything quite as crisp as I’m used to with my beautiful Apple tool, so I’ve been testing out some different combinations of mediums from acrylic to gouache to watercolour, and I think I’ve found the perfect solution for those times when I just need a little break from the screen but still want to create good pieces of work.

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Here’s what I did;

  1. Make a sketch on the iPad using the Procreate app. Making a sketch digitally allows you to modify and manipulate as needed, and then clean it up in a separate layer overtop - no messy pencil lines.

  2. Draw/colour the parts of the illustration that may be a bit harder to translate on paper. For me, I like to draw in the face (if I’m doing a full-body illustration, the face is really small on paper and is hard to get those details into). I also drew in the lines of the bicycle here, as well as her shoes and hair.

  3. Keep the sketch under your drawing but fade the layer opacity to about 40%.

  4. Print your unfinished illustration on watercolour paper, you might need to use a darker setting since the paper can soak up the ink and make it look pale.

  5. Now you can finish your illustration with whatever pleases you, and if you make a mistake, you can print and start again! I used a combination of watercolours, gouache, ink and coloured pencil to create this illustration below.

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Winding down after a busy week: Reflecting on "Doing what you love"

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Since I am still in the early stages of my career, I don’t typically turn down many jobs that come my way. This was a bit of a harsh lesson for me this week as I had 3 events booked back to back and logo commissions as well as portrait commissions around it. I think with any new business the early years are really the time to hustle it out and do as much as you can to move forward. I know that one day I’ll be able to pick and choose the jobs that resonate with me the most, but for now I honestly just feel really grateful that I’m able to do this full-time and the places it has taken me so far.

It’s funny how we’re never satisfied as human beings, I remember in the beginning I would say things like “oh as soon as I get a commercial job I’ll be happy” or “when I can buy groceries with my illustration money I’ll feel successful”, but now that I’m here there’s so much more I want to do and so many goals I have yet to achieve.

I posted on Instagram this week about how your job doesn’t define who you are, and I think it’s true because who we are is constantly changing and evolving. Jobs are meant to bring us the income we need to have an easier life, and I know that when I was first starting I felt like if I wasn’t doing illustration full-time it meant that I wasn’t good enough yet and that I couldn’t validate my work until I was full-time. Isn’t that such an illusion? My point is, if you’re not where you feel like you want to be and you’re working a job that you don’t feel passionate about, you don’t need to feel like you have to find something you’re crazy passionate about and make a living from it. Most people are happy to work a day job and that means they can leave work behind them at 5pm or so, and go home to their families and enjoy life after work. I don’t think there’s anything wrong about that at all, and I think if I had this perspective of those jobs earlier, I might have made my career a little bit easier on myself.

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In the end, work is work, and whether it’s something you love to do or not, what you’ll remember when you’re in old age is the times you had with your family, your friends and loved ones, laughing about nothing, playing around with your pets and being goofs with your best friends.

I’ve mentioned it before, but artists tend to go through a lot of soul-searching work, since the root of creativity is deep within us and the more we can figure out who we are on this planet, the better we can access it. I love sharing my thoughts with my audience and I’m proud about where I’ve come so far as an artist but I think those of you out there who are still figuring it out or feel a little bit stuck should feel equally as proud of how far you’ve come. There’s no right or wrong way to have a career, you can jump around as much as you want from one thing to another or stay in the same job forever, but the focus should be more on being happy with your life overall and feeling like you have a good balance between your work and your life.

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Yes, I am doing something I love as a full-time job, but it’s important to mention that I don’t love every aspect of it, and that’s perfectly okay. In fact, there are many days I don’t love, there are days where I work until my eyes sting, or days where I have trouble enjoying time with people I love because something about work is on my mind, it’s easy to let it consume your life when it’s all up to you. I think it’s important to share these aspects of my work a little bit to shine a light on them and highlight the fact that no career is perfect. It’s all a big winding road and we are only able to see about 3 feet in front of us, but that keeps it exciting and keeps us on our toes.

If you are feeling a bit stuck in your career, maybe it’s time for you to start to find joy within yourself on a day to day basis. How can you improve your days just a little bit? No matter what you do, there will always be good and bad days, and that’s just the way of life, but how you choose to see them and to react to them is entirely up to you.

Be well :)

Xx

Sabina





Enjoying Life: 3 Ways to live like you're on vacation

Hiking in Yosemite!

Hiking in Yosemite!

This is a concept that came to me when I attended an event awhile back, where one of the women entrepreneurs speaking was talking about how she tries to live like she’s on vacation. What she meant by that is to do little things everyday that you would do if you were on vacation. What this does it bring you bliss and moments of joy, relaxation and happiness throughout the day. Imagine, if you could feel that way every day for the next month, how much would your quality of life improve?

Think about the last time you were on vacation and felt really happy, what were you doing? Where were you? Think about the environment you were in, the activities you did and the people you were with. Now, start to think about how you can incorporate some of those things into your everyday life.

1. Activities:

What are some of the activities you love to do on vacation? Maybe it’s playing volleyball on the beach, and to translate that into your every day life you could find a local volleyball club or something similar like tennis, squash and more. Personally, I loooove to travel to warm destinations, especially during the winters here in Canada. I love the heat and humidity (I know that’s weird), it makes me feel much better and I absorb every minute of it when I’m on vacation. So what I do here at home is make sure I take a bit of time after my workout at the gym to sit in the sauna and absorb it all up. It relaxes my muscles, and I often do a little meditation while I sit there as well.

When on vacation, you’re also often seeing new things. Become a tourist in your own city by trying out a new coffee shop to read a book, or going for a long walk by the water if there is some, take some time out of your day to take a break and try something new whether it’s just a new environment or a different type of coffee.

2. Slowing Doooooown

Runyon Canyon in LA

Runyon Canyon in LA

Do you ever get to Friday and realize the week flew by without you even noticing? Chances are, you’ve fallen into a repetitive routine and are probably moving very quickly throughout the day. I’m all for efficiency, but there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

When you’re on vacation, you’re not frantically checking your email 20 times a day, or running to a meeting that you’re already late for, or skipping lunch because there’s no time. Try to focus on doing one thing at a time, give yourself lots of time to get to where you need to go so you can enjoy the trip there, and indulge in a really good lunch with some of your favourite foods.

Exploring Belgium

Exploring Belgium

Make time to read, to journal, to workout and most importantly, to sleep (how many of you sleep like CRAZY on vacation?). Enjoy the process of gradual growth and focus on enjoying life as it is right now instead of living into the future and frantically trying to get there, you’re in charge!

3. Your surroundings

As a girl who grew up in Canada with maple trees and pine trees, I get SO excited when I see palm trees and tropical plants. It signifies warmth and relaxation to me, it brings me a sense of calm because they bring me back to sitting on the beach admiring the hue of the ocean and the trees blowing in the wind beside me. It’s my ultimate zen.

Your surroundings are an important aspect of your life, especially as a creative. I don’t know about you, but working in a boring room is really difficult for me. I have filled my home with tropical plants that bring me so much joy. I have palm plants, banana leaf plants, all kinds of plants that I don’t even know the names of, but they remind me of warmth and make me feel closer to nature.

Visiting a museum in Sarasota, Florida

Visiting a museum in Sarasota, Florida

There’s nothing like fresh hotel towels, right? Why can’t you give yourself the luxury of really nice fresh towels at home? I wash my towels frequently and getting out of the shower to fresh towels and thriving plants is a little moment of bliss. This also applies to bed sheets, CLEAN your bed sheets, and replace them every once in awhile with new ones. You’ll sleep so much better and there’s nothing like crawling into a freshly cleaned, made bed.

What are some other things you like to do on vacation that you could incorporate more into your daily life? Take out a sheet of paper and write them all down, and see how you can start to fit them into your life for more moments of joy, relaxation and bliss! :)

Xx

Sabina