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  • Week #06 & #07 2018

    There was obviously no blogpost last week but I will try to combine the last two weeks in this blogpost. Due to a bereavement I just had no inspiration and drive to write something.

    In the meantime I started to join a drawing challenge on instagram that is still ongoing until the end of february. The challenge by Karoline Pietrowski is about drawing facial expressions for a character every day. I really like doing challenges on instagram because there is so much to discover and it’s much more easy to get in contact or conversation with others. Also there is this topic for a whole month that you can discover and you can practice your drawing abilities and improve – not just with drawing your own works but looking at all the other artists works and how they translate a certain word or topic. So far I’m doing really well although I sometimes struggle with some expressions because I feel some are very similar and I guess I sometimes don’t get the right essence on the paper. My personal challenge was not to use gesture to support the expressions so sometimes, the faces just look sad when the are supposed to look offended, ashamed or touched. But that’s also what it’s about – working on your skills and realising in which areas you have to put in more work and effort. I guess when you also use some gesture with hands and arms you can convert a more accurate interpretation of feelings and expressions. I’m also very happy that I already made it this far. I made 19 Illustrations of my character yet, and there are still a few to come but I am really really confident that I can pull through until the end. I’m already thinking of doing another challenge in March. Are there any interesting challenges you know about? Do you think I should start my own challenge? Can you think of a topic?

    I also Illustrated a few artworks for my newest project that I call “Take Care Of Yourself”. This is more a working title than an actual project title. It’s a series of illustrations about what you can do if you feel stressed or uncomfortable or just to feel better in general. I get stressed very easily and a lot. When I’m stressed I turn into a monster. I cry a lot and have bad moods. So it’s very important to reduce the stress by doing things I like and make room for nice things. With a relaxed mind I can be more creative and have more fun in general. A bit of “Me Time” is important for everyone. Take your time to calm down a bit and find things to do that are good for you. This is also a great chance to get to know yourself a bit better. Listening to your inner voice. Mabye becoming friends with youself. All that leads to new strength and confidence. And maybe everything will seem easier.
    The first few illustrations I made are already available as prints in my etsy shop. You can use them as reminder or just as nice small poster to hang on yor wall beside your workplace or living room or even in the bathroom to see it every morning. I am very curious: what is something you do, to do something good for yourself, to calm down and relax and take time for yourself or even get to know yourself better?

    At the beginning of the last week we went to ikea to get some new shelves because I desperately needed some storage space. Because we already have severals Kallax shelves at home we got a 2×4 and a 2×2 one to fit the “Style”. I also bought some more Dröna where I store all my paper, pencils and other stuff I need more regularly. It’s not perfect yet but it doesn’t look that messy anymore. The best solution would be a third room which I could use as an working room/ studio / atelier by itself, but thats just not possible yet. So I try to make more room by creating more storage space. The next project will be to make my desk a bit bigger. It always is loaded with stuff and it’s hard to clean everything up every time to have enough space to draw and put the laptop somewhere. Also it always looks messy because it is loaded with a lot of stuff that I need regularly, and well, who doesn’t like some decorations as well? I couldnt imagine my workspace without my stones and crystals anymore. If I can manage to expand the table plate I will also have the window right in front of me and that would give me some extra daylight for myself and for drawing and that would be awesome. And new plants. I just cant have enough of them. I want to have a Jungle at my workspace!

    At the end of the last week I worked on a portrait commision. It was quite a challenge because I haven’t worked with a ballpoint pen in quite a while. I still love drawing with ballpoint pens and I guess I will do that more often again. For me it’s really relaxing and I get to see fast results. For this drawing with the size of Din A2 I needed about 7 to 8 hours to draw and I split the time up (because i had enough until I had to finish it) in three days. I also posted the process on my instagram stories by small videos. Of course I asked my client if he was okay with that. I am very happy how the finished artwork turned out and I also got a lot of compliments by my client and the family. If you are also interested in me drawing you or a family member or a friend, a loved one or just someone, let me know, you can write me a message or an email with your idea and we will figure out the rest together. I already drew portraits for birthdays, confirmations, anniversarys, weddings and that one was sadly for a funeral.

    The last important thing I began to make last weekend was a video for my kickstarter project. I really was nervous in front of the camera and I really hate talking while I am recorded. I can’t stand to hear my own voice and I even cringe when I have to hear me talking. So my boyfriend came up with this idea for the video and I felt comfortable with it until I had to sit in front of the camera and see myself on the monitor. I just had some flashbacks from the time I made some youtube videos and remembered all the bad and negative comments I received back then. But this project is too important for me to not give my best and stepping out of my comfort zone and make a video. Although you obviously see that I read all my texts from a piece of paper I guess it is important to show a bit of myself and I hope I don’t seem too unappealing because I just dont know how and when to make the right face expressions or even talk in the right flow to make it interesting what I have to say. I really have some deficits in talking to people that i don’t know. And I also know that people notice this. There are -as always- too much thoughts in my head which will result in fear and anxiety. But I already made it through the video recording and I think that’s already a small success by itself because normaly that’s a thing I would try to pass by somehow and not work through.

    So far for this time.
    All my best,
    Anja

  • Incredible Random Stuff
  • Week #03 2018

    Yesterday, right before i fell i asleep i had the perfect idea how to start this new blog post. Sadly i didn’t make any notes and of course i can’t remember anything i was thinking of. Also i think this is going to be a really short update because i have a huge lack of inspiration to write. Theres just not much happening in my mind when i think about the last week.
    That week i am still stuck to drawing on paper with coloured pencils combined with regular pencils. I almost forgot how i actually like drawing on paper and also the results are still much more faster than drawing digital. I still try some experiments, work on my techniques and want to lern more and also most important i want to become even better. I also bought a few more coloured pencils with the name polychromos by Faber-Castell to vary with colours and trying something new, you know, stepping out of the comfort zone is important and colours are definately not my comfort zone. I am really excited where that leads. I Made some quick drawings and limited myself to only draw with the new colours which made the characters very colourful. What do you think about me using more colours?

    Most of my drawings and illustrations i made through that week you can find on my Instagram account @anja.sturm. it’s really up to date and i post there very regularly. The Motives aren’t too exciting yet, but i made some sketches for a series i want to draw for some Prints and i really like the ideas so far. Another task for this year is to strengthen my confidence. There are different approaches i want to try and find out what works best for me. So i thought “why not include this topic to my illustration work?”The first few things i started with in the new year was writing down my good and also my bad characteristics. I have to see that written down from time to time, to not forget about the good sides of myself, because as you know i mostly think of the bad and negative sides. Another thing is to remind me of things that make me happy or are good for me. Some motivations and being reminded from time to time. This will the series of illustrations be about. Taking care of yourself and beeing your own best friend. I think a lot of you can also relate to that. I hope i can start with that project as soon as I can because I’m really excited about the sketches.
    I’m still working on the idea of my collection booklet and collected all the drawings i liked the most of 2017. Still there is no structure or layout made, but thats the task for the new Week and I’m also thinking about to make this personal project a Kickstarter project. Printing booklets or Zines is not really in my budget these days and furthermore i can check out if you are interested in such a thing before i print it at all.
    Talking about prints: I added some new Prints of my drawings and illustrations to my Etsy shop . I chose those motives because they were liked a lot on instagram so i thought you would maybe like to have them as art prints.

    I also finished my “Yes this is Bear” illustration i talked about last week. I basically like the end result but i think of redoing it because i am not super excited about the format and how the lettering doesnt fit in at all. Seems like it falls apart and i don’t have the feeling that it all connects too well. Also made a new drawing with the girl calling bear nothing too special as well but it’s just part of the whole project, All in all this will maybe make another zine or just some simple Artworks. I can’t quite decide yet and don’t want to limit myself by saying i only do drawings for x or y, maybe it will someday be a cool band shirt design, who knows.

    I also spent some time updating several Portfolios. I think it’s really neccesary to do that kind of work regularly to make you and your work visible and even maybe reach some new clients. First of all i updated my own personal portfolio and also i am very proud to say that i got a new url for it. It is simple : www.anjasturm.com without any extras. Just simply my name. Isn’t that great? I also started to upload my new projects to behance and added some of my artworks to my Portfolio at “Illustratoren Organisation”. I am still not finished yet but its all on its way. Bit by bit i will also try and connect my illustrations to Pinterest and i’m thinking about to add my work on deviantart again and i also want to check out if my works fit to Artstation? Are you familiar with Artstation? Can you recommend any other online Portfolios?

    My workout was doing great last week, i increased the time of workout and also didn’t make any excuses and worked out every day. At least i did my “running on the spot” thing for 1,5 hours. My app tells me that i burned 3369 calories in total by “walking” 43 kilometres. Also the scale finally shows up some new numbers. I think im going in the right direction again i JUST have to keep up that routine. I also challenged myself on wednesday and did an extra round and “walked” 2 hours what really made me proud. While running on the spot i keep myself busy watching tv shows and series on Netflix. It keeps me motivated to watch documentaries about health, food and diets. Cant tell you how often i watched “What the health” Last week i started and finished watching “dark”. It wasn’t really my first choice because i don’t like german produtions in general, but i was really surprised and instantly fell in love with the title song. Also the story was super interesting to follow and i was busy thinking about what could happen next and what is connected and how. I really enjoyed watching the series and also i want to watch it again to understand every detail. The thing i didn’t like was the end because i couldn’t see the connection to the start and the whole theme. I think it would have made more sense if SPOILER: someone hung himself to start the story all over again. Or did i just miss anything? Will there be another season? Did you watch “Dark” and what are your thoughts?

    That were the interesting parts of last week.
    Best,
    Anja