In which Eefje accidentally joins an all girl punk rock band

Spice Puff Girls

Well, not really. But look at our album cover!

Last saturday I went to a nerfighter scavenger hunt gathering in Arnhem. It was lovely weather and a lot of fun to go through the park, station and city centre to try and find all the locations we were hunting for. My team consisted of four girls and we meshed wonderfully. I am still working on selecting and editing my photos of the day, but I wanted to share this bit of fun I was having with photoshop.

One of the places we needed to find was the pedestal of this statue of Hendrik Antoon Lorentz. Cindy took the picture with the rest of us posing. When she posted her photos to facebook, we were all commenting on how fierce we looked and how we’re totally a punk rock band and this is our first album cover. But Cindy herself wasn’t in the photo! So I photoshopped her in and since I was doing that anyway, I thought I’d make it look like an actual album cover. We’re the Spice Puff Girls! (Because there are three Power Puff Girls and five Spice Girls, and four of us.)

I love making silly jokes with awesome people, both in person and online.

Bonus Ben as a Spice Puff Girl (because everyone wants to be a Spice Puff Girl, which is totally what we call our fans as well).

Ben as a Spice Puff Girl

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Blogs, blogs, blogs and also: blogs

Dear reader, I want to talk to you about blogging. Oh no! you gasp, the dreaded blogpost about blogging! Are you so lacking in content ideas that you have nothing else to blog about than blogging? Don’t you have at least a pet to write about? (No.) Fear not! This post is only partially about blogging and the other part will be about blogs I like as a reader.

I am not utterly devoid of ideas for things to post here, in fact I have quite a few swimming around in my brain. The problem is that I am an inconsistent poster. When I think of a thing to write about, or when I have something to share, I just throw it on here immediately. But when I have an idea I sometimes don’t have the time to work it out and then I forget about it again. And so this blog is sometimes full with new posts in a row and sometimes many weeks can go by without anything new. I lack planning. I don’t want this blog to start feeling like a job, like I have to post something even if I don’t feel like sharing anything, but a little more forethought wouldn’t hurt. This will still be my playground and I will keep sharing all odds and ends that I feel like sharing. It will just be a little better organised on my side of things.

This little reorganisation on my part is inspired by Kathleen, a lovely Belgium lady who blogs in Dutch here. She has written a short ebook (expertly designed, one of the reasons I love her) on keeping a calender for your blog. If you can read Dutch I would recommend downloading it. A lot of the things in it you, like me, will already know, but it is a nice summary to spur you into thinking. There are also some cute but functional empty calender designs you can use for your own planning.

For me it really helps to write down a list of ideas for posts and to see if I can spread them out over the month. I know I can keep up with a posting schedule, I did a post once a week challenge for six months and managed that. Though I was often posting the new content at the last possible minute because I was suddenly aware that a whole week had passed already. Keeping a calender for my blog and planning ahead already feels very good, and I’ve only just started. Only time will tell how successful I will be with this. It could be that I am aiming too high creating content wise, but I can always adjust my plans if that turns out to be the case.

Onwards to the blogs I love! I often ignore them for weeks and then suddenly binge on all the posts. Which is basically the same pattern I have when it comes to posting on my own blog. Here’s to keeping up with the stuff I love as well!

I already mentioned Kathleen, who writes about her life, sewing, books and drawing on her blog Verbeelding, which means Imagination. It’s all in Dutch, though worth a look for her web design skills even if you can’t read the words.
Let’s just get all of the Dutchies out of the way immediately!

My friend Marlies is doing research on design in Japan for two years, and she keeps a Dutch blog in which she talks about living in Japan. She writes about the ways in which she comes in contact with the local culture and the things she gets used to vs. the things she doesn’t get used to. There are also some wonderful posts about the Japanese language and studying Japanese typography, which makes me very happy to read about. Check her out on Alleen in Kyoto. (Alone in Kyoto.)

Then we have Anna Denise. Who writes in English! Non-Dutchies can rejoice! She is a wonderful illustrator who keeps a visual journal and always posts interesting things. She lives in the same city as I do, though I’ve never run into her. Which is maybe a good thing because I might just go a little fangirl on her. (HI I LOVE YOUR WORK.)

On the photography side of things I keep coming back to Moments, the blog of Ksenia. Her photos are very good and I love her crisp style. She also has an interest in lomography and journalism, so it’s no wonder I am a part of her audience.

And last but not least, the photography of Evi. She lives in Vienna and documents all the things she sees while developing her photography skills. Visit her on Evis Lens.

There are a lot more blogs I check, several of them very well known, but I decided to make a list here with ladies who are just like me in many ways (and better in others) and who I feel well deserve all the attention I can give them. (You can see a lot more blogs and sites that I like on my Links page.)

About drawing, hair and a tattoo

Portait

Look I made a portrait in Paper by 53 on my iPad!

I haven’t been drawing much lately, and I miss it. It always takes me a while to realise it, because it’s not as if I’m not doing other things that I like with the time that I’m not drawing. I play games, I read, I watch tv shows, I take photographs and edit them. (Soon I will start sharing more photos again!) So sometimes my sketchbook lays forgotten and neglected in the mess that is my home.

Until I started with pencil and paper again for the illustrations I did for the current issue of The Anglerfish (it’s out now, and I’ll share some more on my work in it later). The last couple of issues I’ve been working on fully digital illustrations because I want to develop that side of me more, and it’s been fun and I’m mostly happy with the results. But I haven’t actually done much analog drawing and picking up a pencil again made me realise how much I miss it.
So yesterday, in the train on my way to work, I took out my sketchbook and decided to just try something. I often feel like drawing but never start because I haven’t got an idea for what to draw yet.

It’s just some quick sketching and not all that interesting, but it gave me a boost. I should stop worrying about not having an idea for what to draw yet and just put the pencil on the paper and start. I think my commutes are good places to start.

And the fun thing is, that drawing analog made me take out my iPad this morning and continue on a page in Paper that I had started a while back. I came across the blog of Michael Rose a couple of weeks ago, and he has some very nice tutorials for mastering Paper. Even if you don’t actually want to make painting like pages, it’s still fun to see how he works his layers. I recommend it if you’ve got the app. Made Mistakes.

I also tried a new hairstyle today.

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Trying a new hairstyle today. #hairadventures

A post shared by Eefje (@eefjesart) on

Sometimes I find it hard to believe the person in the picture is me. I look so artsy and cool. (But then I just have to look at the rejected selfies before I got one that was good enough and I remember that I am still just a person, and that’s okay.)

If my old self of several years ago would see me now, she’d be amazed that I can be this person. That the only thing needed for pulling of purple hair is to dye your hair purple. It’s not that I feel like I missed out on trying different styles when I was younger, I wasn’t very interested in dying my hair and experimenting with it then (other than the occasional CUT IT ALL OFF impulse), but that it could be so simple to just try things would not have occurred to her in the same sense as it’s a part of me now. This isn’t a big, radial change in me. It’s one that happened over time, like all real changes do.

It can still be scary. Like planning my trip to Saint Petersburg is. I’m going there in June to get a tattoo by artist Sasha Unisex (I’ve wanted a tattoo for a long time now) and to have a week vacation on my own. I’ve been stressing out like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s so worth it. 🙂 I’ve got my appointment, paid a deposit, took time of work, booked a flight and and B&B and now I feel like it’s really happening. I still need to get a visa, which is the biggest hassle EVER, and get myself a good guide book on the city so I can start making a plan of what I want to see and do while I’m there (fun!). But the big things are arranged and now I get to enjoy the prospect of how awesome my life is going to be for the foreseeable future.

How amazing is it that I get to do stuff like this? That I have a job that I love and that I can take time off for awesome things. That I can afford all of this? That I have this life in which I don’t have to ask anybody for permission to fly to Russia to get a tattoo. I can’t wait for this trip, and I feel privileged that I get to make it.

The Anglerfish #12, all about Nintendo

It's all in the hands

My illustration for the 12th issue of The Anglerfish! Go check it out, it’s a fun issue full of all things Nintendo.

This illustrations goes with the article It’s All in the Hands, the top four reasons why Nintendo should concentrate on handhelds. Pictured is how I hold my own Nintendo 3ds when I’m playing Animal Crossing New Leaf. 🙂 It was a nice exercise in drawing hands, and in making my digital drawing look a little watercoloury. I’m still getting to know all the ways in which I can use the photoshop brushes, and how to paint with them. I am going to try more digital painting like this, just like I love the watercolour brush in Paper on my iPad I like it when I can get Photoshop brushes to behave similarly. Onward to more digital illustrating!

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