EefjeS has moved

Finally! Please come to my new online home and see what I’m blogging about. This version of my blog will no longer update.

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In which Eefje starts learning how to build her own website

You may have noticed that I changed the name of this blog from Nifty Eef to EefjeS. I’ve been thinking about how I present myself online. I’ve been EefjeS on twitter for years, and it is a really acurate way of describing myself. So why should I not use it in more places? (My first name being Eefje and my last starting with an S, and at the same time it can be read as multiple Eefjes.) An other aspect of my online presence is that I have split my tumblr into two blogs. I still have my regular tumblr filled with fandom, feminism, and whatever tickles my fancy, but the second one is a curated collection of inspiring things. I want it to become an archive of other peoples work that I enjoy and want to learn from. See it here. I took the idea from Austin Kleon, who has his tumblr integrated in his website. I’m currently reading his book Show Your Work which is one of the reasons I’m thinking of all these things the way I am.

Also: this week I finally secured my own domain and hosting. What! I didn’t have that already? No I did not.

I’ve wanted my own place online, really my own, for years now but I just never got around to it. I want to learn how to do this myself, run wordpress (the .org version) and build my own theme. But I don’t have any knowledge on how to do that so I have a lot to learn before I get to where I want to be in that area. I was planning to start this at some point when I had time for it, but life never really slows down so I just have to start.

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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.)

In which Eefje talks about drawing and writing blogposts

For nearly six months I’ve been able to update my blog at least once a week, but suddenly now I find that it’s been over a week since my last post. I don’t know why. It’s not for a lack of things to post about, I have two posts as drafts and an idea for a third. I just wasn’t happy with them yet so I didn’t post them.

Sometimes when I start writing something the words come easy to me, and I like the rythm of the text. Other times, like with one of the posts I had started as a draft the text doesn’t flow at all and as a result it’s very unpleasant to read. I guess that’s normal, but it still feels strange. What makes me suck when I suck and what makes me good when I’m good? I can’t tell.

Compared to other skills I’ve been working on, writing is pretty elusive. In contrast I know exactly why some drawings don’t work yet when I start something new. Lately I’ve been practicing drawing directly in Photoshop. This is a new way of drawing for me, I normally start a picture with pencil and paper and often also finish it with other analog tools. And while I have been colouring scanned sketches in photoshop for a while now, I’m still very much at the beginning of learning how to use that side of the program. So I know why I sometimes suck, it’s a part of the learing curve. When the result is not what I want it’s because I still have to get used to all the new possibilities and how to use my tablet in a way that translates what I want to achieve on my screen. And when I get used to that I will keep running into the limits of my current drawing abilities. I get that. I know my limits and try to push them.

Right now I’m also trying different drawing styles. I’m going for a more comic style because I want to become a diverse illustrator. Adding this to the photoshop learning curve is maybe not so smart (doubly hard!) but it’s interesting. I have to get my brain and hands used to doing something different. When that goes wrong I often end up with kids who have weird adult-sized arms. :p I’ve I’ve got a sketch I like and that has as correct an anatomy as I’m currently capable off, which is nice since it’s an illustration for the next issue of The Anglerfish. 🙂

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