subota, 3. prosinca 2016.

Illustration of the day (Nature and us) / Ilustracija dana (Priroda i mi)

Good evening everyone! How are you? I'm sharing this illustration even though I haven't quite finished it. What I found most helpful in terms of productivity as a hobby artist is being consistent. I like everyone else obviously don't have entire days to devote only to painting. So what I do is that  when I don't have the time or the energy to do a proper painting, I try to set apart some time to do a sketch or a doodle. Because really you never know when a doodle or a sketch can be turned into a painting. In anything you do in life, if you invest time constantly, even if it is five minutes a day, you're likely to do some results. For example, if you're working on some creative project. Even if you set only a small portion of your time to spent on it, you might end up figuring it all out and finishing it earlier than you thought it was possible. How? Even if all you have to give is five minutes of work, those five minutes might make the subject linger in your mind and make you think about it. Once you're thinking about it, you might come up with more ideas. So, that's my tip of the day as far as creative hobby activities go. A little bit goes a long way. One minute a day doing what you like can sometimes make a difference. I suppose it can be applied to other areas as well. Anyhow, I've been working on loads of illustrations today. I managed to finish some of them, but now all. Some of them you might see tomorrow (if I manage to find the time to post them). 

Today I broke out of my routine a bit. I spent some time watching TV today, which is something I rarely do. Not because I think that TV is bad, it is just that ever since I started blogging, I had to cut down on at least some time-consuming habits and I guess TV was the first thing to go. The two of us (both sick his fever is way higher) ended up watching one program about animal friendship. It was quite nice, watching TV for a change. Anyhow, there was this farm cat that had her kittens the same day as some ducklings hatched. The owners of the farm were afraid that the cat ate them but they discovered that the cat has in fact adopted them and was keeping them warm. The ducklings were nestled in cat’s lap together with her kittens (there was no mom duck in the picture because the farmers just bought the eggs).  It was so funny once the ducklings got bigger and more active and the cat was all super protective so she kept returning them to the box. She would grab them by the neck and carry them back to the box where she was nursing her kittens and she couldn’t understand why the ducklings won’t stay still. Naturally, the ducklings were only following their instincts to go about and search for food because they are born ready to find food for themselves.  Anyhow, the ducklings eventually became grown ducks but they are still very attached to their surrogate mother. It is one happy farm. 

Was it all instinct? I don’t think so. I think that animals are capable of genuine friendship and affection. Alright, perhaps not all of them. I don’t think that spiders can have complex emotions, but all higher animals are capable of it. If you look at the behaviour of apes, you’ll be amazed at how similar they can be to us. Not just apes. In this show (forgot its name but it was aired today on Viasat nature if you want to look it up), there was also this example of a cappuccino monkey that adopted an orphan baby monkey of another specie and spent the rest of her life caring for it. Her baby was adopted into the cappuccino community and there is actual footage of it taking the food of a cappuccino male monkey and he is allowing it get away with it- not something that is common at all. How to explain it? These cappuccino monkeys have no benefit of feeding and caring for this little creature. They know it is not a member of their specie, but still they protect it and feed it. One could be a cynic and say that it is because this other species is smaller than them so they don’t feel threatened but that doesn’t really explain it. 

markers on paper/ markeri na papiru
I will never remember watching another documentary about a young boy who got lost in the woods.  I don’t remember whether it was in SAD or Canada, but it was one of those two countries. Anyhow, he was all alone in the forest when a herd of reindeer gathered around him. He kept shouting and throwing stones at them but they just kept their distance and stayed near him. Eventually the child grew tired and slept on the dirt. In the morning when the rescue team found him, there was no snow around him even though it was snowing heavily all the night. The reason why there was no snow around him is because once he was asleep the herd protected him from the snow with their bodies. The entire herd kept him warm and slept in a circle around him. Had they not done that, the child would die of hypothermia. The point of all this? I believe in miracles. In love. I believe we all (not just humans but animals as well) are more than a sum of our instincts. We’re more than that, we can be more than that and we should be more than that. We should never be too old to believe in miracles because they happen. All we need to see them is to open our eyes. 

petak, 2. prosinca 2016.

November : Summary/ Studeni: Sažetak

I'm a bit late, but better late than never, right? So here it is, a quick November summary, just in case you missed out on something. In terms of my illustrations, it has been a very productive month indeed. We also had a few books reviews and even one documentary review (here). Bye, bye November and welcome December! This December I'll probably be posting even more illustrations, so if that is what you like stay posted. Generally speaking, I'm quite happy with this blog. It really feels like a little virtual place of my own.

Malo kasnim, ali bolje kasno, nego nikad, zar ne? Tako da danas dijelim s vama brzi pogled studenoga, u slučaju da ste nešto propustili. Što se tiče ilustracija, mjesec je bio vrlo produktivan. Imali smo i nekoliko ogleda knjiga, a čak i jednu recenziju dokumentarca (ovdje). Doviđenja studenome i dobrodošao prosincu! Ovoga prosinca planiram objavljivati još više ilustracija, pa ako vam se to sviđa, navratite. U globalu, zadovoljna sam ovim blogom. Baš imam osjećaj da je moje posebno virtualno mjesto.

                                                 LET'S CONNECT:



Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis (book recommendation)

This is a story about a woman who escaped slavery in year 2000. Yes, you read that right. In this century. It was co-written by journalist Damien Lewis who basically wrote down what Mende told him so it's still a narration of her life (just a co-written one). The story itself is written in the first person and it feels like an autobiography. Mende, a girl from Nabu tribe in Sudan, was sold into slavery to a rich Arab family in year 1992, when she was only 12 years old. Hers is a true story, not fiction. Sadly but her case is not solitary. At this very moment several Arabic countries are known to keep black African slaves (more than 140, 000 people in Mauritania according to official records, but some estimate this number to be as high as half a million or even more). Slavery became criminalized in Mauritania only in 2007, but there has been only one conviction so far. In 2002 Mauritania was chosen as the preceding nation by UN Human Rights Council. Yes, five years BEFORE it criminalized slavery it was chosen as its (UN HRC) vice president. Why am I writing all of these facts down? Because this is not just some book, it is also a true story and a warning. What happened to Mende is happening to many African woman and man. As amazed I'm by the spirit and the strength of this woman and her survival, as much as I would like to talk about her personally and about what her story/book meant to me, I think we owe it to her to listen to other stories as well- and do our own research. That is what she wants us to do. That is why she has been an activist ever since she regained her freedom. That is why Mende Nazer has continued to risk her life- not only to tell her story but to speak for other victims of slavery as well. To find out the truth that nobody wants to talk about. The truth that there are slaves around us right now, they might even live next to you and you wouldn't even know it.

Ovo je priča o ženi koja je pobjegla iz ropstva godine 2000. Dobro ste to pročitali. U ovome stoljeću. Pomogao ju je napisati Damien Lewis koji je u biti zapisao životnu priču Mande onako kako mu je ona ispričala, tako da je priča zapravo napisana u prvom licu. To je zapravo autobiografija, ali imala je pomoć pri pisanju. Mende, djevojku iz Nabu plemena u Sudanu, prodali su bogatoj arapskoj obitelji 1992.godine., kada je imala samo 12 godina. Njezina priča je istinita, nije fikcija. Njen slučaj nažalost nije usamljen. U ovome trenutku zna se da neke arapske države drže crne robove (prema istraživanjima u Mauritaniji ima više od 140, 000 robova, no neki pretpostavljaju da ih ima više od pola milijuna). Robstvo je u Mauritaniji kriminalizirano tek 2007.godine, no dosada je samo jedna osoba osuđena zbog njega. Mauritanija je 2002.godine. izabrana kao predsjedajuća nacija od strane UN i njihovoga koncila za ljudska prava. Da, pet godina prije nego što je kriminalizirala robstvo izabrana je na tu visoku funckiju pri UN. Zašto pišem sve ove činjenice? Zato što ovo nije tek neka knjiga, to je istinita priča i upozorenje. Što se događa Mende događa se brojnim afričkim ženama i muškarcima. Koliko god me zadivljuje njen duh i snaga i koliko bi voljela pričati o njoj osobno i onome što mi je njena knjiga i priča značila, mislim da joj dugujemo da poslušamo i druge priče- i sami istražimo ovu problematiku. To je ono što ona želi da napravimo. Zbog toga je aktivistica otkada je postala slobodna. Zato Mende Nazer nastavlja riskirati svoj život- ne samo da bi nam rekla svoju priču već da pričala o žrtvama ropstva. Da saznamo istinu o kojoj nitko ne želi pričati. Istinu da ima robova oko nas upravo sada, možda žive do vas, a vi to ne znate.

 Slavery is a reality of our times. If you're wondering how it is possible that people used to own slaves and nobody did anything about it, don't wonder because the same thing is happening today. It was in year 2000 in London that Mende was sent to throw away the trash. She was not normally allowed to exit the house where she was held as a house slave, but this domestic chore was an exception. At this point, she was held as a slave for 8 years and suffered unimaginable abuse. Somehow her spirit was not broken.  She found the strength in herself to address a black man she saw on the street, a stranger, somebody she never saw before. It was not a small feat of courage. She said hello to him and it turned out that he was Sudanese too. This  man, with the help of other people, will help her regain her life.  The family that owned her had many connection in the government and Mende barely managed to escape them. She was almost sent back to Sudan to her original slave owning family. In this century. In modern day London. A women who was a slave barely managed to get away from her slave masters, even when the truth got out. Imagine that. You know what the irony of this is? If she had ran off to police, they would have probably just returned her to that family because she couldn't explain it to them- not being able to speak in English and perhaps it wouldn't mattered if she did speak it, because the family that owned her is so influential politically. It was only by luck that she meet a man who was willing not only to fight for her but to have his friends who were journalist and political activist fight for her. Mende only barely made it. Imagine her courage at that moment. The risk was so great and the chances of success so small, but she did it- seized the first opportunity for freedom that life gave her. Imagine her courage for all those years. Imagine her courage now. She is not running away from her traumatic past, she is using her voice to help others.

Robstvo je realnost našega doba. Ako se pitate kako je moguće da su ljudi nekad držali robove i nitko nije ništa poduzimao, nemojte se pitati jer se ista stvar događa i danas. Bilo je to 2000. godine. kada su Mende poslali da baci smeće. Nije inače smjela izlaziti iz kuće, ali ovaj kućanski posao bio je iznimka. Do toga trenutka, već je bila robinja osam godina i podnijela je nezamisljivo zlostavljanje. Nekako njen duh nije bio slomljen. Pronašla je snage da se obrati crncu koji joj je išao u u susret, strancu, nekome koga nikada prije nije vidjela. Nije to bila mala hrabrost. Rekla mu je zdravo i ispalo je da je i on iz Sudana. Taj čovjek će joj uz pomoć drugih ljudi pomoći da povrati svoj život. Obitelj koja ju je podsjedovala imala je puno veza u vladi i Mende se jedva uspjela izvući. Skoro su je poslali u Sudan obitelji koja ju je posjedovala u početku. U ovom stoljeću. U modernom Londonu. Žena koja je bila robinja jedva je uspjela pobjeći robovlasnicima i to čak kada je istina bila poznata. Zamislite to. Znate li koja je ironija toga? Da je pobjegla policiji, vjerovatno bi je vratoli toj obitelji jer ne bi mogla objasniti svoj položaj jer nije znala engleski, a možda ne bi bilo drukčije ni da ga je znala, jer je obitelj koja ju je posjedovala tako politički utjecajna. Samo je sretnim stjecajem okolnosti srela čovjeka koji je bio spreman ne samo boriti se za nju nego je imao i prijatelje koji su bili novinari i politički aktivisti i koji su mogli nešto poduzeti za nju. Mende je jedva uspjela. Zamislite njenu hrabrost u tom trenutku. Rizik je bio tako velik, a šanse za uspjeh tako male, ali ona je riskirala- zgrabila je prvu priliku za slobodu koju joj je život pružio. Zamislite njenu hrabrost svih tih godina. Zamislite njenu hrabrost sada.  Ne bježi od svoje traumatične prošlosti, ona koristi svoj glas da bi pomogla drugima.

As difficult as this book was to read, it was also uplifting because every step of the way I was admiring Mende. Her love for her tribe, her language, her culture is so inspiring. Her strength. Imagine what inner strength she must have possessed to even survive! To be taken to a slave owning family when she was a child herself, to be beaten for wanting to do what every child wants to do- play with other children. To have to watch children play while she had to work, every day, all day. All those years of abuse, severe physical abuse and she doesn't even hate her abusers. She points out her abusers for what they were, but she doesn't seem to hate them. Of the women who held her a slave for years Mende says- she had the most beautiful hair I have ever seen. Mende says this of a  women who almost beat her to death. A women who beat her so severely that Mende almost bled to death and had to be hospitalized for days. When Mende arrived to this family, as a raped and orphaned child of 12, she must have excepted some kind of sympathy from this women. But she couldn't have been more wrong, for it was this women who abused her for years. The husband never really came anywhere near her. This is what I find so hard to understand. That a women who is a mother (and a mother of children almost the same age as Mende) was doing this to her in front of the eyes of her children. Who knows if that women has got herself a new slave? I hope not, but I can't really tell for sure, can I?

Koliko god je ova knjiga bila teška za čitati, bila je također i motivirajuća jer sam se u toj cijeloj priči divila Mende. Njena ljubav prema svome plemenu, svome jeziku, svojoj kulturi je tako nadahnujuća. Njena snaga. Zamislite kolika je njena snaga morala biti! Odvedena u robstvo u robovlasničku obitelj, tukli su je jer je željela napraviti ono što svako dijete želi napraviti- igrati se s drugom djecom. Morala je gledati djecu kako se igraju dok je ona radila svaki dan i cijeli dan. Sve te godine zlostavljanja, a ona čak i ne mrzi svoje zlostavljače. Pokazuje što su bili, ali u njenom govoru nema mržnje. O ženi koja ju je godinama zlostavljala ona kaže da nikad nije vidjela nekoga s ljepšom kosom. Ženi koja ju je toliko tukla da je skoro iskrvarila na smrt i morala je dane provesti u bolnici. Kada je kao silovana djevojčica stigla ovoj ženi sigurno se nadala nekom suosjećanju. No, prevarila se. Ta žena koja je uz to i majka djece skoro istih godina je bila glavni zlostavljač. Njen muž je bio distanciran od Mende, žena je bila ta koja ju je svakodnevno tukla i maltetirala. Žena koja je majka je to činila jednom djetetu pred očima svoje djece. To nikako ne mogu razumijeti. Tko zna ima li ta žena sada neku novu robinju? Nadam se da ne, ali to ne mogu znati zasigurno, zar ne?

This was a hard book to read but I'm glad that I did read it. Reading books like this one makes one take the issue of slavery to heart. Understanding what slavery is emotionally is as important as understanding it  from an intellectual point of view. I never reread this book because even thinking about it makes me cry, but I took its message to heart. I want to thank Mende for being so brave and filled with love. It is people like her that make me believe there is hope and that we must never let despair take over us. Because even after all those years living in such horrible circumstances, being treated as less than a dog, Mende didn't lose her identity, her culture, her intelligence, her wit and the essence of what she was. In those extreme conditions, she continued living and growing. Mende was denied education, but she has grown wise. She was denied love, but she has grown loving. She was denied freedom, but in her heart she was free. She was not treated as human, but she became more than human. More human than any of her abusers will ever be. Mende carries her people, their tradition and their identity in her heart. They  burned her village, raped and enslaved her but they haven't destroyed her spirit and her innocence. When she was a little girl, she wanted to be a doctor so that she could help people. Today she is helping people in her way. Take a look at her smile at the back of the book. She is a doctor, just a different kind of doctor. A doctor for souls. 

Ovu knjigu nije bilo lako za pročitati, ali mi je drago što sam je pročitala. Čitanje ovakvih knjiga nam pomaže da shvatimo sav užas robstva svojim srcem, a ne samo sa gledišta intelekta, što je važno jer trebamo uključiti i srce i mozak u ovu problematiku.  Nikada nisam ponovo pročitala ovu knjigu jer čak i kada razmišljam o njoj, suze same dođu, ali primila sam njenu poruku srcu. Želim se zahvaliti Mende što je tako hrabra i puna ljubavi. Zbog ljudi kao što je ona vjerujem da ima nade i da se nikad ne smijemo prepustiti očaju. Sve te godine Mende je živjela  u tako groznim uvjetima, tretirali su je kao manje od psa, a nekako nije izgubila svoj identitet, svoju inteligenciju, svoju oštroumnost.  U tim ekstremnim okolnostima ona je nastavila živjeti i rasti. Nisu joj dali priliku da se školuje, ali je svejedno postala mudra. Osporavali su joj čovječnost, ali ona je postala više čovjek nego što će ikada biti svi oni zajedno. Mende nosi svoje ljude, svoju  i njihovu tradiciju i  identitet u svome srcu. Spalili su joj selo, silovali je i prodali u ropstvo, ali joj nisu oduzeli njen duh i njenu nevinost. Kada je bila djevojčica, željela je biti doktorica i pomagati ljudima. Danas pomaže ljudima na svoj način. Pogledajte njen osmijeh na poleđini knjige. Danas je ona doktorica, ali drukčija doktorica, ona koja pomaže dušama.

srijeda, 30. studenoga 2016.

Making of a painting (green eyes ) / Pravljenje slike (zelenooka)

First of all, thank you for your feedback about what femininity means to you, I really appreciate it.  My thoughts on this subject are very much like your own. I might write more about that some day, but for today I have actually prepared and planned something else. So, let's talk about my painting of the day. Some people asked me (a while back) to explain my drawing/painting process, so I decided to make a few videos. I already posted some of them on YouTube and I will probably make and post a few more. I don't think I'm really qualified to make art tutorials, so this is more a 'making of' for the benefit of those of you who are curious to see it. Painting is a subject I'm still learning about. If you want, we can study together, but it is not something I can teach yet.

I'm qualified to teach and I actually studied to be a teacher but not an art teacher. I have my degree (and state certificate) in something else (I bet it isn't hard to guess what that something else is). I'm actually taking an art course myself in Michelangelo Gallery at the moment and it has been a lot of fun so far (great art teacher and class mates).  I do recommend it to other hobby artists. Anyhow, over the years I shared a lot of my work here on this little place on mine and I will probably continue to do so. I wrote about painting in a number of ways, sometimes in a  more personal way (like this essay here), other times those posts were more technical in nature as for example when I shared my experiences of painting with make up here and here

Prvo, hvala svima na povratnoj informaciji o tome što ženstvenost znači za vas, dobro su došli. Slažem se s onim što je napisano i možda ću o tome pisati više neki drugi dan, ali za danas sam planirala i pripremila nešto drugo. Pričajmo malo o mojoj slici dana. Neki ljudi su me pitali da objasnim svoj proces crtanja/ slikanja, pa sam odlučila napraviti par videa. Već sam ih nekoliko objavila na YouTubu i vjerovatno ću ih još par napraviti i objaviti. Mislim da nisam kvalificirana za pravljenje nekih umjetničkih tutorijala, tako da je ovo više 'kako se slikala slika' za one koje zanima to vidjeti. Slikanje je predmet o kojem i sama još učim. Ako želite,  možemo učiti zajedno, ali to nije nešto što mogu podučavati- barem ne još. 

Kvalificirana sam za podučavanje i zapravo sam i studirala za nastavnicu, ali ne nastavnicu likovnoga. Imam svoju diplomu i stručni ispit iz nečega drugoga (mislim da nije teško pogoditi što je to nešto drugo). Zapravo trenutno i sama polazim tečaj u Michelangelo Galeriji u Mostaru i zasada mi je baš zabavno (odlični učitelji i polaznici). Preporučujem ga i drugima kojima je slikanje hobby. Uglavnom, tokom godina podijela sam dosta svojih radova na ovome blogu i tako će se i nastaviti. O slikanju sam pisala na više načina, ponekad malo osobnije (kao u ovom eseju ovdje), a ponekad čisto tehnički i praktično kao kada sam pisala o svojim iskustvima slikanja sa šminkom ovdje i ovdje.

The point is, that if I think I have something interesting to share, I will. If I think I have some useful hack, a trick or whatever  you might use or enjoy, I will share it. That is what us bloggers (or content creators) do. We create content and we put it out there. It is not always as simple as it might seem. I think we have all received negative and even hateful comments at least once or twice in our blogging 'career'. How do you deal with negative or hateful comments? Have you ever had negative comments? What I think is problematic is not negative comments themselves, but those that are both hateful and negative. This is another topic I would like to talk about in more depth, but I will have to leave it for some other time.

Poanta je da ću ja ako mislim da imam nešto zanimljivo za podijeliti, to i podijeliti. Ako mislim da imam neki koristan trik, savjet ili što god bi vam moglo koristiti, to ću i podijeliti. To je ono što mi blogeri ( ili po novom stvaratelji sadržaja) radimo. Stvaramo sadržaj i stavljamo ga svima na raspolaganje. Nije to uvijek tako jednostavno kao što se može činiti.  Mislim da smo svi mi u našoj blogerskoj "karijeri", barem jednom ili dvaput. Kako se vi nosite s negativnim komentarima ili virtualnom mržnjom? Jeste li ikada dobili negativne komentare ili oštru kritiku? Ono što mislim da je problematično nisu sami negativni komentari nego oni koji su i negativni i puni mržnje. To je još jedna tema o kojoj bi voljela duže razgovarati, ali morat ću to ostaviti za neki drugi put.

utorak, 29. studenoga 2016.

My fashion illustration of the day (femininity) / Moja modna ilustracija dana (ženstvenost) 29.11.2016

What is femininity for you? For me it is more about how we wear clothes, than in the clothes themselves. Today's medium is coloured pencil on paper.

Što je vas ženstvenost? Za mene ona je više u tome kako nosimo odjeću, nego u samoj odjeći. Današnji medij su bojice na papiru.

ponedjeljak, 28. studenoga 2016.

Beauty and the world / Ljepota i svijet ( Buna, BIH)

Dostoevsky believed that beauty can save the world. I believe it too. Because we can find beauty within ourselves. It is a part of us, but only if we choose it to be. We are given the gift of choice. That in itself  is beautiful. We can search for beauty, treasure it and remember it. It can become a part of us. Looking at these photographs, I'm reminded how comforting beauty can be, but this is only so if we meet it if an open heart, if we don't try to own it. For true beauty is not something that can be bought or earned. It is a gift to be accepted. A gift we should be grateful for.

Dostojevski je rekao da ljepota može spasiti svijet. I ja u to vjerujem. Jer se ljepota može naći unutar nas samih. Ona je dio nas, ali samo ako ju odaberemo. Dobili smo dar izbora. To je samo u sebi lijepo. Možemo tražiti ljepotu, vrjednovati je i sjećati se nje. Ona može postati dio nas. Gledajući ove fotografije, prisjećam se koliko ljepota može utješiti dušu, ali ovo je istina samo ako je dočekamo otvorenoga srca, ako je ne pokušamo posjedovati. Jer istinska ljepota nije nešto što se može kupiti ili zaraditi. To je dar koji se prihvaća. Dar na kojemu trebamo biti zahvalni.


long cardi/ dugi kardigan: vintage, haljina/dress: old, stara, top/majica: DIY+vintage, boots/čizme: Peko