Journal Pages: Flying Food

One thing I like about cities, is the sense of anonymity. You don't have to get to know your neighbors if you don't want to, and no one will gossip about you when you don't show up to a local bake off or god knows what. Unfortunately, the paper like quality of our ceilings and walls make that I've inadvertently gotten to know my neighbors quite well. Including their ringtones, party schedules, and favorite songs. Everything but their name, really.

So off to the British countryside I went with my friend and colleague Hannah, to assist her on her 'shoot'. No, not a shoot of the fashion variety, but a shoot of the dead-bird variety. I had a lovely time, outside, breathing air that was so fresh it almost hurt my poor city girl lungs, sniffing up the smell of gun powder, drinking gin, wearing tweed. It was truly a unique experience. Yet, while I am convinced many a supermarket chicken would happily trade with the partridges and pheasants that day, it was odd. Bringing home a dead bird to pluck, gut, and eat is a lot more 'real' than buying a pink patty in the store. There's real power in knowing where your food comes from, and it's inspiring me to eat (even) more consciously and eat selectively. 

Journal Pages: Bed Tales

Yesterday I realized that about half of the drawings in my journal involve me in a bed, on a bed, or talking about a bed.

I'm a little worried about my energy levels, but mostly I think it's because a) we got a new bed which is made of angel farts and unicorn hair (it's that good), and b) a lot has been happening. I became an auntie, my grandma passed away, I traveled to Asia and back for work, and my man grew a beard in my absence. Yeah. Enjoy. 

Without Pretend

That breakup that left you breathless. That friendship (or was it more?) that faded and left you grasping for answers. That lover you lost through no or all fault of your own. We all have unresolved feelings about someone or some situation, I'm sure.

© Anna Denise Floor

Which perhaps is why I used no less than seventeen exclamation marks in my reply to Erin when she asked me to illustrate the second volume of her project 'Portraits'. 'Portraits' is a heartfelt project that aims to honor memories and exorcise unresolved feelings. The characters profiled in the volumes are citizens of pretend spaces we’ve created between past and future, fiction and memory.

It's one thing to be asked to collaborate with someone you respect and admire, it's another to work with them on something that feels both personal and important. The second volume of 'Portraits' on Without Pretend is illustrated by yours truly and I invite you to check them out. 

Bring tissues. 

© Anna Denise Floor

Journal Pages: Slam Dumb & Move On

So we moved four streets down to a flat in a terraced house with a garden and we are now Mr and Mrs Domesticated. In the month since we moved I've baked us two apple pies and a few other weird experimental tarty things that don't deserve a proper name. I don't bake, so this is a thing. We also bought a million pound bed and it's my new favorite place to be (and not just because it's the most expensive thing we own now). I'm glad this update also includes trips to Paris and Amsterdam because I'm sure you're starting to worry about me by now. 

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

10 Podcasts for Creatives

I listen to a LOT of podcasts. In fact, I just counted my iTunes playlist and I keep up with 33 podcasts regularly. So yeah, a lot. And while this list definitely includes the 'usual suspects' (Serial, This American Life, Fresh Air), a large portion of them are about art, creating, making, and how to 'turn your passion into a business'.

Below is a (small) selection of podcasts I'd recommend if you're a creative and, like me, love listening to podcasts while you create. 

Make it Then Tell Everybody
Podcast host Dan Berry is a British cartoonist who uses his podcast to interview other cartoonists and illustrators about their work, their process, and their favorite tools to create. I love his down to earth conversationalist style of interviewing and how he's not afraid to ask 'dumb' questions (that usually result in the most interesting answers). So, where do you get your ideas from?

The Paper Wings Podcast
Led by Disney character designer Chris Oatley and IDW comics creator Lora Innes, the Paper Wings Podcast is filled with advice on how to make and sell various forms of creator-owned visual storytelling, including comics, picture books, and animation. Each episode has a theme (like how to do more with less time), so you can browse and pick one you feel is relevant to you at that particular moment.

99% Invisible
A little different from the others in the sense that 99% Invisible won't give you tips on which flexible nibs work best with watercolors or how to optimize your Photoshop process, but instead it shares stories broadly centered around design. It tells you all about those things you didn't even know were designed by somebody. 

Comics for Grownups
A fortnightly podcast hosted by comics creators and indie publishers with lots of book reviews, zine recommendations, and kick starters. It's a little in-crowd, when I first started listening I didn't know most of the authors and artists they were referring to, but as I've started to read more and more graphic novels, I find myself listening back to certain episodes to hear what their take was on a certain book. I kind of wish they would start a book club so I could pre-read everything they talk about. 

Less Than Live with Kate or Die
Less Than Live is a little bit of everything, hosted by the incredibly quirky comics writer and artist Kate Leth ('Kate or Die'). She talks about what she's working, the gazillion conventions she's attending, what she's reading, and who she's admiring. The podcast usually includes an interview, often with comics writers - a world I knew next to nothing about. If you're into Sex Criminals / horror comics, Kate's your gal, too, btw. 

The Jealous Curator
Written by a fellow art history nerd, The Jealous Curator is the blog I wish I had thought of because the name is is perfect (tagline 'Damn, I Wish I Had Thought of That') and her taste is incredible - she finds the most amazing contemporary artists and now... she interviews them on her podcast! Basically my most favorite thing ever and really good if you're interested in learning more about what it's like to be a full time artist.

Pencil vs Pixel
'Pencil vs pixel?' is the question every guest on Cesar Contreras' podcast answers right off the bat. The answer usually tells you a whole lot about the artist Cesar is talking to and by the end of the podcast you'll feel as though you've gotten to know them quite well. Learn about crazy career paths, about what makes people tick and inspires them, and of course whether they're more comfortable with a pencil, or a tablet. 

Being Boss
Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon host this magnificent podcast for creative entrepreneurs. With topics like 'face your fears' or 'work from home', the dynamic duo tackles every angle of being your own boss. Hands-on tips, great interviews, and a sense of humor. 

After the Jump
After the Jump is a podcast hosted by Design*Sponge's founder Grace Bonney - someone I've more than once hoped to speak to (or become BFFs with). The podcast is a series of interviews with designers, makers, and independent store-owners and is a great look behind the scenes of one of the world's most respected bloggers.

Fresh Rag
The 'no BS straight talk' approach to earning a living as a maker. Dave Conrey talks about things like how to grow your presence on Instagram (with actual useful tips), how to build a design agency from scratch (and how much that can suck), and how to develop your own style. All very non-BS-ey hands-on advice. Go Dave! 

Those are some of my favorite podcasts to listen to as a creative!
What do you enjoy listening to? Anything I've missed? Do drop any tips you might have in the comments below.

Also below, a Venn-diagram of what these podcasts are about. Because I'm a dork. Bye!

© Anna Denise Floor