Journal Page: Sunday Sun

© Anna Denise Floor

Last weekend was a fun one with lots of books (reviews to come!), terribly romantic walks, perhaps a tad too much alcohol, too little yoga, and some great music.

If you're looking for a sunny soundtrack to your life this spring and summer, may I definitely recommend Sunday Sun. Some of my favorite songs  are 'Sunday Sun', 'Highly Respected Rebel', and 'Ordinary Love' - but to be honest, almost all of their songs are absolutely charming, fun, with a slight Beach Boys vibe to them. 

What are your favorite books and albums right now? Please share in the comments!

© Anna Denise Floor

Journal Page: An Oddly Colored Birthday

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge 

Look what I did! I colored that stuff in by hand! Aren't you all excited? Yeah, so was I, actually, until I tried to scan this baby. Above: photograph, with realistic looking colors. Below: scan, with shitty colors that I got tired of trying to fix in Photoshop. Now, either my photoshop skills are deteriorating (hah! right), or my scanner is in need of replacement after a mere ten years of service. Yah, they don't make those things like they used to no more, do they? Now get off my lawn. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Anyhow, this was a little while ago. Because I was in New York for my birthday, of course Mr. Floor has to turn around and go to New York for work on his birthday as well. Always trying to one-up me, that one, un-bah-lie-vah-bah! ;-) In retaliation, I obviously proceeded to throw my own birthday party for my family on his very birthday, so I got gifts and attention on his birthday and was in NYC for mine. Having my cake and eating it, so to say, if only I ate cake. Nah, in truth, I was kind of sad and lonely and it was awesome to have them there. Awww...

© Anna Denise Floor

Dead or Happy

One for the Dutchies out there, just a little play on words with an expression we use in The Netherlands when someone gets you all excited over something, but then it turns out not to be so - "to be made happy with a dead sparrow". I turned it around and imagined what it would look like if you were killed with a happy sparrow instead. Possibly even more sucky. 

© Anna Denise Floor

Picturing March

Yellow and Green or Black and Blue?

March was a productive month for me (on Instagram, at least). I snapped pictures of pretty much everything from the view from the top of the stairs coming down from the bedroom one morning to my beautifully crafted (really) lunch. Behind those pretty pictures, however, much less romantic stories can be told, as I recently plummeted down those stairs to something that wasn't death, but was definitely painful, and the pretty little lunch box nearly bankrupted me (€15,-? Un-bah-lie-vah-bah!)

It's Alive (for now)!

You know how I am with plants right? Or rather, how plants are with me. I give them all my love and attention, and they die on me. I'm not going to say that this time around that won't happen, but with capable help (Mr. Floor), I am perhaps going to admit that gardening is kind of a lot of fun.

All Play and No Work?

Ha, far from it. Even though you wouldn't say so from my Instagram feed, March was actually kind of stressful. Both Jochem and I were away for work a lot and I think we saw each other a total of 5 days this month. Fortunately, we managed to grab a coffee at Blackbirds in Utrecht this month (very hip and happening), and we got some much needed family time in, because MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED!!! Yay! 

The Mothership

For my 30th birthday, I went to hang out at the Mothership, aka Etsy HQ in Brooklyn. Ok, maybe that wasn't the reason, I went there for work, but it still was pretty awesome. My colleagues threw me a smashing party, and I got lots of work done and met colleagues I had previously only seen via Google Hangout. Also, I had about 2 hours to stroll around Brooklyn before heading back, and came by these pretty doors!

And that's all folks! Was your month as busy and colorful as mine?
Let me know in the comments, or follow me on Instagram (and I may follow you back!).

Sybren's Birth Announcement

© Anna Denise Floor

A little while ago my good friends and bi-lingual couple extraordinaire Xander and Estelle from Brussels contacted me to tell me that they were expecting their second child and that I was the only one to know its sex and name before its birth. Now, I wish I could tell you that they singled me out as their only confidante because I'm such an awesome and special person (and very good at keeping secrets), but they actually wanted me to make their baby announcement, which is also if not more awesome and special (and I'm really not that good at keeping secrets).

Working with Xander and Estelle was fun and easy. They had the concept all worked out: they wanted a portrait of their daughter Juliette with her baby brother, and the text was to be her introducing him. She actually told Xander she looked forward to teaching her little brother "everything she knew", so that definitely made it on the card that was printed in both French and Dutch. Awwww. Adorbs.

© Anna Denise Floor

© Anna Denise Floor

It was such a fun assignment and once again I'm so glad that doing illustration allows me to be such a special part of those big moments in the lives of those around me and even strangers. Thank you, Xander, Estelle, Juliette, and Sybren!

If you're expecting and are interested in ordering a custom announcement for your baby, please check out my Etsy shop, or check out more invites and announcements I designed on Flickr

Podcast: Make It Then Tell Everybody

© Anna Denise Floor, cup by Kim Welling

I love hearing artists talk about their work and their making processes. It is one of the reasons I studied art history in college. By the time I graduated, however, I had figured out that the artists you study in art history are pretty much all dead and they don't tend to do a lot of talking anymore (at least, not to me, although that would make for interesting yet questionable research). Fortunately, some left diaries, which is how I found out that Van Gogh was kind of a dick, which then kind of made me sad. 

Nowadays, besides working at Etsy and helping makers get started on their own business, I love listening to podcasts while I draw and paint. I've recently discovered a new one to add to my playlist: 'Make It Then Tell Everybody'. In interviews of roughly an hour, cartoonist Dan Berry talks to fellow illustrators, comic artists, and designers. Conversation flows naturally, and Berry covers topics like materials, working habits, and making a living as an artist, but also discusses more theoretical topics like visual literacy, art as journalism, and authorship. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting podcast, and I've bought a few graphic novels just from hearing the author's talk about them (reviews soon). 

Journal Page: Getting Our Hands Dirty

Two weeks.

A mere two weeks I don't post to the blog and all of a sudden, you make me turn 30! There I was, minding my own (well, everyone else's) business in Brooklyn on a work trip - next thing I know, people are singing happy birthday to me (in Dutch!) and handing me shots of tequilla. I was absolutely flabbergasted. One minute you're enjoying youth, hotness, full of promise, and then next thing you know, BAM you're thirty. In hindsight, I probably should have seen this coming for a while, but you know, thinking about age is très mundane. 

© Anna Denise Floor -- Click image to enlarge

Nah. Enough with the hilarious jokes. I had a great birthday, and then had another awesome birthday when I got home w/ the fantastic Mr. Floor.

But! All of that has nothing to do with this week's journal page, which is actually a journal page from two weeks ago, but I was busy trying to stuff sixteen outfits into a broken suitcase, so I forgot to share. We gardened (may or may not have been my very first time, ahem) and it was actually really fun. Look at me! All domestic and stuff!  

Picturing February

I know, it's been March for a while now, but you know, things. 

Rainbows and Reads

I wasn't very active on Instagram in February, mostly because I was too busy traveling and working and felt a little down, for some reason. I feel like February is just one of those months where that inexplicably happens to me.  It's probably the lack of sunlight. Also, I read Stoner, which is a beautiful but depressing novel. Fortunately, London welcomed me with a rainbow (and coffee).

Doors & Dusk

Whenever I wasn't traveling, we spent some time exploring our new neighborhood (we found these awesome doors on our way to the supermarket), witnessing some pretty dramatic sunsets. 

One More Thing

And then, February turned bright blue and sunny! I walked around Amsterdam some, where our office is located, and started reading a new book (One More Time by B.J. Novak).
Exciting times. 

March, so far, has been much brighter and creative. To see what that means, you can follow me on Instagram here. 

Journal Page: Starfish Style + Reclaiming My Journal

© Anna Denise Floor

Last weekend was a good one, I got spoiled by my man, slept in, went out for coffee, cake, and vintage record buying. Also: I drew a journal entry! Click on the image to see it larger. 

I know, yay, right? But I can hear (at least one of) you thinking:

What happened to the daily journal pages?

Sometimes people ask me what happened to my daily journal pages (on paper). Well, to be honest, after almost six years of doing daily illustrated journal pages (see them here), I was just kind of worn out. It wasn't exciting to me anymore, I felt empty, uninspired, even a little resentful. The daily drawing and sharing came to feel like a task. Another thing to do on my never ending list. With the crazy changes going on in my life last year and the months leading up to it, I just dropped it. I had nothing to say, and the things I did draw felt too personal to share. 

When I started in 2007, the daily drawings were a way of getting back in touch with my creative side, to re-train my hand-eye coordination, to turn drawing into a habit. It then changed my life. I started drawing and sharing my work, I met other (closeted) creatives and collaborated with some amazing artists, I started working on my Etsy shop, got involved in the community, and finally started working at Etsy in my dream job where I can both be creative and feel inspired, use my intellect and OCD-style love for organization, and benefit from running a blog and freelance business on the side. Mission accomplished, and the daily drawings no longer felt necessary (and I'm a sucker for goals. I'm kind of like a dog, really, if you switch balls with goals, minus the drooling and hair and yucky smell. I don't like dogs). Kthxbye. 

I let days, trips, travels, big life moments, go by without recording them on paper, and I didn't really care. I wrote some, got addicted to Instagram, did the occasional commissioned piece, but mostly just let it be.

Having fun again

And then I started missing it again, and now I'm ready to reclaim this journaling thing for myself again. That probably will mean that I'll do them in this new semi-digital format, as it's more of a challenge to me, and right now I'm inspired by doing this. I'll probably only do it on weekends only, not daily (unless I feel like it), but I'll make it a goal to actually do it. In short: I'm ready to have fun with this once more. So stay tuned!