In honor of my boyfriend's birthday today I created an extra special What's in My Mountain Bike Bag illustration since he's a huge mountain bike nerd. I think this is the manliest illustration I've created to date!
Happy Birthday Johan!
p.s. On a side note the countdown until moving is now down to only 1 day! So please excuse my absence for a week or so to move house and set up my new studio space. Eeeek! So excited!
Today I have the pleasure of showing off this cream colored beauty featuring the bag favorites of blogger Christin of With A CH. This girly's got style, humor and is even clever in the kitchen... plus she's got great taste in bags. (Love that camel color!)
Can I add that I'm really pleased with myself for the gradient shading job on the Stella bottle too, haha.
I'm pretty good at taking criticism. I believe it must be thanks to my 20+ years of dancing ballet in front of floor to ceiling mirrors with dance teachers nit picking on my body and every move; so I've built up a pretty thick skin and great confidence in myself. I've also learnt to see criticism or any sort of feedback as positive. I noticed in ballet that the dance teachers only corrected you if they cared about you getting better. (It's true! They didn't bother wasting their time on students who don't try or don't have the right attitude.) It's difficult hearing someone comment on your skinny wimpy "puppy dog arms" or your slightly not so flat stomach ("Kristina, you look like you just ate Thanksgiving Dinner.") but I learnt to take criticism in a positive way rather than letting it eat away at my confidence or cause fits of crazy dieting etc. I thought constructively, "How can I do this better...?" and then do it. (Sounds silly but it's easier than you may think.) Professionally it's hard to take criticism, because it's so personal. The lines were drawn by my hands, the colors and motivs were chosen by me, and my business is run just my me. But I'm aware that everyone doesn't have the same taste; which is fine by me and I don't let it get me down.
In the internet world, negative comments seem to come from a different darker place (they don't care about making you better like my dance teachers did) and this is really unfortunate. Thankfully since my brand is still rather small I don't receive many hateful comments and have been lucky to only get really positive, happy, and appreciative comments/feedback/emails/blog features which I am so thankful for. I actually can't believe all the kind words I receive each month from customers and admirers of my girly illustrations. I have pages and pages of amazingly positive comments to read if I'm ever in a bad mood and they instantly make me happy about my work again.
A few ways I deal with criticism:
• Straight up nasty mean comments with no point such as "Your works sucks!" etc should be ignored completely especially when anonymous. How lame is that?! People who take the time to leave unconstructive negative comments have their own problems. Let's let them sort that out for themselves.
• Constructive criticism such as "You should use black inked lines instead of gray lines. Your work is unclear." may actually help you figure out what your clients like and may even be fun to hear or help you develop your style. This may have been a stylistic choice so feel free back up your choice or to comment a thank you for their input.
This week I strangely haven't had any custom projects to work on (or rather I was really quick and finished them all on Monday already) so I've had extra time to start preparing for the big move next week. What have I been doing? This...
• I've been purging my closet of all old, worn out, unloved clothes and accessories. (Oh my Gosh, I have way too much clothes!)
• Been throwing away (recycling) old magazines and papers I don't need as well as lots of junky sketches and drawings that are taking up too much space.
• Purging my medicine cabinet of dead/ugly/unloved makeup and skincare products. (This one was actually fun, and I've even stocked up on a few new much needed things.)
• Only just packed 1 box, but we're crazy and plan on packing everything and moving in the same day. (We worry, we don't have that much stuff.)
• Been writing lists and planning all the items we'll be needing to purchase for the apartment and my new workspace. (Been calculating how much everything will cost too, ahhhh!) Even gone to a few stores to check out a few items to have them in mind while planning the new space.
• Plus I've been twiddling my thumbs hoping that time will go by quicker and it will be next week already. So excited!!!