THE WRITING ON THE WALL

It has been what? – one week into December, and Christmas already is so close. Should you need to know… Christmas began early for me, this year; it has been feeling like the festive season from November onwards (never mind that the Christmas spirit has momentarily abandoned me now that December is actually here but oh, well).

And oh, hello to you too. (Explaining more, below.)

#FacesintheTwitteringCrowd

This is a project inspired by the #visiblewomen I know on and off the interwebz. I titled it so because I figured that some of you enjoy your online presence (thanks, social media platforms) and perhaps might like to have an illustrated profile of yourself for personal or professional use. (If not for yourself, you could perhaps ‘gift’ this wee, intangible summat to someone you reeeeeally like/love; heh, you know ’cause… Christmas.) Personally, this project is for me to: hone my craft; make money (being a freelancer and lover of learning has its perils); and make a fun project out of.

Basically, I can render an illustrative likeness of yourself in the form of a JPEG/PNG illustration (I will even make a portrait of your prized pet, should you like); this, I will base on a photograph of yours (preferably vertical) and 3-6 questions that I would be asking you (your most worn colours/motifs etc.). To get ideas on how your likeness might be rendered, please see the poster I made for this series or check out the women I drew back in March-April of this year, etc. (The pricing details are in the poster; payments can be made to me – electronically and I make and deliver the illustration to your Inbox in 3-6 working days.)

Thank you for hearing me out! – This is something new I am trying and should you like my work and are keen to do business with me, I would be pleased to hear from you (by way of a comment or an e-mail).

P.S. The one-off chance that you are new here or have come upon this solitary post, an introduction might not be out of order. My name is Roanna Fernandes; I am a features writer and illustrator who lives in Bombay. I have had this blog for about seven years now; it has served me well as a platform to express myself, artistically  and gotten me a few illustrative assignments, etc.  Uh-huh, here’s the ‘however’: I have been harbouring doubts/thoughts about why this space continues to exist. After months of staying away though, I found myself back in the place where it all began yet I feel a lightness of brain. (At this point, my brain interjects with, “A feeble yay is better than none in the head.” Gee, thanks, Brainah, what would I do without you?  That more than you needed to know?

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

Advertisements

BENEATH A DESERT MOON

¡Hola, mis amigos! (I don’t always greet y’all, maybe I should? I just get into the thick and thin of it and that’s kinda rude, innit? I mean, I care because you’re reading which is really sweet because it’s me, and you know, you’re still here – you guys make up a handful, and you make me happy.)

Because I was so incognito back then, you would’ve missed this – this year, I created/made up themes for every couple of months in the year (I divided my year into four parts, and not quarters). Each period was to tell a story by way of the content I would be covering and sharing on my blog etc. Except you know that it didn’t work out that way, I wasn’t actively working on any material; the ideas, of course, piled on and on and you know what went down. Nothing!

SO. What the illustration for this post is meant to be is an introduction to the story I wished to tell during the months of May, June and July called…

The Song of the Seamstress

As one could tell, the drawings are inspired by Mexico (a country I have never been to – but am really keen on visiting, soon) – the colours and clothing; some desert cactuses; the marigolds and roses; the ofrendas and sugar skulls etc.  The Song of the Seamstress also drew colourful and cultural inspirations from: cameo pendants; dulce de leche; floral embroidery; Frida Kahlo; la combinación de naranja y rosa; Lisbon (I really like this city; it’s colourful and so very warm – it makes me think of Cuba, Goa and Mexico, all at once!); Mother Mary; Pablo Neruda; ruffled clothing; the Día de los Muertos festival; Ugly Betty etc.

P.S. (Would you get a better idea if you saw this? It forms the display picture and cover photo for when I did publish this theme on Facebook and Twitter etc.) – This might be continued in the posts that are to come but it’s also December and so, I will be covering some other *fun* material (I haz ideas)! We’ll see.

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

OUT OF THE WOODS

Okay, I have been gone a long time. I am not sure how it happened so, then again – I think I know. Can I just say that I am really excited to be back? I have sincerely missed you too. Sorely! (I am breaking into a huge grin as I type.) How are you? How have you been? Everything good? Not bad, not good? Figuring things out?

I would hope you are well. (I am, too.)

Where do I begin?

There is not much to tell, of course, but it has been long and I feel like talking. Okay, so here is one something: I have purchased a monthly subscription to Adobe Illustrator so I can use it alongside Adobe Photoshop and it is one of the better things that I have done, this year! I have much to learn (re-learn?) but yes, finalmente. (I have developed a mild obsessive/compulsive way of thinking over the years – I could have just said Photoshop without the Adobe when I used it in the previous sentence – you would have got it, but I just could not bear to not. I would have not used the word at all, then.)

Because of which, I have drawing on there some more than otherwise, and I randomly thought of making a project/series etc. of it on my Tumblr blog. The series is called Women of My World and I am protective/proud of it. Of course, some of the women may have some ‘drawing defects’ (sorry, my beautiful women) but I do not know! These women are special to me, they were my friends when I was bored at home – feeling dejected/depressed/lonely (about two months ago). I also have been meaning to acquire more work (of the illustrative variety, etc.); usually, a few folks reach out to me every year but it would be nice if I could manage to hear of interesting projects outside of this ‘tiny pool of reach’, and pitch for more projects (not too many) etc.

Oh yes, and the title of this post. Yes, somewhat apt, I could say! I have not been hiding but I have been scuttling about in the woods… I have been looking for something, walking on an unbeaten path (Don’t you hate the way I talk or write sometimes?), and falling down deep tunnels (not as intriguing as Alice’s adventures) and feeling beaten and broken etc. – however, every now and then, I seek refuge in a cosy hollow; ferns, leaves and saplings have been growing all over the place or I bump into worker bees who want to teach me that working hard is one of the world’s oldest methods to make the brain feel good. So I am happy, in a general sense. It is the little stratosphere around me – that bit is okay. It is good. There are pollutants that infiltrate etc.; some, I have no protection against. I am not trying to control every little thing, I am making decisions on my own, and I am trying. Really hard. (I want it to hurt!)

I am hoping to make something better of myself.

I am scared, though. (Though I think immersing oneself into a body of something is good; the word itself is light, it is not coercive or forceful or persuasive – it is healing. It is letting you breathe/do/make – complete with a very faint prickle of urgency. All in good measure, to get your ‘floating situation’ in order.)

There is more to come.

P.S. This post may have been all over the place; I do not apologise for it being so. I am happy to be writing here, again! Over the last few months and weeks, I was in a mind to delete a great big chunk of my posts from long ago. They were bothering me. There was a disconnect. I did not know what to write about. Shallow and superficial were two of the words hovering in my mind’s eye, all the fucking time. I do not directly help anyone through this platform, I know this… I am not sure if that is/was the primary purpose of this blog. But I have feelings I would like to express, and some thoughts too. Lots of in-between tales, I would hope you understand that this space has its shortcomings – I can accept that. It is dear to me; I love my other children too. I hope you do not just see this as a puerile place, it would feel horrid. I want my work to have meaning (whatever I do in life, no – not just jobs, necessarily.)

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

A FLOWER IN THE DESERT

256 A Flower in the Desert

(Oh, it feels good to know in advance that this is not going to be a long post!) Okay, so you have seen this cactus before… I just placed it into a pot for the sake of converting this illustration into one of my Confetti Stickers – yeah, remember those? This one is symbolic of all the good I find around me, even in moments of deep distress. So, thank you flowers, you are my friends, and you know who you are!

Somewhat related but also not, I am no good with plants – growing, or taking care of them. Perhaps I will foster one this year, my friend Ashwita (Hosbettu) did promise me a succulent! Do you grow plants at home? Which ones, and what do you like about growing them? I recently bought some chilli seeds in Auroville (Pondicherry) as a little something-something for one of my “planter friends” in the city.

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes