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?

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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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.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT

Glass houses ought to be carefully constructed (they must be); never having built one, myself – I wouldn’t know what it takes to make one. The ones I see in my mind’s eye – there’s light filtering in, making everything luminescent within (I very much like the glinting of gold metal ridges). But that’s a romantic way of looking at it. And as you and I know, there is a lot under the surface or even that that we see that we don’t, truly.

In a sense that is metaphoric maybe, I did try to build a glass house out of this space. I wanted everything to be and look perfect. After all this time away, I wasn’t sure I wanted to return. I still am uncertain. Is this over? The truth is: it might be. I mean, it is difficult to be articulate about this – I do want to start something new, however, over the past night and this morning… I felt something else, too. Volver.

There were feelings of angst and unrest amongst the colloidal particles settling around me. What use were the objects I was carefully tucking away? The book of stories I kept to myself? Was this glass house a home, and if so, what did it protect me from? I felt an untoward gaze upon me, anyway; I possessed no cloak of invisibility. Cobwebs formed, specks of dust everywhere – nothing I did felt good or worthy. I was too busy taking care of glitches, didn’t I say? Everything had to be perfect.

No more.

P.S. There are other one-sided conversations I would like to have; I should tell you now to expect a flurry of posts – as the weeks unfold.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

THE FOUNTAIN OF FAIR FORTUNE

258-the-fountain-of-fair-fortune

It has taken longer than expected (or so I thought) for me to resurface. I went on a two-week holiday with my folks (early June) and yet when I came back, I could not muster the will to work on any posts. I enjoy publishing these stories and knowing that someone out there is reading them or even not, basically I like the feeling of having done something. Something I really want to. Why did I need four months away? Was I developing ah-mazing content, was I revamping this webzine of sorts, was I going to be back with a BANG? Was I sad, and needed time to collect my thoughts? No, no, no and no. I just wanted to take a break; it felt good, four months was goooood and long.

And here I am! We went to Europe, visited four cities/countries there, and I could not be happier that it happened. It was not so much the food or the men, but the sights/sites that had me intoxicated. I definitely want to cover my travels in a series of smaller posts, soon – and I hope you will like reading these tales. But yeah, extremely grateful that everything worked out, and we got to visit some truly wonderful places. :-) Since coming back, I have been working on writing assignments, one illustration project (the business has come from a dear set of friends so I am happy), and another (that I hope to acquire) etc.

Erm, I am also learning a new language online (it has been two months, and I am happy with my progress so far); and I have been watching a lot of movies and shows. I need to stop! But first, let me say this – I discovered the best series yet this August, Stranger Things, it was so fucking good that I re-watched the entire series immediately after completing watching it, the first time. Uh-huh, that level of psychitude, homez!

What is with the title of this post, and the illustration?

Well, I think sometimes we all need space and time to figure ourselves out. And journeys! Not just to places, but within our minds as well. We need to breathe, be free, let go and just be. Experience things or not, develop our wits, learn lessons and move forward. We might feel like we have deeply unsettling problems and that we need cures, and yeah, maybe we do but sometimes we also do not – we are good yet missing the point. Much like the folks in this story; should you dig J.K. Rowling, you will know.

So whether you are hoping to chance upon magical keys or mirrors, ingest a few drops of a magical elixir or potion, interpret the patterns the tea leaves form in your cups, wear some quartz to tap into its energy etc. – also know that you have it in you. Failures and mistakes are okay, I am learning this better with every passing year; plus it does not seem all that nasty when I think of who I am becoming or growing into. I like this person. I have liked me for a long time now, more than I thought I could admit. I have flaws, and want to make the best of all this lesson-learning. I do not want to wither away, I would not like my work to be forgotten or deemed worthless.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes