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

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.

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

DROPS OF JUPITER – PART DEUX

255 Drops of Jupiter - Part Deux

Hello, hello.

(This post concludes the two-part mini-series, if you were keeping up.)

What did Jupiter Skye do for you?

(Erm, more like what Jupiter Skye made me do!) What it did do was give me an outlet to express myself creatively. When I started the blog in 2010, I was working my first job; being employed helped the growth of Jupiter Skye for various reasons. I had an income (funding impromptu explorations around the city and shopping trips, providing fodder for the blog, etc.); and I drew inspiration for the posts from my friends at work, or from the conversations we had. Jupiter Skye did not help me land writing jobs; but I did learn about creating editorials, photographing products, styling mood-boards etc.

To sum up (er, ROSS), the blog has constantly helped me tap into my potential and recognise my core strengths. (This product as a whole serves as a wonderful portfolio of – and testimony to – all my learnings from then to now.) That is not to say that the path has been remotely easy, nor does it mean I have achieved the highest levels of success. No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no! Writing was something I got into, after college; it was never given a lot of thought. The jobs that I have held so far helped hone my writing skills; especially my first (which ended, July 2011) and second (which began, August 2011) jobs. (The editor at my first job would silently nod his head, if he were reading this – as in about me not being a good writer before, he wanted me to give it up altogether and pursue something artistic instead.)

The illustrating bit happened randomly; I always liked arts and crafts, and drawing, making greeting cards etc. from when I was a little girl, I just never pursued art or illustrating as a subject in college because I didn’t know I could – and was guided otherwise. Through my experiments with the blog, especially with regards to the artwork and layouts – the posts got me some recognition, I learned how to channel my artistic skills in a digital manner. Folks began to notice, and appreciate my work; though I had zero experience in the field, the blog got me most of the illustration projects I have worked on, till date.

What kind of space is this, now?

Well, it still really is the same space, also somewhat different. (There is some progression, I would like to believe – from being random to developing a better structure, content-wise.) As of now, I would like the core focus of this blog to be formed around: BOOKS, FRAGRANCES, HOMES, JEWELLERY, LOVE. These are subjects I like best (and most), and while they are fairly specific and somewhat huge as areas of interest, they possess minute details of all the other related things I like.

What are your intentions, now?

(They are subject to change.) I never did any pre-planning of sorts before I went ahead and started off with this blog, so I think it’s wise to not have too many intentions now. I do have intentions, a lot of them good – but with the kind of personality I have (being lazy in general, and also how long I want to do this versus shutting it down completely etc.) – let’s just say that I don’t want to make any false promises (or have unrealistic goals).

Some of my short-term goals are:

1. To make this blog more user-friendly by way of developing a better layout, and so that folks may find what they are looking for, easily;

2. Create professional landing pages (the ones describing what I do, and how to get in touch with me for collaborations and commissions, giveaways and greetings, and such);

3. Sell accessories (jewellery, brooch-pins etc.) and stationery (greeting cards, stickers etc.) through The Jupiter Skye Shop – I really suck at marketing my wares, and definitely need to figure this bit out;

4. And oh, of course, create more interesting content (it is what I do, after all).

What do you do, how do you balance what you do with the blog?

I am a features writer (because that is what I do for the most part, professionally), and a part-time illustrator (you know about this). Currently, I do not work anywhere on a full-time basis; I do undertake freelance and part-time projects involving writing and/or illustrating. With regards to striking a balance, it is not too bad RN – never mind the other bit of me being lazy AF and choosing to publish only two or four posts a month. I never left any of my jobs to pursue this blog on a full-time level; I have not made any money off of it yet (I would like to), and none of my jobs posed a conflict of interests with what I was doing here and what I was doing at work.

Irrespective of whether you are working or not – it is nice to have a sound ecosystem around you. There is so much that you can learn about yourself, and from the people around you on a daily basis… Everything that will either inspire or suck the energy out of you (you do not want the latter). (This has an effect, especially when you have a personal blog on the side, too.) I understand this better because I’ve had my share of depressing, personal situations and/or crappy jobs, gone through it all again; the circle never ends.

During such times (or after), try to float out of your body for a few seconds when you feel saner and see how best to remedy it. What do you like? What do you really want? What has changed? What won’t? As long as you are learning, you grow; do not work at a conventional job if you do not want to – find something else that keeps you grounded, and uh, busy. (It’s the keyword, here! Pharrell Williams should have picked the title of his track, and er, lyrics better, heh.) Working hard is rewarding in itself, leading you to better times; it gets easier over time, to separate what you want from what you don’t, the realisation of which can be gained only by experience.

P.S. Racile (my youngest sister) thinks this drawing might was deceptive. I do not have very long hair, nor I do not possess a boho blouse like this, etc. Like, uh, I did mean for this girl to resemble me but I drew it because I was unsure of what the artwork for this post should be. Okay, I will do better in my acts to follow; but this was not so bad, now was it?

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes