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

HIGH BY THE BEACH

251 High by the Beach

“Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

(This is what has been said on the Pantone website.) Never before have I felt a more powerful pull to the colours of the year! I have always been interested in knowing what the colours of the year are (ever since 2012), but this year feels special. I feel like they are connected to me in a very overall way, this year. The colours speak to me! A cool wave of tranquility washes over me… Cleansing my soul completely. I am warm, I am cool, I am tinted, I am hued, I am flawed, I am perfect. I am well!

  1. This is a collection of items that seemed to reflect my thoughts – at least, I think so! I chose them for their colouring and vibe. Also, my mermaid socks from Forever 21 (Rs. 89), and the Ruchi Opal Pendant from Accessorize (Rs. 343.50) make an appearance, here.
  2. I am very excited to begin reading The Love Letter and Other Stories by Buddhadeva Bose; I have only read one of his other books which I enjoyed immensely so yeah, I picked this one up on a whim. (The book isn’t being sold like this, I just liked how it looked without its jacket on.)
  3. I don’t remember how this little plastic, Barbie-like mermaid came into my possession, but I am not complaining. I like her!
  4. And the watercolour postcard? :-) Sonaksha posted this one across to me, and I love it so much. (Yes, it is from the same series that I was talking about earlier.)

P.S. I think it is very, very important to remember that you are the only person who can make you whole again. I was lost for a very long time, sinking slowly into a dreary depression, etc. and so I might be able to relate to someone else feeling similarly. It would be crazy town to tell you my life is idyllic RN, but it certainly is not so bad either. I have been forgetting about the little things (maybe you have, too?) – and now, I really want to devote my efforts, energy, love, money and time to create more – and, experiences.

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Artwork and pictures by Roanna Fernandes

WHERE ARE Ü NOW

250 Where Are Ü Now

Good question! A lot of different places? (Sorry, it’s not cool to answer questions with questions.) Okay, the truth… I can’t remember if I mentioned this on my blog before – I took up a full-time job sometime in October, last year. It was with a brand I was really excited about and liked (perhaps still do) and I felt chuffed to have made the cut after directly applying to the HR team there, etc. – there didn’t seem like much to complain about. I was guaranteed a (slightly more than) decent source of income every month, and my weekends were mostly free (unless otherwise stated) – and therefore, seemingly be able to take care of my blog, on the side. Ending this story real quick, that job didn’t work out for me.

While the profile I had there helped me grow in terms of getting out of my comfort zone (after more than a year), reviving my love of boarding fast trains from Dadar back home, learning how to use a Macintosh computer (gah, I think I am not so averse to Apple products anymore), and a little movie editing (and this and that), etc. – being there was not making me very happy. I won’t bore you with the specifics – I am out of the fire, and I feel alive with hope. I really do, and for the first time after ages, I don’t feel depressed. 2015 was not a bad year, and so much happened – and I have loads to look back on but I want to think of it too, as my year of mistakes. Which is good, ah… It’s somewhat difficult to communicate how happy I am RN while I am trying to tell you of the me from before.

Ooh, so I am not sure if you were able to read into some clues here that happened by way of making this illustration for the post… You probably can’t (SIGH), I just have so many of these crazy+cool secrets going on in my brain.

Before I wrap up, nope – I haven’t mastered the art of coding yet but I played around with some of the free themes available for WordPress to change the layout of my blog, a little. Bon? Oh, and won’t you please check out my friend Sonaksha’s watercolour and #creaturesofwords posts on her Instagram feed. They’re so beautiful to look at, and I am filled with awe, inspiration, jealousy and love all at once. Real works, them! #Wanterlust

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes