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

LOST IN TRANSLATION

What shall we talk about, in this post? How about… Why I was gone for so long? Nope, I am kidding. I have already bored you enough.

Let’s maybe talk about tea?

I am drinking some, as we speak, not rose tea (as could have been implied in the illustration, here) but mint (Moroccan mint, if you please) – and I quite like it. It’s a refreshing change from the several cups of black coffee I am otherwise used to consuming on a daily basis. That hasn’t stopped; I just have started drinking tea on the side. I like drinking it on a late night after having had an early dinner – alongside reading a book, watching a movie on my computer or something. I am saying the most obvious things one would do while drinking a beverage they particularly like, none of this is unique and yet I continue to ramble on, relentlessly.

So… What shall we talk about? It is hard being asked questions, isn’t it? I am not sure I like it very much. Especially when it is about myself, because I don’t have answers. Even so, I know that asking yourself questions is essential, sometimes. Questions that cause you take stock of everything… What you’re doing, where you’re headed, where you are – right now, how close or far are you from what you seek to do or be, etc.? I still have not figured out much of it. It sounds like a shame to admit, and I suspect that I never fully will know everything there is to know, and do and be.

I also think it’ll only come to me in bits and pieces, but I do not need to collect them to build the picture. It isn’t much like a puzzle, though it seems like one – now. What I believe is that… These contemplative moments help you come upon discoveries – they are observations you make about your life. What you have done and are going to do, who you were – then and who you are – now; my mind is in a state of upheaval, good that it might be – however, hard to explain.

‘Lost in translation’ if I may. A romantic way of putting it would be (oh, this is all me): Drink tea, and uncover your mysteries. Think about your life, your moments, your now… See with your inner eye. There is much to uphold and keep, to find and seek. Growth and decay, growth and decay – it’s the only way of the world; an infinite, repetitive loop that keeps you in check.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

MORINGA GLORY

Ta-da, here it is!

Don’t know if I have said this on the blog before, but I love The Body Shop – it is one of the few bath and beauty brands I buy from, constantly. Perhaps not as often as I used to; stuff’s expensive, and it’s harder still, when your sources of income aren’t guaranteed or stable – no more. – Every once in a while, when I do visit the store – it is because I want to restock on a product or two, etc. Anyway, I chanced upon this particular fragrance, last year at the outlet which is at the domestic airport and haven’t looked back, since.

Light, lovely and summery as this fragrance is – I knew nothing about it when I picked it up. – At the time I bought it, I was on my way to a friend’s wedding in Goa, and hadn’t carried any perfume. (Chunky bottles are difficult to cart around and/or pack, and I prefer not to because what if the bottle breaks?) So I stopped by The Body Shop to get an inexpensive bottle of ‘body mist’ or perfume. As it were, I decided against getting the Shea fragrance (I had tried it before, it isn’t the greatest) – Vanilla would’ve been too sweet (though I usually like the smell of vanilla) and then, my eyes fell on the little Moringa bottle and I was, like, “Hey, let’s get this.”

The funny thing is I didn’t quite bother taking a great, big sniff or even spritz it on and let the fragrance envelope me – well, enough to linger, etc. as I usually would’ve done. Yeah, okay, it’s just a small bottle of EDT but still! That was a first for me. (It wasn’t totally cheap, anyway.) And well, as soon as my holiday began and I sprayed it almost everyday, I was slowly realising that I bought something good. It turned out to be really mellow. All the things I said before, and then some (faintly floral, also; I was worried Moringa would smell like jasmine but as it turns out, I know zilch about flowers!). Mildly-fresh and pleasant, it is unlike any other fragrance I have ever had or liked (so I think). The bottle is travel-friendly; if you’re the type that flutters from fragrance to fragrance, the quantity is just about right, too.

What I don’t dig is the price for the quantity being sold (Rs. 895 for 30 ml is not cheap); I think it is Rs. 925, now? (On a sultry day, you might have to give yourself a spritz every couple of hours.) From then to now, I have only used two bottles of the stuff (toldja, been watching my finances). If my income was stable, I’d be buying this pretty often, it’s handy to have on you.

{ Rating – 7.8 / 10 }

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes