That spring feeling

09 March, 2015

Edited with #Afterlight Untitled 

It is spring! Yes! I can almost not believe the early, light mornings and the warm sunny weather we have. I've started to feel really creative recently and I'm trying to make the most out of it.

1. Enjoing this years first tulips at Sigurd's home in the Valley.
2. My new painting project - inspired by the art and method of Sandrine Pelissier.
3. The view at Akerselva river - walking the usual detour back home from work. It's just such a great way to end the week.
4. A new discovery through Pinterest: The simplest recipe for breakfast cookies.

I feel like I am repeating myself a lot when I say I've discovered "the simplest", new recipe, but I really am a sucker for making healthy and delicious food with few ingredients in no time. These breakfast cookies with oat and cranberry were no exception. Now I only need a food processor so I can make gooides like these and these.

Healthy distance in creative work

08 March, 2015

I am constantly finding myself completely cought up in work sometimes. I really identify with the description of being a perfectionist - and as a designer you have to be, I think. I used to believe that the more you would dive into the problem you were working with and the more trial and errors you did in the creative process - the closer you would get to finding a perfect solution.

The last months have forced me to realize that it doesn't always work that way. A successful creative process calls for time to let thoughts "sit a while". It is good to take a break in order to get back to the problem with a new perspective so you can see new solutions to your problem. Genninne Zlatkis is an illustrator that I very much look up. She mention in one of her recent instagram posts that finishing up something she hadn't worked on in a long time felt like collaborating with another person's work. I believe that makes you really relflect on the creative decisions you made earlier. But I believe breaks don't have to be that long. Just some distance from what you are doing at any time, giving yourself healthy breaks, really can help. As long as it implies that you are taking complete attention away from what you are working on.

And that is easier said than done. Especially with professions like design and illustration where you always worry about the end product. Illustrator Andy J. Miller has some really interesting points about this on his podcast Creative Pep Talk (1. and 2.) Taking a step outside of the problem is a necessity for creative work.

Do you struggle with detaching yourself from what you work with sometimes? Do you have any routines for creative breaks? I'd love to hear your experiences.

// This is my first illustration for Illustration Firday that I'm posting on the blog. I am hoping to submit my next project on time!//

Lessons from 2014 - Resolutions for 2015

12 January, 2015

Friends. I hope you have not forgotten me entirely! I have been occupying myself with design fully the last months - working with everything from good ol' graphic design all the way into the rather unfamiliar fields of filming and animation.

I realize that this blog will have to become a little more "designy" after all, becuase I do have so many thoughts on the process and so many words of wisdom that I have found from different designers - and I really want to share them with you.

I have been, in many ways, extremely lucky with my job, although graphic design is still just a fraction of what I actually do. I formally hold a position as an interaction designer. In addition I do a lot of analysis, copy writing, filming, motion graphics, branding and on top of that illustration and graphic design.

Being a jack-of-all-trades makes me realize that becoming good at them will take me a lot of time. Also there are a couple of skills I want to dive deep into and simply master. I have focused a lot on learning animation last year, but I really do feel like I need more practice with the core principles of graphic design and illustration.

In 2015 I do need to believe more in the value of the work that I do. Still there are many people that think creative professions are  "these fun little hobbies" that we eventually turn into a profession, so all we do is have fun at work. Working in a tech business (or any business for that matter) a lot of your job as a graphic designer is justifying why aesthetic decisions matter - why it's worth for a graphic designer to take the time to do a lot of research and focus on perfecting the details. And why the production takes time. Research, development of ideas and finding "it" - the design that will knock people off their socks. 

Another lesson from last year was that I want to be become a better communicator. I also want to be better at saying no to jobs. It's a little hard coming in to projects with a "design-course" background and when all you want to do is prove yourself. But my work-life balance has suffered from taking on more work than I can handle, and consequentially so has my productivity at work. I am not saying "no" as a way of going easy on myself - I am saying "No" because I simply have to regain my balance. 

Friends. Have you had any lessons from last year that you have turned into resolutions for this year?

(Photo from a trip to Budapest I did with Sigurd last fall + the light along Akerselva in Oslo. Isn't it gorgeous?)

Sunday in Hamar

09 October, 2014

This beautiful couple, my darling friend Katja and her Nils Olve are getting married this weekend. I imagine it will be a true Norwegian country-side wedding and I can't wait/ am slightly nervous to be their wedding photographer! I am so excited to get the job, and when visiting them last weekend I just realized how amazing fall can be for wedding shots.

Wish me luck!

That Friday feeling

26 September, 2014

A new work/play space is finally up in the new apartment and sitting by this desk makes me feel like an artist.

My work tasks lately have been so much fun. I get to create things, illustrate and learn a lot of new skills. It's really the dream situation and I really, really love it!

Happy Friday!

Summer went by

29 August, 2014

It has been the most challenging summer in my life. I have been trying to find my place at my new job and trying to move into a new apartment. I know people go through these things all the time, yet somehow for me it has been one of the toughest things to do. I have barely been able to think about anything else than work these last couple of weeks. 

A month ago, I started to get used to the "norm" of coming home after work and being so that mentally overloaded that there was hardly ever energy for anything other than eating and sleeping. That last one I could never get enough of, no matter how much I had. Writing something, anything at all, has been completely out of the question. Photography became this thing that I occasionally did because when realizing that there were things that were too beautiful to not take a picture of. 

Before this experience I used to tell myself: "Make time for yourself, make time for what you love to do and what you need.". Like these were three things I could simply check of my to-do list. For a while these things turned out to be impossible. There were too many practicalities to take care of, too many promises made and too many deadlines to meet.

Yet somehow I feel things are coming together. I know it, because each time I have these times in my life, I recognize this feeling. It is like I'm lifted out of a haze. And in the process I am getting a little closer to being realistic about my own capabilites, limits and priorities. 

And I am also finding a talent for making the best out of days that feel a little hopeless. 

1. Photo from Aker Brygge.
2. From a weekend in the Valley.
3. The window of my our apartment with Mama's dried flowers. I hope to find the time to share more soon. 

Thanks for not giving up on this blog! 
Content, design and development by Anna Miczka.