Hobby or work?

Hobby or work? - the difficulty of turning hobby into work

Have you ever experienced the following dialogue?

‘What have you done this weekend?’
‘I worked.’
‘Oh, poor you! What did you have to do?’
‘I have painted [replace with anything you like to do, like ‘written a blog, arranged flowers, done charity work, etc.’]
‘Ah, so you’ve only worked on your personal project’ *gracious smile*

If I have this conversation with someone I have to admit I often lose my temper, reminding the person that I don’t do it for free. But then, would it make a difference if I did it for free?

There is a certain idea about so-called ‘work’ in people’s heads: it is a means of earning money (preferably enough to make a living), and more often than not an activity, which they don’t like doing, but have to, for some reason.

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February downloadable calendars

We are nearing the end of the darkest month, February is nearly here. What’s more, in a few days the bears come out of their caves. According to a Hungarian tradition, bears come out of their caves on the 2nd of February to check the weather: if it’s sunny, they glimpse their shadow and get frightened, so they get back into their cave, which means that winter will last long. If it’s cloudy, they don’t have to hide, so spring will shortly arrive. In honour of this funny superstition please welcome Timothy the bear on this month’s downloadable calendar. Timothy is a little bit of a feminin creature, but despite this (or perhaps precisely because of this) many people love him. Will you also befriend him?

If you subscribed to the newsletter, you’ll get the printable version of this calendar soon. As a new feature, I made all 12 months of the year available in my Etsy, pop in if you like. :)

Forest animals - hand-painted watercolour wallpaper calendar

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. If you need a different size, please let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

Sizes: 1024×768 | 1280×720 | 1440×900 | 1920×1080 (smart phone)


Book review – Gnomes

Beautifully illustrated book review - Wil Huygen, Rien Poortvliet: Gnomes

Do you remember that feeling when you got Harry Potter in your hands and the world that you had thought to be a myth was suddenly described with such sincerity and detail that it didn’t only become believable but almost real. Well, this is more or less the case with Wil Huygen’s book Gnomes.

You are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but let’s admit, this is practically impossible in the case of Gnomes. Anyway, you are not making much of a mistake if you do so, because the inside is full of just as beautiful illustrations as the cover.

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New art supplies – Christmas haul

New watercolor art supplies (brushes, paints, paper) - Christmas haul

Ever since I write a blog I can’t wait to finally write a “haul” post – art supplies are really pretty after all – the only problem is that I hardly ever do a “haul”. It is in the nature of watercolours that you don’t run out of them easily (in fact I’m still using an old set I brought from home 9 years ago), I buy brushes one by one according to my needs and I cannot quite expect watercolour papers to bear the weight of a blogpost’s success.

However, my SO surprised me with a bunch of art supplies this Christmas, so I’m grabbing my chance. There are a few well-known pieces as well as new ones: a set of 12 watercolours in tubes, some brushes and 2 blocks of watercolour paper. Obviously, I had to test them first thing. So let’s see them!

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Silence

2017 - a year in review

I’m ill. Again. During December there was only one week when my nose was not running and yet this was the most intense month of the year (in close competition with October). I didn’t leave time for myself to rest, thinking that if I had taken a break I would have fallen behind even more and become even more stressed. I could hardly keep my head above water. The time has come that had I been asked what I wanted for Christmas I would have answered: time, plenty of time, please!

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New downloadable calendars!

Et voilá, here is the first downloadable calendar for 2018! I’m so excited to share the first bit of this new series in which includes forest animals. The first member of this collection is Adele, the fox lady, who decorates the calendar of January.

If you subscribed to the newsletter, you’ll get the printable version of this calendar too. As a new feature, I made all 12 months of the year available in my Etsy, pop in if you like. :)

Forest animals - hand-painted watercolour wallpaper calendar

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. If you need a different size, please let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

Sizes: 1024×768 | 1280×720 | 1440×900 | 1920×1080 (smart phone)


Create your own calendar in 2018!

Create your own calendar in 2018 - ideas and downloadable calendar template

There is only one thing better than creating: creating together. Okay, now I’ve sacrificed honesty for a bit of PR, in fact nothing gets me more panicky than creating with other people around me, but the situation is slightly different now: I’m inviting you to create a calendar with me for 2018!

Monthly downloadable calendars have nearly become a tradition on this blog, but during the holiday season you might have a couple of minutes to create something on your own. So, just like last year, I have created a blank calendar template, which you can download for free from the blog’s content library and decorate according to your liking.

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Graphic designer in the making – sketchbook tour

Graphic designer in the making - a sketchbook tour

Those who read the blog will not be surprised if I say that I’m not exactly a fan of institutional art eductation. Teaching art is desparately hard: on the one hand the student needs to see if he is on the wrong track, on the other hand creativity is a very fragile thing, which can break very easily at the wrong touch. Criticism has to be put very cleverly, yet it has to be said, if the wish is for the student to grow.

At my old university, these expectations were not fulfilled. They usually tell you right in the face that what you are doing is rubbish, which I still haven’t got over completely. However, despite all negative experiences I have decided to give it another go: I am now back at school, studying graphic design at Corvin Art School, Budapest.

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3 classic illustrators to get into the Christmas spirit

3 classic illustrators to get you into the Christmas spirit

Even though I’m a great fan of modern – sometimes even minimalist – illustrations, it often happens in December that I get absorbed in looking at the old classics. There are many wonderful illustrators who have managed to capture the wintry atmosphere, but for me – unsurprisingly – it’s the British, who are closest to my heart.

To say a shamefully over-used cliché: I love curling up under a blanket with a cup of tea, pretend that I’m 4 years old, and flip through these old children’s stories, only to look at the beautiful pictures. So these are the illustrators who help me get into the Christmas mood even in the extreme rush of December.

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