Summertime has arrived in North Florida! I've learned now that I will only experience two seasons here--summer and winter (it does get below freezing). So with our increasingly frequent trips to the beach and pool, I have summer on my mind. Summer Treats, Summer Fun, and Summer Digital Papers are all now available individually or as a discounted bundle in the shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CitrusandMint
I've recently stumbled upon the work of Dinara Mirtalipova. Absolute gorgeousness! She is a self-taught illustrator like me, but with tons more personal style and confidence. (If you've missed out on the explanation for the "stealing" series, read this post first).
From her I'm going to steal:
This was me yesterday. After some surprisingly soothing back rubs from my four year old, I feel asleep on the playroom floor for who knows how long. 20 minutes? An hour? Probably not the best mom move, but it did give me energy to finish a new clip art set! Handmade with Love is now available in the shop. It's definitely one of my most favorite kits that I've created! Click on the kit to go to the shop or click on the clip art shop in the sidebar. Have a marvelous weekend!
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me ... is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
(Thank you Gina for sending me this quote! You can find the original interview HERE.)
Emily Henderson is the second designer on my artist family tree (read about that HERE). Even though she is not an illustrator, she is everything I want to be as a blogger and designer. She is hilarious, candid, and not afraid to try new ideas even if they are mistakes (and later tell everyone). She definitely has a sense of style and confidence as a designer. Plus she's the style guru for Target. I mean, c'mon. Can I be your best friend?
From her I'm going to steal:
Examples: (as always, click on the images to find the source)
“Mommy, I need to draw.”
“We can’t draw right now because we are driving home from preschool. You can draw when we get home in a few minutes.”
“I caaaaannn’t wait that long.”
This is a conversation I had with my 4 year old daughter last week. Even though I snickered at her ridiculous remark, I later realized that she put into words exactly what I feel as a creative—I must create, or die. That will sound like a strong statement to non-creatives, like my husband, but it is true! I can’t explain why I have that feeling, I just know it’s there. Which leads me to a creative crisis…
1. I need to draw/design/create
2. I’m a mother of young kids and my time is limited
How do I balance this? When I spend time with Citrus and Mint, I feel guilty like I am neglecting my most important role as wife and mother. But when I don’t spend time with Citrus and Mint, I feel unfulfilled. I got permission to share some excerpts from the letter that my friend Whitney wrote to me. It was so relieving to hear that someone else has struggled with the same issues.
"When I picture myself as a loving mother who provides for her children and also sets boundaries to claim some things for herself- to say "these are the things that fulfill me"- I see a much more balanced version of myself. Sometimes our culture sets an expectation that we be consumed by our motherhood. I've found a lot more breathing room and peace by accepting that I am a mother, yes, but not only a mother. I am a person, an artist, a being who needs to be challenged, to continue learning. When I allow myself to accept these things and release the guilt that I'm not spending every waking moment focused on my children I feel happier, more balanced, I feel like a better mother. I am giving myself permission to pursue dreams and I think that's a powerful example to children. If I existed only for them, what a skewed view of the world they would have, and what a limiting role I would leave for them to inherit."
(Whitney, please grant me some of your eloquence in writing)
I haven't answered the balance question yet. I believe that the answer will be different to each person, which makes it harder to figure out. But I have made an important step in the right direction--I recognize and accept that being a creator is part of who I am and that is okay. I cannot and should not suppress it.
Hi! I'm Rachel and welcome to Citrus and Mint! Here you will find unique hand drawn illustrations for yourself or someone you love.