SKETCH!B+O^2+KS

I find hunting for new sketchbooks really important. Even though I have more than I need, it seems like the one on the shelf in that baby blue colour is the one I was looking for all my life. Yeah, right.

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MA’ BABE LOVES ME               a n    i l l u s t r a t i o n    f r o m    m y    s k e t c h b o o k

But let’s go back to that day when I got myself an A3 sketchbook, it had a plain black cover that gave you  a leather feeling and most importantly – the perfect thickness of paper for my work. I knew I wanted to challenge myself, to see how well I can handle the size, composition. And to my big surprise…I feel in love with it. I started drawing some illustrations, then the pages were filled with university projects. I can see that many of my course mates were struggling to produce a good-looking portfolio, the reason to that might be that they are doers, and yes some part of me is the same, most of the time I don’t need to sit down and work on something, the ideas come to my head with a single ‘click’. But the experience has proved that sometimes it can be really difficult to handle the ‘rain of thoughts’ without a sketchbook and a pencil. Now it is even nicer, you actually sit down and THINK about the process, possible failures, what might be right or wrong to do, what is necessary and the ideas won’t disappear that quickly, you start to put them in orders, or you have time to actually explore them or play around with them. Another reason might be, that they don’t know the purpose of it or they don’t know how to build it, or maybe they just don’t like it in general. But in some cases your portfolio can help the audience to actually GET your idea, get your way of working. And believe me, when you wake up, pack your bag and take your sketchbook with you, you feel like you carrying something so important, it becomes like a diary to you. Your little ‘baby’ as I like to joke around about it sometimes. Or maybe it’s just me, I have to admit that before the uni I had know idea of what was the right way or wrong way to build up your portfolio. I had had one before, and it was everything in one place. But know I guess I start to understand what it’s all about. It can often be a reflection of You. So give it one more chance, sit down and work on it. And then, hopefully, fall in love with that. Sketching.

AM.ERIKA

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erika copy 2

S E L F   –   P O R T R A I T S

I’m going home tomorrow. Not home home, back to England again, to continue my studies. Am I happy? I’m so freaking excited. I’ve spent two weeks in my motherland and still my head was elsewhere. I will be doing my second year in Graphics and you know what, I can’t talk about it, even think about it without smiling. That’s how happy I am. While being here in Lithuania I held a few lectures in schools about studying abroad and Graphic Design, worked on a couple of projects, summer project for uni as well. It was strange but good at the sae time to tell students about life in England, but it often felt like they don’t really understand what it’s like to leave your comfort zone and start something new from the very beginning. I think some people have that American Dream in their heads which keeps them going. They think that as soon as they leave their country’s border they will be successful badasses. Is it really like that? You tell me. About three to four years ago my classmate asked me about my choice of studies and when he heard my idea of going to United Kingdom to study Arts he looked at me crazy and said that ‘if you want to get money from that you have to be very talented’. I didn’t reply to him, I felt like it was a waste of time to prove something to a person that is so close-minded and that lives on something that he heard or read somewhere, he was not talking from his own experience. And that’s what I told the students ‘Go and find out by yourselves. Don’t listen to other people’. Deep inside, I know that half of the students, maybe, not even that, won’t listen to me. And that was my plan, I just gave them my point of view, my own experience. And kids, if you go into Arts, be proud of what you are doing, trust yourself and your work. Don’t try to simply tick the boxes, make it stand out of the crowd.

As I have finished my first year of studies I can proudly tell that I feel like I’ve learnt a lot. I was lucky enough to have amazing tutors as well. Although, we had students that were not interested in Graphic Design, maybe Arts in general, but it only made me work harder. I just hope one day they will finally find themselves.

That’s all for now folks, Illustrator is waiting for me.

am.ERICA

xxx

I AM A STR(ANGER)

Who could have imagined that during my graphic design course we will be writing poems? That was pretty surprising in the beginning but I was so enthusiastic about it, I always loved poetry and I think it also helps you to develop your creativity skills. This time I was making a booklet/poster that was folded as a map. For the text I used my own poems and then in order to make them interesting to read (as sometimes people find them boring) I played around with them in a really graphical way. The big letters on one page stood for word ‘STRANGER’ while on the other side of the page you get words ‘AM A’ and basically the images or poems on the other side make a word ‘I’ so due to this in order to read the title of this booklet you have to unfold the whole ‘map’ of stories first. To make it all clear the title is ‘I AM A STRANGER’, the booklet consists of 8 poems, with the help of the arrows you know how to unfold it and read it. But it will never be folded back again the same way it was folded before so every time you will start with a new poem and to get what they are all about you have to read all of them so every time you will end up with a new story. The reason why I called it a ‘map’ is because you never know how to fold them back again. This was also my university project where I had to show my understanding of typography rules and work in inDesign. Every single poem is very interactive and requires you to be curious about it. Have fun while reading them! The images stands for cells so basically, what they show is that that’s what your cells would look like after reading each poem. Illustrations were made by me as well. For this project I used 3pt grid. It can also be used as a poster. If you want to see the illustrations click the link bellow.

‘Wrap me in black ink and paper

Hold the last memory of me inhaler’

‘Am I dreaming or are you covered in red

My shadow whispers that you are dead’

AM.ERICA

3 COUNTRIES IN 10 DAYS

FIRST DAYS / FIRST EXPERIENCES

We met at the airport and only then I realised that we are actually traveling to a different city. It was pretty funny but I took that as a very exciting start. We sat on the plane and prepared ourselves for difficulties and hot weather. We also met a very interesting old man that made our flight much quicker and remarkable. We had a really nice chat with him and he even gave us his address if we decide to come and visit him and his family for a few days. We thought that it was very nice of him but we’d already had people waiting for us, so due to that we thanked him, wished him good luck and told him that maybe someday in the future we will meet him again. As soon as we arrived to Dortmund we bought a map from the gas station and tried to hitch-hike on the auto band which was not the best idea, but we didn’t give up and after 25 minutes or something someone decided to take us to the place where people usually stop and make calls or have lunch. This is were we found our heroes that decided to take us straight to the Bremen. Even though their car was fulfilled they were so kind to us that it didn’t seem like a big deal to them! The ride was about 3 hours long so after some talking and filming we decided to take a nap on each others shoulders. Finally we reached our very first destination – BREMEN. It was such a magnificent city, and we started our exploration by getting lost, taking the wrong bus, being hell knows where and meeting a friendly bus driver that was keen enough to help us, oh well you know, those foreigners. Haha, no, it took us a second to fall in love with that city. We spent 2 nights there, we used to get up early, drink mint tea from my cousin’s garden outside, eat breakfast and start our day with our eyes wide opened and caught breaths.

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We spent three amazing days there driving bikes and taking loads of pictures, writing and talking about literature, watching people, dancing while listening to the street musicians, humming, laughing, running, drinking wine and feeling alive. I think I am the happiest when I make art and travel. Our host was really friendly to us, he owns an art studio and a restaurant, so we had a really nice and interesting discussion with him about life and art, the idea of having his own restaurant came from having a big passion for cooking. So one day we even had the opportunity to cook together. I also got myself prepared for anything by buying loads of films for my film camera. It is quite strange at the same time because we hardly got tired, i was so excited through the whole journey and didn’t want to waist even a second of it!

TO BE CONTINUED

THINGS ALWAYS GET BETTER

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Y O U N G   T R A V E L L E R S

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” - T. S. Eliot

One day my cousin asked me about my plans for the summer, we started talking and then he just asked me if I would like to join him and travel around the Europe for some time. As I hadn’t had many things to do and as that would be my last summer before the studies I decided to go. We were so excited about it, we started talking about going to Italy and visiting the greatest art museums and galleries. But in the end we reached the conclusion that we will be going to three countries – Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. I would say he’s a pretty brave kid, he encouraged me to try hitch-hiking and couch-surfing, now I think they are the best things in the world, you get to travel for the cheapest price and you get to enjoy your journey so much more. For those who don’t know couch-surfing is a way of travelling when you are not paying for staying at people’s houses, you get to meet so many interesting people like musicians, painters, biologists and the most inspirational people you will ever get to meet. What I liked the most is that, you never know if you are going to see them ever again, you stay with them for a couple of days, you share your stories, thoughts, and they are seeing you for the first time so they don’t have any previous opinions about you if that makes any sense, you soon find yourself being really open about things, you listen patiently and discuss about all kinds of things, you drink wine on a hot summer night in the balcony, watch the sun go down, and giggle, dance around, smile to people, laugh freely, discover new places, write everything down, draw people and places you go to, take photographs with your film camera, you put new film, you learn something from every person you meet, you take something from them and leave something for them, you fill your only bag with memories that will live inside you forever. To be honest, I felt like the happiest person alive, we never knew where are we going to end up, well we had a little plan where we want to go and what we want to see, but it was for us to decide how many days we are going to stay in certain cities. On my next post I will write more about our journey, I will share some photos and stories from our first day of traveling. Now I will leave you with a little video that will keep you a little bit curious to hear more. I’m really happy that I still keep in touch with a few people that we’ve met, it’s great to see that they are doing good, I wish them all the best. People, You are amazing. I learned so much while traveling, now I want to travel more. To save money for the trips. Let’s be spontaneous. Let’s explore the world. THANK YOU.

AM. / ERICA

N I G H T 0 2 3

- ‘But, why korean, Erika?’

- ‘I find it beautiful and I know nothing about it.’

Then I usually make a long pause and think for a while, there are so many languages I wish I could learn. I get easily lost, I find learning languages so interesting, every new language is like a new world to me. I do not really know how I even came up with the idea to learn korean, it was summer, I met some korean friends and I was so excited about it, it sounded really interesting and lovely to me, it was something different to me. Once I made a promise to myself that I will learn something new every day, it can be anything, I find learning so beautiful, I love it as much as I do listening to other people and hearing their stories or thoughts on life, art and many other things. The power of words is magnificent, you can change someone’s life, you can guide him, help him find his way, ruin his day, make him think, or have no impact at all. Words. Sounds. Expressions. Body language.

DO SOMETHING GOOD TODAY.TAKE YOUR FILM CAMERA WITH YOU.

(THIS TIME I USED MY BELOVED DIANA F+)

힘내세요 – STAY STRONG

AM. / ERICA

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  …..                        .             . ..         … ….                .                    . .. ..        ….                FIND ME

It is Friday again. In other words, a perfect day to get lost. By getting lost I usually mean – discovering new places. Read a book on a different bench, explore the town, find out about a new park or cozy place to spend your late Friday evening. It gives me time to think. I like being on my own, listen to my own thoughts, analyse my actions and overthink sometimes. I will never find sitting on my desk and doing my work boring. Sometimes I think it is pretty much like a meditation to me. I enjoy my time being alone. Even though I don’t find it as being A/lone/ly. I love spending my time at the library, sitting on the floor between the shelves reading books and making notes. I love to hear someone’s whispers, to catch his look, be found by him and enjoy the silence. I think people are the most beautiful and true when they are reading. One day I found a postcard in one of the books, I found it so lovely that, that actually encouraged me to leave one too. I used to collect postcards and I still do, so to me that sounded like a really lovely idea. When I’m not in the library you can find me on my windowsill sitting and trying to fix my film camera or sketching or watching the flock of birds. To be honest, it’s a really rare phenomenon and it made me feel so excited and lucky when I got to see it about 2-3 times in one week! I could watch them making crazy figures or shapes for hours. Sometimes I listen to good music with my eyes closed. I jump on my bed like a big kid or dance around my room. It is some kind of a relaxation to me, then I go back to do my work with the widest smile on my face. I want to read so many book. I need to read. The need to read is tickling my whole body.

AM. / ERICA 558919_10200652495829585_778020558_n 1473045_10200652685274321_1976372709_n erika 1186085_10200974006667155_770644874_n 1779316_10200957287689191_727710613_n 1794683_10201128516129795_1466048030_n 993446_10200414695444724_1057467582_n

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