It all began with the ‘There is no such thing as too many cats’ illustration

No such thing as too many cats Poster

My mother often tells me that I did three things before I could walk: drawing, reading, and biting my nails.

I grew up with a book in one hand, a pencil in the other, and always with a cat or two in the house. Drawing and reading were my two main occupations. As a kid, I was sure I would be an artist. I wanted to be a cartoonist or an animator. Or write books and illustrate them. My passion for art was second only to the one for animals. So, after reading ‘Born Free’, I decided to be a veterinarian in Africa, writing and illustrating my books about saving lions there. I could see myself giving antibiotics to lions during the day and drawing at candlelight in my tent at night.

Then I grew up, life got in the way, and I forgot about my dreams. I didn’t draw for a long, long time. I also became overweight, and the biting of my nails worsened. Now I can see a strong correlation between all that and the lack of art in my life.

I found a job in interior design, but it wasn’t as fulfilling as drawing from pure imagination.

After the design company closed, I had a clothing shop for four years.

Now, THAT was a bad idea. The rent was expensive, the space was super small and not in good condition. It was hot as an oven in summer and cold as a fridge in winter. I was eager and excited about having my store and did not notice all that at first. It was suicidal.

When I closed it down, I had no idea what to do with my life. I didn’t think of drawing at all. I felt lost, good to nothing.

One day, while at a discount store, I saw a pack of really cheap markers, the ones used in elementary schools. I had the urge to buy them and took them home.

That night, I sat at my desk and tried the colours on some paper. The colors were childish, lots of pink and vivid green, only one brown. But the moment I put the soft tip of the marker on the paper, I felt something inside.

Do you know the feeling when you meet with old friends you haven’t seen in a really long time, and it seems like time hasn’t passed? That’s how I felt! Totally at ease, like with really good old friends.

Instinctively, I drew a row of colourful cats. They had basic shapes, no faces, just pointy ears and tails. No matter how objectively horrible they were, I felt like a knot loosening. I stared at those cats for a while. Even though I hadn’t drawn in a long time, I knew I could do better than that.

Feeling like I was in for a challenge, I searched for my drawing supplies but I only had my old watercolours. In a state of semi-hypnosis, I began splashing shapes on paper. Then, I took a micro pen and drew details. Details of cats, of course.

No such thing as too many cats in the making
no such thing as too many cats finished

What I felt now was a wave of fun. Like being at Disneyland, that kind of fun, childish and careless. The cats looked cute and I had fun. I had to show the drawing to someone else for confirmation: was this good to me only, or was it really nice? So I sent a pic to my bestie in Holland, and she replied: ‘Add a catchy motto and SELL THIS’. The phrase to add came to my mind in a second.

Within minutes the ‘No such thing as too many cats’ illustration was born. Out of nothing, thanks to cheap markers from a discount store.

This is the drawing that reunited me with my love for drawing, the one which re-awakened my childhood dreams. This store was born because of this illustration and these cats. Having one of my biggest pleasures back helps me cope with everything. When you rescue pets, life can get tough, and drawing is my therapy and escape, as it was when I was a child.

Since that day I never stopped drawing, and I think I never will. But I still bite my nails! 🙂

Continue ReadingIt all began with the ‘There is no such thing as too many cats’ illustration

Starting from zero- one more time

I’ve spent part of 2022 and the whole of 2024 working as a seamstress/social media manager/webmaster for a non-profit.

I forgot about my website, my small business, and my dreams ONCE AGAIN.

From this experience I’ve learned one thing: I’m damn good at sabotaging myself.

I wasted an entire year and more, I gave up everything to do almost the same things I could have done for my business. The official excuse I gave myself was the need for stability and continuity, pretending not to know these things don’t exist. Especially in business.

I told myself lies and neglected every aspect of my life in exchange for a lousy contract and very – very – little money.

I haven’t almost drawn at all for an entire year, I completely abandoned my adored garden, I haven’t looked after my cats as they needed, and my cottage is a wreck. I’ve spent all my attention and energies on making someone else’s business grow, instead of focusing on mine.

But as I said, stability and continuity aren’t real, and the company decided to close the branch where I worked. I should have known better!!

Lesson learned. For good, hopefully, this time.

Wanna know something funny? The last job I had before leaving my hometown and moving here, was in a small town called Parona. I left that job because, after a promising start, it had become a waste of time. I found another job as an interior designer and moved away to change my life and make my dreams of working as a creative come true. It worked for a while, but then my self-sabotaging attitude came all back and I had to start from zero again.

This last job was in a small town named… guess what? Exactly. History repeats itself until you don’t learn the lesson.

So here I am starting from zero one more time because I’m a slow learner, apparently.

Here’s to new horizons!

Continue ReadingStarting from zero- one more time