From now on, I've decided to post everything on my other blog. I think it will be better to have everything in my website so I can focus just in one place to have it updated and beautifully done! Click on the image above to go to my new site! --->> www.taniaestevez.com

We are moving!


Studio tour

I want to share with you some pictures I made a few days of the place I work. The place I spend a lot of time doing the things that I like most: painting and drawing.

The best thing of this small studio is the light. Even I am based in London, there is always good natural light to draw here! And because of the large windows I feel like I'm working outdoors, but without getting cold :) 

The studio is not always as tidy as it is in the pictures bellow, but I try to keep it organised and clean because for me is very important to have space and neat things. When I have been working a lot with different materials and I leave them all on the table, that generates a lot of stress to me although I don't realised at the time. 

So, yes! It is important to stay organised and have a good atmosphere! 

I hope you like the pictures!






Please feel free to share my works and pictures with credit

Thanks!


Acrylic on canvas





Here you are my second painting video!

The work has been an experiment with acrylics, working on several layers until getting the desired result. When I started painting it I just knew the pose of the woman and the colour palette, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do.

It has been an spontaneous piece and I really enjoyed doing it.
As always, when I paint with acrylics or watercolours (anything with brushes I think) I feel much more relaxed.

This time I recorded the process with my video camera and I think the result is better than the last video with the go pro.

I hope you like it!







Where do I find inspiration?


I am always looking for new inspiration. I seek it from all kinds of sources and I think the inspiration can appear from anything, you just have to look at it.
That reminds me of a Henry David Thoreau's quote:

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. "

So I try to always keep my eyes open absorbing all I can to apply it later on my work.
I watch films, I read, I observe people and places that surround me. Colours, shapes and concepts... they are all there.

Nature is always my strongest source of inspiration.  From open spaces to little plants I feel strongly linked with nature in a way that allows me to express a lot of kinds of emotions. It appears in many of my artworks in a different ways but it always has a powerful meaning. Living in London has magnified that feeling that I already had. Even there are lots of buildings (of course London is not like living in the countryside) you have the sense of being close to the nature. I don't know if this happens to everyone or if I see and feel things in a different way now.

Anyway it inspires me as well :)

And of course I look for inspiration in other artists, painters, illustrators and designers. It is important to know what is going on, what other artists are doing and not only the artists that work with similar techniques as you or do the same kinds of work. It is important to know what other creatives are developing at the same time.

For example I love the work of David Scholes and Mark Demsteader. You can see both below.


A powerful source of inspiration for me is always photography. I usually check the work of photographers like Erwin Olaf or Flora Borsi.


And as an interior designer I also have into account what is going on with home stylists, designers and architects.

I think everything is important and how many more sources of information do you have more rich and varied will be your inspiration. And I believe it shows in your final works.

I hope you like this post and you find it useful! I would love to know what inspires you and where you search for inspiration! Let me know in the comments below!






How to stay organised and be productive


I get a new idea almost everyday. I try to explore and develop those ideas but if I have other things going on at the same time,  it is difficult and I usually leave them like that. Only ideas.
Is because of that it is so crucial to be organised and to have all your ideas and projects clear in your mind and also (very important!) in a planner.

As a freelance illustrator, artist and designer I always have several projects in my hands.
I need to have the process of each project clear and I need to know the progress, the points and the times.

For me the best way of being productive is notting everything down in my planner.
But of course, it's  not as simple as it seems. I need to keep it up to date.

Paper or digital? 
I use a paper planner because I like to make things by hand :) but also I use google calendar because I can have it always with me. If you prefer a digital planner there are a lot available! I have tried Wunderlist and I think is a good and free alternative.

So let's see what I consider is the best way to be productive and stay organised.


1. Have clear your goals and define them with to-do lists

You need to know what you want to achieve before doing it.

Sometimes we just start working on something that we don't have really clear or that we don't know how and when will end.
Other times we just don't feel the motivation and we give up the project.
If you set your goals and spend some time thinking about them you will get better results.

I recommend you to set weekly and monthly goals. 
In my case I try to set weekly little goals every Sunday night. I decide what I want to complete or achieve the next week and then I am able to create to-do lists to make the goals happen.
This to-do list have to be very specific. You need to focus on the detail and put step by step what you need to do.
I usually change or add those points of the to-do list during the week, because while I am working I realise that I need to do something else or that I need to change some part of the process.
But all of this is ok for me because it helps me to stay focused on what I need to do.

2. Focus on one task at a time

If you have different projects in your hands as I usually do, the best advice I can give you is to separate the time of each project well. I like to have 1 or 2 weekly goals at most, so what I do is define the to-do list for each goal and try to set the time I am going to spend for each one. The simplest form for me is doing one task during the mornings and another task during the afternoons. As simple as that.
I try to work on my paintings and illustrations during the morning because I like drawing and painting with natural light :) and I spend the afternoons with the computer, doing digital work, updating my website and the blog, etc...

Many times I am not able of doing this because if I have a timeline I need to work more hours on something and I can't divide my tasks that way. But as always, it depends about the week and the goals I need to achive.

3. Work in a friendly environment 

For me this is very important, and I think the place of work really matters.

Now that I am selling prints of my work I have a temporary warehouse in my studio. I literally am running out of space, and because of this I need to be more organised than ever.
Even I have millions of prints, cardboard rolls, folders, papers, brushes, etc..... in my studio I try to have all tidy and clean. Otherwise I couldn't move :D

So yes, to have your mind organised you need to have your environment organised as well.

4. Save time

Another important thing of being productive: don't waste time.

It's very difficult not to be distracted if you are working on the computer. Or even if you have the phone close. Notifications, emails, research, internet always is calling you... But once again you need to be focused if it's time of working on a task.

One thing that saves me a lot of time is to post on my social networks at once. I just post a picture on Instagram and with the website ITTT the post appears on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest too.
This is really useful because you can have your social networks to update all at once by just posting in one of them.


In my planner I have a monthly, weekly and daily part. I think this is really useful to create the steps of each goal. In the picture above yo can see my monthly calendar. For the moment I just have put an Scotland trip for April :p but I will put my goals for that month soon! And also the planner had some month of 2016 and as I am not going to use them in 2017 I have used this part to put some ideas and notes.

Back to the planner parts, for instance if you yearly goal is to prepare an exhibition, you can divide in months each part of it, like "to think about the concept", "look for galleries", etc and in weeks you can put more detail on that division as "make a list of London galleries", "prepare and send an email to London galleries" etc...

I hope all of this is helpful for you and please feel free to tell me what do you think and some of your tips to stay organised in the comments bellow!







My favourite books about illustration business


These books have helped me to understand the business of illustration and art a little bit better, and the importance of developing a solid portfolio.

They are very useful for me as a reference. Also they help me to focus and to make plans for the future in an organised and efficient way.

If you are looking for information about this topic I totally recommend them to you.

 - Show your work - Austin Kleon
 - Steal like and artist - Austin Kleon
 - How to create a portfolio and get hired - Fig Taylor
 - What they didn't teach you in design school - Phil Cleaver
 - Inside the business of illustration - Heller and Marshall
 - Marketing illustration  - Heller and Marshall
 - Think like an artist - Will Gompertz