Vacation inspiration

Checking in from not always sunny but at least a lot warmer Mallorca! My mom, sister and I arrived yesterday morning and have already done a ton of things for our girls-mini-vacation. We explored the town we’re staying in. Which was kind of creepy because the place is deserted! It’s pretty clear we are staying at party central, because almost everything was closed. It must be obnoxioulsy busy during the high season. It’s so weird to walk around this place and hardly see a soul on the streets.


The seagulls didn’t seem to mind the absence of tourists.

Then after that we went to do an important activity: shopping! There is a nice outlet with designer brands. The wares are still a bit pricey but I’ve bought a few amazing items for good prices. There is some more shopping to do tomorrow (like I said, a very important actiivity on our girl-mini-vacations), but for now I would like to talk about what we did today. We took the rented car and drove around the coast line. It was absolutely amazing! I can only imagine how much fun my boyfriend would have with all those curved roads 😛

Spanish villa

But back to the sight-seeing! The views were absolutely amazing and the water has such a beautiful colour. Now usually I would bring my DSLR with me on trips because I know I like making pictures and will always kick myself in the head when I don’t bring my camera with me but want to capture something. So I drag that thing around with me even though it’s heavy and I usually don’t have a lot of time for picture taking (because the most important activity is shopping). This time however I decided to rely on my phone camera. When my cell phone subscription ended I got to choose a new phone with a new subscription. I researched a lot of possibilities, but eventually decided the Sony Xperia S because of the camera function. What I really love about this phone is that I can acitvate my camera function with one push on a button. The camera itself is pretty good as well for a point-and-shoot (of course the quality will never be as good as that of a DSLR) and it’s just easy to take with me and take it out.


My mom and sister stealing olives from someone’s garden. Karma got them because they were very bitter and yuckie according to my sister 😛

It turns on very quickly and aside from not having an optical zoom it perfoms rather well. There were a few moments on this trip in which a DSLR would have been a lot better since the lighting, colours and zoom would be better. But at least two of those three can be fixed in photoshop and I never post unedited pictures anyway. So in the end it’s no extra hassle.


The sky is fifty shades of grey (sorry, couldn’t resist it) but the sea is blue.

What I’m left with is more space and weight allowance in my suitcase and decent holiday shots. Would the focus of the vacation be on sight seeing and hiking I would have probably preferred my DSLR for its quality and the ability to play a bit more. But for quick and easy picture taking to save some momentums the phone camera was more than adequate. All the pictures of todays blog posts are made with my camera on this trip and are completely unedited.


A few days have passed and it’s time for another update. After monday the rain stopped completely and it has been steadily getting hotter and hotter. We’ve had a good mix of busy days full of walking around and more quiet days of reading in the park and some more walking around.

Day 2 was reserved for exploring the inner city. We used a route from the Lonely Planet book as our guide to make our way through the alleyways and narrow streets. The most wonderful thing about Zagreb is that one moment you’d be in a quiet square or street and the next moment you could end up in a busy and crowded market with no indication of what to expect. Every corner turned would bring us a surprise. There were a few places that really stood out to me. First of all this staired alley which was narrow and the walls were filled with graffiti. For some reason it just really fit well together. And immediatelyI found my next design inspiration!


What also really impressed me was this church, St Mark, with a multi-coloured tiled roof. It was very beautifully done depicting two coats of arms. One was the coat of arms of Zagreb itself, the other of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. Which also brings me to my design idea of day 3: designing coats of arms. On the third day we took a long bus ride to Plitvice Lakes (a must-see for everyone at least once in their life!) and what I kept noticing is that every province had its own coat of arms printed on every city and village sign. One was a red lobster and the other a lion holding a sword with the lower body of what I thought was either a ninja star or a depiction of its hind legs walking really fast in a looney tunes kind of cartoon-y way 😀 My bf was totally a kill-joy and kept on insisting it was a paddle wheel. Well I say: Boooo, way too boring of an interpretation!


So back to the Plitvice Lakes. I can’t really describe it. It’s a huge national park with the bluest lakes you’ll ever see. The nature is gorgeous and walk from shadowed quiet paths to impressive and loud waterfalls. We are a bit ahead of the big holiday rush so we had quite a few bits of the path to ourselves and it was very enjoyable. There are multiple paths you can choose, all based on how much time it takes for you to go through them. We chose one of the longer ones and I did not regret that one bit. At the end of the day I think my lungs needed some re-adjusting from all the fresh air.

From all that walking on the previous days we were quite tired by Day 4 and my feet hurt already (still) from the moment I woke up. We decided to walk to the Maksimir park and visit the Zoo. The entrence fee was quite cheap and I saw on the website they had Red Pandas so I totally couldn’t resist 😀 Ofcourse there were some animals in less than desirable circumstances. It’s to be expected from almost any zoo really. The big predators for example were obviously bored and if they weren’t pacing around they were sleeping. It did give me an opportunity to see a lion from really up close though! And they have the most beautiful big and hairy feet! Also the fennec fox really stole my heart. I was never impressed before and had only seen them on pictures. Pictures do not give them the credit they deserve though! They are so incredibly fluffy in real life, totally adorable!

The design idea for this day was inspired by the zoo and a book I’ve been reading: Never let me go. In this book one of the character draws these fantasy animals on small pieces of paper with great detail. I think it’s definitely one to remember!

That’s it for now. No idea when I’ll have internet again. Tomorrow we leave for Rab and can’t wait to swim in the sea!


It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally set the first step of starting my own blog in which I can document my inspiration and process. I am immediately starting by setting a goal for myself: Try to think up of at least one design idea every day or start/finish an artwork during my vacation in Croatia and Bosnia. Luckily for me I at least have internet on the first part of the journey: Zagreb.


The trip did not have the best start. My bf and I were traveling together and the first set back was that we weren’t seated together in the train. A minor thing, but a bit of a hassle. Then at the airport we find out that apparently we didn’t declare in advance that we had luggage! Such nonsense, because I’m sure I added a piece of luggage for both of us. So now we had to pay extra. Then when getting closer to Zagreb there was a lot of turbulence and it was kind of scary. We landed fine ofcourse, but the weather was atrocious! It was raining so hard, with strong winds and even hail. We took a cab to the hotel (a bit more expensive than a bus, but much more comfortable) and then had to wait for the weather to calm down a bit so we could grab a bite.


From that point onward the vacation took a positive turn because the restaurant we chose was amazing! It was a half hour walk from the hotel and easy to find. We sat comfortably on the terras under an overhang and ate big platters of amazing food. Sitting there enjoying myself I first started thinking about the goal I had set for myself. I was pretty tired so no ideas would pop up. When we left though we were served to an amazing view of the Zagreb cathedral in the early evening, with just enough light. I quickly snapped a picture and already new I had to use it as a reference for an illustration. 



Beautiful isn’t it? I want to play a little with the lighting and colours. I’m thinking of a watercolour, but a digital illustration would also most definitely work. 

In Dutch we have a saying that translates to this: “A good start is half the work”