Art process, articles and videos

Here it’s not all about the final work, but about the steps I take to get there. Peek over my shoulder as I paint, and let’s talk about all aspects of art: inspiration, techniques, materials, and challenges.


Sketching with fountain pens

Sketchbook Adventures: Sketching with fountain pens

As a hoarder of art and stationery, I frequently dip into creative obsessions. Lately it’s been going on with fountain pens, which are my new go-to note taking and doodling tool. In this post I share why I switched from ballpoint pens to fountain pens, which pen models I’ve bought so far (there’s quite a few), and my impressions after writing and sketching with them for a couple of months. Read more...

What's the best sketchbook out there?

What’s the best sketchbook out there?

This post is a tribute to one of my favorite sketchbooks: Canson Art Book Universal. I’ve gone through 3 of these sketchbooks since I first discovered them in 2012, and none of the other ones I’ve used so far have lived up to its versatility. Read more...

The challenge of restarting a creative practice

The challenge of (re)starting a creative practice

It’s no secret that sometimes I don’t do art for months. There are objective reasons, and emotional reasons, and totally silly reasons, but whatever they are—the result is the same: no new art, guilt and shame because I’m not making art, and overall grumpy feeling and lack of enthusiasm because I need my art. In the interest of documenting my methods for the future when it’s bound to happen again, but also to help others who have the same problem, I’ll talk about what I’ve tried and what helps me start again after a long period of not creating. Read more...

A dialogue about art, narcissism and Vincent van Gogh

A dialogue about art, narcissism & Vincent van Gogh

After watching the movie “Loving Vincent”, my partner asked me: are artists narcissists because they want others to appreciate their art? I thought others may wonder about that as well, so I'm sharing our dialogue and the explanation I gave him on this matter. Read more...

From art block to a new art series

From art block to a new art series: Notes from navigating my creative process

Writing about art for me is writing about my process—not only the physical process of painting or drawing, but the process that happens in my mind, because that’s where most of the struggle is. In that spirit, this article isn’t a how-to, and it isn’t focused on technique—I’m documenting my thoughts here like I would in a journal. Learn how I managed to get over my crippling self-doubt and started painting with joy again. Read more...

The making of Santa Muerte photomanipulation

The making of “Santa Muerte” photomanipulation

I loved digitally editing photographs since I was a teenager. It grew into elaborate collages that required a lot of painting to get everything look like a part of the same image. Today, I'll show you how my last piece “Santa Muerte” has evolved from the original photograph, to a final composition that included collage, painting as well as vector drawing. Read more...

Mixed Media Art Journals

Sketchbook Adventures: Mixed Media Art Journals

Every once in awhile, I like to share the results of my personal creative practice here on the blog. If you already follow me on Instagram, these might look familiar since that's usually the first place where I post my work in progress and finished pieces. The sketchbook pages I'm sharing today are about exploring mixed media. Read more...

Why I start every day with personal creative practice

Why I start every day with personal creative practice

One of the reasons why I chose to be a freelancer instead of being an employee was to have more time for my personal art and other self-initiated projects. For at least half an hour (ideally a full hour) almost every morning I draw, paint or craft something that isn’t related to my clients or my business. I believe that prioritizing my creative practice benefits not only me, but my clients as well. Read more...

Everything is an art project

Everything is an art project

If you’re reading this, I assume one thing about you: you probably feel like you’re not really made for this world. We’re kind of stuck here, and the only remaining thing to do is to make the best of what we have. What if we looked at life in a different way? Read more...

Sketchbook flip video: Sketchbook West art show

Sketchbook flip video: Sketchbook West art show

As you may know, one of my favorite activities is drawing inside sketchbooks, and today I'm sharing another sketchbook flip video with you. "Sketchbook West" is an art exhibition coming this February to Las Laguna Gallery, Laguna Beach (CA). If you're not able to be there and see my sketchbook in person, check out my video. Read more...

Sketchbook adventures: Summer lettering fun

Sketchbook Adventures: Summer Lettering Fun

I thought it would be fun to share some of my sketchbook explorations here more often, just like I did with my sketchbook flip video. Today I want to share a peek into my lettering practice. This post is very photo heavy and contains lettering from a couple different sketchbooks. Read more...

Fairy Day art show - Nela and Karin

International Fairy Day art show

This Saturday, June the 20th, was the opening reception to a group art show called "Visions from the Fairy Realm" featuring art by me and a fellow fantasy illustrator Karin Bogdanic. Here are some photos from the show opening. Read more...

Artist in a world of commerce

How to be an artist in a world of commerce

I imagine that a lot of people reading this are artists that either have a job in a creative field, or have a business that relies mostly on creative services. On the surface, it sounds like the best possible way to live as an artist, right? Here you are, doing the stuff other people would kill for. But there are days when you realize it's not as shiny as it seems on the outside. Read more...

Sing Me Of Better Times painting process

Painting process: Sing Me Of Better Times watercolor painting

I realized I haven't shared any of my creative processes in a while, so I decided to share some work-in-progress photos of my latest watercolor painting, Sing Me Of Better Times. This is not intended as a how-to by any means and I'm not describing every step in detail, but I hope it will still provide some value to you. Read more...

Sketching toolkit

What’s in my sketching toolkit?

Let's welcome the new outdoor sketching season with a little art supplies geekout! I'm always voyeuristically scavenging blogs and Pinterest to see what sketching tools other artists are using. I've only mentioned my sketching kit once before on this blog, so I decided to create a post about this topic alone. Read more...