Perspective Shift Life Drawing: 270916

Drawing the same pose multiple times, shifting perspective every time (seated on floor, seated and then standing.

All done with marker and fineliner (no guide lines in pencil), a technique I’ve been experimenting with all year.

Then the model changed her perspective to us, as we remained stationary. (Just had flashbacks to Standard Grade English trying to remember which stationery/stationary was which…)

Six Months in Sweden!

I was at a party recently where a friend of mine mentioned how much she loved my blog. This really surprised me- I’d all but forgotten my blog once the realities of life and work set in.

A freezing morning outside Centralen. My office is the black building to the right of the tree.

Combined with finishing my first six months living in Sweden I thought this was a great time to revisit my goals I laid out in May. Seems like so long ago, already!

It feels like my life has changed and clarified in a load of ways since then.

Short Term – 1 Month

  • Walk the city. Get a feel for neighbourhoods, who shops where, when people stay out until etc. – Done! Running a load of the city helped too.
  • Find a coffee shop with
    • Great coffee
    • Good wifi
    • Late opening hours (lots of places here shut at 4pm!) – Done! Shout out to my local, Wayne’s Coffee Vastra Hamnen. I’ve also tried to cultivate an at-home coffee ritual that feels just as satisfying to slim down my coffee budget, helped by a velvet sofa and some great Braithwaites coffee imported from Dundee.
  • Make a good impression at work and learn as much as I can about the company. Done! I think. I didn’t fail my probation anyway, and people seem to like me well enough. Baking a lot really helps.
  • Find and successfully rent an apartment. Ideally
    • Unfurnished
    • Small (studio or 1-bed max)
    • Balcony-having (a girl can dream…) Done! Come February 15th 2017, I’ll be moving into a first-hand, small, balcony-having, Swedish modernist apartment round the corner from my favourite coffee shop and opposite Malmo’s best skate park. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.
  • Get my personnummer, bank account etc. sorted. Done! 
  • Begin Swedish lessons. Done! Min svenska ar inte bra.
  • Find out how to type the ö in Malmö reliably on my keyboard. Solution- use a Mac. I might be a convert…

Medium term – 3 to 6 Months

  • Settle in at work. Work to a standard where I feel like I’m contributing to the team and project(s). Working on this every day :)
    • Look into doing additional training, possibly a General Assembly online course or HBS CoreX. Need to do, probably not General Assembly though.
  • Set up a liveable, stick-to-able budget. Yep! Been tracking every purchase with YNAB since I moved. It’s been eye opening, to say the least. I’m managing to save about 40% of my after-tax salary per month now, which feels really good. Some sense of security for the first time since I left home. 
  • Work on publishing my dissertation as a paper. Life has gotten in the way a bit… I’ll have to come back to this in 2017.
  • Outfit my flat with the basics, and persuade friends to come visit! I have a vacuum cleaner now! I’m basically an adult. And my parents, Liene and Callum have all come to visit which is super cool!
  • Get my Swedish to the standard where I can at least order a coffee and possibly be understood. Nope, but I’m trying. At least I know my numbers to 39 now.
  • Get to know the company, expat and game dev communities in Malmo. Done. Outside of our company, they don’t really exist. Gotta work on that.
  • Explore the different Malmo and Copenhagen Meetup groups.Tried a few, need to try more! Copenhagen is strangely far away for being so close.
  • Pick back up my disparate, MPDG-like hobbies
    • Ukulele Yep! I’ve even embarrassed myself greatly in front of my coworkers by playing in front of them.
    • Rock climbing Nope, the climbing wall is too out of the way. I’m aiming to have an excursion there with work soon, though!
    • Jogging (holla c25k!) Yep, completed C25K for the second time in October, now working on improving my 5k times about 3 times a week. 
    • Life drawing (possibly help run a class?) Yep, we have a class at work on Tuesdays with the most AMAZING model I’ve ever worked with. A tutor and an inspiration- really privileged to have this class so close at hand.
    • Choral singing

Long term – 1 year+

  • Advance my UX skills to mid-level.
  • Visit new parts of Sweden and northern Europe.
  • Speak at a conference, either about my King work or my dissertation.
  • Settle into living in Sweden.

These are all in progress.

Strangely enough, a big part of my mental shift in the last six months has been moving away from obsessive, list-based thinking towards a more relaxed way of planning that allows for the shifts in direction that life gives us. I’m a lot more relaxed and easy-going than I was six months ago, helped in no small part by having a Forever Home (not knowing I’ll have to move and change every six months to a year, as I’ve done since I was 18) and by practicing mindfulness. Mind is a great app for this, which combined with (surprise surprise) yoga and running has done really great things for my mental and physical health.

I feel so lucky to have landed in a company with such welcoming coworkers, and into a culture that fits what I believe about the world. Next month I’m going to look at these goals and recalibrate some goals for 2017- if possibly in a less rigid format :)

Moon Girl

A project idea (card game & illustration related) has been bouncing around in my head for a year or so. After an eventful evening with my coworkers I finally have the inspiration to start working on in earnest.


“It started with the moon that turned an inexpensive room into St. Peters'”
Standard cliche fantasy fare. I will never let the galaxy trend die…


Inprog of the girl. I used pen, watercolour and wax on crappy non-watercolour paper.


Cute sleepy dude


More studies needed of sleeping poses.


New Sketchbook


My conté finally arrived!

Been soul searching recently and realised life drawing is an important factor in keeping me sane (surprise surprise). Endeavouring to do some sort of life drawing (either from model or refs) for the next few months.

Also think improving my rendering skills will really help with my work at the moment.

These are from photo reference.