New beginnings

Hello blog, hello readers, we meet again and it’s now 2019.

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A few weeks ago, I did a 2018 roundup on Instagram, full of lovely colourful pictures. And in many ways, it was a lovely, colourful year. But there are in fact many times where it was neither of those things.

In 2018 I suffered with depression. Why does it still feel weird to say it, like a big bad word? I know the road to safe conversations about mental health is still way, way off, but me fearfully putting this out in the open is both my own admission of guilt to that charge and my personal step towards changing that. I will not get into the details but will just say that I am now much, much better. It turns out that all the pain and sadness I felt were exclusively caused by my contraceptive implant. A few of you might remember a furious rant on Instagram about this. Ladies, CHOOSE YOUR CONTRACEPTION WISELY. Change your doctor if you need to and trust your body. But, even though the whole ordeal hijacked a good chunk of my year, it will not hijack this blog post.

So now the cat is out of the bag, let’s go back to 2019. With the former paragraph in mind, it might be more obvious why 2019 is set to be special for me. It will be the first year in ages where I don’t have an evil bit of plastic in my upper arm dictating my behaviour and distilling awful dark thoughts in my mind, yay ! So yes, I am quite excited about this year.

2019 is also the year where I finally graduate, almost seven years (don’t) after getting my European Baccalaureate. Now, those of you who know me or who have been following for a long time know that I’ve already worked for a year (at Quarto Brighton). I’ve already been through the terrible pain of looking for internships not once, not twice, but thrice ! And the terrible, terrible pain of looking for a permanent job once. And somehow they all turned out pretty good ! So, I don’t want to stress too much about my job prospects. My new 2019 mindset and I remain very much positive. 

The big question for me is not whether I will find a job. It is more along the lines of WHAT DO I ACTUALLY WANT TO DO ? Because, here’s one for you friends, I do not know. There are so many things I like, even love, and I can’t choose because they’re all so deeply part of who I am that it feels like I would lose out either way. I chose to study Type Design at MA level rather than illustration or food design (which were both real possibilities) because that’s what drove me above everything else at the time, but the other things are very much still there. 2019 is also the year where I am paying dust to impostor syndrome (ain’t nobody got time for that) so I have lots of illustration coming up. I want to pursue it, perhaps more than ever before. But I also adore type design more than ever, I have made huge progress this year. And I still love food, cooking it, styling it, taking photos of it, eating it (not necessarily my order of preference). 

So, after many sleepless nights, there is no way I can possibly choose. So I am not choosing. I embrace it, all of it, and feel immensely lucky for having so many things that spark joy in my life. Yes, that is a half-ironic Marie Kondo reference. Jokes aside, I really do feel lucky. 

I tried to encapsulate this messy ball of feelings into my greeting cards for this year. I made a little still life, a little still of my life, in fact. With my kitchen, my walls, my fruit bowl, my old antique shop coffee pot, my framed letters, a vase I stupidly didn’t buy at a boot sale last summer (still counts), letters, textures and shapes, type and illustration. The card isn’t folded, it’s an A5 format and doubles up as a little print which lucky recipients may frame or stick on a wall. I didn’t want it to look like a greeting card straight away so I went with a « mise en abîme » : there is a tiny greeting card stuck on the kitchen wall on the picture. Why do I still send greeting cards even though it costs a fortune and no one writes back ? Don’t ask me, I don’t know. Well, I do know. Because it’s a very important tradition to me, because I love making things and planning projects and feeling under pressure juggling print shop appointments, school, life, relationships. It’s funny how something that used to be so normal is now so odd, almost eccentric. I mean, in the design world it’s not really. A lot of us use greeting cards as an occasion to showcase work, but when I went to post them the man at the counter of the post office was genuinely surprised at the sight of my huge stack of pink envelopes. I do it for the ritual, the addresses, the calligraphy, the stationery. But I also do it because it makes me so damn happy to write to friends, loved ones, colleagues, everyone I’m grateful for, and to get something back that says : Wow, thank you for thinking of me and taking the time to do this. Even if it’s on Whatsapp rather than in my postbox.

Dear reader, I hope your 2019 sparks joy like no other year. 

P.S: I have a few cards left from my print run. Let me know if you would like one by emailing me !