Originally I created this design for my boyfriend, D, as a Christmas present. He’s really into growing things and green peas are one of his favorite. And he also likes owls – they are sort of his ‘guiding animals’. (By which I mean that an owl showed up right before he was born, to his parents, and later on he often met owls when something special was happening.)
So I made a t-shirt for him with this design: cute little owls growing a big pea plant. He loved it, and so many other people who saw the design loved it as well.
Why am I writing about this now, you might ask.
Well, it’s because our life is taking us towards vegetables and growing things again.
As some of you might know, we’ve just moved back to Hungary from Greece. New life, new circumstances, new challenges, new direction.
D will be studying at a Hungarian university in English. The course is called ‘Sustainable Agriculture’. It was created for foreign students and the program looks really interesting.
And this is the first step into a new direction. We’ve finally decided that we want to start a version of a market garden next spring. The exact plans are very blurry, and there’s just so much to figure out.
But it looks like that our path is more and more clear. The direction is certainly there, which is a great thing. It makes a huge difference to have precise goals.
In the meantime, I’m working on my artistic and crafty line. I already have a few vegetable-related drawing ideas!
We have an expression in Hungarian: Something was chewed on by the iron tooth of time. (Megrágta az idő vasfoga.)
I’ve always liked this expression. It is actually a very strong picture. When I was a little girl I imagined this ‘iron tooth of time’ as a curious, but little bit worrying thing. In my head it was also very rusty, since, of course, time is old, ergo it must be rusty, and if that’s the case, its tooth has to be rusty too.
Okay, that’s enough about rusty iron teeth.
What I actually wanted to talk about is also time related, but in a different way: time management.
Of course I know that I’m not the first person to notice this, but I’m very happy that it is happening to me.
I’ve recently noticed that now, having moved back to Hungary, being in the process of looking for a job (or jobs), living in a busy family again, and just having a lot more going on in my life – I suddenly get a lot more done each day!
In the past 6 months I had a lot of time on my hand. Total luxury, I know. And I tried to make the most out of it, and I think I did many times. But I often felt that I’m just not getting from A to B as quickly as I would like to. There was always something…
There is always something nowadays as well. But still – I’m a lot more productive, effective, efficient.
Same thing that I’ve read about so many times: my time started to become a lot more precious. And I still want to get things done on top of everything else: online stuff, Etsy store, Facebook page, drawing practice, designing new bracelet and felt animal patterns, editing photos, etc, the list goes on.
How do I do that? Well, the only way of doing it is pushing it harder. Waking up early. Going to sleep when I’m really zonked and can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Writing a to-do list every day. Prioritizing my tasks based on importance and impact.
Also, what really helps me a lot is a very simple thing: I divided a piece of paper into 7 sections for the 7 days. For each day I wrote the basic daily tasks which I want to get done despite of everything else. And I put it up on the wall, right above my desk. I can see it all the time. I know exactly what to do when, and this very simple thing makes a huge difference. The headless chicken kind of chaos is over, and I’m actually making progress.
I also noticed that I must have clear ideas about the next step at all times. I just must. Let’s say, I’m editing some photos. I have 3 left. By the time they are all finished, I want to know my next move. For example: now I have to call my bank. Then: cook a healthy meal and listen to Jocko podcast in the meantime. (What a great way to take my mind off everything else – and his voice is sooo relaxing!) By the time I’ve cleaned up the kitchen I know the next step. And the next one.
And this new system seems to be working just great. I’m so happy with it! :)
So… what does this picture above has to do with anything?
Well, last summer, back in Greece, one day my partner and I decided to go snorkelling to a very awesome, old spot – basically on top of an ancient submerged city! And this giant rusty object was just there, buried in the sand. I know that it probably belongs to some kind of a long-gone ship, but in my mind it is actually a smaller piece of a gigantic clockwork… Slowly being chewed on by the rusty tooth of time.
What a curious fellow! Big eyes, 4 tentacles… you’re not really sure what to make out of it, right?
That’s okay. He is a very mysterious one indeed.
For the original sketch I used simple copy paper and a graphite pencil. Then I scanned it in and used my Wacom tablet to bring him to life. So here he is.
Meet the Floating Creature.
Nowadays I’m looking for new opportunities. Options. Jobs that both put food on the table and give meaning to my time, energy and effort. It’s not easy to come out of my so-used-to isolation mode and start to connect to people again. But little by little I’m making progress. I’m learning how to reach out again.
This photo was taken in a tiny village in Montenegro. The village was on a windy hilltop, many dogs on the streets, and ducks wiggling around in a group. The houses were quite old, the place itself very quiet. We walked around a little bit and looked at the fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. Everything was silent. Sleepy? Old? Maybe a little bit both. Maybe we just stumbled upon the village in the wrong time? Maybe.
In any case, the place definitely had a certain vibe. So when I saw this old well in front of an old house, probably not being used all that much anymore, I felt like it really concentrated the general atmosphere of the village.
The original picture was quite dull: grey house wall, grey well, grey concrete. I’ve decided to give it a new twist, even if only digitally. I chose these powerful colors and created a strong contrast to make it more interesting. Here it is:
It’s also absolutely possible that the village is a real buzzing center up in the Montenegrin mountains, and we just didn’t see it in the right time. Unfortunately I’ll probably never know. But I can still be happy with my memories of that warm, quiet afternoon – and with this reborn village vibe well.