Contemporary Art With Linda Rusconi

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via
Hello, everyone! Today, for the Inspiration column, we have Linda Rusconi – a freelance artist with an eye for detail and exquisite sketches. She’s also an avid painter and makes portraits too. What I liked most about her work, though- it has emotion. It speaks without saying anything, and even her line drawings are striking and expressive. I found her work both technically rich in knowledge as well as beautifully moving. Her art is contemporary and timeless.

Let’s hear what she has to say!

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My name is Linda Rusconi and I call myself a ‘beeldmaker’. That’s Dutch and literally translates to ‘imagemaker’. I have a website for commissioned portraits and I do illustration and graphic design. But mostly I just can’t stop drawing. I have the hypermobilitysyndrome also called Ehler Danlos type III – a genetic defect to my connective tissue that causes chronic pain and fatigue. Working from home allows me to be independent and do the things I love.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

What motivates and inspires you the most?

The world around me. People, animals and houses. They are a never ending source of inspiration. The longer you look at them, the more details are revealed to you.

I also like to go to museums to wander and clear my head. Amsterdam is full of wonderful museums. My favorites are Het Stedelijk Museum (contemporary art) and Foam (Photography museum). It’s lovely to see other people’s work and to see how they translate the world around them into art.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

I absolutely love your beautiful and thoughtful sketches! What is your drawing/painting process like?

Thanks so much. I love the possibilities the internet gives to share our art from our drawing table to the world.

My process in drawing commissioned work starts with getting clearly what the customer wants. Not everybody can imagine how their portrait or illustration should look like. I ask how they found me and what work stands out for them. And who will receive the drawing.

It’s very different if I draw a child for a mother or a dog for a pub. (Yeah, I painted a dog for a pub, they are called the Wolfhound). When we have an agreement on the materials and price, I start working. I send them a photo of the work when I’m done. At this moment, they can suggest small adjustments if needed. And when they are satisfied and I have received the payment, I send out the work. I like sending it carefully wrapped and always with a personal note.

My personal work usually starts with an idea. I see an interesting face or beautiful building and it inspires me to make a drawing. I take a couple of photos of the subject. And then I just start drawing. I never make sketches first. The little ‘mistakes’ that happen make the work more interesting. I also like to sketch outside. Sit on a bench and draw the dogs that pass by. Or sit in a cafe and sketch the bikes on the street. Every Friday I paint and draw form life. It’s in a gallery in my neighborhood- the Baarsjes. The model keeps the same pose for 3 hours. So I try to finish a painting in that time. It’s very good for improving my techniques.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

 It depends if I’m painting or drawing. And of course with size the works is. But I’m not the type to work multiple days on a drawing. So usually it’s between an hour to a couple of hours. Otherwise it gets too detailed and refined.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

 Since I’ve been little, I remember myself drawing and painting. But the first work that stands out is a painting of a man in a yellow house. I was 10 years old and I just figured out how to draw a collar and tie. My mom still has this painting in her living room, haha.

man in yellow house-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Hopefully doing the same as I am doing right now. And maybe I finally started that graphic novel I want to create.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

(writing her name for an art show)

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

07:00 I usually wake up early. After breakfast and watching something on Netflix, I move to my computer. Still in pyjamas.

08.00 Check emails and priorities what I have to work on this day. I set an alarm for an hour so I won’t sit still for too long.

09:00 Stretch, maybe do a bit of the dishes or fold some laundry. Make coffee.

09:30 Work for another hour and a half.

11:00 Shower, do my Qi Gong exercise and meditation.

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Work some more

14:00 small break to stretch again

14;30 Final work hours if needed. I have very busy weeks and very easy weeks.

16:00 time to relax. Sit on my balcony if the weather is nice or go for a small stroll

18:00 cook and Netflix binge

20:00 read or draw if I feel like it

22:00 I always go to bed early. I need my sleep.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

How long has painting and art in general been your hobby? How did you think you could convert it to something more?

So drawing was always something I did. Just like eating or sleeping. I never saw it as a hobby, just as something I had to do. When I was 20 I had a boyfriend who did street art. That was the first time I met other people who had the same urge to draw and paint as I did. In my last year of art school in 2008, I got my first commissioned illustration-work. It was a series of drawings for a book about managers. It felt so good to be paid for drawing.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 6.59.19 pm

(Sketching at cafes)

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and flower?

I love city trips in Europe and just lingering in a town and watching people doing their daily stuff.

My favorite colour right now is turquoise.

Avocado in whatever shape or form is so yummy.

I like wildflowers, all messy and colorful!

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

What’s the importance of art in your daily lifestyle?

It gives me the freedom to keep earning money and be independent. It also helps me clear my mind and keeps me curious and wanting to grow.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

It depends on how my health is. But I like to hang with friends, bike and walk or go for a coffee.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

One of my goals is to make a graphic novel. So I like to check out other novelists to see how they approach their subject. I would love to tell my story of living with a chronic illness and what that means in daily life.

Dip pen- IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

When I draw, I use Daler Rowney smooth heavyweight A4 paper. This paper doesn’t discolor and it’s great quality. I use a Bic 0.5 mechanical pencil. When I work in ink, I use my dip pen. My favorite ink-brands are Winsor & Newton and J. Herbin.

I paint with a local Acrylic brand. I prefer painting on thick cartboard. It sucks up the paint and that causes a nice pastel effect.

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

How did you discover your own style of drawing? Any advice for artists struggling with getting in the swing of things?

 I’m still discovering it. It’s all about just doing it. Keep looking at other artists. Try to define for yourself what aspect of their work you like and what you don’t. Don’t let other people decide for you what to do. It’s your journey. I know it’s probably more profitable if I would choose one medium to work in, but I’m still learning much about them to choose just one.

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

sketching at a cafe-IN LINDA RUSCONI'S STUDIO- An artist interview via

(different media!)

Thank you for sharing, Linda! Find Linda here:

Website and (sorry only in dutch. Something I have to work on haha)


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Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively

Hello everyone! This is a guest post by Taylor! She’s sharing some tips on how to manage your time effectively- with a personal touch. Take it away, Tay! -Aaria

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via
Life can be quite the juggling game with the responsibilities of school and work and chores. Once time is added to the mix, the levels of stress can (and probably will) greatly increase.

I believe our society is constantly caught beneath a hand of pressure, forcing us to worry about completing our tasks within a certain amount of time. There are always deadlines, and they’re always stressful.

I used to be one trapped beneath that palm of stress.

I was always worrying about finishing school assignments by a certain day, yet I never worked off of a schedule.

I would simply bumble around seeing what I could complete quickly in hopes of gaining free time for myself, but I was often left frazzled with little to no spare time.

Now, this was a major problem.

When people don’t get free time to participate in their loved hobbies or goals, this can develop into stress and/or anxiety.

I have watched people suffer through this—including myself. It’s toxic to our mind and soul, and it needs to be stopped, which is why I decided to make a change.

One day, after reading tips about time management, I decided to make a schedule for myself.

Despite being an organized person, I wasn’t sure how well I would adapt to an agenda, but after a few altering the times to suite my needs, I finalized a schedule for myself, as pictured below.

I do change up the routine a bit depending on the time of year, but this is a steady pattern of my daily activities.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via

Because I’m enrolled in a private school, I have a little more flexibility, which is why I dedicate an entire weekday to writing (and usually the weekend).

This allows me time to unwind from school and work on my novels or blog posts.

In between activities, I tend to eat or read—usually both.

Again, this gives me several moments of freedom to clear my thoughts before delving back into another session of work.

This may seem unrealistic for those of you who attend a workplace or school, but allow me to assure you it’s very possible.

The trick to creating a schedule that will work for you is to make something reasonable that gives you an equal amount of time towards your work and your hobbies.

It’s important to make the schedule custom to you.

Include your mandatory duties, such as homework, and follow it up with a chunk of time towards a hobby.

To those who must travel to a specific place to complete their work, bring along something you love, like a sketchpad for drawing or a book to read.

Consider adding an alarm or a reminder on your phone to notify you when it is time to pull out your pen or your paperback—whatever it is that makes your heart happy.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via

That’s a wonderful thing about technology—the amount of productivity it can bring. (Yes, it can also be very distracting, which is why I recommend steering away from social media during work hours.)

There are hundreds upon hundreds of applications that can motivate you to pursue the aspirations of both your work and your hobbies.

There are a variety of apps that allow you to set a specific goal and motivate you to work harder, like FocusList, Task Player, Pomodrone, and Forest—used by author Elizabeth May.

Personally, I use paper and a pen, placing my schedule directly in my line of sight. And no, I’m not necessarily old-school, I just don’t have enough storage on my phone (sigh). Whatever you decide to use, be sure to keep notes around to motivate you.

In order to maintain your inspiration, make your work space comfortable. Below, you can see a picture of my office space in my bedroom.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via

I’m surrounded by things that I love: books, pencils, pens, candles, and my computer. Not only are these things beautiful, but they also keep me motivated.

I have a small stack of books just beside my computer that focus on writing and creativity, and as an aspiring novelist, they’re extremely helpful.

I also keep a planner and a journal by my side to jot down notes and plans.

On top of it all, I always have my headphones in playing a tune to keep me going. Oh, and the Peter Pan picture reminds me to stay youthful, and to always believe in magic.
Be sure to surround yourself in objects that will keep you happy and inspired.

Place around little knickknacks and books and pictures that remind you of what you love and what you are working for.

This will help relax your mind and your heart, letting you focus on your task.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my time management tips.

Comment any of your thoughts or techniques down below. Tell us how you stay inspired and motivated to continue the pursuit of your dreams.

And most importantly, love yourself and love what you do.

Tips to Managing Your Time Effectively- a guest essay by Taylor. Via

Thanks for sharing, Taylor! Find more of her work on her blog and be sure to follow her on instagram too 🙂

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Baby, You’re So Classic

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.comAnd we buzz through everyday, barely aware that we are writing the history of tomorrow. Minutes counted down,  days ticked off calendars and before you know it, today becomes yesterday.

That philosophical feeling came to me as I listened to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on my old playlist.  Here I was, singing along to a song from 1982 (yep, just googled that) when I caught myself thinking “Ah! This song really is a classic!”.  The song has proved to be immensely popular, timeless… but a ‘classic’ – is it really one? Or is that territory only reserved for Beethoven’s and Mozart’s of earlier eras?

What does it take to make an artwork a classic? What does it mean to be a classic? And… which songs or books do you think will be the classics of tomorrow?

We often refer to something classic to say that it is timeless – like in my case, with the Thriller track. I thought of Jackson’s song as a classic because it was still enjoyable even now. Several years after its release, it still retained its charm.  Another key factor is that a classic is usually relatable – although in an indirect way. The song is still relatable – its subject of ghosts and zombies is an age old story that we would have all heard before and yet, a story that never goes out of fashion. It contains a message that we can relate with in a different time period.

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via

The same goes for books. Shakespeare’s tragedies haven’t lost their charm because of their extensive portrayal of human emotion – a subject that is once again, timeless. We can feel jealousy like Othello, and crave power like Macbeth even though we don’t dress or talk like them.

Relatability is perhaps a criteria that people take with a pinch of salt. Many times we refer to books as classics, not because they were very popular or because they describe a relatable human experience – but simple because they are… old. Mark Twain seems to agree with this. He once said, ” Classic: a book which people praise and don’t read.”

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via

Not to disregard classics, of course. There may be many works which are exemplary forms of literature despite being un-relatable. Dickens’ Great Expectations is often described as a classic although in my personal opinion, I found the story quite hard to relate with. But then, is ‘classic’ truly the right word to describe them? Or maybe it’s just me.

Either way, it’s interesting to wonder what parts of our present life will become classics tomorrow! I wonder if Justin Bieber’s ‘What do you mean?’  will become a “classic” in pop music. In the future, perhaps safari scenes in films depicting this decade will play Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”. If only we could take a sneak peek and find out!

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via

Well, for the time being- we could just borrow MKTO’s upbeat definition. If “they don’t make you like they used to” and “You’re never going out of style”, then…. Most certainly I’d say, “Baby, you’re so classic”.

Essay by Dee & Photos by Aaria Baid

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To Print or Not to Print?

To Print or Not to Print? via an Essay columnA habitual note-taker, I find it hard to focus in my classes at university without a pen and paper. And yes, I’m one of those students who turns up with a printed copy of the lecture material every time. But the environmentalist in me keeps urging me to embrace technology, stop printing every single set of notes and just read it off my computer. In vain, however. Usually it’s a passing feeling, and before I know it I’m standing in queue to use the library printer once again.

To be fair, I’ve tried it one too many times. Each time it’s the same. I resolve to read a set of notes online instead of printing. Type out my notes during class instead of writing them. But I just can’t get used to it – I find it hard to organize my thoughts without a pen and blank paper in my hand. And even when it comes to reading materials, it frustrating when I can’t flip back and forth between pages smoothly, or annotate with the freedom that handwritten marking provides.

I often see my tech savvy friends come to class just carrying their tablet – one place for all notes, all readings, and even an entertainment source during study breaks. Seems extremely effective –  but I wonder: does a physical copy to read or handwritten notes have a charm that hasn’t yet been recreated by technology?

Just the way our grandparents always say that an email can’t replace a handwritten letter – indeed there seems to be some unnamed charm in the feel of paper instead of a type-face on our laptop screen. It’s funny how touch, enhances our sensory perception of something we read in a book despite the fact that the content written doesn’t change.

But it’s also possible that the charm of paper only exists for grew up with that tradition. To me, books and e-books feel different – but perhaps not to the millennials who were born into a more tech savvy world. Maybe  I associate the pleasure of reading with the experience of reading books as a kid, snuggling in a bed with a book in my hand. Maybe I just can’t type fast enough as I think and that’s why handwritten notes are the more effortless alternative.  Maybe.

The gap between my laptop screen and notebook seems to stem more from my mind  than actual differences between the two media. If that’s the case – I think it’s time to step out of my comfort zone, and start embracing the virtual world in small steps (like typing out this blogpost on my text editor for example hehe). That way the sudden change won’t tempt me to resort to pen and paper all the time, and let me adapt to the change gradually. Well, it’s definitely worth a try! -Dee

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