Illustrations For Women About Women: A new blog series about amazing young and old girls from different cultures

Illustrations For Women About Women: A new blog series by Yaansoon IllustrationWomen are the glue that holds the world together; that’s my personal belief. I have had the honor of meeting some of the most inspiring women throughout my travels to over 20 Western and Eastern countries around the world. The ladies I’m going to be illustrating for my new “Illustrations For Women About Women” blog series have all inspired me to be more loving, more daring, and more understanding and compassionate about what women go through in different cultures and situations.

Before turning to illustration I have led two parallel careers in media/PR and singing-songwriting, which took me to small towns, villages and big cities in over 20 countries with endless cultural combinations.

I’m an extremely driven person and have worked hard to achieve excellence in every workplace, music tour and creative project I have been part of. For this reason, stereotypes that demoralize women or assume less from them, do not sit well with me.

Women are capable of amazing things. I have seen it with my own eyes, and have experienced it in ways that have opened both my eyes and heart to acceptance, empathy, and faith.

Some of the women in the coming episodes of this series are artists, journalists, female Syrian refugees, housewives, grandmothers, strong matriarchal figures in their own far-away and obscure communities, feminists, writers, and social rebels and activists.

Illustrations For Women About Women: A new blog series by Yaansoon Illustration

All of the women to be featured on this blog were capable of amazing things within their own circumstances. They might not have made headlines in the media, but they were still extra-ordinary heroins who were capable of stabilizing their communities, giving hope to others, creating beautiful things, and changing their challenging circumstances to the better.

Not every story is happy – as even the most amazing people can be filled with sadness, scars, and hurt. But by meeting these women, my perspective about many things has been challenged and eventually changed. I was able to learn something new about life and, to a great extent, my inner world. That’s why I am here to share these lessons and observations to try and give a glimpse of what women from different cultures are capable of doing in their search for beauty and hope, how they have adapted to their dire circumstances, and how they have challenged societal stereotypes.

I hope to feature the first episode of this series in the coming few days, so stay tuned!

Yaansoon hand-illustrated branding and patterns

 

Illustration Inspiration: Colourful lunch the Mediterranean Way

Illustration Inspiration: Colourful lunch the Mediterranean Way | Photography by Yaansoon Illustration

We had a nice family lunch a few days ago and the table setting looked absolutely fabulous. It encapsulated the multi-cultural world my husband and I live in, with all the colours, motifs, and textures that inspire my illustrations. Each piece was curated to remind our family of the places we’ve been to. The patterned red-white-and-gold tablecloth is a vintage piece from Damascus, the plates from Tunisia, the trivets from the UK, the water glasses from IKEA, and the blue ceramic bakeware from Jordan.

Although I was under the illusion my camera phone had taken some really nice pix at the time, I realized that most of the pictures were actually out of focus once I transferred them to my computer. To camouflage the terrible lighting and focus issues, I used filters that were applied rather heavy-handedly in a lame attempt to salvage some of these photos. So please accept my sincere apology for the poor-ish quality of these pix.

Illustration Inspiration: Colourful lunch the Mediterranean Way | Photography by Yaansoon Illustration

Today’s post is about a multi-cultural lifestyle and a home filled with love and a mix of world patterns.

When I was a kid, I was the one in charge of setting the table for my mom’s many lunch and dinner feasts. I didn’t know what seemed like a chore back then was teaching me something about art and design.

Illustration Inspiration: Colourful lunch the Mediterranean Way | Photography by Yaansoon IllustrationMy mom has a large collection of dinnerware and plate sets from different parts of the world. My task was to mix and match these sets against a suitable backdrop (the tablecloth), polish the silverware, and set up a separate tray for the turquoise and navy-blue glasses.

Illustration Inspiration: Colourful lunch the Mediterranean Way | Photography by Yaansoon Illustration

Although these days I prefer a rather more minimalist approach to home decor in other areas of the home, I still love a feast with busy and colourful patterns.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, looking forward to seeing you in my next one!

Yaansoon hand-illustrated branding and patterns

 

New Illustrations: Self-Portrait and Contact Page + Limited-Edition Lifestyle Blog Branding Services on Etsy

Yaansoon Self Portrait Illustration - About + PortfolioIn today’s post I would like to highlight the new illustrations I made for both my About+Portfolio page and my Contact page… as well as the launch of three limited-edition listings on my Etsy shop – dedicated for branding lifestyle, food, and beauty blogs.

I spent last night working on a revamped look for both my About+Portfolio and Contact pages. I have been putting off my self-portrait illustration for sometime now, but I’m glad I spent those extra hours last night to finish it up.

I wanted the self-portrait illustration to reflect who I am as an illustrator and not just the way I looked. Since I love world & tribal cultures + culinary & botanical motifs, I tried to reflect this in my choice of ethnic-looking clothing (which actually reflects my personal fashion style), and added a botanical frame to encapsulate the direction of my illustration style.

Contact Us Form Illustration by Yaansoon Illustration

Lifestyle Blog Re-Branding

Speaking of blog revamping, a week or so ago, I was approached by LexiLife blog on WordPress to create a new logo and blog header for this up-and-coming health and lifestyle blog. The lovely blogger behind LexiLife wanted a blog header that incorporated some of my hand-illustrated botanical motifs, and communicated her interest through my new Contact page. She also had a pretty good idea about the color scheme of her blog, and when I popped by her blog I could gather enough visual cues to help me with my new design.

To be honest, I have worked with so many clients in the PR, media and advertising fields and I have never seen this kind of clarity of vision and professionalism from any of my previous clients or colleagues. Her attitude as a client and fellow blogger played a huge role in putting me in the right mindset for the design, which I truly had a great time making.

LexiLife was also kind enough to write about her experience in this blog post, which received a lot of positive feedback from her readers. Here is an excerpt:

Before I start this weeks blog post, I just want to direct you to my amazing new header! It’s had a major re-vamp and it’s all down to Yaansoon over at Yaansoon Illustration. I am obsessed with it! It was done by freehand with water colour and ink, check a video here on how it was done or simply check out their blog for more designs that could suit your blog too! It’s so gorgeous and perfect for a lifestyle blog. I hope you like it as much as I do…let me know what you think guys pretty please!

Limited-Time Lifestyle Blog Branding Services on Etsy (Case Study - Lifestyle Blog, LexiLife logo & blog header) | By Yaansoon Illustration
Case-Study: LexiLife new blog branding by Yaansoon Illustration

As mentioned above, I wanted to create a unique logo that reflected the spirit of a feminine lifestyle blog that had a strong focus on health and fitness. To reflect that, I opted for a hand-illustrated look and feel – by creating botanical motifs using watercolours and ink. I then incorporated those elements into my final design.

You can see the three main branding products that I have created for LexiLife, in the case-study above.

I’d like to extend this service to other bloggers on WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and other blogging platforms – who might be interested in revamping their blogs. And so I created three listings on Etsy for this purpose, and they will be available for a limited time only as my main focus for the time-being is on other types of illustration:

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, and looking forward to seeing you in my next one!

Yaansoon hand-illustrated branding and patterns

Earth Day Illustration: How the Fashion Industry Needs to Return to Natural Handmade Textiles to Save the Environment

Earth Day Illustration: How the Fashion Industry Needs to Return to Natural Handmade Textiles to Save the Environment | By Yaansoon Illustration

I remember when I was a kid, my clothes were all made from natural materials; real wool, real cotton, real linen. Even my Barbie had muted, non-flashy clothes that were mostly made of cotton. And then something happened and artificial fabrics – like rayon and nylon – took over the earth! I created this illustration to honor and remember earth’s abundant heritage of handmade, hand-sewn, and hand-printed fabrics that were once humanity’s only kind of fashion!

I often wonder why is it ethical for the fashion industry to create clothes from non-natural materials, and to charge an arm and a leg for something that is 100% rayon or 100% polyester?

Do you check the label (tucked away inside your new garment) before buying any piece of clothing? I do. You’ll be surprised to learn that the leather shoe in the high-end shop you’ve been lusting after has a viscose interior, and a cheap sole!

Earth Day Illustration: How the Fashion Industry Needs to Return to Natural Handmade Textiles to Save the Environment | By Yaansoon Illustration

Another point I often ponder is why would anyone in their right mind create a sweater that is 30% wool, 40% rayon, and 30% polyester? Our bodies will still be able to know the difference and react accordingly! This kind of hybrid fabric will still be artificial to the touch, and unnatural!

The earth has an abundance of folk, tribal and traditional fabrics, made from natural materials, patterned with cool hand-sewn or block-printed motifs and patterns, and created to last a lifetime.

Earth Day Illustration: How the Fashion Industry Needs to Return to Natural Handmade Textiles to Save the Environment | By Yaansoon Illustration

That’s why I think the fashion and the textiles industries have lost their way and must now return to our roots – to honor the environment, and to start selling us durable, natural, and healthy fashion items that are worthy of their price tag!

Yaansoon hand-illustrated branding and patterns

 

Illustration Friday – Wood

Illustration Friday - Wood | By Yaansoon Illustration

I’m submitting this illustration to a website called “Illustration Friday.” It’s the first time I take part in this weekly challenge, and I couldn’t be happier that this week’s topic is “wood.” The way I interpreted this topic is very much linked to the fact I once had a handcrafts line of wooden and organic jewelry. With this inspiration in mind, I decided to create an illustration that spoke about stylish and minimalist kitchen and tableware items made by skilled woodworkers.

This illustration celebrates the natural beauty and texture of wood, and the many types of timber used to create unique kitchenware that can add so much to any stylish and organic kitchen.

Hand-finished with mineral oil and beeswax, beautiful kitchen utensils – like trays, cutting boards, pepper shakers and coffee mills – can be handcrafted using birch, black walnut, Italian olive wood, maple wood, white oak, cherry birch, and beech wood.

I love kitchenware that balances classic details with contemporary forms and organic textures. Those don’t just add a stylish statement to your kitchen, but can also add a lot of intimacy and flavour to your dishes.

I have two boards on Pinterest dedicated to organic kitchens and minimalist decor ideas; please feel free to pay them a visit here:

Thank you for stopping by and looking forward to seeing you in my next post!

Yaansoon hand-illustrated branding and patterns