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



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


Society6 Product Review: Yaansoon Pillow Case Unboxing

Society6 Product Review: Yaansoon Pillow Case Unboxing

I recently ordered one of my own designs from my Society6 shop while it was on sale + worldwide free shipping.  Yesterday, my “Berber Teatime” Throw Pillow arrived in my mailbox! I wanted to check the quality of this print-on-demand website, and to see what my designs looked like in real life. And I must say I couldn’t be happier!

When my package arrived, I couldn’t believe how vibrant and crisp the colors of the print were on this 16×16″ pillow case. Made from 100% spun polyester poplin fabric, it truly is “a stylish statement that will liven up any room,” according to the product description.

Society6 Product Review: Yaansoon Pillow Case Unboxing

Packaging & Presentation

The packaging is simple and minimalist, but I could tell the person who put the order together had great attention to detail. Not messy at all! I’m saying this because I have made a few purchases in the past from another online service, and the packaging looked a bit sloppy, like it was thrown together in a hurry.

Society6 Product Review: Yaansoon Pillow Case Unboxing

Good Quality

I’m very pleased with the quality of the print, as well as the look and feel of the pillow. It looks very well-made, with strong stitching, and the material used is actually thick, but soft.

My husband could instantly tell that the pillow case was “individually cut and sewn by hand,” as described on the website. The pillow cover also features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed, nice-looking zipper.

Society6 Product Review: Berber Teatime Throw Pillow | Designed by Yaansoon, and sold via Society6
This is what my original design looks like on the website

Vibrant Colors

In the above picture you can see what the design looks like on the website.

Just bear in mind that the other pictures I took for this post are photo-edited, and that’s why the colors look a bit brighter than the website’s photo. However, in real life the actual product looks pretty close to the website’s image (and of course colors may vary from one monitor to the other). In real life, the colors are much, much better than I have ever imagined. I guess I have gotten used to a certain look and feel owing to the fact I live a few blocks away from a print-on-demand T-shirt and tote bag shop – whose colors are often unappetizing and washed out. But the Society6 colors are just fantastic, very rich and well pigmented.

Society6 Product Review: Yaansoon Pillow Case Unboxing

Excellent Customer Service

When I first made my order, the courier service tasked with shipping my pillow lost the package. So I filled out the form on Society6 to inform their customer service about the delay in package arrival. Not only did their customer service succeed to respond promptly, but they were also extremely polite, very empathetic, and ended up sending me another pillow case, which arrived yesterday.

Society6 Product Review: Yaansoon Pillow Case Unboxing

The Story Behind MY “Berber Teatime” Design

Many years ago, I met a Berber lady during one of my visits to the UK. With her son being a university admin, she came all the way from North Africa to see him, carrying her colorful personality and her love for storytelling along the way. She donned a pretty colorful outfit and cooked couscous and lots of delicious patisseries from family recipes handed down to her from her mother and grandmother. I spent a whole day with her, and because of her I developed such deep fondness of the vintage Moroccan, Tunisian and Berber traditions. This hand-illustrated Berber-inspired teapot and teacup are in her honor, and are hand-illustrated by Yaansoon.

I hope you found some useful insights in today’s product review. I look forward to seeing you all soon with another post!

Image Credits: All photos are by Yaansoon, except for image no. 4, which is taken from this page on Society6.


Yaansoon hand-illustrated branding and patterns


Love What You Do, Create, and Spread Your Wings | Printable Tropical Wall Art

Love What You Do: Printable Tropical Wall Art | By YAANSOON on ETSYThe most important lesson life has taught me, boils down to one thing: Nothing is more important than loving and enjoying what you do! Taking a job because it pays better will never sustain you if you hate it. Making a few pennies while doing what you really love will feel like you own the world!

The first job I had after graduation was as an environmental reporter. It paid me pennies, but I loved it. As journalism is generally an underpaid vocation, I crossed over to the other side of the equation, to PR, and started moving up the ladder. Truth is, I hated every moment of it. Clients were ruthless, bosses were self-absorbed, and peers were back-stabing-ly competitive. And the pay was great, so I stayed and moved on!

Love What You Do | Tropical Wall Art in Pantone’s colors of the year 2016, Rose quartz & Serenity Blue | By Yaansoon

I kept on swinging between PR and media, and while being a managing editor for a couple of magazines, I realized that the one thing I loved about the whole process was sitting with the designers and figuring out the magazine’s look and feel, relaunching our brand, and using design to enhance content engagement.

Somewhere along the way, I started creating handmade wire jewelry as a side gig. That took me to experimenting with hand-printed fabrics, and from there I started dabbling with illustration and a bit of design, while taking online courses along the way to improve my skills.

Spread Your Wings: Printable Tropical Wall Art | By YAANSOON on ETSYLast year around this time, I quit my job as director of PR at a comms and events firm. Every day there, one nagging thought pursued me ever so relentlessly: I really hated what I was doing. Every day I wished I could spend my time doing what I loved.

Spread Your Wings | Tropical Wall Art | By Yaansoon

Love What You Create: Printable Tropical Wall Art | By YAANSOON on ETSYSo, one day I woke up feeling like I couldn’t take it any more. The weight of my work was much heavier than usual, not because I couldn’t handle a big load, but because my heart has finally reached its limits going against its true dreams and desires.

Love What You Create | Tropical Wall Art | By Yaansoon

It’s true what they say… The heart wants what it wants!

You can spend years fighting it, but ultimately it will win, and when it does all you can do is surrender to your heart’s calling.

I created the three Tropical Wall Art Printables featured in this post to celebrate the new feelings and realities of my life… and to thank my Heart for all that it has done for me!

:::: Stay in Touch ::::





How to Save on Home Decor + Promo Code For My Society6 Pillows & Throw Blankets

How to Save on Home Decor + Promo Code For My Society6 Pillows & Throw Blankets | By YaansoonIf you’re in the habit of moving flats or countries as frequently as I do, then you must start re-thinking your nesting strategy. One thing I’ve learnt from living like a nomad was that home accessories can bring so much more into your living space than actual furniture!

The other day I could not believe how my very ugly hallway was transformed into a piece of art – by simply throwing in a couple of original paintings and prints on the wall, and a couple of throw pillows on a lonely chair! Such a huge difference for so little! Which brings me to the following tips…

Save by Purchasing Minimalist & Affordable Furniture

In recent years, I have been into buying very plain and very affordable furniture (chairs, sofas, beds, etc), while investing my dough into well-designed and eclectic home decor pieces and accessories – which also gave my home and studio their distinct artistic look.

I am saying this because I come from a family that appreciates bulky furniture and that has frequently lectured me on the merits of investing into furniture – not accessories. But I have found the opposite to be true to my lifestyle. For various reasons (including travel and a life rooted in wanderlust), I had to give away every piece of furniture I have invested in. But fortunately, I still have some of the small accessories and pieces that carry all the memories and the coziness with them. Those are the ones that matter and that remind me I’m home.

I always go for a minimalist piece of furniture with clean lines. Minimalist furniture does not over-impose itself in a room, and is extremely flexible to work with when redecorating, as opposed to furniture that is over embellished and that can easily clash with styles other than its own.

How to Save on Home Decor + Promo Code For My Society6 Pillows & Throw Blankets | By YaansoonInvest in Affordable, Yet Striking Home Accessories

I’ve said it before… pillows are my most favorite home-decor accessory in the world. They can turn a living room, a bedroom, and even a kitchen or dining room into a stylish space in seconds. They can also help you achieve the style you are after for much less.

The thing is, creatives usually keep on changing and evolving their personal style. You can’t just keep on buying furniture to match your style every time you’re infatuated with a new look or trend. The easiest way to keep your personal or work space interesting is by re-decorating and re-imagining the accessories in your space.

How to Save on Home Decor + Promo Code For My Society6 Pillows & Throw Blankets | By YaansoonFREE Worldwide Shipping + 20% Off Throw Blankets & Pillows

If you’re in the mood for changing the look of your bedroom or living room, here is a promo link to help you get a limited-time discount (of 20%) + free worldwide shipping on all pillows and throw blankets at my Society6 shop. The promo is valid until February 7, 2016:

You can also click the following links, which will directly take you to the promo pages for:

And before I go, I’d like to invite you to follow me on my new Twitter account:

▶ Twitter:

Have a lovely day, and happy redecorating!