I’ve moved to a new food and travel illustration blog on Yaansoon.com

I’ve moved to a new food and travel illustration blog on Yaansoon.comNew beginnings are always very exciting. Ushering in a new era, I have decided to move my blog to a new self-hosted website over at Yaansoon.com. This is where I will be sharing my illustrated food and travel adventures, so please join me as I start a new chapter in my blogging journey!

I’m so happy to announce that my website and blog Yaansson.com is up and running and that it has one post in its feed already.

Check out my 1st post on Yaansoon.com titled:

Welcome to My Food and Travel Illustration Blog

You can also visit my new About page.

I’m planning to keep my current yaansoon.wordpress.com blog online as my “beta” blogging experiment, and to remind me of my artistic history. It’s good to come back every once in a while to check on my progress as an artist and also see things in hindsight.

I’ve moved to a new food and travel illustration blog on Yaansoon.com | Yaansoon new logoMy new blog features a new logo that better reflects my illustration style. I have evolved so much over the past few months and I feel my old logo is no longer representative of who I am as an illustrator.

To be honest, I feel like I have a small family on WordPress.com in so many countries across the world, and I do hope we’ll be able to stay in touch on my new platform. So let me extend a special invitation to you to stay in touch via my newsletter.

I’ve moved to a new food and travel illustration blog on Yaansoon.comTo subscribe you can add your email address to the following form over here: http://eepurl.com/b5RyjH.

Take care for now, and see you on the other side!

Yaansoon

 

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How I Display Art: Oil Paintings and Food Illustrations Gallery Wall

How I Display Art: Oil Paintings and Food Illustrations Gallery Wall | By Yaansoon IllustrationI usually arrange my gallery walls a bit haphazardly, but this time my husband and I went for more of a symmetrical arrangement to display my new oil paintings, along with these other food illustrations that I created in 2014 way before I started calling myself an illustrator!

So, this is a “themed” gallery wall, and the theme as you can see is Middle Eastern food, with a hint of gardening.

How I Display Art: Oil Paintings and Food Illustrations Gallery Wall | By Yaansoon IllustrationI might post each artwork individually in the future, but I just wanted to share the idea of creating a gallery wall that carried one theme as well as a cohesive colour scheme.

What I like about this wall is that it looks like a magazine. You have your full-spread paintings, as well as other smaller ones zooming in on the ingredients. Moreover, the arrangement falls into a grid, which my husband created using thin stripes of twine and tape just so we could see where everything was before we committed to nailing them to the wall.

There is also a bit of a space in the middle, which helps draw the eye to two separate areas… as if the wall is two magazine pages, and the spaces between the frames are filled with text. We do intend to fill the spaces with little trinkets and paintings, but we’re not sure yet as to what exactly.

How I Display Art: Oil Paintings and Food Illustrations Gallery Wall | By Yaansoon IllustrationWe had other art as candidates for the gallery, but these did not quite fit into our story. We wanted to create something that looked both aesthetically cohesive, as well as belonged to the same story line. We even had to change one frame and its background to make it fit into our scheme. At one point I wanted to include a couple of pattern-y watercolour paintings that had no food in them. They totally looked out of place and we had to remove them.

To be honest, I love creating gallery walls because they shed a new light on my work and create sort of an expanded context for them. It’s like being part of an editorial project or a wall “book” of sorts!

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

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The Amazing Skin Care and Beauty Secrets of Chamomile | Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations

The Amazing Hair Care and Beauty Secrets of Chamomile | Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations | By Yaansoon IllustrationChamomile is probably the mildest natural beauty remedy out there and for this reason it works great for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. It also is very much associated with women, romance, and beauty due to its lovely fragrance and beautiful daisy-like flowers.

I opened a jar of Chamomile a couple of days ago and couldn’t help but smile at the way these flowers seemed to dance lightheartedly in the glass jar as if they came from a worry-free world, and so I wanted to capture their movement in the illustrations you can now see in this post – which is part of my Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations blog series.

I also wanted to celebrate the amazing healing and beauty properties of this yellow flower and talk a little about how I use it in my natural beauty routine.

The Amazing Hair Care and Beauty Secrets of Chamomile | Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations | By Yaansoon IllustrationChamomile for Your Lovely Face

I personally like to use Chamomile as a mild facial exfoliant. Before turning to Chamomile, I used to use green tea leaves, but I always felt like they were a little bit harsh on my skin, plus they left this darkish tint that usually messed up my t-shirt’s collar.

So, I thought of using Chamomile and I couldn’t be happier. Chamomile is so gentle on the skin, and it leaves your face feeling so fresh and clean. All I do is put a pinch of Chamomile in the palm of my hand, add a few drops of water, and use the dried flowers to scrub away at my facial skin. You can also use it as a body scrub if you like!

According to StyleCraze.com, Chamomile has other skin care benefits, including these below:

  • Natural Cleanser
  • Accelerates The Healing Process
  • Soothes Skin Irritation
  • Helps Fight Against Acne
  • Helps Reduce Puffiness Under Eyes
  • Natural Face Scrub
  • Skin Moisturizer
  • Great for dark Circles

The Amazing Hair Care and Beauty Secrets of Chamomile | Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations | By Yaansoon IllustrationChamomile for Your Hair

Chamomile is also great for your hair, especially if you have light-brown or blond hair as it brings back the luster to your locks, and can add a few lighter shades to your hair.

Chamomile is also packed full with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties, and for this reason it works great as an anti-dandruff after-wash that can also sooth an itchy scalp.

The Amazing Hair Care and Beauty Secrets of Chamomile | Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations | By Yaansoon IllustrationThe Amazing Hair Care and Beauty Secrets of Chamomile | Natural Beauty Tips and Illustrations | By Yaansoon IllustrationChamomile: The Anti-Aging Herb

Chamomile contains essential oils and antioxidants, and it’s also hypoallergenic, which means it does not cause an allergic reaction. For this reason this lovely herb can also reduce skin irritants by neutralizing free radicals, which are said to cause aging of the skin. Using it as a toner might be a good idea if you feel your skin looks tired because of the sun and other environmental factors. Just make sure to put your bottle in the fridge to give it a longer shelf-life!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and I do hope to see you in my next one. Please don’t hesitate to share your natural beauty recipes and tips in the comments section below!

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What Victoria Beckham Can Teach Us about Reinventing Ourselves as Women | Illustrations For Women About Women (E. 3)

What Victoria Beckham Can Teach Us about Reinventing Ourselves as Women | Illustrations For Women About Women (E. 3) | By Yaansoon IllustrationVictoria Beckham does not get a lot of respect when interviewed by “veteran” media personalities or design gurus. This is evident in the YouTube videos I had the chance to watch the past few days, where she’s treated like a 15-year-old, at best. Even when she gets praise, there is always that underhanded message about how she might be just another flash in the pan. And there’s also that quick reminder about how she has “surprisingly” outlived the many short-lived brands that were started by pop celebrities like herself.

Victoria Beckham is probably the fashion industry’s top underdog! I don’t know why YouTube decided to put her in my path via their Recommended Videos section, but I’m grateful for this serendipitous coincidence that made me see that even “rich” and “famous” women get to be treated badly, even in an industry that is primarily created for women – i.e the fashion industry.

What Victoria Beckham Can Teach Us about Reinventing Ourselves as Women | Illustrations For Women About Women (E. 3) | By Yaansoon IllustrationVictoria Beckham is no flash in the pan. She is a hard-working woman who has learned from her past experiences, and who deserves to be acknowledged as an inspiring and entrepreneurial fashion designer with a great taste and a piercing vision!

This 40-something mother of four, and husband to former British football player David Beckham, has paid every effort to reinvent herself – and I believe she did it with real grace, determination, and style. What’s most important to me in her journey is that she has reached the heights of success “despite” the way she has been treated by fellow fashion designers (who seem to feel like they were too important to be in the same boat with her) as well as other design personalities and fashion magazines.

What Victoria Beckham Can Teach Us about Reinventing Ourselves as Women | Illustrations For Women About Women (E. 3) | By Yaansoon IllustrationA Fashion Industry Dominated by Males

Although in each of her interviews there is great emphasis on how she couldn’t have done it without “the team” that surrounds her (another way to say she couldn’t stand on her own feet), I believe this hardworking fashion designer is so smart and strategic that it can elude the most experienced of fashion gurus in her field.

Simply put, Victoria Beckham is the first-of-her-kind in the fashion scene and there is no blue print to compare her to.

When I told my husband I was thinking of creating a series of illustrations about Victoria for my “Illustrations for Women about Women” blog series, he made an interesting comment about how she was a woman who was being super successful in an industry that is mostly dominated by men.

Any driven and hardworking woman is probably too familiar with the way egotistical men undermine women in their field, and may also treat them like an easy target. The sad thing is when women treat women that way out of jealousy and insecurity, and other maladies of the heart. To see a young woman like Victoria start a brand, lead it from a 10-peice collection in 2008 into an international brand in a matter of years, and be able to successfully wear two hats (as a designer and as a businesswoman) is probably too much for fashion-industry egos to handle!

What Victoria Beckham Can Teach Us about Reinventing Ourselves as Women | Illustrations For Women About Women (E. 3) | By Yaansoon IllustrationPeople Grow and Change, They Don’t Stay the Same

Asked by Chief Editor of British Vogue about whether she finds any similarities between her mindset as a former Spice Girls performer and her current vocation as a fashion designer/businesswoman, Victoria answered with an emphatic, yet polite, “No.”

She does reiterate this in other interviews, as she obviously is struggling against an industry that can’t move beyond first impressions and has no ability to acknowledge people’s growth and evolution.

Today, Victoria Beckham is a responsible, serious, and very inspiring woman, who is looking to create something real. And for this reason, I have great respect for her and wish her more success in all her future endeavours. I also hope that the media and the fashion industry would re-set their judgmental glances at her, and follow The Guardian‘s lead by starting to appreciate her journey and her evolution as a woman.

NOTE: Although my blog series, “Illustrations for Women about Women” was initially about female heroines I have met in real life, I now feel this series can grow to include other inspiring women I haven’t met.

About this blog series by Yaansoon

Early May 2016, Yaansoon launched her new series, “Illustrations For Women About Women,” featuring portraits of ordinary and extra-ordinary women from the 20+ countries she has been to, including matriarchs from her own family. Although the series was originally about real women she actually had the chance to meet, the series will now start to include stories about inspiring women who can teach us something about inner strength, their searing vision and tireless dedication, despite of adversity and/or hardship.

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New Blog Series – ‘Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes: Food Stories by a Multi-Cultural Couple’

New Blog Series: 'Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes - Food Stories by a Multi-Cultural Couple' | By Yaansoon Illustration

I’m very excited to share with you all my new blog series, ‘Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes: Food Stories by a Multi-Cultural Couple,’ which will bring you mouth-watering dishes from the different cultures and culinary roots that my husband and I hail from.

I’ve already posted a recipe back in April for Turkish Pizza with a Lebanese Twist, where I shared with you all my husband’s yummy and homemade signature recipe. I also wrote that this savoury pastry dish is popular in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Armenia, and Turkey, and that there are so many versions for this boat-shaped pizza.

Which got me thinking – most Middle Eastern dishes come with localized versions, and essentially, recipes do vary from household to household!

My husband, being an excellent Italian home chef with Middle Eastern roots, has his own way of cooking dishes that I have slightly different recipes for. We’re always mixing and matching his version of a certain dish with the version I have, based on recipes and notes I have collected from my late grandmother. The results are always exciting and unexpected.

So I thought why not write about homemade Middle Eastern dishes that have more than one version, with focus on the most delicious varieties that we like to cook at home?

I also thought that this would be a nice idea for an illustrated blog series, which will also give me plenty of opportunities to expand my food illustrations portfolio, with focus on the kind of food my husband and I love to cook!

New Blog Series: 'Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes - Food Stories by a Multi-Cultural Couple' | By Yaansoon IllustrationMulti-Cultural Middle Eastern Food

Although generally speaking people don’t usually deem North Africa as part of the Middle East, but I do have Moroccan roots that I have been reconnecting with for the past few months through my illustrations. This deep-rooted connection has been basically the inspiration behind the Tajine pot that I have included in my illustration (above) as I went on to create a logo-style badge for this new blog series.

As some of you may know, Moroccan food is completely different from Jordanian, Syrian, or Lebanese food. It follows a completely different rationale, and a different way of mixing the ingredients. Whereas the concept of sweet-and-sour is a staple flavour in the Moroccan cuisine, flavours that originate in the Levant are more polarized, often leaning towards saltiness or sweetness, and seldom the two together.

But what East and West of the Mediterranean have in common is the dominating language, which is Arabic. And again, Moroccan Arabic is completely different than Lebanese Arabic. It’s not only the dialect, but also the choice of words, and the structure of sentences, which I found to be quite interesting when I had the chance to visit Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

I want to reflect this multi-culturalism in this new blog series’ recipes, which I am really very excited about. I hope that in the coming weeks I will have the chance to put together a post or two from the Middle Eastern cuisine!

Until then, take care and I look forward to seeing you in my next post!

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