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The art and design industry mainly focuses on finished pieces however neglects the development process of each project. Through-out this blog, I will be sharing my creative thought process, design and illustration tools I use, photos and videos of work in progress, art and design inspiration, behind the scenes at events and how I stay motivated along the way.

Zakia’s Top 5 Motivational & Marketing Audiobooks

June 23, 2018

Having a positive attitude, principle values and proactivity are key to achieve success, as the saying goes, “Winners don’t quit, quitters don’t win”. Whilst managing multiple marketing, design and illustration projects, I strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle and look after the household, which can be a struggle at times. Having the right tools to help you focus will help you stay consistent while pursuing your goals.

Audiobooks have been a great way for me to get my reading in everyday and helps keep me motivated and focused. Always on the go. I decided to start listening to audiobooks instead of listening to music while driving, cooking and working. I suddenly had time to read a book each week and had finally caught up on some of my favourite motivational books that had been sitting on my shelf for as long as I could remember. Some of my favourite audiobooks include:

(1) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

(2) You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

(3) Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

(4) Purple Cow by Seth Godin

(5) Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

I am currently listening to the Goals and Vision Mastercourse by Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and Jack Canfield to help me strategise how I plan out my task list. I believe that through strategised learning and development, we as humans are capable of improving and excelling in all aspects of life. These books will help you prioritise urgent tasks and find balance between work and personal life. Please let me know if you have any audiobook recommendations, and your thoughts on the recommended audiobooks mentioned above! For more information, please feel free to contact me.

June 18, 2018

As an illustrator, I am always on the look out for the right art and design tools. As you might have heard the traditional saying, "Use the right tool for the job". There are different types of pencil and ink textures, each contributing a unique personality, depending on your preferred style or brief.

I have had the pleasure of experimenting with mechanical and wooden pencils, inks and pigments, oil and acrylic paint, watercolours and mixed-media over the last decade on various client briefs and campaigns. I usually tend to lean towards the same 5% of stationary that I own when preparing the base. As my preferred style involves layering textures and details, my goal is to seek out tools that will help me achieve a smooth precision, without causing ink to bleed into water based colours.

To begin, make sure to have the basics handy, such as a standard hardcover sketchbook, an eraser, spare led for your mechanical pencil, a ruler and desk space. A few of my favourite pencils are the following: (1) The Linex DP 2000/0.5 Mechanical Pencil - This mechanical pencil is my go-to tool for starting any base with. (2) The Compass AN6K Pencil - The compass pencil is a useful tool that will guide you while drawing round grid lines. (3) Schwan Stabilo Othello 2988 B=2 Pencil - This is your standard traditional pencil; it's a pencil case staple and leaves a slight grainy effect. To preserve your pencil, pastel and chalk drawings, use a Fixative spray to provide lasting protection. 

After outlining the base with a pencil, I like to use a water, smudge and fade proof pigment ink to line shade. My tools of choice include: (1) The Uni Pin Fine Line Pigment ink (0.5) in black - It's water and fade proof and lasts for years. This ink pigment has the thickest ball point in my collection. (3) The Pigma Micron 005 (2.20mm line) Archival Ink - This pen is fantastic for fine lines, the pigment almost mimics the same colour depth as a pencil, hence perfect for creating detailed lines.

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