Saturday, 26 September 2015

We Are The Crystal Gems

It's that time of the year again! :D We are going to the F.A.C.T.S. convention in Ghent, and this time, I will be cosplaying one of my favourite cartoon characters: Amethyst from Steven Universe. I love Amethyst for several reasons. For instance, she has really awesome powers, such as the ability to shapeshift into a cat or a bird. I am so jealous. Furthermore, Amethyst is not your average superskinny hero, but she still manages to look absolutely fabulous! I am really excited that I will be wearing her costume tomorrow. Let's hope I meet a Steven cosplayer! :)

The cosplay outfit was not hard to make, although some items were pretty difficult to find - especially since I didn't order anything online. I went shopping with my mom in Maastricht, and it took us several hours to find everything. The outfit consists of the following items:

- Light purple aqua body paint
- Make-up (eyeshadow, lipstick)
- A black top
- A long, grey top without sleeves
- A gem necklace
- A pair of black trousers with purple stars on the knees
- White shoes
- A whip with purple gems
- A lila wig

I wonder how the body paint will turn out, as it will be covering my whole face and a large part of my upper body. People who are not into conventions must think I'm crazy for deciding to walk around like a purple cartoon hero. :D But I'm looking forward to it! Of course, I will be posting pictures of my cosplay after the convention. Stay tuned! ^_^


Preparations for the Amethyst cosplay outfit, September 2015

Me after cutting my wig, September 2015

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Life Is The Art Of Drawing Without An Eraser

I have been incredibly busy lately, but that's exactly when my tiny Final Fantasy sketchbook comes in handy. When I was sitting on the train last week, I tried to kill some time by drawing the four main characters of "Steven Universe". An adorable old lady and her husband were watching me while I was drawing the Crystal Gems (They appeared so sudden, they actually scared the shit out of me!). "That is very nice, eh", the old man said to his wife. She agreed. I bet they didn't know anything about Steven Universe, but that was really cute! :)

Anyway, looks like "Project Amigo" isn't dead yet! :) I made four new sketches: the Mustache family, Micheline's grandchild, Nathalie (who just got married and looked simply stunning at her wedding!), and Kristof. Time to upload the pictures on Facebook and make some people happy. :D

On a side note, Niels and I finally got tickets for the "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" concert in Paris! I got so many awesome things to look forward to. :) I'm sure we will have a great time! And I will probably need a big box of tissues, because "To Zanarkand" (Final Fantasy X) always makes me tear up.

See you next time,


The Mustache Family, September 2015
Pencil on paper

Micheline's Grandchild, September 2015
Pencil on paper

Nathalie, September 2015
Pencil on paper

Kristof, September 2015
Pencil on paper

Steven Universe, September 2015
Pencil on paper

Saturday, 12 September 2015

And They Lived Happily Ever After

Annelies and Thomas are getting married today, and they gave me the honour of drawing Disney-themed illustrations for their wedding mass booklet. Oh boy, I can NEVER say no to Disney! ♥ Thankfully, Annelies had three very specific requests, making it very easy for me to start working on this lovely little project. The drawings feature Annelies and Thomas as Disney babies, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (Tangled), and Carl and Ellie (Up). Annelies told me she had tears in her eyes when she saw the result, and that's probably the biggest compliment a freelance illustrator can ever receive. :) Annelies and Thomas, wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

On a side note, I finally moved to Kessel-Lo this week! I will be living there with my boyfriend Niels. It has been a wonderful experience so far (Yes, even the grocery shopping was fun)! This week, my university also matched me with a "buddy", a foreign student who will be studying in Leuven. Kaori is half Japanese, half British, and she has been living in Luxembourg. Turns out that she has the MOST WONDERFUL fashion blog. You should really check it out. I am very excited about meeting her this week! :D

Coming up: my new cosplay outfit for F.A.C.T.S. 2015! :D My high school friends will join us, and even wear their own cosplay outfits. I really cannot contain my excitement right now. :3 Stay tuned.


And They Lived Happily Ever After
Congratulations on your wedding day, Annelies and Thomas! <3 Wishing you a lifetime of happiness! :D Annelies and Thomas asked me to draw three Disney illustrations (featuring themselves) for their wedding mass booklet, and I also made this speedpaint video. Now live happily ever after! ^_^ (Blog:
Posted by Leen Sevens on zaterdag 12 september 2015

Annelies and Thomas Speedpaint, September 2015
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Annelies and Thomas - Disney Babies, September 2015
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Annelies and Thomas - Rapunzel and Flynn (Tangled), September 2015
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Annelies and Thomas - Carl and Ellie (Up), September 2015
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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Meet Theofiel

Last week, a kindergarten teacher asked me to draw a baby dragon for her school's "differentiation project". I am not familiar with that concept (Heck, I only remember doing hundreds of puzzles at kindergarten!), but I am told that the dragon is used as some kind of symbol. The fact that the symbol is a dragon has to do with the school's "knights and castles" theme. There are three similar-looking, yet slightly different characters. Each dragon has its own particular meaning, which corresponds to a specific working method. The children are allowed to choose one dragon "to work with":
  1. Dragon with ears, open mouth, wings closed: Work together with the teacher
  2. Dragon with ears, closed mouth, wings slightly opened: Listen to the teacher for a little while, then work independently afterwards
  3. Dragon without ears, closed mouth, wings opened: Work independently, but help children from the second group
Apparently, the kids named my dragon "Theofiel". Pretty good name for a baby dragon, I'd say. :D I wish Theofiel and the children a wonderful school year!


Theofiel, September 2015
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Sunday, 6 September 2015

Able To Include: Making IT Inclusive

Before I became a PhD student, I was an intern at the Centre for Computational Linguistics. The first day of my internship also marked the beginning of a European Union-funded project named Able to Include. As my task was to help building the English and Spanish versions of the Centre's Text-to-Pictograph translation system, my little intern self "accidentally" got involved in the Able project. Quite a good accident, I must say! :)

Able to Include aims to improve the living conditions of people with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) by integrating a set of existing technologies to create an "accessibility layer". This layer can be integrated with ICT tools and improve the daily life of people with IDD. The three key technologies are Picto (Text-to-Pictograph translation and Pictograph-to-Text translation, KU Leuven), Simplext (text simplification, UPF Barcelona) and Text-to-Speech (Teamnet, Romania).

Our previous meeting took place in Leuven. Having discovered that I'm a freelance illustrator, our partner Silvana (Inclusion Europe) asked me to make custom illustrations for our three web services. They will be used on the easy-to-read version of Able's website.

Have a nice weekend!


Able to Include, September 2015 
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