Hi, guys! As you may already know, my mom and I will be publishing a brand-new children's book very soon, so I am currently working very hard on making the illustrations come to life! :) While most of the drawings will remain top-secret until the end of time (unless you buy the book, heh - did you see what I did there?), I'd like to share some teasers with you! You know, just because. You might want to know what's going on. And you might want to buy the book. *Awkward silence* *I really suck at marketing* *Does a silly dance instead*
Achievement unlocked: design your first conference bag! The Centre for Computational Linguistics celebrated its 25th anniversary, and on top of that, we hosted the 27th Conference on Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands. Both events were a huge success: we attracted over 175 participants. I think the city of Leuven has never been this computationally linguistic before! We had a blast. I was responsible for designing and updating the websites and social media pages, handling the registrations, and designing the conference bag. Because every conference, of course, needs a sexy conference bag. My goal was to design a bag with a long life span - I hope it's the perfect bag for grocery shopping! :)
CLIN27 and CCL25 conference bag, February 2017
Designed in Photoshop
On top of that, my colleague Tom Vanallemeersch and I participated in the Shared Task on automated normalisation of Dutch historical texts. Our translation system turned out to perform quite well on unseen data. We even made it into the top 5, and we were asked to present the architecture of our normalisation engine at the CLIN27 conference. Welp, yet another scientific poster! It never stops. This particular design was inspired by historical texts and parchment - I really didn't have much time to think this one through, but it seemed like an obvious choice! :) Unfortunately, I was giving a presentation at another conference during the poster session. Hopefully, I can recycle this one soon!
CLIN27 Shared Task scientific poster, February 2017
A few months ago, I joined a local Pokémon GO group. I used to be an active member, sharing interesting spawn locations, posting funny pictures of Pokémon hanging out around our famous landmarks (or drowning in a glass of wine), and making lots of new friends at the Oude Markt, where three lure modules would be activated aaaaall day long: having a beer, while talking to other Pokémon fans, while catching 'em all. Those were the days, I swear! :) It was back then when I also met a really sweet girl who loved Pokémon and art just as much as I do. Her name is Sterre, and we're best friends now!
Ever since, Sterre has been surprising me with random visits, presents, cookies, and art. She turned 26 in February, so I decided to give her something personal in return. I made her a Fantastic Beasts package, including a Newt Scamander Funko Pop, a "build-your-own-Niffler" kit, and a Fantastic Beasts logbook, in which I already drew 10 really cool Beasts (our pets, her boyfriend, and all her favourite fictional creatures). :) Each creature (I'm so sorry, Vincent!) was accompanied by a number of funny, random facts. Our goal is to fill the whole notebook by the age of 80. I wonder how many Beasts we will encounter in our lives!
See you soon! *Waves enthusiastically*
Fantastic Beasts: Sterre's Birthday Logbook, February 2017
Hi, foxies! Remember those animal-themed window paintings I made back in October 2015? Time sure flies! Mutlu, the owner of Le Mustache, turned out to be so happy with his coffee-drinking furry creatures, that he did not wash the windows until February 2017. That's right, 14 months later, my drawings were still there - although the fox' window had suffered from a very bad accident with a truck, and had to be replaced. That poor fancy fox!
About one month ago, we all agreed that our favourite coffee business needed a well-deserved make-over. Mutlu removed the old paintings - finally, after all these months, he had the chance to wash the windows. That must have been a very big relief, I can imagine! I worked all day long to paint a fox (In loving memory of the fox who passed away after being hit by a truck), a cat, a pelican, and a tiny snail. I swear, that fancy snail is definitely my favourite one. :) I had a lovely day - the friendly staff of Le Mustache offered me free coffee and bagels all day long. Heaven has a name, and it is located at Tiensestraat 129!
Shout-out to the friends who paid me a visit! Fernando, Andrew, Sterre, you rock! Let's have some more bagels and lattes together soon!
Hi, guys! You've already seen some of the progress pictures of my Thyrus weapon, but it's about time to show you the final result. :D Ta-dah, here are some pictures of my White Mage cosplay! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I have been healing and raising people at the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest in Frankfurt and at the Made in Asia convention in Brussels... Okay, maybe I have not actually been healing and raising people, but some of them played along quite well! ;)
As you might notice, I decided to buy a new wig after the Fan Fest took place, because the blonde one seemed a bit too fake in natural light. The pink hair looks much better on me, don't you think? Who am I kidding, I'd love to have pink hair in real life!
Overall, I really enjoyed wearing this cosplay and stabbing random strangers with my Thyrus (I know, that's not what a White Mage is supposed to do, but I really had some epic fights out there!). The white robe is even quite comfy, thanks to the hard work of my mother and grandmother. Without their help, I would have been a naked White Mage with a cute wig and a cool Thyrus, and I don't think anyone was waiting for that to happen... Right?
I had a lot of fun with my friends at the Fan Fest, and I can't wait for the Stormblood expansion to release!
White Mage 1.0 at the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest, Frankfurt. My boyfriend and I managed to take a picture with FFXIV composer Masayoshi Soken. He has the best smile!
White Mage 2.0 at Made In Asia, Brussels. My friend Sterre wore a really cute hand-made Ash cosplay! Unfortunately, the Pikachu refused to sit on her shoulder. :(
White Mage 2.0 at Made in Asia, Brussels.
This picture was taken by C-Flash Ninja. Check out his Facebook page!
Oh, before I forget... Since we're talking about the Fan Fest, there's one more important thing that I should mention! Remember that one drawing I made for the Art Contest? Well, drum roll, my illustration made it into the top 10 again! Mission accomplished. I felt so proud when I noticed that people were taking pictures of my digital painting in the Art Gallery. Feels a bit surreal, you know? :D The winner of the contest has not yet been announced, but the other entries were simply stunning, and some of them really deserve the first prize more than I do! As one of the finalists, I received a really cute, limited-edition kitten hat for my character in Final Fantasy XIV, and that's basically all I ever wanted. ;)
See you soon!
A print of my digital illustration in the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest Art Gallery in Frankfurt.
Hi, guys! It's Throwback Friday! ... Okay, I'm lying. I simply forgot to write this update, so I'm doing it today. For real. Bear with me guys, bear with me.
The really cool art-related "news" that I definitely wanted to share with you, is the fact that I was an invited illustrator at the Boekenbeurs in Antwerpen, Belgium's biggest book fair, back in November 2016. Even though I had not illustrated any new books since the release of "Dromeria: Lode" in 2015, Het Punt decided to give me yet another opportunity to sign the Dromeria books and draw a bunch of happy animals for little kids (Kids these days seriously have the weirdest "favourite animals" ever, I tell you!). It was a great day, and I am already looking forward to the release of Katwalk!