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  • Journaling prompts to get you started

    If you've never kept a journal in your entire life, starting one can be a bit daunting and scary. There are so many tips and ideas out there and quite a bunch of misconception about what journalling really should be about that it's easy to get overwhelmed and confused before you even buy your first notebook. This is where you could benefits from using journaling prompts. Not everyone has been gifted with the ease of writing, and let's face it, introspecting is hard, really hard. If you read my previous post "Journaling for self-growth" You already know one good way to get started is to simply write about the life you want to have if there was no obstacles, financial or otherwise in the way. But, it can still feel a little vague to many of you, especially if you are scared of dreaming big or are an over-thinker plagued by all your one self-limiting beliefs and blocks. If you aren't the type to just pour down your feeling freely on paper, journaling prompts are a great way to broach a topic. They are bite sized questions that let you explore a theme or specific issue freely without having to stress out. Just pick one every day, or as often as you feel the need to journal (doing it once a week is fine) and see where it takes you. Here are some journaling prompts you could try, simply write them at the top of your journal entry and then answer them as freely as you want or can. It's a good idea to re-read your entries later and if needed re-use the prompt for a fresh entry at a later date, or use the original entry to introspect further whenever you are ready to do so. Easy journalling prompt you can try today: - If money was no issue, what would my life be like? - What fear from my childhood still affect me today? - What happy memory still fuel me today - A list of all the things you achieved in the last 12 months - Your biggest achievements of all time - What struggle did you overcome and how did it change you? - What beliefs around money, work, life or emotion do you have from your childhood upbringing? How do they serve you today? Are they limiting your growth? - What dream you woke up from still impacts you today? - If you could visit your past self from 10 or 20 years ago, what would you tell them? - Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? - How would you feel if you could live your dream life right now? - Write about a challenge or fear you overcame and how it made you feel. - List your goals and dreams and come back to thick them off once you achieve them - What quotes motivate you? - What does your dream job looks like? Contrary to what a lot of people think, you don't have to keep a daily journal. These days I usually journal about once a week because I marked the time to do so in my schedule. If I have more to say or if I am reading a self-help book with homeworks at the end of each chapters, like it is the case in the book I'm currently reading : "Rich as F*uck" (affiliate link), then I journal more often. Don't keep yourself under pressure to journal often if you are not ready just yet we all have very personal needs and for some, the processing time between journal entries could be longer than for others. Journaling is a form of therapy, you must be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to grow in who you are supposed to become, and it's ok not to even know what you are supposed to do or where you are going. Enjoy the journey, you will get where you are supposed to go, at you own pace, in your own time. Liked this post? Want to stay in the loop and get all blog and shop updates? Sign up for the Home Cyn Home letter today. We've got cool printable coming every months. Click on the picture below :

  • Art story : Cherries pattern

    Not all designs have an interesting story about how they came to be, but some are a great testament to the learning curve of being a surface designer. The cherry pattern is one of these and despite it's humble beginnings and the fact it's never been a strong seller in it's original version, it's still a favourite of mine, and still has potential, especially with the cottagecore trend that is so popular with the Gen Z. Back in 2017, when I decided to take the plunge and explore the ideas of selling my art on Society6, I knew exactly NOTHING about pattern making and fortunately for me, Society6 and Redbubble did not insist on artists uploading a seamless tile. It was easy to just create a big file that would not repeat and call it a day. While I was familiar with Photoshop, I still didn't quite go for the creation of assets that I would manipulate at will digitally later, beyond color correction that is. So, it should come as no surprise that I would draw every single items of a pattern on an A4 sheet of paper, and scan it at 1200 dpi so it would fit on most products S6 had to offer back then. I clearly hadn't learned to save time by creating just a few assets, and scatter them all over an art board in Photoshop just then, but I learned it quickly after that. Those cherries were one of the very first design I ever did with the intent of selling it on print on demand, I think I created it even before I opened the shop and still have no idea about...well...everything. The original was just a bunch of cherries on a white background and is still available on Society6 as "cherry dream". I also created two stripes version around the same time, a green stripes, and a purple stripes. For some reason, I deleted the two stripes files but thankfully kept the original which I used to create variations on the theme over the years, including a medallion design with the quote "Have a cherry on top kind of day" which had quite a few sales over the years. Recently as I was putting together the theme of the June Patreon rewards, I came accross a printable stickers set I had once created for Etsy (but no longer sell) and decided to go with the cherry theme. After all, June is the month I always associate with cherries because my grandmother had tree in her garden and it was always loaded with fruits around my birthday (June 24 if you were wondering). When the time came to create the tiers 2 rewards, phone wallpapers, I had to dig out the original file from my external drive to create them. That's when I realised the stripes files were nowhere to be found and had to create new ones. One thing led to another and I found myself creating a cute pink stripes version and a navy blue one. So much so that I decided to make the pink one available as a full size artwork and sell it on Society6 and Redbubble. And since I think I'll plan on making more versions, I decided to apply my now greatly improved pattern making skills to make a seamless pattern tile as well...because I've got to stay current. This pattern not only reminds me how far I got on my designer journey, it also is a classic pattern that will always have some popularity, especially now with my print on demand offerings tapping into the kitchen and dinning decor items with aprons, table cloths, placemats and more... It's also a great reminder to myself and all new designers out there to NEVER delete a file because you think it's sucks or is dated. You never know when you'll want to explore it again and give it a new breath of life. If you enjoyed this blog post and never want to miss and update, please subscribe to the Home Cyn Home newsletter, you'll get cool printables regularly, and will be kept in the loop about all discounts, blog posts and new launches. Simply clickthe picture below to sign up

  • When to upgrade basic art supplies for professional grade ones?

    Thanks to influencers, YouTube and Instagram, it has never been easier to jump on board and try a new hobby, or embarking on a journey to become a good designer or illustrator. There is really no shortage of tutorial, classes, videos and inspiration pictures to get you started, and that is really awesome if you ask me. BUT!!!!! There is one pitfall to all this, and one that makes me cringe to no end : the great art supplies snobbery. Many of these professional artists tend to let you believe that you will ABSOLUTELY need this and that brand to really get started and more often than not, they are advertising or promoting really expensive brands they use everyday. Nothing wrong about favouring quality markers, or watercolor paint, we artists all do it. There are tools we love and some others not so much. The problem is when these professionals tend to forget that not everybody is ready to afford a whole set of Copic markers, and that no, you really don't need to have those if you are just getting started. The same goes for every single art mediums out there, there are the professional grade ones, and the beginners grade ones (aka students grade), but, that doesn't mean you are a sucker for using cheap paint and it's seriously wrong to make people feel like they should break the bank on something expensive just because you as the influencer get paid to promote it. There! I said it! What a lot of artists and influencers tend to forget is that at one point in their past, they too started with cheap art supplies and that they gradually upgraded themselves as they grew better at their craft. We all started drawing and painting as kids, and I'm sure you all have had a watercolor set from a cheap brand, or picked up at the local supermarket to go crazy with. I know I have gone through quite a few just in my childhood, I can't even deny the fact I had fun with these, and that it's what started making me love colors and doodles and artsy crafty stuff. Then I went to high school in an art major class.From there onwards things not only got serious, but very snobby (I hated that time by the way). We had a long long list of "basic" art supplies to buy, all from reputed artist brands : I think the whole thing set me off about 2 or 300 Swiss franks at the time : Dry pastels, premium gouache paint, expensive Japanese style brushes, acrylic, oil pastels, ink, and paper, with serious hints to always buy more. And you know what? I HATED most of those mediums and the only one I favoured back in those days was gouache. When you are a student, cost really matters. But I had an art teacher who was really a big jerk (and a pervert...different story). He kept going about how we should spend all our savings into art, that artists do not go cheap on supplies, and there was those brands that were worthy, and that we should really only really buy these if we ever really wanted to be great artists one day. This outright snobbery HAS TO STOP! No seriously folks! Can we for one minute stop putting aspiring hobbyist and artist off by asking them so sell their firstborn child for a few markers? If a tutorial is geared toward beginners, it is a good idea to let them know what alternatives they have to the premium art supplies being used in the video. Not everybody will have the budget for expensive stuff, or even know that they will keep up with the hobby. As I said, back in art major high school I only really enjoyed working with gouache and none of the other mediums we explored. So when do you know it has become time to upgrade for better supplies? When you are a beginner at anything, the quality of the supplies matter a whole lot less than the techniques you are going to learn on your creative journey. I'm not going to lie, super cheap material will have their limitations, it's part of the game, but that should not stop you from trying to get the best out of what you have before moving on to something better. Right now there are 3 mediums I favour above any other: Watercolor, acrylic paint, and markers, so I decided to break it down for you and let you know what is entry level grade and what is professional quality grade and what it means in term of budget and availability in India. The links below are all Amazon affiliate links, this means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I'll get paid a commission at no extra cost to you whatsoever. This is by the way what most influencers and YouTuber do too, it's a way to earn an income like any other but it doesn't have to be only about promoting expensive brands. acrylic paint I use acrylic paint mostly on canvas and for my dot mandala paintings and classes. For that reason, I haven't really felt the need to go for super expensive brands. In India, you really can get a lot done by using Camlin Acrylic paint It's basic, it's fairly affordable, and I haven't yet come accross a reason strong enough for me to stop using this brand and favour another more expensive one. I have a few Pebeo paint tubes, but only because they come in colors that were not available in the Camlin range. If you are a professional artist working with Acrylic more than I do, chances are you are favouring more expensive, more pigmented and smoother paints like the Windsor & Newton paints. watercolor Watercolor is what I used to use for most of my commercial artwork between 2017 and 2019, and as result, I did upgrade to pricier brands simply because the quality started to matter whole lot more when the work I painted needed to be scanned and the product needed to meet much higher standard of quality. Back in Switzerland, I had a good quality but basic artist set that got damaged and lost in the one too many moves across India. So for quite sometime, I made do with a very very basic "school kid" set from Camlin. It's basic, and the colors aren't really vibrant, and because it's cheap, the paint is quite chalky, but if you have nothing else or are a total beginner, it will serve it's purpose more than well enough. In fact that is the set I used to create the 2016 and 2017 calendar illustrations like the apple one in the picture above. It has it's limitation, and as my style evolved, I realised I needed an upgrade. That chalky paint doesn't let you achieve a good "wet on wet" watercolor painting. For this you are better off with either a much more pigmented water color cake set, or watercolor that comes in tubes. I have used several different brands over the years, including a still very budget friendly set of Camel watercolor tubes. Then as I needed more specific colors I got myself a Prima marketing set of watercolor pans. I would NEVER recommend these to a beginner because they are epensive but when you make being artist your living, you end up needing more art supplies and you can afford them too. That palette it the one I used to paint the iconic "Groovy Rickshaw" and a number of other designs in my portfolio. The marked advantage of artist or professional grade paint, and even the Camel tubes is that because the color is more saturated it tends to stay put. The drawback of the chalky paint was that I needed to add a lot of water to loosen the pigments in the cake, and then add a lot lot lot of layers of paint to get it to where I wanted. This meant the paper would bloat, and the paint fray. It's not noticeable on paper to the naked eye, but when you scan your work at 1200dpi to turn it into a commercial product it will require you to do double the cleaning work digitally...not fun. So in watercolor alone, you can go from about 70 rupees a set to way over 3k, that's a big difference right? So now imagine how lousy it would feel if I went on an on about how you must invest into a 3-4000 set with just 12 shades as opposed to a set with 24 shades at a fraction of the price? Not so good right? Yet this is what I've seen done on YouTube. And guess what? I still use that type of cheap watercolor with my young students. There is no point in launching a beginner on an expensive palette if they don't even yet know how to blend and nuance their work. It would be like asking a complete beginner at tailoring to make a dress out of the most expensive silk fabric on the market. Markers Ok so let's dive into the world of markers, which is by far the most contentious territory as art supplies go. In the artist and designer world, or even the bullet journal world, there seem to be many very divided camps about what is worth using and what is garbage. And it makes it for a VERY intimidating ride if you are a beginner at it. A serious war of markers is happening out there : water based vs alcohol based, brush pens vs normal pens, Copic vs anything else, Tombow vs Koi...and it goes on and on and on... More than with any other mediums, the proponents and opponents of one type of markers are very vocal. As an artist, I already knew what I wanted to achieve with markers, and I already knew that at my level, basic sketch pens that most kids use were a no-go. Since I was more familiar with water based pens, I went for these first, my first pick was a set of "Sakura Koi" in purple and pink tones. The minimalist blossom design was created with these pens and has since then been selling as many color variations out of my shops. If you believe the influencers on social media however, Koi is considered low quality and you should always go for "Tombow dual brush" markers instead...sigh! Most basic sets cost around 1400 or so rupees in India, for 10 markers that is roughly about 160+ a marker (not all sets are equal in price). I own a few, all purchased as single pieces at my local arts and craft supplies store and I'm going to be super frank here, I find them overrated. Tombow fanatics grab your pitchforks and vow to hunt Cyn down and burn her at the stake! Tombows did gather quite a crowd of enthusiasts in the Bullet Journal community but seriously, there are many cheaper sets of equal quality, even if you don't like the Koi pens, one set I love and also use with my art students is the Ohuhu brush pen sets, they are dual tip, with one side being a brush pen, and the other being a fineliner tip. They have sets of 36, 60, and 100 colors and the 60 and 100 sets comes in a neat storage box or pouch. Unless you are going to dive deep into professional illustration work, my advice is to stick to water based markers because the next category of marker, Alcohol based ones, will require you to put a serious budget into them. Alcohol markers are the choice of illustrators, graphic designers and professionals in the design field because, unlike water based markesrs, they are non destructive and won't put a hole in even a newspaper. They also blend better and again no matter how many layers you put on even the thinest paper, it would tear it, ghost through? Yes, damage the paper? NOPE. With the manga illustration trend, these markers have gained a lot of popularity and often, influencers and YouTuber will have you believe you CAN'T create manga art without alcohol based markers, which is super wrong. There are several big brands of alcohol markers out there, the most famous and the professional industry standard are Copic Sketch markers, the complete range has 358 colors, which is not something everyone need in the first place unless they breathe, eat, drink and sleep design. More affordable for beginner is the Ohuhu markers set, I'll let you peak at the price difference between Copic and Ohuhu for a 72 markers set. Another big brand that is making wave are Chameleon markers with their unique blending chambers cartridges. Copic is professional grade, Chameleon pretty close to it, and both are refillable and you can replace nibs over time. Both also thankfully have the option to buy them in smaller sets that are color or tone specific, and back when I was working with alcohol based markers a lot, I bought them either per piece or per tone sets. Ohuhu are not refillable, so once your marker is dry, it goes in the bin and as far as I know you can't buy them per piece, always in sets. But if you are a beginner who really wants to draw with alcohol pens, then they are the best to start with. Of all the mediums I work with, alcohol based markers had the biggest learning curves and there is a solid chance of many of you hating them, so do not invest in Copics right away, it's not worth it. to summarise it You don't need to start with professional quality supplies right off the bat, and maybe you'll never feel like doing it and it's fine. Know that a lot of influencers on YouTube, in blogs and on Instagram are actually paid to make you believe a specific brand is the only way to go, and in an ideal world, they should disclose that fact, but some don't. With this post I wanted to let you all know that just because one option is poopooed by a renowned artist doesn't mean it's crap and that no you don't have to switch to a better quality or a different brand of product right away. The most important for you to know is what you plan to achieve in your hobby or medium of choice and know when the supplies you are using no longer meet your expectation. This is usually the sign that you need to upgrade has come. When that moment come, you also need to assess your budget as well and see how you can make it work. Is it more practical to invest in a full set of markers or just buy them per pieces, a few good quality ones at the time? As you grow as an artist, you'll understand your needs and style better, and buying more expensive supplies will be easier to figure out. For example, I know myself well enough to know that I use a palette or mostly blues, purples and pink, so buying earth tone markers in more than a few shades makes zero sense for me but might make more sense to someone working in sepia tones in their illustrations. As a result I know that I can safely invest in that one more shade of Aqua because I know I'm very likely to use it but that buying a full marker set with several shades of brown and yellow is going to be a waste of money. Ditto with watercolor, I know artists that swear by the pastel tone palette or the more earthen tone one, I don't see myself buying them because I prefer working in bolder colors, which makes the Tropical palette I bought a useful expense. What I hope I achieved with this detailed post is to make sure none of you feel inadequate using basic supplies on a budget. And, if you liked this post, please share it with your friends and take time to subscribe to the newsletter that goes out every Sundays, you'll get a cool welcome printable stickers set, never miss and update, discount and will get additional free printables every months. Simply click on the picture below.

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  • Illustration Art | Home Cyn Home

    Colorful surface pattern design and illustration art be bold and colorful

  • Blog | Home Cyn Home

    All Posts Announcements DIY Home decor Log in / Sign up Cynthia Haller 26 minutes ago 6 min Practicing the art of gratitude What if I told you there is one foolproof way to instantly boost your mood and energy and has the potential to change your life? This... 2 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked Cynthia Haller 2 days ago 3 min Printing stickers at home with your inkjet printer Disclaimer : This post contains Amazon affiliate links, if you click on them and make a purchase I get paid a commission at no extra... 7 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked Cynthia Haller 4 days ago 2 min Welcome to the new Home Cyn Home website Once upon a time, a girl started a blog on a platform called blogger, it was back in 2004 and it was a time when blogs were kind of... 49 views 2 comments 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5

  • ABOUT | Home Cyn Home

    Cynthia Haller Meet the designer Hi! My name is Cynthia Haller and I am an illustrator and surface designer from Switzerland who moved to India a lifetime ago. I currently live in Mumbai with my husband, kids and pets. ​ I'm a tea lover, notebook and journal addict and lover of everything mint and pink, two colors I use in my artwork a lot. ​ Home Cyn Home started as a personal blog back in 2013 and evolved to become a design brand over the year. The blog is now no more, I decided to streamline the branding and focus only on design, home decor and lifestyle ​ I currently sell my designs on Society6 , Redbubble and a few other Print on Demand companies. One day I dream to have my own line of home decor textiles and a line of cute stationery supplies. ​ If you are interested in working on a collab, shoot me an email to see if we could be a good fit. ​ If you are crazy about printables and stickers, make sure to join my newsletter . Shop my art

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