Cartoonist and illustrator / Eva’s Gedacht / chaotically in balance
On a hot summer day, we went to visit Eva in her cozy atelier. We had some coffee and a chat about work, finding balance and looking for the little things in life.
Please tell us how you are doing and what is it exactly that you do in life?
I’m doing very well actually! I’m having a great summer. In the past I have had summers during which I was mainly working on books and sitting behind my desk inside, but the past few years we have been trying to do more wall drawings during summer to be outdoors and on the road. It feels like doing small trips. Also, I just had 2 weeks of holidays: we went to the Gentse Feesten, we went to Oostende and we swam in the sea. It was really fun!
In general, I spend my time on wall drawings and books. I try to take on fewer projects nowadays because I feel that I have more headspace this way. I became very selective in accepting projects so I can have more energy for other things in life. I had a burn out a few years ago so I experience my limits
more now. In the past I also used to write columns for a newspaper but after 10 years I felt it was a good moment to stop. Hence I don’t do it anymore.
How do you start your day?
To start, I wake up without an alarm. I always had an incredible morning mood when I was younger *laughs*. I started working immediately as a freelancer when I graduated so I decided I didn’t have to wake up every day at 7 AM. Sometimes I wake up at 9 AM and sometimes at 11 AM if my body really
needs it. I have a nice balance this way. Sometimes I work late in the evening, but I don’t mind it because I can plan my own days. And of course, I always start with coffee!
Next, I take my bike to the studio along a nature park. It is my little moment of silence before the busy workday begins. I have fixed routines during the work week. Monday is always web shop day and I make sketches for the wall drawings, which are always planned on Thursday.
Where do you get inspiration for work and projects?
I often work on commission, for example for the wall drawings. My assignments are always very varied. One week I am in the fertility ward of a hospital, the next I am making drawings in children's bedrooms. I make sure I have a lot of information about the client. Bert usually asks them to give a lot of information
about themselves, what they like, their home situation, what they want, small habits at home, … This always gives me a lot of inspiration.
For my own work I always get inspiration from my own life, things that happen or things I say or wanted to say. I always have the urge to speak to people in the supermarket *laughs*.
What are your favorite places (to go on holiday, in Belgium, places to eat …?)
I love to go for a hike or take my bike. I live near a nature park, which is ideal. There is also a big swing in that park and I love to lay in the swing when all the kids are at school. I like to look for the child within myself because I feel that it gives me a lot of energy. Last week I went to JumpSky (a park with
trampolines and jumping castles) with my sister and we loved it! You can go to the gym, or you can do this *laughs*.
I always look for places to visit quite close to home. This way you can make a little trip every day. It often comes down to discovering new things or stepping out of your routine. You can also very easily just start to walk: I always go left-right, left-right. I don't need much. I am not a big fan of city trips for just a weekend by plane. We should think more carefully about it. Ordinary things are nice too!
Where do you unwind?
I have discovered that I love to swim in the sea. This summer I have already done it twice and I am a big fan! My doctor always said to me when I was younger: for you, rest means movement. I go cycling, walking, swimming... For me, resting means getting out of my head.
Your favorite LN piece?
I bought the Penny cardigan this summer and I love it! You can wear it every season. What I like about LN is the slowness in choosing a piece. I like to choose it carefully. You know you will have the pieces for
years and it's for a good cause. The slow shopping is really part of the process.
The sloppy Stevie is also a favorite! Last winter I wore it every day. I make a lot of videos on Instagram and one day my mum said I should wear other outfits too *laughs*. The jumper is warm when it needs to be warm, but never too warm.
Do you have a life motto?
15 years ago, I made up my mind: always try to avoid strictness. I think I am very strict with myself. I always try to be structured but it is not always possible. There will always be some sort of chaos within me. I try to deal with my own strictness and the strictness from outside. If you're an independent
contractor and you get up late, people are quick to judge you. Walk your own path and not the path that the generation before you laid out. I like to experience things for myself and sometimes beat my head against the wall. I learn from it. As a human being you only have 1 task and that is to learn every day.
What is your biggest dream or anything you want to achieve in life?
Professionally, I hope I will have the resilience to do something completely different if I do not like my work anymore. My childhood dream was to have an ice cream parlor *laughs*, or a neighborhood shop. I really like selling things. Nowadays a lot needs to happen online and I would like more things to happen
offline. I like the contact with people. That's why I would love to have a point of sale or pop-up. I get a lot of energy from meeting people and hearing their stories.
On a personal level, I am researching how we can create a better environment for plants and insects in our garden. Summers are going to get warmer and warmer, so we have to adapt and I think that is very important.
Find out more about sweet Eva on her webshop.