Summer Solstice Feast

21st June, 2016

Summer Solstice Dinner by Victoria Elena

Lately – I love cooking and baking. I can’t get over how warm and grounding it feels to have your home filled with aromas of slow baked lemon chicken, or fresh chocolate chip cookies. I told my husband last night that having dinner cooking and ready every night is what makes a house feel like a home. :)

I baked a tasty Greek lemon chicken last night with red potatoes and carrots. I dressed our salad with something quick I whipped up. Mix together to taste: olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and minced garlic. So delicious.

Summer Solstice Dinner by Victoria Elena

I can’t wait for fall when I can make lots of butternut squash soup (my favorite!).

Summer Solstice Dinner by Victoria Elena

Summer Solstice 2016

20th June, 2016

Tarot Tueseday; Summer Solstice by Victoria ElenaΒ Β nature-walk-victoria-elena

It’s the summer solstice! Make some goals. Light a candle. Clean your house. Bake some cookies. Do something fun. I made these crepes with homemade cream cheese frosting and strawberries. I also baked kourambiethes (Greek wedding butter cookies) and chocolate chip cookies, and I have some more plans for cooking tonight. It’s a big day! ;)

crepes are gooood
glowing green smoothiemmm cookies

It’s also been a while – so hello! I was busy getting married (!!!) but I also took an intentional break from social media, art, and posting to my blog. Sometimes you just need the extra head space for other things. I plan to re-organize and revive this space and a few others (like my art page) in the coming months. :)

What have you been up to?

– Victoria

Something New

28th January, 2016

Hello! I hope you’re having a lovely start to the new year.

I wanted to share some of the ventures I’ve been planning elsewhere. I’m pretty excited about them. :)
Travel Illustration by Victoria ElenaSo first things first – I’m separating my photography from my artwork. :) I’m doing this both to be more organized in what I post and to have a dedicated space for art.

This blog originally started that way years ago when it was humbly hosted on blogger, but it started shifting once I found my love for photography. Not a bad thing! I’ve learned a lot while blogging and taking pictures. :)

You can find my new Instagram at @VictoriaElena_Art and my new portfolio at www.VictoriaElenaArt.com. I plan to pick up blogging there with a clearer intention of showing works in progress, how-to’s, videos, and general art inspiration. I’ll let you know once I start that up!

Take a peek through an old sketchbook of mine. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’• this is where my Alice drawings live ❀️

A video posted by Victoria Elena β€’ Art (@victoriaelena_art) on

I’m also working very hard behind the scenes on my photography business. I love the experience of photographing people. It’s so fun! It’s almost like play for me. The feeling I get from it is probably most equivalent to the feeling an elementary school kid gets when it’s field-trip day at school. :) The best part about taking others’ photos is showing them the final photos once they’re printed, matted, and boxed up with a ribbon. It looks beautiful and their reaction is priceless. :)

silliness-_8526550941_o9-s_9720008839_o 8543432415_9002567004_o

8378663097_8783674d3c_o Another project that’s still in the design phase is possibly a lifestyle blog. I love making uplifting content that’s both beautiful and makes you feel good. I want to share recipes, mindfulness practices, photos from the surrounding coastline – even neighborhood cats and what books or shows I’m finding inspirational at the moment. I feel like I’ve tested a lot of it out on this platform and it would be fun to explore it more on a different site where it’s curated more consistently and intentionally.

So where does this leave this space on the internet? For now, it’s taking a break. I think at the end of the day, this site was just for me – an internet playground where I could test out new ideas and where I could learn how to design and code. When I do pop back on here, I’ll probably use this space more for personal posts about what I’m up to in the art world.

I’ll keep you updated! Thanks so much for reading! Say hi on Instagram or twitter :)

Disney Illustration Inspiration

12th January, 2016

Disneyland Forever Fireworks by Victoria Elena

I just spent a wonderful vacation in Disneyland during the rainiest winter California has had in four years, and it was so lovely.

It took literally five minutes for me to remember just how much I love illustrating cartoon characters, and it happened in Disney’s California Adventure! There’s this animation building where they host different workshops. I attended the Animation Workshop where our group was given a step-by-step guide on how to draw Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.

I loved it. I was surprised at how good it felt to draw a simple character from an old favorite show of mine.

Disneyland Illustrations by Victoria Elena "Piglet, Winnie the Pooh"

When I came home, I went straight to my sketchbook.

Disneyland Illustrations by Victoria Elena "Mr. Toad"
Disneyland Illustrations by Victoria Elena "Ariel, Little Mermaid"
Disneyland Illustrations by Victoria Elena "Ariel, Little Mermaid"

I’m excited for what I can do if I just keep practicing. :)

Check out more Disney related content in these past posts:

Alice in Wonderland
Disneyland Part 1
Disneyland Part 2
Disneyland Halloween Time
Pumpkins in Disneyland
A Royal Dream: Disney X Mac Cinderella

Looking Back on 2015 (A Snapshot Review)

4th January, 2016

2015 year end review snapshot by victoria elena

January | February | March | April

When I review 2015, it’s pretty clear to me that it started out rocky (there are zero posts from January to February). I was sick for most of January and February – I even had to have an emergency wisdom tooth surgery right before traveling to my dance competition in February (I felt like I’d been punched in the jaw for about a month after…). But things started looking up so quickly. I even made a bucket listΒ for Spring to make sure I would take advantage of good health.

In February, we won a medal in Greek dancing for our division and we celebrated in Disneyland (which you can find here and here). Peter and I painted his spare bedroom to turn into my art studio, where he later proposed. It was such a surreal moment in time. :)

In April, we celebrated in the gorgeous city by the sea, Monterey, where we tried our hands at staying up to see the lunar eclipse (we failed; I like sleep too much). Meanwhile, I fell hopelessly in love with green smoothies and taking long, windy walks throughout town. California is such a gorgeous place to live. I don’t give it enough credit.

may-through-august-2015-review-by-victoria-elena

May | June | July | August

We hit the ground running with wedding planning and started making decisions and scouting out vendors promptly. I’m so glad we did that because it’s making the last of planning a lot easier. I did an Alice in Wonderland illustration challenge and I taught myself how to make gifs and video (something I’m very interested in pursuing further in 2016).

In summer,Β I spent a lot of the time researching different venues for selling art and maintaining a website and storefront. We ventured off to San Francisco and other local areas for retreats whenever we could. The highlight of mid-summer was our engagement party in June and our one year anniversary in July.

In the off time, I did a few drawings and I finally posted about my trip to New Orleans. I rebranded my work by coming up with a mood board and focus keywords. I started taking other peoples’ portraits and I started brainstorming ideas I could use in my own portrait studio once I was ready to open it.Β  I discovered new tools to create detailed ink illustrations like this swanΒ and this knight I drew (for the knight, I did a step-by-step tutorial for inking an illustration from start to finish). And I did something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid – I opened up a print shop where I sold my illustrations and work. :)

September through December Year End Review 2015 by Victoria Elena

September | October | November | December

The last four months really flew by quicker than I can even fathom. I spent September delving back into oil paints and art challenges. I started thinking about blogging and all the great things about using it as a tool when you’re an artist. Meanwhile, I started up my last few months of work. I gave my notice that I was quitting at the end of December so that I could focus more on my wedding and on my art. :)

I feel like half of October was spent in Disneyland sweltering in the heat while celebrating their 60th anniversary, while the other half of October was spent in Chicago marveling at how beautiful their trees are in the fall. I also donned some eyeliner and transformed myself into a skeleton for some fun photographs. And to wrap up Halloween, I drew some cutesy vintage inspired sketches.

I devoted more time to my oil painting where I started this sinister painting of a girl and a wolf demon, a less sinister pomegranate still life study, and a autumnal landscape. If you ever wondered what my singing voice sounds like, I uploaded a short clip of it in this video I made. And I started a Tarot series (which I’ll be picking back up very shortly). And with Christmas just around the corner, I visited Monterey, I helped decorate my mom’s house for Christmas, and I designed cards, books, and prints for the holidays (whew!).

The year is ending on a high note. I’m finishing my last year being 24 with a lot of baking, cooking, eating, and relaxing. ;)

cupcakes by victoria elena

2016 –

Perhaps the biggest personal goal I have for myself in 2016 is to keep up with my mindfulness practice.

Since my last day at work a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing yoga and meditating every morning. It doesn’t take that long, but I notice a huge difference in my overall focus and mindset when I actively do it. I also invested in a little FitBit where I set up regular alarms to go out for a walk for fresh air. When I’m working on photos, sometimes I’ll get as little as 2,000 steps a day if I don’t remind myself to get out there and walk! (So not good!)

I hope you had a wonderful 2015 and that the New Year brings you something lovely!

xo, Victoria