I’ve heard it said that creativity and child rearing have a tendency to cross-cancel each other. The outcome may lack a little polish, but it’s hilarious indeed. Here is an illustrated recap of a day spent with a freshly walking tot.
As our worlds close around us and we are stuck at home more than usual, it’s easy to think that inspiration is divine lightening that strikes from the outside world. When I was a young aspiring artist, I loved to draw but didn’t know “what” to draw. Observing my insular world gave me the greatest primary reference and fast tracked me to find my voice and style. (Don’t even ask about motherhood!)
I delve into all this in my new Skillshare course “Stuck at home self-portrait: capturing a moment in time with watercolor”. I walk you through how to reacquaint yourself with your surroundings, conceptualise an evocative drawing and how to use watercolor to efficiently execute it. If you’re new to watercolor, you can watch me make all the micro decisions that go into creating an illustration (where to start, when to stop, how to tame your watercolor!). And if you want to think more editorially about your work, I give you a clear prompt how to push yourself to take your work to the next level. Check it out. And I hope it can be a telling artefact for your grandkids all about how you were stuck inside for as long as you were.
Click here to get 2 free weeks of inspiring courses, including my own for free.
New York is a great place to have zero professional skills and a $600 Astoria rent. Here is a snapshot of my life circa 2010-2011.
For more illustrated NYC, order my new Rizzoli book New York in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide.
It is the “must-visit, must-see” travel list given to you by the New Yorker friend you wish you had. Vibrantly illustrated throughout by yours truly, this practical guide transports readers to discover an insider’s view of the Big Apple, featuring eleven curated neighborhood destination walks–guiding the reader through the energetic New York streets. Cultural musings, accessible histories, anecdotes, and informative details accompany the illustrations throughout, making this volume as practical as it is beautiful.
I have to give it you, dear readers, for making Paris in Stride a smashing success. I’ve heard tales of stolen copies. One fan bought a stack of 10 copies and doles them out to everyone who visits Paris. And my dear parents have ordered so many copies that they are probably responsible for at least one of several of its reprints. If you are so inclined, please preorder your copy here so you can be one of the first to take New York in stride.
Because Paris isn’t just a stuffy old monument of a city, here’s an illustrated write-up of some newer additions to spruce up your Summer visit, an excerpt from a piece I wrote and illustrated for Eurostar’s Metropolitan Magazine.
This Les Halles institution is now in the talented hands of Michelin-starred chef Jean-François Piège. It revisits la cuisine bourgeoise, cooked with fine-dining precision, while the brass fittings and banquettes have a sweetly 1930s feel. 9 Rue Vauvilliers, 75001 Paris
Easier than running away with the circus, this is a temple of 19th- and 20th- century paraphernalia from the shows and funfairs of La Belle Époque. Be prepared to be swept into a moving cabinet of curiosities with merry-go-rounds, 100-year-old bikes and other antique attractions. 53, av. Terroirs de France, 75012 Paris
Reflecting the diversity of the 12e arrondisement, this bustling market seems untouched by time. Barter at the mini flea market and grab a quick bite at Le Baron Rouge, a packed-out, affordable wine bar with oysters at the weekend. Rue d’Aligre et, Place d’Aligre, 75012 Paris
The world’s biggest startup incubator in Halle Freyssinet is now home to Europe’s biggest restaurant, a 4500m² Italian joint from buzz-worthy restaurant group Big Mamma Group, with cool concerts Wednesday-Friday nights. 5 Parvis Alan Turing, 75013 Paris
The original High Line, the Promenade Plantée connects bustling Bastille to the Vincennes forest in a 4km green walk. The abandoned train track is now an urban mashup of floral and fauna amid Haussmanian rooftops. 1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris
This former SNCF depot has been magicked into a sprawling playground of performance spaces, galleries, shops and food truck dining; its 1500m² terrace is the coolest summer spot for a beer. Vintage train relics are cleverly repurposed throughout. 81 Rue du Charolais, 75012 Paris
This interdisciplinary art centre from the foundation behind Galeries Lafayette is a temple of exhibition spaces, creative labs and research into contemporary art and design, all in a 19th-century building restored by Rem Koolhaas. 9 Rue du Plâtre, 75004 Paris
Already exhausted the Eiffel Tower, wax museums and Planet Hollywoods of Paris? Pick up a copy of my book “Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide” (Rizzoli) which USA Today hails “Weiner’s charming watercolor of the city (and its food and wine) are the next best thing to hopping on a plane”. Available wherever books are sold, but preferably your local indie bookstore.
You’ve got the sensible walking shoes and the trusted guidebook. What else do you need to know when navigating the streets and many nuances of Paris, France? Here are few hard-earned tips for navigating the city with ease and an insider’s confidence….
For more insider tips on navigating Paris like a local, pick up a copy of my book “Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide” (Rizzoli). It’s celebrating its first birthday today. Want to keep the book love going? Gift a copy to a friend, request it at your local museum gift shop or indie bookstore, recommend it to a friend who’s headed to Paris and leave an Amazon review. And thank you sincerely if you’ve done any of the above. Its success is all thanks to you. -jkw