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HELLOO! I’M ILSE

Welcome to NovaWoolf – my space to dream and to do, and to share it all with you. Hang around and let’s figure out how to live our best damn lives and be our most authentic, fulfilled, and creative selves, together!

I used to draw on tables. My teachers probably should have let me. I probably should have found somewhere else to draw.

When I was little, I used to draw on my school desks, doodle in the margins of test papers, and I used to ‘glam-up’ my year planners by pasting pictures from magazines onto any empty spot I could find and then drawing next to, over, and all around them. My year planners were a sort of journal where I kept track of what I did, who I saw, interesting things I heard or read, and how I felt about it all. I never used them for their intended purpose – I never really wrote down much in advance, and if I did have sections detailing my homework assignments, I pasted or drew over it as soon as it was no longer useful. Somewhere along the road of life, I stopped.

I could blame this on many things: it was because teachers always reprimanded me for doodling on desks (understandably so); it was because a kid in my class judged what they saw in my planner (I hope they have shown the criticised part of themselves some love by now); it was because a boy once called my expressions ‘silly’ (I hope he has finally embraced the silly part of himself); it was because adults told me to focus on ‘real work’ (I am yet to understand what that even means). Really, it was because I let the world get to me. I allowed myself to disconnect from who I am in favour of what I should be.

We hear this kind of thing a lot nowadays in the form of new age spiritual mantras and affirmations that aim to guide us back to ourselves, but honestly – wtf does that even mean? What does it look like to reconnect to yourself? How do you even know if you are disconnected in the first place, and how do you know when you’ve made the journey from being lost to found? I can’t tell you what this journey will look like for you exactly, but I can share with you my journey, and maybe you will find some useful knowledge, or some inspiration in what this all has involved (and continues to involve) for me. Or maybe you will simply find a place where you can relate to someone else’s experiences and not feel so isolated.

If you have been following my creative expedition over the last few years, you would have seen quite a lot of emotional content as I have spewed my inner conflicts and discoveries onto a page (but that’s another blog post), which made its way into your social media feed. It’s been interesting, difficult, exciting, and rewarding, and it has led me from posting daily doodles as a form of therapy while completing my Master’s Degree and going through major life changes, to creating NOVAWOOLF – my space to create, to dream, to do what I love and to share it all with you. I think that’s pretty damn amazing!

I’m so grateful for every person who has encouraged me to start posting drawings, to everyone who has bought my artworks, or commissioned design and illustration work, to everyone who has encouraged me to exhibit my work, and to take this even more seriously and turn it into something I once could’ve only imagined. I’ve listened to you all and I thank you all for being my guides and pushing me forward. NOVAWOOLF is ready, she’s brave, and she’s excited for what the future holds!

Since this is my very first (and very scary!) blog entry, I’d love to give you an exact roadmap of where this is all going and what you can expect to read if you subscribe to my blog, but the honest answer is that I can’t. At one point in my life I could tell you exactly where I was going, and what my life would look like in 10, 20, 30 years’ time, but I was wrong. Lol.

What I can tell you is that I am committed to sharing my current metaphorical doodle-covered school desks, test papers, and year planners with you in whatever form that might be. What I can tell you is that this will NOT be a blog where you will find “10 ways to perfect hair / nails / faking your way to that perfect designer outfit...”, etc. I’m not bashing those blogs either – they each have their place, and yisssss do I love a good beauty how-to when I find one! What I am saying though, is that I couldn’t write those blogs, because I don’t know 10 ways to the perfect… anything. My life is messy. It’s up, down, sideways, and real. That is likely what you will be reading about. Well that and art; design; psychology; yoga; rock climbing; hiking; dogs; eco-conscious living; and most definitely my new range of yoga mats that I’m beyond excited about!!

Follow me on this exciting journey so that we can all figure out how to do this adulting thing and create our best, most authentic, fulfilling, creative lives, together.

I would always appreciate your feedback and suggestions, so please consider leaving a comment below.

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