About expectations x reality

Hello there!

I know, It’s been a while… I remember my last post  at the beginning of the year, full of excitement and plans about the future, starting with a nice trip to Croatia…
Can’t believe it has been 6 months already!

So, yeah, The expectations were to make this amazing and creative lemonade – inspiring traveling around, taking pics, drawing every day, enjoying the life like an instagram dream feed/sabbatical  kinda thing until we find a nice place/country to call home  –  with the lemons of the situation – Husband’s job hunting, our stuff all boxed, no house and money countdown…

But of course, not always things go the way we want/plan….
expectationsXreality_blogpost_malulenzi-01.pngThe first 2 weeks in that lovely city in Croatia, was relaxing and lovely but then.. we soon discovered that our mind could not turn off… the Lemons. And that’s it. We tried to smile, to enjoy the days but..it became mostly pretending I was having everything, including my emotions, under control when the reality I was screaming quietly for help – that I didn’t know how to translate into something like “please, help me to adjust my expectations, and be kind to myself” sort of thing.

As a freelancer is easy to sell that we can work from any place, any time, under any circumstances. But I learnt with my lemons, that being a freelancer works differently from people to people. For instance, I discovered that I, myself, need routine, a place to call mine, some books and art tools, 8 hours sleep and, some peace of mind. Of course, it was possible to do some work without these “ideal condition” and I did! I did some portfolio pieces, work on 3 contracts, went to Bologna Book Fair for some network..lots of unfinished sketches…

But with every week of “uncertain future” the mood went down a bit and I became less and less productive. I even got some nice news and deals from my agents but I couldn’t enjoy properly.  I struggled a lot with the feeling that I could be doing more (I have all the time!!) and my anxiety went to burn out levels and I slowly dropped everything.. first to survive emotionally and then, lately, to take care of my mind. Because I also discovered that my art comes from a happy place of my mind so us and downs are ok but all time down… makes my inspiring bunny art adviser go away.

Now I’m finally starting to feel “all the life joy” again – I’m even writing here!!
Hubby is completing 1 month on his new dream job in Copenhagen (one of our fav cities in the world). He brought our lovely old cat last week (after 45 days apart) which filled our currently temporary flat with love and cuteness. We’re waiting for some ongoing  bureaucratic process/documents to move on to the big search for our new house around August, when also we’ll be able to finally bring our boxed home (and my studio) from Berlin. Pus, Autumn is my fav creative season. So, stay tuned for cuteness overloaded! 🙂

And if you read until here, Thank you! Means a lot to know that you are still around and following my work, process even after down times.


PS: Hey! psiu! if you read until here you are a special some-bunny to me and I’d happily send you a special cute illustration on your mailbox. So if you fancy this idea,  leave me a msg (can be a comment here, or instagram or twitter or email – wherever you feel comfortable with) with the word LEMONADE  and your address (mail or email). and wait a couple of days. That’s it! 🙂


I’m on Mishmania!

Beyond excited to share that I’m on Mishmania!

MISHMANIA is a new series of activity books from Little Bee Books!
Rain, Rain, Go Away is one of the first of this amazing series, released in February.
It’s full of activity for the kids (5-7 years) all beautifully illustrated by 8 fantastic artists around the world – me included! 🙂

This project was amazing to work with. It was the first project my agents brought to me and I was beyond excited to work with Little Bee Books and Activity book! I was super duper anxious and nervous but they were beyond supportive and gave lots of freedom to create the pages. Plus, Rain theme was my favorite since I love  rainy days (yeah I’m that weird, but I really love raindrops-falling-on-my-head and how colors change once it’s wet!)

From me, you’ll find 12 fun activity pages!  There are colouring page, connect the dots, dress a deer, draw bird feathers, hide a bird, help a turtle through a maze,  unscramble the words and (my fav) make a paper boat to float around or use as a hat!

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I wish I have better pics to show how amazing is the print quality! But, oh well, you can always buy one to have your own fun! 😉

You can order on Amazon.
The price is $11.99 US / $15.99 CAN / EUR 10.93

Big thanks again to my fab agents from Advocate Art and Little Bee Books for this amazing opportunity of creating such fun artwork!



Happy Birthday to my dear Pinotina!

I wanna share with you a very special personal project.
February  3rd is a very special day for me: It’s Valentina’s day – my goddaughter’s birthday! 🙂

This year she’s celebrating 5 year’s old (time flies!) and she asked for  a proper “party” with Pinocchio as a theme – the proper Italian one, from the books not Disney!

And since I can’t fly to Brazil this time (heartbreaking), I’m joining the party creating the invitation and a printable pinned-pinocchio to add extra fun!


final invitation



Ideas and Sketches from my sketchbook



printable pinned Pinocchio getting ready to the party

2017, here we go!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Adventures!

I started the year with a blank page (literally!)
After 4 years living in Berlin, we (me+husband+cat) are moving! So exciting!
…But we don’t have a clue to where (yet)! So… exciting !?!?!
Well, I’ll not lie to you – It’s a bunch of mixed feelings when you make plans and then, life happens.
We’ve been willing to move cities in a while when hubby got this awesome job opportunity. Then,  once we were at the door, it was cancelled, and we saw ourselves lost in the middle of the way.
I know. It isn’t the end of the world. Not a death sentence or something major. It was just a job offer that suddenly was off of the table. But still enough to make our heart miss a beat and shake our perspectives. And specially, if you live an ocean away from home/family, some fears are suddenly activated.

We decided to keep the goodbye Berlin process. So, during December/January we did all the boring things related to this decision: Check and review finances, all the  (german) bureaucracy and re-start searching for jobs and future.

After some very blue days we’ve finally got the excitement tune for the brand new future.
Oh! All the possibilities! Can’t wait for the next steps! 🙂
PLUS: For the first time in 6 years, we can take a proper whole month vacation!
We’re going to spend February in Croatia!
(save some €€ + relax with great scenery + creativity boost since I’ll have my bff and amazing illustrator Antoana close by to share ideas !!)

It’s time to welcome 2017 and let our imagination go to adventures!

Are you ready? 🙂



Thank you 2016!

Dear 2016,


Thank you so much for everything!
Boy, It was intense! And I’m so grateful!

You were the first year that I had an international agent! My fab Agents at Advocate Art could show me around and introduce me to some new Clients and dream projects for the first time! Exciting Projects that helped myself to  learnt a bunch of new art techniques and my own creative process – I became the professional illustrator I dreamt about!  I worked like crazy pants! – lots of stress but It was a great validation time.
Thank you Malu-from-2012 for being brave and start drawing. You’re doing great now! (ok, still needs a lot to learn but still, getting better ever year! yay! )

And I went to Bologna Children’s Book Fair for the first time! And as an Illustrator! SO overwhelming and inspiring! Big kid feelings.

Also, thank you for all the ups and downs (and 2016, you were very monkey-ish!) ) . All the confuse times brought me closer to some amazing friends new and old ones. Once you live an ocean away from family, friends go beyond family. And I feel so lucky of having such amazing ones spread all over the world to share our moments great and not so great (special thanks to skype and whatsapp and fb)

Thanks for  my first Music Festival! Primavera Sound in Barcelona was memorable! Great Music, great food, great weather, even greater friends!

You also is going to be remembered as the year that my dear hubby launch his own game after some years developing with love and surrounded by talented people. I’m so so proud!
Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am of having such super star husband. (he would disagree but you should not listen to him)

We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! Ok, every year happen, but still!

And by the end of the year, we got some mix feelings news that gave us the opportunity to re-think our lives and prepare ourselves to be brave adventurers once again and explore new worlds. We are soon leaving Berlin with still no certain destination. 2017 is going to be a great adventure from the beginning!

Even though it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as I said on the first line, I’m grateful for 2016. I guess all the intensity made me stronger and wiser – signs of maturity also brings happiness. So, thanks!

and Bye Bye 2016!


Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Hope you all have a lovely and cozy time surrounded by  love.

And I’ll be back in January! 🙂


PS: OMG! My first gif!  Weee!

But Malu how did you do it? ? On photoshop??! – you may ask
Well.. not really. Let me tell you.  
Since I’m more a Adobe Illustrator Girl and very lost on Photoshop, I created 5 images from my original Holiday Cards  (like a tiny storyboard ) and upload to a MAGICAL site called  Giphy . 
Once there,  follow the steps: Create- Slideshow. Then play with the velocity and voila! 

Hello World! :)

Does someone still reads blog?
Hope so! because I’m planning to make this one!
about process. news. I’m a little out of time to be in social media so maybe blog weekly can help me to share more of my artwork process and a bit of my day-by-day /personal life.

Welcome and let’s go!

Malu 🙂

Random information: I would love to use glasses but my eyes are too healthy.  I would love to be a giraffe too, but oh well…blogthing_malulenzi