Fashion illustration Stories

Hi, it’s me, I’m back

October 27, 2015
aldraws fashion digital illustration raf simons dior emma watson golden globes 2014
The dress is a Dior Couture (by Mr. FashionGenius Raf Simmons) as worn by Emma Watson at the Golden Globes 2014

Saturn in opposition to Taurus.
That’s what was about to happen in the year 2012. And Saturn is a slow bitch so it would stay in opposition to my sign for around two years. So the horoscope said.
Revolutions, tragedies and a gloomy mood like a perennial pre-menstrual syndrome were about to happen.

But you know, I’m a scientist I don’t believe in the horoscope.

No, OK, wait.

I’m a scientist but I am also a woman, and my late 20s/early 30s are so full of estrogens storms that I am becoming a gynic stereotype: sometimes I say things that could easily be taken straight from a mediocre someecard and my life for quite a while looked like Bridget Jones meets Sex and The City v2.0.
And I read the horoscope.
I am a faithful follower of the monthly-Susan Miller/weekly-Rob Brezsny religion.
But in secret. Because a molecular biologist is supposed to believe in proteins, genomes and experimentally-verified facts (preferably supported by sound statistics), not in some pseudo-science telling you that planets and stars are deciding your destiny… So don’t tell anyone.

But let’s go back to 2012.
I was secretly fearing the soon-to-come rage of Saturn on my stable, quite happy life.
I had a boyfriend for 10 years, we were starting to have the marriage&kids (full package) kind of talks. I was doing my PhD in Medicine (which wasn’t going that well at the time but still, it worked out in the end) in Ghent, Belgium, which is a city I deeply love. I had a fashion blog, “The Red Dot”, and sharing my illustrations and pictures with my readers was giving me extreme pleasure and satisfaction.
Art was a part of me, drawing was a very important side of my identity.

And then the bomb exploded.

In July 2012, one nice day, out of the blue, my boyfriend decided to leave me (actually on the day of our 10th anniversary. I’ll spare the other details).
It was so unexpected, violent and cruel that I completely lost it.
At age 28, life as I used to know it in my whole young-adulthood was suddenly shattered in a thousand fragments in the micro-timeframe of a couple of days.

And I kept being completely lost for the following two years. Thank you very much Saturn.
I could hear my dear Susan Miller and Rob Brezsny repeating in the background: “told ya!”

As a matter of fact, I went through such a deep depression that I almost lost my job as a researcher PhD student (for which I worked so hard for years). I went through a series of emotionally devastating pseudo-relationships with random guys (some episodes were funny though) in order to try to fill the void I had inside and shut down the pain I was feeling in my head and in my heart. I spent my evenings getting drunk to numb my brain and my weekends lying in my bed staring at the ceiling.

And in all of this the worst part was that I couldn’t draw anymore. I couldn’t even think of drawing. It was completely out of question. I was too busy surviving.
So then I also lost my blog.
Voilà, jackpot.

I was reaching the deepest bottom of the dark pit when one sunny Spring Saturday morning I looked at the light reflecting on my ceiling (yep, I was still spending my weekends staring at the ceiling) and I told myself: “Come on, get your shit together and do something. If someone is ruining your life now that is you and you only”.

So slowly, very slowly, I did. I started getting my shit together.
I started working very hard again on my PhD, I started seeing a therapist, I got blessed by luck and met my current boyfriend (spoiler: he’s amazing. And we have a cat. Perfection). Saturn got the hell out of my way.

But there was still something missing: my creativity.
That huge chunk of my personality that craves beauty and tries to reproduce it with ink, watercolors and daydreams was still wandering around somewhere, lost in my insecurity and in my fear of showing who I am to the fullest. At times, I thought it was lost forever.

I think I was just hiding it somewhere deep inside me, to protect it from the painful process of healing and from a reality that I was still perceiving as too scary and hostile.

And one Sunday a couple of weeks ago, while laying on my bed lazily going through the last issue of Elle Italia, I felt it.
It was a sparkling, but still timid, burst of energy inside my soul, unexpected and sudden like the most beautiful surprises: I felt the need to start drawing again.
A compelling feeling. Like my hands, which weren’t able to even touch an ink nib for almost three years, couldn’t wait for a second to start putting on paper the images forming in my head.

And here we are now.

That was my story, what brought me here.
This is why this blog was born.

By writing and drawing here, I hope to get in touch with that part of me again. The creative Al that was re-born from the ashes and hopefully will never be buried again. I hope that, through my drawings and my posts, I’ll meet wonderful people (like I used to with my old blog). I hope to share to the fullest my love for art and fashion, the lessons I’ve learned in these three years of very deep soul searching and all my illustrations (that, I can tell you already, won’t be fashion only).

Saturn will be back to break my balls in 2041, so let’s enjoy until then.

xxx Al

You Might Also Like


  • Reply ITGIRLKYM October 27, 2015 at 11:48 am

    So good to read you again.

  • Reply Al October 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you so much ^^
    It feels great to be back!

  • Reply Ms. Bunbury October 27, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Welcome back Alessia! It's an amazing news. Any time a bright smile pop up again after some deep blue state of mind, it is amazing. Life is amazing. (OK I'm a bit pathetic, sorry! But I kind of experienced something similar in these last 4 years and I know how frustrating can be losing the pleasure of doing what you love) 😉 And why am I writing in English?!? :-D). Anyway, I was there reading the Red Dot 3 years ago, and I'm here now. Take care, Marta.

  • Reply Anna October 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Good to have you back!! Missed your writing and illustrations but totally understood at the time why you stopped blogging. Life comes (always) first!

  • Reply Marco October 27, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I'm ready for the next post!
    A nice surprise need a nice surprise…

  • Reply Al October 28, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Oh io ti rispondo in Italiano… Senno' non lo uso mai :p
    Grazie mille Marta… Sono riuscita a disegnare di nuovo anche grazie all'incoraggiamento e all'interesse di amici e "vecchi" lettori. Sapere che anche tu sei una di quelli che, dopo ben 3 anni di assenza, sono ancora qui fa tanto bene allo spirito. xxx

  • Reply Al October 28, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Thank you Anna!!! xxx

  • Reply Al October 28, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Next ones might be a bit disappointing though, as I'm going to talk a lot about make-up and clothes :p
    Still, you can look at the drawings 😉 xx

  • Reply Adam Pickford April 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Leave a Reply