Right Around the Corner? / by Anthony Brooks

Whoops. I missed my "every Friday" rule by about 24 hours. Better luck next time, huh? All jokes aside, I have a good reason. I finally have work that utilizes my artistic skill sets! Read on to see what I'm talking about and find out what else happened this past week. 

Serbia: Weeks 8-9

This past week was technically not super interesting to most. I made plans for a few things that I'm looking to build for the hostel (and priced the supplies), walked around a lot (this relates to the first part of this sentence) because nobody had said supplies, applied for ~20 freelance illustrator jobs, and pushed my wallet and appetite to limits not seen since college. Oh, and found out that this city has an underutilized and unknown metro station. I think that's it? If I think of something else, I'll include it later in the blog. 

Projects

The hostel is overall pretty great. That said, there are definitely things that could be improved. The couch doesn't have any outlets near it, so if you want to relax AND work, you're out of luck. The commons room table has a giant hole in the center (by design) that doesn't serve any purpose. Why is this significant? Well, because it's the perfect size for a homemade outlet box/charging station that would eliminate the current setup which is just an extension cord/power strip that runs up to the table. The dog constantly runs into it and clumsy guests trip over it. I don't know about you, but I would rather not see my tablet drug onto the ground because of a poorly designed setup. So I'm working on making new fixtures for the hostel. Maybe I'll post photos when I'm done? We'll see. 

What obstacles could possibly stand in my way? Unlike back home in the States where you can either order parts from Amazon or other online retailers or go to a nearby hardware store/supermarket, here in Serbia, supplies are nearly impossible to find. You can find a few things here and there, but specifics are like unicorns... They're either nonexistent or in hiding. For example, steel. You CANNOT find steel in any large (or small) size with the intentions of building something with it. 

Freelance

Besides random projects (done for free), I've been using the portfolio that I finished and mentioned in the last blog post to apply for some freelance illustration jobs. Something that I never REALLY thought would work or lead to any success, if I'm being frank. That aside, I received responses! For well-paying jobs! I've never been so astonished in my life. One of the jobs is illustrating a children's book and the other is creating digital drawings that will later be used for t-shirts and emoji keyboards. If all goes well, both will also lead to other jobs. So fingers crossed!

Appetite for... Pasta

Since I'm still working on the projects and thus, have yet to be paid, I'm pushing my budget to the max. Never since my time at Purdue have I eaten so poorly nor have I been so creative with ingredients. Pasta and crepes are my staple foods and the cause of my survival. Luck for me, my time at college prepared my stomach for times without copious amounts of food at my disposal. To wrap this up, I'll be SO HAPPY when I get my first paycheck from Upwork and don't have to worry about this crap anymore.

Other Sights and Experiences

From walking around whilst looking for building supplies to yesterday (Friday the 27th), I went some places in Belgrade that I previously hadn't been. More street art was discovered as was a completely unknown metro station. Who knew?! Belgrade has a freaking metro! Granted it has been under construction for decades and still isn't finished, but the main station is NICE. Just... spooky since nobody seems to know about it and thus, it's empty. It gives off the vibe of a post-apocalyptic civilization... Which is both cool and super creepy. I'll go back and take photos. 

Besides seeing the station and finding out about its existence, myself and 3 others rode the metro to the other side of the city (and technically a different state). Zemun and Novi Beograd. Novi Beograd (New White City or New Belgrade), by definition, is newer and many of the buildings are much much nicer than those in Beograd.  In Zemun (not newer), the buildings and layout has an Austrian-Hungarian feeling and style. Given the cheap, Serbian prices and potential of the beautiful buildings, this area could be AMAZING. Unfortunately, people here are piss poor at building upkeep (possibly due to lack of materials mentioned earlier) so quite a few of the buildings are falling into disrepair. It's a shame... 

While in Zemun, we went to eat at a kafana and went to the river. As it was a bit warmer, the ice in the river was breaking and the overall feeling was that of an Antarctic wasteland. Boats were stuck in the ice and broken beyond hope and huge chunks of ice floated by and crashed into whatever stood in its path. It was both beautiful and a shame. 
 

Belgrade, Serbia

The week ended with a trip to Shanghai market where everything is cheap, Chinese ripoffs and finally 20/44. The latter of which is a club in Novi Beograd that's on a boat. It's cramped but has a ton of character and loud music. You just have to get past the abundance of cigarette smoking and lack of space to appreciate another small part of what makes this city's nightlife so great. I think that's all, so I'm ending this post there.


Oh, and I almost forgot. I've been working on some chalk work AND a watercolor painting that will lead to later street art. I'll post the vibrant colors and white, chalky strangeness that ensued


As with last time, feel free to click the button below and donate to fix Dali (the super fat pug)'s eyes. He needs eye surgery to fix his sight and any donations are greatly appreciated. 

Thanks!

Anthony

↗ click this button to donate ↖