Nothing useful (& Copic Marker doodles)


Dear friends,

First of all, I just want to thank all of you who took the time to post a comment and tell me a bit more about yourselves on the last article ! This made me so happy ♥
Social medias can be quite "self-centered" sometimes, and this is not a side of it I love. So being able to share a bit more here is wonderful. It is like having a conversation rather than just posting my own things ! So, thank you, with all my heart 😊

As I am starting to write, little Marcel just came onto the desk and sat between my arms, in front of the computer. It is not that convenient to write properly, but it is so cute I cannot tell him to leave ! I will write slowly today, and this is okay.

By the way, slowness is something I have been thinking about a lot these days. As you might have read somewhere on my Instagram, I have been working on a big project for most of summer, and until late October. It was a very beautiful project and I am happy and grateful I got to work on this (by the way, I cannot wait to share it with you to know what you think ♥), but it was very difficult because it did require lots of energy and creativity in a short amount of time. So I felt really tired when I finished working on it. I took a week off, and then a second one (because I did not have urgent work and felt like it could do some good). And then, when I came back to my desk, I did have to start working on some new things, answering emails, and everything. But, little by little, I realised that I could do the same things, only taking my time and not rushing for everything. Holidays were over, but I could stay calm anyway.

It is something very common nowadays to be as busy as one can possibly be - I feel like this is a sign of success or something similar in our societies. But taking our time, enjoying the little things around us are just as important as the rest. Taking care of ourselves is the first step before we can take care of anything or anyone else properly.

And I realised that I tend to forget this a lot when it comes to drawing. I "run" from a commission to another, feel pressure (that I only put myself on my own shoulders !) to post perfect finished illustrations on Instagram, and barely take the time to draw randomly in my sketchbooks, for the own sake of drawing, and not necessarily to come up with something polished and beautiful. Just to have fun and to enjoy the process.

So, as I was trying hard to come up with a nice sweet topic for this next blogpost, I suddenly thought that, maybe I should just put those thoughts into action and go for something a bit more relaxed than what I had planned in my head, and just take the time to sit, listen to some nice music and write to you. Marcel was here to remind me of this (he always is). I also thought I can post some pictures of my random doodles from my sketchbook I made yesterday with some copic markers. It was wonderful to draw for no reason. 

So here we are, a small article, just to tell you that it is okay to take your time, to not work all day long, to take breaks, to stop in the street to look at a small insect or a tiny leaf, to sit in your couch and just think and look around you, take the time to look at the corners of the walls and the ceiling. To buy a piece of cake and eat it slowly, looking at the people around, or through the window. To take a sketchbook and draw randomly the things that come to your mind and make you happy -even if they are very basic, even if they are not so "interesting" to post on any social media. To read some pages of that book we have put away for a while now because we did not have time, or because we had more "important" or more "serious" books to read before (I always feel guilty to read "dumb", light books, because I want to be a grown-up and read "real literature". I am so silly sometimes, I cannot believe it). To slow down and breathe.

What if today, we all tried to take a moment - even a few seconds is already great, to do nothing "useful", but something that puts a smile on our face ? I know sometimes, just looking at the sky, seeing all the planes going to places I probably don't know, and thinking about all the people who are inside altogether, makes me feel calm. It makes me feel like I am a small part of a huge world, and everything is okay.

And to finish this article, I thought it might be nice if I shared some of my favourite Copic/Promarker markers shades with you ? :-)
I am not always very consistent with markers, because I do not use them for finished artworks, but for sketches and doodles. So I like to change the colour palette sometimes and try new shades to experiment ! But there are some shades I really love and tend to use very regularly, and here they are :

O346 - Spice - Promarker
Y616 - Khaki - Promarker
YG91 - Putty - Copic Ciao
E40 - Brick white - Copic Ciao 
R00 - Pinkish white - Copic Ciao
G619 - Tea green - Promarker
O148 - Peach - Promarker
O819 - Almond - Promarker
Y919 - Primrose - Promarker

It is a bit difficult to catch the exact colours with a camera (especially now, because the days are so grey and dull, it does not make the shades justice !). But I used all of these colours in the sketches you can see in this article - those are scanned, so the colours are much more acurate, to give you an idea :-) 

You can also have a look at these sketches being made in this little video : I talk about getting back to drawing after a long time neglecting personnal work, and being kinder to ourselves. (I am actually so nervous, because it is the first time I recorded myself talking in a video ! Please forgive the awkward accent and pronunciation there !)


I hope this article helped you feel better about doodling randomly and letting off some the pressure we put on ourselves, or just made you discover new shades of markers you might like !  
Thank you so much for making it until here (this article was quite long, I can be so talkative sometimes), I truly appreciate your presence ♥
Please let me know if you have any favourite marker shades in the comments (I'm always searching for new colour inspirations !), or any tips and tricks you might have to help you create more freely. I would love if this little space could become a place of exchange between all of us, where each could give advice or learn something new ! That would be wonderful :-)

Take care of yourselves dear friends,
And remember to take some time to do something that puts a smile on your face,
Love ♥,


  1. Hello Cécile, your video was wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I haven't drawn in a few days and you have inspired me to do it today, to just take the time without any constraints. Taking the time to notice the little things, the simple moments, for me, is so important. Life is too short not too. Wishing you a most beautiful day! Oh and a few of my favorite copics are E70 ash rose, Y26 mustard and BG93 green gray.
    And by the way, your accent isn't awkward at all.

    1. Oh thank you so much Kelli !
      I just read your comment today (so sorry about the delay), and it makes me really happy ! I am glad this little video helped you make some time just for yourself to create. My goal is achieved ! :-D
      Also, thank you SO much for sharing your favourite marker shades !
      I will check them out, but only their names already tell me I will love them !!
      Sending you lots of love and marker scent (I love how they smell haha),
      Take care of yourself,

  2. Bravo, bravo! You are the most gorgeous person I ever read. Thank u for taking the time to write to us, is such a pleasure to read every word from you. Oh, and your voice and accent are the most beautiful thing.
    Thank you for sharing all of this with us.
    Love from the other side of the charco.
    Mariana Flores, (yes, i am that FLORWES from instagram, thank u for remember me)

    1. Oh thank you so so much Mariana, I am not sure I deserve this compliment but it makes me so happy !! You're really sweet ♥
      Thank you with all my heart for being so caring and kind, I feel very lucky :-)
      I send you all my love and snowflakes,
      PS : and I could never forget such a beautiful name !! ♥

  3. It's funny that you posted this article, I just recently disabled my Instagram account because I was always hesitant to post my drawings on there thinking that they aren't "worth" posting. That mentality was starting to take a toll on me and how I'm creating art so I thought it was better for me to just disable it. So far I think it is helping me taking my time on what I draw/paint, and to not stress too much on whether what I create is "worth" posting or not. I feel like this sounds a bit excessive because I don't even have a following on Instagram, but I was hearing a lot of people starting off their freelance career on IG to really curate your feed and make it pleasant like your own portfolio. While I see that it's very true, for someone who puts pressure on myself a lot, it is easier to stop thinking of it that way for a moment, and by disabling my account I'm thinking that I'm conditioning myself in a way to be more care free in how I draw/paint.

    And my goal is to feel that way when I do start my freelance business. Thank you for writing again Cecile, it's nice to read something that I can relate with, and I love your doodles! They are very cute and whimsical. The video was nice and calming as well :) Many years ago I used to have a lot of copic markers, but I didn't use them a lot. Last week I bought my first Winsor & Newton brush marker and was reminded of why I wasn't really fond of copic markers, I couldn't stand how they smell haha. But, I do like the color I bought, which is pink pearl. Although I'm not thinking to add more to the collection, I'll try to use it with watercolor somehow.

    Have a lovely day,

    1. Dear Francis,

      I totally understand how Instagram can make you feel (I feel the same sometimes !), and I think stopping it for a while is a really good way to get back to simply making art in order to enjoy it. It can be so difficult to stay true to ourselves on this platform ! Instagram has both lots of nice aspects and lots of bad ones ; there is a large community of creative people, and all of them are so kind and encouraging, and there is inspiration all the time around the corner ! But this can also drag us down, push us to compare ourselves to other amazing artists and wanting to make art that people will like rather than making art that makes us happy.
      On the other hand, I think we should not take Instagram too seriously - for a long time I also wanted it to be all clean and pretty like a portfolio, but little by little I realised that what I like a lot from other artists are the "rough" posts, the sketches, the work in progress, the everyday life... not necessarily the finished pieces. I think we do need both ! So I am trying to learn to relax too and post more of what makes me happy instead of chasing a perfection that I'll never reach :-)

      Anyway, I admire this decision of yours and I think it is a really good one ! But I also hope you will be back there someday - if you are please let me know, I would love to have a look at your work ♥

      Oh, and enjoy your new marker ! I love their smell but I can totally see why you don't haha ^_^

      I send you lots of love,
      And I apologize for answering so so late !
      Thank you for taking the time to write to me ♥
      Have a beautiful day !

  4. i haven't left a comment in a blog in AGES! but your blogpost made it possible. I could say lots of things about what you wrote and the video but I just want to say: oh, i love you. Kind words, lovely doodles, lovely cosy atmosphere. I wish I could spend a gloomy afternoon doodling, chatting slowly and drinking tea with you and your cute cat. Hope it doesn't sound weird. It's what your work inspired me to do and feel. I bought 3 Copic ciao markers when I visited London back in 2015. Not a thing I could find here in Argentina or even be able to buy online. You have such a lovely colour palette of markers!

    1. Victoria I am so happy that you took the time to post a comment on my blog then !! Thank you ♥ Also, I am very sorry for the delay, I am answering months later ! Please forgive me.
      And, many, many thanks for your kind words, they are truly motivating and make me want to work harder to post more around here. Reading this makes everything worthy :-)
      Oh, and that plan does not sound weird, it only sounds awesome ! I would love to have a doodly-chatty afternoon with you and my cat haha, this would be the best thing !
      I send you all my love and warm tea,

  5. What a wonderful article and video. Funny that you are talking about "slowing down" at the moment, that's exactly what I need to do, in my mind. I psych myself out thinking about all the things I want to do and how they have to be "perfect". I haven't doodled or even touched a pen in an entire month! Maybe if I just sketch what's in front of me, like you suggest here, my mind will calm down.

    Unfortunately I don't have any tips or tricks to share as far as markers go. Its been years since I've used them. Watching your video makes me want to go to my local art store and pick up a pack of Copics, though. I loved your sketches and color choices!


    1. Dear Sarah,

      Thank you so much for all this kindness and sweetness in your words. I am very late to answer, but reading them today makes me smile. If these wonky words and doodles can help you in any way to get back to doodling for yourself, then I am the happiest on earth ! :-)

      It can be hard to take time just for ourselves, we have to accept to "waste" it (even though of course it is nothing like wasted !!!), and it is not easy in our societies where we always have to be busy and productive.
      I hope you will find the time,

      And take care of yourself :-)
      I send you all my love ♥

  6. Hey, cécile! It is nice to be here again! I loved the drawings you did with markers! Little Marcel is just adorable!! here in Brazil, Copic markers are very I use a brand that is similar. Last year I tried to use them on my illustrations. I really liked it because the effect can be very close to what we have with watercolors.

    And I too think it is very important to take a moment to relax, breath, and just enjoy ourselves. This week I thought about that a lot. I went on a job interview to work on a new school, teaching Art. So I would be teaching all day long (I already teach Art in the afternoons, on a public school) But, when I did that in other years of my life, I felt exhausted. I love teaching Art to kids. They have no fear, they like to experiment a lot, and they enjoy the process (something that we can learn from them). But it can be overwhealming too �� and three weeks ago I started to take Portrait Comissions for Christmas. I’m loving it! But I’m making very little money with it. So, in my head, I feel guilty because I could teach more, and make more money (my mother did that all her life), instead of just teach in the afternoons and do illustrations and make little money haha. But I’m trying to think that we don’t need to be like everyone else. Maybe the others can work in a formal job all day long, and this just don’t work for me. And that’s Ok too!
    I think I just have to trust that everything will be okay, even if I don’t work all day in a formal job.

    Thanks for this post, Cécile! You always inspire my day ����
    Hope you have a nice weekend!

    1. Dear Juliana,

      Your comment is so inspiring ♥ I also have these fears of not making enough money, and thinking I could take a part time job or learn something else, completely different from illustration, which could help me make more money. But then when I stop for a minute and think twice, I don't think it would make me as happy as illustration does. And in the end, I believe it is much more important to be happy and have a little less money, and give up on things we might not necessarily need, than having lots of things and money but not being as happy as we could be. I don't know if this makes sense. However, I know it can be very hard for people because sometimes you don't have a choice and you need more money for your family for example, and for this I am very grateful that I have a family who could probably help me and support me if things got horrible for me. (Fortunately I am not at this point at all right now and I hope it never happens haha !).

      We are so lucky to be able to do what we love, and I think happiness is much more important than money most of the time ! :-)
      Thank you so much for sharing this feeling with me, I can relate so much, and it is very comforting to know that I am not the only one in this case.

      I send you lots and lots of love and warm caramel tea (it is amazing ! But if you don't like tea, I can send coffee instead haha :-D)
      You're the sweetest ♥♥

  7. Dear Cécile, how are you? My name is Esther, you don’t know me but thanks to your blogs in Youtube, Instagram… I know you a little bit, so I thought it would be nice to come here and say hello, in a more quiet place, so, Hello! :)
    It’s nice to have time to draw for yourself and not matter what. I love painting too. I’m starting now working as an illustrator so in some way I think I can understand you.
    I like a lot the colours you chosse for your work. I love watercolours, pencils and now I’m working more with copic and promarkers. I’ve already taken note of some of the colours you shared with us to try them, some of them I already have :).
    I was looking at my collection and I think you could enjoy maybe…
    Yr30(copic) or Y418(promarker), they are more or less similar. BG90(copic). E70(copic). E04 (copic). w0 (copic). R215 (promarker, maybe too dark). I can make a picture of them if you want :)
    Have a beautiful day you and Marcel and enjoy the little things! (little things are my favourite part of the day :))

    1. Dear Esther,

      Hello, so nice to meet you !! I am very thankful that you took the time to come here and write to me ♥ And congratulations on starting to work as an illustrator ! It can be a scary journey sometimes, but it so beautiful and fulfulling, I'm sure you'll do wonderful things :-)
      And thank you so so much for sharing some new marker shades ! It can be a little hard to pick random ones in the shop when you don't know them at all and don't really have an idea of how to combine them, so it's always helpful to know the opinion of other people who include them in their colour palette ! I'll have a look at them right now. I'm so happy, so exciting to discover new art supplies :-D
      I hope you will have a very happy day, stay warm and cozy ♥
      Sending you all my love and a warm cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer !)