Lynn Cosyn

Lynn Cosyn shares from her heart about what it takes to encounter and overcome fear to live in cosyness, vibrancy, connection and present-moment-awareness. Her light-hearted tone and affirmation remind everyone of us that our dreams are possible with a little courage! Enjoy inspiring illustrations and useful resources from this Luxembourg lady.

 

What is your soul+work?

Seven months ago, I started being self-employed as an illustrator with my illustration studio COSYMORE. This has been one of the best decisions in my life so far. COSYMORE reflects my purpose of living a creative and cosy life. Through my illustrations, I'd like to share little moments of happiness and cosiness and I'd like to remember people to appreciate the little things in life. Cosiness for me is more than just the fact of having a warm cup of tea with candle light around me.

It’s actually a whole concept of living. It’s about creating a warm atmosphere, spending time with people I love and making daily tasks more meaningful and special. Since we are living in such a fast-paced world, overloaded with technology, we have kind of stopoed being authentic and conscious of how to live and interact. I think the only way to "escape" from this daily "busy-ness" is to be aware of the present, no matter where we are and what we're doing.

Over time I realized that some of these self-created recognizable moments of awareness have been the ones whilst I've been creating or drawing. Being focused on just one thing felt like meditation... oh and it still does. The best part: it's part of my daily job. I couldn't imagine anything better. In my illustrations you will probably see most of my little figures with closed eyes and happy faces. Well... no matter in which situation they are, they are enjoying the present moment. They feel cosy. A bit like little day-dreamers... Did I mention that I'm a professional day-dreamer as well? :)

 
 

I make my living by offering an illustration service. I do commercial illustrations as well as illustrations for personal use. Right now I’m working on an illustration for a lovely Pilates Studio in Aachen, Germany. What makes this assignment so special is the fact that there is really lovely person behind that particular studio. Carolin started 5 years ago with launching her own Pilates Studio, MEINPILATES, and you see her shine when she tells you about it. It's really inspiring when you meet like-minded people. It gives my job a meaning and purpose.


Take us back to before you were so inspired by your clients. Tell us about the journey. How did you transition from architect life to what you’re doing now?

Since I was little I could spend hours and hours with drawing and crafting, just being on my own. I used to be a very shy kid and had quite a low self-confidence. BUT! When it came to drawing lessons during school time, I was somehow able to overcome that awkward introversion. They took notice of my abilities and ooohhh I was so proud of that. These moments of happiness (and strength) lead me to the thoughts of becoming, well not necessarily an artist, but someone-who-does-creative-things. I remember my mum taking me to one of these craft & art shops and I was so convinced that I told her, "When I'm a grown-up, I want to come to that place very often because of my job."


Kids never stop questioning the things around them, like little philosophers...
Why do we loose our curiosity? Why do we stop exploring the world and take most things for granted? And most of all, why do forget about our childhood passions?


Well a few years later these childhood dreams became a bit modified… Unfortunately, we –as pupils– get very discouraged when trying to pursue a creative path. Studying art wouldn't be a very good idea, since we wouldn't earn a crust with an artistic job. We should rather go for "the real jobs". Hearing this growing up was kind of disappointing, right? So, I made the choice of studying architecture. At least being an architect is a real job... My first weeks as an architect were so exciting. I felt so lucky, like YAY I’VE MADE IT! Let the real life begin... or something like that...

Oh yes…this so called "real life" quickly showed up and made me realize how unhappy I was after my work in the architecture office. I didn't feel creative anymore- it was like my creativity was kept as a prisoner in order to fulfill the prescribed rules of the world of architecture. This job wasn't my cup of tea… so yes... well done Lynn... studying 5-6 years of architecture to realize at the end that I didn't want to pursue this kind of working and living for the next 40 years... I felt depressed, anxious and desperate. What to do?

I decided to travel far away from home, emerging into a different culture, discovering new things and to have time to reflect. So my backpack and I, we chose to go to Vietnam for several weeks. Can you imagine the shocked faces of my friends and family... whaaaat? You’re traveling alone? Why...? It might sound like one of these cliché - movies where a woman travels on her own to find herself. Well, I can only confirm that it worked for me. :)


What is essential in life? I finally came to the conclusion that 'knowing what we don't necessarily need gives us an unexpected freedom’.  You go back to essentials. It’s about simplifying your life and it feels so good.


Being in the middle of nowhere you feel so little and yet so strong. I’ve got so inspired by the simple lifestyle of the Vietnamese people I've met. How they showed gratefulness towards their environment. During this trip, I took a lot of pictures. A photographer I met over there showed me how to improve my photography skills and I quickly learned that by taking pictures we can literally train our eyes to see the little things in our life. A great exercise for being conscious of the present. I came back from that eye-opening trip and decided to quit my job – a hard and painful decision.

 
 

Luckily, I had the possibility to work in primary schools as a substitute teacher where I kind of attained my next enlightenment. While working with kids, I thought I could teach THEM very important stuff from life, but it turned out that they - without being aware of it - taught ME how to be CURIOUS again! Kids never stop questioning the things around them, like little philosophers. Oh my gosh, I was so inspired by them. How they were exploring and discovering their environment, experimenting, being creative in any possible way…

Why do we loose our curiosity? Why do we stop exploring the world and take most things for granted? And most of all, why do forget about our childhood passions?

Nowadays I'm proud of my zigzag life path, it's part of who I am and what I do now. I love what I do and I do what I love. I rediscovered my childhood passions and I'll not let go of them a second time.


What got you through the difficult moment as you transitioned into graphic design work?

So quitting a secure (oh yes I almost forgot : and 'real') job was definitely a hard thing to do. Seeing your friends "moving on" by making financial investments, like buying a new car, considering taking a loan to buy a house and all these other things you're supposed to do after graduation and starting to work.

On the one hand these thoughts caused a lot of self-doubts, but on the other hand they also forced me to reflect a lot about all these supposed 'must-haves'. What is essential in life? I finally came to the conclusion that 'knowing what we don't necessarily need gives us an unexpected freedom’.  You go back to essentials. It’s about simplifying your life and it feels so good.

That kind of alternative thinking isn't very easy to share with your friends and family. When you get this feeling of not being 'normal' and that you are not taken seriously or even ignored, that hurts. But here again, by changing the perspective of how we consider these judgements, we can find a kind of energy source. I felt so motivated to show not only myself, but also others what I was capable of.

Of course I am very grateful that my parents and my boyfriend never judged me, quite the contrary they believed in me and said that I will find my way. I just have to be patient and keep doing what I do.

 
 

Another important part during this transition period have been the new creative minds I've met. They inspired me a lot. Not only by having these smiley shiny eyes when they were talking about their business, but also by telling me: just do it! I was totally flashed by their open-mindedness, their joy, their power of DOING stuff. They also helped me a lot and I see them somehow as my mentors. Like the creative soul, Linda from Kinlake, she kind of pushed me to leave my comfort zone and to just start my business. Another creative mind is Julie, whom I met during an event called Brave Youth. She has her own product design studio – Julie Conrad – and I admire her a lot for her ambition and how she just does beautiful products.

There are these positive vibes and you just feel like: YES! It is possible – with lots of passion, discipline, ambition and curiosity we are all able to pursue the path we’d dreamed of. For me it has been the dream of being an illustrator.

 
 


What keeps the good vibes and creativity flowing daily?

Every morning I take one hour doing research in illustration and other artsy fields. I’m analyzing the work of famous (and not so famous) illustrators. Seeing beautiful artwork inspires me and I constantly try to incorporate this new knowledge into my work. I constantly want to improve my skills. My curiosity and my eagerness to learn more and more keep me going.

In addition to my daily motivation comes my mailbox. Yes, exactly, haha! – my mailbox is like a Kinder Egg. Almost every week there is a new surprise waiting for me. The biggest surprise I had recently is that I’ve been asked to go to Tokyo for several weeks or months to stay in an art residency. I was totally speechless. There is nothing defined yet, but only the fact of being asked, the getting noticed. is mind-blowing and is part of my daily motivation to keep doing what I love.

Another daily motivation are my followers on Instagram & Facebook. I am so grateful for every comment, feedback, every little "heart" I get. It makes me smile and realize I’ve made the right decision.
 

What helps you be a soul + worker?

I’d like to get inspired not only by digital resources, but also by just having a walk into the woods or spending some time on a flea-market. Being inspired by nature or by different historical periods, discovering unknown stuff and getting totally new ideas is a really helpful and a free non-digital resource.

Of course, I do use a lot of digital resources as well. Pinterest is definitely one of the best free resources I use to get ideas and to prepare my moodboards before any illustration. I also love this website, a daily micro-magazine by Ricardo Vazoli which has daily inspirational topics from branding, illustration to architecture and more. Another good website is Design Is Fine, a library of art & design history and inspiration from the past.

A free tool I’m using to define my color schemes or to analyze color harmonies is Adobe Color, which can be downloaded on the App Store!

When thinking about my productivity and time-management, I like using the POMODORO technique to help me stay focused and concentrated. There are several ways of using this technique.

I also recommend this app: BE FOCUSED. First, you define your different tasks. You have to "cut" your projects into small chunks of 25minutes. That really helps you to stay focused. And for the ones who’d like to use a non digital version, well buying an egg-timer might be the solution. :)

And last but not least, I totally recommend SkillShare. Which is a paid app and worth the $18/ month to get the knowledge of some really good creative people. There are classes for every kind of interest.


Words to live by?

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. - Anais Nin

 
 

I’m Lynn from little Luxembourg, a creative mind, a professional day dreamer who pursued the dream of being a passionate illustrator.

 

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