King’s Day 2023

Every 27 April, the Dutch celebrate the birthday of King Willem Alexander, otherwise simply known as “Koningsdag” or King’s Day. It is an official national holiday, and the folks here celebrate it wearing orange, the color of the Royal Family. In the cities like Amsterdam, it’s one huge, rowdy and overcrowded event which most local residents prefer to get away from. The countryside where we live, however, is a different world; a family day out where the entire community get together and have parades, party tents and organizing a “garage sale” on the street to sell unneeded stuff. Unfortunately, this year might not be as fun because although rain is not expected, it will be cold and cloudy. Rumours has it that temperatures will be even lower than last New Year’s Day!

A Chill Sketch

Not having the chance to last year, I was hoping to sell some of my old Hello Kitty stuff this time. I’ve got more than 5 boxes waiting to be rehomed as I am running out of space at my place, and well, some of the items like plushies and stationery I won’t really miss anymore. Unfortunately, though, I’ve been reconsidering this possibility now. The weather isn’t going to be great and we’re not too keen about standing outside in the cold for hours. We also go on vacation soon, and catching a chill is the last thing we need! Additionally, we have been so busy at home and socially outside that we are just too exhausted. I myself have been rather stressed constantly being on the go. Perhaps next year! No rush there, and the Kitty’s are not going anywhere. And just to help me chill and put my chaotic mind to rest, I went for a much-needed coloring therapy with my Copic markers. And here is the sketch I started, first with a pencil then with the Copic Multiliners

Coloring Therapy

At this point, I wasn’t bothered about perfection. I’ve been so stressed lately, and trying to make the drawing perfect would exacerbate it. The whole point of the exercise was to chill and thus I proceeded on my own pace and felt so much more relaxed not having to strive for accuracy. Actually, it made me happy for a change! As I got started with coloring with the Copic Ciao markers, I decided to introduce more items in the drawing like the Dutch flag, and how can we forget the tulips? The colors used were limited to less than ten to make it simple. In fact all the reds were the same pen, and the oranges from two shades. Interestingly, I even got Hello Kitty to match the Dutch flag! The only area in which a variety of shades were used was the brown for my hair as I wanted to enhance the highlights I had gotten the other day. And now, not a perfect sketch but in my eyes, it is perfectly kawaii, and that’s important!

And what a relaxing session that was. Though enjoying myself, I had so much going on the past few weeks that I started feeling overwhelmed both physically and mentally. Just being able to sit down for a few minutes and draw certainly helped me deal with the chaos. At that point, I didn’t care if the sketch was perfect or not, as all I wanted to do was to draw what was on my mind. Coloring of course further helped as it’s often said that it is therapeutic. Feeling much better now, and now I can enjoy my King’s Day knowing I don’t have to stress about getting prepared and feel bad about not wanting to open my “Hello Kitty stall” this year. Fingers crossed next year will be better!

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