Hi, I'm Simon. I'm a Canadian artist living in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The year 2020 has been a difficult year for many of us, especially because of the coronavirus. In order to stay positive, I decided to create a visual gratitude journal on my Instagram page. For a hundred days, I drew an experience that made me happy.
I posted my first illustration on March 1st, 2020. There are a lot of drawings of me and my partner traveling between Stockholm, Sweden where he currently lives, and Copenhagen, Denmark. From cooking together to eating a bowl of ramen and cozying up with a good book, this project helped me to stay grounded and mindful.
Throughout my art journey, my style evolved and so did my storytelling. I received a lot of positive messages and support for showcasing an interracial same-sex couple, enjoying simple and everyday moments.
More info: Instagram
Happy #iwd2020. Today, I wanted to highlight an amazing and selfless woman: my mom. I live in Denmark and she’s in Canada so we like to message and video chat frequently. She recently sent me a very nice message that just made my heart melt. Thank you mom for your unconditional love.
In these days of social distancing, self-care is essential. Just taking the time to take a nice warm bath with my favorite bath bomb brings me so much joy.
Today celebrates my two years living in Copenhagen. I’ve always talked about going winter swimming but haven’t mustered the courage to jump in the freezing water. I went to Ribersborgs Kallbadhus in Malmö to take a dip in the cold sea. I’m so proud for giving it a try and for being able to dip my head under the water after the second trial.
Social distancing is difficult but necessary. I love it when @patricws cooks and is able to whip out a nice noodle bowl from leftovers in the fridge. It’s better than going for take-outs.
Since we’ve all been asked to work from home, I’ve been enjoying my morning meetings with my teammate. It’s nice to see that social distancing has made us less camera-shy. Of course, ☕️ is always a must. 🥐 optional.
Isn’t it great when random people are coincidentally color coordinated? As I rushed to the elevator going down to the metro, I noticed that the three other people were all wearing bright yellow pieces of clothing. If you live in Scandinavia, you’ll know that this is not common practice. Danes usually stick to more muted colors such as black, dark blue, and brown.
This unusual social distancing situation has made us realized that FaceTime dates are a real thing. We were so happy to catch-up and cheer with our good friend @lilowilliams from my beloved home country of Canada. Much love from Sweden.
Working from home also means that I have more time to take care of my plants. It’s good to shower them once in a while.
Yesterday I received a big package from work to be opened on Friday at 16:00 during our conference meeting. When I unwrapped it, the box was full of delicious goodies to celebrate our #fridaybar virtually. How thoughtful.
With spending most of our days at home, we are not in the mood for shopping. However, we made an essential purchase to survive our social distancing life: lazy pyjama pants. It’s a better alternative than to bum around in our underwear, and the neighbors are probably thanking us for being a little bit more decent.
Social distancing has been quite difficult for me, especially when we can’t hug. That’s why I couldn’t help myself to hold and kiss this gentle giant when I saw him last week.
Sometimes, we are all talked out. But I love having you next to me just being on our phones.
Getting a haircut right before the lockdown was announced. We might be isolated within our homes, it doesn’t mean that we don’t want to look good.
I recently bought an extra yoga mat to practice at home. It’s very important for me to exercise regularly to keep my body strong and my mind sharp, especially during these hard times of social distancing.
When you are impatiently waiting for the new episodes of The Circle to come out. Couples that wait for each other to binge-watch tv-series together, stay together.
I’ve been in Stockholm for almost a month and, honestly, I could not have hoped for a better partner to be confined with. It makes me really happy whenever we work on our different tasks to make the apartment feel more like home.
In light of the coronavirus situation, Denmark has recently called a ban for all travels, closing its border. I’m so thankful to be home and to be in my own bed. Stay safe and healthy everyone.
Sometimes just using the different filters on Instagram is enough for us to laugh and giggle.
With very short days in the winter, you can imagine how a bit of sunlight can bring immense joy. I was super happy to see the sun peeking out to get my quick fix of vitamin D.
They have a much better variety of Japanese and Korean food in Stockholm than in Copenhagen. On my last visit, I showed my boyfriend how to properly unwrap an onigiri. It’s easy as 1,2,3.
I love going on walks with @patricws while respecting social distancing from other passersby. The best thing is when we listen to music together sharing AirPods.
Having fresh flowers in the apartment really brightens up my day. I love working and drawing from home having a fresh spring bouquet on display.
We’ve been pretty disciplined at preparing wholesome meals at home. I love how creative we got in using most of the ingredients in the fridge and cupboards. So far we’ve had sushi, spring rolls, marinated pork bao, and taco nights.
This weekend, @patricws and I were very social while respecting physical distancing. We had video chats and shared a few drinks with friends from Sweden, Denmark, Canada, France, and the UK.
Since the majority of us are confined to our cozy apartments, I decided to be proactive and take on a front split challenge. Every day I need to hold the stretch for at least 90 seconds per side. It’s only the fourth day and it feels like pure torture. However, I always feel a great sense of accomplishment by commuting to the pose.
It’s not summer yet in Copenhagen, however, I got really excited to discuss vacation plans with my better half today. The simple thought of escaping somewhere nice and warm made me very happy.
I usually eat quite healthy during the day, including a strict intermittent fasting regimen from 11:30 am to 8:00 pm. I got very excited doing groceries and bought a bucket of potato salad that I ate behind closed doors at home. Carbs can be good for you... in moderation and mayo.
The other day it snowed in Stockholm. Although we are already in spring, I’m happy to have seen some snow in Scandinavia this year.
We recently received a few masks from a very generous friend. It’s always a good idea to stay safe, but it’s even better if we try to look good doing it.
We were very fortunate to find an awesome French bakery that makes the most amazing sourdough bread, croissants, and baguettes. Thank you @cafepascal for the delicious treats, feels just like when I was in Paris. Social distancing means more cooking at home and @patricws did not disappoint by making a delicious ratatouille to go with the freshly baked levain.
Social distancing doesn’t include people in your household. After all-day online meetings, it’s good to just sit back and relax together.
For Easter in Sweden, you can receive a giant egg filled with candies. I feel like a big kid when I opened it for the first time. It was filled with Swedish sweets and salty licorice.
We’ve been enjoying cooking different types of meals during our confinement. Earlier this week, we made some pork bao, and last night, some sushi rolls.
I have a new favorite snack from Sweden. It’s as simple to make as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. All you need is a fish roe spread (Smörgåskaviar), a boiled egg, and a piece of bread... My preference is for Danish rye bread (rugbrød). Although be warned, the fishy taste might not be for everyone though.
A hundred days ago, I decided to splurge on an iPad Pro in the hopes of picking up drawing again. I’ve been really proud of myself for consistently producing art and starting an Instagram page.
Confinement has encouraged us to read more books. I just finished Jon Ronson’s book on public shaming and bf has picked up Don Quixote.
We’ve been social distancing for so many days that we even have matching bumming-around outfits... Of course, that was not done on purpose.
My friend Luke showed up at my door with a bottle of red wine. Having a drink in the middle of the week is great, but having great friends is even better.
Pre-social distancing, I loved attending my hot yoga classes in the morning. I was also very excited whenever I would have the locker room all to myself because I was the only man in the class.
One of the perks of social distancing is having more time at home to clean and organize your apartment. That includes properly folding your laundry. Maintaining an organized environment is very important for one’s mental well-being.
We had a lot of fun challenging each other at a round of darts. It’s a nice change from being online or playing video games.
Happy Easter! This is a gækkebrev (fool’s letter) and if you guess the sender of the letter right, the Danish tradition says that you can receive some sweets. But the real treat for me was to receive that letter. Thank you so much.
After dinner, we like going on walks. It’s really nice to see the fountain at Mariatorget overflowing with water. This really changes the atmosphere of the park and shows us that spring is here. You can see in the background a statue of the Viking god Thor to remind us that we are in Stockholm.
I booked concert tickets for August. Spending money on experiences is a good way to spend quality time with loved ones and to look forward to the event.
It’s now warm enough to run outside with a light jacket. It’s great to wave or nod at other runners especially during this time of social distancing.
Last fall, I picked up writing again, and it felt great to have gained the confidence to write and press “publish”. After a two-month hiatus, I just submitted a new article on my Medium account, awaiting for publication. The social distancing is not fun but I’m trying to schedule personal tasks in my calendar to stay motivated and productive.
The best part of isolation is when @patricws gets creative in the kitchen. Last night, he made a delicious Coq au vin. Home-cooked meals in a great company are the best.
The weather has been so nice recently in Stockholm. It was the first time this year that I wore shorts outside to work out... Of course, practicing proper social distancing.
I never regret a workout. My friend took me to her gym to try it out and I loved it. They had a live DJ playing, the equipment was top notch and they even had my favorite, a curved treadmill.
Yesterday we moved an hour forward, and surprisingly, I didn’t wake up groggy. I was up by 7:00 am despite the time change and was able to start the day productively with a yoga session.