{noun} [french] lemonade

Citronnade. It is actually quite funny that I chose this name since I can’t speak French at all. But the focus is not on the language but on the meaning instead. 

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is a very famous catchphrase that means quite a lot to me. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 2010. Back then, I was only ten years old, and it changed my whole perspective on life itself.

I remember how people used to look at me with pity and a hint of disgust, especially the younger people from my school. The truth is, they didn’t even know what diabetes is, and I don’t blame them. However, as I grew older and started the course BA Journalism at the University of the Arts, London, I promised myself to share the story. 

My idol Robin Roberts who is co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America inspired me to “make my mess my message”. That’s how I got the idea for the project “bitterpill” where people can share their emotions and stories about health-related issues. I have my own mess, and I have created my message and so have many other people that shared their experience on Citronnade.

You might have noticed that this is not the only project on Citonnade – meraki was published soon after bitterpill. The pandemic has made a significant impact on the creative industry. As a student, I struggle to stay creative and motivated during these challenging times. Meraki wants to shift the focus to small businesses, ambitious students and people with a dream to introduce and, more importantly, support them on their journey.

Eunoia is, in my opinion, an important project. The focus is on the audience to share their views and thoughts about everyday topics. Most blogs publish stories without any interaction with the readers. And I want to change that.

The key values of Citronnade are diversity, togetherness and creating a safe space for everyone. I want to demonstrate that everyone is individual and has their own story. This blog is my professional and personal starting point. I grow with experience, and since I’m studying from home, I felt like I need to create my own experience. I got to meet so many inspiring people and built up a network to broaden my skills. I would have never thought that I would create digital illustrations, but Citronnade inspired me to do so.

Some people ask why I chose pastel colours as my colour palette. Well, any pastel colour is very soothing and simple. And I want to keep it simple on Citronnade. Simple but beautiful. That’s what Citronnade is about. 

It might sound odd, but I keep imagining myself sitting on the sofa of a Talkshow, and they ask me how it all started. My goal is not to get publicity because every member of my audience inspires me no matter the number. Nevertheless, I want to refer back to Citronnade when I think about how it all started.

I can’t wait for Citronnade to bloom. Thank you to everyone that supports me on this journey!

Love, Stella