Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Illustration Friday | Shadow.

Shadow puppets!

A little collaged illo for Illustration Friday; the topic this week is shadow. This illustration was taken from a page in my children's book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of...

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Illustration Friday | Children.

We have a blackboard wall in our new kitchen. Last week, whilst attempting to entertain my best friend's little girl, I handed her a piece of chalk and she became totally absorbed in her drawings. It wasn't until about halfway through our little art session that I realised the possible negative consequences of teaching a toddler that it's okay to draw on the walls! There were a few times I had to prevent her from wandering into our hallway and decorating all our walls with her scribbles, so I'm hoping she won't be left unoccupied with crayons at home!

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is children. This is an image that was originally created as part of my children's book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of... The creativity of young children has always inspired me, as their drawings always show such incredible imagination, and I really enjoyed creating characters and drawings in a child-like style. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Communication Arts | Award of Excellence.

You may remember that earlier this year, i announced that my Monster Alphabet hand-created typography had been chosen as one of the winning entries for Communication Arts' Typography Annual 3. The annual was published in January, and my collage typography was featured inside. I was also informed that, in addition to receiving a copy of the annual, each winning entrant would receive an Award of Excellence; an actual trophy! I was pretty excited to receive this beauty in the post this morning;

Eeeeee! An actual shiny trophy engraved with my name! Now i just have to find somewhere to put it...

Monday, 22 April 2013

GETINCASED | Illustrated phone cases.

My illustrated iPhone cases have been available from my Society6 shop for a while, and during that time i've recieved various queries as to whether my phone case designs were available for other makes of phones too. Unfortunately they weren't at the time and, as I hated to disappoint people, i've always been looking into away to make this possible.

I'm now very excited to announce that my illustrated phone cases are available from GETINCASED! Yay! There are lots of different designs available for a range of phones - iPhones, Samsungs and Blackberrys!

I actually ordered a couple of my own designs; my favourites - the squirrel and the hedgehog; for my own phone; a Samsung Galaxy S2. It probably makes me a littttle bit of loser parading about with my own illustrated case adorning my phone, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try the cases out for myself so I could review the quality, plus I reallyyy wanted a cute woodland creature case for my phone! :)

I was very excited as my phone cases were delivered super quickly, and i'm very pleased with them. The quality of the cases are lovely - they seem fairly flexible but also feel very durable and strong. The cases themselves fit my phone perfectly and were very easy to fit, and the image quality is very high, which means the illustrations are beautifully clear, even all the tiny details! I'd definitely recommend them. :)

You can have a peek at my full range of phone case designs here! There's free shipping on all orders for all you lovelies who live in the UK, plus there's currently 10% off ALL your orders for my illustrated phone cases - yippee! Just use the code madiillustration at the checkout.

My phone is now encased in a super cute illustrated squirrel phone case! Love it!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dorset Libraries | I'm A Little Bit Scared Of...

A few weeks before Christmas, I decided to drop a copy of my children's picture book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of... into my local library in the little town of Blandford. I thought it would a way to share the book with a wider audience of children who may not otherwise have a chance to enjoy it, and also it would be pretty awesome to know that my book would be available to borrow by little ones throughout Dorset.

I was told that before the book could be borrowed, it would have to be added to the library catalogue, so i've been waiting, a little impatiently, until earlier this week when i found out that it had been added. Eeeee!

My book can now be found in, and borrowed from, the children's section at Blandford Library. It can also be requested from other Dorset libraries, so if you live in the area, why not have a peek?

If you're not local, and would like to borrow my book from your local library, you could always suggest it as a book they may like to purchase - if they get enough requests, you never know!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Earlier this week, I discovered illustrator Stephanie O'Hearne's lovely blog. I was having a little read through her posts, and amongst them I came across an awesome little post all about creating your own handwritten font! I have always wanted to design my own font, but quite honestly, I had absolutely no idea how. When I saw a link to a free online tool that makes it possible to design your own unique font using your handwriting, I was desperate to have a little try!

Yesterday afternoon was the perfect opportunity to try it out, and the process turned out to be incredibly straightforward. All you have to do is pop over to this website, print out a copy of the template, and fill in all the letters with a medium-thick black pen. Once finished, you scan the completed template, upload it, wait a few minutes and BOOM your very own font all ready to download! The best part is that, because it's based on your handwriting, it's guaranteed to be totally original. Yay!

[Yes, I even really did create little heart and star symbols as part of my font, I'm cool like that. Ha.]

I recommend experimenting with the thickness of pen you use to fill in the template, as it affects the boldness of the resulting font. My first font was originally written out using a medium-thick black marker pen; for the second, I used a fine-line black rollerball pen. I prefer the second font that I created, as the first is a little too heavy, although it may be useful if I require a bolder font one day.

I often struggle to incorporate text into an illustration, not in terms of composition, but because I usually find it difficult an appropriate font. The fonts I try never seem to suit the illustrations they are accompanying. I think this was a big part of the reason I originally began creating my own typography by hand; it was a way to create a style of text that I felt fit with the style of the imagery, as both were hand-created using a similar process. I tend to prefer the appearance of a more hand-created font, as it gives an illustration a sense of fluidity if image and text are of a similar style. Hand-created lettering has become my favourite way of adding text to an image, but there are occasions when cut-out or hand-drawn fonts are really suitable. I think this is a tool that I would definitely consider using if I required a proper printed font; it would be especially appropriate adding text to a children's picture book, as it has a fairly formal appearance, whilst still retaining a playful, handwritten appearance. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Illustration Friday | Storm.

I'm a little bit scared of thunder when it's loud and crashy.
I haven't submitted an illustration for Illustration Friday for a super long time, but after popping over to the website earlier today, I noticed that this week's topic is storm. Admittedly, I created the full-version of this image quite a while ago - it's a section of one of the double-page spreads in my illustrated children's picture book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of... - but it just seemed to fit the them perfectly. 

Peeking through the window, watching a storm crash and rage outside whilst you're all safe and snuggled inside is definitely the best way to spend a storm; it's easy to run and hide if it gets a little bit too loud and crashy...