Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 | A round up of the year.

Almost a year ago, I started illustrating again after a break due to being ill, and at that moment I threw myself head-first into the world of freelance illustrating. For the most part, it's been a positive and productive year and I have learnt a great deal. I still don't consider myself a proper freelance illustrator, as I am yet to have my first proper paid commission, and this makes it very easy to dwell on the things I haven't yet achieved which, especially in a job where you're mostly working alone, can hugely affect your motivation and make you lose focus of the bigger picture. A year is a long time, and it's easy to forget the little things you actually HAVE achieved. So, as 2011 ends, it seems like an ideal time to have a little look back over the year, and see what I have achieved, as well as thinking about my creative goals for the year ahead.

During 2011, I have;

I don't think I'll ever be really satisfied, as there's always that little voice in my head telling me I could have worked harder, could have achieved more, but all in all I don't think it's too bad a list!

My creative goals for 2012;

  • Find a job (hopefully a creative one) to help support me alongside the freelance work.
  • Teach myself how to use Illustrator (I learnt the basics at Uni, but have totally forgotten!) and become more proficient at Photoshop, so that I have the skills needed to apply for creative jobs.
  • Be more motivated and pro-active when it comes to my illustrations; try not to let my mood or other things happening in my life affect my work.
  • Work on developing my portfolio so I have more hope of finding an agent (fingers crossed!).
  • Secure some commissions, and limit the unpaid commissions I chose to take on.
  • Develop ideas for a new children's picture book.
  • Set aside some time to create illustrations just for fun - if I focus purely on commissions and deadlines, then illustrating stops being enjoyable and becomes a chore.

Now I just need to get started! :]

There are a few exciting things to look forward already in the coming year, including an illustration which will be published in the second issue of Lionheart Magazine, and the opening of a new online shop which will be selling some of my work! Yay!

Finally, a massive thank you to all of you who have supported me this year; those of you on Twitter who have helped me through the "I'm never going to be a successful illustrator, I can't even DRAW!" moments, those of you who read and comment on my blog, those of you who have bought something from my shop. All of you, I hope you have a super 2012.  ♥

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


I just wanted to let you all know about the sale which is taking place in my Etsy shop at the moment. There is currently a lovely 15% off everything in my shop, and this discount is available until the end of December; so now is the perfect time to spend your Christmas money and treat yourself to some illustrated loveliness!

Here's how it works;
Etsy shop; Use coupon code BOXINGDAY11 at the checkout.

Easy peasy. :]

* All my Christmas cards are also included in the sale, so why not pop over and snap up some discounted cards all ready for next year!

Amazon | I'm A Little Bit Scared Of...

Super exciting news! My children's picture book I'm A Little Bit Scared Of... is now available to buy on Amazon and Amazon UK! Yay! I am probably a little more excited than I should be, but it feels so amazing to see it on Amazon!

Of course, the book is also still available to buy in my Etsy shop, and directly through Lulu. :]

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Young Creatives | Advent Calendar.

My Christmas themed illustration was revealed today, behind door number 16 of The Young Creative's advent calendar. When I was little, one of my favourite parts of Christmas was putting the angel on top of the tree, and that memory was the inspiration behind this illo.

Also, my work was recently featured on Design Splat. There's also a lovely interview with me all about myself and my work, so don't forget to pop over and have a little read.

Happy 9 days til Christmas everyone. x

Flamingo Love tee!

Oh my goshhh, check out what arrived in the post this morning... My Flamingo Love tee, which has just been printed by All Tropical!

You may remember that I won the All Tropical t-shirt competition back in June with my flamingo design - well, this is the outcome! I'm SO excited to see my design printed onto real t-shirts - it looks ace, and the quality is lovely. :]

The t-shirts even have my name printed on the back, just below the collar. Aces. They will soon be available to buy for yourself on both Asos and in the All Tropical shop.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Friday, 9 December 2011

All Tropical | Little Hedgehog Tee.

I just want to say a super big thank you to all of you who rated, commented on, liked or shared my hedgehog tee design over on All Tropical this week. I found out earlier today that my design WON this week's competition, which means my little hedgehog will be printed onto t-shirts which will then be available to buy through Asos and All Tropical's shop. Yay! Super excited! :]

Also, just a little reminder that if you still need Christmas cards, my shop is the perfect place for you to find some, with cards suitable for both lovers and haters of the festive season. I also listed a couple of new prints earlier, so it's definitely worth a peek.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas cards!

Just to let you all know that my Christmas cards have finally arrived, and are now available to buy in my Etsy shop. Yay! The cards can be bought individually, or as a set of four designs. Christmas is getting super close now, so don't miss out.

There is also a cheeky Bah Humbug card available, which even comes with a little bag of complimentary humbugs - perfect for any scrooge in your life! Check them out here.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

All Tropical | Little Hedgehog.

Hello my lovelies! I have a little favour to ask. A few weeks ago I illustrated a little hedgehog, and I decided he could look pretty cute as an autumnal tee design, so I've entered him into this week's All Tropical weekly design competition. 

All I need now is a little bit of help from you guys! It would be ace if you could pop over to the All Tropical website, and rate my design. If you're feeling extra lovely, then please leave a little comment too! If you haven't voted before, you will have to register with the site first, but it only takes a second and you don't get any annoying emails from them afterwards, promise. 

I would love to see my little hedgehog printed onto real life t-shirts, but I really need your votes to make that possible. You can also vote for my design by liking it on Facebook, or tweeting about it on Twitter The more of these you do, the more likely that my design will get printed, so please be ace and vote. A super big thanks you to all of you who do - I really appreciate it. :]

Torn Magazine | Issue two.

A few of my Christmas-themed illustrations have been included in the latest issue of Torn Magazine, along with a lovely feature about myself and my work. Torn Magazine is a free, downloadable arts and culture magazine, and the current issue - a Christmas special - is packed full of festive loveliness, so make sure you pop over and download your copy now.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Illustration Friday | Round.

For Christmas, I would like a snow globe.

A little bit of nostalgia | Old work.

I spent part of this weekend sorting through my stuff in the loft, and discovered loads of my old artwork, both from school and from my foundation course. Obviously it's not the best work I've ever done, but I found it interesting to look through and see how my style has developed and changed since then, so I thought I'd share a few of my favourite pieces.

All of the above were taken from a still life project I completed whilst I was at school. Looking back, I can see that my work had an illustrative edge to it even then, although I was doing a fine art course. I think it's interesting to see how my work has developed - I was much more into painting back then, although this was the time that I started experimenting with collage.

A mixed media piece based on a Banyan tree.

My final piece from a project about reflections.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Burst Magazine | Christmas Postcards.

My robin postcard design has been selected to be included as part of Burst Magazine's limited edition Christmas postcard set, which will be sold to raise money for the Cambridge Hearing Trust fund. 

For just £5, you will receive 12 Christmas postcards featuring the designs of myself and 11 other awesome artists, 2 stickers and a mini fold-out magazine! So what are you waiting for? Pop over and order your pack now!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Movember Monster.

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

This is my Movember moustache themed illustration for Creature Mag's Moustache Illustration Awards.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Mister Hedgehog.

I'm really into hedgehogs at the moment, they're just so cute!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Matchbox Art Show.

I have recently been working on my matchbox artwork for Enter the Clutter's Matchbox Art Show. The exhibition will include the work of 50 artists, all of whom will have transformed a matchbox into a miniature masterpiece! Very exciting!

Here are a selection of photos of my contribution to the show;

The matchboxes will be exhibited in Brighton at the Polish and Pin Open House on the weekends of 26th-27th November and 3rd-4th December. If you're interested, you can find out more information here. The matchboxes will all be for sale, and the ones I've seen so far look incredible, so it's definitely worth checking out if you're in the area!

Illustration Friday; Stripes.

A little stripy-scarfed snowman, all wrapped up against the cold.

This design is taken from a Christmas card, which will be available to buy in my shop very soon.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Christmas cards.

So today it is officially two months til Christmas. Although it feels far too early to even be thinking about Christmas at the moment, I have spent the last few weeks designing Christmas cards which will be available to buy in my shop very soon. It was hard to find inspiration at first, especially with the sun shining through the windows, but thanks to a few Christmas tunes, and the arrival of some much colder weather, I am now feeling totally ready for snow and gingerbread men and pretty wrapping paper. Eeeee. 

These are the final designs for my cards, which I will be getting printed soon. Any feedback - comments/suggestions etc - would be really appreciated before I send them off to the printers, so either leave me a comment or tweet at me. Also, if you think you might like to buy some cards once they're printed, then please let me know that too, as it will help me decide how many cards to order. :]
I have also designed a card for all those Christmas haters amongst you - perfect to send to the scrooges in your life. The card will be available to buy in my Etsy shop soon, and will of course come with a little bag of complimentary humbugs. :]

Monday, 10 October 2011

World Mental Health Day | Transitions Exhibition.

I secretly admire the illustrators who have blogs which manage to merge their illustration work with their personal life so effortlessly. They're always the best blogs to read, the most interesting, with a balance between the life of the illustrator, and the work they create. I've always struggled with this, and tend to keep my blog purely about my illustration work, always assuming that my life is so boring that surely no-one would be interested in reading about it. However, there are days like today when life and illustration crash together to a point where it seems stupid to try and prise them apart.

Today is World Mental Health Day. Mental health problems affect one in four people, and yet there is such stigma attached that I'm sure only a small percentage would be willing to admit that they are part of that 25%. Even as I write this, I am afraid. Afraid that I will be judged negatively, that people's opinion of me will change purely due to what I am about to write. Mental illness affects each person differently. For me, it came in the form of eating disorders and depression - a battle which, even a number of years since it's arrival, I am still fighting every day.

Now (and this is where the art part comes in), I am currently attending an eating disorders unit in Dorset as a day patient, and last month we were invited to take part in an art project facilitated by an artist and a dude called Paul from the Dorset Mental Health Forum. Basically, over the course of four weekly sessions, we were to create artwork which explored our idea of recovery. Today we all attended the private view of the exhibition held in Bournemouth, and it was amazing to see everyone's work all together, everyone's individual interpretation of recovery. It was like all our hope for a better future had been captured in picture frames, displayed on the walls for everyone to see.

For me, this was an interesting experience. As an illustrator, my work is generally created with an end purpose in mind - to fit a brief for a commission or competition. The reason why I'm creating it is clear in my mind. It's got to a point where I very rarely do an illustration just for fun anymore, because it seems like a waste of time. This project gave me the space to do just that, to be experimental and to play around with a much more abstract concept than I am usually used to. Although I immediately retreated into my comfort zone of cutting up tiny bits of paper, my picture started off very experimentally with no visualisation of how the final outcome would look. Unusually for me, this is how I continued to create the whole picture - just going with what felt right and what looked right, and not focussing at all on the end result.

So this is my finished picture (the photos aren't very clear, but the image is entirely collaged using cut up pages from magazines). I found it difficult to find the right words to explain the meaning behind the image, which is part of the reason I liked having he chance to express myself pictorially. Basically, the black in the bottom left hand corner is how I feel now, and the bright pink in the top right is how recovery will feel. The blue part of the image shows the journey of illness to recovery - the circles representing events and situations in my life, my reactions to them, and how they each affect my journey to recovery.

If you're interested, and live in the area, you can check out the exhibition tomorrow (11th October) at 843 Christchurch Road, Pokesdown - there is some really inspirational work there, so it's definitely worth a look. The exhibition is also moving to Dorchester towards the end of the week (more information on the dates and opening times here).

This was an ace project to be part of, one which really made me think about the concept of recovery and what it meant to me. I think it also helped remind us that there IS a possibility of recovery, which is often difficult to remember when you're stuck in darkness. I'm really proud of my Kimmeridge girlies and all their awesome work. ♥ Happy World Mental Health Day. Let's continue to fight the prejudice that surrounds mental illness.

Friday, 7 October 2011

All Tropical | Ghosts of Gone Birds.

This is an illustration I created as a tee design for the Ghosts of Gone Birds challenge for All Tropical. Ghosts of Gone Birds is a project which brings extinct species of birds back to life through the use of different artistic mediums, and the challenge was to design a t-shirt which would 'breathe life back into the birds we have lost'.

I chose to illustrate the Cuban Macaw; a bird which was native to Cuba, and which became extinct due to people disturbing nests to capture young birds to keep as pets. The Cuban Macaw was such a vibrant and brightly-coloured bird that it captured me immediately. It was a beautiful bird to illustrate, and also worked well with the four colour limit, which was a challenge in itself! I think it's such a shame that this bird is no longer around to brighten up our world.

So now it's over to you guys! I would reeeally appreciate all your ratings, comments and likes and it would also be ace if you could tweet about it and share the link with everyone you know. My design needs to be in the top 10 rated designs in order for me to be in with a chance of winning, which would mean my design would be printed on real t-shirts and then sold at the Ghost of Gone Birds exhibition in London next month, which would obviously be amazing! So please get voting!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

All Tropical | Lazy Frog Tee.

I just entered a new tee design into the weekly design competition at All Tropical, and so once again I have a tiny little favour to ask you all...

It would be ace if you could pop over to the All Tropical website and rate my design (five palms would make me smile the most), and it would be super lovely if you could also leave a little comment. I would love to see mister frog printed onto real life t-shirts, but I really need your votes to make that possible! If you haven't voted before, you will need to join the site to leave your rating, but it only takes a second, and you will be my favourite forever.

You can also vote for my design by liking it on Facebook, or tweeting about it on Twitter. The more of these you do, the more likely that my design will get printed, so please be ace and vote. A super big thanks you to all of you who do! :]

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Pencils, Paper, Scissors Collective.

I just wanted to tell you a little about Pencils, Paper, Scissors. We are a new illustration collective, created by Kerri-Ann Hulme, Joanne Hawker and myself; you can find out more about each of us by checking out our blog. We are currently working hard on our first collaborative project, and we're very excited about it. We will reveal more soon, but in the meantime you can keep up with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Pocketful Magazine | Issue 6.

I recently received my copy of the latest issue of Pocketful Magazine, which includes one of my illustrations. The theme of the issue was 'four legs good, two legs bad', so a roller-skating giraffe seemed like the perfect solution.

You can get your hands on a copy of the magazine here.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Head Up Logo.

Development of logo designs for an eating disorder project.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Soupa | Blog Banner.

A blog banner I created for Soupa. It will be featured on the website for the next month.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Endangered Creature Alphabet.

I am excited that I am able to announce the launch of the Endangered Creature Alphabet! This is a project I have been wanting to talk about for ages, but until now I've had to keep it a secret. Now, however, the project is live, and I am finally able to tell you all a little more about it! :]

The Endangered Creature Alphabet is a collaborative project which was initiated and organised by Creature Mag. The project celebrates 26 of the many thousands of species under threat with collection of 26 illustrations by 26 different artisits- one animal was chosen for each letter of the alphabet. As Matt Witt explains, the aim of the project was to 'bring together a group of artists to create something that would highlight the plight of endangered species and hopefully enlighten and educate some minds.'

I was one of the 26 artists chosen to illustrate an endangered species, and I was given the letter N, the chosen animal for this letter being the Northern Spotted Owl. It was a lovely animal to illustrate, with beautiful intricately patterned feathers which were amazing to try and bring to life using collage.

The final outcome of the project is an E-book - an illustrated collection of threatened species. It contains all 26 illustrations, along with an insightful foreword by John Farndon, and a scale which explains the different risk categories which highlight the level of risk that each animal is currently at.

Other artists involved in the project include Kerri-Ann Hulme, Tia Eastwood, Anna-Jane Searle and Emily May Hopgood, and the E-book is full of some really beautiful illustrations. Personally, I really enjoyed this project -the final outcome is an amazing example of collaborative work, and was definitely worth the wait.