Just keep Going

For my Blog post today I thought I would Write about one of my older pieces of work. I like to call this one The Green Collage (inventive I know). This was for a project whilst I was at University to create an illustration in response to the colour green, so the brief was very open. The first thing this conjured up in my mind was the Wizard of Oz and the Emerald city and I had this idea of making my own Emerald city out of objects, little gem stones and jewellery but this wasn’t translating well when I started to build my set design. Unfortunately, that happens sometimes when you have an idea in your head and then it doesn’t translate well on paper (or camera in my case). This shows that carrying on with a project that isn’t going right can be beneficial in the end. So If your working on a project that isn’t going your way don’t give up easily!

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Instead, I decided to go with the idea of a Green garden, filled with whimsical objects. I quite like the idea that its creating a setting in the mind of the viewer and they can create their own little story from looking at it. I think I like this illustration as the composition is different from how I normally work. I like how I divided the piece into blocks and added the leaf elements at the edges. I would definitely like to explore working in this way again.

I think its always important to play around a bit when your creating a project and see where it can take you, rather than sticking to a decided outcome (unless thats required) . So sometimes a project that your not keen on can turn into a project you end up liking!

Have you had a project like this that you initially didn’t like? Let me know how you reached your final design in the comments below 🙂

Lets talk about lighting

I’m very happy today because I’ve just assembled some new lighting! (I was quite proud of myself, but the instructions where very easy to follow) The only thing I would say is that the rods to secure the canopy in place where a bit difficult to attach as you needed to bend them quite a lot. The lights I purchased where the PhotoSel Soft box studio lighting from Amazon. I’ve been doing some research into lighting for a few months, as I wanted to get some professional lighting rather than trying to use a mixture of everyday lamps. I’m no longer at University so I can’t use there amazing photography studio, with all the pretty and expensive lights now 😦 The lights I purchased where £85.00 with free delivery in the U.K, I think this kit is a good started kit for a beginner because its overall not too expensive (a good price for someone who has just finished uni.)

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The lights are easy to assemble and I’ve found that there not too large to keep set up, which is good if your working on a project for a few days. The measurements for these ones are 40 x 60 cm. They also come with two pure white daylight bulbs at 85W, which for me will be perfect for creating my illustration sets. For me the two main types of lights I was looking into where: continuous lighting kits with soft boxes and LED photography light panels. With the LED lights they usually have dials where you can control and adjust the lighting where soft boxes have an even light. When I was looking at these options myself I think the LED light panels where just a bit out of my price range but if your looking to invest in some lighting and have a good budget I would look into these. Two LED lights I found where: Emgreat Aputure Led Video Light Panel Studio Lighting Kit this kit was £258 (they look really professional). Another LED light I found was the Manfrotto LED Panel priced at £520 in the product description it details that it provides a beautiful soft light. I think these two lights would be my dream lights to own, who knows maybe in the future! In terms of bulbs the ones included in my kit I bought, where continuos daylight bulbs. These are perfect for photography. They also sell these on Amazon for £12.00 for an 85W bulb.

Let me know what type of lighting you use in your own work.

Greeting Cards Obsessions!

I have to admit I do have a bit of an obsession with greeting cards. Theres nothing better than knowing its someones birthday coming up and spending hours in Clintons choosing the perfect card! Thats just the right fit for the person in mind. Funny ones, girly ones and ones with singing hamsters (yes they really do exist haha!) I always think that cards are such a lovely thing to keep too, there not too big that they end up taking over your bedroom and there always nice to look back at.

My floral keep sake boxes

My floral keep sake boxes

A few cards

A few cards

A small section of my card collection (I kid not)

A small section of my card collection (I kid not)

I’ve been keeping all my cards since I was 15, I’m now 22 so theres quite a pile. I wish I’d started earlier though and kept every single one that I had ever received. Now that would be an achievement! I keep all my greeting cards in little floral boxes so there neatly stored away and it also keeps them all together, like a keep-sake box. I have christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you cards and good luck ones from when I went to Uni. Looking through them is almost like looking through all the important little memories from your whole life. (below is a pic of a few of my card collections, trust me there where many many more!)    So anyway, I really like cards! and if you give me a card I promise I will most definitely keep hold of it for a very long time. But the reason I was inspired to write this post is I’m currently working on using my own illustrations to create some greeting cards, which is super exciting, especially for a greeting cards obsessor like myself. I’m using the pattern designs mentioned in one of my earlier blog post.

Williamson's Park pattern

Williamson’s Park pattern

Make-up pattern

Make-up pattern

Flower pattern

Flower pattern

Garden pattern

Garden pattern

Bottles of perfume

Bottles of perfume

Let me know which ones are your favourite, also if your a fellow card obsessor like myself please post a pic of your card collections! So I don’t feel as weird haha. Once I have all the cards made and ready I will post some pictures for my next blog post.

Thanks for reading!

My year so far!

So for a new blog post I though I would write about my year so far, which might seem a bit strange in September. But I think its nice to reflect on what you have achieved so far! Being 22 and graduating University can be a bit of a weird time, you feel like you need to figure out your life and what you want to do as soon as you graduate. I think this can be exciting but a bit stressful at the same time. Theres so many options and how do you know which ones are right for you? I think in my head I’m just sticking with the phrases that Rome wasn’t built in a day or what will be will be (haha! as corny as it sounds) I don’t have to have everything figured out. So on a positive note I think that its nice to look at what you have achieved already. I would encourage other people who read this to do the same, we often get a bit sidetracked with worrying about whats to come in the future. So heres to celebrating whats already happened.

Graduating 

One big thing I did this year would be the fact that I graduated from my Illustration course. My course was three years and I was happy with my portfolio of work, at the end. I felt like I managed to find a way of working that I was happy with. Which reflected me as a person (what I was interested in and also the method of working). I  discovered so much more about the illustration world, that I didn’t know when I started. I think I only had a vague idea on what Illustration was. I think it definitely fuelled my passion for the subject.

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Getting my work stocked in a shop 

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Another big thing that happened this year was the fact that I got my work stocked in a shop! This was a really positive thing for me and very exciting. The shop that stocks my work is called Life’s Little Larks and is in Preston. Check out their Facebook page to see all the lovely things they stock in their shop. Its really an Aladdin’s cave of beautiful arts/crafts items.

I gave my website a make-over 

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I finally feel as though I have my website looking how I want it to. Its taken a while! I’ve gone through three re-design already. But I feel like I’m happy with it now. I like the fact that its not too busy as I think my other designs where. I think this website displays my work nicely as you can flick through the images easily. Take a peek if you like.

Blogging  

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I feel as though I’ve really gotten into blogging this year too. I’ve been blogging with Illustration friday for over a year and more recently Fashion Philosophy. There both amazing spaces to share inspirations and write about who I admire. I really love to write about illustration as its something I’m passionate about and to be able to share my work and favourite designers with everyone is great!

Work/Art/ Play course 

This year I decide to enrol in the online course that Amy Ng from the website Pikaland runs. I felt after University I’d burned out a lot of my energy but still wanted to learn as much as I could on the subject of Illustration. I didn’t really know which direction was the right one to take as I mentioned at the start of this post. This course really helped with pin-pointing which steps to take next, it helped me to create a to-do list, such as creating a newsletter, tips on blogging and how to market myself. I’m so glad that I took this course as I feel as though it freshened my mind and made me realise that things can be achievable if you take things one step at a time. If your a budding freelance artist I would definitely recommend checking this class out. The next one would be next year, you wouldn’t be disappointed with the results.

Projects featured on a website

For my last year project at University I decided to create an A-Z alphabet book on British Quirks. It was a project I really enjoyed making, I think its also the biggest project I have undertaken. I enjoy looking at the funny little things we all do and observational humour. So to combine two of my interests was exciting. I put this up online on my Behance and website and it then got featured on quite a few blogs such as Creative Boom and Design Taxi. This was the first time I had seen my work featured anywhere online, so it was such a confidence boost!

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More recently, I have also been volunteering with The FIG Tree in Lancaster. I’m really glad that I decided to do some volunteering. As trying to become a freelance illustrator can be a bit lonely, your indoors quite lot working on illustrations and trying to promote yourself. So its quite nice to get out of the house haha! I think volunteering in itself is rewarding as its always nice to help people. I’m also getting to do some design work for them so its really fun to do! I’m also beginning to learn how to use one of those confusing coffee machines with all the buttons.

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This was a bit of a longer blog post then I usually do! But thanks for reading this if you have. I would love to know what have been the stand-out moments of this year for you! Let me know in the comments below or even share a link to your own blog post of stand-out moments.