New Etsy Art Print – Whimsical Green

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Printed on Matt Poster Paper
using Giclée printing
198x148mm

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One of my favourite illustrations is now available to purchase as an Art print from my Etsy shop for £4.00. Inspired by the colour green, a whimsical garden. This illustration has been printed using a Giclée printing technique which ensures that the colours stay vibrant and last a very long time.

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In the coming weeks I’m hoping to expand my range of illustrated Art prints available to purchase from my Etsy Shop.

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New Art Supplies

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I had a nice walk into town the other day and bought some new art supplies, theres a great art shop in my local town of Lancaster called Studio Arts. Even though its quite a small shop it sells everything you could possibly want, when it comes to art supplies. I haven’t bought any new art material in a while, as I’ve been working with photographs and Adobe Photoshop at the moment (when creating my 3D sets). I think I want to try and get back into the habit of keeping a good old sketchbook for inspiration and ideas, as I’ve just been using a notepad to jot down things.

I also bought some new pens to replace my old ones that had run out, the Faber-Castell pens are my favourite as I love the different thicknesses and the lines you can create with them. This is another path I want to explore at the moment, working with lettering. I created an illustration that I will share on my blog soon, which sparked this idea. I’ve always loved handwriting things (Ever since the days of Year.6 handwriting practice!) so I don’t know why I haven’t looked into it more.

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I’m also excited to use my new scalpel! as I’ve been after this one for a quite a while. My previous scapel had started to do that thing where it catches on the paper and just tears. If you use a scalpel for your art work or design work you will know what I mean! It starts to get annoying.

So in general I’m trying to be a bit more pro-active with creating new work at the moment and I’m hoping these new purchases will help me to do that.

Weekly inspiration – Zim & Zou

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Sorry I’ve been gone for a while, I was having a short break. The blog posts will definitely now be more frequent! My love for paper-craft just keeps growing. How amazing is the work of design studio Zim & Zou. They use hand-crafted objects to make these amazing installations.

Check out my full inspiration post over at Illustration Friday.

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 🙂

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!

Illustrated Photo books

One of my favourite things to do is something I like to call create Illustrated Photo books. At the moment I’ve only created two, but they are really fun to make. One was an A-Z Alphabet book of British Quirks and the other one was based around Alice in Wonderland. I think as an illustrator  its nice to be able to flick through a book of my own making. One thing I would love to learn more on is how to create and print different types of books. This is definitely on my to-do list!

A-Z book

A-Z of British Quirks

For my A-Z Alphabet I used an accordion style book,  I liked how it folded out so you could look at the illustrations in different ways. The size of the book meant it took a while to piece together, but once it was fully complete it was worth it. To create this book I used a series of collages and 3D sets. I then edited them on photo-shop to get them to pop. After this, my final step was to piece everything together in InDesign and make sure the type was correct. My vision for the book was to be quintessentially British. I love those little quirks that you might notice and think no one else must do this, but really everyone can relate to it. I’ve grown up in a very working class northern family so I think it also reflects funny things I noticed that my family did e.g the curtain twitching!

Section of the folding

Section of the folding

For the style of the book I wanted it to look really colourful and eye-catching. I tired to do this with making the typography bold and bright, the font I used is called oranienbaum. This is one of my favourite fonts, I feel like it always works with a lot of designs I do. I placed the text in similar places through-out, keeping the type the same.

Alice in Wonderland 

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Through the door to Wonderland

My other photo book was the one based on Alice in Wonderland, which has always been one of my favourites. I was inspired by a park in Lancaster (Williamsons Park) which was always a little bit like a Wonderland to me. My aim was to create a book with a  whimsical feel, that would be fitting to the original book by Lewis Carroll. On this one I used mainly 3D sets, which I think gave the whole look a hand-made/vintage feel. This project was my first ever photo book so I learnt quite a few new skills by doing this but also that I’m not very good at stapling!

Sitting in wonderland

Sitting in Wonderland

shrinking down

Shrinking down

I would really love to hear if anyone has made there own photo books! Leave me a comment below.