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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Searching for Inspiration

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Sometimes finding inspiration for a new creative project can be a task in itself. We have all been there – when your sat at your desk staring into the screen wishing your brain would just magically click and let you have an out-pouring of amazing ideas, but unfortunately inspiration just doesn’t work like that (unless your very lucky, or a wizard).

#1 / Step away from the desk

One of the best ways to find inspiration for projects is to actually get away from the space that you work in, get out of the familiar and see what happens. This can really help if your feeling stressed about your work, because you might just be going over the problem too much, when really all you need is to clear your head. This could start by simply taking a break and going for a walk. When I do this I always take my camera, its relaxing and when the mind is at rest new ideas can evolve and take shape.

#2 / Take a Walk 

You might already know what places inspire you. For me its parks and nature, so I know when I take a walk in an area like this I feel comfortable and can get some good shots to use in my work. However, the same could be said if you’re inspired by modern architecture or people – having a walk into the city centre armed with your camera could provide you with tons of things to inspire you.

If you wanted, another good idea for inspiration is to sit in a public place and draw what you see. You could do this in a cafe observing the people around you, watching their body language and facial expressions. (Don’t worry most people don’t even mind you drawing them! You never know this could even be a good way to publicise yourself as an artist in your local area).

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#3 / Reflection

After you have gathered some material and information, sit yourself down with a lovely cup of tea (or a hot beverage of your choice) and think about what you saw or if anything stood out to you. Write down your ideas and take a look through your images. If you really wanted you could even create a bit of a mood board or take to pinterest to start to plan ideas which could then turn into some good work.

Another thing you could do if your still feeling uninspired is look at your old work, you might find something that you used to enjoy drawing or crafting, and this could trigger a new idea. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Creating new work at the end of the day is meant to be fun! If your not feeling inspired, maybe try experimenting with new materials and mediums or try a new approach. Sometimes when your just doodling ideas or making messy art in a sketchbook, these things can lead to a good piece of inspiration and work.

#4 / Seek some feedback 

Always ask people what they think of your work, if your struggling to come up with new ideas getting other perspectives is a great way to figure out what is working and what isn’t. Theres lots of great ways to do this whether its just asking your close friends for advice or even putting your work out there to the wider world! (which can seem like the scariest thing but any feedback is good feedback and this allows you to focus on the things which you can work on).

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#5 / Knowledge is key 

It’s always important to gain more knowledge on a subject as this allows you to have a better understanding on a variety of topics, enabling you to think outside of the box. If you have an idea in mind – research this area in depth! Or if its a certain skill that you need to improve on in order to work on an idea then teach yourself more about it. One way of keeping inspired without even leaving the house is to look at blogs,websites and books. See what other designers/artists are doing. Some of my personal favourites include;

Its nice that / Creative Bloq /Creative Boom /Design Juices/Pikaland/Illustration Friday/A Beautiful Mess/graphiquefantastique

There isn’t a right and wrong answer to how you gather inspiration or where it comes from. The important thing is to not be too hard on yourself and to accept mistakes. Some of the best ideas simply come to us when we are playing around with new material, or even when we are just nodding off to sleep. Just remember that an idea can spark at any moment, all you have to do is jot it down and thats where it all begins.

My article was  originally featured  on Fashion Philosophy.

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.

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.