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.

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 🙂

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.