Saturday, 29 July 2017

A much needed update

Snippets from my degree show

It's been nearly two months since I last updated, so I guess a lot of has happened since then. 

First of all- I finished my degree! I'm officially not a student anymore which feels really odd, but also really good. My degree show turned out great, and after all of the stress I'd put on myself I'm happy it's now over. As the end grew closer I found myself questioning my creative abilities and my confidence was really low. Now I feel like that pressure has gone away and I can actually breathe a bit!

Degree show

I then took my final show to New Designers and exhibited alongside my lovely course mates down in London. This was a really fantastic opportunity and if you have the chance to go I heavily recommend it; I left with some amazing contacts! Whilst I was also offered interviews and placements my intentions were to stay in Yorkshire, so that did require saying no to a few brilliant things. But I'm not sad about it as I'd already made a little plan once university was over. My top tip for exhibiting at New Designers (or any graduate show) would be to not put all of your eggs in one basket. Don't rely on New Designers to find your dream graduate job-- it's just another opportunity, and if nothing comes from it you have so many more years to find the next. 

I've now moved out of the city into a little flat just a train ride away from Leeds. I've recently acquired keys to my new studio space and I cannot wait to start printing again. The dream is to freelance full time but right now I'm balancing that alongside my role as an artworker. Before I left university there were a few things I really wanted to accomplish for when I began graduate life: get a job I actually liked, move into a cute flat which had no connection to student life and have my own studio space so I could continue printmaking. I'm very happy to say I ticked all of them off my list! 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

I finally finished art school (+ degree show snippets!)

From Whitby a couple of days ago

Hello again!! I've had to distance myself a lot from Twitter and the blogging world recently as I've been so busy with university. I know in my head I always thought I could balance the two but I just couldn't and I had to let this little part of me sink a bit. I loooove to blog and I've always been somebody who likes to write and keep journals. What I hate is when it starts to feel like a job. So... I'm writing this post to say that I'm taking the pressure off myself and I'll be posting when I feel like it without worrying about the numbers. As a designer and illustrator, that will always come first!

Degree show collection: Screen prints on linen

Design visualisations

Lino prints on lasercut plywood

I recently finished putting up my final collection for the degree show in June and I cannot believe my three years at university is basically over.  I'm so proud of everything I've accomplished! I've blogged pretty much my whole creative existence since starting my degree and that makes it even weirder for me. I've come so far since my very first day as an anxious, naive teen and it's just another reminder of how fast time flies by. 

I know life won't be all sunshine and rainbows especially as a graduate, but I am expecting that. My plan is to continue drawing, painting, printing and making whilst setting my own goals and aiming for the things I really really want in life. I don't even know how it feels to not be in education so I'm actually pretty excited to not be a student anymore... I think the only thing I will miss are the discounts!

I hope you like the snippets of my degree show collection shown above and on my Instagram, it'll be on display at Leeds College of Art from June 10th - June 15th (more info here) and I'll also be exhibiting at New Designers Part One in London at the end of June! A while ago I was interviewed by Becky from Printed Forest about my design practice, so please go have a read and take a look at the rest of her beautiful blog whilst you're there. She posts lots of wonderfully arty things too!

Thanks for reading x

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Disobedient Bodies

As an ex fashion student I was pretty excited to see Jonathan Anderson's curated exhibition at The Hepworth, 'Disobedient Bodies'. (One of my projects at college was to create a piece of clothing with exaggerated forms to distort the body and emphasise different areas. It was fascinating to see some of my inspirations from that project with my own eyes, like the weird (but amazing) structures from Rei Kawakubo and pieces from Issey Miyakes' 'Pleats Please' collection. My 17 year old self would have liked this very much.)

I really really liked the screen printed pants from Richard Tuttle, and the whole felt collection by Comme des Garcons made me swoon! I love the 2D structures and the wacky colour choices, they remind me of something from a comic book. 

JW Anderson SS 2015
Comme des Garcons AW 2012 (Wool felt)
JW Anderson AW 2014/15 (Inspired by Rauschenberg's works based on the form of a radiator)
Richard Tuttle 1979 (Screen printed on cotton muslin)
Comme des Garcons AW 2012 (wool felt)
C.F.A. Voysey, 1990
Daniel Sinsel, 2006
Loewe SS 2016

The exhibition is on at The Hepworth in Wakefield until the 18th June, and you can find more info on it here

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

York Art Gallery sketchbook pages

I went back to York Art Gallery to see the Lumber Room again; here are a few scans from my sketchbook!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Edinburgh sketchbook and photographs

Colour loving in the flat we stayed in

Hello! So... it's been a while since I last updated which bothers me a bit. Mostly because I haven't been feeling so great recently, and not having consistent blog posts up is just a reminder of that. But it's OK because there is one now!

Anyway, we came back from Edinburgh a while ago now but I still wanted to share my photos and sketchbook pages from our trip. We stayed in a really cool flat which had such an artsy ~bohemian~ feel to it I felt so sad when we had to leave! Jake had never visited before so it was really nice to explore the city with my sister (she studies animation there). We trekked up to Arthurs Seat to watch the sunrise, visited Marys milk bar for a yummy icecream shake, delved into loads of antique and vintage shops, stopped by a couple of art galleries, ventured to the Royal Botanic Garden, strolled through Princes Street Gardens and visited The Museum of Childhood. Busy but so fun... and such a beautiful city too! I hope you enjoy my pictures and sketches. 

Fried eggs on toast for breakfast

Walking up the royal mile

There was amazing views from the living room... and little knick knacks too

Jake sketching 

Bathroom poetry

A little drawing I did of Jake

Flowers from the botanic garden

Van Gogh in the National Gallery

Views of the buildings from princes street gardens (with daffodils)

Details from Marys Milk bar

Amazing vibrant plant from the botanic garden

Leaves in crayon

Watching the sun rise from Arthurs seat

Sunday, 2 April 2017

David Hockney at Tate Britain

Last week we visited the David Hockney exhibition and it was amazing to see so much of his work from various stages of his life together in one space. It makes you realise how much an artist can change when presented with a retrospective of their work. Hockney draws and paints with a mixture of media, creates etchings, designs stage sets, makes photo collages digitally and by hand, and most recently has replaced his sketchbook with the ipad. I really admire his open mind to new techniques and technology and it's a great reminder to keep experimenting even after leaving university. 

We Two Boys Together Clinging, 1961

Flight into Italy - Swiss Landscape, 1962

The Hypnotist, 1963

Overall I personally favoured most of his earlier pieces. As refined as his portraits are, I prefer the crude marks and raw emotion expressed in his works from the sixties. I love the darker, muted colour palettes and his complete disregard for painting the "perfect" picture, with abstracted figures and text scrawled across the canvas. I don't really know why; I like the movement of the brushstrokes and I think they embody more sentiment rather than just being a painting of something. 

May Blossom on the Roman Road, 2009

Garden with Blue Terrace, 2015

One thing I did love about his most recent stuff was his combination of vibrant colours and use of mark making; these two were my favourites! They make me long for overgrown spring fields and lush tropical weather. 

It's really hard to share how impressive they all are and a visit to the Tate is definitely worth it. I think his work is so appealing and at times so diverse, it would be hard to find something you didn't like. After scheduling my last post I've had my 22nd birthday and tomorrow Jake and I are off to the lovely city of Edinburgh! Since we were so inspired by Hockney we decided to buy lots of new art supplies to try sketching whilst we are there. Hopefully I will have lots of lovely things to share when we get back. :)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Print inspiration from John Lewis

MissPrint - Songbird

Hello! A couple of weeks ago my parents came to Leeds for a few days and we ended up popping into John Lewis. I don't usually go there much (being a student means having very little money) but I remembered they have a fabric and wallpaper department so decided to mooch around for some inspiration.

It was hard to miss these lovely birds on such a vibrant yellow and nice to see bold characters on display especially considering my current project. I love the mischievous look on their faces! The little details in the birds surrounded by a clever use of negative space creates a balanced, easy to follow design. I think this is my favourite from what I saw, but maybe that's because I prefer an illustrative approach when designing. 

Kate Spade New York - Gerbera

I really loved these large scale florals by Kate Spade New York, especially on the green. As a textile designer sometimes simple is better and I think this is a perfect example of that. The different colour ways also offer something different each time; it's such a small change but can instantly alter the mood of the design. It would be easier to play safe with the silver, but If I had to choose I would definitely go for one of the brighter options.

Celia Birtwell - Beasties

Celia Birtwell - Classical Star

Lastly here's a couple from Celia Birtwell. The first was from the children's section spotted for the whimsical narrative and drawing style, which I love. It's so simple and sweet but not overly cute-sy thanks to the toile de Jouy style of print. The red line contrasting with the beige ground is suuuuper nice and definitely my favourite. I have this thing with bright reds recently but I'm not sure where it came from! The little stars as a simple repeat is probably not the most innovative design, but in these colour ways it just really works. It definitely makes for a nice complimentary print against something a bit more decorative.

This has been quite a short post but I think I'm going to visit again sometime and spend a bit longer looking through the fabrics. It's great to find inspiration for my own projects, and maybe then I'll have a few more of my faves to share with you. 😌

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