Sunday, 29 January 2017

Drawing birds, bits and bobs

Hello! Here's a few recent drawings in ink and graphite. It feels so good to draw with ink again, I've been ignoring it a lot lately yet I think it's always been the most "me". I love to use the wrong side of the paint brush to draw because I find the results are a lot more expressive. I think this is something that I picked up during my old illustration classes when they would make us draw with sticks and ink! 

A lot of people hated that part but it was always my favourite way of working as it allowed for us to be more carefree and embrace the mistakes. The need for perfection can totally suck the fun out of the drawing process, sometimes you just have to stop being so precious about the marks on the paper and treat them as explorations instead of a final finished thing. Tomorrow I am finally back at university since the dissertation hand in, I can't wait to get back into a productive routine and hopefully start creating some more lovely work to share. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Review: Meet Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth is one of those artists I will always love and when I visited her sculpture garden last year I didn't want to leave without this lovely illustrated children's book by Laura Carlin. Of course I could have probably opted for something that wasn't for kids but I love buying picture books because they are so visually pleasing! Laura also has such a wonderful naive style and works with a range of different media. I love how throughout the book collage is combined with a simple line of colour in crayon. 

Meet Barbara Hepworth (published by the Tate) introduces children to the world of sculpture, giving them an insight into fine art and how the sculptural forms can be viewed both abstract and more figuratively. The book encourages the reader to consider their own interpretations and perspective on the world rather than seeing just a simple block of stone or bronze; it all depends on how you look at it. I really love how the book describes the inspirations of Hepworth especially when it comes to nature, and how you can interact with the sculptures too by walking around them and looking through them. What can you see through the holes and negative space? The book invites children to use their imagination when looking at sculpture, whilst pushing them to create their own from the things they see around them by using items they can pick up through every day life.

It isn't a long book but it is small and special, giving children the chance to understand the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth through words they can recognise whilst encouraging them to "sculpt" something themselves. The narration and pictures are all quite calming and soft, much like Hepworth's sculptures.  Even though it's lovely to read on it's own, it definitely makes a great accompaniment when viewing her work as the ideas throughout the book can then be put into practice. The book is a pleasing perception of a world that requires a little bit of extra thought and obviously great for any fellow adults out there who are a fan of her art or even just beautiful illustration. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Angela Harding at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Tools and observations books

Jake and I ventured out yesterday as I really wanted to see the work of Angela Harding at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Unfortunately the glass frames used to display her prints resulted in a little glare when taking pictures so excuse the lack of images, but it was wonderful to see the details that went into each piece. Even though I found some of the themes a little too quaint for my taste I really loved the combination of screen printed colour with black hand carved details printed over the top. 

Wood blocks from her British bird alphabet

Jonny Hannah sketchbooks

As always with YSP I love the range of stationary, books and homeware they stock in their shop and picked up this set of five sketchbooks by Jonny Hannah. I'm really quite picky when it comes to sketchbooks as I can't stand drawing on flimsy cheap paper but these are such good quality and so beautiful too! I absolutely love his illustrations and really really wish his Main Street exhibition was permanently on display somewhere because I could admire his work all day. 

Angela Harding: Flights of Memory

It's been so nice researching for my final project and right now I'm feeling really overwhelmed with ideas, I can't wait to get back into drawing and painting again just for the fun of it!! We're off to London this Saturday too and there's one weird place in particular I'm very excited to visit. I'll most definitely be sharing my discoveries if we make it. ✨

If you want to see the lovely work of Angela Harding at YSP the exhibition is open until the 26th February. We also visited "Beyond Boundaries: Art By Email" whilst we were there which was eye opening; a great insight into the art world of the Middle East and their perspectives on current situations. You can read more about it here and it is open until the 5th March.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Update: The Dissertation end & custom blog headers

Me holding 7000 words I actually wrote 🎉

You've probably already seen my update through Instagram but yes... I've finally completed my dissertation! 

Funny story; I actually had it printed and bound twice over because I made a tiny mistake and wasn't willing to risk it being spotted. Always remember to triple check everything!!! However, the worst part of my final year (harsh but pretty true), is basically over despite a few little practical things I still have to put together. I've never had to write something so extensive but thankfully I managed my time really well and didn't stress myself out (excuse the reprinting) which is something I wanted to avoid from the start. I don't know if my grade will reflect any of the hard work but I am super proud of it anyway and sooo relieved it's nearly all over!

Illustrative header for Sarah, currently used on her social media accounts
Header variation for Victoria - She decided to go for something simpler but incorporated the illustrations into her blog/social media

For the past couple of weeks I've also been working on blog headers for people as well as a custom illustration I'm excited to start painting. It's really fun getting to work with other bloggers and even though I did start designing headers in 2015, I now feel a lot more comfortable with my style and what I can offer. If you would like something creating for your blog such as a new header or custom portrait, feel free to check out my new page for more information and email me at with your enquiries! You can view more of my style by visiting my portfolio website:

I have quite a few blog post ideas saved in my drafts and can't wait to actually sit down and write them at some point. It's really hard to find a good source of natural light in my house so taking photos is always the biggest struggle. Maybe I should invest in some fancy lights to help with photography... If anyone can recommend me an affordable pair then do let me know! 😌

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Goodbye 2016 ~ Hello 2017!

HAPPY 2017! Here's my first illustration of the year with sooo many thanks to Laura for helping me turn it into a gif.

It actually feels really strange looking back on my post from the beginning of 2016 and remembering all of the things I wanted to do (like sell designs and win competitions) and how many of those things I managed to accomplish. For my second year of uni it's been pretty successful and I don't think it could have even gone any better! ((I also just want to forget all of the obvious shitty events in the world otherwise I could be ranting about them for days.))


In 2016 I screen printed and exhibited my first fashion collection at a trade fair, sold my pattern designs in Paris and Brussels, visited Paris with my lovely uni friends, collaborated with brands on my blog, interned at a fashion print studio in London, won a placement with Hallmark cards through a live brief, went on my first holiday with Jake (as a couple), turned twenty one, experienced glamping for the first time at the Secret Garden Party, was featured and interviewed by a variety of blogs (I still can't believe I've been asked so many times. Thank you!!), had my work published into an actual book and received a first for my second year of uni overall.

To get a bit more ~real~ it's also the year that I recognised it's okay to be scared about the future and comparison really is the thief of joy. In my attempt at the 100 day project I figured out that creative burnout happens but it's totally normal and okay to not be inspired all of the time especially when you have more important things to think about (like deadlines). By the end of the year I finally realised it is all about doing what makes you happy. Who would've thought?

For 2017 my biggest goal is to produce a final major project I'm really proud of. There are smaller goals too but I'll keep them to myself for now. I just want to have fun whilst I'm still at uni surrounded by amazing facilities and the perfect studio setting without the worry of having to make money. (Then I'll graduate, real life can kick in and I'll start worrying about houses and stuff!)

Have a lovely new year everybody! I wish you all the best for 2017. 😊✨

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