Friday, 28 January 2011

Spring cleaning.

Wowza Friday again??!! Been a great week, went to the cinema with Olive, we watched Black Swan, the psychological thriller (v appropriate for a 1 month old!!) with tons of other brighton mums and their babies, hilarious, at some points I could just make out what was being said above the screaming!
I really enjoyed the film, it was different to anything I had ever seen and I kept thinking about it afterwards, always a good sign. I would recommend a look.
So a pretty quiet weekend ahead, my first organic veggie box is being delivered today so am hoping to be inspired when I see what goodies will arrive, lots of relaxing, bit of work, bit of cleaning and lots of Olive time, hurrah.

I have done a bit of computer spring cleaning this morning and found this design I did last year for a scarf for Lush, being a fan of multi colours I sometimes find it hard to work with a limited colour palette so really enjoyed the 5 colour challenge.
Happy Friday all have a great one :)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Pop-i-cok interview.

I LOVE hearing how fellow designers make their way and was thrilled when Dawn Machell over at 'Pop-i-cok' agreed to a mini interview about her background and advice to fledgling freelancers.
Dawns fantastic eye for colour combined with her ability to find endless ways to illustrate characters produces effortlessly charming design.
Every double page of Dawns recently illustrated sketchbook the 2011 Sketchbook Project 'It's raining cats and dogs' theme has been co-ordinated beautifully and is brimming with adorable and playful illustration, it was hard but I managed to choose my faves above, check them out...if you haven't already.

Enjoy the interview. :)

1. Please tell us a bit about your design background?

I left college with the idea that I didn’t really want to work for someone else and set up my own company – pop-i-cok - making “designer” childrenswear ...I soon found out that it wasn’t that easy and people only wanted to pay designer prices when they’d actually heard of the designer!

After 3 years slogging it out it just so happened that the company my sister worked for needed a childrenswear designer ... I fitted the bill and off I went. I stayed there for 9 years and learnt how to do it properly. I left when my daughter was a year old and the frequent foreign travel got in the way of a harmonious family life.

I went to work for Mamas and Papas, designing the graphics for their clothing and nursery interior ranges. After a year I took the plunge and went freelance (...and I still freelance for both companies now :-))

(My blog is pop-i-cok ‘cos I already had the name and thought I might as well carry it on)

2. How long have you been freelance and why does it work for you?

9 years. It gives me the freedom to work when I want around the kids (usually till midnight!)

I get to do the school run and go to assembly and all the school plays and I don’t feel quite as guilty as I would if I had to work for someone else full time.

3. Can you describe a typical 'pop-i-cok' day.

Haul myself out of bed, sort the kids out, sort the hair out, get the kids to school, come home, clear up the mess, check emails, blogs and facebook... do whatever work I have on that day... pick the kids up, feed them, referee the arguments, get them to bed, work for a couple more hours, do my blog, go to bed...

On Wednesday it’s girls night and on Friday I don’t feel guilty for not working.

4. What advice would you give to new freelancers to advance their career and sell work?

Get a job first to get an idea of how things work... and meet lots of lovely people who will like you enough to commission work once you’re freelance!

Once you get the work you need to be a joy to work with and you need to bend over backwards to get the work done...that way you’ll always be busy :-)

Oh and you’ve got to have the guts to do it in the first place...but believe in yourself, you can do it!

5. Where does inspiration come from for you?

All over... kids books, toys, clothes, websites, blogs, cards, my kids...

6. What are your aspirations for the future?

One day I will have a book... I can’t decide if this will be children’s fiction or if I should produce a trend/graphics type book for the childrenswear market... but I’ve been saying this for years now so don’t hold your breath!
A Big thank you to Dawn for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Olive was a month old yesterday and she has changed so much already.
This is a face that I am seeing a bit more, not so sleepy dreamy anymore!!!
I am still happy to be squeezing in some design time so will be posting some new work soon :)
Yesterday Olive wore her dinosaur babygrow from Pumpkin Patch, love it!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Runner up.

So close but not quite...came runner up again this month over at the Tigerprint contemporary floral competition. Again lovely things said about my entry.

A really lovely use of colour is demonstrated with this design by Miss Pixie. Also clever detail is introduced with texture and pattern and the applique centre.

Well done.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Richard Scarry.

One of the great things about Olives arrival is that we are going to explore the huge world of childrens books together.
Oh to have my work in a published book would be a dream come true!
I really enjoyed Richard Scarry and was thrilled to find lots of them available on Amazon.

This inspired me to begin a favourites section here on my blog so you can join me and Olive on our journey through bookland! :)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Something to make you melt...

I am just warming up to getting back into work...this is just a small piece of what I have been spending my time looking at, our beautiful Olive.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Competition entry.

Just before I went into labour I filled some time by entering the last Tigerprint competition, design a contemporary floral design fitting into one of three suggested colour palettes.
I chose to use some potato prints I had created in the summer and played with them in both photoshop and illustrator and so here are my entries!
Happy Friday all :)
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