Thursday, 11 December 2014

Busy times...

My blog has officially been neglected due to massive busyness of the last few months! 
I am still in shock that it is soon to be Olive's 4th birthday and another Christmas, this time last year I was busy preparing for Top Drawer.
What is now a distant memory was a fantastic trip to Barcelona in October for my birthday and our first anniversary. 
It was amazing, we went to a gorgeous spa called Aire de Barcelona and I would highly recommend a visit if you are looking for a heavenly peaceful and relaxing time.
Since coming back I have been caught up in craft fairs, four craft fairs in Patcham, Brighton Open Market and Lewes, all went very well for I Drew This.
I have just finished a new range for I Drew This and have been working on a number of commissions and projects for the Open House next May, so lots of planning for 2015 which is most exciting including my first spot of public speaking which I am really looking forward back at my old university, Staffordshire University in front of 80 students :)
Above I have posted pics of my have stall of the Christmas season at the Open Market in Brighton, my peacock print which has been selling really well, my Christmas cards for 2014 and of course Olive this morning in the nativity, she was a little star x

Ps. To win a set of 6 of my Christmas cards pop over to my I Drew This Facebook page here!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Blog Hop.

I have been asked by Anna of Anna's Drawing Room to take part in Blog Hop, it was just the little nudge I needed to do a blog entry too!
 Anna creates lovely nature inspired lino prints and illustrations and we met whilst doing a craft fair and have stayed in touch since.

 Following on from me I have asked two of my favourite talented ladies Jessica Hogarth and Lisa Stubbs of Lil Sonny Sky.

So here goes...

1. What have you been making at your desk this week?

My weeks are very choppy at the moment I have to admit ( see question 3!) so at my desk this week I have been preparing files for a recent licensing project  (above).

Working on a new range of cards for I Drew This :)
 I always take photos of my work and then scrutinise them when I get home, something about seeing them off my computer screen helps me to see things differently, and then I make notes for the next time I sit down to work on them...

...and I am currently using the table of the 9.25 Brighton to London Victoria to write this!
I am on my way to the BLE exhibition at Olympia as I am considering exhibiting there next year.

Yay, caught up with some friends at BLE, left- Jo Rose from Deer Little Forest, her gorgeous work is magical and her characters are soon being made into an animated kids TV show and right lovely Libby McMullin and Kali Stileman of The Square Card Co. such talented wonderful ladies.

2. Where am I currently finding my inspiration?

Brighton in general is really inspiring I love looking at what kids/teenagers wear and do with their hair etc.
I have also been working in a friends shop called Small Folk Run, its down on the seafront which is immediately a different and atmospheric place to be and is filled with fab stylish kids clothes from brands like Toots & Macginty, Mini Rodini and Beau Loves.
This has been a great place to observe what both parents and kids are drawn to design wise.

3.How important is being creative to you and how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?

My mom and dad were both artists, I spent most of my childhood with my mom at her space in art college, lived in a house full of art students, being creative is pretty much ingrained in my life, there is no other way!!
Being freelance means that I can slot my work in and around my daughter and luckily I have in-laws who live in Brighton and a very supportive husband who totally believes in what I am doing so I do spend a lot of time either at my studio, meetings about creative work or meeting fellow local illustrators.

There isn't a single day when I am not doing something creative and that I know will never change, since going freelance nearly 6 years ago I have also had Olive and I didn't take any time off even then, I remember gently putting her down so I could get back to my desk, it all feels pretty intense sometimes but I really believe that you get back what you put in and that the work I put in now will pay off later in life, well, that's the plan!!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Fig Taylor.

BIG organised for Fig Taylor to visit on Tuesday this week.
She was great, she has so much information in her head about the industry, well all different industries really and after a quick Q & A about how to present your portfolio we all split into smaller groups and did mini portfolio reviews, it felt a bit like Dragons Den on hyper drive trying to get all the words about what I am doing and where I want to be with my work but the feedback was great and has given me lots to think about and do with regards to approaching book publishers.
Of course after I had left I thought of a million other things I wished I had asked so I am pretty confident that I will be visiting Fig at Somerset house soon.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The lakehouse, Hamburg.

The little one and the lake house, she was my best helper...

Its been too long since I last posted, I have been totally caught up in summer and these photos show just one project I was thrilled to be asked to help with when we were away in Germany visiting our good friends and their new and beautiful baby, paint the lake house...

I mixed paints galore and in the baking heat whilst batting away horse flies I began painting light blue next to the bright blue sky...

 We had to keep it pretty simple ( didn't want to go too crazy and scare the fishermen ) but they seemed to like it and I am hoping that it is now settling in since we left, it was a magical place to be and gather my thoughts before heading back to a totally crazy Brighton...

So now summer continues down here on the south coast and with the little one back at pre school its back to focussing on work and I Drew This. 
Having now done three trade shows I have a much better understanding of what it takes to get the business going and ask myself whether this is the route I want to take with my work, my prints have been proving very successful and I am still on the quest to find a book publisher to begin working with, with lots of new projects in motion Autumn is looking to be an exciting time...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Love print studio interview 2014.

I was very flattered by Louise from the love print studio blog to do an interview about my inspirations/life and days as part of her etsy shop finds feature.
To have a read come over here.

Happy Monday everyone its crazy thunder/lightening down here today!!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A map of Brighton.

Nearly two months on from PG and I feel like I am only just coming up for air.
Been really busy with orders and commissions which have come off the back of the open house and fairs, I cannot rate doing these fairs enough for making contacts and generating interest in your work.
In amongst the card work I was asked to do a map to showcase my style with some editorial in mind.
Happy to do something different here is my first map, I had to do Brighton and could have made it super detailed the amount of key places around the city but this time I stuck with the big ones.
Only two weeks until a well earned break, I Drew This is off to Germany for some rest!!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

PG LIve 2014.

Hallo from the other side of my second PG Live...
May has really turned into a whirlwind of fun events what with the Open House ( which is going really well and last weekend coming up) and the trade show which was really positive for I Drew This.
Many interesting conversations with buyers and future projects in the making.
After the success of last year I opted for a larger stand this year with great location just as you enter the last aisle of Springboard. I had always known I would add some colour to my stand and am really proud of my choices.
I was surrounded by lovely people (as always!) and every day was called to photoshoots, the first day was for a project organised by the lovely Lynn Tait raising money for Action Medical research, a charity who help children with life threatening illness's.
The project ran last year and raised a whopping £13,000 for the charity so our aim is to smash it this year. Here is all the artists and organisers on the first day.

After setting up and settling in on the Monday I went over to Pulse to check out what was going on over there and catch up with Jo Rose who is currently having huge success with her brand Deer Little Forest and also to have a look at the Timbergram stand.
We met in January at Top Drawer and Timbergram now have many I Drew This designs on their wooden postcards, they looked great and are proving very popular which is great news, certain designs will soon be available over at my etsy shop.

So I am now feeling on top of orders and and excited about creating lots of new designs and what the future may hold for I Drew This…

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The House of Animal Consciousness.

Here is my work in our Open House.
Having not done an open house before it was bit of an unknown how it would first time round and so I was thrilled when the first sale of the house on Sunday was two Matryoska doll A3 framed prints.
What is interesting about the Open Houses is that is it a different audience to the craft fairs and as a result my creative brain is already whirring with ideas for new prints I can work on for next year and there is still three more weekends of The House of Animal Consciousness to go.
We have been so lucky that professor Anil Seth has been kind enough to let us use his beautiful house and if you would like to see some photos of the other artists taking part you can pop over to my Facebook page here.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Open House 2014.

After living in Brighton for eight years now the time has come for me to take part in my first Open House, a month of artists all over Brighton coming together and throwing open doors and offering tea, cake and art, the perfect combination and also a great way to have a little nose inside some of Brightons lovely buildings too.
Studio Greenhouse was lucky to be offered the use of a house on Montpelier Street and will be showing the work of fellow studio mates Tiffany Lynch, Emma Brownjohn, Edwina Roberts, Rachel Fuller, Paul Reed, Geraint Hughes and jewellery from Bella Hamilton.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter.

Happy Easter Sunday, its a quiet and rainy one in the studio today, I am working on bringing some characters to life and thinking about chocolate and stories to capture the imagination.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Flower Power.

With PG galloping towards us again (can't actually believe it has been nearly a year, time never ceases to amaze me!!) I wanted to post some photos of one of my new ranges. I have called this one Flower Power and is inspired by flowers and vases, there will also be A5 co-ordinating blank notepads coming to the etsy shop soon, in the meantime there are 2 designs available to buy here as gorgeous giclee prints.
I would love to know what you think….

Monday, 24 March 2014

How is everyone? Its officially crazy time over at I Drew This headquarters at the moment planning for PG and the Open House that I will be exhibiting at for the first time this year so Saturday over at the We Made This in Lewes was a welcome bit of light relief, fab stall holders, it was great to see David from Custard cards there and my I Drew This prints got a brilliant reaction and I am pleased to say they will be on Etsy VERY soon!!
Happy Monday everyone! x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Mischief GIVEAWAY!!

Where do the weeks go…I cant believe it is friday again and the weeks before PG Live 2014 are whizzing by, I Drew This will be launching 2 new ranges which I am very excited about and am in the middle of making decisions on proofs etc along with creating some more Mischief characters and in celebration of the weekend I am doing a giveaway over on my Facebook page which will be drawn by my little helper, Olive, next friday. Pop over HERE to take part, have a fab weekend all!!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

BIG meeting February 2014.

We had a really good turn out last night at the first BIG meeting of 2014 held at The King & Queen in Brighton, no less that 40 artists and illustrators came along to pick the brains of our key speakers, Peter Greenwood, Tony de Saulles, Sean Sims, Penny Dann, Jo Moore, Sophie Joyce, Rachel Fuller, Sue Hendra and partner in crime, and Sophie Giblin, young entrepreneur and owner of 
the Kollektiv gallery.
We kept it small and personal and the conversation flowed from how do you price for jobs to why do we do what we do, we were so delighted that so many came along and we are already in discussion about the next meeting.
Attached are some examples of the work of these fabulous and talented peeps!!

© Sean Sims

© Jo Moore

© Sophie Joyce

© Rachel Fuller

© Sue Hendra

© Tony de Saulles

© Kollektiv Gallery

© Peter Greenwood

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Back on BIG.

I have rejoined BIG after a couple of years away and I am excited to be helping organise a seminar night for illustrators who have questions about the industry to be held on the 26th February at the King & Queen in Brighton.
I am looking forward to learning more about the children's book world and speakers we already have confirmed are Rachel Fuller, Sophie Joyce, Tony de Saulles, Jo Moore, Sean Sims, Penny Dann and Peter Greenwood, its going to be an interesting eve, more to follow...

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Top Drawer 2014.

And so January 2014 will always be memorable, I did Top Drawer for the first time.
After years and I mean years of dreaming of doing such a trade fair I just went and did it, well not quite that straightforward but hey! 

so here goes, my journey in words.

It takes a bit of thinking getting everything ready for a trade show
sleepless nights spent wondering if I have covered everything.
 Order forms, catalogues, insurance, marketing etc but once you have done one the process starts to get a bit easier. 
I think the best way to approach doing a trade show is to have fun.
Its the one time where you can meet lots and lots of people who share the same interest, a nerd fest for card lovers and designers. Where you can get a first hand view on what people really think about your work and other peoples and make contacts.

Our journey began in Brighton on the Saturday morning at the studio, after loading the car, which involved lugging my boards and other stuff down 3 flights of stairs we set off up to London.
London yeah it gets quite busy up there, we finally arrive at Earls Court at 2 and swiftly unload the car, check into the (not too shabby) hotel 2 minutes away then back to my home for the next 3 days to set up.
4 hours later and I am already frazzled but the hard bit is done, see below :)

Heres me looking said frazzled after setting up.

So I was in aisle C, on my left was Jill from Rocket 68 and to my right Jessica Hogarth, I had read press about Jess and Rocket 68 and knew they were hot property so it was great to be inbetween them. 
Opposite Lou Mills, been exhibiting at Top Drawer for 4 years now and a bit further down the talented Petra Boase, who has exhibited roughly 16 years. She told me she remembers being one of the only card stands at the early shows and now there is a whole section dedicated to greeting cards & stationery. 
Further down the very end of the aisle was a bit of a personal fave the V cool Rosie Wonders and awesome Stop the clock.
Around the corner Tamsin Seed with Studio Seed with the most beautiful boutique stationery and opposite Alison Hardcastle with her sunny simple style.
What a fabulous collection of talented ladies all in such a small area!
Where are the boys...??? well 2 of them were a couple of aisles across where 2 fellow Brightonians were sharing a stand, David of Custard with his collaged cheeky designs and Ashley of LinoKing with his gorgeous hand embossed cards.
Go Brighton!!

Opening day, Sunday, as I walked to the entrance of the show at the back of Earls Court I said goodbye to the sunshine (its not raining which is good) and went into the hall along with TONS of other exhibitors, a stomach full of nerves and excitment, a big deep breath and I am in it, no going back.
The first person I met was Jessica Howgarth, shes great and immediately it was all going to be cool.
We all took a bit of time to chat and settle in and then the show began, I was surprised at how busy it became so quickly and as we all stood there anxiously i the conversations began and order forms came out.
I am not going to go into the details of every day but every day began the same and ended well for everyone around and that is all we could have wished for.
Sauntering past I saw badges revealing buyers from London Zoo, Fenwicks, Paperchase, Saatchi Gallery, MTV, what a crew, and that is not to mention a countless number of artistic business men and women from retailers and the creative industry AND the ones who kept their badges under wraps!!

Me and Jess. 
Jess's laid back line work with simple colour palettes and coastal subjects matter was super fresh on the eye.

Skip to Tuesday, the last day and it feels sad now, the Monday had been exhausting I had just about managed dinner at the funky Troubadour Pub ( some cool bands played there and I am sure will again) and then an early night and so Tuesday was the last day, I decided I was going to try and wizz around the show when it got quiet.
First thing I had a better look around the card section, I loved this stand.
The flowers had all been made by Imogen Owen and were stunning, Imogen I wish I had known of you when I got married, I would have commissioned you you are very talented!!
Across from Imogen was Big Jon with some of my favourite cards from the show.
I love his new floral range below and his Dusty Carr range had me laughing out loud!

© big jon designs.

Finally I made it into MADE section of the show, here there was stunning home ware and I was pleased when I came across the Anorak stand, I remember chatting with Laurie back in 2008 one time when I visited the show, its quite something to see how much her brand AND stand have grown, inspirational stuff.

And so that brings me to the end of my post for now, its been quite a pip and now 16 weeks until the next one I Drew This will be at PG Live again and this time with a bigger stand so lots of new designs to come, better get cracking!!

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