Monday 12 October 2015

My first Henries experience.

Me and the lovely Penny and Frank from the excellent Tache Crafts

The Henries was an amazing experience for me and I Drew This, this time last year I had so wanted to go but decided that I would only go if nominated so you can imagine my pure delight when Mischief was nominated in the best Cute category, up against stiff competition, I am friends with Eleri who created Tiddly Poms for Paper Rose and I had already fallen in love with Pippi & Me's designs so I decided to stay cool and just enjoy the evening as it happened.
I stayed at The Lancaster Gate Hotel where the awards were being held which made the whole experience even better and around 6.30 decided to head to the Windles cocktail party where I was immediately met by a friendly face, Bex from Bexy Boo, who was also up for a couple of awards.
We then all made our way down to the hall which had been decorated with a fun 1920's theme.
Wow 700 people from the industry all under one roof, there was such a buzz as everyone sat down for the evening which began with a few words from organisers Jakki Brown and Warren Lomax some fab 1920's dancers.
The food was delicious and the conversation flowed around our table, I was sitting with representatives of Five Dollar Shake, Belly Button and Simon from Wraptious (a fellow Ladder club member) also nominated for an award.
Once everyone had finished the amazing desserts it was time for the awards, compere comedian Mark Watson was the perfect host and before I knew it we were flying through the results, I was sitting close to the Paper Salad girls and it was really inspiring to see them celebrating with their teams who have helped them get to this point, Belly Button too had great success on the night.
When my category was announced I did my best to stay calm but my heart was beating so fast in my chest it was such an exciting feeling.
After the awards the band came out and dancing and fun continued, I went on to have some really good conversations and again fully appreciate the greatness of the industry that I am now so very proud to be a part of, there were so many people there that I didn't get to see but I am determined that I will be there again so see you next time.
This just leaves me to say a huge congratulations to all of the nominees and winners and to see a full list do click here.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Henries finalist 2015!!!

Wow 2015 is turning into such an amazing year for I Drew This, so much going on and the company is steadily growing with so many positive and exciting things in the pipeline.
An absolute highlight for me has to be being a finalist in the Henries, last year I dreamt of going, anyone can go but I decided that I wouldn't unless I was nominated so you can imagine my absolute delight to see Mischief in the best cute nominations especially as there first illustration I did for the range was of a little Olive, what seems now like a long two years ago when I first began putting my greeting card catalogue together.
Today I found my outfit for the award ceremony, phew and now just have a couple of months of excited belly nerves about the big night to go!!
To read a bit more about the awards click here.

So those of you who have been following me since Olive arrived into my life may not have seen her for a while so I thought I would finish with a happy photo of her.
 Olive starts school in September so we have been trying to cram in as many mini holidays and special times as possible before we both start new chapters :)

Friday 15 May 2015

Interviews and two weeks....

So preparations for PG Live are well under way now the proofs have been ordered and the stand is getting planned, lots of new designs have been added to my ever growing Mischief and Little Tweets ranges and Umami has had an overhaul, looking forward to seeing the reaction.
In amongst show prep I have been shipping out Pavilion prints like there is no tomorrow, I am delighted it is being so well received and one of the stockists is the lovely Caroline over in Present in the Laine, I love popping in convenient as its just down the road from my office, and hearing the great news that more and more have been selling.
Caroline also asked me to do a quick interview for her gorgeous blog which you can read here.
My second interview of the month has been for Claire over at Just Daydreaming, Claire is also the fantastic organiser of The Fairy Tale Fair which I am sure you all know by now is one of my favourites to take part in, click here to have a read and I will be in touch soon with PG news!!

Friday 3 April 2015

2015 so far...

Wow 2015 is now well under way and I don't know where the time is going, although I realise that I seem to be saying that every year these days and in all honestly I pack so much into my days its no surprise that time is flying by and what an amazing year it has been already and so many cool things to come :)
So far I have tackled public speaking for the first time in a long time...twice...once with Jess Hogarth back at Staffordshire University where I studied Surface Pattern many moons ago.
 It was lovely to meet all of the students and share some of our experiences since graduating and going freelance and the second was at a talk I organised for BIG ( Brighton Illustrators Group) it was great to have Jeremy Corner MD of Blue Eyed Sun and James Emmerson from 1973 ( and me) speaking about what makes a good greeting card design and sharing our thoughts, you can read more from Jeremy about the evening here
My cards went into the flagship store of Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road which has been fantastic for I Drew This, I have signed up with a fabulous new textiles agency whose name I can't reveal just yet but it is really rather super!!!
I have taken part in two markets, both with The Fairy Tale Fair organiser Claire never fails to create a wonderful environment for shoppers and stall holders alike.
My giclee pavilion print has been greatly received and has been flying out of stockists around Brighton and I am in discussion with the Brighton Pavilion shop for some exciting plans too which is wonderful.
Not forgetting to mention I am currently on a business course which has so far proved to be brilliant although intense and I have had labyrinthitis which I must add I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, it is awful, for anyone not sure what it is see here, it really has been horrible and couldn't have come at a worse time but luckily it seems to finally be easing off, yay :)
So what is next for I Drew This?
 So up next up is the House of Animal Conciousness Open House in May and then we get straight into PG Live 2015 which I have heard is going to be a stormer this year, can't wait and not long after that I am really looking forward to the arrival of the one and only Lilla Rogers in Brighton with her Make art that sells event at the Dome.
 Phew I think thats enough for now eh...?? I need a holiday just thinking about it ;)

All images copyright Ilona Drew or Candyfloss and bow ties.

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.
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