Monday, 24 June 2013

Two Illustrations For Two Beautiful Books

Earlier this year I was commissioned to do illustrations for two beautiful books, The Wardens Niece by Gillian Avery and The Owl Service by Alan Garner. 

The Owl Service

The Warden's Niece

This was a great project for me as I love the unpredictability of found imagery, making objects from different sources work together is like putting a jigsaw together! The tops-turvy nature of these images was inspired by the artwork of playing cards, a simple surrealism that reflects the magic in these stories. The client wanted them as pieces of art to be framed and hung on a wall, so I kept to the centred oval composition for both images.

Monday, 17 June 2013

An Inspiring Visit to Brighton Craftganza

Good evening!

I have been an official Brightonian for a year now and only yesterday I finally went to visit the craft explosion that is Brighton Craftganza! Shame on me! It was just so blog-post worthy that I grabbed my boyfriends iPhone (my phone is in the cretaceous period) and took some shots of my favourite stalls. It is wonderful to know I am living in a town so full to the brim with artists :)

The first stall that stood out to me was Rockcakes Jewellery by Sarah Meredith who boasts a broad range of designs and spot on stall design. How tempting her pieces look on those cute shaped cushions!  There are a lot of kitch style jewellery designers about at the moment but there was just something fresh and wearable about her work.

Charming Jewellery by Rock Cakes aka Sarah Meredith

Then there was the printmakers! The work of Popcorny and Hello Dodo put a smile on our faces. Humourous, clever and clean they demonstrate local design at its best. Popcorny had that vintage poster feel that I adore, carefully selected colour palettes, great composition and lashings of fun. My favorite print had to be "No Random Note Whistling" but they were all irresistible. Her idea of printing a paper fortune teller (nostalga!) as promotional material was awesome, something we had fun with when we got home! Hello Dodo's work had those kind of hilarious puns that me and my boyfriend enjoy far too much. The sweet imagery and bright colours appealed to the child in me, prints such as "Bear With Me", "I Like A Lion On A Sunday" and "Brighton Up Your Day" were firm favorites.

Fun screenprints by Popcorny
Some bold 'n' beautiful prints by Hello Dodo

Lucy Alice Porter is an artist I found a while ago and remember for her elegantly simple patterned animals. The colours she chooses remind me of modern scandinavian design which is always a plus in my books. I just have to have one of these stunning cushions next time I have a few pennies spare :)

Lucy Alice Porter's fresh and delicate designs

Who ever said that the process could not be beautiful too? Not Joan Of Art, who specialises in quality art materials often up-cycled and customised. Looking at the stunning selection available on Saturday who could resist getting creative with these gorgeous bits 'n' bobs at their fingertips?

Art materials by Joan Of Art

I have for a long time been thinking about taking part in craft fairs after doing Cambridge Creative Fair two years ago. I wish I could have bought everything I saw yesterday but I came away with something far more valuable, INSPIRATION! So watch this space?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Cordyceps Plague of Middle England, 1886. - Part 1

Fig 1.

I saw the programme Planet Earth on BBC1 a while back and was struck by these strange organisms named Cordyceps. These are a type of fungus that invade the body of an unfortunate living host and develop inside them. The utterly bizarre thing being that the organisms then kill the creature and break free by changing the behaviour of the host for its own benefit. The clip below shows a doomed ant forced to climb high into a tree to gain the best point for photosynthesis, where the Cordyceps then reveals itself. Pretty grim but fascinating at the same time. 

I know the idea has been explored that humans and animals could become infected with the same fungus, and I was inspired to create a series of images. This project is going to be a set of images inspired by Victorian medical textbooks, suggesting that there was an outbreak in Victorian England. 

I know that this will be an enjoyable project that I hope will look visually stunning :). I will be using found images from bric-a-brac shops to create these collages, so let the rummaging begin! 

Screen-cap from BBC1's Planet Earth

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A is for Ankle

Hello Sunday (or blog day as it seems to have become!),

I have had a lovely weekend back home in Essex visiting museums and family. Was a welcome little change of scenery but it is good to be back in our little place by the sea. Dare I say it but I actually missed the shrieking seagulls in the morning! 

So the other week I was asked to create an image for a new zine. All I was told was that the theme was the letter 'A'. So I did a little brainstorming... and then some more... what do you do when a topic is so broad?! 

At university I often struggled with knowing I had to do something when it was allowed to be pretty much anything. At first this freedom feels great, after growing up being told precisely what to do by teachers, bosses or parents. I have found that not having any sort of restraints sends me in excited circles like a caged animal released into the wild (haha). So I give myself a box to work in and for this task I decided to focus in on the shoe shop where I work part time. Leading me the idea to focus in on a part of the body so often overlooked. The ankle. 

I have defined this by using the pattern of the sock to highlight my chosen feature subtly leaving the viewer to fathom the 'A' in the image. It's far more fun to be subliminal! 

This image was drawn by hand before being coloured digitally. My reference was an image from the wonderful blog They Call Me Redhead

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Long Hair Cut Short.

Shock horror! Or hooray?

To those who know me, my hair was always my most distinguishable feature. I would get comments and questions on a daily basis about how long it was, how long I took to wash it and (bizarrely) if it got in the way when I went to the toilet. So yes, I have had very very long hair for as long as I can remember and it had always been hanging down the sides of my face, covering my back like some sort of security blanket.

Until last weekend when I cut it! Off!

The final straw came this winter when I couldn't wear a scarf without ending up with a matted nest at the back of my neck. Then having to spend half an hour trying to carefully tease the knots out every evening. Only to wake up in the morning and de-tangle it all over again!

I had fallen out of love with it completely. In fact more often than not I felt me and my barnet were at war with each other. It had been a long time coming, but I was totally chicken. The day I got it cut I was a ball of nerves, but as soon as the scissors sliced through the first section I felt fine. It didn't hurt, in fact it was extremely liberating. I walked out of the hairdressers suddenly feeling more confident, realising my hair represented a person I no longer was. It had been there throughout relationships, heartbreak,  university, teenage years, mistakes and awkward steps into adulthood. Now at 25 it was time to look towards the new.

I found the best local hair dresser I could by reading as many reviews as possible and settled upon Cuttlefish in Brighton's North Laines. Apart from the fact it was oozing cool from every orifice (my hairdresser looked like Robert Smith) with very good music taste, they did a very good haircut!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

First winter in Brighton.


So it was our first experience of snow in Brighton last weekend! The light frosting that we got was enough to turn this city into some sort of russian wonderland! So I donned my shiniest wellington boots  and grabbed my camera...

This one was taken by @joeisalright

Don't you think those palmtree-esque plants look so out of place in the snow! How was the snow wherever you were? Keep warm!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Knot Rhyme.

Right over left and left over right,
Makes the knot neat and tidy and tight.
-Unknown Author

Original pencil drawing. I am really torn between each one!

Friday, 21 September 2012

A Stopgap and the Start of Something New.


I come to you from what feels like the bottom of a big hill. These last three months in Brighton have taught me three things; the sound of the sea dissolves woes, hard times are hard and to make most of absolutely any situation. Although we have next to no money I really couldn't be happier and somehow I feel like we are finally getting somewhere. My only escape from the tiny little bedsit we call home is creating, dreaming and japanese food.

A Stopgap and the Start Of Something New

This is edited from the sketchbook that kept me going through the summer, I feel like we are looking through a window to the real world going by, but yet to really run along with it. This following image is our means to an end, the bedsit we share and will remember forever for it's miniature size and our big adventures.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

New Beginnings

Friends Will Get Us Through


To say the last two months has been eventful is a little bit of an understatement! I am writing this from my new place in Brighton just a few meters down the road from the good ol' English Channel. Moving always creates creative upset so I haven't been posting of late, but now I am settled in my new surroundings I am chomping at the bit to get going! University is officially through as I had my graduation on Friday which was inevitably enjoyable although tinged with sadness.  There are many that I will miss! 

The above illustration is part of a new series I am working on that will probably be loosely influenced by my new surroundings and experiences. I wanted to convey happiness, warmth and reassurance through my choice of material and colour.... I also think this image contains a definite subconscious nod to the abundance of facial hair in this town! 

Monday, 18 June 2012


Hello all!

I have recently done an album cover for the excellent Kookoovaya's first EP, Heart Box. Visit their Soundcloud > Here.

I mainly used vintage photography from an old flower arranging book, I love the bizarre quality that black and white film photography gives to flowers! My starting point for the wooden heart idea began by the organic feel they have encompassed in their music.

…. and that concludes the end of my degree too! Watch out for me at the Maidstone UCA stand of D+AD New Blood exhibition in Brick Lane, London. It is an amazing show full of brand new talent and is worth a visit for sure! 

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