Wednesday, July 30, 2014


My smoothie girl selfie from my last post had a fruity little t-shirt on. It was a placement print I created for the assignment but I'd quite like to see it as a real life fabric, so I've made it into a repeat

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

bye bye bootcamp

This is my final assignment entry for Lilla Rogers MATS bootcamp:
I don't mind admitting that I really struggled with this assignment for a piece of 'art based around your favourite beverage'.
I'm one of those weirdo people who doesn't drink a hot drink every day - tea or coffee, or whatever. I drink a lot of water, and occasionally some very weak fruit squash. I think this is yet more proof that I am a child in an adults body.
If you're a long standing reader of my blog you will know I love my vintage china tea cups, and have crates of them stored away in my loft (which I WILL get out and use when I have a bigger house to live in) and it would have felt very natural and probably even somewhat easy for me to produce a design based on tea cups and saucers and biscuits and all that - just typing these words is sending images whizzing through my head. But I wanted to be a bit more true to myself, and also push myself to do something a bit different (for me) and a therefore a bit more tricky (for me).
I have recently taken to drinking smoothies for breakfast and sometimes lunch too, in an effort to improve my health and get as much of the good stuff in me as I can, so I knew this would be my drink subject. I also wanted to have a character in my design because this is still not something that comes easy to me. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted this to look like. But I struggled to make this happen. Everything I was drawing looked wrong.
But I persevered. Partly because I am stubborn and didn't want to be defeated by this, and partly because I knew I could do something good.
I'm glad I persisted. This whole thing is a huge learning process but I've found I just have to keep on doing, keep on drawing, and eventually it will come.

I'm pleased with what I produced. And I am a little bit sad that this was the final bootcamp assignment. Bootcamp has really pushed me to be more creative, and think differently, and draw more. I needed this. I've also connected with many other like minded designers and artists. The community has been so supportive and encouraging - everything you need when you are a solo home worker with only your cat and toddler for feedback, and as much as I love both of them, feedback is not their strong suit.
Take a look at the gallery - there is some fantastic work there. 

Onwards and upwards. Next up, Global Talent Search!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

something old, something new

I've revisited and revamped one of my old prints. I like it a whole lot more now.
They'll be going off to the printers soon and once I have proof copies they'll be heading into my shop. They come in 4 colours, including the blue one below.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

people and animals

People and animals are not really things come naturally to me when it comes to drawing. I feel like I have to try really hard and do many many crappy sketches to get to something I feel happy with.
A couple of months ago the MATS bootcamp assignment was focussed around drawing people, more specifically, the assignment was for an editorial piece on meditation. To my surprise I had a lot of fun with the people drawing aspect.
This was my final piece, which incorporates a few new techniques for me. It was a (good) challenge, and as always a good learning experience too.

I'm also keen to feature more animals and illustration in my portfolio as well as pattern work, so I've been working on sketching some characters too. This little bunny was conceived last night in the form of a pencil sketch. I like her. I'm going to do more of this.

Monday, June 23, 2014

florals, florals, and more florals

This months Tigerprint comp was for a floral repeat to be used across the giftwrap range. I don't think I could ever get bored of making floral repeats, so this is what I entered.
It would be nice if one of them won, but I'm not holding my breath. The talent out there is pretty immense and I'm just happy to have produced some more work for my portfolio that I thoroughly enjoyed making

Thursday, June 19, 2014

nautical, part 2

I'm cramming in a few more nautical designs before the project deadline. I think they'd make a nice nursery/kids wall art set. I've changed up the whale from my last post too. I'm always tweaking in an endless quest for perfection! (not to be confused with twerking - I would never be seen doing that. In public.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


The assignment theme for the June MATS Bootcamp is Nautical Wall Art. It's quite open and we can take it in any direction we like so I'm working on a series of 4 pieces for children with a screen printed feel. Here is my whale.

Monday, April 28, 2014

mother's day florals

If there is one thing that the Lilla Rogers MATS bootcamp has taught me (so far) it's that I need to draw more. In the last couple of months I've spent quite a bit of time drawing into my sketchbook and then using those (scanned) sketches to create patterns or design pieces.  I've also been using the wacom tablet more too - which I still find quite tricky, although the more I use it the more natural it becomes. This is giving my work a more hand drawn feel in general and I quite like that.
During the last week I created a few pieces (card designs) for this months tigerprint competition - 'mother's day florals', and a coordinating pattern, you know, just for good measure.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The MATS bootcamp assignment is taking a break for the month of April, but a few of the members have decided on an unofficial assignment for this month with the theme of underwater plants for dishwares.
We took a trip to The Deep recently and I took a few pictures of the plantlife and animals and used this as a jumping off point for my sketches
I'm endeavouring to learn more and try different techniques as far as my design work goes, so with this assignment I worked pretty quickly in pen and ink creating basic shapes and icons, then scanned my images and recoloured and rearranged to form a placement pattern:
Next up, I need to arrange my icons and patterns onto dishware - fun stuff.

Monday, April 14, 2014

When you get 2 days a week to work, progress on anything seems to take such a long time - it feels very much like I'm doing a bit here and a bit there and not really getting very far with anything, except growing my to do list. My brain is full of ideas and it's frustrating that I don't get to realise things as quickly as I'd like. I'm adapting to this though - it's going to be my working style for a good few years yet I think. It certainly does make you admire people who work for themselves part time whilst being a parent full time.
That said, I'm happy to report that my new print (of a wedding/anniversary nature) is now available in my shop.  

I'm finding instagram is pretty good for helping me quickly log day to day work progress or capturing moments of inspiration, and of course helping me capture lots of fun moments with my little chick. I'm there most days if you fancy a snoop, or just want to say hello.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

draw a bird day

Apparently today (8th April) is draw a bird day (who knew?), so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Here is the bird I drew today:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

So many ideas, so little time! This is a possible new print design for my shop - I'm thinking that I'll let the customer choose the personalisation - here are just a few of mine as prototypes:

This is definitely going to make it into the shop:
I've had the samples back from the printer and taken the necessary product shots, so just need to edit and write up the description and they will be ready to go. Like I said, so many ideas, so little time!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

MATS bootcamp March submission

I've just submitted my final design (plus a couple of coordinates) to the MATS bootcamp gallery for the March assignment. Phew!
I decided to go with the original retro feel design, but went with the blue/green palette.
I've looked at this a lot, and I think I'm pretty happy with it but just need to step away for a few days and look at it again with fresh eyes next week. I'm looking forward to seeing the gallery again this month - there is some fabulous work going on at the minute, it's so inspiring. It's safe to say, I am really enjoying this design bootcamp.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

party party

In an attempt to push myself out of my comfort zone, I've been playing with some of my hand drawn sketches, which I scanned into illustrator, then hand coloured and made into a placement pattern.
It's very different to my original idea - a lot more fun and kid orientated. As a kid I only seem to remember having Jelly at a birthday party, so drew on this as my inspiration. I'm thinking stationery or gift wrap would be a good application for this design
I've still a few days left before I need to submit my final design to the bootcamp gallery, so still more time to play!