Saturday, 20 December 2014

saturday scribbles



as of today there's only five days left of #illo_advent, which means that there's now only four days left until christmas day – crazy! i can't believe christmas day's almost here, i can't believe how quickly the last twenty days have passed, and i also can't believe that i've managed to scrape together twenty christmas puns, even if some are somewhat questionable! when i set out on this massive illustrated christmas pun endeavour i don't think i anticipated just how many twenty five was, so i'm pretty impressed with what i've managed. i'm at a point now where i've scraped my reserve bank dry and daily i'm floundering at around 11pm to try and think of and illustrate a pun before the clock strikes 12, and so far i've managed it but i'm wondering just when i'll have been bled completely dry and will instead doodle up something suitably festive but much less punny to suffice. 

in other news, this week i finished off complete first drafts of my two inner alice in wonderland illustrations. i've sent them both off for feedback, and i'm hoping that they're pretty much there but will require a few tweaks that can be managed over the course of a few days so i can write them off and crack on with my other book covers as well as my nhs project which i'd so stupidly forgotten about until the coursemate i'm working alongside on the project dropped me a text reminding me of my duties... i've got shit for brains sometimes, i swear. for now i think i'm going to keep my alice in wonderland illustrations to myself and post them up here when they're good to go, but if it'd be of any interest to anyone to see a progress post about the project, detailing initial sketches, character design, compositional ideas and drafting the illustrations, do let me know and it can be arranged! week one of the christmas holidays is officially over, and i think i'm on track for getting my work done to a sufficient standard before heading back up to uni in january. fingers crossed!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

saturday scribbles & sunday synopsis







i can't remember the last time my blog was as quiet as it has been this week as i've managed to post absolutely nothing since last sunday, but i feel absolutely no guilt. things have been hectic with uni this term and in all honesty, i haven't really had the desire or time to blog and i think it's definitely shown with the frequency/quality of my posts. i got a new camera for my birthday a few weeks ago, and although i've played around with it briefly, i haven't had the chance to explore all its features properly and take some decent photos, so i'm hoping throughout christmas i might find the chance to do so. 

that said, i still have an assload of work to do throughout my three week christmas holidays. this week has been up and down in that on monday my progress so far was shot down, so i then spent until thursday reworking my drafted spreads when i then received positive feedback and the thumbs up to go ahead turning my drafted illustrations into fully fledged ones, however with friday being our end of term party and saturday being a massive hangover day, i've still yet to start any work on it and intend to get the ball rolling properly tomorrow. if you were wondering, that's in regards to my alice in wonderland project. on top of this, i have my dissertation to revisit and tweak and i also want to completely redo my puffin book cover because i hate the outcome of it although i spent a good month drafting, creating and reworking it, sigh. so, as you can imagine, lots to do!

in other news, i've also slacked with my #illo_advent illustrations this week but i've managed to catch up again today. i spend a lot of time self conscious about my work because i'm not quite sure how consistent it is, but i think this little illustrated challenge is helping me to see that perhaps my work looks more like my own than i may think it does. because i've been drawing different creatures every day, i've been able to see that i tend to tackle characteristics and shapes in similar ways regardless of what it is that i'm drawing, so perhaps i'm starting to find a consistent, natural way of working without really noticing it. what do you think?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

sunday synopsis


i'm not entirely sure just where this week's gone. like most weeks, monday to wednesday seem to pass fairly slowly, but as soon as you pass the magical threshold that is wednesday, the week seems to be up already regardless of the fact that it's still midweek; anyone else get that, or is it just me that seems to get caught up in that odd little paradox on a weekly basis?! i've spent an unusual amount of time in the university studios this week, spending three days there until 9/10 in the evening, and i still don't really feel like i'm on top of my module work. if i'm being honest, i've felt a little disenchanted this term in terms of the module's briefs and the work required, and although things have picked up a little now i'm working on an alice in wonderland brief, i can't help but still feel bitter about the beginning of third year as a whole. 

lately i've really been questioning what the hell my game plan actually is for when i leave uni. my disenchantment recently has had me feeling as though i don't want to pick my pencil up and draw simply because i have no inspiration or desire to, and it's making me question whether or not i'm cut out for throwing myself into an illustration job once i've graduated; if i can't motivate myself to get my university work done, what makes me think i could cope with work set within a professional setting? i keep telling myself i'm feeling this way because the projects just aren't right, but in the real world i could be waiting my whole damn life for the right project to come along, but in the mean time i'd still need to be making money, you know, because money's essential for living. 

maybe it's not my course i'm disenchanted with, but perhaps just life in general. when i sit down to think about my fears, my concerns, my insecurities, 9 out of 10 of them can be traced back to financial issues of some kind. i feel that at the moment i'm not planning my future based on what i truly want to do with my life, but rather what i feel will benefit me most financially so i can live comfortably, but i'm not sure how much comfort helps in terms of achieving happiness. it's a tricky one.

in other news, i have a meeting about my dissertation draft on wednesday and i'm looking forward to receiving my feedback. i think my dissertation could be good, you know. here's to hoping.

saturday scribbles


i decided this month i was going to take part in an illustration challenge called #illo_advent, where in which illustrators are invited to contribute a festive doodle every day up until christmas day. i decided i was going to stick with plain ol' pencil doodles because they're quick enough to do and so i wouldn't have an excuse to not contribute one daily, and i decided i was going to challenge myself to make every doodle relate to a christmas pun of some sort. i'm currently six days in, and i'm wondering how far in i'll get before i really start clutching at straws when trying to think of original puns! 

as well as the #illo_advent doodles, i've also finished off my puffin design award book cover, however i'm not too pleased with the outcome so i'm considering restarting it again during my christmas holidays, but we'll see! i've also started work for a brief relating to alice in wonderland, asking for a book cover and two internal illustrations, and so far it's been much more fun than the carrie's war book cover business. i'm currently in the stages of finalising character development and i'm starting to think about composition, so hopefully next week i'll have something to share from that brief that's a little more put together than the current scribbles in my sketchbook!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

tartan & stripes


hat: h&m
jumper: h&m
scarf: urban outfitters (old)
chokers: lilac edge
skirt: primark (old)
boots: primark (old)

i've been feeling a little out of love with my wardrobe and the high street's fashion offerings recently, but one thing i've really fallen a little bit in love with is stripes. stripes are something that never go out of fashion and always look effortlessly chic, but in the past i've just never really been that much into them. perhaps it's my falling out of love with my wardrobe that has brought me to them because when i'm feeling uninspired, nowadays i can just throw on a trusty striped top with some jeans or a skirt and i'm good to go!

i've been really into this striped crop and faux leather skirt combo lately, and now the weather's dropped a little colder i find that teaming them up with my tartan scarf helps to inject a little bit of colour into a monochrome outfit. i'm currently on the lookout for the perfect striped dress, however i'm yet to find one after countless attempts of browsing online and in shops. my perfect striped dress is a shift style, high necked, with sleeves that sit just above the elbow; know of any? please do feel free to let me know if you've spotted it, because i've yet to!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

new in: lush mask of magnaminty




when my body shop seaweed face mask ran out around a month ago, my first thoughts for replacing it was to head straight to lush after hearing so many good things about their face masks. after a quick chat with a member of staff and testing some products, i settled on the mask of magnaminty face mask because it reminded me most of the seaweed face mask which i already knew worked well on my skin, but also because it's a self preserving mask and lasts a hell of a lot longer than lush's fresh face masks.

so, let's start with the most important aspects of a lush product: the scent. as the description states, the mask has a peppermint scent which i imagine people will either love or hate, and i personally love it because it smells so fresh and awakening, making it perfect for applying on a morning to help you wake up properly! i tend to use face masks around once a week – sometimes more if i've been drinking – just to give my skin a little bit of a boost and hopefully restore any moisture it may have lost throughout the week. the mask claims to help combat 'eruptions and outbreaks', and after two weeks of using the product, i can't honestly say i think it's worked all too well with helping to tackle spots, but i wouldn't like to say for definite just yet because my diet's been dire these last couple of weeks due to my birthday celebrations anyway. after using the mask my face feels baby soft and hydrated, so i'm more than happy to continue using the product over the next couple of months before making my mind up on it for good.

overall, lush's mask of magnaminty has had a positive reception from me, and for £5.50 i think it's definitely a face mask that's worth a try, particularly if you're partial to minty scents. lush's fresh face masks are definitely products that intrigue me, i'm just reluctant to splash out on an item with such a short life span! if you've used lush face masks in the past, i'd love to know what your favourites are!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

#shopindependent this christmas: my picks


this year there seems to have been a lot of focus on independent shops, online ones in particular, and the owners of said shops have been coming together via twitter, instagram, blogs etc. to help to promote one another's products on the lead up to christmas. i follow a wide array of various illustrators, artists and makers who frequently update their followings on the gorgeous items they've been creating, so i thought i'd nip by today to share with you a few items that have caught my eye and the shops belonging to the wonderful creatives behind them.


i've been following harriet now for almost three years, and in that time her business has gone from strength to strength. when i first started following her, her shop consisted mainly of handmade purses and ipad cases and has gradually expanded over time, and recently she released a batch of gorgeous handmade dresses, created with fabric printed with her original illustrations on. now, all of us here know that i'm definitely a dog person, but how lovely is the kitty dress above?! at £90 the dress is a little (a lot, sigh) out of my price range, but i think it'd make a really special gift for someone if you were wanting to splash out a bit for something that is handmade and completely unique. 



sophie is one of my favourite illustrators at the moment, and i'm forever recommending her social media accounts to people who want someone new to follow. sophie's doing incredibly well for herself since becoming a full time freelance illustrator, and has her work available for purchase on different items (such as t-shirts, cushions and phone cases) on ohh deer and society6, however i want to draw your attention today to her etsy shop. she's offering bespoke pet portraits within her etsy shop, and i think they'd make such a fantastic gift for anyone with a very special furry friend in their life. 



emma is one of my more recent follows on social media, but she very quickly became one of my favourites. she's a children's book illustrator, but recently she's been working very hard on illustrated products such as brooches, necklaces and ceramic pots, and everything she creates is just so heartbreakingly adorable and as charming as the flat illustrations she creates. my favourite item emma has produced to date – and i know i may be biased – has to be the poodle brooch above, however she has a range of different animal brooches such as cats, birds and dinosaurs, so i'd put my money on there being something for everyone within her shop.



lorna is another children's book illustrator, but unlike emma's shop, lorna's shop features print based goods such as cards, screenprints and digital prints that you can adorn your walls with. my favourite print of lorna's has to be the dogs print above (but, once again, i am biased!) however all of the prints she offers are so playful, vibrant and full of energy, and would be a welcome addition to most homes that are looking for a bit of life to be injected into them. i recently won one of lorna's prints myself, and i can vouch that my bedroom's aesthetic was improved 100% after framing and hanging it. 



admittedly, i don't follow very many online jewellery shops because a lot of them feel very samey, but when i stumbled upon auberginefox's lovely etsy shop i was taken in straight away. they create some wonderful one off pieces of jewellery that use delicate quartz and amethyst stones, and i find it extremely difficult when browsing their shop to choose just one item that i think could be my favourite because everything they create is just so beautiful. 



last but not least, my list wouldn't be a fully formed one if i didn't have a gemma correll item on here somewhere. gemma correll is probably my all time favourite illustrator, simply because everything she creates oozes sophisticated simplicity, and i feel as though although we haven't met, gemma understands and connects with me on a deep level (the illustration used on the above cushion is proof enough of that.) i own a couple of gemma's illustrated bits and bobs, namely a phone case and note books, and i have people constantly asking where they're from, which can only ever be a good thing. i've linked above to gemma's society6 account where you can buy various items such as cushions, phone cases and tshirts, but she also sells illustrated goods through ohh deer, too.