Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fancy dress

This is a drawing for a new promotional postcard I am going to send out. I wanted to illustrate some toddler-aged children as most of my illustrations are slightly older children, and mainly girls. I tried to do this yesterday but it all went wrong with my proportions so I gave up. Returning to it today with a clear mind has helped and I think they look a lot younger than my usual characters now. I've made them chubby with bigger heads than normal. I think this adds to the young effect. I can't wait to start the colour artwork.
I'm ashamed to say I've sometimes rushed my postcard artwork, especially when I had no work last year and the months were flying by. I was trying to get the postcards done as quickly as possible so that I would get some work but this didn't always mean quality of work. I'm now in the fortunate position of not having to worry so much about money and so I'm taking my time now with all my illustrations, not just commissioned artwork.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A new look

I'm very pleased with myself and my new look blog header. I'm absolutely clueless about html but thanks to Lorna, who gave me a link to some instructions on how to do it, I have now managed to change it.
Also today I have updated my website with quite a bit of the new work I've done over the last few months.
And as if that wasn't enough work for one day I have also made some final changes to the book cover for the project I 've just finished.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Calling helpful bloggers

I've been faffing around with the new blog template as you may notice but the only reason I've upgraded it is because I want to design my own 'Life of Pea' header. I thought it would show you how to upload your own design and what the pixel dimensions should be but I can't find how to do this. If any knowledgable, kind person could advise me that would be great. :-)

My finished illustration

Here is my finished illustration. I have uploaded it to my website. It looks a bit blurry when it's small- click on the image for a better view. Now I just need to add new work to my site and get some new postcards designed, printed and sent off.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Today's work

I'm working on a new illustration for the first page of my website. I do like the image that is already there but I feel it's time for a new one and hopefully people will think 'well, if she's updated her first image, there must be new work on the site.' Which of course there will be when I've uploaded it! I hope to have done that by the end of this week.
So what you see here is my drawing which I've started to work up in colour. It's sort of a self- portrait as the girl has the same hair as me and I have just bought a dress like this! I'm rather pleased with the dogs because I dread drawing dogs for some reason and I think these have turned out well. Must be the combination of my dog wallcharts and my new desk!
I'm waiting to hear back from the British Association of Adoption and Fostering who I've just finished a book for. They're not keen on the front cover I've done and I've been trying to defend it and explain why I've illustrated it like that. I will have to see what they decide. I hope they do change their minds because going back to a project once it's finished is something I don't really enjoy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My new studio

Well, not quite but it feels like it! On Friday I went to Ikea with my dad and bought this desk. A simple thing, I know, but when you've been using the dining table as a desk for the last 2 years it seems special. Now I can leave all my drawings out instead of having to clear everything away every time we want to eat. I've moved my orchid in and my kokeshi dolls now have a new home on the window sill. I also have an oil burner so I can burn some oils to relax me if I'm stressed about a deadline.

Here are the before and after photos.

On the walls are all my Guardian wallcharts, useful for reference but also just nice because I love animals. Facing my desk and mac are two dog wallcharts. On the wall you can't see I have pigs and goats, cats and horses and ponies. Just need to get a commission that involves animals now!

I can't believe a few posters and a new desk has given my studio such a different feel. I should have done it years ago. It feels so much better and I can't wait to start working in here. I've always thought living in a rented flat has been frustrating because I can't put up shelves or paint the walls or create my ideal home. However, these simple changes to this room have given me inspiration for things I can do in other rooms which aren't necessarily permanent but DO make a difference.

On my desk is a photo of my Grandma who died recently. It was taken at the seaside in the '50s and she is with my Grandad, dad and uncle. I love this photo and think it looks like a scene from a film because they're not looking at the camera and it's really intruiging wondering what or who they were looking at. My Grandma looks so elegant and beautiful. We were really close and I am missing her very much so having this photo on my desk means a lot to me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A break in Settle

After my 3 months of working non-stop, my boyfriend James and I went away to Settle in the Yorkshire Dales for 3 nights. It was so relaxing and great to be away from my mac. No checking emails and panicking that I should be doing work. I didn't want to come home!

We stayed at The Old Brewhouse which was the cutest, tiniest cottage ever, converted from an old printing shop.

We spent our time going on a few walks and saw some amazing scenery. We don't own any walking boots, anoraks or rucksacks, so we couldn't go on any serious walks which was a shame. We managed to still see some gorgeous views though. It was so peaceful and relaxing. Settle is a small market town and only had 3 pubs. They were rather 'local' but friendly all the same. We ended up seeing the same characters every night, whichever pub we were in. Everyone seemed to know eachother so we stuck out a bit! We also ate lots of naughty things like cakes and buns and pies. Being on holiday is always a good excuse!

Here are a few of the photos I took.

This sheep tried to stare me out!

It would be lovely to live in the country and as an illustrator I am very lucky that I could technically live anywhere but it wouldn't be very easy for James who works in Leeds city centre. Maybe when we're older.