Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Take a look at these gorgeous balloons by Bon Bon Balloons!

Stunning! As well as selling balloons as gifts, Bon Bon Balloons also dress events such as weddings, parties, pop up installations and corporate events. I am really interested in this aspect of design, and would love to transform spaces into something wonderful. Simply beautiful :)


Gosh! What a hectic time I've had as I have come to the end of my studies! I am now the proud owner of a degree!! :) 

I've neglected my blog a little but I am back now to keep you updated about what I am up to!

Here are my final images photographed and ready for portfolio..

Thursday, 10 May 2012


These are my three finished 'flat' pieces that I am satisfied with but I feel do not have an edge like when I work three dimensionally.. I can't deal with the fact there's no depth and shadows (what is it with me and shadows!!!). I have colour coordinated them and considered several layouts, and they all relate to the fairy tale I chose. I suppose university is all about learning and I've certainly learnt a lot during this project with regards to what I am good at..and what I am not!

Here they are..

Caffeine, Redbull and Snickers!

O gosh! Where to start!! Getting my final work done has been a challenge to say the least! I have felt like i was having a creative block for a while and also frustrated as I was not executing my project in the way I wanted to. I've decided to pick myself up and soldier on and work with the bits I've made. I am happy with my outcomes, even though I am capable of a lot more (and I do not mean that in a big-headed way) I just feel I have not fulfilled what I dreampt of and this has been due to a number of factors, not for lack of effort. I have took the pressure off myself with redbull and chocolate and feel more relaxed! I think lack of confidence has stunted me a little, but I am overcoming this.

Well here is something I'm working on right now which needs arranging tomorrow ready for hand-in. If anything I've learnt I work much better hands on with tangible elements rather than flat, and from this experience I have learnt a lot about my own process and practice..I do not like working flat!!!! 

I have made a jar of fairy dust which I am going to label and put instructions on. Everything I have made is inspired by the story 'The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle'. 

Keep on smiling!!! :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

current work

An image I've been working on today, quite pleased with it! Going to add hand rendered/hand cut type and a few other bits. After a few disastrous days with my project I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel! 

Added bit more colour, working on the type now!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Animation Research

Our tutors decided to set up animation classes for us which is great, although I do not like computers, (well only for a finishing tool)! So I have been researching stop frame animation and creating my own stop frame animation. I much prefer to have my hands on my work rather than to animate something on the computer, which I will not even pretend I understand how to do! I like the element of chance and the roughness of stopframe, it's what makes it in my eyes. It gives it an edge.

Here are some videos I found that I think are pretty cool!

Rainy Days

Page from my 'unfinished' children's book! 

Still working on this image at the moment. I'm currently creating combining drawing and collage (due to limited time and no available slots in the photography studio). It is very different from my usual paper cutting and photography, so I feel a bit rusty! I like a challenge so I will press on with it! 

Jill Calder Lecture

A couple of weeks ago Illustrator Jill Calder visited us to give us a talk about working in industry. Jill is a successful Commercial Artist, working mainly using ink and drawing. 

The first piece of advice Jill gave us was not to let people mess you around with money and getting paid, Jill experienced this at the start of her career. We will be providing a service to people, it's a business, Jill said to make sure people do not take advantage!

Jill used to self promote by setting up meetings for portfolio viewings, but she has agents now. I'm sure she said she is represented by two or three agents, Central Illustration Agent (CIA) and Friend and Johnson Photography and Illustration. Jill has an agent in America who has her portfolio to show to clients for her. Jill spoke about design and layouts of portfolio and advised to make it individual and unique so it's remembered. Jill also has her portfolio on her iPad and takes it to meetings, she said it's great because if someone likes your work you can literally click and email them your portfolio straight away.

Jill went on to talk about her method and the importance of drawing and learning the shapes of things. Jill draws when she's out, she observes location and people in her sketchbook, which she says is good for going back and looking at for reference. Sometimes Jill uses google images for reference (as we all do), it's better to draw whilst looking at the real thing but this is not always possible. 

I really enjoyed the talk, Jill was very funny and her work is inspiring!

Friday, 4 May 2012


Today I visited FabLab in Manchester to do a practice run using the Laser Cutter. The machine is awesome! I practiced laser cutting my fairy design out of wood, the tiny fairy sort of caught on fire!!! The wings are far too detailed for something so tiny. I will be going back to laser cut my designs out of acrylic to use for my final show at university.

Hopes, Fears and Opportunites

Where do I start?!! We were asked to write this post by our tutors as part of our course, and  I suppose it makes you think and have a little mini plan! You need to know where you're going if you want to get there right?!!

My hopes, I have many, my first is obviously to be successful in what I do. My dream is to be a freelance Illustrator working in my own studio space (which I now have)! I would love to be involved in a range of different aspects of design from creating images for editorial/books, and also working on events creating three dimensional works. I'd love to be creating window displays...Harrods would be a dream! I want to keep my options open and as a girl that needs to be kept on my toes, I would like to be involved in lots of different projects to keep it exciting and fresh. 

I have studied for five years as a single parent and it's been tough at times but I'm still going! It's good practice for the real world and the pressures I'm sure industry will throw my way, so I will embrace this challenge! I want to make my son proud and provide a good life for him, that's my drive.

My fears are really time management. As a creative I tend to be slightly disorganised which is a pain but something I'm concentrating on! I think it comes with the nature of artists. Also having huge responsibilities can be quite draining and I worry I will not be able to give my career everything I know I can because my son comes first. Hopefully I can find a happy medium, I'm not the first working mum after all! I just need to learn the balance, they should really write a manual for this!! I also worry that if I work freelance I will not have a steady source of income, again with having to provide for someone this is slightly worrying! 

At the moment I have two work experience placements, one is with Lord Whitney working on an event called Spellbound Forest which is taking place at Delemere Forest in a couple of weeks. I will be assisting to dress the forest for the event with the creatives, it will be a great experience as I am very interested in this sort of work for my future. So exciting! In return I will receive tickets so I can take my small person along and enjoy the weekend with him! My second work experience placement is for an event called 'The First Cut' which is taking place in Manchester and will be exhibiting artists from all over the world who specialise in creating art using paper! Right up my street. I am helping two artists but I will blog after the event about that. 

For now it's all about networking, creating, trying hard and looking forward. I am very ambitious and believe that if you want to achieve something you can. What you put in is exactly what you get out!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thereza Rowe

Loving the work of Thereza Rowe at the moment! Her use of shape and colour is very bold. I particularly like her piece 'A Box Of Whispers', there's something naive about it yet it's sophisticated at the same time. 

It's a feast for my eyes looking at her work! It's really inspired me to go and play in my sketchbook which I shall be doing this afternoon whilst sipping on a strong coffee! Here are some more pieces of her delightful work!

Deadline is looming!!

Today I've had to have a chat with myself as I get these mental blocks with my design! I think it's all overwhelming what with creating a book ...and an installation for my final show, plus being a mum! So my conclusion is to just make and play in my sketchbook for the next few days and use my elements to create collages rather than make my usual three dimensional sets that are very time consuming and requires lots of planning and preparation. 

The three dimensional element to my work will come into play with my installation which I have time to complete after my book deadline. Also it will be better to show the two aspects of my work so potential clients can see that I am capable of working flat and also three dimensional (which is good for events, window displays, etc). I want to show I am versatile!

Wish me luck!!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bits I'm currently working on!

An update on what I'm working on at the minute as I've not posted much of my work lately, been  preoccupied with other things!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Fair London

Whilst we were in London 'Pick Me Up' was on! They showcased the best contemporary artist's from the UK and around the world all under one roof, at Somerset House. I really enjoyed looking around, one of my favourites has to be 'Zim and Zou'. They are absolutely amazing! 

Peepshow Collective are one of my favourites, they were exhibiting too. I really loved the prints they had on show.

'Many Hands' were also there, Owen Gildersleeve is part of this collaboration, he creates hand crafted paper creations. I have followed Owen for quite a while, his style really appeals to me!

It really was amazing looking at all the talent that is around and what standards have been set! There was new and fresh idea's everywhere you looked! It's nice to see groups of illustrators that have joined together to make a business, which (with the right people) I think I would quite enjoy! For now it's about pushing my boundaries, making sure my imagery is spot-on and self promotion!

Visit with Serpent's Tail Book Publishers

I was so pleased to have the opportunity to visit Serpent's Tail as the spaces were limited. We met Niamh Murray who is the Marketing Director. Niamh spoke about the process of book publishing, from selecting an illustrator, to finalising the cover and what decisions have to be made. We discussed how much an illustrator would expect to get paid for designing a book cover (around £500), and that you would expect to get paid even more if you handled the typography as well (an additional £250). Niamh displayed a selection of books on the table and they all looked lovely, not main-stream which I really liked. Niamh explained that the finishing details such as embossing are decided by herself and the team, not the illustrator. We were also told that the book titles had to be legible when displayed as thumbnails on Amazon, as this is where many books are sold and it needs to be clear and eye-catching. We were all handed a Jacket/Cover Design Brief which was very useful as we may be presented with this one day soon..hopefully!

We were all very fortunate to get a few moments with the Art Director Peter Dyer, and I value his feedback as he was kind about my work. Peter asked me why I have shadows in my work and perhaps he'd like my cut-outs arranged as a flat collage, which is easily achieved. Maybe I should show the elements flat so it's the same picture just with a different background and without the shadows, this will show it's versatility. I am very interested in the three dimensional aspect though and would like to venture into designing shop windows and events so I would definitely still keep my present works in my portfolio. Something to consider is having two portfolios; one for flat collage and one for the more three dimensional work. Both Niamh and Peter suggested contacting book publishers with a design of an existing book cover to show what you can do, they said a series works well for showing continuity within your work. Hopefully after graduating I will have the time to do this but right now I am just too busy! It's a great piece of advice though and worth baring in mind.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Visit with Tatler Magazine

Just at the back of Oxford Street I went to meet Lee Pears at Tatler. I spent a short time with Lee discussing my work and the potential it could have for the magazine. Lee suggested my three dimensional sets could work well for a jewellery shoot and that he could imagine the jewellery being hung and drapped over my cut outs. If this were to happen a professional photographer would take the shots which is a huge relief! Lee was very nice and positive towards me and asked me to forward my PDF Portfolio so he can show the other Art Director.

 Lee suggested contacting Bride magazine and said that my intricate cut outs could look nice as wedding dresses, he said it would be good if I made an image appropriate for their magazine before contacting them, this way they could see how they could use me. Lee also suggested I take a look in Libery, a shop close to where I had the appointment, he suggested my work could suit greetings cards but the more up market ones. I went and had a look and there really was some beautiful cards and wrapping papers in there. I will bare in mind the avenues that have been suggested to me and research these, and then the next stage is to arrange more meetings with relevant contacts.

Visit to You & Your Wedding Magazine

I was so excited to get a little time slot with You & Your Wedding! I approached them as I felt my work was appropriate and they may appreciate the delicacy and intricacy of it. My creations are quite feminine and I love to add a touch of sparkle, it's what every woman needs! 

I saw Kate Hornby (Art Director) and spent about 15 minutes showing her my work and talking about how it could fit in with their magazine. Kate was lovely and gave me such positive feedback, it really was very reassuring. I always take a box along to my portfolio visits in which I keep my hand cut pieces, it nice to show potential clients something tactile and also so they can see the detail close up, like my tiny stitched on beads. Kate was particularly interested in my teapot and tea cups and said that it could fit in really well as there seems to be a trend for antique/shabby chic tea sets for weddings at the moment. I was delighted that Kate liked my work and said that she would be in touch with me as they have their June/July issue approaching! It would be absolutely amazing to work with them, I shall keep my fingers (and toes) crossed! 

Visit to NoBrow

My second appointment was a group meeting at Nobrow in the trendy Shoreditch area of London. They publish the most amazing books and give new artists a platform. They have a shop full of a variety of beautiful books, with plenty of different styles. We were shown around the studio and taken downstairs where they do printmaking (as they sometimes hand make books). There was a sort of warehouse/storage section where they kept books as they explained that they sell a lot online. It would of been nice to show our portfolio's but unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity. Here's a link to their website check them out!

Visit to DDB Advertising Agency

Literally as soon as I arrived at Euston I had to dash to my first meeting with DDB Advertising Agency. Daniel Moorey was the Art Buyer and he had arranged a presentation for our group which was very informative. Daniel spoke to us about how he sources illustrators from books, and how he attends D&AD to see up and coming illustrators. It seemed that photography played a huge part at DDB however they do use illustrators and they do get a lot of illustrators contacting them..competition is fierce! Daniel gave us advice on how to email our work professionally to people in industry, he said to keep the writing minimal and to make sure any emails are not too busy or fussy as they just don't have the time to read them. We were advised to attach a PDF Portfolio accompanied by links to our website and blog. 

Daniel talked about working with illustrators and said to be open to change, and not to be awkward! Daniel gave advice about questions we should ask the client such as:
  • Is the job going to run? i.e. if it's going to run over the world you should expect to get paid a lot more.
  • How long do I have?
  • Usages

Other advice he gave was:
  • Do not start the job until you have the go ahead. Daniel suggested asking for confirmation of this so they can't change their mind. Otherwise you could end up spending time doing work and then if the client goes with someone else you have wasted your time and this costs you money.
  • Agree costs first before starting the job.
  • Send roughs and colour palette to client. This way any changes can be made earlier ensuring the client will end up with what they want.

Unfortunately Daniel didn't have time to view our portfolio's which was a shame but the meeting and his advice was useful. 

London Trip -Contact With Industry

Last week I went on a professional practice trip to London. Prior to my visit I arranged meetings with magazines and book publishers to show my work, and what I have to offer them. I was selective about who I contacted, and thought about where my work could fit within industry. I have been researching for a while now about what routes I could take which range from book covers, magazines (that are probably aimed at a female audience such as wedding and home magazines), to window displays where I could bring my three dimensional aspect into play. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


This week I have had an overwhelming urge to just cut paper!! It's great and my project's taking off which I am very happy about! 

Just wanted to show a few bits I have been doing for my Final Major Project and keep anyone who's interested updated, as I feel I have neglected my blog slightly lately due to keeping my facebook page and Twitter updated!

Anyway, here is what I have been doing, I hope you like!