Monday, 27 January 2014


It's been a while since I worked on something self-initiated that wasn't a row of buildings. Something you may not know about me, is that although I thoroughly abhorred mushrooms in my youth, (especially when they were defiling an otherwise delicious pizza or bolognese, along with peppers), I now LOVE them. My current favourite are shiitake, if you want to know, and I now gobble down peppers, too.I think the most enticing thing about them is how freaking weird they are. I mean, they are definitely fruity, in a fungal way. They come in so many shapes, sizes and classifications, each with a unique taste, and while you can eat a hell of a lot of them, some can also KILL YOU. Amazing.I would like you to observe that these here toadstools were created purely with watercolour. As you know I rarely paint, and certainly not before I've made some comfortable pencil lines to guide me. I toyed with the idea of going over these with black ink to create outlines, but in the end I was so pleased with them that I left them be. I hope you like them. I might add that you should definitely NOT eat ANY of these mushrooms, despite the title. They're all poisonous, and ingesting some of them will result in you snuffing it. I'm just terribly witty.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Slow and Steady

Sometimes I get so worked up over the fact that I have to maintain my day job whilst other creatives are doing what they love on a daily basis, full time, making enough money so that they don't need a day job. It's not really to do with other illustrators and designers of course, it's to do with my impatience, and admittedly a bit of self doubt. This month I've noticed a lot of positivity and good advice going around, particularly on twitter, and it has recharged my batteries somewhat.

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, because I'm not quite sentimental enough to hold stock with the idea of regeneration in a new year. Another reason is because I didn't want to put any dents in my self esteem if any of them fell through. I say this mainly in regards to my career, which luckily is the only thing I ever feel needs a change or a boost. I have a roundabout plan to push harder this year though, and that has come from seeing other people working hard and succeeding.

Enough of me rambling on. The point is, I've started a few things already that I hope will bring me a bit of motivation and more importantly, work. You are not going to believe this, and I am deeply ashamed to admit it, but this morning I posted out my very first promotional postcards. Alright, so I graduated in 2010, but it's done now, and it's going to be done every 3 months from now on. The other things I did, were to refresh my website, and create a new, *official* shop to compliment it.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Bruges Markt

If you follow my blog you will have seen that I went to Bruges at the end of November, and if you follow me as an illustrator, you will know that I like to illustrate the buildings I see on my travels. This particular illustration is of some of the buildings in Bruges Market Square. The Christmas festivities had begun when we arrived, so you'll notice I've subtly drawn in the wreathes and Christmas lights that were decorating the shops and restaurants. That doesn't mean you can't have it on your walls all year round, though.

If you like this one, it's available as a print in both my Etsy shop and my *NEW* Bigcartel shop, which also deserves a little blog post of its own. More on that during the week.

Psssst: I currently have a 25% off sale running until the 31/01 in my new shop. Just enter the code: 'HAPPYNEWYEAH' at the checkout.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Craft Fair - Broadgate, Coventry

On Friday the 13th of December I was frantically drawing, cutting, baking, printing, and packaging away until late, preparing for my very first craft stall with my artist friend, Hayley Diehl. I always take deadlines right up to the end. I realise this post is quite overdue, but Christmas came around so quickly after that, and it was nice to take a few weeks off and not stress about my career.I'll start with the negatives, in that the weather could only have been made worse by precipitation. I believe this very day was the beginning of the horrendous weather conditions that the UK is still battling now, and it began with the strongest, most unanticipated gales that I've ever had the misfortune to spend eight hours exposed to. The other negative, was that the fair itself turned out to not really be our "thing". Indeed, maybe it was us that weren't really their thing.
My prints, Christmas cards and other bits
We were set up in Broadgate in Coventry, which is pretty much as central as you can get in the city. Unfortunately, we were one of only a handful of the total stalls actually selling crafty, arty-type things. Our particular table was positioned between a lovely lady selling haribo and other sweets to raise money for her daughter to travel, and a regular seller from the Coventry Market, selling incense, scented oils, stones, and other bought in goods. We felt a little bit lost, and with all due respect to the people of Coventry: those types that were in town shopping on a Saturday (Primark stage left, "fun fair" in the stalls, Wilkos in the back), were not in the market for illustrated artwork.

I'm beginning to sound very negative now, I realise, so on to the positive. In actual fact I feel like I had a very good day, considering the winds and the audience. A lot of our friends battled the elements and the Christmas rush to come and see us, most of them spending their hard earned pounds at our little stall. Even a few strangers, which clearly possessed impeccable taste and an empathy for local designers, made purchases. Every single sale warmed my heart, and made the late nights and money spent on supplies all worth it. If you were there and you bought anything, or even just stopped to chat or say "ooh, that's nice", then THANK YOU.

Next time I think we'll buck up the courage to try a fair where we'll be surrounded by other artists and crafty types. If you know of any in the Midlands area, even if they're not until next winter, do leave your two pence in the comments below. I'm really excited to try this again.