Friday, 25 April 2014

Adventures in film Pt.3 - everyday moments


These are my fave pics so far from my film camera experiments. It was fun to capture everyday moments. The weather has been crazy recently, going from bright sunshine to pouring rain...I guests thats april (showers) for you! I've been trying to play around with light as you can see in the first two pictures. The first pic is from our main room that has 3 walls of big windows when the sun shines it's so bright, I love seeing the different forms and shapes the light shafts create. The second pic is the view from my studio, when the sun shines its the best thing.ever. Third pic is a personal project I've been working on in between my current job, a book project (on bread!) I'm having fun with this project and I'm excited about developing it, I have a lot of ideas for it. The fourth and fifth photo is of my lovely dog Elsie (and my wellies.) We walk everyday and I love having her with me during the day. The last pic was a pic of my lunch, I made the crunchy lentil and watercress salad from Clotilde Dusoulier The French market cookbook which I'm obsessed with, highly recommend this book if you're a veggie or you just love veggies in general! 

I have one more film post coming next Fri, see you then.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Inspired by: Flowers

This time of year feels so colourful and vibrant. I love witnessing the seasons changing - I appreciate it even more now that I have a dog and walk her daily. There's a woods close by us that we sometimes go to and it's been amazing seeing it change from bare, frosty branches to a crispy coating of autumn leaves and now the floor is covered in a beautiful blanket of bluebells, it's so pretty. I find flowers so inspiring and I love having fresh flowers in the studio while I'm working. I really like the energy of the above photo's from my 'beautiful things' board on Pinterest (Here are the original sources for the top & middle photo, the restyled chair is unknown.) Below is an illustration I created for The Financial Times last year for the Centenary of The Chelsea Flower Show, this year the show is held on 20th May, you can buy tickets here. What are you currently inspired by?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Adventures in film pt.2 - around my studio space

Here are some photo's from my latest roll of film that I took around my studio space. I currently work from home in a room that was built originally as a hallway/walkway that we renovated to make into a separate room. I live in an unusual setup, a wooden cabin-type building (we like to call it the chalet!) in the bottom of my parents garden behind a fence. I live with my boyfriend and our dog and we are currently saving to buy our first property. So back to the studio… it's a good size space for the work I do as it has a full length desk the width of the room that was originally wood that I added a sheet of white perspex to to create a large white desk. We also painted the room white which I love and there's a lovely big window that allows alot of light in (sometimes too much and I feel like I need to be wearing sunglasses at my desk - note to self must buy blind!) Along the windowsill I have some plants including the succulent above, I'm slowly adding more and more plants to my space and I'm obsessed. My desk houses my iMac, two printers and little piles of sketchbooks and notebooks like the stack in the above shot - I love the abstract book that I found in a charity shop, it has beautiful marbled end pages. The butterfly box holds some transfers, a few instax pics and some stickers. 
Underneath the desk theres lots of drawers that I keep bits tucked away and try to keep organised. I have five moodboards in my studio each with a different purpose or theme. Above is a section of images from my biggest moodboard (that I made by painting a sheet of MDF.) To be honest I like to have clutter around me not on my desk but on the walls, I love pinning inspirational quotes and images and changing them frequently depending on my mood. Photo 5 is a pic of some images blue-tacked by my desk - a page from last month's Elle, I love the current art-trend inspired fashion. Some printouts from Lisa Congdon's sketchbook that can be seen on her blog and a Picasso inspired shoot from Vogue Australia that I saw on designlovefest blog. In the corner of my desk sits my Project life binder, inspiration scrapbook and a new album I painted and re-covered for a personal memory book I made for a friend's birthday. The last photo is a peek at one of the shelves in my studio where I keep jam jars full of pens, lead and a little stack of mini moleskins.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Creative hobbies: Project life

I wanted to share some photo's from my project life. I started it at the beginning of this year and recapped the end of 2013. I love it because it's a great way to store memories and everyday moments that are special. I rarely printed out photo's and took a lot less before this project so it's been a good incentive and I would really like to continue it for a long time to come. It's designed to be accessible for everyone so you don't have to be a creative person to use it. You buy a binder, layout sheets and a core pack of cards.
I like to use mainly photo's in my spreads with some journalling and a few cards to add a bit of colour, I also add transfers and a couple of stickers but I like it to look quite simple.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Adventures in film pt.1

I've been experimenting with taking more photographs at the moment - I got my instax mini in December, which I love for instant snapshots and I recently borrowed my brothers Minolta Dynax 7 film camera to try and learn more about basic photography. As you can see from my above pics I've got a lot to learn but it was fun to have a play around with the camera and capture some everyday moments. At the beginning of this year I started Project Life (you can read more about PL here) and its definitely encouraged me to take more photo's and appreciate the little details of everyday. It's so refreshing to go back to basics and use a manual camera as opposed to a digital one that does everything for you. I even bought a disposable camera after feeling inspired by this post on skunkboy blog and I'm looking forward to finishing it and getting it developed, it's fun rediscovering photo's that you forgot you took. 
Here are a few forgotten pics from last year that my brother took whilst I was working on the egg for The Lindt big Egg Hunt, we found them last month after developing the photo's from my first film camera experiments. Next Friday I'll be sharing some photo's of my studio from my next roll!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Currently reading: Steal like an artist

I recently bought a copy of the renowned 'Steal like an artist, 10 things nobody told you about being a creative,' by Austin Kleon after watching his TED talk here. (TED is an organisation devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks. If you haven't seen any of their videos yet I highly recommend checking out their youtube channel its an amazing source of inspiration.) Austin talks about 'Steal like an artist,' and also his other best selling book 'Newspaper blackout.' (A book of poetry he created with a permanent marker and a newspaper where he eliminated the words he didn't need.)

In the book he refers to advice as autobiographical and that when people are giving you advice they are really just talking to themselves in the past. Its an interesting concept, I definitely believe it to be true and this is to be said about the whole book in general. I find the book to be optimistic with a 'glass half full' tone, it definitely left me reeling with ideas and positivity (and suggested actions to take to build a more creative life.) 'You don't need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself.'

The addition of Austin's illustrations and quotes from others reinforce his ideas. I really love this quote in the book by Jonah Lehrer "Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home, is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed and that changes everything." 

At the back of the book there's a 'deleted scenes,' page that shows how the book began 'its life on index cards,' a doodles page and a recommended reading list. I'm looking forward to making my way through the list! 

I was also introduced to Edward De Bono last night and his book 'Six Thinking Hats.' The principle behind the six thinking hats is there is six metaphorical hats you can put on or take off and they indicate the type of thinking you are using. The system is meant to be simple and effective in increasing productivity. The six hats represent process, facts, feelings, creativity, benefits and caution. I think it sounds like a really interesting idea and I'm looking forward to reading about it soon after ordering it alongside two of his other books 'Lateral thinking: A Textbook of Creativity,' and 'How to have creative ideas: 62 exercises to develop.' Has anyone read any of his books or have any good reading recommendations for creative thinking books?

I hope you've enjoyed my quick book review, I'll be back soon to share my thoughts on 'Six Thinking Hats!' 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Illustrations for 'Edible spots & pots.'

Late last year I had the pleasure of working with Christina Gaugler from Rodale inc. on a number of illustrations for Stacey Hirvela's new book 'Edible spots & pots.'

The commission included drawing 66 edibles and 16 projects - it was so much fun! The creative challenge was drawing the vegetables and herbs in a realistic way but retaining my own illustrative style and using only two spot colours! It was my first time using spot colours and I really enjoyed having the restriction and I think it's helped the edibles to look that bit more sophisticated. That is if you can make kale look sophisticated! It was also fun creating the project illustrations as it was a theme that I hadn't illustrated before. Chris was really helpful and sent me some little bamboo sticks to construct mock-ups of the some of the projects to draw from. Here are some selected drawings from the book. (You can buy the book here!)
My favourite edibles to draw were the ones with unusual textures, little details and shapes. Some of them included horseradish, Tuscan kale and jerusalem artichoke. I hope you like them! 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The artworks at London book fair 2014!

Visit The Artworks at the London Book Fair 2014! The exhibition will be held in the Children’s Centre at The Artworks Gallery opposite the seating area Earls court 1 A440. Get your tickets for the fair here! 8-10th April Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, UK, SW5 9TA. 

Waitrose Kitchen April 14.'

This months feel-good food illustrations for Waitrose Kitchen accompanied recipes for Smoky chicken mole with green rice, Ray wings baked in parchment and Japanese noodle broth. I recently made the sweetcorn fritters and the banoffee peanut butter cake from last months issue - both were delicious, the sweetcorn fritters will be making a regular appearance to my weekday meals, yum!

There are some really lovely illustrations in this months issue from Charlotte Farmer, Annick Poirier, Alan Batley & Kate Sutton & its the chocolate issue, check it out!

Here is a selection of the little food illustrations I've been creating for this regular feature.