Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Painting away

Painting away at my secret little project (which I've been telling everyone about) and am feeling very happy listening to Mosaic.org and drinking more tea than is good for me. Watercolours are fun but can be a pain as they often like to misbehave.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Life After University: What is the point of your art?

As an artist, one of the questions I often have difficulty answering (and have had difficulty with even before and during University) is this: "What is the point of your art?"

Honestly, most of the time, I don't know. I don't often set out on a project with a clear picture of what it will turn out being and what it will be for. Even when I do have some sort of an idea, I still have trouble answering this ever repeating question.

The "point" of much of my personal art has little to do with an audience or client in mind. I create it because I must. Imagine having a song stuck in your head. Can you manage long without singing or humming it? What is the point of your singing it? For me, the creative process is often like this. You cannot help yourself, you feel a deep longing to pick up that pencil or whatever tool you are drawn to. It won't stop nagging at you. I have something in my head, be it story, drawing, craft idea, and I can't rest until it is out. There is no point to what I make other than relieving some pressure and putting an end to the internal nagging of my brain. I'd go nuts if I tried to hold it all in.

It is true that some things come more slowly and some things come more quickly. Sometimes the creative process comes at you like a rushing wave and the piece if finished before you really understood what you were doing. Other times, it is slow and requires much pausing and thinking, feeling for the right course. But, at the end of the day,whether the art makes any sense or not, they come because they cannot be stopped.

So, my fellow artists, illustrators, and all creatives, why is it that you do what you do?

Friday, 11 April 2014

A drawing of a girl

It isn't often these days that I show the process behind my drawings. This one was particularly stubborn and took three attempts before my hand could successfully reproduce what I could see in my head... almost. As you probably well know by now, I'm in love with small details so imagine my joy when I bought a new .005 fineliner. Add to that some wonderful watercolour pencils and we have ourselves a drawing. Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Friday, 21 February 2014

But the greatest of these is...

 Today I felt the need to play with font, an in particular the work 'hope' as we so often need it, or at least I felt the need of it today. Focussing on these lovely three words helped me feel a lot better.
Done using parker ink and dip pen with some digital colouring (something I'm still new at) for a nice touch.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Red Riding Hood

Today's little sketch was made with charcoal from last year's barbecue. A response to the weekly drawing challenge by Artisthour. To view the other artist submissions go here.

Life After University: For the love of Drawing

Now that I last spoke to you about pricing your art, I'm here to tell you to forget all about it. As artists, we crave the freedom to be creative without having the stress of finances. As newly emerging (and dirt poor/starving) artists, it is easy to be so trapped by the lack of income that it brings to a halt all creative productivity. As far as I have figured it out, there are only two options (other than becoming somehow spontaneously famous and rolling in money) and they are that you can either stop thinking about your income or you can get a part-time 'normal' job and stop thinking about your income.

The reason I mention this is because during this past year's experience of going to comic conventions with David Hooper, many young aspiring artists have come up to us for advice and guidance to help them progress. David is a wonderful person to talk to about comics as he is so knowledgeable and encouraging. The one thing that I am able to bring to the conversation is this: Is drawing in your blood? If you had a full-time job in something unrelated to art, would you still be creating drawings in your spare time? If you had an unfathomable number of rejections from art directors, galleries, publishers, etc, would that stop you from drawing? If you knew you would never make any money from your art, would you quit? If your answer to those questions is that nothing will ever stop you from drawing, then you are already ahead of so many others; you have already reached the essence of it. We draw because we simply can't stop.

Stubbornly continuing to draw not only helps us improve but also increases the chances that people will begin to notice. So whether you are new to drawing or looking for a successful career in art, take comfort in your love of drawing because at the end of the day, your love of it is what really matters. Go out there and create beautiful work.

Till next time,

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Valentines is almost upon us and I must show you this little drawing before it is too late and I have to wait for next year. I have been looking a lot recently at Henna bridal designs and have been inspired. Step one: draw henna patterns as commissions and other artwork, step two: buy henna and start doodling all over people. I look forward to it.

Created with ink and more ink. :)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Life after University: Pricing Your Art

I am currently sitting in a sad little creative block but I have enjoyed a month of looking more seriously at myself as an illustrator with the help of Outset Plymouth and their Business Start-up classes. I mention this because one of the things I've been challenged by is the pricing of my own artwork. I know all too well that I am not the only person who struggles with this and that we often fear the "It's too expensive" comment. There are many factors which determine how much something is worth such as fame, fashion, people's perceptions, and your own belief in your work, etc. So, even though I do not have all the answers, here are two sites selling original artwork which have gained my respect and approval: New Blood Art and Artists & Illustrators.

Here is your challenge: have a look at the displayed artwork and their prices on these sites and gage, if possible, where your artwork would fit amongst them. It is a simple exercise, one which I hope will help some of you fellow artists become more confident about how you price your own work.

Until next time,

Monday, 13 January 2014

What's This?

Here is a little preview of my current obsession which is slowly coming along. I'm so excited about it, I can hardly wait to show it to you all when it is finished. :D

Monday, 6 January 2014

A Wintry Collective Challenge

Inspired by The Snow Queen from Anderson's Fairy Tales. From reading the story, what really stuck with me was the image of the little girl riding the reindeer in her search for her young friend. Reindeer are rather hard to draw, I discovered.
Done with inks and acrylics on watercolour paper. I hope you enjoy it and that it leads some of you to go and read the lovely story.