Spending 6 days at the feet of the country, a place with it’s own eco system, best colours and tropical climate, does make one wonder sometimes about the places one chooses to live.
Only joking Manchester! (Half joking.)
The place is in it’s own time, and is a place where ideas flow easy.
JM and I came up with a few new card and print ideas, which will marinate with me for a week or so then I’ll make them probably early July.
Starting to phase out a few of my older, less popular designs now and replace with designs made this year. Trying to keep the number under 100. Otherwise things can get disorderly. Riotous paper. Avalanching envelopes.
“Where there’s a mine or a hole in the ground
That’s what I’m heading for that’s where I’m bound
So look for me under the lode and inside the vain,
Where the copper the clay the arsnic and tin
Run in your blood and under your skin
I’ll leave the county behind I’m not coming back
Oh follow me down cousin Jack.”
The best place I find for ideas is during a run, or equivalent strenuous exercise. They sort of shoot in out of nowhere and you spend the rest of the painful session trying to remember all the new tiny pieces and colours. As long as you come safely out the other end with one idea, it’s a success. The other methods clearly and obviously involve a strong coffee and a place you’re forced to be for a short time. Trains / busses, anything with fast paced scenery along with a confused and racing heart often works and I think it makes me look like this. Good though.
Great talk today by the AOI! Excellent ideas and tips. If you’re a freelance artist it’s good to join for the free advice and events.
Don’t work for free guys!
Been up since 6am making playlists in Spotify and slowly cleaning the kitchen. Fixed a leak under the sink. I did some accounting (using WAVE, it’s good) sent out some invoices. Drank a bit too much caffeine early on so now I just feel weird. Boxed up a shop order. Now I’m pondering new card design ideas.
When did festivals get so expensive?
Here’s a photo of the bit above my desk, relatively tidy. It’s usually not. Never trust a tidy desk.
After a lovely trip overseas, I’m back wearing a few more layers and getting on with things. We spotted my cards in a lot of places in Australia which was brilliant. I’ve had an idea for a book, and have got 6 new card designs sketched out.
Some people have been asking me recently about fonts. It depends on what look / style you’re going for, but my advice there in general is to not use them. Make your own. It looks better. Using a font is easy. Go the extra mile and scribble it down. Or copy or trace an existing font. I like the “off” look. Not quite right. I do occasionally use them (Helvetica, Garamond, Times, Frutiger, something classic) but change them so they’re not perfect. Or Letraset. LOVE Letraset.
There are a couple of hand written fonts I made on Fontspace which you can use and download for free.
Examples of things I’ve just said…
I really miss the art of sign writing for shops and pubs, you don’t see it much anymore.
My online store and Etsy will be shutting from today ‘til I arrive home on 15th April. If you have a shop and want to make a retail order this is still possible, just email your order as usual to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m hopefully going to use this time away to write a book to illustrate, and come up with a new card range! Nothing like a bit of pressure.
I’m interested to see the different ideas I come up with, being in completely different surroundings.
I prefer to carry on working at the weekend. Not the tedious work like emails and admin, the enjoyable work like making something new or sorting out / organising. Yes I find organising enjoyable, it’s ok, I’m 32.
I finished packing up an order for a new shop which is great. This order came from sending out samples. I find sending samples usually a fruitless task, with the majority of them just being opened up, maybe smiled at, and then just kept and used for some crap guy’s birthday or a boring wedding. [ Helpful tip : However breathtaking you think your own work is, a lot of other people won’t enjoy it at all. It’s ok. ] Basically if you can bare it, the one order you do get after sending out 15 packs each containing a friendly handwritten letter (always hand write) and 3 cards, should usually more than cover the 45 cards you’ve lost. Then possibly maybe hopefully, continuous orders after that.
If anyone reading would like to ask me any questions about being an illustrator / being self employed, just send me a message and I can answer it on here for all to see. All three of you. Or it might just be you Dad! ….. Dad?
Images: Playing the piano with Lynne in my favourite yellow jumper. Another editorial piece for www.fieldandnest.com. A Card Wall in a shop in Melbourne that sells my cards. One of my adidas gazelle prints. A great badge. A great book haul from Hope Direct.
Friday : Mainly involved packing cards, and whizzing round on my bike taking some smaller orders to some local shops. I’m starting to wind down a little and tidy up some loose end as I’m going away for an adventure in a bit for a few weeks.
I always start Monday with a swim. Great start to the week. If I don’t exercise daily or at least 6 times a week the “ideas cabinet” inside my brain goes on lockdown. I slowly fade into a ghost of my former self and just end up wandering around the house and moving things slightly.
Today I met a 3rd year illustration student from Stockport University and we sat down and went through her portfolio. She had some wonderful work and is very talented. I hope my advice came in useful. Lovely to meet you Katie, and look! I’m writing a blog!
The rest of the day I spent putting together samples and posting them out to small shops.
Then I put some new handles on my kitchen cabinets.
It felt like it could be a quiet day and I had the house to myself so decided to crack on with two commissions I planned doing on the Monday. I put ‘The Gloaming’ on [a band; have a listen] and lit a candle and settled down at the kitchen table. Both pieces involved landscapes, which I used to hate doing, but now I actually like it. Here are two pieces in the making; I won’t post the final one, as it’s a gift from one stranger to another stranger so I shouldn’t post it just yet.
The second is for a pal (http://www.fieldandnest.com/, check her out), she wanted her and her boyfriend in a hot spring in Iceland next to a waterfall. You are allowed to see the finished version of this…
Last week was mostly spent packing cards for a Vevoke (Australia) shipment, which is great as I can catch up on a Netflix series. If you care, I watched Breaking Bad, again.
Made a new card design, designed 2nd March, released and ready Friday 10th March.
My Dad owns a kennels and cattery business in Wales (www.ewloeboardingkennels.co.uk) so my BFF and I (www.lucyridges.com) went house sitting for a couple of days whilst he was away. Hanging out with dogs and chickens all day creating work at a large farmhouse kitchen table is very good for the soul.
I find old photographs absolutely fascinating. Roughly the times between 1860 and 1950 are my favourite. My house is filled with pieces from those eras. To celebrate the heroic women of WW2 I made some replica old photographs in photoshop with images from the web, and had them printed out. For no reason really, just because they need remembering.