Inktober Part Two

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Inktober is still going and I’m over half way through. I don’t think I’d like to do this every month, it makes time seem to pass too quickly!

Here are the next lot of illustrations.

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As you can see, I discovered they look much better if I scan them! I’ve gone back and scanned the previous ones now as I’d like to keep a record of them. There could be a story in this one day…

Inktober Part One

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I’ve been aware of Inktober for a long time, but in the past few years I’ve never felt I had the time or motivation to take part. This year I felt the same again, but with the realisation that I’ll probably never feel any different, I thought I’d have a go.

If you haven’t heard of it, Inktober is a social media challenge that encourages artists to make a new drawing in ink every day throughout October. If you need inspiration, there are various prompt lists, including this official one.

I hadn’t been posting much on social media for a while as I’ve been busy with long term projects, so I hoped that Inktober would give me a shove to get more active again as well as playing with ink. I’m largely using the official prompt list (unless I get really stuck) and decided to stick to the same two characters throughout the month. Here’s the first 8 days of my #Inktober, and I’ll pop back in a while to keep you updated!

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What I’ve been listening to lately…

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While I draw or paint, I almost always have some kind of entertainment playing out of my computer. Sometimes that’s a YouTube video from someone like Holly Exley or Jen Campbell, but usually it’s a podcast.

I’ve loved podcasts for so long I can’t imagine what I listened to before them. Music, probably. But whilst I love music, I prefer working to words. Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time working alone, and it’s quite comforting to hear people speak (sniff) even if it’s coming out of a laptop.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve been listening to in the past week. Walking the Dog is a podcast where Emily Dean takes a stroll with a celebrity and their dog. I started listening to it because there’s an episode with the lovely Adam Buxton, but I’ve kept going. It’s a simple concept, but strangely compelling!

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The second thing I’ve been listening to a lot is BATWLF (or Ben and Tom Wanna Live Forever) which is an hour of marvellous nonsense with two friends who put the world to rights, plan how they can become famous and make up silly but rather good songs. Lovely.

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If you’re also a fan of podcasts, go check these out! And do let me know if you have any recommendations.

 

Colour Collective

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Every week on Twitter there is a Colour Collective challenge that invites artists to join in by sharing an image using a specific shade colour. I don’t take part every time, but it’s a nice little project to do when I can. I thought I’d share some of the illustrations I’ve posted over the past few months.

This colour was Buttercup:

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This was Portland Orange:

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I think this was Pantone 292c – very specific!

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And here’s khaki:

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There are lots more, but those are a few of my favourites from recent months. Go check out my Twitter  for more of my Colour Collective contributions, and those I’ve shared from other great illustrators!

Card Proofs and When to Change Them

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I received the proofs I ordered from the printers early this week, but I’ve been so busy, I’ve only just got round to looking at them properly. The quality is brilliant, I’m always a bit amazed at how much they look like the original paintings. I think if you saw them from a distance, you could definitely think they were actually watercolours!

The proof stage isn’t just about quality though. It’s also a chance to see if the designs are placed correctly. In this case I’m happy with some of them, but I feel like others would benefit from a bit of tweaking. I’d prefer some of the designs to be just a teeny bit smaller on the page, so I’m going to make some minor adjustments before actually putting an order in.

It’s an important reminder that this is not a stage to skip! And if you’re ever planning on getting cards (or any other product) printed in quantity, I’d always advise asking for proofs first. Nobody wants three hundred wonky greetings cards!

Once I send the files back to the printer with an order, it’ll probably be about two weeks before these are here and ready to be packed. They’ll then be sent to my wholesale customers, and soon enough be available to buy in my Etsy shop as the first of my new items!

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Taking Inspiration from a Devon Day Trip

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On Sunday afternoon I went out to explore some beautiful Devon countryside. We went to Colleton Fishacre, a National Trust property on the coast. The gardens there are far away from roads and lead down to the sea, it’s really the most lovely place to be on a sunny day! Since I had Gertie with me (who is only 6 months old and not very good at sitting still!) sketching wasn’t really on the cards, so I took some photographs to look at later.

I picked out a couple that had interesting composition, and thought I’d sketch them to keep for inspiration later. Composition is probably what I struggle the most with, particularly when working on book pages, so it’s great to have a few ideas in the bank!

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Midsummer Moon Club

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In my little Devon town, I’m involved in organising some creative community events. One of these is Moon Club, a casual cabaret that began in my Brighton living room some years ago and migrated with me to the South West. Now we proudly present this (usually) monthly evening of live music, words and comedy from a lovely venue just below Totnes Castle.

Each time I design a new poster to promote Moon Club, and with the next one coming up in a couple of weeks, I thought I’d share July’s poster with you here. Do come along if you’re in the area, it’s sure to be fun – and you can even see me on stage!

July Poster

Festival Sketchbook

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I spent last week at magical Glastonbury Festival, hence the lack of posts for a while. I didn’t take my smartphone so I had no internet access, which, after a few hours of being strange, felt rather nice! Obviously I couldn’t do any social media posts, so now I’m back in the real world, I thought I’d share a few sketches from my time in the Glasto bubble.

These were all done while I was working as a steward, which at times required rather a lot of sitting down – great for sketching and people watching! Amongst these you’ll also see my neighbour’s cat, who wasn’t impressed I’d been away, and a sneaky peek of a page idea for my current book project…

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people watching at Glastonbury

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Learning to Write

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I discovered my new favourite thing yesterday when I decided on a whim to update the header image of this blog (and my website, and Etsy shop, and the logo on the rear of my cards…). I’ve somehow only just discovered writing on my Wacom tablet! I don’t use the tablet much, preferring to use photoshop with my trackpad instead, so it only just occurred to me to write with it (duh) and now I’m going to write on everything, so watch out! Here’s some things I made today (by the way Moon Club is a performance event I organise in my home town):

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New Card Designs Coming Soon!

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Between projects I’ve been slowly gathering a little collection of new illustrations to turn into greetings cards. I haven’t produced any new cards since my ‘Dogs in Xmas Jumpers’ and my Etsy shop has been closed for ages as I just haven’t had time to restock it.

But the time has come to dust off the shelves and open the shop doors again! I’m ordering proofs this week, so the new cards will be available shortly within the next few weeks (it sometimes takes a bit of tweaking before I’m happy)  Here’s a peek of one of them, Hedge Hog. I’ll let you know when he’s ready to purchase!

hedhe hog card