It’s safe to say it’s been a long time since last I posted …. 2016 to be exact! Since then, I have had two beautiful daughters (now aged 1 and almost 4) and they have well and truly turned my life upside down. In the most amazing way of course….. but also, as you can imagine, in a sometimes all consuming way.
Though I’ve had a few commissions in the mean time, my illustration career has definitely been forced to take a back seat and while my heart is filled with so much love for my daughters, family and home life, I definitely feel an ache that can only be fulfilled through creating art.
So, I thought now was an apt time to reflect and make some updates to my portfolio and much neglected website. My hope is to create and develop my portfolio in order to attract a wider range of clients and to explore aspects of illustration and painting that I have been interested in for a while – including hand lettering and surface pattern. To start, here’s a few fruit illustration paintings I recently created…… definitely more food and lifestyle illustrations to follow!
Back in summer I was contacted by one of the designers over at InStyle Magazine and Mimi Chatter, New York. Mimi is a relatively new site, run by TIME Inc and features all things beauty! They were after a new social icon, together with some further illustrations of beauty items that they would be able to use as part of an accent library in order to help create a soft and elegant feel. Since Mimi is new, they also wanted their illustrator to help pull the look and feel of the brand together. It was a real pleasure to work with them. Here’s a taste of what we came up with …..
In the last couple of weeks I’ve turned my hand to painting woodland animals …. starting with this little fox and rabbit! Our little clan is due to expand in early May and I’m hoping to hang a trio of animals up in the little one’s room (being a country girl and all that) …… perhaps a sweet little deer to complete the set? What do you think?
Will share the final trio once complete and framed…….
I think it’s acceptable on the 13th of January to still be saying Happy New Year to you – especially since I’m ashamed to say that my last blog post has not been since the end of May! With that in mind, it’s also a fair assumption what my new years resolution is going to be! I’m definitely aiming to create more work and share my process with you on here – warts and all.
2015 was an excellent year for me. I had some exciting clients – including L’oreal and TIME Inc and am currently anxiously waiting to see my illustrations “come to life” for a project I did with Sanctuary Spa back in summer, that will be launching nationwide later this month ….. watch this space! Not only that, me and Mr Simms managed to buy our very own house together. We got to kiss goodbye to the perils of renting and set about making our house into a home, ripping out bathrooms, carpets and dated 70s style fireplace cladding and completely redecorating (aside from the kitchen – our budget didn’t quite stretch that far!)
With that in mind, I think it’s fair to say that my creative practice became a little sidelined since the move as I began to find more and more instagram accounts to follow – based purely on how their creators had styled their home, searched Pinterest to create mood boards for each of the rooms and quite a few hours on ebay trying to get the best price on vintage french furniture.
However, the projects that I did focus on got me thinking about my overall style. A few of my clients encouraged me to be looser with my technique. I LOVE working this way and certainly the works that I have considered most successful in the past have shown a really loose, confident technique that I would love to develop this year. Sometimes I feel like I need to give myself permission to work this way – it seems too easy, too enjoyable … but then I guess it takes a certain amount of confidence to give oneself that kind of permission and shut everything else out.
Above are a few abstract experiments trying to loosen up both my technique and my mind! Also, living in the country, I’m often inspired by botanicals and again I wanted to loosen up my response to them.
I found my first grey hair at the age of 19. I was on holiday in Greece and an old Greek man remarked that it was a sign of wisdom. Well, 10 years on and I’ve been telling myself that ever since!
I started out with very dark hair. My Dad and brother were the same (though annoyingly my bro has only just found his first grey hairs despite the fact that he is 3 years my senior). Perhaps it’s linked to stress? Humph!
My point is, at what age (if at all) is it okay to accept the inevitable and stop pouring horrible chemicals on my head every 6 weeks? Meryl Streep looks so glamourous with her white hair. It’s almost empowering to see. But for a woman in her 20s (yes, I’m holding on to that title for as long as I can), wouldn’t it look a bit odd? Moreover, I don’t think I’m quite ready to go grey!
I absolutely LOVE mens clothing on women – especially men’s watches and shirts and shoes! There’s something very sexy about it – perhaps its because men’s clothing doesn’t show too much flesh, or perhaps wearing men’s clothing and accessories serves to highlight our femininity – who knows? This gorgeous androgynous outfit stood out for me at Antoni and Alison’s show at London Fashion Week.