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!
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.
A couple of months ago I was contacted by ROUGE Magazine, China, and asked to create 6 beauty illustrations to show the upcoming trends for this fall. The brief specified that “one part of the face should be accentuated and the rest could be more abstract. We’ve seen this in some of your work”.
They sent across six photographic reference images of the trends for me to work from and immediately I loved the brief! They were just the kind of photographic references that I would have chosen myself. I also seemed to have some kind of epiphany during this commission – as in, “oh yeah, that is my style (duh!)” and as such, it was definitely one of the most flowing and enjoyable commissions I have created so far. I’m hoping to further develop this style and will share the finished illustrations once they are published – but for now here are some in progress shots….
In this illustration I’ve tried to create more fluidity in my work – so it was all about letting go and getting into the flow of it rather than thinking too much. So fun to create. What do you think?! x
My lovely friend Alex recently sat for me. I had asked to paint her for a few reasons;
1. She is one of the most beautiful people I know – both inside and out!
2.She has been a huge supporter of my work, right from the beginning …. and a cup of tea or (more likely) glass of wine with Alex can set the world to rights on days when I am questioning what the hell I am doing with my life.
3.I knew it would be fun and we could have a bit of a catch up …..
And we did! But what surprised me most about the whole process, was the fact that this stunningly beautiful girl was actually really self conscious. I took some snaps on the day and made the mistake of letting her see some when she asked. “Noooooo! Ugh, I look awful. Delete, Delete, Delete! Pleeease!” No-one likes themselves in photographs (unless perhaps you are Gisele)! But in the end, Alex put her trust in me and I’m so glad she did.
I must admit to being super nervous to show her this work. I tried so many versions before I eventually stripped the whole thing back and just made it about the lines of her face and her eyes – pretty much the first thing I noticed about her.
Anyway, I hope I did her justice. Thanks again Alex! x