FIRST FASHION BOOK ILLUSTRATED, NEW HOUSE (HOPEFULLY!) AND LOTS MORE IN THE PIPELINE – IT’S BEEN A WHILE!!

It’s been SUCH a long time since I last blogged and lots has happened since then! I’ve been super busy. Firstly, since my last post I had the experience of illustrating my very first book! It’s called “The Bare Essentials: A Passion for Lingerie” and is written by the super lovely Tracy Martin. The book itself, as the name suggests is about the various lingerie types that have become “The Bare Essentials” of a woman’s wardrobe. Not only is it a really useful and practical guide but it also explores the origins of various styles throughout history. I absolutely loved being asked to create my own flapper girls, glamourous and classy burlesque figures and modern day divas!

Burlesque girl Helen Simms

IMG_5754 copyAs an artist, I think the book was one of my largest commissions so far. It contains over 40 of my artworks and it stretched me in terms of realising what I could achieve within a limited time frame (without hyperventilating!) and also gave me an invaluable insight into illustrating for books. It was something of a learning curve but definitely something I look back on with pride. The book itself came out in March and I actually created most of the works for it last summer, so I have moved on a little in terms of work since then but here are a few shots of some of my favourites.

1950s glamour Helen Simms

Beautiful Afro illustration

kimono illustration Helen Simms

Also, another big thing that is happening in my life is that we are in the process of buying our very first house – to which there have been lots of set backs and we have had to be very patient and work very hard to get everything in place but it looks like now the end is in sight and I will finally be able to get my hands on some Farrow and Ball and put lots of artwork up in our own little place – so exciting! I’m literally obsessed with all things interiors (as any of my Pinterest followers will be well aware!) and have been looking forward to sharing some of my art in situ with you and to creating some larger botanical pieces. I’m also hoping to update the blog a lot more as I share a little more about my life, process and the often psychological battles you have to go through as an artist! Watch this space : )

image via Pinterest

gallery wall inspiration
last two images via Pinterest

 

Hogwarts vintage box

 

 

I’m in love with the box that I recently bought to store all my watercolours and inks. I WILL keep my desk tidy! hogwarts instagram

Hair Trends for 2013: The Braid

Helen Simms Braid

 

One of the major hair trends this year seems to be the braid. It was featured (as shown) at Herve Leger, as well as Balmain and Marchesa and I personally think it looks both practical and chic.

 

It’s therefore a look I’d love to try, but I have a feeling it shouldn’t be done without the help of a hairdresser?! Any tips? xx

The iPhone Addict

When the iPhone first came out, our friend Q*, who is madly into his gadgets, was the first person I knew to have one. We’d go to the cinema and while we were waiting on the film to start, he’d sit there checking the football scores while the rest of us gabbed about our week…… I put it down to novelty.

 

Then, a little while later, Chris (my husband) got an iPhone. He works for himself so it’s really useful for him in terms of checking his diary and keeping up with emails and phone calls while out and about. But then he grew slightly obsessed (and annoying), laying in bed at night looking at his phone and watching youtube videos while I was trying to sleep …. “seriously, I am going to throw that phone out of the bloody window!!”

 

But then, once I started out as an illustrator, I could also see how useful it would be to have an iPhone. I was chatting with my sister in law about it and she very casually offered to give (yes, give!) me her iPhone when she upgraded to the newest model. Wow, so generous – I was thrilled! and yes, I too am now slightly obsessed. First thing in the morning and last thing at night, what do I do? you’ve guessed it! Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter …. not to mention email, the occasional ( or not so occasional) online mooch in my favourite store.

 

The result of all this is RSI in my right thumb (seriously!). I’m sure it’s not good for my brain either as I find I can’t sleep if I check my phone too late at night and I definitely didn’t feel like I missed anything when I only looked at my phone every couple of days to see if I had any calls when we were on holiday in Italy this summer. If anything, not using my phone helped me to de-stress a lot quicker.

 

It has to stop!

 

Anyone else got a similar addiction? Or at least some advice on how to use an iPhone in moderation? Please!

 

*Obviously not his real name. I went to see Skyfall last night and it seemed a suitably techie name. I’m not feeling very inventive today…. great film though.

 

 

 

Antoni and Alison @ LFW 2012

Antoni and Alison Fashion Illustration by Helen Simms

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.

 

Lily Collins

Helen Simms Illustration Lily Collins

Lily Collins (the young actress in “Mirror Mirror” and Phil Collins’s daughter – for those of you who don’t know) is so beautiful! She has THE best eyebrows and reminds me of Audrey Hepburn!