I'm squireling away in the background at the moment building my website. It's coming along nicely but I still have a way to go. The good thing about this is that I'm discovering work that I did and forgot about, or started then stopped and didn't continue with, for some reason. So here is one of those patterns, which was half a pattern that I gave up on, but have now revamped

September Girl

I've set myself a little challenge to draw a person each month, for the next year. This is September Girl - sporting a dress with the feather pattern from my last post. It will likely be seasonal, a visual record of what the months are doing over the course of a year. This one is pretty autumnal in theme.


The last assignment for the make it in design Summer School was for a pattern featuring feathers.
I loved designing this one and I think I probably worked smarter/harder because I only had a few hours to complete it
I think some coordinates are needed for this so will work on some of those next...

Cute Characters

This months Tigerprint comp is for greetings card designs featuring cute characters. I'm really quite unpractised at character illustration, although love all things cute so this was a good one for me to enter. 
The competitions are a bit like a free brief to me. Regardless of the outcome, it's another couple of pieces for the portfolio, and I'm pretty sure there will be a whole lot of cute to look at in the competition gallery too. Bonus!

the A word

I'm quite a fan of Autumn really. I don't do well in hot hot heat and the autumnal temperatures are much more up my street. That, and as a kid I always loved the time of year when we went back to school after the summer holidays. I suspect this was in no small part down to the fact that I could have a new school bag, pencil tin and stationery. I'm still a stationery nerd now.
We took our little lady (who has just had her second birthday! I mean, how?) to the library this morning and on the way we collected a huge orange leaf and a fallen conker still in it's shell. There's no denying it, it's definitely coming.

These autumnal influences are seeping into my work too, albeit quite unconsciously.

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search 2014

The semi finalists have been announced for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search.
I'm a teensy bit disappointed not to have made it through. Only 5% of those who entered did, and there is some fantastic work and crazy talent amongst those who didn't so I really need to try and not be too hard on myself about this. I am pleased with my entry, and have another piece for my portfolio.

The process of doing this has not only helped helped me grow my style and technical skill but also my ability to assess my own work and push myself to look at all the small things and to see how I can improve them. This is a journey. Onwards and upwards.
You can view the entire gallery of entrants here and see the top 50 semi finalists here

animal print

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't loving the MIID summer school brief this time around, which was for a design featuring animal prints. Animal prints are not really my thing so I've given it my own twist and added a floral into the mix to make it more me, and maybe something that someone who's not into animal prints might consider buying. I've used 3 of the 6 suggested colours here, with tints and transparencies to add a bit more depth to the design. A challenge, but a good one!

little terrarium

It's been a busy few weeks.
I entered Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search so have been working away on the first brief for that. There are 999 entrants, 50 of which will be selected to go onto the second round. The talent is phenomenal and competition is stiff. I'm keeping everything crossed that I get into round 2. 

I'll share my final design next week, but in the meantime here is a pattern I created alongside the final design, which is for a wall art piece based on the theme of a little terrarium


I'm taking part in the MIID summer school. One of the briefs was to produce a pattern suitable for swimwear, which has a tropical/vintage/retro/geometic vibe.
I've been seeing a lot of watermelon imagery and icons around of late and they seem quite fun and summery so I've used watermelons as a basis for my patterns.
It looks like fruit is creeping into a lot of my design work at the moment!


My smoothie girl selfie from my last post had a fruity little t-shirt on. It was a placement print I created for the assignment but I'd quite like to see it as a real life fabric, so I've made it into a repeat

bye bye bootcamp

This is my final assignment entry for Lilla Rogers MATS bootcamp:
I don't mind admitting that I really struggled with this assignment for a piece of 'art based around your favourite beverage'.
I'm one of those weirdo people who doesn't drink a hot drink every day - tea or coffee, or whatever. I drink a lot of water, and occasionally some very weak fruit squash. I think this is yet more proof that I am a child in an adults body.
If you're a long standing reader of my blog you will know I love my vintage china tea cups, and have crates of them stored away in my loft (which I WILL get out and use when I have a bigger house to live in) and it would have felt very natural and probably even somewhat easy for me to produce a design based on tea cups and saucers and biscuits and all that - just typing these words is sending images whizzing through my head. But I wanted to be a bit more true to myself, and also push myself to do something a bit different (for me) and a therefore a bit more tricky (for me).
I have recently taken to drinking smoothies for breakfast and sometimes lunch too, in an effort to improve my health and get as much of the good stuff in me as I can, so I knew this would be my drink subject. I also wanted to have a character in my design because this is still not something that comes easy to me. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted this to look like. But I struggled to make this happen. Everything I was drawing looked wrong.
But I persevered. Partly because I am stubborn and didn't want to be defeated by this, and partly because I knew I could do something good.
I'm glad I persisted. This whole thing is a huge learning process but I've found I just have to keep on doing, keep on drawing, and eventually it will come.

I'm pleased with what I produced. And I am a little bit sad that this was the final bootcamp assignment. Bootcamp has really pushed me to be more creative, and think differently, and draw more. I needed this. I've also connected with many other like minded designers and artists. The community has been so supportive and encouraging - everything you need when you are a solo home worker with only your cat and toddler for feedback, and as much as I love both of them, feedback is not their strong suit.
Take a look at the gallery - there is some fantastic work there. 

Onwards and upwards. Next up, Global Talent Search!

something old, something new

I've revisited and revamped one of my old prints. I like it a whole lot more now.
They'll be going off to the printers soon and once I have proof copies they'll be heading into my shop. They come in 4 colours, including the blue one below.

people and animals

People and animals are not really things come naturally to me when it comes to drawing. I feel like I have to try really hard and do many many crappy sketches to get to something I feel happy with.
A couple of months ago the MATS bootcamp assignment was focussed around drawing people, more specifically, the assignment was for an editorial piece on meditation. To my surprise I had a lot of fun with the people drawing aspect.
This was my final piece, which incorporates a few new techniques for me. It was a (good) challenge, and as always a good learning experience too.

I'm also keen to feature more animals and illustration in my portfolio as well as pattern work, so I've been working on sketching some characters too. This little bunny was conceived last night in the form of a pencil sketch. I like her. I'm going to do more of this.

florals, florals, and more florals

This months Tigerprint comp was for a floral repeat to be used across the giftwrap range. I don't think I could ever get bored of making floral repeats, so this is what I entered.
It would be nice if one of them won, but I'm not holding my breath. The talent out there is pretty immense and I'm just happy to have produced some more work for my portfolio that I thoroughly enjoyed making

nautical, part 2

I'm cramming in a few more nautical designs before the project deadline. I think they'd make a nice nursery/kids wall art set. I've changed up the whale from my last post too. I'm always tweaking in an endless quest for perfection! (not to be confused with twerking - I would never be seen doing that. In public.)


The assignment theme for the June MATS Bootcamp is Nautical Wall Art. It's quite open and we can take it in any direction we like so I'm working on a series of 4 pieces for children with a screen printed feel. Here is my whale.

mother's day florals

If there is one thing that the Lilla Rogers MATS bootcamp has taught me (so far) it's that I need to draw more. In the last couple of months I've spent quite a bit of time drawing into my sketchbook and then using those (scanned) sketches to create patterns or design pieces.  I've also been using the wacom tablet more too - which I still find quite tricky, although the more I use it the more natural it becomes. This is giving my work a more hand drawn feel in general and I quite like that.
During the last week I created a few pieces (card designs) for this months tigerprint competition - 'mother's day florals', and a coordinating pattern, you know, just for good measure.


The MATS bootcamp assignment is taking a break for the month of April, but a few of the members have decided on an unofficial assignment for this month with the theme of underwater plants for dishwares.
We took a trip to The Deep recently and I took a few pictures of the plantlife and animals and used this as a jumping off point for my sketches
I'm endeavouring to learn more and try different techniques as far as my design work goes, so with this assignment I worked pretty quickly in pen and ink creating basic shapes and icons, then scanned my images and recoloured and rearranged to form a placement pattern:
Next up, I need to arrange my icons and patterns onto dishware - fun stuff.

When you get 2 days a week to work, progress on anything seems to take such a long time - it feels very much like I'm doing a bit here and a bit there and not really getting very far with anything, except growing my to do list. My brain is full of ideas and it's frustrating that I don't get to realise things as quickly as I'd like. I'm adapting to this though - it's going to be my working style for a good few years yet I think. It certainly does make you admire people who work for themselves part time whilst being a parent full time.
That said, I'm happy to report that my new print (of a wedding/anniversary nature) is now available in my shop.  

I'm finding instagram is pretty good for helping me quickly log day to day work progress or capturing moments of inspiration, and of course helping me capture lots of fun moments with my little chick. I'm there most days if you fancy a snoop, or just want to say hello.