Sunday, 30 December 2012

Vermont, Yoga & Teahouse

So I'm in Vermont, have been for over 2 weeks now.
I've been settling in, and its been snowing like crazy the past few days, squeeeee!
I'm learning to snowboard which is pretty rad considering I have a fear of being strapped onto moving objects. I also joined a yoga center and am going pretty much every day (apart from weekends) and I'm learning a lot. Iyengar yoga teaches alignment in poses so that is helping me in numerous ways. Vinyasa is getting me moving and doing more challenging poses than I have dared before. Yin yoga is restorative and calming, so thats nice to chill out with. I haven't tried the other ones yet, so that will be fun.

I've been hanging out at an awesome teahouse called Stoneleaf. Check them out, lovely owners.

Here are some sketches




Christmas was lovely despite being away from home, there was snow and much eating.
Feeling very welcomed here in VT, off to another family gathering. ta ra for now!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Falmouth, Plymouth, London, Vermont

So the time has come.
I am no longer in Falmouth. I have left behind my beloved (if slightly annoying at times) cat, my 2 wonderful housemates, a bezzie mate, and loads of other Falmouth beauties. 
Off I go to the farthest reaches of America. Well, Vermont. But not before hitting up Plymouth, and London on the way through. 

Its been one hectic week!
Leaving do's, Packing up and moving my house to Plymouth, saying goodbyes (managed not to cry, well a tear or 2 in private... mainly over the cat.) But thats because I know I will see all my human friends again, but who knows where sardine will be?! 
I hope she has a happy future with a loving family.

I'm all packed up and leaving Plymouth tomorrow, onto London for a few days to see family and friends and to get some last bits of painting done with what little studio time we can muster! 

Then on the 13th, flying to Vermont to see my beloved once more! For 3 months! 
How lucky I am to be able to do this, and how lucky I am that skype exists. Its been hard, but boy has skype made it a hell of a lot easier! 

So what's in store for me? Freedom! I get to paint whatever I want very soon! Teach myself how to cook some new beautiful meals, do yoga every day (ahem...almost every day (more likely)) although I am signing up to unlimited classes for a month and I did just get my new Jade yoga mat... so there is NO excuse! Most of my days will be spent alone while Athen is at work, but in the evenings we have lots of socializing to do, tango lessons to take, kirtan sessions and all kinds of awesome things lined up. A trip to Canada seems on the cards, and a trip to New York too! I'm hoping to go back to the life drawing class at the Society of Illustrators again, it was such a blast! And thats not even mentioning the winter sports!... if it snows. Knowing my luck? Well, whatever really! 
My one aim/goal/mission for this trip? See a moose! And maybe a bear, but a moose is probably safer?

And of course, last but not least, spend amazing times such as the ones above, with my lovely chappie. Without his hard work this would not even have been a possibility! 

SO, keep your eyes peeled for some fresh fresh fresh work! Most likely updating here and tumblr and adding any good new pieces to the website, so keep up! 

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, and I hope that I get some damn snow! I will feel cheated by Vermont otherwise!

Monday, 26 November 2012

The art of Re-purposing

So I've been using a rubbish old free canon bag to take my yoga mat to and from class... and what with Falmouth being so rainy, its not great, as it doesn't even cover up the whole mat. 

SO, when my friend let me have her old beanbag cover to make things with, I set to work right away with swift but sub-par needling skills, and turned half of it into a fully working zip-up yoga mat carrier. I was super pleased with myself, especially the zipping part! I'll need to use a sewing machine and go over all the stitches, but for now, its super cool, and just perfect!


I still have another half a beanbag... whatever will I turn it into? Super cool night top? (sadly not enough material for awesome panda pyjama trousers!)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sketchbooking is Back!

I've been remiss lately, and not been sketchbooking like I used to.
Here's to a new chapter of life approaching... one where I don't forget to do what makes me happy.







So, here's a few pages from the past few months. Sketchbook work has been slow, but with a commission nearly drawing to a close, then I feel a bit more free to do some sketching here and there.

more soon!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Studies of Moonlit Lighting

 At the moment I'm trying to do studies of lighting in woodland for the next painting I'm working on. Its proving difficult, with photos not giving me much to work from. 

Has anyone got any tips for painting some nice soft glows?
I have to paint fireflies in a forest, so bright pin  pricks of light, but big glows.

At the moment the trees just look as if they have some sort of weird fungus.



Falmouth



I've been savoring my last month in Falmouth. There have been some beautiful skies, and I just wanted to highlight to those that might not have noticed them... some beautiful doorways to the shops in Falmouth. 
 





















If there are any more, find them and send them to me! So beautiful!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Social Media & Getting Your Work Noticed

So recently I've been on a hellbent mission to get myself out there a bit more, and to get up to date with all the social media networking malarky that's out there. 

I discovered that there are many different outlets you can get noticed on, and that it CAN be time consuming. However, I feel that once you get everything set up, it can be a bit of a doddle, you just have to remember what platforms you are on and once you update one of them, copy, paste and put it on all the others, or link them all up.

So, this post will be about the networking sites that I have found useful, and what I have found them useful for, and where you can link them up to. 

So lets start with an easy one.

Facebook
Create a page for your artwork and invite all your friends... get them to share the page on their personal page, and hopefully you will reach a few more people. Apart from that, liking publishers and artists on your professional profile is a good way of getting noticed, or at least put onto their radar. Subscribe to them and then you can keep up to date with what they're doing, and if they find you interesting enough, perhaps they'll do the same. 
I'm reluctant to put any flat images of finals on the page, but I do post photographs of final images so that people can see what I've just done or have been working on. 
Link it up to twitter, and it will automatically create a status update from whatever you tweeted. An easy way to kill two birds with one stone.

Twitter
I'm still not overly using this platform, but I do put any work updates on there... if I've got new prints in the shop, that goes up there. I get a bit lost when it comes to doing day to day general updates... obviously my life isn't interesting enough!
Follow publishers and artists you like... sometimes they follow you back and that can be a good way to get noticed. 

Blogger
As you know, you can reach a good audience on Blogger. However, I have found that people tend to find me accidentally via google because they are looking at doing the Illustration course at Falmouth, or because they are looking for student illustrators to hire cheaply. While this is alright, it would be great to reach a wider audience. And thats where tumblr comes in. 
Blogger is my favorite blogging platform however, and I much prefer it to wordpress blogging. Can't really say why, its just a bit lovely.
You can link up your blogger to Google + now, and that helps people share it more easily. They can +1 with a simple click. Your blogger profile will be overtaken by your google + profile, so its worth using your google + account specifically for business, or create another one for business and use that. 
(you're here already)


Google +
 At the moment, I use this to link to blogger so that people can share things more easily.
I'm sure there are other great benefits to having a google+ account, but I'm fairly new to it. 
Tell me more about it if you know!

Putting google +1 buttons on your website is a good idea, people can share anything on there in a couple of clicks. 

Tumblr
I've recently started properly using this, and I find it really useful. I love putting all my inspiration up on there. And its so easy to reblog, that hopefully people will reblog your work regularly. This is a great way to reach a larger audience. By being active and reblogging other people's work, especially artists you like, often they see your work, and if they reblog your work on their site, who knows how many then notice you!

EDIT- Since being on tumblr, I've found it useful to create a separate page for your artwork, that way it is easier for people to find your work.
Do this by creating a page, and for the URL write /tagged/whateveryouwant (such as myartwork)
and tag all the images with that tag, so that all of those images are placed onto that page as well as in the main feed. 
Also, tagging your images should mean people can see your work more often.

Pinterest
I make boards about what I love... art, decor, eco housing, whatever. This helps people see that you are a real person, and re-pinning is really quick. I have a board specifically for my art, where I pin up my work that is on Etsy so that the links to the shop are spread around. When people click through, they get taken to the item for sale. I also put up work that isnt on etsy.  


ETSY
In my experience, only really good at selling work if you use it as your website's shop. There's a lot of stuff on there, and its often tricky for people to find you, and even if they do, most people do a lot of browsing and not a lot of buying on etsy. I know I do. 

LinkedIN 
Good professional networking site, definitely worth having. An online resume essentially. I've just figured out that I can put up a slideshow portfolio of my work on there to entice prospective clients in further. Which leads me to Behance.

Behance
I only found out about behance because there was an option to make a slideshow portfolio on LinkedIN, and you had to have a behance account to make it. So far I've just uploaded my portfolio, put it on LinkedIn, and thats probably all I will do with it. I don't feel the need to have a million and one portfolios everywhere. 

Stumbleupon
Something that I feel might be a good idea, is 'discovering' all of your website, blog etc on stumbleupon. You can do this by 'liking' a page in the stumbleupon toolbar. This then puts your pages into the stumbleupon search engine, and if you're clever enough with tagging, then you'll probably get a good few views because of it. It might be worth 'liking' every single one of your website pages or blog posts or whatever, just to create a larger chance of people seeing it, but hey, its your call. Personally I don't have the time nor willpower to do that mind numbing task.

Google Analytics
Pretty useful, you can monitor traffic from your blogs, website, etc. So far I haven't discovered what I should do with the data collected from them, but its kinda interesting to find out that someone in Japan or Russia has visited your page. Even if its only for a minute. 

SO! Thats it guys, hope this has been (perhaps somewhat vague in places) but useful nonetheless. 
If any of you have any insights into any of these networking sites, any hidden gems, then comment below and I'll make sure to include the advice in an edited version.

Cheers!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sneaky Peek

So my website is getting a professional makeover... so far we're near the beginning, but the esteemed
HMS Web Studio team is helping me get under way.

Here it is so far! Snazzy!
The website address will eventually remain the same as my old one, this is just for the previewing stages etc! 

Hope you all had a good bonfire night!
xx

Friday, 26 October 2012

Restart

Gotta restart this bad boy! One to the reject pile. More dancing trees a coming :)



more party less romance!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Patty Pans & Homegrown Cucumber


My first growing success! This cucumber was picked straight from the garden!


I found a great food blog

My New Roots

This next recipe is inspired by one of hers


Patty pans!

Ingredients
however many patty pans you want
& quinoa boiled in vegetable stock with peas
(you will drain and add this into the main stuffing mixture)

Glaze (for the inside of the patty pans)
Juice of 2 or 3 limes, 5+ cloves of garlic, half a chopped red chili, 2 tablespoons of olive oil
(chop everything up, add in the lime juice and olive oil, then spread inside your patty pans before cooking them in a preheated oven 175 degrees hot for 10mins. Afterwards, remove a bit of the juice unless you like your food super hot!)

Stuffing
 The flesh from the patty pans (chopped)
1/2 Courgette,
2 Carrots,
Red onion,
Garlic 4-5 cloves,
2 Mushrooms
Tumeric
Caraway seeds
 Olive oil for frying
(put it all in a frying pan and let it cook slowly, browning off the onions and garlic in the olive oil first)

Add the stuffing to the quinoa, mix well together, pour any remaining glaze into the mixture, and stuff into the patty pans.

Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins!

Et voila. 
I found the patty pan skin themselves to be not very edible, but the flesh that was mixed into the stuffing was delish!










P.S I did a painting of a pu-erh tea cake, not sure about the outcome.


And a really inspirational talk by Neil Gaiman

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Tumblr

I've decided to start using tumblr for real this time.

Main blog will most definitely remain here... but you can see some stuff I like too, and some quick things that i might not otherwise put up here. xx

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Beulah & Puzzilanee

Another book illustration done! hopefully



Needs a little bit of colour adjustment in photoshop, but it should be good to go!
Perhaps a bit of darkening left to do still around that right eye... we'll see. 


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Analog New York


Crazy shop front
 



This bread gives you a big booty... no doubt!
 

Flatiron Building - had a meeting on the 10th floor
 


View from 10th floor of Flatiron Building





 This guy had the best dress sense and a beautiful beard/ suave hairstyle
 



One of those crazy tourist that takes a picture of a picture of their child in front of various things.
 



My two lovelies Ruth & Rachel on the high line!
 


I had been transported back to the 50s
 

I would love my job too if I got to ride around in one of these
 



My lovelies Ruth & Matthew in central park
 





I told you I would show you eventually. Hope you're happy!