Monday, 21 May 2012

New York Comedown

I'm back from New York, and would rather not be.
I never thought I would love a city, but New York is just so full and vibrant of different people, different cultures, people who are POLITE and ask you how you are... who will stop and help you with directions even if you don't ask them. People who ask you whether a shelf would look good in their home, when you kinda mistook them to mean that they were wondering if you wanted to buy it for yourself.

Even if the polite hellos and the asking of how you are is not completely genuine, it puts you in a good positive mood, and it feels like at least someone cares about your day. 

Getting back to England could not have been more of a crash land. 
The girl at the airport kiosk where I purchased a bottle of water didn't look me in the eye... in fact she didn't look at me at all. Just gave a grunt and mumbled the amount I needed to give her. After a long haul flight... its just not what you need. When you left central park in the bright warm sunshine with all your colleagues to come back to dreary (yet hot) England with all of the cynical people and the negative attitudes pressing around you like a thick veil. At the service station stop... all I could hear is non stop complaining from middle aged travelers... why isn't this place big enough? where is the seating? why aren't there more tills? 'you would have THOUGHT that they would plan this better' 
Its sickening, and I think inside I was just screaming to get back on the plane and jet off to America never to come back to this negative country. 

It was a shock, and it is still a shock. It always is when you have been to another country. There just seems to be so much hope in other countries that I can't seem to tap into here. 



I saw the high line (the park formed on an old elevated railroad on the lower west side of Manhattan) 
It was so beautiful, like I had stepped into a parallel reality.
Flowers aplenty, people laughing, smiling, enjoying the green space and a nice walk without cars etc to get in the way. 

Just wandering around by myself at night was great, seeing everyone going about their business.
Life drawing at the Society of Illustrators was great! With 2 amazing models and a live Jazz band playing, and a bar to boot! 

Central park- phenomenal.

Whole Foods--- I never realised that there existed salad so deliciously delightful in my whole entire life... and fresh made sushi... plus so so so much more. If only I had had my own kitchen for a week in New York.

The visits- ok, but I yearn for more criticism guys!?! What do I need to take out of my portfolio to make it stronger? What is your favorite piece? What style in my portfolio is the strongest and most striking? Where do you think my illustrations might fit (what context?) What do I need to improve on? What could I push further? What would you like to see me doing more of? 
If anyone is visiting this blog from any of the industry visits and you have answers to these questions, I would LOVE to know! Drop me an email at

Ok, must go, my photos have developed! I'll put up the best ones soon... after I've filled out the mountain of paperwork looming over my head!

Chins up!


Saturday, 12 May 2012

New York, New York

So it is time to whip out the unoriginal title that many a Falmouth student may have used as a blog title before. 
It is also time to fly the nest, to head to New York for our professional practice week, to visit publishers and agents and artists alike. There will be fun, frivolity and a good amount of eating and drinking to be done. Personally I can't wait to get my hands on some pancakes and real NY cheesecake... while others are hitting up the burger bars and pizza joints. 
I can't wait! And I don't have to! We leave tonight at 11.45pm on the coach to London to get our connecting flight at 10am to New York City! 
I'm very glad to be meeting up with a friend I haven't seen in ages (the lovely Hadley Seymore) and getting shown a few choice spots. 
I'm not looking forward to getting up at 6.30am on the Monday to reach my first appointment, but nevertheless... in the city that never sleeps perhaps I was a bit too optimistic on just how much sleep I might manage to achieve.

Still, its all very exciting, a great adventure, and one of the last things I'll do as a student! So, this week should really sum up the name of this blog. Now just to find out some things to do in NY! 

Over and out

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Expedition Kamchatka

Hey guys,
as you know I recently designed a logo for an expedition to Kamchatka being undertaken by my friend Dave Morgan. The planning has now started, and you can be kept up to date with the exciting things being planned over on the expedition's facebook page.

check it out, interesting stuff!

Final Artwork of the Degree & Goodbye Desk

So, its drawing to a close...forgive the pun. 
I've taken down my beloved studio space, and now it is bare.
Today I managed to paint Cercosaura argulus, a lizard from south america that I had been working on for some time, but had been too scared to paint. 
I'm pleased with the results.
Moreover, I'm pleased to complete my final piece of work of my entire degree, and with a day to spare as well! Fantastic. Just have to print this bad boy out tomorrow and then here I come New York! 

Cleaned up version:

Version straight from scan (I'm rather fond of the off white paper)

So... goodbye studio.
When we get back from New York you won't be recognisable!

:( sad times, but good times.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Paintathon & No More Eyeballs

After an entire day sat at my desk painting this image, my eyes have shriveled up and are rattling around in their sockets. I'm on the point of insanity, extremely delirious and on the verge of collapse.
Thankfully I've painted the image to at least an acceptable level of detail to go to print. However, the paintathon will continue until I consider this piece finished. Which could take quite a while. OR I could paint the other half of the lizard I was painting, and have even ANOTHER portfolio piece for New York, and actually have another finished project for assessment. Seeing as everything has now gone off to the printers, that might be a viable option. 
I'll see what the guys at the heart of borneo think, and if they don't mind having the report cover as is for the minute, I may be one very happy lady.

So, here it is

without text

with text, cropped in tight

With text, zoomed out a bit.



More Tropical Frogs

 Progress on the painting

So so tired.

Monday, 7 May 2012


Painting Rhacophorus harrisoni for the heart of borneo project scient report cover 2010-11
Paintathon started properly tonight... can i finish it by Wednesday?!?

its going slow but steady. thats enough for one night i think. 

can i finish it by wednesday morning this is the ultimate question.

Coral & Frogs

Finished the coral spread, here's the initial painting that got scrapped, and the new improved version plus details.

It isn't for a specific story or childrens book im writing, but I just tried to illustrate the phrase 
'no one likes a copycat.'

And because I haven't ever done an underwater scene, then I thought it about time I did one. it was difficult! 

Here's the underpainting for the scientific report cover. Why it is a2 size I really don't know. Hopefully I can get it finished in time for New York.

Still in the luminous green stage, this will be toned down massively in the next stage or the final stage of painting.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Coral Reefs & Kamchatka

I need to get over my fear of painting this coral reef for my kids book. Hopefully I'll finish it tonight and then I can get on with painting the rest of the scientific report cover for the heart of borneo project.

In the meanwhile I want to ask your opinions of some logo designs/fonts for this project I'm working on. I'm designing a logo for Expedition Kamchatka. They should be going in 2015, for 4ish months traveling from North to South in Kamchatka. Kamchatka is in Russia and was used as a military testing zone of some kind... it was shut off to the Russians and foreigners alike until recently. 10 years ago they opened it up for people. However, it is a rather remote place, so not many people have ventured into Kamchatka since it was opened. There are national parks, which you have to gain a permit to enter and there are a limited number of people allowed in every year.

Expedition Kamchatka consists of 2 people and a native guide traveling from north to south on foot. 
It all sounds amazingly exciting, so I'm proud to be asked to design their logo.

So, what do you guys think?

Russian looking font

Russian inspired font, but english looking

Same font as above, but actually in Russian.

The last image is a mockup for a website banner/business card etc... just an idea.

right, back to coral reefs then onto frogs!!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


7.30am still going... 2nd spread drawn, painted.... messed up. Redo again another day. no biggy. most of the design work done.. just how do you paint a coral reef?!

time to pack up I think.

24 Hours, 1st Artworks

So, its 1.41am... 
We have a final artwork.
1st spread, 1 more to go.
& some characters.

now, spread 2! 

24 Hours in the Illustration Studio

Alright, its here.
The illustration sleep over (with no sleep involved)... 24 hours of studio work at the University College Falmouth, UK.
A class full of illustration students will be staying in overnight at the university studios to complete a 24 hour project of their own individual choosing.
We will all be here throughout the night, updating the collective tumblr account...
so follow along, laugh when, at 4-5am we are all delirious and crumbling. The good illustration tends to come out at that dark time.

See what we come up with! We will be producing prints of work we make, to sell at a later date! 

Wish us luck! See you on the other side!