Monday, 21 March 2016

Repurposing old work

This year I'm enrolled on Carla Sonheim's Y is for Yellow class. We are to think about a potential series to work on for the time being. So I dug out my old uni work, and I've just been playing around with an idea.

This was a very quick mock up of what I'm thinking of doing, but I'll be exploring it a lot more in my sketchbooks. Basically I'm reusing work I did during my MA and hadn't come to a finished project. I'm not yet sure whether I'll keep to the original project I was working on or just using the elements to create a new piece of work.

A quick update on the bullet journal: I'm still using it (yay!) and thanks to it, we now have meal plans for 4 weeks, with ingredients and shopping lists. I've also booked my first driving lesson (only took me 11 years to take the plunge!) and I've seen the dentist for the first time in 3 years. So yes, I finally feel I've found a system that works for me. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Bullet Journal, first few days

I've always loved the idea of being organised and using a diary/journal diligently, but within a week or so, I usually give up and end up being a lot less productive and a lot more frazzled than I'd like.
Being productive without any kind of schedule is proving to be pretty impossible, especially with young children, so I needed somewhere to write down everything I want to achieve, at home and steps towards building my illustration portfolio.

Recently I saw the concept of the bullet journal on Pinterest, and also saw how others have adapted it for their needs. The original concept can be found, and I lost a few days looking at this lady's version

I loved her habit tracker, as well as the level 10 life idea, and realised I needed to incorporate both in one spread. (I decided on 5/10 goals I wanted to concentrate on in each section, and will highlight them each day I do them) 

The hope is that in time most of the goals will be highlighted daily. At the moment, some don't even get done monthly, so this visual diagram should help create some kind of accountability. The actual tracker table can be updated monthly, so if I decided one of my goals is actually not important anymore I can scrap it. Or I may decide to add goals in time.
I'd seen a lot of printable ideas for folders (especially for cleaning) but I didn't like the idea of having to print things out. I'm also trying to spend less time on my computer/tablet, so an app didn't seem to be the answer for that. I've actually now got a rule that I'm not allowed to go online until I've ticked at least ten items (either from the habit spreadsheets or the to do list for that day) 
The pink Ds you can see are deadlines for the course I'm taking and other online prompts I want to take part in.

Another element I've seen that I like is a daily tracker for water and fruit and veg. I've been tracking for just under a week and I'm averaging 1 glass of water a day, so that is an area for improvement. Especially as I've been feeling really tired, and if I'm tired creativity is the first thing to disappear from my day! 

I have also wanted a place to record the fun things the kids come up with but never got round to finding a system, so this may well be the answer. I've also got a thankfulness page - a while ago I tried the thankfulness jar, with bits of paper, but it's been sitting almost empty for a year as it was meant to be a family thing... So as this is my space, I can fill it in even without input from other people. I find it especially useful when I'm feeling low. 

All in all, I think I've finally found a system that should bring a bit of order in the mayhem. Do you use a bullet journal? Or another system? 
What other spreads do you find useful for your day to day life?

Friday, 22 January 2016

Happy New Year! And some New Year goals

Wow, I haven't blogged in a long time!!
First of all Happy New Year!

For the time being I'm still not allowed to work from home (but I've seen the tenancy laws have finally changed so if we move it should hopefully no longer be an issue!). But I'm not letting that stop me from improving my portfolio, art practice and branding.

Art Practice 
I'm slowly creating pockets of creative time while the children are at home. The baby is now 1, so we are getting in a routine of sorts. And the preschooler goes to preschool a few hours a week. So these days as soon as the youngest falls asleep I drop whatever I'm doing to do some drawing. I'm also trying to be more organised with the housework so that I can be free to draw in those moments.

I've enrolled on Y is for Yellow year long art course by Carla Sonheim, in the hope I can create a cohesive body of work, while having accountability all year round. I'm enjoying going back to basics and drawing lots, even if both my kids decide to "improve " my sketches later on.

Even though I can't work from home yet, I'd like to take the time now to create a coherent brand so that once I can work everything is in place. There is so much to think about so this is something that I'll be working on for the time being (in parallel with drawing/painting more).

So those are my creative goals for 2016, and hopefully I'll be able to share some updates regularly.

I wish you a very creative year!

Sunday, 18 October 2015


Lilla Rogers set up some mini challenges to warm us up ready for the course, so here's some photos of what I did.

Finished #30daysofbackgrounds

Just a quick post to say I've finished the 30 days project. Can't wait to develop each further.
Here's a small preview of all 30 backgrounds.

Friday, 9 October 2015

My personal project #30daysofbackgrounds

Following the footsteps of many illustrators, I've decided to find a project I could work on for 30 days.
I liked the idea of something small enough to do for less than 30 minutes a day (having young kids, I'm starting to learn how much energy I really have, as opposed to how much I'd like to have) but focused enough so I don't get stuck with a blank page. As it happens, I didn't manage consecutive days at first, but in the last week have caught up, and I can see myself finishing the last 10 days without being daunted by the whole project.

I know my backgrounds and scenes are one of my weaker points when illustrating, so I thought that making that the focus for my project would help improve it. As they say, deliberate practice is the way to improve.

So here's a few of the spreads I created so far. My aim after the 30 days is to then revisit each one of these and work on all the separate elements.

Thanks to doing this I can also see that working for short amounts of time still produces results, and leads to improvements. Once I start working on the different elements, I expect to be able to divide up the work into a series of small steps, like the example of the chairs. I'm also getting better at time management, as soon as the baby is napping, I'm drawing (instead of housework... I'm not quite sure what took me so long to prioritise drawing over housework as I enjoy drawing and not so much housework :-) )

In other news, I've enrolled on MATS A by Lilla Rogers, a 5 week intensive course which starts soon, so you can expect more regular blogging!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

January Bootcamp

Hello! It's been a while!!
I've been busy producing another baby girl - who is just so cute (not biased at all here)
And I've enrolled in another "make art that sells bootcamp" by Lilla Rogers, as I enjoyed it so much last year.
So January has been pretty packed between trying to draw and giving birth.
Here's my submission for this month's assignment, based on Edwardian Brooches. I didn't have much time or energy, as expected, and my computer with all my design programs has finally given up, so the presentation is pretty poor (Paint is not as design friendly as Photoshop!) But all in all I'm happy I actually finished a design, as I tend to start things off and never quite get them done!

Can't wait for next month's assignment, and hoping I'll have more energy to experiment with the subject a bit more!